As we continue to move forward in this year, we all will presented with opportunities to learn more about each other and our different backgrounds and cultures. It is said however to really get to understand another person, you need to understand yourself first. This week we had Mr Greg Mortenson (alum and son of our first principal) and Ms Sylvie Emmanuel (teacher and early board member) speaking to the older primary students discussing the origins of the school and those first years of ISM. Mr Mortenson shared some of this last week with some D2 students as well. These conversations really helped the students get a perspective on our collective past.
In my role I have had the luck to talk with many alumni about the past and this past week was no exception. In addition to the talk mentioned above I met two graduates, one from the early 90s and one from the early 80s who shared their memories of the school and what it meant to them. They were both surprised by the growth of the school but felt in touring that the spirit remained the same.
In keeping with connections, a quick thank you to those that came on Thursday to the primary “Meet the Teacher Evening.” For MYP, there is a parent session Wednesday at 7:30am in room 41 upstairs in the new building. The following week we have a face-to-face Parent Coffee on Tuesday the 31st at 7:45am and a Zoom Parent Coffee on Thursday at 3pm on September 2nd. Please use this link for the zoom session.
We welcomed our last two teachers to campus this past week; Anord Rwegoshora has joined us to teach Kiswahili having spent the last two years at IST and completing his certification in teaching Modern Language Teaching from Moreland University in the USA. Geoffry Wambua has joined us to teach Business and Economics. He first started teaching the Diploma in 2007 and has recently worked with schools in the UAE and China. Geoffry has also been an IB Diploma Economics examiner for the last three years.
On a sad note, you will have seen the email from Ms Marsden on the passing of Neil McCulloch our colleague in Arusha. Our thoughts and wishes go out to his family and friends at this time.
The TEDxYouth@UWCEAMoshi Team, Performers, and Speakers are diligently preparing for the big event on the 19th of September 2021 from 5 pm to 10 pm. Only 75 audience spaces are available so be sure to fill out the google form linked as soon as possible! The entrance fee is 15,000 tshs per person, cash payment will be on entry.
Make sure not to miss this ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE where there will be GREAT FOOD, STUNNING ENTERTAINMENT, and DIVERSE TALKS carefully tailored for your experience.
This is open for M5-D2 students, teachers and community members from both campuses.
Over these first couple of weeks, we receive a lot of information…as parents, students and, even, teachers. Schedules, deadlines, activity and club lists, OP trips, ManageBac(!!) and so on. Lots of dates to remember. Lots of details to digest.
Getting your head around all of this information and staying on top of it as the year progresses takes considerable time and effort. Often, you may hear teachers reference organisation or executive functioning skills. In a nutshell, executive functions (EF) is an umbrella term in neuroscience for a set of processes that are necessary for the cognitive control of behaviour that, in turn, facilitate the attainment of chosen goals.
As our EF skills develop, we are better able to sustain attention, keep goals and information in mind, refrain from responding immediately, resist distractions and tolerate frustration. At the same time, we begin to consider the consequences of our behaviour as we reflect on past experiences and plan for the future.
Simple classroom strategies can assist students with developing executive function skills like time management and active listening. For instance, one basic example that often works with young students is using metacognitive language to help articulate a problem. Such as, “I notice that you don’t have a pencil. You’ll need a pencil to complete your writing. Where could you find one in the classroom?”
Time management is the executive function that comes up time and again from EC to D2…and, also, in the Staff Room! Keeping schedules is one of the most useful tools in developing time management skills. Exploring ways to map out larger projects or assignments over time and using resources such as journals or Google Calendar to monitor your own progress is also extremely beneficial. Eat the elephant one bite at a time as they say!
Anything parents and guardians can do at home or on the end of a phone to reinforce the importance of these skills can also have a hugely positive impact. Inviting your child to explain their homework assignments and share their deadlines means that you are better able to support them going forward. After all, “You may delay, but time will not.”
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
A focus for this week has been CAS. CAS or Creativity, Activity and Service is part of the core of the Diploma Programme along with the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. It is an important part of the holistic nature of IB and is about developing the non-academic side of the student. It is not assessed but if a student does not meet the requirements, they will not pass the Diploma. The D1 students were introduced to this on Wednesday, and it is good to see many of them have already signed up to take part in the sports on offer and OP trips. Some students are already on an OP trip now which will help meet the activity requirements. Others are volunteering to run clubs for their peers or younger students which will help meet the service requirements. Taking part in a knitting club or MUN or some of the many others on offer will help meet the creativity requirements. Students are encouraged to try new experiences and to see what they enjoy.
We offer all students a chance to take part in service on a Wednesday afternoon. Students were introduced to those on offer and signed up last week. We started this week. The groups are mixed M4 to D2 students and are all student led with a teacher to support. They range from Bee Club to recycling to improving the murals around school to Peer Support to working with local NGOs. We will hopefully share more details in future.
The D2 students have started their IA uploads with a draft for one subject and a final for another one coming in this week. They have shown responsibility when they had difficulties by discussing the issues. Communication is key to relieving stress in this area.
For D1 students it has been another week of settling into classes. Some are still making decisions about what they want to do, and they have one more week where this just requires an email or a conversation. They need to think about this carefully as moving gets harder as we progress through the year. There is some information about university acceptance of maths courses here and about the acceptance of IBDP in different countries here.
Margaret Brunt – Diploma Coordinator
For this week’s update I wanted to ask the students about their experience and their transition into UWCEA – Moshi. This is one of their responses:
“More than two weeks and a half that I have been here on campus; far from everything that I have ever known- my family, friends, hometown, country, pretty much like all of the residential students here. Yet, I have never felt so fulfilled and content. The school is exactly like it portrayed itself to be, if not better. For now, there are no feelings of homesickness or dissatisfaction, but this may be due to the new mindset the other residential students and I have gained over the past week. It is the mindset that says, ‘we can either complain or be grateful’.”
Why you chose UWC?
“As I live and enjoy every moment of being at UWCEA, I am constantly reminded of the reasons I chose to come here. Sure, it provides a great holistic educational program but there is more to this school that no one can deny. This school is a place where you are warmly welcomed, appreciated and cared for, whichever background you may come from. It is an understanding, supportive and judgment-free place. It is a community, ready to lend a shoulder for us to lean on whenever hardship comes. These are the feelings I wanted to experience coming here and I am not disappointed.”
What has been great about residential life over the last few weeks?
“So far, residential life has been sweet. I have a great and kind roommate with whom I have built a friendship with. We are always trying to support and understand each other. Someone referred to it as ‘the honeymoon stage’ and he or she may not be wrong. I am sure after a while, we will experience at least once, what it is like to get on each other’s nerves, but for now, everything is going smoothly- and I am enjoying every second of it. The late-night talks with the girls, be it in the kitchen or bedroom, are also what makes residential life more pleasurable.”
This week has been a joy, as we settle into our routines and we are excited to be opening Kimbilio for the week ahead and we will officially have over 170 residential students from Primary, MYP to Diploma, living in our beautiful community on campus with more on the way.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
Week two’s objectives in MYP were to make sure the students were settling in, enjoying intros to their lessons and most of all happy.
Subject groups began to introduce units and lessons with the emphasis on MYP terminology as a common language and get the students accustomed to hearing and using the vocabulary in a meaningful way. M1 had their first intro to MYP session and will be having more of those as we progress in the academic year.
We have finalized the selection of courses for our M4 and M5 in terms of Language Acquisition and the Arts.
M5 are beginning to think of their Personal Project ideas and will continue to have weekly sessions to develop them and work towards very successful outcomes this year.
Don’t forget that our first parent information session is coming up on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 from 7:30 to 8:30 am. This session will be about the MYP framework and how it works in terms of academic expectations, requirements and assessments. It will also be a chance for you to voice your ideas, inquiries and concerns.
Farah Fawaz – MYP Coordinator
From the Counselors
Is your cup half empty or half full? Is going away for an OP trip early on a Friday morning and returning Monday evening next week making the week longer or shorter?
I got the opportunity to accompany a lovely bunch of students on this weekend’s OP trip to Fish Eagle Point and in my mind, this week sure is longer and the work I miss I must make up for next week, but it is also a long week with a wonderful purpose. We will be spending time in nature, building relationships, challenging ourselves and making memories for life.
Life is naturally full of ups and downs and we will never be able to control all that happens to us. What we can control is our mindset and how we respond to it! I believe having a positive mindset can have a transforming impact on your everyday life and in fact, research shows that positive thinking is an effective way of improved wellbeing, stress relief, better resilience and increased immunity.
This week I want to invite you to reflect on your own mindset in life. What does your mindset look like? When are you supported by a positive mindset? Are there times when you wish your mindset could help you more?
I would love to hear more of what works for you! If you want to chat more about this, grab me on campus, send me an email or pop by my office!
Give it a try and remember, as with most things – the more you practice, the better you will be.
The semester is off to a great start with college preparations. During the Life Skills course this week, D2 students were charged with updating Maia Learning. Maia Learning is a software platform that allows students to do college interests/strengths assessments, build a resume, record test scores, ask for letters of recommendation and research universities to apply to. It is a one stop university prep and apply platform designed to help students successfully navigate the college preparation journey. Many students have narrowed down their college options while others are still in the exploration stages. I had an opportunity to speak with many students this week about their college plans, which gave me insight into what next steps should be in helping to keep forward momentum.
In early September, I am planning to conduct a resume workshop with all D2 students to ensure they have a resume completed. Their resume can be used to give to teachers for letter of recommendation purposes or submitted with their college application, or it can serve as a foundation document for pursuing their employment opportunities at the university or in the community.
During an assembly for D1 students, I was able to formally introduce myself and discuss my role as the University Counselor. This first year of diploma studies is key for college preparation as students immerse themselves in the CAS requirement-creativity, activity and service. The CAS requirement is a great way for students to build leadership skills, engage in volunteerism, and design experiences that support their course of university studies. Students will use their CAS experiences directly in US college applications or indirectly in UK or Canada or other university applications to provide a holistic view of who they are or to reflect on how their experience shaped their academic pursuits outside of class requirements.
Additionally, I spoke with D1 students about upcoming opportunities to attend virtual college fairs. Our first college fair of the semester is the CIS Sub-Saharan African Fair, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 from 12-3 pm. All D1 students are required to attend this fair and arrangements have been made by the DP coordinator to facilitate D1 students participation. In mid-September the Davis Scholars College Partners Fairs will happen on the 14th and 22nd. These fairs will also be required for all D1 students. College fairs are a great chance for students to ask questions about university admissions, scholarships and program offerings. It is also a time for students to showcase who they are and impress college representatives. It is my hope that students will be able to begin drafting a consideration list of colleges.
Excited to start this journey with diploma students,
After school sports clubs and activities will begin on Monday. Thank you for signing up. Please click on this link for the primary clubs, here for the secondary and here for the Community events, and their descriptions. A copy of these are shown below.
Remember that it is not necessary to sign up for community events and community activities. However, students M4-D2 signing up for Cooking Club need to see Ms. Penny to confirm their participation. The list of community and student activities may change weekly, so look out for most updated lists in the weekly newsletter.
As we prepare for a busy quarter of sports and activities, I would like to reiterate how impressed I am of the number and calibre of activities offered by our students and faculty.
Gilbert Kaburu – Sports and Activities Coordinator
Secondary Athletics Schedule
Student and Activities Schedules
And we are off. Our first OP trip has headed out Friday with 25 keen water enthusiasts heading to the northern Tanga coast for Level 1 Reefs from Moshi alone. On this trip they will be taking part in service, snorkelling, mangrove swims, kayaking, paddleboarding and hotdogging. This trip will test their confidence in the water and highlight the students who will be ready for the step up in the Reefs Level 2 trip.
Next week we will have our M1s out learning the ropes in Meru forest. They will be learning important skills like bag packing, camp setting and breaking, hiking and teamwork. The same will be happening with our D1s who will take on North Pare Mountains while being introduced to and honing these very same skills too.
Robin Marsh – Experiential Learning Coordinator
Thank you to all the parents who joined us for ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening. We were all very encouraged by your attendance and we are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead.
On Friday morning the P3 – P6 children were fortunate to listen to a presentation by Greg Mortenson, an alumnus of ISM and the author of ‘Three Cups of Tea’. It was interesting to hear what life was like at our school in the past and inspirational to learn about Mr. Mortenson’s advocacy for education for all children, particularly education for girls. In the PYP we hope that when our children encounter a problem they will consider themselves part of the solution and take action in whatever way they can. Hopefully Mr. Mortenson’s talk has shown our children that when people come together to tackle a problem, anything is possible.
Anna Marsden, our director, has invited the children to a back to school party on Friday the 27th of August. It will begin straight after school at her house and end at 2pm. As it is an afterschool event, it is optional. You may collect your child/ren at 12:30pm as normal. If they will remain for the party, you will be able to collect them at 2pm from Rafiki Hall. The menu will contain varied items including vegetarian options. More information will be sent to you by class teachers so that all options can be covered where possible. We hope that your child can attend this fun event.
On Friday, 7th September, Ben Morley will be leading our first primary gathering of the year. Parents are very welcome to attend and are asked to wear a face mask inside Rafiki Hall.
Thank you to all of you who came to ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening. I was glad to meet you and share all that we talked about. I am excited about the year ahead.
This week, in mathematics, EC were matching and sorting objects. They looked for similar colours, shapes and sizes in order to match identical items or group them. This coming week, they will be comparing items using words such as taller/shorter, bigger/smaller and more/less.
P1’s were also sorting and matching but they went further and sorted objects using more than one criteria. In an open-ended question, they chose to sort bears into big ones and small ones and then by colour. During our math talk, their reasoning behind their sorts were quite interesting. Next week, they will be looking at numbers, counting forwards/backwards as well as identifying one more/less.
Everyone had a chance this week to talk about their families. We had interesting discussions especially about how some had only sisters and some had only brothers. In the coming week, we will begin to look at how we can impact our families in a meaningful way.
Body patterns, sound patterns, shape patterns, colour patterns. Needless to say, this week we’ve been looking at patterns! We turned patterns into a game of students vs teachers, and asked the students to use their bodies, their voices, and sounds to cooperate and create patterns that the teachers had to guess. The students won! Guided reading has taken off for the year, and the students have challenged themselves through different fiction and non-fiction texts to respond to comprehension questions. We’ve also begun exploring our unit of inquiry, with students differentiating between living and non-living things, and thinking about what the basic needs of living things are.
Thank you to all parents who came out to the Parent evening on Thursday. It was wonderful seeing all of you, and I look forward to seeing you again.
We had a SUPER week in P3/4! It was terrific to have time with parents on Thursday night and to discuss the many things planned for the year. Remember, Ms. Catherine and I welcome ideas about resources, activities, and outings that would extend our Units of Inquiry. As discussed, I will send an optional recording sheet for reading with Home Learning on Monday- see if it works for your child and for you and then let me know what you think.
The class had fun this week with our focus on Superheroes. Next week, they will be creating their own superhero and writing a story! In Math, our study of place value will expand to greater than/less than and rounding. We are all looking forward to the return of Luana next week.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Meet the Teacher evening. For those of you who were unable to attend, I will send home the handout in your child’s home folder next week. On Friday the children were lucky enough to hear from Greg Mortenson who described his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan, building schools so that children had access to education. This presentation tied in very well with our current inquiry into human rights. Next week the children will consider other human rights and whether everyone has access to them. In maths we will work on place value, rounding numbers and number patterns. Our spelling focus is on plurals of nouns. In the PYP section of this newsletter you can see details of the PYP party at Anna Marsden’s house on Friday, 27th. I hope many of the children will be able to attend.
The P6 along with the other upper primary were treated to a wonderful talk Friday by Greg Mortenson. It was an inspiring moment for the class to see how action in one’s life can truly make a difference. We talked later during meeting about how for their exhibition this year they can choose something they are passionate about and how they can use it to take action in their community.
For our unit, we have seeds started in a maze, in plastic bags, and in soil. They have also started using PowerPoint to create a mini slideshow about their initial questions. They have also started a group research project about one of the Lines of Inquiry for the unit. Next Monday they will begin their Cress Seeds experiment to test what a seed needs to grow.
Thank you to the parents who were able to come Thursday night or joined in on yesterday’s zoom call to get introduced to the year. It was a pleasure to talk to all of you.