I have been involved in several conversations about environmental concerns and sustainability recently with staff and students from PYP through DP. These are always very interesting conversations that weigh up the very meaning of sustainability and how we measure it. I think this is the type of complex question we are trying to educate our students to tackle. We do not live in a simple world and therefore students that can see multiple perspectives, think critically and creatively and communicate well will be those that are in the best position to deal with these and similar issues.
If you have been on campus, you may have noticed that we are on phase 2 of the MYP girls’ residential house. In this phase we are connecting the two existing houses. As you can see from the pictures below the new building will have a few newer design elements starting with the very way it is built. The heart of the walls is polystyrene enclosed in a metal mesh that will have an outer and inner concrete shell. This gives the structure a solid construction, but also an added layer of insulation that will help keep the building cool. As planned this building should be more energy efficient and have less temperature variation than previous buildings.
Please see below the other things going on over the month of November. Please especially remember the PTA Quiz night on Wednesday with food starting at 6pm at the Moshi Club.
One last note, the maintenance team has completed the rebuild of the EC climbing frame. You can see a picture at the bottom of the newsletter.
Bob Cofer – Head of Campus
The PYP Exhibition is underway in the P6 classroom. We would like to invite anyone with expertise or knowledge in the following topics to come in and have an interview with the students. We would also like suggestions if you know of an organization in Moshi or Arusha that is connected to the topics they have chosen. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to provide some assistance to their research.
Women’s Rights and equality for girls – Rhea
Art as expression with a focus on abstract art – Vicky
Bicycling to help the community and environment – Otis
History of toys and how they help children develop – Nadia
Cultural Cooking of East Africa – Madiba and Solomon
Homelessness and children’s right to have a home – Christian
Access to electricity and how it affects quality of life – Walter
Healthy Diets and access to food – Ethan and Akil
Music with a focus on singing, making, and sharing music – Kaisaar and Jonathan
Poaching with a focus on rhinos – Josephine
Thank you for your help!
As has been referenced here many times, one thing that underpins the UWC Movement is the deliberate diversity of its schools and colleges. The educational model is built on a set of principles that aim to help students reach their potential-academically, morally, socially and emotionally. The different schools each have their own distinct identity but they are united by a set of common values. The first two values are:
Education should take place within a diverse college community. Students should be selected from regions and social groups that reflect the wide range of tensions among and between people.
Education requires active promotion of intercultural understanding and the development of genuine concern for others, founded on shared life experiences, and cooperative and collaborative living. This includes talking about and engaging with global issues in the pursuit of peace.
Of course, any guiding statements are only ever as impactful as the people who live and breathe them every day. In fact, another shared value is:
Community interaction is at the heart of school life. This requires the full and active participation of all members of the school or college.
The idea is that it is an education built differently and that students will leave school with a strong academic foundation but, perhaps more importantly, also a stronger understanding of themselves, the world around them and the power to help others.
There is always too much happening to capture in these (already long!) newsletters but, this week, the Kiongozi residents organised and hosted another successful semi-formal, the Student Government invited everyone to dress in special clothes and colours to recognise Diwali, the Current Affairs Discussion Group held their first meeting, countless students spent time painting and decorating our soon to be reopened Social Centre and so on to fade. Community interaction is certainly at the heart of our school and I for one feel proud that our campus reflects a global diversity that enhances connection, sharing, debate and community living. In turn, this will only encourage opportunities for growth, empathy and understanding.
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
The deadlines for the D2 students continue and they still impress me with their attitude. The few students who are unable to meet the deadlines communicate with me to discuss this. On Thursday they received their reports. For many there was an impressive set of grades and effort grades. For some however there are concerns but I had some very positive conversations with them about what they need to do.
On Wednesday we discussed the TOK essay titles. The TOK essay represents 66% of their assessment in TOK and is based on one of six titles. For example, “How can we distinguish between good and bad interpretations? Discuss with reference to the arts and one other area of knowledge.” Teachers introduced students to the titles, discussed key words and how they can interpret the title. Students need to decide which title they will write on and what examples they can use to justify their ideas. The draft is due in December.
A large group of Diploma students are currently in Fish Eagle Point on the OP trip and doing their Open Water Dive training or the advanced diving certificate. Good luck to all of them.
Margaret Brunt – DP Coordinator
This week in residence we had our third ‘semi-formal’ dinner in which a certain residential house plans a theme, sets the event and we come together as a diverse community to celebrate the unique character of that house. For this occasion, it was Kiongozi’s (young leader) opportunity to lead the way and in doing so, becoming the first MYP to host the night. To summarise the occasion, it is best said through the students and I thank Jo-Angeline and the others for the update below:
“Planning the special dinner as the Kiongozi dorm was both enjoyable and nerve wracking. We had several dorm meetings to decide on a theme, and we all got to choose what we wanted to do to make the dinner a success. Some people preferred to speak, while others preferred to choose the music, produce questions for the inclusive quiz and create the slideshows. We went into it hoping we could create the same lively atmosphere, as the Kisiwa dorm set a high standard for all of us. The process brought us all together, we watched different people take the lead and guide as well as those who went above and beyond for the dinner. It was great to see all the MYP girls from M1 to M5 working together as this is something we rarely do due to our multiple arrays of activities and CAS projects throughout the week.
The night felt surreal, there was a mixture between nerves and excitement as we got to watch all our planning come together. Although it was a long process, it was a rewarding and worthwhile experience.”
From my perspective as Head of Residential Life, I witnessed the dorm come together and watched from the back as our PYP students engaged with our MYP and Diploma peers, laughed, competed, and relaxed. It truly signified what our residential community is all about.
In addition to this, I am excited to see the progress with our Makutano Lounge take shape as students work over the weekends painting, designing, and creating a new common area for not just students, but all members of our community.
Please feel free to come in for a coffee and relax when in this new lounge throughout the day or afterschool – as it is a place for all to enjoy.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
The Assessment Criteria Story Growth Mindset Episode #4
“Not everything that can be measured is important, and not everything that is important can be measured” Albert Einstein
One of the main challenges of the MYP progrramme is “demystifying” assessments and approaching this topic with a different mindset to what we are all used to as educators, learners and parents when we hear the term “assessment”.
If you take a second now to just jot down your initial thoughts with regards to what you just read, it is almost guaranteed that the following words made an appearance:
Why do we assess learning?
We do not assess students’ learning to quantify their abilities nor do we do that to make sure they are studying what is taught in class. This is where the mindset shift begins. The MYP team (educators, learners and parents) should work together to develop an understanding that assessment is part of the leaning journey that enables us to:
support learning with appropriate
include students in their success
promote positive attitudes towards learning
measure the learning process
help teachers adapt planning and teaching
help students develop critical thinking
help students with reflection and self-evaluation
So, it is not about grades that simply show what students know. It is not about getting a standardized set of points for completing certain tasks, activities and even demonstrating certain forms of behavior. There is no addition process that quantifies learning in the MYP programme and translates to a common language that is either black or white. It really shows how “gray matters.”
MYP assessment increases emphasis on:
thinking about planning, teaching, and assessment as an integrated process
using a range and balance of assessment strategies to allow students to show what they know (formative and summative assessments)
pursuing student responses in order to evaluate their learning progress
providing regular and ongoing feedback throughout the learning journey
what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages in the learning process and to provide a basis for best practices
assessing the process of learning and not simply the product
MYP assessment decreases emphasis on:
isolating planning, teaching and assessment
relying on one assessment strategy or tool that identifies learning in one “common” way
finding the “right” answer
ending a “learning chapter” with a test
Our students are all different and have different learning strengths. MYP assessment allows room for that in order for each student to equally access and explore learning according to their achievement abilities while reaching the MYP programme aims.
The MYP assessment strands in each criterion are linked to the learning objectives in each of the eight subject groups. Each level describes what a learner can do based on the command terms which describe the level of thinking the student has demonstrated. This demonstrated where the student is at this stage in the learning journey and not who the student is a as a learner. This “where” is not static and will change because of the nature of the MYP programme.
We will conclude this very dense discussion with an invite for you to reflect on the above keeping in mind that the assessment process in the MYP programme moves from assessing how students demonstrate what they:
can do/ are doing
How can we link all of the above to the criteria objectives and strands?
*Please click on this link and complete the survey in order to help us better collaborate as the MYP team for best practices that can ensure a fruitful learning journey.
Farah Fawaz – MYP Coordinator
Primary Schools Athletics Meet at Arusha Campus
We had 28 students from the primary school represent us at the NTSAA primary schools athletics meet on Friday. Our students gave a good account of themselves, and there were some outstanding performances from our athletes. Out of 8 schools, we came fourth, with the Arusha campus a close third, Braeburn second and St. Connies first.
Thank you to Mr. T for working so hard with our primary students, and Ms. Grace, Ms. Nadine and Dr. Kitomari who chaperoned the team.
Sports this week We have an exciting week of sport coming up. Our secondary Leopards team will be in action at the NTSAA Secondary Athletics Day at the Arusha campus on Saturday.
On Saturday 13th November, we have the NTSAA Secondary Swim Meet at St. Constantine’s in the morning before heading to the UWCEA Arusha campus for a 16 & Under Boys and Girls Basketball friendly match in the afternoon. This will be followed by the biggest sports event in our sports calendar, the Sports Weekend, from the 19th to the 21st of November.
Sports Weekend As always, Sports Weekend is a huge event, with 7 schools, over 600 athletes and coaches descending on our campus. There will be many exciting moments, several accomplishments and some tears along the way. As the athletes exert themselves on the field, a huge number of people will be working behind the scenes to make the event a success. From housing and residential staff to security, from the cafeteria staff to school ambassadors and sports managers. Please recognise that some things will take a little longer to get completed.
Gilbert Kaburu – Sports & Activities Coordinator
This weekend we have a large group of students on the Level 3 Reefs trip and next week have the Level 2 Plains and Level 3 peaks to Mt Hanang. This is what the Reefs group are currently up to:
Yet again, GO LEOPARDS!! What an awesome team our PYP students make. They headed off to the NTSAA athletics meet in Arusha and participated with all their might. The support they showed one another is a statement of what a close community we are.
Do not forget to lock the 3rd of December in your diaries as mentioned last week. The children take time to prepare their presentations for the PYP sharing assembly and they love to perform in front of parents and the wider school community. On Monday, 6th December there will be Parent Teacher conferences when you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress over the semester. More details regarding the appointment sign up will be shared later.
Tuesday, 7th December will see our P6 students presenting their PYP Exhibition. The P6 classroom is a hive of activity at the moment as the children carry out research and prepare to visit places in the community that will help them with their inquiries. Please take a look at the article detailing their areas of inquiry above. If you are able to help in any way, Ms. Sarah and the children would be pleased to hear from you.
Mboka Mwasongewe & Deborah Mills PYP Coordinators
The class is busy starting to work on their activity choices to show their knowledge gained through research. We have reviewed the process of brainstorm, first draft, edit, final draft, and publish. They have been asked to complete two of these activity choices during home learning time and must follow all the steps above for each one.
The first surveys have been sent out to the school community, and are already receiving some responses. Please ask them to share them with you so you can complete them as well. You are welcome to forward them onto other friends and family members too. The more responses we get the better for their data collection. They will learn how to use the computer to turn this data into graphs for their display board.
Next Tuesday is the end of our fraction unit. Please send in ingredients to share for the class to make trail mix. Examples: nuts, cereal, popcorn, dried fruit, candies, etc. I will send out a google doc where you can sign up for an ingredient or add one to the list.
As part of our unit of inquiry into migration we have been inquiring into the effect that migration has on a community’s culture. On Thursday the P5 children presented an aspect of their culture to their peers. We learned about music, food, dance, sport, clothes, language, celebrations, family unity and more. Thank you to everyone who attended and special thanks to Ms. Lydia who worked with the residential children to prepare Sukuma and Ugandan style food. It was a lovely day and we saw first hand what a diverse community we are and how everyone brings something interesting to the group.
One group of migrants that we have been learning about are refugees – people who have migrated due to risks to their safety or enormous challenges. Last week we sent an email to Atem, a boy from South Sudan who fled to Uganda when he was 9 years old due to a war. Atem is hoping to join UWCEA in M5 but is currently facing difficulties with his paperwork. He has sent us a letter explaining his story so far and how the thought of joining UWC keeps him resilient. Next week we will be writing our replies to him. In maths we will be looking at division as it connects so well to our recent work on multiplication (we will revisit this topic again in Semester 2).
Another great week in P3/4! We enjoyed our focus on the states of matter this week and will be wrapping up the unit next week. Has you child showed you that they can prove that air takes up space? The class marveled in that simple experiment that we did! Next week, we will be considering changes to states of matter as well as solutions and mixtures. On Friday, students will share about the experiments that they’ve done at home! Please let me know how I can support you with this project in any way. Also on Friday, we’re looking forward to going to the secondary laboratory for an experiment with Ms. O’Brien!
After our focus on Author’s Purpose in reading, we will begin looking at inferring meaning to texts. This should be fun for students as we’ve discussed inference in understanding science. Our Math will be a blend of early multiplication and measuring. It is a normal week ahead. Please do be sure to send in hats and water bottles as the students are noticing the heat (particularly on Thursdays for PE). A number of students have been struggling a bit with keeping energy to the end of the school day. Thank you for your support with this!
This week the P2s have been working on writing about their communities. The students have been brainstorming the people and places in their communities and the different things they can do. This has been a challenging task for many of the students, it required them to narrow down to the specifics of the communities they chose to write about. We have short informative pieces on TPC, Moshi and the most popular community – UWCEA. Parents will be receiving a copy of their child’s writing piece by next week.
We have been working on addition this week in math. The students have been adding a range of 1-3 digits and some are beginning to work on identifying the missing factor in an addition sentence.
A big congratulations to the P2 students on their achievements in Arusha this weekend!
After looking at the butterfly and the bug hunt near the pool and at the EC playground, the children decided to explore ants. P1s have begun to create an informational report about them. They have looked at their habitat, food and body parts. EC will be creating ant art this coming week and continuing their explorations at the playground. Ants can be dangerous, so please do talk about different types of ants and how to handle them. The class will be working on creating a model of an anthill this coming week as well.
We would like to say thank you to the school and to all who participated in making the EC playground renovations. The children have begun to enjoy their playground time again.