In most countries May 1st is a holiday though the name varies, I have seen it referred to as Labor Day, International Workers’ Day or just May Day. By whatever name you choose I hope you take a bit of time off and enjoy it.
I would like to thank all of those people that contributed to the Virtual Primary Gathering, it is the first of these types of events we will be having this year. There is also our first Distance Spirt Day with the Crazy Hair Day, and looking at the pictures down below, those are crazy.
On Thursday we will have another Parents’ Coffee Morning, but this time at the request of those further away we will be aiming for the afternoon. Parents will all be sent a separate invite to the zoom session by email.
At the bottom of the newsletter you will see some details about the work our P6 students are doing to plan for PYPX, the online PYP Exhibition that will be held later in May. Details on the dates will be coming out later.
And lastly, please take a look at the Counselor post below to see a list of university offers that have already come in with more expected today. Congratulations to all those students for their offers and scholarships.
As part of our planning for next year, you should have received an email concerning re-enrolment. This email comes from our admissions and enrolment system, and by using it we hope to get the best estimate possible of students returning for the new academic year in August 2020. By following the link, you can select yes, no or undecided. These are non-binding, but important for us as we try to plan effectively for our teaching needs next year.
In addition to the re-enrolment question, there is also a component so you can check and update your contact details. With the changes in phone numbers from NIDA registrations and some shifts in emails it is important that we have the best contact details for families.
As we continue to look at scenario planning do expect further communications from us and the Board as we try to best support you, our parents and school community.
If you did not get an email, please contact me and I will get you connected.
One thing that is highlighted by our current situation is how school is about far more than academics. Of course, school is about making sense of the world around us and our place in it. However, school is also about community, connections and relationships. School is about interactions. It is not just what happens in the classrooms but what happens in between, in the corridor conversations, at break times, across the dining table, in the playground before school, on the top pitch and so on. This is certainly what my own children are missing at the moment. The collaborative ‘experience’ of going to school.
One way to help address this is to remind ourselves that we are part of a wider community beyond our classrooms. Many of the events we, perhaps, take for granted are no longer possible in their traditional guise, assemblies and gatherings, clubs and activities, Service and CAS, OP trips, sports fixtures, play practice and so on. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. This week, we hosted our first ever online Primary Gathering and it was an unmitigated success.
Students and families tuned in at 9:00am on Thursday to watch a pre-recorded session, involving student voices, teacher videos, a story, the award of Learner Profile Leaves, birthday celebrations and so on. It was wonderful to hear stories and receive photos of people tuning in simultaneously across Tanzania and beyond. The theme of the gathering was Gratitude and the challenge posed to everyone involved was for us all to foster and promote an “attitude of gratitude.” For us all to try and focus on the positives, what we have and what is going well, rather than allow ourselves to be dragged down into a negative space, focusing on what we do not have, what is lacking or what is missing.
We ended the Gathering with an invite to the whole community to continue this idea of connection next Wednesday with a school-wide Crazy Hair Day. So, when you are deep into your distance learning next Wednesday, why not sport crazy hair too?! Elsewhere, why not add your artistic interpretation to Dr Mac’s ‘Copy Art’ slideshow that was shared last week. There are already a couple of wonderful creations on there.
It is opportunities like this that, hopefully, help lighten the mood a little, allow us to connect with each other and remind ourselves that we are all in this together…and that we have an awful lot to be thankful for.
Our D2 students have come to the end of their learning time at the school. We will finish uploading their internal assessments and inputting their predicted grades in the next few days. Their results will be available on the 6th July. While we do not know exactly how they will be calculated we know they will use our IA marking, our predicted grades and historical data, more information can be found here. Teachers have spent time making sure there is detail to justify our IA marking and there have been many conversations about predicted grades. As the extended period of lessons has now finished, we are now preparing the D2 final reports. The plan is to issue these on Monday May 11th. We are still working on the plans for graduation and welcome any ideas from the community. Hopefully we will soon be able to share a virtual Art Exhibition and some highlights of the CAS portfolios.
Our D1 students have continued with their distance learning and we welcome comments from the community on how this is going. We are working on making a fixed schedule for online (Zoom, Google Meet etc) lessons, trying to take students’ location into consideration when doing this. The aim is to record all lessons and make them available to students to watch in their own time.
From the Counselor
I hope you are enjoying the long weekend, and have started Mindful May in a positive way. Due to the new Wellness Wednesday Weekly e-newsletter, I will focus on university related items in this newsletter for the duration of the school year. Today is a major day for many college bound students, it’s (US) National Decision Day.
We are excited to celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2020 who have been accepted at a variety of institutions throughout the world. Some have made their firm decisions, while others are still deliberating as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some decisions to be put on pause. We’ll be creating an official list of their locations once they are finalized, but for now we are excited to announce some of the institutions where our students have been accepted for the coming academic year:
Concordia College; Dordt University; Drexel University; George Mason University; HAN University of Applied Sciences; HZ University of Applied Sciences; King’s College; Northwestern University; Queens University of Charlotte; Sunway University; Symbiosis Institute of Technology; University of Bath; University of British Columbia; University of California Los Angeles; University College London; University of Derby; University of Groningen; University of Maine; University of Manchester; University of Southern California; University of Toronto; University of Westminster; University of York; Wilfrid Laurier; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and some have exciting Gap Year experiences planned.
We’re so proud of our graduating students and the exciting paths that lie ahead for each of them.
In preparation for the next application cycle our M5 and D1 students have been introduced to our new post secondary planning platform called Maia Learning. They all have access to the platform via their UWCEA Google email account. Parents can also access their child’s account if you would like to see what your college bound student is doing to prepare. If you are a M5 or D1 parent, please complete this brief survey, and I will set up your account in the coming weeks.
On the Maia Learning platform I am constantly updating virtual presentations that are available from a variety of institutions who are excited to introduce you and your child to what they have to offer. Once logged into Maia Learning, you can view this frequently updated list in the College Visits section. Here are some of the upcoming presentations:
Lastly, I welcome D1 students and parents to set up meetings with me this month to review the post secondary presentation that your child is working on (Due 8 May). You can set up an appointment via this link: www.calendly.com/cassandraforduwcea
Take care and persevere,
Cassandra Ford University and Socio-Emotional Counselor
Virtual School Webinar
UPCOMING AISA WEBINAR: FOR PARENTS – STAYING SANE WITH YOUR KIDS IN VIRTUAL SCHOOL – 6 May 2020 11:00AM (GMT +3)
Moving rapidly to virtual schooling has brought about unprecedented and unexpected changes for families around the world. In this webinar, Karen, author, presenter and New Zealand teacher of the year, will offer some practical tips for parents on how to not only survive this time but thrive.
Distance Learning The majority of the teachers have now included parents’ emails in their Google classrooms. Parents or guardians are now able to get summaries of all the lessons and/or class activities. All parents are encouraged to accept the invitations from google classrooms when they get requisite notifications from teachers. All parents and students have been given access to zoom/google meet schedule, too. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We all remain available on email as well.
M5 Project Week and Ceremony The M5 students will have their last lesson on May 29. They have overwhelmingly voted to research a career of their interest as a final project to replace work week. This research project will start mid-May but students will have time to refine it from June 1 to 3. They will then do a presentation the following day. They will hold their virtual ceremony finally on June 5. More details will follow.
Assessments in MYP All MYP assessments will continue this quarter with tasks and results being availed on Managebac from time to time. We encourage parents to access these and feel free to contact teachers as and when necessary.
Last year the then M1 students (now M2s) of both Moshi and Arusha campus took part in an online arts exhibition of what peace means to them. It has taken a while, but the works were just uploaded on CityArts PiecesforPeace online exhibition website, but what better time than now is there to reflect upon what peace means. I remember that some students associate peace with a sound, some with a song, some with a specific colour, family or a certain place they have visited. In these uncertain times perhaps we should all revisit what peace means for us in our every day lives as they go on, and perhaps doing so while being inspired by our students’ artworks from last year.
I would like to appreciate Mr. Ben for putting together such a wonderful gathering and also the community for making it a beautiful experience. Just the thought that we were singing and clapping together was amazing. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. My little one was so elated when she saw her teacher, Mr. Owain, on the screen she just had to shout his name. These are the small joys that go a long way, to keep the children happy even while they are at home.
We have Crazy Hair Day coming up and I know the children will have a blast preparing for it and taking pictures to share with the rest of the community.
I would also like to remind you all about the physical learning packs that you requested for. I hope your child’s teacher has communicated with you about a time to pick them up on Monday, the 4th of May. I wish you all a great long weekend and look forward to seeing most of you on Monday.
Please help the P6 students with the PYP Exhibition
The P6 children will be presenting their Exhibition online the week beginning 18th May. For some of the children part of their Exhibition action includes collecting items for our chosen area:
Raymond is inquiring into poaching and wants to collect donations of adult sized sunhats, raincoats, boots and even binoculars that can be given to rangers who are fighting poaching.
Scarlet and Ian are collecting towels, blankets, rugs, leashes and toys for the dogs and cats at Mbwa Africa. The animal home has recently been flooded by the rain and blankets and towels are in short supply.
PYP parents have been invited to come to school on Monday morning to collect packets of further home learning materials from the school entrance. We will put donation boxes by the gate so if you have anything suitable at home you can drop things off at that time.
Alternatively, if you have items you are able to donate please can you take a photograph and send it to email@example.com and it can then be shared with the children so they can see their collection is underway.
The Primary Student Voice would like to invite the whole school community (all students, teachers and parents) to join us for Crazy Hair Day on Wednesday 6th May. All you have to do is create a crazy hairstyle in the morning and keep it all day…in all your online meetings! Send a photo to Ms Elisha (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will put them all together in a slideshow for us. Let’s celebrate our community together!
This week we saw each other as we experimented with our first Zoom and Google Hang-out meetings. Our zoom meeting included our friend Lucy all the way from South Carolina. Thanks to all the hard work that went into our whole school assembly, I know the EC children enjoyed it immensely. We began with the story of the Billy Goats Gruff and used it as a chance to think about describing emotions. We put our emotions into a Venn diagram. Using the same story we built, tested and recorded three home made rafts and recorded our results in a tally chart. We went on to the story of the Gingerbread Man and produced our own written recipes and ginger-bread playdough. It’s been fantastic this week to see whole families working together on these small projects. We used the stories to make story maps. Using the story of the Three Little Pigs we found and ordered natural materials to make some fantastic recurring patterns. This was a really busy week, and the children are now getting well into our routines, including daily feedback on three pieces of another child’s work. Well done everyone and roll on next week!
P 1/2 Class
I have seen on seesaw that everyone has been enjoying their summative assessment tasks. I cannot wait to see all of them this coming week. I hope each student can watch all of them and write a kind comment. This will help us encourage one another and reflect on the work we have done.
I am very fascinated with all the work that is happening at home. You can see from the picture how Baraka impressively used his ng words. Parents, I applaud you! You are all putting in time and effort to help your children and I can see the results! Hongereni – Congratulations.
This past week, we began an introductory look at multiplication. We will continue to look at this in the coming week. Look out for games in the planning and please allow your children to play as many times as possible in order to get used to skip counting.
This week, I will be carrying out reading assessments. Please sign up for them when you receive the planning on Monday. We will use Zoom for this and it will not take longer than 20 minutes. I will see everyone Monday morning at 10am for our class meeting.
The students in P3 have been busy creating their puppet theatre this week. They have picked stories, created puppets and backgrounds, and will then perform their plays and put them up on Seesaw. It is a task that has been quite exciting for most of the students in the class. The students have been introduced to division, and have had a couple Zoom meetings this week to talk about their assessments and any problems that may be occurring in regards to division. We’re all finally get accustomed to seeing each other on a screen and there is a sense of camaraderie that’s becoming increasingly prevalent during our meetings!
Next week, we’ll reflect on our current unit of inquiry and talk about the new one.
Maybe It has been a great with the P4 students and it was the Dutch King’s birthday this week. Thank you Jasmijn for sharing that with us. They have worked very well and shared lots of great facts about endangered animals, displaying their work in super creative ways. We also enjoyed a video summarising the life of Jane Goodall seeing the factors that led to the endangerment of chimpanzees in Tanzania. Our 1:1 Zoom chats have also helped me to catch-up with the students and hear how they are progressing with various tasks assigned to them. We will continue to look at the factors that lead to the endangerment of animals around the world. We will continue to practice long division and graphs while others will review coordinates as well. In Language, the children will practice citing books and websites. We will also continue with book study and this week (books will be included in the physical pack) we will work on questioning.
I would like to request all parents to come into school on Monday 4th May, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon to pick up packs for your child. We will do this every two weeks and hopefully, this will ease the time that your child is in front of the screen. I will continue to give directions through Seesaw and supplement the learning with online materials if necessary.
This week, we are starting Zoom Book Clubs and next week we will begin math group time. Please sign up for a day that works best for you for their math groups. For reading groups, I have assigned the groups days at 12:30. If the day does not work for your family, please let me know and I will try and switch it around. Monday is Witches, Wednesday is Charlie, Thursday is BFG, and Friday is James. Please make sure they have their book and novel study nearby when they are on Zoom.
I sent out an email with the Math Groups sign up. Please look for it. They will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9:30 on Zoom. They should each have their current math assignments and activities nearby.
We had a great and successful first class meeting. They will be held weekly on Fridays at 11:30. The class shared how they have been feeling during this home learning time, asked questions about current work, and shared appreciations and compliments. I then signed off, and let them continue chatting.
This week the P6 students have been focusing on the French, Kiswahili and Music components of their PYP Exhibition. Details of how to view our Exhibition will follow in a later newsletter. The original plan had been to sing a song in French, perform a skit in Kiswahili and do a live musical performance of a song with music and lyrics that the children had composed themselves. These plans have now had to change and the P6 class of 2020 are making UWCEA history by being the first class to deliver their Exhibition on an online platform. A “Virtual Exhibition” is not without its challenges but the P6 children are working towards the end goal with enthusiasm. The area that is hardest to deliver at a distance is that of action. Plans to fundraise and interact with orphanages and animal sanctuaries are no longer possible but the children are trying to work round these obstacles. Please look at Ian, Scarlet and Raymond’s appeals for donations of supplies for the dogs’ home and for anti poaching rangers respectively. Please support these children if you can by sending photos to my email (email@example.com) of things you will be able to donate when school reopens. They will then be able to include these photos in their presentations. I’m sure you will join me in wishing our ten and eleven years olds the best of luck as they enter the final weeks of the PYPX process.