This is the last newsletter of 2019 and looking back over the year, we have seen many changes. Some families will be leaving us and we wish them the very best of luck in the future. We are sad to say goodbye to our Physics teacher, Teresa Sollero, and wish her every happiness as she leaves us to join her husband in Germany. At the start of the semester our community showed its warmth in welcoming many new faces and I know we will be equally welcoming to the new people that join us in Semester 2.
Changes have not just come in the way of people; around campus we have had a number of physical changes. From the new fitness area (shown below) to the changes in the kitchen and new facilities building, there have been constant building projects on campus. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, that is set to continue through the rest of the school year as we improve the facilities on our campus.
Change can be stressful. As we head off to he holidays, I would just like to extend my thank you to all of those that worked to make the changes of the past year positive.
Please remember that we have our end of quarter assembly Monday at 10:30am in K-Hall – all are welcome. Primary parent conferences are on Wednesday with Secondary Conferences on Friday.
I wish all of you a restful, peaceful and safe break and look forward to seeing you on January 13th for the start of the new school year.
It was lovely to arrive at school this morning and see an army of pajamas across the Primary School. This initiative was successfully organised by the newly formed Primary Student Voice as a “Spirit Day,” a way to promote togetherness and remind everyone about the power of community.
Today, our community spirit was palpable everywhere. In K-Hall, the morning started with a delightful Primary Gathering (the eighth of the semester!) where P4 shared the many people and things they are grateful for. This was followed by a presentation from D1 Eco Club students, reminding us to take action and conserve energy in our community by switching off lights and appliances. The Primary students were invited to design their own creative reminders to adorn switches across our school.
Following this, one of the M5 students (supported by her peers) hosted an awareness event in K-Hall which ran all morning. The aim of this interactive session was to raise funds and awareness of premature births in Tanzania and the challenges many people face on a daily basis. At the same time, over in Rafiki Hall, the tireless KCMC team were facilitating the latest community Blood Drive, at a time when there is a genuine shortage of blood in the region. As soon as the Blood Drive was over, a team of residential students arrived to set up for tonight’s in-house, student-led “Oasis” performance night. The theme of this event is “Love” and students will be showcasing poems and songs that celebrate and explore this theme.
As we come to the end of what has been an extremely difficult quarter for our community, it is important to remember why we are here. As students complete summative assessment tasks and teachers put finishing touches to reports, patience runs thin and emotions run high. Everyone is tired. Everyone is looking forward to a richly deserved break. At times like this, take a moment to step back and look around you. Remember a school is far more than what happens in the classrooms. Sometimes, you need to come to work wearing your pajamas to remember this. Pajamas are good for the soul after all.
Recently at the PTA AGM there were some new selections to the PTA Committee. This past week there was a handover from Jenny Renju, Maria Chauhan and Christine Brandsma to our incoming officers. Please welcome Pavz Dhani as Chair, Sabrina Larose as Tresurer and Volker Rathke as Secretary.
Thank you to all that PTA does for our school and to our outgoing members who have given generously of their time in these roles.
Thank you to everyone that participated in the blood drive yesterday. Currently the blood supply is dangerously low and the KCMC personnel running the drive were extremely thankful for the event yesterday. We had 94 people donate yesterday which is our largest turnout ever. Our next event will be in April so that there is the suggested minimum gap for donating. We look forward to seeing you there.
This has been a short but eventful week for Diploma Students. Many D1s took advantage of the long weekend to travel with their link families, others stayed on campus and caught up on work or relaxed.
The D2 students continued to work on Internal Assessments but we are approaching the time when these are all submitted and the focus is on the External Assessment. In preparation for this we have mock examinations starting on January 27th and the timetable for these has been issued to students. The majority of exams will take place in Rafiki Hall, as will happen with the actual examinations in May. For most subjects there will be the same style and number of papers as in the actual examinations but in a few cases where the option has not been covered yet, there will be one less. There are few gaps in the timetable but this is often the experience in May as well. Students should use these examinations as a chance to see what they know and how to revise moving forward.
The D1 students have continued with assessments as the teachers prepare their reports which will be issued next week. Ms Cassandra and I met them to talk about report grades and how they are calculated. We looked at the global results from May 2019 and the fact that in those exams only 7.3 % of grades were a 7, and that only 0.32% of students achieved the maximum of 45 points. It is important to realise that obtaining a 7 is unusual. After the reports are issued we will meet with individual students to discuss their progress and what their next steps should be.
Today was the blood drive and it was amazing to see so many diploma students coming to donate blood and also being there to support their peers who were donating. There were more than double the number of donations from the previous time. Thanks to the parents who gave permission for their children to donate and the teachers who allowed and encouraged donations during their classes.
This afternoon saw students from the Sparkling Elephant service group go off on the Hatari Elephant Hash, other students are going with their link families. I hope they have good weather and get to see elephants. Then on Friday evening the OASIS group organised an evening of poetry and music with a theme of love. Congratulations to students from the Diploma Programme who performed and particularly to those who had written their own poems. There was a lot of talent demonstrated.
From the Counselor
It has felt as though our heads have been in a cloud lately, but recent events have begun to bring more clarity and peace. Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining students from both campuses on a hike OP trip in Maasai lands. The serenity of our environment, and the sense of accomplishment from completing the two day adventure left us all in a much clearer state of mind than when we began.
The same was true for a special session that was held for D2 students during Life Skills this week. Dr. Marieke presented the medical benefits of sleep, and how it impacts the ability to retain information throughout the day. Sleep hygiene, quality verses quantity of sleep, and limiting intake of stimulants after dinner were also highlighted as key factors in creating healthy sleep habits. We were all encouraged to develop a routine to wind down and the importance of creating a device free sleep experience. Here is more information about the how beneficial sleep is to proper functioning at any age. https://www.ted.com/
Mrs. Marissa walked the students through a guided relaxation activity to reinforce the beneficial quality of good sleep, and she provided an opportunity to participate in upcoming yoga activities to continue exploring the skills that were introduced today. The room felt so serene as the students settled into a state of relaxation after completing various yoga practices and allowing themselves to just be present in the moment.
We also hosted another virtual presentation this week. Nick Rowland from University of Edinburgh and Lulu (ISM ’19), shared valuable information about this historic institution on Thursday afternoon. Beyond the wide array of courses that they have to offer, we also learned about the exciting research that is being done on their campus. The College of Science and Engineering is a very prominent department, and we learned about their different degree structures available in Scotland. The four-year program allows for a full year international exchange program. Their Degree Finder tool is a great resource for determining the best path for each individual. We truly appreciated an opportunity to hear from Lulu about her experiences on campus and continue to expand our post-secondary options.
Wishing you a weekend of serenity and relaxation, and hopefully a clearing of any clouds that you may be experiencing. As always, Ms. Ford and Mr. Kileo are here to provide counseling support when needed.
The penultimate week of this Semester began with the return of another weekend Cycling OP trip of 15 MYP boys and girls and Independence Day National Holiday last Monday gave our Residential Students and Staff a long weekend and the opportunity to relax, socialise and to perhaps catch up on some work.
On Thursday our P5 class went for their annual camping trip to Kahawa Shamba at Materuni. As well some of the Diploma students are away on an overnight Hash event at a local wilderness protection area.
Outdoor activities have continued to be somewhat of a challenge with the very prolonged ‘short’ rains this year, and our staff and students are to be commended for their grit and resilience.
On Friday a well-attended Blood Drive took place in Rafiki Hall in conjunction with KCMC Hospital, with quite a few of our older Diploma students donating blood. The same Rafiki Hall was used later in the evening by our students for their ‘Oasis’ open mic function, which provided an opportunity for some of our students to perform in front of a school audience.
School will be closing next Friday the 20th December for the much-anticipated Christmas Break. Could I please remind Parents/ Guardians to forward the travel details of their child to their child’s Residential Parent, as soon as possible? These details are needed to make school transport bookings.
As our staff and students head off to be with family and friends to so many different parts of the world, I would like to wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Holiday wherever you might be.
Recently, a group of 30 brave students from both campuses journeyed to the Manyara Region where they aspired to hike Mountain Hanang, the 4th highest mountain in the country. Accompanied by an amazing support staff of teachers and O.P. trip facilitators, they began their journey early Saturday morning and arrived later during the evening where they set up camp at the base of the mountain and prepared themselves to hike the mountain the following day.
The trip wasn’t without some unforeseen plot twists as issues such as a sudden change in the schedule due to heavy rains on the first day of the hike meant that the students now had to hike the mountain in 1 day instead of the scheduled 2 as it would have been dangerous to hike the mountain under such conditions. Despite such issues, the students managed to summit the mountain and arrive back safely. As an added bonus, thanks to the downpouring rains on the 1st day, the students got to enjoy an entire day of relaxing and socializing by the mountain base, while taking in the beautiful landscape.
The view hiking the mountain was amazing, after only one hour walking it was possible to enjoy the view of the low altitude clouds that made the sight poetic and unique; it was like a sea of clouds. As they trekked higher and higher everything became better and better. The path, albeit being steep, was comfortable enough to allow the students to enjoy the view of some amazing natural lakes, like Lake Manyara. Reaching the top made everyone euphoric. here they had lunch while enjoying spectacular sceneries and took some pictures, all of which will be a nice memory of the first UWCEA group summiting Mount Hanang.
Parent Teacher Conference The Parent teacher conference is slated for Friday December 20. Parents and/or guardians are encouraged to come and discuss their children’s progress. All appointments can be booked online latest by Wednesday Dec 18. Reports are scheduled for release on Thursday Dec 19.
M5 Personal Project On Friday Dec 13, we had an awareness campaign and fund raising on Premature Babies in Karibu Hall by one of the M5 students. This was part of the personal projects and we want to thank members of the community who attended, played various games and, most importantly, donated towards this noble course. The proceeds will be donated to Mt. Meru Hospital.
The other M5 candidates are beginning the final phase of their Personal projects by refining their reports. They will go home in December with feedback for their final reports. Draft 2 Reports are due by January 17 while final reports will be handed in on January 29, 2020. On this date reports must be accompanied by the Process Journals and evidence of completed products or outcomes. We still appeal to M5 parents to help students remain conscious of this important examination even as they enjoy the holiday.
MYP Service The Kea Service Group held a party for Kea Primary school pupils. They watched a movie (see picture) before celebrating what has been a very fulfilling quarter. At the moment MYP service groups are spending some time reflecting on this semester and using that to plan for the next semester.
Awarness Campaign on Pre-Mature Birth
I would like to congratulate and thank our whole Primary community for the successful quarter we have had. Parents, your support during the challenging period we faced recently and your involvement and presence during the school events like Primary Gathering, Spirit Days and Whole school assemblies, is much appreciated by all of us; students and teachers. In our last gathering led by the P4s, we said goodbye to our student teachers, Ms. Abby who worked with the P5s and supported our swimmers during clubs and Ms. Kindra who worked in the Secondary. The Diploma students also led some presentations and activities for the Primary children after gathering and the collaboration was great.
Primary PTCs are happening next week on Wednesday. If you are still facing challenges with the sign-up and would like to attend, kindly contact Mr Cofer or Ms Grace.
On the Thursday after the conferences we will hold our Inter-House competitions. These are fun challenges that earn students house points. All Primary will need to come dressed in their house t-shirts and comfortable clothing for outdoor activities. Kindly remember to pack your child a hat and drinking bottle.
P 1/2 in collaboration with Student Voice would like to host a PYP Fiesta on Thursday 19th December 2019 in the Community Garden. All of the primary classes are invited to attend.
We will have our end of quarter assembly on Monday, from 10:30 a.m. in K-Hall. We will celebrate all Primary students and the learner profile attributes they have displayed over the semester. The quarter ends on Friday the 20th of December at 9:40am.
I would like to wish you all safe travels and a pleasant break. To the families celebrating Christmas have a blessed one. I wish you all a wonderful crossing over to 2020 and look forward to seeing you all in the coming quarter.
The children have been finishing off their assessments and having a good tidy out of our little garden this week. We had a visit from P3 who shared their learning with us as well as a great assembly from the Secondary students.
Next week we have our conferences. I hope to see you all on Wednesday. School closes for the holiday at 9:40am on Friday.
P 1/2 Class
‘A cycle is like when a wheel turns around and around and it comes back to the same place.’
‘A cycle is when you do something over and over again.’
‘A cycle is when you use something again like recycle.’
‘A cycle is like when you are born, then you become big, like an adult, then you become a bibi or a babu and then you die and then another one is born and on and on.’
‘A cycle is like when a butterfly is an egg, then a caterpillar, then a cocoon and then a butterfly then it goes on and on.’
These are some of our thoughts this week as we explored the word ‘cycle’. Our discussions led to the question: ‘After the egg and before the caterpillar, is it called a grub or larva?’ We had to explore. The children watched the magic school bus as they explored butterflies. On Monday, we will keep on exploring a few more books to find out the answer and learn more about the butterfly cycle.
Ciara and Greener have taken over Ms. Elisha’s newsletter this week. In our class on Tuesday, we went to Music and everyone behaved very well. Normally, we can’t stop talking in class. Mrs. Kacey read us The Nutcracker and we really enjoyed it. Our favourite part was when the girl went to Candyland. We were definitely jealous of her being able to go there.
On Wednesday, Mrs. Kacey gave us a lot of math. Some of us enjoyed it, and others did not. We think some people didn’t enjoy it because they found it hard. We drew shapes and named them in math. That was a lot of fun.
On Thursday we drew what we thought the water cycle looked like. We watched The Magic School Bus and then went over the different parts of the water cycle. Both Greener and my favourite part of the water cycle is evaporation. I like it because it feels like flying, and I’ve always wanted to fly. We then used different modelling tools to make a collage of the water cycle. These are found in our class.
The P4 students presented beautifully during our Primary Gathering and have been so wonderful and committed over the quarter.
Great job to Rhea and Otis our P4 Student Voice reps for your first event this year. The Pyjama Day was a huge success. Thank you parents for your great support.
We will not be sending any homelearning tasks this week however I would encourage students to bring in an artefact and write about it. This will be kept in class until the end of the unit.
We will be having our Inter-house competition on Thursday, kindly send your child in a house t-shirt as well as comfortable pants and shoes for outdoor games. Remind them to bring in a hat and a drinking bottle.
Do remind your child to send in library books and any other school books. I wish you a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing most of you in for PTCs on Wednesday.
The P5 camping trip was a spectacular adventure for all. We began our hike with some lovely rain, which made us all very aware of the trail. It was slippery, but all hikers were safe. The rain let up, and we reached the waterfall for lunch. We were surprised that the waterfall was so powerful we could not even approach it. Our clothes were drenched as we attempted to take a group photo. Someone today described it like what they imagined a tornado to feel like.
We returned to camp to journal, do crafts, and play games, with the favorite being flashlight tag. We were all very thankful for the delicious food that the school prepared for us to take, as well as the safe transportation that got us to all our destinations. There was one moment when we all cheered for our great bus driver not getting stuck in the mud after the rain.
I hope you enjoy the stories they share this weekend!
Ms. Abby had her final day with us today in class. She will be missed, and we wish her well on her future adventures in teaching.
Today was pyjama day and the P6 demonstrated their great school spirit by coming dressed for rest! We are slowly bringing the semester’s activities to a close and are looking forward to the final week of school. The children will continue to work on the importance of plants on Monday and Tuesday of next week. We will continue our work on plants after the break and the children will make a slideshow to showcase their learning. This week we created strong passwords in anticipation of using our new email addresses. Wednesday of next week will be Parent Teacher conferences. I hope to see many of you there. The link for signing up has been emailed out to you. If you have difficulty making an appointment please contact Ms. Grace in the front office. On Thursday we will have a PYP wide house challenge day and an end of year party. The children should wear house shirts and bring a hat and a water bottle. School will finish at morning break (9:40 a.m) on Friday.