There is a saying that climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get. Our weather recently has definitely proved that what you expect is not always what you get.
I am bringing this up here as I think it also applicable in education to some degree. With unexpected rainstorms, you have to adapt and improvise as we, as of yet, have no control over the weather. A quality education should provide you with both the skills, but also the mindset to improvise and adjust to a new situation. I think most schools provide students with the content knowledge for these situations and have done so for a long time. The challenge of our time is to provide the mindset and attitude to complement the knowledge.
I hope we are up to the challenge here.
Over the next week our secondary students will be busy preparing for events the week after. The MYP students will be on their grade level trips. Parents you should have received information about these trips and can send any questions to the listed teacher leaders. With the D1 students, they are off on project weeks that they had a hand in designing to explore their interests and develop in their own way. The D2 students, are at the stage of taking the mock exams to tell them where they are now and what they need to do to be ready for May.
Please see below the notes about other upcoming events, the work in the playground and more.
As we continue to have new students and staff joining us, welcome to Moshi and UWC East Africa. In particular you will be seeing a new face in P6, welcome to Hywel Davies who will be teaching the P6 class this semester. He will be joining us with two of his daughters.
Lastly, we will be saying farewell to Sarah Brummel this week. After nearly 4 years she will be heading back to the US to have her baby. We wish her all the best thank her for her many contributions to life in the PYP at UWCEA.
Bob Cofer – Head of Campus
The observant amongst you will have noticed some unfamiliar faces around the campus. We are so excited and fortunate to be able to welcome a host of new students (and their families) to the UWCEA community, from P3 all the way through to M5.
Joining a new school mid-year can prove challenging for students, families and teachers, for different reasons. It can be hard to connect with an already established group who often enjoy a strong shared identity. Any group will share numerous common experiences, many routines will already have been internalised and, of course, friendships will have been formed long before.
People relocate for many different reasons and changing homes, schools, friends etc can be a difficult process for the whole family but particularly for a child who, perhaps, has less say in the matter. As a community, we hold the key to helping our new students and their families feel welcomed and valued, regardless of when they join us or the circumstances that brought them here. So, if you see a new face on the playground or in the car park, why not reach out to introduce yourself and let them know you are glad they are here? Maybe you could ask them about their interests and introduce them to someone who shares those interests? You might help familiarise them with school agreements and expectations to help them find their feet or, even, something as simple as show them where they might buy a cup of coffee!
My youngest son is always excited whenever a new classmate arrives as he sees it as an opportunity to make a “new friend” and is eager to share all the special things about our school that he enjoys so much. I hope some of his enthusiasm rubs off on the rest of us and our new students and their families enjoy a smooth and welcoming transition to Moshi Campus.
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
During Mentor time on Monday, five of the groups each hosted another two groups for some games, luckily the rain held off. This will continue again next week and seems to be popular with the students.
For D1 students the focus has been on preparing for project week. This starts on Monday 31st January and is very much a student led event. A letter was sent with information to all parents on Wednesday, if you didn’t receive it, please let me know. Please talk to your child about what they are doing and then approve their leave on Orah. We hope they all enjoy themselves and learn a lot from the experience.
For D2 students the work continues. There have been IAs to work on and for some the Extended Essay and TOK essays still need tweaking and then there are the mocks. The mocks take place from Monday 31st January to Tuesday 8th February. The timetable is here. The timings of exams mirrors the final exam schedule which can be seen here. The mocks are a chance for students to show what they know and see to how their revision strategies work. In some subjects the syllabus is finished and so the time after the mocks can be used for revision however in others there is still content to be covered. Students need to use their time wisely and make sure they eat and sleep well. A good night’s sleep is more likely to lead to success than cramming, see this article for some further details.
Margaret Brunt – DP Coordinator
Life is all about perspective.
This week in residential life highlighted that matters that seem quite large can, in hindsight, be rather trivial. Water shortages, power outages, internet issues and washing machines. Yes, I understand that these can be frustrating, but what has struck me is how fortunate we are to have what we do, where we are.
Driving back from Arusha earlier in the week and seeing how others live in comparison to how and where we live, put that perspective back into me. We are fortunate to be where we are and to have such an extended family and the facilities that we do. Part of being an extended family involves looking out for one another, being compassionate, being kind and of course, being caring. Taking shorter showers to conserve water and turning off lights when we are not using them is simply one small way we can contribute to our community.
On the subject of gratitude, I wanted to take this moment to thank our community outside of our gates; our Uja Families. Many of you may or may not know that our host families, or ‘Uja Families’ took many of our residential students under their wings over the December break and my WhatsApp was filled with photos of laughter, fun and adventures. Our Uja Families are another pillar to our residential community and our students are grateful to have the opportunity to be hosted by you. We cannot thank you enough for all the time and energy you invested in them over the course of the break.
In addition to the above, we welcome new faces in MYP and PYP this week and our academic mentoring programme has commenced again with our Diploma students assisting our MYP students in the evenings with their studies. Kilele and Kipepeo are organising our first semi-formal dinner for next Thursday. This weekend there is a movie night in Kijana and a quiz night in Kisiwa. Never a dull moment and for that, I am grateful.
Please note that our Duka has released a new menu and welcomes you to a coffee or snack when you arrive on campus to pick up your loved ones or wait for activities to commence. The menu is at the bottom of the newsletter.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
MYP Success Stories Growth Mindset Episode #10
We would like to start this week’s MYP segment with a small exercise.
Take a look at the picture of the elephant.
What do you see? How can you tell that this actually is an elephant without being told that this is the case and accepting knowledge that is presented to you? How do you know what you know about the elephant in particular? What about elephants in general?
This is one of our MYP fundamentals and is known to us as conceptual understanding. Conceptual teaching and learning are all about focusing on “organizing ideas that have relevance within and across subject areas”.
Concepts drive us away from content into an integrated world that allows our learners to engage with complex ideas and transfer them into contexts.
In our MYP learning journey, we explore two types of concepts in each subject group: key concepts and related concepts. Key concepts are “broad, organizing, powerful ideas that have relevance within and across subjects and disciplines, providing connections that can transfer across time and culture.”
Related concepts “explore key concepts in greater detail, providing depth to the programme. They emerge from reflection on the nature of specific subjects and disciplines, providing a focus for inquiry into subject-specific content.”
Our concept based MYP curriculum allows room for the students to explore factual knowledge on a higher cognitive level as they use thinking skills to relate the facts to larger ideas. Our learners are given the space to “get personal” with the learning experiences as they start to make the links between what is new to them and what they already know and transferring it all across various global contexts. This is the stairway to achieving higher levels of critical, creative and abstract thought processes to be able to analyze the complexity for world issues such as the COVID 19 pandemic, global economy, why the rain season fluctuates in Tanzania and ample local and international “big ideas”. So, yes, we start in school and then move on to the life-long journey of education in the “real world” through the lenses of our Global Contexts.
The world continues to change and interconnect. Our MYP students are exploring opportunities to explore their learning in “multiple dimensions”, locally, nationally, globally and even personally to find the significance of each.
“Working in global contexts requires a sophisticated combination of understanding, practical skills and personal dispositions that work together to define global competence” (Boix-Mansilla and Jackson 2011).
We are excited for our first interdisciplinary unit for our M1 students this quarter between Mathematics and Language Acquisition (French). In French, M1 learners are exploring the parts of a house, elements of culture, lifestyle and habitats. In Mathematics, they are inquiring and exploring 2D and 3D shapes and measurements. The end product is going to be to design/ model a house, and act as a real estate agent to promote/sell their house!
How about that for conceptual understanding in context? Let’s reflect on what big ideas our learners are going to be engaging with and what this means for them in the “real world”.
International Baccalaureate Organization. “MYP: From Principles into Practice For Use from September 2014/January 2015.” Ltd Peterson House, May 2014.
Farah Fawaz – MYP Coordinator
Please find attached some impressive Observational Drawings of Garlic, done by our M2s. The new unit this semester is ‘Food Glorious Food’, and students had to use a range of graphite pencils to carefully examine a head of garlic. They had to pay careful attention to line, tone and texture.
UWCEA Arusha Charity Basketball Tournament on Friday 11th – Sunday 13th February (3 – 5 pm)
Swim Squad Mini-Swim Meet on Tuesday, 8th February
TALISS Invitational Swim Meet 2022 on the 26th and 27th of February
NTSAA U13 Basketball Tournament at Braeburn on Saturday March 5th
NTSAA Primary Swimming Gala at UWCEA Arusha on Friday March 11th
NTSAA Secondary Swimming Gala at UWCEA Arusha on Saturday March 12th
TALISS Invitational Swim Meet – Revised deadlines and fees The cost of traveling to Dar and participating in this meet has been revised downwards. Participants will travel by Kilimanjaro Express Bus. The cost is now 220 USD. The payments have to be made to Coach Debbie Bachmann by 8th of February.
The Swim Squad Mini-Swim Meet on 8th February is intended to produce entry times for the event.
Afternoon sports and activities The afternoon sports and activities have started off on a positive note this week. We are grateful for the members of the students, staff and parent community who initiate and run these activities on a regular basis. It is a good use of their time and effort when you turn up for your activity.
Community Choir Community Choir practices will resume next quarter.
Have a good week.
Gilbert Kaburu – Sports and Activites Director
Our first week of clubs went well. All the children seemed to enjoy their chosen clubs. Thank you to all who have made this possible.
Mr. Morley shared some insightful thoughts with us during our primary gathering. Hopefully the children will come home with thoughts of new beginnings and new goals. With all the New Year plans we are making or have been making, let us not forget to include the goal of being kind! Be kind!
Student Voice have placed their notice in this newsletter so we will be supporting them by buying 5000/- worth tickets from Ms. Elisha this coming week.
On Thursday, 27th January, the PYP children will gather outside the classrooms at midday for a celebration to wish Ms. Sarah the very happiest of futures as she leaves Tanzania after nearly 4 years at UWCEA. We hope that she and her baby will visit us one day. Thank you for all of your hard work Ms. Sarah – we will miss you! Mr. Hywel Davies will be joining the PYP team as the new P6 teacher. More details to follow next week.
Work has started on the new primary playground this weekend. The playground will be out of use for up to the next 3 weeks. The area will be roped off but please supervise your children carefully before and after school and at weekends to make sure they stay away from the construction site. This work is taking place during term time, rather than holiday time, so that it can be monitored to be sure that we end up with exactly the playground that we need and want. The long term enjoyment a new playground will bring to our children will be well worth the short term inconvenience.
We started exploring our unit this week. We looked at some items in our classroom and started asking what materials they are made from. We identified some materials such as wood, metal, plastic, rock, fabric and rubber. The children asked some great questions and shared their wonderings. How do we make paper from trees? This question has moved us on to our first search. This coming week, we will be looking at wood as a material we use in our everyday life.
You can help us further by going on a materials hunt at home and talking about what things are made of.
In maths this coming week, EC will be exploring 2D shapes (square, triangle, circle and triangle) and patterns you can make with them. P1 will be comparing addition and subtraction number sentences using <, > and = symbols. Please support them where needed.
This week the P2 students have been diligently working on their transport mode projects. We’ve completed most of the information we had to research, and now we’re working on putting it all together on a poster. The students have been introduced to timelines, and you’ll find their transport mode timelines on their posters. The P2 students have also been working on data collecting and graphing. We have used tally marks and created pictographs to look at various sets of data. I encourage all parents to practice using tallies with their children.
On Wednesday next week, the P2 students will be headed to Moshi Airport to take a look at an airplane. I’d like to thank Debbie and Horst Bachmann for agreeing to host us, as well as Mr. Marsh for helping organize.
Lastly, a Happy 7th Birthday to Thomas and Jeremy!
The highlight of the week for P3/4 was welcoming a new student- Tendai! Everyone was so excited to meet him and he seems to be settling in quickly. We also had fun this week with guest experts! On Tuesday, Navya and Mridula (D2 students) came to talk to the class about Diwali. The girls did an excellent presentation and led a craft and even sang a song! On Thursday, Mr. Rakesh (Baba Mahi) came and told more about traditions shared by Hindus. How wonderful to have these discussions, the kids asked many questions!
We are talking a lot about artifacts these days. Ask your children about the Terra Cotta Army from the Qin Dynasty in China. They were amazed! We will spend a lot of time next week considering what artifacts can tell us about the past. This fantastic unit will culminate with our Class Museum on Friday from 11:45-12:30. Students will be creating artifacts during class and are expected to make 1 artifact at home for their exhibit. Please let me know if you need extra support from me or Ms Catherine to make that possible. We hope that parents will be able to come and enjoy our museum on Friday! We will be putting up our Rousseau tigers next week as well in preparation for the Year of the Tiger. They were super fun to create.
A highlight of the week for us in P5 was Atem’s visit to the classroom. He thanked the children for the encouraging letters they had written to him last semester. We shared a “breakfast” of oranges, cinnamon rolls and juice and Atem told us about his journey to Tanzania and his initial experiences in UWCEA.
In maths this week we explored co-ordinates as well as doubling and halving numbers. Our focus in language was learning to use bullet points correctly. This will come in very handy when we complete our information writing about the human body next week. The children have started looking at suitable infographic templates on Canva. This week we considered the effects of smoking and alcohol on our body systems and we will move on to looking at the effects of a balanced diet, exercise and a good night’s sleep. Looking ahead, we hope to have a visit from Dr. Dekker to learn about the brain next week. For home learning on Monday the children will start planning and gathering materials for a model of their body system.
It was a busy week in the P6 classroom. The class is working on engineering their vehicles for either land or water. Some groups have started building them, while others are still planning. In writing, they are almost done planning their narratives, which means next week they will begin their first drafts of their stories. In math, they took a quiz today to show their level of understanding of the material covered the last two weeks with adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals.
Next week will sadly be my last week with the class. The time has flown by, and I am in disbelief that I will soon have to say goodbye for now. We will be enjoying our day together Friday with a movie and sharing the vehicles that they made. You are welcome to send in any snacks for the day. It has been a pleasure educating your children this year.