Resisting the Urge to Rescue
We aim to raise strong, powerful women who are able to influence the world. We believe in empowering our girls through teaching them skills so that they are ready to engage meaningfully, confidently and articulately with the world outside of school. We thank you for your partnership moving ahead.
We live in a society which can, at times, feel quite scary. Part of our day feels out of our control, and there are many factors; economic, political and social, that increase our feeling of insecurity on a daily basis. This paired with a deep and primal sense to protect our children often leads to the need for us to ‘rescue’ them from various situations. When it comes to circumstances of harm or real risk, then of course, this is completely appropriate; however it is equally important to pause before stepping into the ring to ask ourselves whether or not we are helping our children out of a situation that represents real danger, or simply discomfort.
It is not bad for children to experience some level of anxiety, discomfort or disappointment. In fact, it is an important psychological task that they must experience and experiment with. As we have shared on many occasions, it is essential that we allow our children to make mistakes and then to face the consequences, provided that they are reasonable. In many of our parent talks we suggest that you do not bring your child’s lunch to school if they have left it at home, or their project or their sports kit; but rather let them problem-solve and face the reality of the situation. This not only ultimately lowers anxiety (just imagine if you had never had the experience of making a mistake like this and then you enter the world of work where mistakes carry higher stakes), but it also creates perspective, teaches children to be resilient, and guides them to develop higher levels of emotional intelligence.
Recently, there has been an increase in communication from our parent body asking for time extensions on homework, reading assignments and the like. Obviously, there are times when this is warranted and necessary and we always encourage open communication. However, it is really important that as far as possible, the school and staff are on the same page with regards to the deadlines for tasks and that sound organizational strategies are employed and taught, rather than deadline extensions given in cases where there are no extenuating circumstances. Having parent support in homework is a wonderful asset; however, as part of our drive to help raise and educate girls of character and commitment, we actively teach strategies for self-regulation, responsibility and accountability. In order to find success in this we require your partnership in helping to empower your daughter to work as independently as she is able to, and equipping her with the technology or skills that she needs in order to develop her ability to work in a way that is sustainable long-term.
In the Senior Primary, we limit the homework given, to what we deem is educationally sound and necessary; and so while it varies daily, the general expectation is to complete the assigned tasks, as well as to read for 20 minutes per day.
Research tells us that setting aside a regular time every afternoon (say for an hour excluding reading time), and using this time for school work is best practice. This means that each afternoon, the student is at their desk for that time, completing homework. When their homework is done, then less urgent tasks such as assignments and projects are focused on, or revision and note-taking for tests or exams takes place. This routine ensures an established work ethic while leaving enough time for balance, and avoids the night before pressures. The time set aside is grade dependent and is also dependent on the student and their own pace of work.
It is equally important to provide students with a voice in issues that are creating concern for them. It is imperative that students feel like they can approach their LEAD teacher, myself or Mrs Beekhuizen, as Head of Academics, with their challenges (and, importantly, solutions) so that the issue can be addressed in a way that meets their need. When issues of concern are only shared from a parent’s perspective, it makes it difficult to fully understand what it is that our girls need. Please encourage your daughter to take the steps to meet with their teachers about matters that concern them. This also teaches them that they have a voice, something we believe is critically important to their success going forward, and a life skill we want them to have when leaving school at the end of matric.
Marisa di Terlizzi – Deputy Head – Senior Primary
Thank you for generously donating gently worn shoes for Footloose Friday on 8 March. 1959 pairs of shoes were donated. The beneficiaries are:
- St Vincent School for the Deaf
- Fight with Insight
- Guild Cottage
- Park Care
- Sunshine Association
- Kids Haven
- Paediatric Burns Unit at Baragwanath Hospital
- Rosebank Shelter
- Rays of Hope
GRADE 5 SERVICE EXCURSION TO SUNSHINE ASSOCIATION
By Anna Lipchin and Zarah Davies
On Tuesday the 12th of March, we went on a service excursion to the Sunshine Association. When we were there we played with all the children. There were six classes. The red and blue class which were the able-bodied children, the green and orange class which were for intermediately disabled and the yellow and purple classes were for profoundly disabled children. We were divided into three different groups and rotated between three different activities throughout the morning. We went to each class to spend some time with the children. We sang together, played a lot and we gave lots of hugs. We were given a partner and we painted together, we wrote our names and left it to dry. We also baked together and afterwards set off to the jungle gym to play tag. Then we went back into the classrooms and read stories to the children. After lunch, we had to go say good bye. There we were sitting on the bus waving good bye. We loved our time with the children at the Sunshine Association.
Please take all donations to your class teacher from 27 March. Junior and Senior School donations will be gathered on the cricket pitch at 07h30 on 10 April 2019.
Jenny Venter – Director of Service
Rays of Hope
We were blessed with a wonderfully sunny afternoon this Saturday to host the children from The Rays of Hope. It was so wonderful to have Mrs. Sharp join us as well. Our ‘buddies’ played happily on the jungle gyms and with the scooters and wagons. The Kingsmead girls then paired with a ‘buddy’ and engaged in a reading and rhyming activity, stimulating conversation and vocabulary growth. Each child also made an edible necklace by threading Oatees onto wool, this was a real novelty for both our girls and the Rays of Hope children. After more food, fun with bubbles and energetic games we were thanked by the children in song. This is always such a joyful afternoon and it is so lovely to see how easily our girls and the children connect with each other each month. We are looking forward to our next get together with the children at the Kingsmead Book Fair.
On Friday 15th March, we hosted what we hope will become an annual swimming and fundraising event. The pools were filled with colourful girls with a variety of floating devices and nervous parents who watched in disbelief and horror as their daughters surpassed their expectations, some with a little help from the grade 7 girls. On behalf of the Junior School, I would like to thank the parents who made it possible. The moms and dads who volunteered to assist with counting of widths as well as the PTA (headed by Rizwana Bawa) who ensured that the spectators were well fed and hydrated.
A special thank you to Amanda Fleming who worked tirelessly to ensure that we had volunteers for the day. Her energy, time and advice no matter the time of day was appreciated.
Unfortunately, the weather played havoc with our swimming and tennis fixtures this season. We were unable to participate in the prestige galas due to a severe lightning storm. This was disappointing indeed as the girls and coaches had worked very hard throughout the season. I would like to thank our coaches, swimmers and the parents especially for ferrying the girls to early morning sessions. I believe the girls can be proud of their efforts this season.
Captains’ Leadership briefing
A captains’ leadership briefing was held last week. The aim of the mini workshop was to empower the young leaders and to brainstorm what it means to be a leader within the sport framework. We also looked at the values of a good leader as well as the roles and responsibilities which we often assume the young girls already know. This year, the girls will embark on a wellness awareness campaign through the use of the sport notice board. They will take turns to lead a particular theme for the week and raise awareness in our school community.
As our winter season begins, the coaches have already been preparing for the busy season ahead. Our Netball coaches wrote the District 13 umpire’s exam and took part in a practical coaching session with the head coach (Nontle Gwavu – former Protea player). Olian Thobejane (current men’s national squad player) then took the coaches through a practical umpiring session. Such professional development will be ongoing throughout the season. The coaches will then take part in a grading exercise next term. It is our hope that our coaching team will feel empowered and therefore confident when they take on their coaching tasks this season.
We are very excited to have brought on Emmanuel Tennis Academy on board as our new tennis provider this term. The energy they have brought on to the court has been palpable and witnessed with the increase in the number of girls attending tennis sessions.
ETA hosted a Parents and Daughters Tennis morning on Sunday 10th March. We had many families join us and all courts were occupied by players at any given time. ETA managed to raise over R1000 for the school during this initiative. Winter tennis will continue throughout the 2nd term and we hope to expose the girls to more round robin friendly matches.
Hockey District Trials
Congratulations to Sange Sibiya (U13) has been invited to attend the last round of District 9 trials and Jessica Stevens (U12) who has been selected to represent District 9.
Morgan Easter, Emma Simmonds and Zintle Papiyana have been selected for the U12 Action Netball team for Central Gauteng. The girls will be going on tour in March to the IPT tournament in Cape Town.
D13 Netball Trials
Congratulations to Jessica Stevens who has been selected to attend the GSS Netball Trials in April. This is an impressive achievement indeed.
Congratulations to Georgia Lenaerts who will be partaking in the Rok National championship for karting. She has been racing karts since 6 years old at club and regional level. She has been included in the Target race Team which is run by a South African World Championship female driver Fabienne Lanz.
Cheryl Smith has been selected to represent Central Gauteng in Figure Skating. She will travel to Cape Town in April for her competition.
Open Water swim
Congratulations to Annabelle Herringer who completed the Ebenezer mile over the past weekend. She placed in the top 10 in her category which is an outstanding achievement indeed.
Netball Coffee morning – Tuesday 26 March 2019, 7:15am at the JS Library.
Sheillah Denenga – Head of Junior School Sports