Dear Kingsmead Community,
The world is filled with stories of conflict, fear and desperation at the moment and I often wonder how much of this reaches the young children in our care. Our radio presenters airing their opinions on our way to school; the overheard conversations behind closed doors; and the dinner table debates are all part of your daughter’s daily story.
If you take a minute and think to the time when you were a young primary school child, I would imagine that there are certain memories that stand out for you as adults. These are events and moments in time that shape our perception of the world and determine how we might possibly react to circumstances today.
As our daughters begin to develop their stories, let us, as the adults in their world, contribute meaningfully each and every day. Allow our children to ask questions and express their worries. Allow them the space to stand up for their values and beliefs. Make sure they know they are loved, heard and safe. It is important that adult worries and anxieties remain in the hands of the adults and that children’s worries are explored and appreciated as valid and sincere.
Let us give our children a meaningful way to integrate these life events into the tapestry of their stories as a way to see the light as an inspiration to make this world a better place. Give them opportunities to practice kindness and generosity. Teach our children the value of contributing to the positive change in someone else’s story. Show them the value of listening with empathy and understanding. Teach them the value of kind words and actions.
Let us build into their story that their voices are heard. Our children need to have their own sense of purpose. They need to approach each day with hope and possibility. Let us help our children develop a sense of self-control in a world of uncertainty. As Michelle Obama says: “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something you own”.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Junior School
How to teach your daughter to create a BALANCE – Helping Students Manage their Time
It is important, to acknowledge that as teachers, specifically in the Senior Primary phase, we assign work each day during our lessons, and the bulk of the work is not for homework. We too provide our students with a week’s notice to prepare for the more formal assessments. But this often causes our students to feel frustrated and too often ‘stressed’. It is important that your daughter ask herself a very important question: how much time do I allocate to homework, to formal preparation, projects and extra-curricular commitments?
The ideal solution here is to ensure your daughter is responsible for keeping her own diary of tasks using a digital calendar, desk calendar, daily planner, homework diary or management tool of her own. We acknowledge that many of our students have a few years until they reach high school, however, our goal is to foster one of independence and finding the balance. One goal for you as parents, is to ideally role model the balance between work and ‘play’.
Why is this important? With good time management, students know how much time they have, how long it will take to complete tasks, and what they can accomplish in the time they have. This gives them more ‘breathing room’, which reduces the feeling of being rushed, which in turn leads to less frustration and stress.
Here are two ways to support your daughters in understanding the value of time management.
Encourage your daughter to do the assignment herself. She must see how long it takes her to complete the work. Then to remember, she is the ‘expert’ with this material/task. A student to check in with a teacher how long a task might take. In terms of studying, a study session should last 45 minutes to an hour in Grade 5-7. The benefit of knowing this, is that it allows students to plan better. They can situate homework/studying in the context of their entire day.
A student may get home from school at 15h30 and has hockey practice at 17h00. She now knows that she can complete her homework in any 25-minute window between the end of the school day and the start of practice. The downside to this is that some students may lose confidence and doubt themselves if an assignment takes much longer than they had planned/thought.
An additional thought is to teach your daughter to ‘rate or classify’ her tasks into three categories with time frames for each so that she will know what type it is and how long it should take to complete. Here are three ways that I categorize tasks for students:
Quick Checks: These tasks are measuring sticks of understanding and they are short and sweet. I would anticipate a student to spend 20-50 seconds on each question on these types of assignments. A 20-question quick check should take 6-10 minutes.
Thorough Responses: When a student needs to answer with more substance and more development, I look for thorough responses. These types of assignments are different than quick checks because I expect students to spend 2-4 minutes per question. Thorough responses typically have fewer questions consequently. Thorough response assignments take my students 20-35 minutes. (Grade specific and quantity of questions set).
Sustained Thought: When students must access new material (research), when there is challenging reading, or when they must process ideas before they formulate responses, students can expect to spend 30-40 minutes to complete an assignment.
Last but not least, one of the most integral parts to leading a balanced lifestyle is that of good sleep. Be reminded to set a bedtime for your daughter. Children ages 5–12 need 10–11 hours of sleep per day. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
HOW HEAVY WORK IMPROVES BODY AWARENESS
Proprioception is one of the senses that is involved with everything we do. Take a moment to consider the position you are in right now. Are you lying on a couch? Sitting at a desk? Are you seated in an office chair with your legs folded under you?
Being aware of your body position is something that happens automatically and naturally (body awareness). Proprioception allows us to position our bodies just so in order to enable our hands, eyes, ears and other parts to perform actions at any moment. Proprioception activities help with body awareness.
Proprioception sends information about our body’s position to the brain so that we know that our foot is tapping on the ground or that our leg is curled under the other on the couch even while we are busy with other tasks or actions.
This awareness allows us to walk around objects in our path, move a spoon to our mouth without looking at it and to stand far enough away from others while waiting in a line. It enables a student to write without pressing too hard or too lightly on their pencil when writing and to brush our hair with just the right amount of pressure.
Proprioception is essential for everything we do!
When this system is not functioning properly, body awareness and motor planning can be a problem.
Here’s what you can do at home:
- carry in shopping bags
- wash windows
- rake leaves
- carry piles of books
- chair push-ups
- wall push-ups
- jumping jacks
- jumping on a trampoline
- push/pull activities (e.g. tug of war)
- bounce a ball against a wall
BSc (OT) UCT
The Library Checkout
I know it’s difficult for children today (parents included) to find the time to dive into a book, and sometimes easier to scroll through a tablet or a phone but “If you want to increase the likelihood that your child will read, you should fill your house with books. Fill it with temptation.” Pamela Paula and Marisa Russo – ‘How to Raise a Reader’
Surround your house with books – diverse books.
Read yourself – often.
Let your children see other people in the house reading and enjoying it – enthusiasm is contagious.
Let books find your child – by keeping the books always within your child’s reach.
Each year in the lead up to our Kingsmead Book Fair we host a week-long celebration of books and reading, offering just the right amount of temptation. Below is a detailed itinerary of what your daughter will experience during our Book Week Celebration starting on Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May:
|Friday, 21 May
|Book Week Assembly Launch
Launch of the ‘Decorate your Door Class Competition’
|Monday, 24 May
|Book Drive Collection commences – Share the love of books by donating books in good condition at the Music Reception. The Collection Drive will continue throughout the week.
Hooked on Books – Wiggle and Woggly Show for Grade 000-0
D.E.A.R (DROP EVERYTHING AND READ) commences . Please ensure your daughter has a book to read during our spontaneous D.E.A.R sessions or encourage her to visit her school library to get her hands on some fresh new titles.
Tuesday, 25 May
|Where’s Wally Africa Day Edition Quiz – JP and SP Quiz. Students stand a chance to win 1 of 10 Where’s Wally books that are hiding in and around our school.
Students will take part in our Story Walks – take a step away from the classroom and follow a reading route in and around the beautiful gardens of the Junior School.
Book Drive Collection continues
|Wednesday, 26 May
|Hooked on Books Shows throughout the day for Grade 1-7
Book Drive Collection continues
|Thursday, 27 May
|Exclusive Book Sale POP-UP Shop on the JP field
All KBF’21 titles on offer and sale books
Book prices start at a mere R40D.E.A.RBook Drive Collection continues
|Friday, 28 May
|Character Dress Up Day – Each student and teacher to dress up as any book character of choice
Exclusive Book Sale POP-UP SHOP continues – 07:00 – 15:00
Book Drive Collection ends
If the Book Week isn’t enough temptation, then check out all the incredible titles and authors featuring in this year’s Children /Teens Programme at our first ever Virtual Kingsmead Book Fair’21.
The Music Department will not let Covid-19 stop us from having fun making music! Our festivals will continue as virtual events this term and we are so excited!
The Junior Orchestra had a fun workshop on Saturday 8 May and the Grade 4-7 Choir recorded their songs for the Choir festival this past Saturday the 15th.
This coming Saturday, the 22nd, the Junior Orchestra has their recording session from 11h00 – 13h00 in Lange hall. Orchestra members must please wear their winter school uniform (skirt/grey pants; white school shirt and blazer, no tracksuits please) and remember their instruments and music. Please meet at the hall by 10h45 to unpack and tune so we can start the sound check at 11h00.
The virtual festivals will be posted on YouTube as unlisted videos and will go ‘live’ on the date and time published. If you do not want your daughter in this video, please let us know as she will then not be included in the recording session.
Should you have any questions about Music at Kingsmead, please contact us. To apply for music lessons, click here or scan this QR code:
Equestrian Inter-Schools Qualifier 1
It was with huge excitement that the equestrian riders attended the first inter-school event on Saturday, 9 May and Sunday, 10 May since it was cancelled last year March due to Covid-19. The Kingsmead College riders did us proud participating in many different events and earning enough points to place Kingsmead 3rd overall in their category of 16 schools. These school points will carry through to the rest of the qualifiers to award the top schools in Johannesburg District, and the rider points will carry through for district team selection to ride Gauteng finals for provincial selection. We congratulate the Kingsmead riders on the following results:
1st Showjumping 1.10m 2-phase Level 7
1st Equitation Level 7
2nd Showjumping 1.10m Speed Level 7
2nd Working Hunter Level 3
2nd Handy Hunter Level 3
3rd Working Riding Level 3
4th Dressage Level 2
Qualifier 2 will be held on 22 and 23 May and the final qualifier will be held 26 and 27 June, both at Kyalami Park Club (KPC). New riders are still welcome to join, as a rider’s top 2 scores from the 3 qualifiers are used for team selection.
Aalia Essack played two matches in the past two weeks against Old Ed’s in the U11 Boys’ age group. They played against Gunner FC and these were the results:
Aalia will be going to Durban over the weekend and will be participating in a match in KwaZulu Natal. We wish her all the best.
On Friday 14 May, we played our first matches to kick off the netball season. All the players were very excited to play netball again after the long lockdown period of no sport.
Although there will be no internal matches, for the moment, the players are all very positive, motivated and determined to develop and learn new skills.
Our aim this year is to develop the skills lost due to Covid-19 and to bring our netball back to the high competitive standards and to prepare ourselves for a very successful 2022 netball season. This can be accomplished by attending all the practice sessions, working together with coaches and staying focused during practice sessions and matches.
Message to ALL the players:
Do your best in the time available…
The desire for perfection should not be a stumbling block in your path to excellence!
YOU HAVE RECEIVED A GIFT —- USE IT POSITIVELY AND
The Southern Gauteng Hockey trials took place over the weekend of 15 May 2021 at St Andrew’s for the U12 team. We congratulate the following players on their selection for the 2nd round of trials taking place on 18 May 2021:
Jessica de Zueew
We would like to wish our U13 players all the best for their hockey trials which are taking place this weekend.
The Junior School Green committee launched their initiative in assembly on Friday. They are urging their peers to download ECOSIA as their default search engine. ECOSIA uses revenue to plant trees and uplift rural communities. For more information, see link below:
See attached infographic for ‘how to’ install ECOSIA.
Kingsmead Book Fair
Following the cancellation of last year’s event, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel it important to continue and honour the festival this year on a virtual platform. Besides the interesting discussions presented by the authors, there will be a virtual children’s programme as well as sessions for young adults.
Date: Saturday, 29 May 2021
Time: 09h00 – 15h00
Virtual – the magic event link will be sent
R250 for the adult programme
R100 for the children and young adult programme