Arusha Campus News – 8 Dec 2019

Arusha Campus Newsletter Sunday 8th December 2019

Some of the UWC East Africa students who successfully climbed Mt Hanang as part of their Outdoor Pursuits Level 3 trip last week. 

Dear Parents

Chris Waddell delivers his inspiring address to the UWC East Africa students.

We were privileged to receive Chris Waddell this week. Chris is a skiing World Champion who experienced an accident on the slopes whilst being in contention to be picked for the USA Olympic Ski team. Chris talked to us about his resolve not to allow this setback to diminsh his ambition. He was truly sensational in his talk and one teacher was emphatic in his comment that ‘that was the best talk we have had here in the four years that I have been here’.

Chris’s explanation of the 4 S’s of Resilience were particularly meaningful. In this limited space I will share one of them. Situation. In any situation be it a small or large problem there is a mindset that we have to confront. Are we ging to face this situation believing the issue will be overwhelming or will it be a challenge. In our school we are all stretched immensely. Parents help out everywhere, teachers work hard and students never really get a free weekend to do anything! So when a demand is made of you under these conditions it is very easy to be overwhelmed. Chris encouraged us to see any such situation as an opportunity for a challenge! 

There are plenty of stories that I could talk about such as the Hanang trip or the upcoming Chipkizi Cup or the plethora of assessments that the Diploma students have faced this week. However my highlight looking back over the past 5 days was watching the Early Childhood beans growing in the students’ mini greenhouses. See the pictures below.


Jasmin, Aveer and Kyra’s beans are really growing well

Kajuni is king of the beanstalks!

From the Primary and Secondary Schools

I am writing to you from Istanbul, Turkey, where I am volunteering with the Council of International Schools (CIS) this following week as part of the accreditation evaluation team at an international school in the city. The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a membership community working collaboratively to shape international education through professional and accreditation services for schools around the world.

UWC East Africa is a CIS accredited school and our self evaluation process for our next evaluation cycle will start with a preliminary visit to the school in September 2020. I am hoping to continue to volunteer and learn from CIS accreditations in order to better serve our self-study evaluation committees starting next year. This process of self-improvement and international accreditation ensures that our community members are achieving the very best  standards of care and education for our learners.

Enjoy the extended weekend ahead and the remaining time of this first semester, along with the exciting School of Rock performances and the last day assembly. Semester reports will be sent out by email on December 20th.


PYP News!


This week we have seen some very knowledgeable students. It is a delight to see how much the students have grown since the beginning of the academic year. The students’ knowledge of reading, writing, maths and unit work have all developed. Students have also learned presentation skills using voice projection, eye contact and body language.

We also hosted our Mix-it-up Lunch this week courtesy of Miss Alina and her Student Council. The idea of these lunches is to have a fun way of promoting collaboration!


MYP eAssessments

Next week M5 students will complete a familiarization session to prepare for the on-screen examinations in May 2020 in English, Mathematics, Sciences, Individuals and Societies and Interdisciplinary learning. The familiarization sessions consist of a two-hour on-screen exam practice in the IT Lab. The aim of this formative exercise is to allow students to familiarize themselves with the format and content of on-screen examinations as well as with the IT tools required. Another practice session is planned for Semester 2. Past on-screen exam packages are available from the school server or from Mr Dixon and Ms Larpent. Students are reminded to bring a USB key or external hard drive to copy past on-screen exam packages if they wish to have additional practice at home.

The ePortfolio units have been introduced for PHE, French, Music, Drama and Visual Arts. The ePortfolios will be assessed throughout Quarter 3 and assessment dates are posted on ManageBac along with the Personal Project dates.

Name tags, failure, and mindsets

This week’s name tags presentation from Chris Waddell, the paraplegic athlete who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, focused on viewing the world, and a person’s place in it, in a positive fashion. Through all of his accomplishments, Chris shared with us his journey of overcoming “name tags” people want to place on him, such as paraplegic, victim, and tragedy.  Instead of allowing others to frame our story in the world, the message our students heard challenged them to create their own name tags for how they want the world to view them.

This message resonates strongly with our forty residence students, many of which come to us as representatives and “ambassadors” of their home country.  Often their opportunity here comes with expectations of not only doing well for themselves, but also to learn about the world so they can return home and share their experiences with others. Many of them feel the pressure of these name tags and this pressure can translate to fear of failure.  “What happens if I cannot meet the expectations of my family back home?”  Mr. Waddell’s message of not focusing on what happens to you, but what you do with the situation provides a strong message for all of our learners.

If our students create their own name tags, their learning becomes their own and they drive the process.  The concept of a growth mindset applies here.

This semester we have started to speak with our residential and day students about the concept of mindsets.  In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, a Stanford University brain psychologist, discusses mindsets- the idea that how a student perceives their abilities plays a key role in their motivation and achievement in their learning.  A fixed mindset tells a learner that their intelligence, basic abilities and talents are “fixed”… for example,  I am either good or bad at math, or, I am not a fast runner so I cannot even participate in the race!  A growth mindset believes that abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, persistence and resilience.

All of our brains are combinations of the fixed and growth mindsets.  Focusing on what you CAN do with what you have starts with an awareness of yourself.  The growth mindset accepts challenges and failure as learning opportunities. In a Math class, a growth mindset might ask,  “Is there more than one way to solve a math problem?”  If one method does not work for you, what is another way to do it?

Chris Waddell’s message about name tags supports the idea that we can all excel thought persistence and resilience… learning from our failures!  Brains and talent are simply the starting point.  The good news here: this discussion is not only for our students, but a growth mindset among parents and educators is needed in order to support our young learners.

Chris Green, Head of Residential Life

From the Diploma Co-ordinator

A notice for all D2 parents and students,

Please be reminded that your child will not receive a report card until after mock examinations are completed. These Mock reports will give a clear picture of how and where your child can improve on their final exams.
If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to contact me at any time.

Sincerely ,

Reed Anderson