The ripple effect of 2020 has resulted in a synergy within the King Edward community. As quoted by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. And so much we have done… The spirit of Ubuntu has manifested through immense generosity and support from teaching staff, ground staff, boys, parents, our Parent Teacher Association, the Old Boys and general community members. This extraordinary journey has been compassionately navigated by Mr Shead. Education, during a global pandemic, metamorphosised overnight into crisis work such as transforming teaching, meetings and sport onto virtual platforms. Our staff can be commended on their selfless efforts to ensure that our boys’ needs were catered for. The grit and determination, to ensure this happened, reflects the interminable dedication and passion of our staff. Quietly in the wings, our School-Based Support Team (SBST) has guided, supported, and encouraged our boys to manage their emotions when facing adversity. Lockdown initiated an awareness that support is not restricted within the classroom. This encouraged the SBST to reach out and rise to the challenges that many families were facing. With the generous support from the King Edward community, we were able to provide food parcels and store vouchers, blankets and clothing to families in need. These families included both the K.E.P.S. families and the greater community. In preparation for the return to school, our staff were trained to facilitate and provide a platform for our boys to discuss their lockdown experiences. Further to that, staff have been allocated to daily morning meetings with boys to ensure that open communication is maintained. It has been a quintessential, adaptive and transformative challenge, one for which there is no preconfigured textbook or guideline that can guide appropriate responses. They have facilitated the rapid design process and implementation of adaptive responses to the emerging educational challenges and strived to protect our boys’ opportunities during and following the pandemic. Their continued dedication through this process is admirable. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller
K.E.P.S offers the services of Danit Herr, a speech therapist and audiologist. She works in a private capacity and is currently available at K.E.P.S. one afternoon per week. Speech-language therapy involves treating children with articulation (speech), language, auditory processing (listening skills) and phonological awareness difficulties. Should you be concerned about your child’s development in any of the above-named areas, please feel free to contact her to discuss this or speak to your child’s teacher to see if an assessment is advised.
Paul Galbraith is the school psychologist at K.E.P.S. and works at the school one day per week with boys who require therapy/play therapy. Paul is a counselling psychologist, and has been in practice for five years. Paul specialises in working with children and teenagers, with a range of problems including behavioural, emotional, family and developmental difficulties. Paul also works at the high school and runs a private practice based in Parktown North two days per week.
EXPRESSIVE ARTS COUNCELLOR
Amy Pieterse is an Expressive Arts Counsellor and registered as a Holistic Practitioner with the Association of Supportive Counsellors and Holistic Practitioners. Expressive Arts Counselling is a different way of looking at self-expression and exploration of a person’s inner world. Often words are very hard to find to match a specific feeling – especially when these feelings are intense. Expressive Arts Counselling gives a child the opportunity to use sound, images, art mediums, drama and movement to access these feelings in order to express, explore and understand them.