Dear Kingsmead Community,
After 15 or so months of lockdown, it was tough to listen to yet another lockdown announcement. We have come so far, we have done so well; we do, however, still have further to go. I ask our community to hold firm and persevere a little longer. The daily messages of support and gestures showing comfort and appreciation from our community keeps us connected and strong. Let us not forget that what we want is a happy, healthy Kingsmead community and we will do all we can to protect that.
A few days ago, a large basket of flowers was placed on a table near the fountain in the Junior School. It was placed there by our ever supportive PTA chair, Rizwana. The caption attached to the basket read: “If you need to smile, pick a flower”. Although a little hesitant at first, our younger girls courageously picked one flower at a time. What really moved me was their intention to ‘pay it forward’. The flowers found themselves in grandparents kitchens, on teacher’s desks and in the hands of their parents. Our girls felt it necessary to share the gift of happiness with those who care for them on a daily basis. Our world needs more of this love and compassion. Our girls are acutely aware of the adults in their lives – they see you and care for you! Let us take this message from our girls and continue to pay it forward – one small gift of kindness at a time.
When I reflect back on where we were last year, I am in awe of the innovation and energy that is continuously injected into our school despite our daily challenges. I am grateful to Alex Bouche and the brilliant team behind a completely virtual Book Fair – what an amazing experience which included some of the most exceptional African authors! The JS Book Week leading up to the Book Fair was one of the best yet – inspiring, purpose-driven and incredibly fun! Our teachers continue to seek the best ways to meet the individual needs of our students through a recovery curriculum inspired by differentiation, holistic development and innovation. I am in awe of their professionalism and courage every single day.
And so we may have attended another “family meeting” on Sunday, but we are still strong and rising! Thank you for caring for one another. Please take care of yourselves, your children, your families and your school.
With love and courage always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
The pressures today for our girls to be perfect permeates from so many aspects of their lives. Whether it is how they perform academically, how they look online, their making of a sports team etc. So with this in mind, and as we approach the first academic reports, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on a topic, which so many students find difficult. Perfectionism.
It seems more and more that girls have this need to be perfect. A perfectionist is defined as someone who strives for flawlessness, for a perfect creation, outcome or performance.
Below is a link that is a most worthwhile read to the ‘diagnosis’ of Perfection Paralysis. https://santamaria.wa.edu.au/perfection-paralysis/?v=2
Perfectionist pressure, seeing anything other than perfection as a failure, results in our students playing it safe and it startles their risk tasking, creativity and in some cases – ambition. This can lead to loss of self-belief that often comes from failing short of unrealistic expectations. This can push girls into a vicious cycle where their own anxiety around perfection hinders their willingness to try, to take risks or to even make decisions. This will then directly impact on their stress levels and ability to perform in various spheres.
It is important as caregivers, of our students, to remind them to be open to continuous learning and to remember that learning is a journey, not a destination. Teaching our girls to be brave.
Being brave means operating outside of your comfort zone and being able to let go of perfection.
We urge you as parents to go through your daughter’s school report with her, and use this as a time of reflective practice and goal setting for the next academic report. Reflective practice includes discussing strategies as to how your daughter can improve in her various subjects. Developing the Habits of Mind; ‘Taking Responsible Risks’ and ‘Remaining Open to Continuous learning’. In addition to this, the Growth Mindset plea reminds us of the above.
Reference: Rachel Simmons – The Curse of the Good Girl
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
Improve Pencil Grasp with these Household Items:
- Push toothpicks into an empty spice container
- Poke dry spaghetti into the holes of a colander
- Tear pieces of paper into small pieces and use the torn pieces in an art project
- Drop dry beans into play dough
- “Paint” with water using small squares of cut up kitchen sponges
- Press push pins into a foam board or recycled boxes
- Poke toothpicks into a shoe box or empty cereal box
- Press board game pieces into play dough
- Use tweezers to place small balls of tissue paper into a container
Conflict vs Bullying
We all experience conflict, it is a normal part of human interaction and life. How we choose to manage and resolve conflict in a healthy way is an important life skill; one we need to teach to, and model for, children. Part of becoming independent is learning how to deal with and respond appropriately to conflict at home and school. Empowering children to recognise the difference between conflict and bullying will help children to know how to respond.
Unlike conflict bullying is not healthy. The goal of bullying is to harm or insult another person, who is deliberately and continuously targeted – there is no attempt to resolve anything or form a friendship. Typically, children experiencing conflict wish to solve the problem so that they may resume their friendship and start having fun again.
Identifying the signs of conflict vs bullying early, helps to create a safe and caring environment for children. There are many ways to identify conflict versus bullying:
- Conflict may be resolved; bullying has to be reported.
- Conflict teaches children how to negotiate, problem-solve and come to an agreement; bullying only causes harm.
- Conflict promotes active listening; bullying is one-sided.
- Conflict resolution is based on the assumption that both children are in part responsible for the conflict and need to identify a solution/plan to move forward. Both children are required to compromise in order for the conflict to be resolved; bullying is driven by one child who is responsible for the situation and does not see the need for resolution.
- Conflict suggests a balance of power – the children have equal power to solve the problem and are of relatively equal age; bullying suggests an imbalance of power – the child being bullied is not always able to defend themselves and/or the bully is older.
- Conflict happens occasionally; bullying is ongoing/repeated.
As a parent you may help prevent bullying by teaching your daughter how to; identify conflict vs bullying, resolve conflict in a healthy way, be caring of others, manage angry feelings and be assertive without being aggressive. Making time to connect with and listen to your daughter is so important; children tend to talk about their experiences if they know you will listen and help.
In the next newsletter we will share the bullying reporting process. This will assist you in guiding your daughter when she turns to you for help should she be experiencing bullying, so that she knows to expect and doesn’t feel alone when having to address bullying.
COVID- 19 Adjusted Level 2 Lockdown
As per the announcement from the President on Sunday evening, we have now entered an adjusted level 2 lockdown. Please take note of the following additional adjustments and precautions that will take place in the Junior School.
- All assemblies will be a pre-recorded online messages (including final semester 1 assembly).
- All Staff meetings to revert to online meetings from Tuesday 1 June
- Extra vigilance during break and use of shared facilities
- Locker rooms closed and locked.
Contact Tracing- Secondary contacts
We are getting many queries regarding the isolation of siblings or secondary contacts.
As far as our protocols stand, a secondary contact (the family member or friend who has contact with a close contact of a Covid positive person) would not need to isolate. It is, however, really important to be extra cautious at home and also to be aware of any symptoms. If you are unable to reasonably distance yourselves from the close contact or if any family members display any symptoms, it would be wise to keep the secondary contact at home too. Each case is different and we would advise being in contact with Sister Monica at our Medical Centre, should you wish to discuss anything further.
Recording of Cases
We are now expected to share specific details as well as proof of the Covid positive test result (PCR) of any student or staff member with the Department of Education. Sister Monica will be in contact with each family to request this information as well as the list of close contacts.
The Library Checkout
Congratulations to our musicians who recently performed in the Trinityhouse Randpark Ridge Eisteddfod and achieved outstanding results: Katharine Jones, Samantha Greyling and Safiya Vally. Well done!
INTER-CLASS MUSIC COMPETITION
This term we will have the 1st Kingsmead Inter-class Music Competition! Every class will choose a song and have two practice sessions to prepare. Practices are during choir times; each class is allocated two sessions. While the competition is not compulsory, it will be SUCH FUN and we hope everyone will participate! Final performances will be recorded in music lessons during school and the competition will premiere on YouTube in the last week of the term. Watch this video to find out more: INTERCLASS MUSIC COMPETITION VIDEO
|13h30 – 14h00
|14h00 – 14h30
|Tuesday 1 June
|Wednesday 2 June
|Tuesday 8 June
|Wednesday 9 June
|Tuesday 22 June
|Wednesday 23 June
|Tuesday 29 June
|Wednesday 30 June
|Tuesday 6 July
|Wednesday 7 July
|Tuesday 13 July
|Wednesday 14 July
The Grade 4-7 Choir and Junior Orchestra successfully recorded over the last few weeks. Unfortunately we have had to postpone our festivals to the 3rd term. We look forward to sharing our videos with the community soon!
Coding in Music
In Music this term, the Grade 5 students explored the valuable 21st century skills of coding. They researched the elements, functions and user interface of virtual instruments on iPads such as GarageBand, Percussions, Real Xylophone and Monster Chorus and used two coding software programs: Hopscotch and Scratch. Students had to code different musical instruments, which changed appearance when ‘played’; one that included all the notes in an octave and the other, with different sounds. Finally, they arranged a three-part composition of a simple song, writing specifically for the music applications created by members of their group.
Equestrian Inter-schools Qualifier 2
The Equestrian team is so grateful that inter-school horse riding may continue as a non-contact sport. The riders competed on 22 and 23 May in the 2nd District qualifier and continued to do well in many disciplines. We congratulate the Kingsmead riders on the following results:
We wish the team riders well in the final District Qualifier that will take place on 26 and 27 June, after which District teams will be announced to compete in Gauteng Finals.
Kingsmead’s tennis players are also very fortunate to be able to still participate in the Gauteng inter-school’s tennis trials as it is a non-contact sport. The trials were held at Ellis Park on 29 and 30 May. The following girls attended the trials and played with pure courage:
Currently we are allowing netball, hockey and tennis to continue provided there is social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are observed with no physical contact between players during training. These sessions are run according to our EC schedule and are not compulsory.
Please note that once we have more clarity form ISASA, DBE and respective sporting federations, we will communicate amended sporting plans.
Director of Sport
Congratulations to Paula Anderson for participating in the Russian Ballet School’s first concert.
Congratulations to Darcy Anderson who came 2nd in her age group in the Kumite section of her karate skills test at Dorfman karate school.
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day on 28 May to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management at a global level.
The Grade 7-12 students acknowledged Menstrual Hygiene Day during assembly. All the students made menstrual tracking bracelets facilitated by Dignity Dreams.
The Dignity Dreams Menstrual Bracelet is an activity bracelet, it contains 28 beads representing each day of the menstrual cycle. It is a physical way to track where you are in your cycle. Students had the opportunity to donate a menstrual bracelet to a student at Isipho Primary School.
Director of Service