Earlier today I toured part of the new building with some of the science department. We specifically were looking at the new labs to start preparation for the handover scheduled soon. While it may be hard to visualize from the outside, having seen the construction on a regular basis you can see we are heading towards the finishing touches. If all goes according to plan, we should have some classes in the science section before the end of the quarter.
The art wing will be a little longer before we can occupy it, but that too should be available in April for use. They will actually be bringing a crane in soon to move some of the structural I-beams into place. I suspect they will have an audience when they do this work.
As you will read through the newsletter this week you will see several mentions of kindness and of Valentine’s Day. Kindness is one of those things that can very easily be forgotten as we feel in a rush, so thank you to the PYP Student Voice for the reminder to always be kind.
In a time when so much is digital, the Valentine is a definite nod to the past as people have apparently been exchanging written messages for the holiday for about 600 years. So maybe you too can find time to share your messages with someone close.
On a more practical note, please remember that Friday the 19th and Monday the 22nd we do not have classes.
Bob Cofer – Head of Campus
Zoom Coffee Afternoon
On Monday at 4:30pm EAT (GMT +3) we will have a Zoom Coffee Afternoon for any parents that wish to join us. You should have received an invite already, but if not please use this link to join us. The zoom is limited to 100 people so if we have too many participants we will look at having a second meeting soon.
Wednesday 17th February is Random Acts of Kindness Day…there is a day for everything now! You could argue that creating a “day” to celebrate and promote kindness is somewhat counterintuitive but, at the same time, it is good to have a reminder from time to time. After all, “when we tune into kindness and notice kind deeds around us, the day seems a little bit brighter.”
There are many things you can do at home too to promote kindness. Start with a Kindness Jar. Decorate an empty jar and every time you witness an act of kindness, write it down and place the memory in the jar. When it is full, empty the jar and, as a family, reflect on the kindness you experienced. With Valentine’s Day falling this Sunday, why not write a letter to someone who has changed your life for the better. Tell them how they have helped you. Then send it. You could leave positive sticky notes all over your house for each other to find. It might even be as simple as checking in with a friend or family member you have not heard from in a while to make sure they are doing well. The possibilities are endless!
It is unfortunate that it is often at challenging times that we forget to be kind. When we feel like we are not able to control situations as much as we are used to, it can be all too easy to take out our frustrations on others. So, I am asking you all to get on board with the Primary Student Voice and the Secondary Peer Support volunteers and help celebrate, promote and encourage kindness across the campus…and beyond. Keep an eye on our board to see just how many acts of kindness we can accumulate. Remember, you cannot nominate yourself, you have to observe kindness in others.
As we work together every day to make education “a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future,” let us try to remember that kindness is caring for others, even when they may not care for you and each and every one of us can always try to be a little kinder than necessary.
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
This week saw the end of the written mock exams for D2 students. They should be congratulated for generally excellent behaviour and attitude during the exams. This is their first experience of this type of exam setting and they responded very well to it. On Thursday we celebrated the end of exams with cake. Students are getting feedback from teachers and the overall grades will be given in the mock report issued on February 26th.
This however is far from the end. The next step is finishing TOK essays. Extended Essays, Higher Level Essays and Internal Assessments. While some students are fully on track, others are behind at this moment. If they are significantly behind, you as a parent will have been contacted. Each of the students should know exactly what they need to do.
We also have mock and final orals taking place between 23rd February and 18th March. The students will be receiving full details soon. We will then have the Art Exhibition from 22nd March. The last day of classes for D2 students is 22nd April and then the exams start on 29th April. More details of dates can be found here. We have recently had it confirmed by IB that they expect us to be able to hold the exams in May. More information about IB plans for the May exams is here and the IB information site is here.
Margaret Brunt – Diploma Coordinator
Well, what a start it has been and to use the analogy of ‘hitting the ground running’ in this instance, would be an understatement. Our residential community have all but a few, arrived back from the December break and we are fortunate to welcome a few new arrivals in our MYP and Diploma Years, respectively. They have been a wonderful addition to our vibrant community. Further to our new student arrivals, we are privileged to welcome Mr Emmanuel into the position as Assistant Residential Parent in Kivuli and Ms Linda as our temporary mentor replacement in Kiongozi – both are inspirational teachers with a realm of experience.
Whilst one could get frustrated with the start we have had to 2021, going into safety restrictions on the eve of mock exams, facing numerous safety restrictions and managing one’s own stress in a high thriving environment; personally, I look at this from a different perspective and I am forever impressed with our students’ determination, care for one another, resilience and perseverance in testing times. They have bounced out of these challenges and adversities with character traits that will take them far in life.
We take each week as it comes now, and our minds are thinking ahead to the long weekend approaching. We already have day trips to the hot springs in mind for our Diploma students, waterfall visits and trekking for our younger students in Kimbilio and a possible over night camp for our MYP students; where they will have to cook and fend (not literally) for themselves. This is to name, but a few pre-planned excursions.
Sports and cultural practices are well underway, and our ambitious students present a realm of ideas about how to improve the culture we are building – desires which encompass respect, gratitude, and contribution. I would also like to take a moment to thank our Uja / Link families for being so accommodating with our students over the past week. They add a true new element of ‘home away from home.’
I look forward to the weeks ahead and working with our talented students and staff on how we can build on our unique community into an even more rewarding UWC East African experience.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
Happy Valentine’s Day MYP! Remember to show the love around school, be thoughtful and kind to each other.
We have a few exciting events happening in the MYP in the next few weeks. M1 will be going to Lake Eyasi soon to culminate their learning experiences in Design and Individuals & Societies. We will look forward to an assembly shortly after they return to share their experience and their reflections on the trip and the units. On Monday March 1st the MYP will have an assembly to see what the Art Department has been up to. The Drama students will demonstrate a bit of their recent theatrical endeavors and the other departments will share their talents too. We also know the M5s are winding down and getting excited to share their Personal Projects, stay tuned for more information as to the where and how we will be sharing their exemplary efforts.
A few tips for those parents at home with their students as well as those who have students living in the dorm. Stay connected, ask questions and do not stop. It is such a unique time in a young person’s life, the MYP years, and we must make sure we stay connected. If they are home with you, ask to see their agenda/homework diary. If they do not have one, get them one. It is an important skill to keep track of assignments and how to budget their time. Ask about specific classes and check Managebac. Email teachers with any questions you may have or for an update. If you student lives on campus it is even more important that they know you are communicating with them, their house parents and their teachers. Every little gesture counts and can mean the world to your child, even if they don’t show it now.
Finally, the rains seem to be upon us so we must dress appropriately. The mud gets pretty thick and a change of shoes can come in handy, food for thought.
Jeanne Aman – MYP Coordinator
From the Counselor
We thrived through another week while creating ways to engage with new learning and each other. It is so wonderful to see how our students and community (safely) embrace each other, and continue to be a tremendous support system for one another. To keep this positivity flowing, we invite everyone to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week 14-20 February.
This is an excellent time to reinforce the mutually beneficial act of doing good for others, especially when it is unexpected. Please take some time over the weekend to plan ways you can infuse some kindness and goodwill into the lives of others, especially those in our school community that you may not know well. Help us to cultivate campuses filled with kindness and joy throughout next week and beyond.
In addition to spreading kindness, we encourage you to continue spreading knowledge as we celebrate Black History month. The best way to be in a position to spread information is to brush up on important history, and we would like to share these resources for your consideration:
Finally, please take a look at some recent college/university events that were recorded and available to view on this link. While on the link, take a moment to see some of the important upcoming events and sign up to attend one or two that interest you.
Due to the global pandemic institutions from around the world have been providing a plethora of presentations that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Take some time to explore what these institutions have to offer as you and your child consider their global post-secondary options.
Take care and stay safe,
UWCEA School Counseling Team
I was exhausted after just the first day, or that is what you want them to think; It’s all a mental game. Whilst most of you were sitting in front of the tv, by the warm and crackling fire, we, a group of 6 brave students and 4 awesome Assistants laboriously pedalled through pouring rain.
Apart from that, the 130km biking trip was worthwhile every second. Not only did each LONG day end with great food (Barbecued chicken in the middle of a savanna with hyenas in the background) but it also ended via beautiful sunsets with Kilimanjaro alighted with the going sun.
For someone who is willing to take on the challenge with 30km up hill, 60-70km downhill and 30km through pouring rain, this is the perfect trip.
This week sports seem to be more settled with students, coaches and the community starting to get into a routine. MYP and PYP swimming lessons have been going strong despite the rain (please make sure your child has a fleece to put on afterwards) and they are building nicely for the inter house galas coming up on Tuesday 2nd March (MYP) and Wednesday 3rd of March (PYP). As always any assistance from the community would be greatly appreciated at these events so please email me if you are available to help out (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Student Activity Schedule
Tennis with Coach Charles Tennis with Coach Charles continues with him offering private and/or group lessons Wednesdays at 3:30pm to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 11.30am. Please contact Coach Charles at the courts at the above-mentioned times or call/message on 0710606766.
PYP Saturday Soccer Saturday Soccer with Mr T and several of our skilled M5, D1 & D2 students resumes this weekend. It kicks off at 9am and finishes at 10.30am just in time for the PYP swim squad to get their laps in.
Go Leopards Robin Marsh
Regardless of wet, muddy mornings and indoor break time play, we managed to have another successful week under our belts. Love was in the air when P6s helped EC/P1s make beautiful valentine cards for their mums and dads. P2/3s were venturing into the galaxies for a fraction party, while P4s were publishing books, soon to be in the school library. P5s were making body parts and ‘looking’ at brains. Now this was a typical school week.
Please do remember to purchase rain boots or coats and most importantly, have indoor shoes brought to school. A date for your diaries – Wednesday 3rd March will be the PYP swimming gala. More details will be shared nearer the time.
Primary Student Voice has decided to celebrate our 100th day IN school on Tuesday March 9th 2021. Take a look at this video and our posters to see how everyone can help us with our initiative!
Student Voice is also showcasing “Random Acts of Kindness” within the PYP Community. You can see their board for details outside Rooms 16 and 17.
Water can be a solid, liquid or gas. This is what the children explored this week. We froze little toys in cups of water, played with ice cubes and watched steam coming out of a boiling pot of water. A lot of scientific vocabulary was learned this week.
During one of our discussions with P1, one child declared that when our ice cubes melted, we could put the water in the freezer again and play with the ice cubes again the next day and repeat the process every day. Another child asked if we could also freeze juice and do the same thing. Another suggested we place rocks or sand in the freezer to see what happened to them. In short, we now have a mission for next week. The children would like to freeze certain items overnight and investigate what happens to them when they start to ‘melt’. Will they melt? Will they return to how they were at the beginning?
They have already written a list of what they would like to place in the freezer. I will email you the list. Please help us to bring in at least one item. You can do the same at home with other items.
We started this week talking about the benefits of eating kumbi kumbi. Lianna suggests eating them with butter, which makes them infinitely better tasting. It has thus been agreed that butter and garlic make anything better.
As the week’s gone on, we’ve completed our stories, you can find the published books in our class library. The students have been so creative in coming up with their stories. I think they are all very proud of their finished product, as am I! Our fraction party on Friday was lots of fun. Thank you to all parents who sent in something for the party.
For those of you who have formerly been parents in P2/3 (there’s quite a few!), you’ll know that we tend to keep a moon journal over the course of a month. You’ll also know that the moon, and the weather have decided to not cooperate for the THIRD year in a row! Even after we moved when this unit took place. Here’s hoping the moon starts rising a little earlier…like we all do!
Lastly, please remember that next week (and the week after) is a short week, school will end on Thursday the 18th.
It was another fun week in P4. It was a pleasure to hear the presentations about holidays and traditions from around the world. Kicking off the new unit about Inventions and Discoveries made us all excited about the things we will learn and do over the next 5 weeks. The lines of inquiry for the unit are:
-Inventions of the past and their present adaptations
-Why people invent
-Inventions for the future
If you or anyone you know has personal experiences with inventing or innovating, we’d love to have guest speakers.
With next week leading up the long weekend, home learning packs will need to be returned on Thursday. Otherwise, we’re set for a normal week!
The P5 students have been busy in the IT lab this week producing an information leaflet. Many thanks to Ms. Grace for leading the children in a session on how to use Google Docs. Our classroom is full of model brains, intestines and skeletons and we are looking forward to sharing our learning with you next week. Friday was an especially fun day as Dr. Marieke Dekker visited the classroom and explained some of the workings of the brain. She brought her special doctor’s flashlight with her and the children took turns at looking at the front of each other’s brains (see photo). Thank you for your time and enthusiasm, Dr. Marieke! Next week we will begin our new unit: “Our voice is an important form of expression to communicate different emotions, ideas and feelings”. This will give the children plenty of opportunity to write stories, poems and perform drama. In maths we will be focusing on multiplication and division – it would be very beneficial for your child to practice recall of times tables facts or to complete some of the assigned challenges on Mangahigh.
The P6 started their new unit on Media this week looking at the power, persuasion, and types of media. This week’s main focus was to create a digital citizen agreement. We also looked at the food industry and how it advertises food to persuade people to want to buy it. Next week they will start their summatives for this unit making an advertisement and creating a news story about a current or historic event. I am looking forward to the creativity they will put into this unit’s projects.
The focus of today’s Lifeskills lesson was empathy and how to express it. They had a fun time acting out scenarios at the end of the day about empathy busters, showing ways we should not respond to someone who is upset. Today they also enjoyed making Valentines for parents and helped their buddies make Valentines for loved ones. It was sweet to see the teamwork and love in action.