Welcome to the first term of 2021. Even though we were hoping to welcome you all back onsite, we are very excited and grateful that we can still continue with our academic year online for the interim.
We were blessed to be able to facilitate remote learning professionally last year, and we promise to deliver the same product this year.
We want our pupils to return to our campus on 15 February even more excited about the rest of the academic year than they are at this current moment. We hope that the online learning programme will help to propel them forward once they arrive back where they belong: at Kingswood College.
We know that the 2020 year and the beginning of this year has not been easy for many families. We also know that we are still very much in the midst of battling the covid-19 pandemic. We would like to acknowledge those of you who have lost loved ones, and we grieve with you.
As it currently stands, the following statement was delivered by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Dr Mhaule, last Friday:
‘Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks, occasioned by increased COVID – 19 infections which has led to the second wave, the Council of Education Ministers in conjunction with the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet, has taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools. Learners will return on Monday 15 February 2021. This includes private schools that have reopened already. They will need to postpone their reopening to a later date. This is done to provide relief to the health system which is already struggling to cope with the current demands’.
Under the current difficult circumstances, ISASA is supportive of Government’s request that all independent schools, even those that follow a different calendar to public schools, only re-open their campuses for in-person instruction from Monday, 15 February 2021.
We wish to act within the law and will therefore be opening for onsite learning on 15 February.
I would like to reiterate that this is not a choice, or a decision on our part. We have received a government directive, supported fully by the Independent Schools Association of South Africa and we are following that directive with our pupils and staff’s best interests at heart.
For now, this means that we will return to remote learning. Our pupils excelled at online education during 2020 and successfully completed the curriculum, despite the disruptions and challenges occasioned by the pandemic.
We are confident that we will be able to maintain a high quality of remote instruction, despite its innate limitations, in the current academic year, as and when the pandemic makes such necessary.
We were pleased to announce that the Department of Social Development, which does not fall under Basic Education, have agreed that Early Childhood Development Centres can remain open at the discretion of the individual operator, provided they comply with all required COVID-19 regulations. Our Pre-primary will therefore, resume onsite learning from Wednesday 20 January.
We do note that other Independent Schools have decided to open early, and may still, at this time be open.
In discussion with the Heads of other Independent Schools they stated that they are awaiting the announcement by the Minister to be promulgated and once gazetted they will act within the law. We have no need to wait for this, as once a Minister has made an announcement, the next step is to promulgate the announcement and we are following our legal obligation to comply.
If we do open and we have a covid-19 outbreak – we will not only be held liable but we will also be held accountable. This is a medical crisis, and we are in the midst of a pandemic: we cannot play with lives. Even though we know that our covid-19 protocols are watertight and the health and safety of our pupils remain our top priority, we cannot operate outside of the law.
We, as educators appreciate the lesson this will also teach our children, that sometimes we may feel conflicted by a decision made by someone in authority but we have to trust that the decision that has been made is in the best interest of the individuals involved and therefore adhering to a directive is not a choice, it shows respect for the greater good.
Our pupils will be back at school on Monday 15 February, so travel day will occur the 13th or 14 of February 2021.
Our Head Prefects for 2021 are Wanda, Azola, Sibu, and Darius and they have shared their vision for 2021. Our pupil leaders will for the first time be able to sit on Council sub-committees and this exciting new development will bring a richer and deeper understanding for our stakeholders, as we build our Kingswood community and learn from each other.
Headgirl – 2021
Wanda grew up and lives in East London. She joined the Kingswood family at the start of her Grade 2 year. She is a keen hockey player and takes part in a number of extra-curricular activities including being part of the Interact Club and Toastmasters Club. She is hoping to study medicine after leaving school and we know that her dedication to her studies, compassion and caring nature will all stand her in good stead as she pursues a career in medicine.
We did a Q&A with Wanda. To find out more about her hopes and aspirations for the year ahead click on the following link: Q&A – Wanda Madasa
Headboy – 2021
Sibulele grew up in King William’s Town, a small town just outside of East London. He first joined Kingswood at the start of Grade 8 and had previously been at Dale Junior. Sibulele says that moving to Kingswood College was a big change from an all-boys school environment, but that the co-educational system at Kingswood College has been worth it. He enjoys his sports, playing Cricket, Rugby and Hockey and if you ever get a chance to watch him do the high-jump during the Athletics season, you will not be disappointed.
Find out more in his detailed Q&A by clicking through to our link:
Read a bit more about Sibulele in his Q&A: Q&A – Sibulele Zweni
Deputy Headgirl – 2021
Azie joined Kingswood in her Grade 9 year and is very proud Kingswoodian and Jacques House girl. What she most enjoys about Kingswood isthat there are so many avenues for pupils to be able to express themselves and for them to be able to get involved in a variety of different activities. She is one of our shining lights of the Interact Club and she has a passion for helping others to grow their faith and spiritual aspirations. Azie also has a younger brother in Grade 9 and in her spare time she loves listening to music, creating art and one of her hidden talents is baking! She hopes to pursue her love for baking once she leaves school and to study toward becoming a pastry chef! Watch out Great South African Bake Off – you may have a serious competitor on your hands in the years to come!
To read Azola’s full Q&A and to find out more about her click through on the link: Q&A – Azola Poswa
Deputy Headboy – 2021
Darius Govender was born in Durban, but moved to Grahamstown and enrolled at Kingswood College in Pre-Primary. He says that he has loved every minute of his Kingswood journey and that he looks forward to seeing what his final year at school has in store. He enjoys playing sport and is a keen cricketer. Cricket is his passion and he hopes that he will one day be able to play professionally. Darius likes helping others and one of his favourite outreach programmes has been being able to take part in the Kingswood College/Mary Waters Maths Programme where he has been able to help develop the mathematical skills of younger pupils.
To see what hopes Darius has for the year ahead find out more here: Q&A – Darius Govender