The April holiday is about three weeks away and the timing is always interesting for our second year Diploma students as there is only a week or so of classes left for them when they return. On one hand it is an opportunity to review for the upcoming exams, but on the other it is a signal of how close they are to the end of their time here.
This year is actually a bit more complicated. Normally students would leave in April to head home either in Tanzania or to their home country. This year as we know, any travel is complicated and any time spent in large diverse crowds a risk. I met with all of our Diploma Residential students to talk about this issue earlier in the week. We talked about the break and the risk of someone getting sick. The main focus of our talk was the implications this could have on D2 students taking the exams which start at the end of April. The students have put in a lot of hard work and we agreed that it is much better to be able to take the tests than to rely on an algorithm from the IB to assign a score. To this end we have encouraged the Diploma students specifically to stay on campus this break, to travel only if they need to. If they do travel they should avoid crowds and return by April 7th for isolation.
Some students are looking into visits to local link families and camping away from crowds and are coming to Mr Johnston with ideas about their individual plans. I have asked the students as well to help us come up with activities and trips for the break that limits our exposure. Mr Johnston has more about communicating plans for the break below.
On a different note, in a few conversations over the last month it is clear that parents in the MYP/PYP don’t know as much about the UWC links with universities particularly in the USA. While it may be a bit early for many of you, if you would like to learn more about the Davis program and its benefits, please see the links from Ms Ford below. The program is an interesting one and it seems to benefit students as well as the universities involved.
It’s a long newsletter this week so be sure to click on view entire message at the bottom of the screen and read to the end to see details of the community and students’ activity schedules.
As always, if you have questions, please contact me.
Bob Cofer – Head of Campus
Today, I am continuing with our plan to make our UWC East Africa Guiding Statements ‘visible,’ tangible’ and ‘referenced,’ across the different sections of our community. It was heartening to be part of the audience for M1s presentations on these Values earlier in the week and is becoming apparent that people across the community are bringing them to life. Look out for our Mission statement (in English and Swahili) in a prominent spot on campus very soon!
This week, on the back of this week’s fabulous Swim Galas, I asked our tireless P.E. team to unpack our third Values statement, namely “A holistic and diverse portfolio of learning experiences.”
“We have a lot of sports in the school and every student is expected to be involved. Participation is more important than competition. It is not about winning but learning, enjoying and being healthy.
We also make them safe and give them a valuable life skill forever in swimming.
Our students have opportunities to explore so many different sports, such as swimming, basketball, touch rugby. Sport makes people physically fit which is good and also teaches them to communicate and work with other people. It helps everyone to work as a team.
Being such a diverse place gives our students chances to learn from other people and begin to compare themselves to others. We recognise that we have different abilities and passions and this is fine. All students have something to be proud of and we think this is important and we value it. Everything and everyone has the same value. Also, it does not matter how good you are at something, you have the same opportunity to learn and an equal chance. In the Swim Gala, everyone scored points, the first swimmer and the last swimmer.
We want students to leave UWC East Africa with a love for at least one sport that will stay with them forever.”
As we are focusing so much on our community values, I feel compelled to add an additional note to my “Corner” this week. Before the pandemic, I was fortunate to supervise a group of Primary students every Wednesday to KCMC hospital as part of our Service Club. Working alongside Dr. Marieke and the team, we visited each week over two years and got to know many patients and staff at both the Spinal Injuries Ward and the Burns Unit. It is an experience that will stay with me forever and something I look forward to starting again as soon as it is safe to do so. On one occasion, we met twins with a particularly aggressive form of a condition called Xeroderma pigmentosum or XP which had made them blind and suffering from terrible skin tumours. In the Burns Unit now, there is a four year old girl called Serafina in a room alongside three other young XP patients. Serafina has two large tumours growing out of her orbits. Her suffering is almost unthinkable.
I do not want to compare any one person’s suffering to another’s but this seems exceptionally cruel. Serafina is blind and her chances of recovery are almost zero. I questioned the idea of using this forum to ask for help as, again, many people are struggling at the moment but this seemed particularly heartbreaking and more than anyone should have to bear. This is why I feel almost obliged to ask for your help if possible.
Dr. Marieke and I believe that if we can do something to alleviate the immense suffering of these patients, even momentarily, then we should. So, we are asking for you to donate any music boxes, toy instruments, radios, shaker toys and so on. Anything auditory that you may have that you feel would be appreciated. Similarly, anything tactile, textured, such as plasticine, soft toys or anything else you can think of. Please leave any donations either in or outside my office. Let’s see if we can do something to cheer up these children and their mothers who are going through so much, Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
Last Saturday teachers for the two D2 Maths HL classes had an extra session to make up for time lost last year. Also members of the new peer support group had a training session on how to help support their classmates. On Monday in mentor time the students got to play different games including capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball and volleyball. They all had good time and were so busy no one took any photographs. Thank you to everyone involved in organising it.
The D2 students have continued with mock orals this week and next week we move onto the final orals for English A and some self-taught students. The times have been shared with them and they need to continue to show responsibility and show up on time. In addition to orals they have been working on the final TOK essay and Extended Essay and Higher Level Essay for Language A which will be submitted to IB next week.
The D1 students were introduced to the Extended Essay on Wednesday and are discussing it further in Diploma Success Skills classes. They will also be talking about the specifics of an Extended Essay in each subject before making their subject choices on Monday 22nd March.
We have had communications from IB recently about each group. For D1 it was about the changes being made to their assessments due to the Covid pandemic, these have been shared with teachers and will be shared with students in class. For D2 it was about predicted grades, particularly for schools going on the non-exam route they are looking carefully at the distribution of predicted grades in comparison to previous cohorts. We have already been in contact with IB about how the makeup of our current May 2021 cohort is from those used in the sample. As we are expecting to host the exams this will not be as important.
Students have continued with their service programme and the Coral Reef group were able to incorporate it into ESS as a case study.
Margaret Brunt – DP Coordinator
On Saturday 27th of February we had the first-ever Peer Listeners training in UWCEA. On this long, intense day, the training volunteers from the Diploma Programme participated in various activities and exercises, while learning concepts and skills necessary for active listening. Always concerned about possible situations, the Peer Listeners completed their training successfully, after trial and error, revision and perseverance. A group eager to help their peers when in need of a comprehensive ear will be soon available to attend to anyone who wants to reach out. Stay tuned for more information coming soon from this eager and empathetic group of trained listeners.
Another week rolls over here in our Residential Life and one can feel the tension easing ‘slightly’ as deadlines for Diploma students are met and we look ahead to their examinations. Our Diploma One students are currently in the process of implementing incredible CAS projects and it is exciting to see a realm of activities and initiatives arranged for our younger students in Kimbilio and the MYP houses, respectively. They range from reading stories at night to our little ones, to celebrating the International Women’s Day and organising food and clothing donations for those in need. (Mostly of which have been unclaimed residential clothes looming in the common rooms for 6 months!)
Thinking ahead is where our focus currently lies and with that in mind, we met with our respective houses on Thursday to discuss the upcoming spring break. With the ever-changing climate, it is difficult to predict, but we are expressing cautions in ones plans.
Our residential houses will remain open in our Diploma and MYP years and we are encouraging students to stay on campus to avoid the difficulties of mass quarantining upon return and to ensure the safety of all.
To this regard, we have asked our students to consider their holiday plans now and have them expressed to their respective residential parents by Friday 12 March. In this way, we can coordinate who is staying on campus and arrange activities that ensure we remain in the safety of our bubbles, but still enjoy a much needed physical and mental break. We are currently in the process of exploring the option of hiring out the movie theatre in Arusha, coordinating set activities inside and outside of campus, and planned study workshops with teachers who are available.
Whilst we know some students will be traveling abroad, we must recognise that all safety protocols will need to be adhered to. Travel outside of Moshi will be reviewed and, in most cases, incur an isolation of 4 days upon return – This is predominately for students who are traveling abroad or visiting large cities.
Further to this, just like our day students, we want all of us to avoid large gatherings and to always remain cautious. Returning from the break in good health is our priority and we are extremely fortunate to have our school open and focusing on sitting the all-important D2 examinations. A luxury many around the world do not have.
For any parents or guardians who would like clarity in our leave protocols, please contact me directly to discuss this. On a personal note, I want to highlight the empathy of our students in handling this situation. Our students are incredibly understanding, and I applaud their open-mindedness in looking after themselves, their families, and their peers. We have a special community.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
Flatlands Level 3 – Mukuru
11 students (6 Moshi, 5 Arusha) ranging from M1 to D1 took part in the Flatland Level 3 walk last weekend. We had stunning views of Mukuru, Meru and Kilimanjaro. The weather was hot but we were sustained by the delicious snacks that Mr. Isack produced whenever our energy levels were flagging. The campsite was very pretty and the evening meals were delicious! The evenings were spent playing cards and sharing stories. There were some minor bumps, bruises and blisters to contend with and one of the group took an impromptu dip in the river but we all made it to the end in good spirits. We’re looking forward to Flatland Level 4! Why not join us?
Everyone said hiking to Mt. Hanang would be strenuous… and it was!! Even waking up at 5 am to leave campus on time was a challenge. However, sitting there on the bus, chilling and laughing with other people on the trip, already showed some signs that the trip would be worth all the effort!! Our suspicions of how hard it would be, was proved the moment we arrived at the base camp and saw “the tree.” Far, far away, there was that one big tree somewhere on the mountain we would hike up. The next day we started walking towards it, and we all realized it would be more challenging than we ever could have imagined. It was steep the whole time, and our backpacks somehow felt as though they became heavier with every hour we kept on hiking. The hours somehow flew by, though, as we all talked and sang and laughed a lot on the way. Arriving at our new camp, all of us were very exhausted but also overly proud of ourselves. To get through the cold more efficiently, we cuddled together a lot while drinking hot tea and talking about how hard and fun the hike was! The next day we finally summitted and took many, many pictures up on the 4th highest mountain of Tanzania!! We returned to the campsite, packed up, and returned down. We all were very proud of our accomplishments until that point and knew we had almost managed the whole level! The last evening we had a very tasty dinner as a little gratulation present and went to sleep for as long as possible. The next day we went back and said goodbye to our new Arusha friends. It was such an excellent time, and we were so happy and proud to have accomplished to hike the mountain!
Busy, busy, busy in the MYP. The swim gala was a huge success, a big thank you to Robin Marsh, parents, diploma student helpers and swimmers. What a great day of fun, fitness and camaraderie. In addition to the swim gala, the students have all been working hard and surviving the heat of Moshi this past week. In the coming weeks there are a few important dates to remember.
March 8: M1-5 Assembly 10:30-11:20 in Rafiki, parents welcome (please wear masks)- Mr. Simon Johnson will present the new plan for student government and the students will be demonstrating a few examples of their learning in the Arts here at UWCEA Moshi.
March 11: M5 will be presenting their Personal Projects; Miss Alannah will provide sign up details for visitors and teachers.
March 15-18: M1 will be off for their Lake Eyasi trip- leave in the afternoon of the 15th and return in the afternoon of the 18th.
March 19, 22-25: M1-3 will be taking the MAP tests. I will provide a schedule for them soon; it is the same as the previous MAP done earlier this year.
March 22-24: M4 will be going to Simba Farm, stay tuned for further details and forms from the teachers.
Keep safe, keep well, take care of yourself and others and remember to choose kindness and patience as we work through these unique times together as a community.
Jeanne Aman – MYP Coordinator
MYP Swim Gala
From the Counselor
Please forgive me in advance for using this week’s newsletter to solely focus on the college/university aspect of my role, but this is a very important time for students who are interested in attending university in the next year or so. This week on the Moshi campus, our Head of Campus did a very timely and enlightening presentation for D2 students about the realities of finances once they head off to life after UWCEA. This presentation covered a slew of topics ranging from understanding the financial aid packages our students are receiving, student loans, credit cards, and overall fiscal responsibility. The presentation opened a lot of eyes, and will be repeated on the Arusha campus for the D2 students there as well.
It has become very apparent that a lot of our students have limited fiscal awareness, and as they head off to their post-secondary aspirations, it is essential that they have a clear sense of basic financial concepts. This is especially true if they are headed off to university in a foreign country, and with a large scholarship package that will require time to comprehend the fine print and the indirect costs that come along with a university education, especially in countries where the price tag is quite high. It is so important that families are having open and honest conversations about finances so that young people have the tools to go off into the world with the financial wherewithal to limit the mistakes that they make with money.
This week, we had the good fortune to participate in a presentation with University of Wisconsin – Stout campus (USA) where the admissions specialist talked about financial aid and scholarships in the United States. This presentation was done in collaboration with Education USA, which is an organization that you are encouraged to connect with in your home country because it is affiliated with the US Embassy. Luckily, the presentation was recorded, and made available immediately. Please take a look at the recording and/or PowerPoint slides when you have a moment. If the US is on your child’s possible destinations list it is never too early to start considering ways to finance your child’s education.
I can’t help but be grateful for the excellent resources that are shared by some of our UWC sister colleges. UWCSEA has put together a fabulous folder of international destinations to review. This is ideal for parents of students in M5-D1, but if a D2 has not started their search yet, or a M3 is interested in exploring early, we invite you to take a look at what they have put together to help begin the exploration of global post-secondary options. UWCSEA Parent Resource Folder for Global Destinations
In addition, there continues to be some confusion about how the UWC Davis Scholar Partner program works, and how students can become eligible for funding if they attend specific institutions in the United States. We are working to put together a parent presentation for D1 (and M5) parents in the next month or so, but the best place to start learning about these institutions is from the Davis Foundation, and the institutions themselves. Until we announce the presentation, please take some time to begin to better understand the way this partnership works, and the benefits to our UWC graduates by reviewing the information provided on this link.
As always, we want you to make sure to take some time to see what events are coming our way as the virtual visits list is starting to grow now that institutions are beginning their next recruitment cycle. Please take a look at upcoming events on this link, and sign up to attend one or two that interest you. Then talk with your child about what you learned and how this might apply to their post-secondary plans. D1s on both campuses are already underway with creating their plans. Please ask them to tell you about their thoughts and ideas thus far.
I would be remiss if I did not include anything from the social emotional side of this role this week. You are welcome to take a moment to view the March updates that have been added to the COVID-19 Counselor Resources document.
Take care and stay safe,
UWCEA School Counseling Team
Thank you all for coming out to the swim galas on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and making them fantastic events, displaying learning and skill. It is truly heart-warming to see students who couldn’t swim or struggling to swim 25m last year competing in a 50m race this year thanks to the hard work from Coach Sabini, the PE teachers, Mr Patrick, Ms Debbie B, Ms Christine and of course the students.
Thank you to all the staff, parents and D1 students who gave up their spare time to marshal, to time and help making the whole event possible. It is greatly appreciated.
I would just like to add, the number of times I have had students give me the excuse that they do not want to compete as it won’t make a difference (all participants get at least 1 point for their house per race in both Athletics and Swimming) and then the winning team takes the spoils by 1 point. Everything you do makes a difference, whether it is swimming your heart out and coming last and getting 1 point or choosing not to swim/participate. That is as true in sport as it is in life. That being said, here are the results.
3rd place – 305 points – Mawenzi
2nd place – 343 points – Kibo
1st place – 344 points – Meru
3rd place – 242 points – Mawenzi
2nd place – 275 points – Kibo
1st place – 282 points – Meru
Each swim event had a boy and girl category, the winner in each category (boy and girl) for each event received 7 points, 2nd received 5 points, 3rd received 4 points, 4th received 3 points, 5th received 2 points, 6th and below received 1 point each. These points were then added together, and the above scores were the result.
Beside you can see the inter house point categories for winners of different competitions. Which leaves the current running scores as below.
Meru has taken the lead and the competition is hot to trot. If the Mawenzi basketballers can get a win on Friday it will be even closer.
Don’t forget to support your team, the March Madness Basketball for M5-D1 will be this Friday at 2pm and the M1 to M4 will be Friday 26th 2pm, the Cook offs are on next Friday for Diploma and MYP the following Friday and the 5km fun run will be on March 12th at 2pm. So, plenty to get involved in.
Remember 1 point could make the difference, you could earn that point.
Next Friday March 12th 2pm is the 5km assessment run for our MYP students. They have developed plans in the hope that they are able to set goals, organise their time and train toward a goal. They have been training and preparing for this event since December so hopefully we will see some great times.
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
“Stay Cosy” Primary Movie Night
Simba’s Footprints would like to invite all PYP students to a pajama movie night on Friday 26th March from 4:00-6:00pm in Rafiki Hall. Entrance tickets will be 5000TSH and will include hot chocolate and homemade cookies. All the money raised will be donated to the Simba’s Footprint Foundation. More information about tickets will be shared soon.
Simba’s Footprints Foundation is engaged in after-school, skill-building activities with marginalized children in the neighborhood of Majengo. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we are unable to meet with the children at the moment. Therefore, we are doing all we can to help them from afar.
As we are raising money for Simba’s Footprint Foundation, the movie that was suggested by the Primary Student Voice is…The Lion King!
Wear your pajamas, bring a pillow and get ready to be cosy!!!
The Simba’s Footprint Foundation Team
P5s fanned the flames of the love of poetry this Friday by sharing two poems with us in their gathering. We enjoyed listening to The Train to Glasgow by Wilma Horsbrugh and The Small Ghostie by Barbara Ireson. Thank you P5. Next week, P2/3 will be sharing in the primary gathering.
We are almost there, the 100th day in school (Tuesday the 9th) is around the corner. To celebrate this day, various activities will be taking place around primary from 7:45am to 10:00am. This will be a free dress day. The children have been busy collecting and carrying out random acts of kindness even though the target has been reached. Well done Primary! We still have one target left to achieve by the end of Tuesday. Remember to send in dry or canned food items so that we can help our larger community.
The P6 students have commenced their Exhibition journey (PYPX). The children took part in a 2 day on campus retreat and participated in workshops about academic honesty and participating in action to name but two. Good luck P6. We look forward to seeing your final presentations on 19th and 20th May.
Lastly, a general reminder to all parents, take time to read with your children. It is our expectation that they read with you. Some classes require you to write a comment about their reading. Make time to partner with us to build and instil a love of reading in our students.
Deborah Mills & Mboka Mwasongwe PYP Coordinators
PYP Swim Gala
Tuesday 9th March 2021 marks the 100th Day In School. Student Voice is still looking to meet their target of 100 cans of food for the Moshi Community, as well as 100 Random Acts of Kindness. We’ve only got a couple days left, so help us out!
Primary Students, please remember that Tuesday is Free Dress Day, so come in your finest home clothes to celebrate the 100th Day in School!
Well done to all the children who participated in the swimming gala. They were risk-takers, swimming in front of a huge audience and having fun while doing so. The excitement continued right through to the following day, during the class swimming lesson.
P1s were excellent MCs this Friday during the P5 gathering. Well done for your courage and loud, clear voices. I am looking forward to watching them perform for their own gathering which will take place on the 19th of March.
This week we celebrated Trinity’s birthday. Happy Birthday Trinity!!
Phew! What a week. We started off by having Ivan D from D1 visit us and share his vast knowledge of space with the students. Using a globe, a flashlight and a tennis ball, Ivan showed the students how lunar and solar eclipses occur. He also answered a lot of questions that the students had for him. Thank you for coming and sharing your learning with us Ivan. We look forward to you coming back in and sharing more with us!
Then it was the Primary Swim Gala. What a glorious job the students did swimming different strokes and lengths. We’re all extremely proud of the accomplishments made. A special shout out to Ezra and Milo who were swimming in the age group above them.
We’ve been tirelessly working on the planet infographics so they are ready to share on Friday 12th March 2021 during the P2/3 Primary Gathering. If you have any egg cartons at home, we kindly ask you to share them with us on Monday to help the students with their 3D planet models.
It was another eventful week in P4! We’ve done lots of work with shapes and angles in Math while fitting in a review of rounding, greater than/less than and graphs. We narrowed our focus with our Inventions Unit to look at inventions in the history of transportation. It was fun looking at some of the major changes over the centuries. We have begun our Summative assessment- individual PowerPoint slideshows that highlight different inventors and inventions. The students are very excited about it!
The class did a fabulous job at the Swim Gala on Wednesday. Special congratulations were due to Scarlett who is still a beginning swimmer but offered to take on the races of an absent friend. Next week will be a normal week in our schedule (Monday- PE Swim, Wednesday- regular PE, Friday- Library).
The P5 children put on a great performance in Friday’s Primary Gathering. They used their voices to entertain the PYP by performing 2 poems. Many thanks to Ms. Lydia who gathered props and sorted out the microphones. Special mention to Vicky who brought in blankets for those children who did not have one. It’s been a busy week as the children also participated in the PYP Swim Gala on Wednesday. In class we have been looking at calculating the range and mean of a given set of data. Our sessions on the carpet have highlighted the need to practice adding several numbers mentally so we will work on this next week. The children have also worked with onomatopoeia and alliteration in their writing. Next week we will focus on similes, metaphors and personification. Deborah Mills
The P6 went home happy and tired, but also inspired for their P6 exhibition today following their retreat. The activities were nonstop this week with an amazing swim gala on Wednesday where the P6 were able to start the day helping their EC buddies in the pool. They also showed their balanced nature by completing fantastic historical fictions.
During the retreat they all showed their strengths, whether it be rock hopping, cooking, or problem solving. They were all engaged in thinking about their exhibition. They amazed me over and over with how well they can work together. We are all deeply grateful for Ms. Debbie’s help in sharing her experience and knowledge about the PYPX. We are lucky to have Ms. Catherine Shayo working with us in class. Catherine has worked with 8 other classes on their Exhibition and has a lot of expertise to share with us.
Next week we will wrap up the current unit about media, and they will share summatives on Friday. For home learning they will start to think about what issues they are passionate about, and will provide an ability to perform action, take trips, and interview others to learn more. Please provide support for this process, but remember, their topic comes from their interests and passions in life.