A School Day
We believe that our broad-ranging curriculum is one of our greatest assets, and something that sets us apart from other schools. From an early age, our children take part in a large variety of subjects, giving them diversity and a mix of educational opportunities to meet different learning styles and interests. Although we offer many paid extra options, we also include many of these in our standard curriculum, to give a taste of what they involve to all pupils. This includes subjects like Adventure Learning, STEAM, Rhythm & Dance, Tennis, Squash and Design Technology. We want our children to be challenged academically, but also to be exposed to non-academic subjects that give them a break from traditional pencil and paper disciplines, and appeal to more kinaesthetic learners. We are very proud of our Kenyan roots, and children also study Kiswahili and Kenyan Citizenship.
In Pre-Prep, the Junior and Middle Schools, we tend to be guided by the UK National Curriculum, albeit with the opportunity to adapt planning and learning areas as we feel appropriate and necessary, and to tie in with a Kenyan context. In Years 7 and 8, the majority of our subjects are geared towards the Common Entrance curriculum, which culminates in the children sitting their formal Common Entrance exams in June.
‘Pembroke’s sports teams do extremely well and this encourages pupils’ competitive spirit and enhances their health and fitness…They are naturally competitive but also sporting and have a strong sense of fair play.’
- SIS Inspection Report, 2018
Sport is an integral part of Pembroke life. It not only provides significant health benefits, but also teaches pupils about resilience, determination, teamwork, respect and fair play, all of which are important life lessons. Pembroke pupils have always been renowned for their sporting ability but, more importantly, for their sportsmanship and team spirit. We are extremely proud of our comprehensive sports programme, which is built on a sense of sporting integrity. We firmly believe that all pupils have something to offer and to learn through sport, and children represent the school from a young age. Matches between other IAPS schools are common, and we have a variety of teams in each year group, meaning that every child is competitively involved.
At the beginning of each term, we offer sports camps, where international coaches come and help our children to get ready for the upcoming seasons. Not only does this provide children with a new coach and fresh ideas, but it also strengthens our international connections with schools around the world. We also run sports tours abroad, where children have the chance to play schools from across the world. Most recently, we have been to South Africa and the UK.
Children take part in a range of sports as part of the school day, including Rugby, Netball, Hockey, Tennis, Squash, Rounders, Cricket, Athletics, Swimming, Football, Gymnastics, Dance and Cross-Country running. We also offer Horse Riding and Golf as optional extras.
‘Almost three-quarters of pupils learn to play an instrument and have numerous performance opportunities which give them confidence.’
- SIS Inspection Report, 2018
We have hugely successful Art and Performing Art departments. Music, Drama, Rhythm & Dance, Art, Design Technology and Pottery give a vital creative outlet to pupils who enjoy and excel in these areas. The Arts at Pembroke also contribute hugely to the vibrant diversity of the school, especially with regular concerts and performances that showcase our pupils’ many talents to parents and the community.
We have three choirs and many small instrument groups, and each year, we take part in choir festivals and the Orchestral Concert at St Andrew's, Turi, as well as the Badminton Trophy Drama competition, which we won in 2019. We also hosted the first ever Organ & Choral Concert in our Chapel, with children and adults from all across Kenya coming to sing, accompanied by our magnificent organ (one of only two in Kenya!)
We put on three major school plays a year: the Junior School nativity in the Michaelmas term, the Senior School musical in the Lent term, and Middle School play in the Trinity term. All our shows are fully staged with lighting, costumes, music and dance numbers, adding that extra bit of sparkle. Alongside those, we hold frequent concerts and art exhibitions where children can show off their talents from across the Music, Performing Arts and Art spectrum. Our Art department teaches children all areas of art including drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, design and technology and woodwork. The Art room is often open and supervised in free time at at the weekend, so children can continue to express their creativity and use resources out of lesson time.
For children who particularly enjoy the Arts, we offer additional instrumental and voice lessons, LAMDA acting, poetry and musical theatre lessons and Art sessions with qualified and experienced teachers. Children take MTB Music exams and LAMDA exams at school, with 100% pass rate in recent years.
Exams, Assessment & Reporting
'In June 2022 68% of children in Year 8 gained A* - B grades in their Common Entrance.'
We are lucky that, in a small school environment like ours, we are able to informally assess our children constantly, adapting and revising teaching styles and plans where necessary. Students in Years 5 to 8 sit formal examinations at the end of the Michaelmas and Trinity terms, with the Year 8s also sitting mock exams at the end of the Lent term, before the CE exams. We use a separate exam timetable, which includes accommodation for students with access arrangements - readers, scribes and extra time. In Years 1 to 4, pupils also sit exams, but within their own classrooms and timetables.
Parents receive reports every Half Term and at the end of every term. Half Term reports comprise effort and attainment grades for all subjects, and a tutor comment; end of term reports comprise effort and attainment grades as well as individual exam results and form averages, in addition to detailed comments from subject teachers about the child’s performance for every subject.
We also hold Open Days for current parents towards the end of every term. Open Days give parents the opportunity to meet with their child’s Tutor, as well as any particular subject teachers, (including Learning Support teachers), and discuss academic performance and results, and any pastoral issues that may have arisen throughout the term. Open Days are always in line with other major school events, such as the Senior School performance or Ndume 7s competition, to provide parents with an extra opportunity to see their children involved in school life.
‘The learning support for pupils with identified special educational needs successfully enables these students to make good progress.’
- SIS Inspection Report, 2018
Our Learning Support Department is one of our biggest assets. Our aim is to ensure that all Pembroke pupils are recognised as individuals, and that we identify their potential and help to nurture this.
We have a team of specialist Learning Support teachers, who are trained and experienced in providing one-on-one assistance to children with recognised learning difficulties. Every child that goes to the Coach House has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that highlights areas of weakness or difficulty, and the related targets. Teachers must also be familiar with these, so they can ensure they are implementing appropriate assistance and interventions in their classrooms. Some children also have testing by an Educational Psychologist to provide a more comprehensive report on their difficulties, and ways to help overcome them. This report is generally required for exam access arrangements, such as being permitted extra time, or a reader and scribe. Our LS team can also help children with English as an additional language, and those with anxiety and social issues.
Ten Learning Support lessons per term are included in the school fees, which equates to around one lesson per week. There is also the option of more lessons, with an added fee.
Please read our full Learning Support Policy here.
‘Standards of achievement are excellent among the oldest and more able pupils who receive well-directed scholarship support.’
- SIS Inspection Report, 2018
Our children apply for and receive scholarships in a variety of areas, including academic awards, sports scholarships, art exhibitions and all-rounder prizes. Through their time at Pembroke, teachers keep an close eye on every child and help to nurture special talents and interests, which helps our children grow in confidence and ability, and ultimately be rewarded with a scholarship. Teachers are also on hand to help with interview preparation and extra coaching prior to exams.
When it comes to scholarships, as the Pembroke motto says: every child matters, and every moment counts.
In 2020, 1/3 of our Year 8s received scholarships to schools around Kenya, in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Although our curriculum is diverse, many children choose to take part in additional extras, which do incur a cost. These are taken by trained professionals, who are either Pembroke staff or peripatetic teachers who travel to school each week. These extras help develop and further pupils’ passion and interest in diverse areas, and contribute to the variety of pupils’ life at Pembroke.
Extras on offer include Riding, LAMDA, Motorbike club, Ballet, Beading and Knitting, Tae Kwon Do, Woodwork, Computer Design, Inline Skating, Polo, Photography, Fitness & Shamba, as well an array of sports. Something for everyone!
All our children have the opportunity to go on a form trip each year to fun and educational locations. The destinations can include the Maasai Mara, Bobong, Naivasha, Ol Pejeta, Mt Kenya, Sagana and The Milgis. Experiences are diverse and interesting, ranging from going on safari, white water rafting, learning about tracker dogs, camel riding, swimming in lakes, fishing and trekking. These often focus on conservation efforts and community enterprises, which Pembroke children are passionate about, and are so important to understand and promote in our world today.
After the Common Entrance exams are finished, our Year 8s have an extensive post-CE programme, which involves a huge array of activities that expose them to community projects, conservation work, adventure activities and much-needed relaxation.
In addition to trips outside of school, we also have a camping trip in the school forestry for every year group from Years 1 - 8. These are always fun experiences for the pupils, with night time games, sitting around the campfire and camping with friends real highlights.