“…Now is the time to walk slower, take time to build our relationships and grow character…” – Mrs Carissa Wilson

Mrs Carissa Wilson, our Deputy Head in the Junior School shared a special message with our Junior pupils this morning and we would like to extend this message to our broader Kingswood community.

With the lockdown still being enforced and learning and working (for many) taking place from home, our lives as we know them are not what they once were. That which we used to see as being “normal”, has now been disrupted, and a “new normal” is having to come to the fore.

While we are all experiencing this pandemic, the lived experience of each individual and family may be different. We cannot assume that because it may be plain sailing for one person or family, that it is the same for another.

There will be some good days and there will be some bad days, and some days may be more productive or easier than others, and this is ok. This. Is. Normal.

Mrs Wilson urged pupils to start a GRATITUDE JAR at home, to identify a thing or things that they are grateful for each day. Finding something to be grateful for, helps us to find the good in each day. For those who perhaps are a bit older, or do not have children, try starting a gratitude journal to reflect on what you are grateful for.

Why Gratitude?
“I chose gratitude as it forms part of one of the character traits that we have been exploring in the last while. Every 10 days we pick a new trait, to explore and build on, things such as: kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, responsibility, caring and respect to name but a few”.

Kingswood College is the first school in Africa, and only one of a handful in the world, to embark on formalising character education into its curriculum. Mrs Wilson is a strong believer and champion of character education which she incorporates into her daily teaching.

A little bit about Mrs Carissa Wilson:
Carissa was born in the Eastern Cape and attended Kingswood College where she matriculated in 1995. She went on to study at the University of Stellenbosch where she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Primary Education. She went on to assume various teaching positions before coming back to Grahamstown and joining the Kingswood College teaching staff in 2014. She has been a Grade 5 Class Teacher and has coached swimming, hockey and tennis. She is currently the head of hockey for Junior Girls and serves not only on the Sports Consultative Forum but also on the OK Executive Committee. Carissa is a dedicated mom of three girls, all of whom are currently at Kingswood. She is committed to strong family values and is adamant that in an ever-changing landscape, raising strong girls who have strong moral compasses is key for their future successes.She has fully embraced 21st century thinking skills and has integrated this into all aspects of her teaching.

Thoughts on online learning?
“…I am incredibly proud of our Kingswood staff. They have embraced this new challenge and have really seized the opportunity with open arms.

Personally, it has made me relook at all that I do, and I have learnt so many new skills that will undoubtedly improve my teaching when I finally get back into my favourite space – the classroom.

This new experience has also reminded me that children can, and always will embrace the journey, and that they themselves have grown and learnt so much in such a short space of time…”