An interesting part of my job here is that I am given the opportunity to talk to many people. This of course includes students, parents and community members; but it also includes many potential families or potential new teachers. Given the varied nature of the people I talk with, I am often presented with new opinions or ideas. My opinions, of course, do not match with everyone, because that would frankly be impossible. However, that is actually what makes the conversations so interesting. If you always agree with someone, you do not actually need to think too much about what you believe. However, when you are having a true discussion with differing viewpoints, you really need to think hard about the essence of your beliefs and how to convey this to another person. Of course it can be challenging and frustrating but, perhaps, that is the point, to challenge what we hold true. So, I hope everyone has a challenging and fruitful conversation in the next week.
Please note that the D2 students will be finishing up their Mock Exams next week and will be restarting classes. I would also like to welcome back Sanna who is rejoining us after her maternity leave.
The observant amongst you may have noticed a few more Mr Morleys on campus than usual today! Fear not, we are not taking over, this was all part of our “Dress as a Teacher” day across UWCEA. This was another excellent “Spirit Day” initiative from the Primary Student Voice who are constantly looking for ways to celebrate and promote a sense of community across our campus.
I have spent most of this week locked away in Rafiki Hall, invigilating the D2 Mock Exams. Some might argue that asking students to study for and sit mock exams a few months before the final exams in May is unnecessarily cruel.
However, studies suggest that 75% of students consider themselves to be procrastinators. The author of one of the biggest studies on procrastination, researcher Piers Steel, states that “the further away an event is, the less impact it has on people’s decisions.” However, the research also suggests that testing yourself is an effective way to improve your knowledge and ability to recall information. In a study on mock exams, researchers found that students who sat a practice test after a period of revision performed better on the final exam than those students who did not sit a mock exam and had just spent the whole time revising.
We want the D2 students to see this week as a fantastic opportunity to improve their knowledge and memory. Mock exams are a great opportunity for students to figure out what works best for them under exam conditions. As my English teacher used to say, it is better to have a “shock in the mock” than in the main event! Besides, if students are disappointed with their mock results, it can serve as a call to action or the inspiration needed to change revision strategies or seek further support.
However, the last thing any of them wanted to see when they stepped out of Rafiki Hall this morning after their English, French, Swahili, Business Management, Chemistry or Psychology exam (!) was an army of students dressed like teachers. Now, that is cruel!
From the PTA
The PTA would like to invite you and your children to participate in a fundraiser for our fantastic Sports Department at this year’s Primary Sports Weekend on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February.
We hope to provide some fun ‘country fair’ type games for our own and the visiting children to enjoy. For example, Reuben, Savannah, Tiago and Mr Owain will be running the ‘buried treasure’ game that you see in the picture. Each guess will cost 1000TSH and the eventual winner receives a nice prize.
If you have an idea for a game you would like to run or have any questions, please let Mr Owain know by visiting him in EC or by contacting him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get lots of ideas with a Google search “ideas for fun fair games.”
The PTA can support you with a small amount towards materials and/or prizes if you wish, although expenses would be best kept to a minimum by recycling materials where possible. After all, we are fundraising!
Looking forward to a great weekend of sports and games!
Our U19, U15 and U13 teams did us proud last weekend in the NTSAA netball tournaments in Arusha. Congratulations to both the U19 girls and the U13 mixed teams for their second place finish in the tournaments.
Our calendar falls quiet for the next 2 weekends and, then, on the 14th and 15th February it explodes back into action with the Primary Sports Weekend to be held here at UWCEA Moshi. We have 10 different schools competing from Arusha, Dar, Morogoro and Mombasa. On Friday 14th, why not treat yourselves to some scintillating Touch Rugby action from 2:00pm-6:00pm for Valentine’s Day. On Saturday 15th, we will have the soccer and swim meets starting at 8:00am and concluding at 4:00pm. The PTA will have some snacks and drinks available for refreshment, so come along and support our primary students.
Outdoor fitness area
Our outdoor fitness area next to the pool is now complete. Feel free to check it out. Parents and community members please come to talk to me in the design room beside the Duka if you would like instructions on how to use some/all of the equipment.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a fitness area and is in no way suitable for children of primary age or below. Parents please be informed and inform your Dada’s that under no circumstances may young children use this equipment. MYP students under the age of 16 may only use this equipment under the supervision of an appropriate adult (PE teacher, approved club leader). Students 16 years and above may use this equipment whenever they are free but only after instruction from either Mr. Marsh, a PE teacher or approved club leader.
Thank you in advance for your support in keeping this area safe and, as a result, open to our community.
Coach Charles is offering free group lessons for tennis for P3 and P4 students on Mondays at break time and for P5 and P6 students on Tuesdays at break time. If your child is interested in this, please contact Mr Marsh as there is a limit to the number of students who can take part. He is also running group lessons on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-10:30am for 10,000TSH / session / participant. If your child would like private lessons, they are available as well for 20,000TSH per session. Please contact Charles on 0757606766 if you are interested in the group or private sessions.
It is approximately one month until the Kilimanjaro Marathon and our MYP students are midway through their training. If you are in Diploma and would like to take part, please contact Ms O’Brien ASAP (email@example.com). If you are a parent who has a primary child wanting to take part in the 5km fun run, please contact Mr. Marsh ASAP, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Leopards Robin Marsh
This has been an intense week for D2, they have had two or three exams every day. Their behaviour and support of each other has been excellent. They are taking this chance to show what they know seriously and have learnt a lot about the style of each paper and how to handle the exam situations. Most of them will return to class on Tuesday and will be getting their exam papers back from the teachers. A report giving their grades for the mock examinations will be issued on the 19th February.
They will be having mock orals for Language A next week and, then, the final orals a few weeks later. The orals for Language B and the final CAS interviews will follow. Full details will be sent to students soon.
On Thursday, we have a Canadian University Fair which will be open to both D1 and D2 students. Elsewhere, the conversations about student led events and clubs have continued with D1.
With our third week in school close to completion, our Residential Students’ Activities Programme has begun to take shape. Last weekend, our older MYP and DP students enjoyed a Saturday pool party, accompanied by barbecued food very kindly served by the school kitchen, and a music list compiled by the students. It was a great success. Swimming, socializing, eating good food and listening to music was a great way for our students to relax after a hard week of academic studies in school. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Juma for agreeing to lifeguard this event and to Ms. Tahera and her kitchen staff for catering for us.
On Sunday, a number of our pretty tired but inspired resident students also returned from another successful OP Trip to the South Pare Mountains.
On Wednesday evening, 7 of our D1 students, plus chaperones, attended a Movie Night at Keys Hotel to watch ‘The Kite Runner.’ This regular Movie Night, held on the last Wednesday of each month, is organised by Mr. Coy Buckley, a friend and parent of our school and we are very grateful to him for his open invitation to our students. Feedback from the returning students was extremely positive and we are now hoping to make this a regular monthly event in our Activities Programme.
This coming weekend, there is another OP cycling trip leaving on Saturday which will involve a number of our resident students. We will also be running another pool party this coming Saturday for our younger PYP and M1-M4 students. I am sure that they will all have a great time. The arrangements are also coming together for a DP Saturday morning/afternoon trip to the Hot Springs out near Boma Ng’ombe.
Our D1 students are also very keen to start holding some Cultural Nights, during which they hope to showcase different aspects of their own cultures. I am hearing that a Latin American themed event is perhaps being planned as we speak?!
Congratulations to the D2 students who have almost finished their Mock Exams. General feedback from Mrs Brunt, our DP Co-ordinator, is that it has been a very positive week, and that the DP students should be commended for the way in which they have conducted themselves throughout the week.
From the Counselor
This week we hosted Ms. Janet Mbithi of the Swiss Education Group as she shared information about the summer programs they offer to prepare students for specializing in the expanding hospitality industry. This led me to thinking about the importance of starting to explore and finalize plans for the long July/August break while the options are still plentiful. Below are links I have shared with the D1 students, and want to open up to the community as you discuss and decide how your summer will be spent. For our M5 and D1 students, this summer offers an array of programs designed to help them explore their future career or college/university interests.
It has come to my attention that there are parents concerned about their children’s use of technology and electronic devices, and you are seeking support in your efforts to encourage a healthy relationship with technology. Although I do not have all the answers, I want to share with you the website for Common Sense Media where you can find a plethora of resources to assist you in making decisions about appropriate technology for your child, and how to have difficult conversations with them about digital citizenship.
Please take a look at this site when you have a moment if you would like to explore more of what you can do as a parent with tech savvy child(ren): https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
Also, a couple of years ago, I had the eye opening experience of watching the documentary Screenagers at an international school counselor conference. It sparked a lot of conversation, and they have provided resources on their website to continue to explore the topic. Please feel free to learn more via this website if you are interested: https://www.screenagersmovie.com/
Canadian University Fair
If you are interested in bringing your expertise to our school community during the course of the school year, please go to this link and complete the form so that we can reach out to you for future events.
Asante sana, and that’s all (I can think of) folks.
M5 Personal Project Exhibition
We welcome all members of the community to the Personal Project (PP) Exhibition on Tuesday 11th February, from 10:35am to 1:45pm in K-Hall. The highlights include a specially designed robotic vehicle, programmed to sense and extinguish fire (see picture).
The PP is a culminating and significant body of researched product or outcome developed over an extended period of time by M5 students.
It provides an excellent opportunity for a student to produce a truly creative piece of work of his/her choice and to demonstrate communication, collaboration, organization and thinking skills as they strive to be affective and reflective throughout the research process.
M1 Maths Trip
The M1 students had the opportunity to travel to Kibosho Road on Wednesday where Ms. Marissa and her family are building a cob house. They learned about ratios as they mixed together sand, clay, water, and straw.
After each batch was made, the students worked together to toss or carry the “cob” to the wall where other classmates were waiting to apply the mixture to the walls. They learned the technique for applying cob…”don’t slap the cob!” Together, they added at least 10cm of cob to the walls. This was a truly engagin trip as students communicated in Swahili, explored the science behind what makes strong cob and strong walls, put design techniques into practice and used tools, such as a level and measuring tape to make sure the walls were straight and strong. What a good (and muddy) time for all!
This weekend, a group, consisting largely of M1-M3 students, is off on a camping and cycling trip as part of the OP Programme.
The KEA group visited KEA Primary School on Wednesday, working with the students there to design cards. The students and staff were delighted with the results. Some of the cards were left on display at the school following a request from the school’s administration. Elsewhere, the Pamoja Tunaweza group camped at the project office in Moshi town for a planning session with the boys who have been rehabilitated from the streets. Their key agenda this semester will involve teaching these boys computer skills. The Day Care Centre group was also on sight, sharing some colouring and art games with the children.
The Primary teachers had a great time this week, learning more about how to use Mangahigh as a tool for practicing Mathematical concepts through learning activities and games. In our setting, where inquiry is the order of the day, curiosity is our way of life. It has been very interesting to follow the P6 inquiries on conditions in which plants grow. The experiments they created were very intriguing and educative. The P4s had a wonderful learning experience as they viewed the Google slides the P6 had created about their unit.
It was so heartwarming to see our Community Carers Service Club, led by Ms Heloise, serve the Admin staff coffee to remind them they are appreciated.
Next week, we have the P3s going for their camp and the P6s going on their PYP Exhibition retreat with students from the Arusha campus. We wish them all the best and look forward to hearing their news.
“In play a child is always above his average age, above his daily behaviour; in play it is as though he were a head taller than himself” Lev Vygotsky.
“Creativity becomes more visible when adults try to be more attentive to the cognitive processes of children than to the results they achieve in various fields of doing and understanding” Loris Malaguzzi.
“Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought” Albert Einstein.
In the photo, you can see two children engaged in creative play. The set-up has been intentionally arranged to a certain extent by the teacher- who in this case is hoping for the children to explore aspects of their visual world. Paired work at the station allows for the children to explore and combine ideas and findings.
The teachers are able to observe and learn more about the cognitive processes at work, allowing us to provide future provocations that hope to scaffold and support the child to become ‘a head taller.’
Most life cycle projects are now complete and you will be able to see them on our display board outside our classroom from Tuesday. A few group members have been absent from school due to illness so we are hoping they will return soon to finish them all off.
Apart from our normal work, we will be working on our presentation for Primary gathering. You are welcome to come see us act on the 7th of February. The children are putting together a short skit for you. If possible, please help them wear white and yellows for the day.
We will also begin our new unit this coming week. We will be looking at how the weather influences the location of living things. It links in perfectly to our present unit on natural cycles. Our lines of inquiry will focus on maps and globes, how the weather affects living things or the earth and how we make choices because of our environment.
This week’s P3 investigation is Book Creator. We are using Book Creator to illustrate and publish our onomatopoeia poems that students worked on with Ms. Sarah last Friday. In addition, we have been focusing our energy on Math this week. There has been lots of 2 and 3 digit adding happening in class.
I encourage parents to continue practicing adding and subtracting with students so that they become increasingly familiar with the symbols for both the operations.
We have also created posters of the Water Cycle and composed stories about what happens to a drop of water that goes through the cycle. We are going to share these stories with the EC class. The stories will then be in the students’ portfolios and available to view there.
A reminder that the deadline to return forms, pay and order food for camp is Monday morning. After this, I shall be sending a final list to Weru Weru Lodge so they can prepare for our arrival. Camp will be taking place from 11:00am on Thursday 6th February to 11:00am on Friday 7th February. Students can be collected from school after we return from camp. Please also remember to pack a snack and lunch for Thursday 6th February as will not arrive at Weru Weru Lodge until about 4:00pm.
The P4s have been busy with digital stories, making cultural artifacts and Math assignments on Mangahigh. We are moving towards summing up and celebrating our unit and we will have our Cultural Art Exhibition on Monday 10th February from 8:00am.
In the coming week, we will continue to work on the art and language projects but also build on to concepts around Shape and Space. We will be focusing on vocabulary related to 2D and 3D shapes as well as identifying right angles in shapes.
The P4s will be going on camp on the 12th and 13th of February. Consent forms, a packing list and letter outlining the details will be sent to you soon.
“Cranium, clavicle, patella, phalanges, patella, phalanges…” We had fun this week playing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes with our newly learned names for bones of the body. We kicked off our new unit about body systems on Monday. Along with that came many questions about the human body. The class has brought home a list of those questions, and I invite you to sit and talk about the amazing human body with them. Some of the questions are not quite appropriate for the classroom, but still worthy of answers.
Thank you for those who were able to send in food for our fraction feast. We enjoyed cake, chapati, chocolate, and fruit. We were even able to share with two visiting students who were staying with a classmate. On a final note, I would like to reach out to the parents who are doctors in our class community to see if you want to come in and share your knowledge over the next month.
We shared out Google Slides presentations on plants with the P4 students this week and brought our cress investigations to a close. The children have shared a note on Seesaw detailing what they have learned about the conditions necessary for seeds to germinate.
Those children whose sunflowers did not germinate have planted more seeds – hopefully these ones will be more successful! The children have been busy in Maths calculating the mean, range, mode and median of a given set of data. They have also collected information about each other using the Google Forms that they compiled with Mrs. Brunt last week.
Next week in Maths, we will start looking at fractions. We have our P6 Retreat in Arusha on Monday and Tuesday and will work alongside the P6 Arusha students to learn information about the PYP Exhibition. We have also made plans to work with two of the D1 students on Moshi campus: Bridget is going to visit us to plan a fundraiser for the koalas hurt in the Australian bushfires and Albe is going to teach us how to make movies. We have an exciting week to look forward to!