Thank you to everyone this week who joined us for either the face-to-face or virtual Parents’ Coffee. We will have one of each at least every term to catch up with parents, answer questions and talk about the school.
As you can see below, we had a few other events since the last newsletter and with the OP trips and Pamoja walk there were about 180 students from Moshi and Arusha out enjoying different parts of Tanzania. It is great when students get to expand their learning outside of the classroom and into the community. As things hopefully settle more into a normal setting, we will be able to expand this more into class trips and service projects.
Recently we mentioned to you the results of the IB exams. While some of our students are taking time off to explore or complete national service many are going on to university. With the campuses having the largest combined graduating class yet, we have students heading off to universities in 12 countries and counting, with most heading to the United States. The students heading to the United States are mostly attending the Davis Scholar Partner schools with over 50% of our graduates heading to one of these 100 universities. This partnership has greatly benefited the 2021 graduates as it looks like our students will benefit from a reported $17 million in financial support over their four years at university.
Over the next few weeks we have both a TEDx event on the Moshi campus and the UWC Day events themed around “Reimagining Tomorrow,” so please look for more information to come.
Bob Cofer – Head of Campus
P5 Need Your Help
We do a lot of work in and around the classrooms on helping each other deal with stress or, to give it a more positive spin, to redefine our relationship with stress. I often tell students and colleagues that people who carry stress are more likely to be living meaningful lives. If you are involved in important and significant things, a level of stress is inevitable but does it have to be negative?
After all, stress is a natural human response designed to help us. Stress manifests itself physiologically in many ways for different people. Learning to acknowledge these responses as natural, healthy signals is an important first step to redefining your relationship with stress. Too often, we automatically attach a negative emotion or interpretation to such feelings. Indeed, there is research (there always is) in neuroplasticity showing that changing this initial reaction can shift your neural pathways and, in turn, your physiology.
Our fifth Values statement showcases “Innovation over perfection within a supportive community where learners are motivated to embrace personal challenge and reflection.” Surely, stress is a natural byproduct of such an environment. If we are constantly seeking perfection, we are destined to always fall short and, therefore, experience stress. Adopting a growth mindset that focuses on progress and adding value frees you from the stress of perfectionism.
With this in mind, it is important to remember the IB Learner Profile attribute of Caring. Stressed people often do not project the best version of themselves so we should all strive to show empathy, compassion and respect. Everyone is trying their best…most of the time!
There are many people on our campus who understand a lot more about healthy coping strategies than I do. One thing they all seem to promote is the notion of starting with success in mind. The idea of mentally preparing yourself for any upcoming stressful situations and including things in your day-to-day life to help with this. Learning to be mindful takes time, practice and commitment and, in my experience, those who are quick to dismiss such ideas are often the people who would benefit from them the most. So, why not give them a go?
Ben Morley – Deputy Head of Campus
Mentor time on Monday was dedicated to team building. The students spent the time with their mentors playing various games from blindfolded Pictionary to guessing what was being drawn on their back to scavenger hunts. It was really enjoyable to go round and see what was happening. We do consider it important that students take the time to have fun and this reflects the learner profile balanced. We aim to have such sessions as a regular part of the mentor time schedule.
I am delighted we now have all our D2 students on campus and they are working well with the demands of this semester. There are many deadlines but with good time management they will be successful. They have not just been busy with academics but also taking part in CAS with many of them running clubs for their peers or younger students.
The D1 students were all busy last weekend on the Pamoja walk. They came back with a new perspective on life in Tanzania and for many of them it was a chance to see how fortunate we are here on campus. Hopefully all parents received my email last weekend confirming their child’s subject choices, if you didn’t, please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org. From now on if they change subjects or levels, they are required to get signatures from all teachers involved and an email from the parents.
This week has seen the introduction of our ujafamily programme to D1 students. This is an important part of the UWC movement where parents in the local community provide support for our students. It is open to all residential students and is seen as an essential part of life here for many. The term ujafamily comes from the Swahili word Ujaama which means togetherness and last year it was lovely to see the proud ujamamas and ujababas watch their ujachildren graduate.
Margaret Brunt – DP Coordinator
The D1 Pamoja Walk
“For me it was an incredible experience. Before the trip I was already very excited because I loved the concept and meaning of Pamoja (Together), and the journey we would go through to get to join the D1 students from Arusha.
During the hike, I got to see zebras, Gazelles and wildebeest for the first time in their natural environment – it was amazing. Even though we walked for over four hours and covered more than 16 kilometres, it felt quite peaceful due to the interesting conversations along the way. I got to know several of my companions a better and learned that we shared more in common with some of them than I thought we would.
Once in Pamoja the local students and adults received us in a wonderful way; I met several students and among the people of Arusha, I was able to share a lot with the Latin students. It was emotional because we had been talking for months but had never met in person. The next day, between the activities I managed to participate in “Water, water!” where we did a new water pipe to the school, and “Building Bonanza” helped to build a wall in a physics room. I ended up exhausted but happy to be able to contribute to help other people.
It was an incredible experience from start to finish, I hope to be able to participate in more activities like this soon.”
A life in the day of a new MYP Student:
“My first month in MYP Residential has been quite an experience… Being a residential student has its ups and downs, but one thing that I really appreciate and like the most, is the way that each of the girls in the Kiongozi dorm care for each other, even though we may not get along at times.
It is delightful knowing that I am a part of another family which makes me want to stay at school even more. Don’t get me wrong though, there are a few challenges… like adapting to living with ‘strangers’ as well as the new environment, and other misunderstandings which can be really difficult at times. However, what amazes me to be honest, is that despite all the challenges and adjustments, we are still able to work through it all at the end of the day. We also get to understand that we are different in many areas, some more than others, and that’s okay; because we are able to appreciate everyone for who they are.”
Two vastly different experiences from new students adjusting to life in the new norm – residential life. This weekend we look forward to the array of activities and focus on settling into routine, in what is our home, UWCEA – Moshi.
Simon Johnston – Head of Residential Life
The MYP team is thriving (students, teachers and parents), and we love where this journey is headed.
We had our very first MYP assembly on Monday, August 30th 2021. During the session, students shared their understanding of the MYP, expressed some concerns, misconceptions and above all excitement.
They were briefly introduced to the MYP framework, its constituents, the challenges and of course the spark in it that makes all the difference.
We are planning to have many more assemblies that will be student led and enriching for the whole community.
Service as Action
MYP Service as Action is taking place every Wednesday.
For M1, M2 and M3, we are doing it differently with them and focusing more on Service Learning from within the curriculum (particularly our Language Department) to meet changed MYP requirements. According to the IB, “IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.”
IB Service requirements are for students to participate in at least 2 service activities in every year of MYP (Service learning for a class and service outside of class, either with school or in the community), meet the 7 service learning outcomes, document in Managebac with reflections & evidence and above all have fun.
Project: Promote and encourage reading stories in English and other Languages (we can focus on Home Language)
M1- Create bookmarks for the stories they are reading in English class, stories in the library, stories they have read etc…
M2- Create new covers for the stories they are reading in English class, stories in the library, stories they have read etc…
Farah Fawaz – MYP Coordinator
Students were tasked with an observational drawing of two dung beetles using graphite pencil. There were many successful pieces, however here are some of the highlights.
Another successful weekend of OP trips completed last weekend. We had our committed hikers taking on Socialist Peak, the summit of Mt Meru. This is what one student had to say.
4562.13 meters in 4 days: and a 100% of success rate! From Friday to Monday, 19 students between the campus of Moshi and Arusha accepted the challenge of climbing the second highest mountain in Tanzania – and we had a lot of fun.
We arrived in Arusha National Park and while observing the maquette displayed in Momela Gate (the park’s entrance), we analyzed our route for the next four days: on Friday, we hiked until Marikamba Hut, 2500 m.a.s.l. The first leg of the hike was amazing! We could observe the beautiful park underneath us, and at the campsite, there was a platform that allowed us to observe Kilimanjaro in the distance – and Meru behind us.
On Saturday, we hiked to Saddle Hut, 3570 m.a.s.l, and after a quick pause, we summited Little Meru Peak, to help with acclimatization. We could see the change in the flora while hiking, noting the change in the climate as well. Going back to the hut, we went to bed and rested for a couple of hours, preparing ourselves for the summit.
At midnight, we got up, cover ourselves in as many layers as we could, and started to go for our aim: the Socialist Peak. For around 6 hours, we faced a technical climb in the dark, but for our safety, some chains were bolted to the rock to help us in the steeper areas. The sun started to rise behind Kilimanjaro when we were very close to the summit, and I think I can speak for everyone there, that was one of the prettiest scenarios that I have ever seen. At the top, the views were breathtaking, but so was the cold, and we had to leave after some minutes.
The hike back was very interesting because the sunlight allowed us to observe in detail the path we took earlier in the dark. We went back to Marikamba Hut to rest and on Monday, we went back to Momela Gate. We took an alternative route while descending, and we were able to see wonderful wildlife: herds of giraffes, buffalos, and zebras. We also visited the Tulusia Waterfall, and it was a refreshing end after the last part of the hike. Climbing Mount Meru was a unique experience, and we are so glad to be given this opportunity 🙂
Our OP program has had a huge sign up this semester due to the hard work from many people. This is definitely the case for the Plains branch of the program with over 80 students registered for the level 1 alone. This has led us to create a second level 1 trip to be able to accommodate all these students. As the 24hr run has been postponed this gives us a weekend where we can fit this trip. This weekend we have over 20 students out on Saturday the 4th and 5th of September on the first Plains Level 1 trip.
Robin Marsh – Experiential Learning Coordinator
From the Counselors
Is it playing FIFA on your X-box, walking barefoot feeling the grass tickling the soles of your feet, cuddling your dog, hitting the gym? Or perhaps it is that scoop of vanilla ice cream in your Saturday morning coffee?
What is YOUR little thing?
I am a true believer in self-care but also much aware of this busy thing called life. Homework piles up, after-school activities fill the calendar, relationships need to be nurtured, and before you know it, another week has gone and that miracle self-care routine that you have been recommended has gone even further…
What if starting small can make a difference?
In the next week, I invite you to reflect on the little thing(s) you do, that in various ways impact your wellbeing in a positive way. Write them down, and for each time you do them, bring a smile to your face and feel gratitude for doing YOUR little thing, simply because you are worth it!
Curious about what one of my things might be? If you ever see me have my packed lunch in the sun by a picnic table on campus, you know!
Enjoy exploring & remember, my door is always open if you need me!
College Fairs are underway across the globe. At UWCEA, our first college fair–Council of International Colleges (CIS) Exploration Day-Africa will take place virtually Wednesday, September 8th from 12-3 pm EAT. University representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Gibraltar, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Qatar and the United States will be available to chat with students. This experience is being offered and arranged for all M5 and D1 students to attend and D2 students upon permission from teachers. Once students register for the conference a full list of the universities and events are available. Registration information has been sent to students via email.
The conference will include:
12-12:30 Student Panel,
12:30-12:55 Education Sessions, and
Admissions in the Netherlands
Business Schools: Finding Your Perfect Fit
Study in Canada-A Grade “Eh”
Tips for the US Common Application: Personal Essay
1-3 pm University Booths with Reps
For the first time, the University Counselors across the 18 UWCs have organized efforts to address admissions outreach from universities to allow UWC students to attend two college fairs consisting of the Davis Scholar Partner Institutions only. Two sessions will be held to allow universities 1-50 to meet with students on Tuesday, September 14th from 4-6 pm and 8-10 pm EAT and then on Monday, September 20th from 4-6 pm and 8-10 pm EAT (new time change) universities 51-101. If you are thinking, “Wait! I thought there were 99 Davis Scholar Partners”, you were right. Recently, Queens College in North Carolina and Hampton University were added among the colleges eagerly seeking out UWC students for their campuses.
This week, ISM alumnae Dr. Shilan Shah-Davis, held a college-focused session with students called UK Tips and Tricks to the Application Process. Dr. Shah-Davis has worked in the UK for the past 20 years in various administrative and faculty roles. She currently serves as the Associate Head of Law, where she is involved in recruitment efforts. Dr. Shah-Daivs had a captive audience of UWC students interested in attending various UK universities for the 2022-23 academic year who were engaged in conversation and question/answers on Tuesday, August 31st. Students were excited and pleased to speak in-person with someone who could answer their questions. If you are an ISM alumni and want to share your insights with UWC students on college related topics, please email email@example.com.
Every school, every country is different. One of the important elements of working in diverse educational spaces like ours is to understand the culture of the school, rather than making wholesale changes. After four weeks, I have a better – and by no means complete- understanding of the school sports and activities culture. It has been excellent to see students participating in a variety of activities, including community service, Brownies, Swahili Conversation, football, ultimate frisbee, rugby, yoga, cooking, boxing, Afro-dance, chess, photography, cross fit and swimming, to name a few.
As we begin to plan for Quarter 2 activities, our goal is to build on the success of the activities offered so far. On that note, if you would like to offer or suggest activities for the second quarter (October to December), please let me know.
Gilbert Kaburu – Sports and Activities Coordinator
Thank you to Ms Sarah and the P6 children for their primary gathering on Friday which took place outside on the grass. The children learned a lot about plants as they circulated around the various stations and enjoyed listening to the entertaining and informative song (thank you Mr. Samuel). Our next primary gathering will take place on Friday, 17th September when P5 will present. We hope this gathering will take place at Kimbilio dorm, the new home of our primary residential students. The 17th September is also a Student Voice arranged Spirit Day on the theme of “When I grow up”. The children can dress as their imagined future selves and we will have a costume parade – start thinking now! Please note that next week the P5 class is collecting food and clothing items for the Amani Children’s Centre and the Mwereni Integrated School. There are donation boxes outside Room 16.
We’ve started off strong with a Spirit Day coming up on September 17th. We look forward to seeing you all dress up as what you want to be when you grow up. For those of you who are grown up…here’s a chance to follow that dream!
We’re also teaming up with Simba Footprint for a movie night on Friday October 1st. Watch this space for more.
This week we have been looking at how we behave in different places. One student mentioned that we need to have good manners. Asking the question, what do these words mean, the children shared a whole list of behaviours that they counted good or bad. The words please and thank you appeared many times, even during role play with the little ones. Please look out for how they use these words and commend them when they do so.
The little ones will be venturing into number work and number talks after looking at patterns all around them. Please have these conversations with them so that they build their knowledge of numbers from their life experiences. P1s will be working on comparing numbers using the greater/less than and equal signs.
Please look out for an email from me asking for volunteers this coming week. We would like to plan a surprise for the children.
This is what the determined face of an orange juice squeezer looks like! I’m not sure if the amount of satisfaction derived from a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice matches the amount of energy exerted in making it! Home made orange juice tied in nicely with our unit on keeping healthy. We talked about citrus fruits being an excellent source of Vitamin C; which helps us fight colds. It also ties in well with one of the letters we learned about last week “o”.
This week we’ve written short books, learned about the different food groups, and had a few good laughs about boogers, farts and sneezes! We’re definitely morphing into what a Ms Elisha class sounds like.
POW! KAZAAM! We’ve had a blast wrapping up on our comic books this week while also turning our attention to heroes from literature and from real life. We were excited to hear from Mr. Ben and Ms. Elisha on Friday and we’re looking forward to other guest speakers in the week ahead. It would be a delight if any willing parents who have a heroic story to share could pop in over the next 2 weeks! Please let me know if you’d be willing.
We will begin looking at biographies this week and instructions for our summative assignment (a poster about a Hero from History) will be coming home on Wednesday.
Tuesday- swimming (Hooray, it’s warming up!)
In maths we have been rounding numbers. We also spent a couple of days working with decimals, as the children regularly encounter them in relation to money and measurement. The children modelled wholes, tenths and hundredths and practiced recording length with a decimal point (see photo). We will examine this topic more deeply later in the school year. This week we have been using researching skills. The children investigated why girls should have access to education and what barriers sometimes prevent them from accessing this right. The children have been reading texts, highlighting key words and writing the ideas in their own words. This topic led to some lively discussions in class! Along with the right to have access to education, we have also considered that all children have the right to a safe home. With these rights in mind, we are liaising with two organisations in Moshi: Mwereni Integrated School which has a program for deaf and/or blind children and Amani Centre for Street Children. Please see the article nearer the top of this newsletter and read our appeal for shoes, slippers, clothes, beans, rice, oil etc. We plan to donate these items on September 14th so please help us collect some useful things that will make a positive difference to the children’s lives. There are boxes outside Room 16.
The P6 started off the day today with an excellent gathering. They shared a great song about plant parts and then moved into sharing six activities they have done throughout this unit. They presented with enthusiasm and knowledge while teaching the PYP about plants. Next week will be our last week of the unit. They will be putting their lines of inquiry posters together, writing lab reports about their experiments. Both of these will be shared on Friday.
We also would like to celebrate the end of our first unit with a plant-based feast. This needs parent participation, so please talk to your child about what they would like to bring in for next Friday. I will be contributing a salad, since my garden is full of lettuce. Anything that is prepared with roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits or seeds is welcome. I hope you have fun in the kitchen while preparing your dish. Part of their home learning will be to write the recipe and help in preparing the dish.