Dear Kingsmead Community,
Reflective Practice is central to our learning and teaching approach at Kingsmead. The ability to step back from a situation and objectively reflect on the process and outcome is critical for self-improvement and the development of self -awareness. Today I proudly reflect on how we continually and intentionally create a happy school environment.
At the start of this term, the teachers and I discussed the importance of intentionally creating moments of joy for us all at Kingsmead. We cannot expect that joy and happiness just happen. I referred to a Harvard Business Review published in July 2019 (Pre-Covid), titled, Making Joy a Priority at Work. This is easily connected to our special work and school environment at Kingsmead.
At Kingsmead we work as a team. And in every team environment, when we seek joy, we find success. The article written by Alex Liu states that joy arises from the combination of harmony, impact and acknowledgement within a team dynamic.
When referring to harmony, we refer to the distinct role we each have to play in this organisation. When we work with a diverse group of people, all with their own skills set and strengths; and this clicks together – it feels great.
Team harmony leads to impact, which then further fuels joy. Together we look for the great results and the small results. Together we are overcome with the sense of ‘look what we have achieved together”.
Acknowledgement is really important. When a team member or student contributes to the success of a team, it is important for us cheer each other on – in that moment. Let us not forget that we rise by lifting others. This is the power behind the ‘success, joy, success’ cycle.
As we take time to reflect back on Book Week, I can certainly say that we have achieved so much together! The teachers spent hours collaborating and designing the most rigorous inquiry learning opportunities for the students. The children rose to the occasion and shared learning way beyond our expectations. Learning like this is so powerful. The connections that were made between the various disciplines, the play, and discovery, have led to outstanding levels of innovation at all age levels.
We had the opportunity to share this learning with the CEO of Thinking Schools South Africa, Dr Sonja Vandeleur on Thursday; as well as our parents and guest presenters. In one week, we have achieved more than many would achieve in a term. My gratitude goes to our staff for their intentionality and passion; the children for meaningfully investing in their learning, exhibiting superior levels of intrinsic motivation; and to the parents for your ongoing support and authentic encouragement. Thank you to the PTA who continue to build our community so effectively!
To top it all off we ended the week with the incredible Book Fair. Thank you to our Marketing Team, Alex Bouche and Palesa Mdluli, and to all involved for the long hours and commitment to a most successful day for us all.
So, on reflection we have intentionally created joy! Our teams have come together harmoniously, have had a major impact, and are celebrated at every level.
Kingsmead continues to RISE.
With Love and Courage Always,
Thank you for your support during the Book Week, which was a roaring success. Our students were entertained in so many different ways during their school day. It has been incredible to experience the thrill of Book Week through our students’ eyes. Our Book Week programme was jammed packed with many fabulous experiences, challenges and fun. Some highlights were the Hooked-on Books and “Wiggle Woggle” shows, Character dress up day and our Annual Book Fair. Thank you also for the many gently read books that you donated.
As teachers and parents we have a pivotal role in helping our children develop and maintain a positive attitude towards learning and literacy. Motivated readers read more, use more complex cognitive strategies, and become better readers, who in turn have access to a world of information and knowledge.
Thank you to all our Junior Primary families who joined us on Tuesday morning for our Reading Breakfast. It was wonderful to see everyone so engaged in their books, while being able to spend precious time with you all. Reading with your child is one of the most important factors in developing lifelong learners and lovers of reading.
On Saturday 21 May, we hosted a number of children from our Buddy Reading program at the Book Fair. The children had an amazing morning taking part in the workshops on offer and had so much fun enjoying our beautiful facilities and being treated to lunch.
Thank you to our parents and teachers for inspiring and motivating our girls by demonstrating your own passion for reading; acting as role models; encouraging them to value reading; linking reading with the their interests; providing a rich and varied literacy environment that includes interesting reading material at their current reading level; giving them opportunities to choose their own reading material and for the encouragement and validation you give them daily.
We took full advantage of our exciting Book Week to base the week’s learning experiences on a constructivist approach through inquiry. By collapsing the timetable within the Senior Primary, thinking on meaningful and critical levels was provoked, allowing the students to make amazing and inspiring connections across all subjects. With rigorous opportunities to inquire and make meaning of the world around them, students began to ask questions, compare, wonder, take risks, solve problems and come up with wonderous creations and ideas.
Our Grade 4s went on an adventure to discover the meaning of “A Thousand Words” taking into consideration the various ways in which we communicate, from sign language, brail, symbols and even emojis! The Grade 5s “Flipped Tales” compared fables, fairytales and folktales. This resulted in new and exciting stories and characters- some with the most unexpected and thrilling endings!
Grade 6 was such a “Mystery”! From crime scenes and evidence, to suspects and plot twists. The Grade 6s were in suspense all week. And the Grade 7s had us travelling through time and space through the pages of their amazing “Travel Book”, visiting places one wouldn’t think to explore and discovering new and wonderous things about the world around us!
Not only was a love and passion for reading nurtured throughout this process, but also the talents and passions of each student. Students took ownership of their learning and came up with fortified, rich questions and discoveries.
The excitement, energy, curiosity and interest from our littlest to our Grade 7s and our Staff was tangible and such a joy!
“In some cases we learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” Lloyd Alexander
Tarryn McLaren, Irene Ilsley and Sjaneen Pretorious
Deputy Heads: Kingsmead Junior School
World Play Day
The reason for promoting World Play Day is to emphasize the importance of play in all our lives and particularly in the lives of our children. Children learn to talk though play, they learn to make friends through play, they get exercise through play; they also acquire the basic skills for formal education such as concentration, imagination, self-expression and the retention of useful facts. Let a child play today and ensure his happy, useful and healthy future.”
World Play Day Founder Freda Kim, M.B.E., Ph.D.
Our job as teachers is often defined as teaching children to read, write, do mathematics and guide them through one year at a time on their journey toward adulthood. Skills in these disciplines are undoubtedly essential. We would, however, be doing children a disservice if we did not encourage wonder, unbounded creativity, curiosity, persistent digging and enquiring as well as taking reckless leaps, building resilience and immersing them in the joy of discovery.
Discovery Learning and Imaginative play are a crucial component of a child’s normal development. What may seem to be a simple and uncomplicated way for children to entertain themselves is actually a complex process that affects all aspects of a child’s life. Play shapes how children make sense of their world, how they learn thinking skills, and how they acquire language.
Imaginative play is essential to cognitive development, but it is becoming endangered by our busy lives. Children who do not have the opportunity to engage in imaginative play because their time is overly structured or spent watching television or other forms of media are not necessarily developing the language and reasoning skills that are so critical to early childhood development.
Play presents children with a particularly strong opportunity for growth because it meets the needs of the whole, individual child. It promotes cognitive, social, and emotional development and is essential for physical development during the early years. Children learn through play and develop an understanding of the world around them – by doing, asking questions, exploring, hypothesising, interacting with others, figuring out how things work, problem solving and by trial and error.
Play may seem simple, yet it is profound to a child’s development. Play makes learning something that happens naturally and joyfully, when a child laughs, wonders, explores and imagines. Play builds the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
It is wonderful to hear children’s laughter and watch them climbing, swinging and having loads of fun. Play is important for healthy child development. Through play, children develop the neurological building blocks which are essential for promoting learning and growth. They are able to make connections, develop social and emotional skills and positive long-term attitudes to discovery and learning. Play is not an alternative to learning or a diversion from learning, it provides the foundation for learning and plays an important role in shaping a child’s desire for, and attitude towards, further learning. Play allows children opportunities to participate in problem solving activities, to create, investigate, wonder, discover and explore.
‘Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but play is serious learning. Play is the work of childhood’- Fred Rogers
Deputy Head: Head of Junior Primary
Arts & Music
Congratulations to Inés Bregman who performed at the recent Trinity House Eisteddfod and was awarded an outstanding 92% for her performance. We are so proud of you, Inés!
Share with us!
Many of our students achieve in examinations, eisteddfods, and competitions outside of school and we would love to hear about it! Please send us an email so we can acknowledge our students who achieve in the performing arts: dance, drama or music.
St Andrew’s ‘Imbizo’ Marimba festival
Well done to all our marimba bands who played with such enthusiasm and energy at the Marimba festival last week. Thank you as well to the parents who came to support us. It certainly was a super fun evening!
Practical and Theory Examinations
While the international examinations have not been available to us for the last two years, except for recorded/online examinations, the Kingsmead Music department introduced our own internal examinations. It is certainly not necessary for students to take examinations; however, it can provide a handy benchmark experience as well as objective, measured feedback from an examiner in a formal setting. This can serve as a goal for students to work with more focus while feeling a sense of accomplishment once the examination is done and dusted. International examinations have become expensive, and the timing may not always be suitable, which makes these more flexible and far more affordable examination at our own school convenient.
Please contact your daughter’s music teacher to discuss whether an examination is appropriate and the various options. International examinations are scheduled to be offered again in the 3rd term of this year if this is your preference.
Save the date!
Wednesday 8 June: 18h00 – 19h30 @Pridwin ~ Kingsmead & Pridwin African Music Festival
Grade 4-7 Choir, Orchestra, Drum Gym and Marimba bands will be performing.
Congratulations to all netball players who took part in our fixtures last week. The Grade 3 teams played against Assumption Convent and St Katherine’s and the Grade 4,5 & 7s played against St Stithian’s and APPS. We have seen such amazing improvement in our players throughout the season. Our players all played their hearts out and we are very proud of you.
Grade 4, 5 and 7 results:
|6 – 1 win (APPS)||5 – 0 win (APPS)||4 – 0 win (Saints)||3 – 3 draw (Saints)|
|2 – 3 win (Saints)||5 – 0 win (SS)||12 – 1 win (APPS)||5 – 1 win (APPS)|
|A TEAM:||B TEAM:||C TEAM:||D TEAM:|
|14 – 3 win (Saints)||11- 0 win (Saints)||4 – 3 win (Saints)||2 – 2 draw (Saints)|
|10 – 2 win (APPS)||13 -3 win (APPS)||5 – 0 win (Saints)||1 – 0 win (Saints)|
|A TEAM:||B TEAM:||C TEAM:|
|11 – 5 win (Saints)||5 – 3 win (Saints)||9 – 5 win (Saints)|
|15 – 4 win (APPS)||7 – 3 win (APPS)||6 – 6 draw (Saints)|
Our preseason Hockey training has begun, and we are very excited for the upcoming season. The players have been touching base on basic skills whilst learning new skills for when they take to the field. Just a reminder that our students’ safety is our priority so please do ensure that they attend practice with a gum guard as well as shin pads. We do provide sticks to players if they do not have one. The sessions are open to all players so please check the Extra-curricular schedule to make sure of training days/times.
SANESA Equestrian Inter-schools Qualifier 3 – May 2022 (Central Gauteng district)
Congratulations to all riders who competed on the 21st and 22nd of May in the 3rd District qualifier and continued to do well in many disciplines.
We would like to congratulate Aliyah Dada on her outstanding performance at a tennis tournament which took place on 7 May. Well done, Aliyah!
Morgan Chen-Heyneke (Grade 3) competed at the 2022 Archers of Zoo Lake World Archery 720 Championships on the 25th April 2022. She competed in the Under 13 Female Barebow Recurve category.
Morgan placed 1st and won a gold medal and she also set a new record. Congratulations Morgan, that is a wonderful achievement!
Thursday 26 May – Grade 3 Netball vs APPS/St Teresa’s (Teams to be confirmed and on App by Tuesday)
– Matches will take place at Kingsmead
Friday 27 May – Grade 4 & 5 Netball vs Brescia/St Katherine’s (Teams to be confirmed and on app by Wednesday)
– Matches will take place at Kingsmead.
Friday 27 May – Grade 6 & 7 Netball vs Brescia/St Katherine’s (Teams to be confirmed and on app by Wednesday)
– Matches will take place at Brescia.
ALL PLAYERS TO MEET AT THE GYM BY 13:00 TO TRAVEL ON BUS.
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
- Please send any sport achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs. Hanekom.
- A reminder to please download the Kingsmead app as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sport fixture days.
- All team lists will be published on the app by no later than the Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday fixture.
- A reminder to refer to the week ahead document and the Term 1B/2 Sports information on the app under the Sport section.
Yours in sport,
Head of Junior School Sport