|Lent Term 2021
Letter from the Headmistress
Google Classroom, Making up Time Lost,
What Lies Ahead, The Calendar, TBC, Vaccinations, Covid Protocols & Testing,
Prefects, Final Assembly: Awards & Prizes, Colours, Reports, The Holidays,
Back to School, CE Exams, The Play,
Stay in Touch
I hope you are reading this at home, feeling safe, and hopefully you might be all together as a family. I also hope that with the benefit of hindsight you are perhaps relieved we decided to wind down and arrange for your children to come home when we did. It is so hard to know the best course of action and like you we are all learning as we go along and feeling our way.
The children should have found some work in their Google Classrooms to keep them going for this week and these tasks, although optional, will reinforce topics covered over the course of last term.
The Year 8s will all have come home with work packs of CE papers and revision exercises to help them assimilate and learn the skills and knowledge needed for these exams that lie ahead.
We are aware that due to closing early we have lost some teaching time. Initially we tried to claw some back with closing the weekends and changing exeat to a weekend at school. Undoubtedly, some teaching time was saved but we will aim to rescue yet more days by changing the dates of half term next term to give us all an exeat rather than a week’s break.
What Lies Ahead?
Like you, we wonder exactly what lies ahead but with our ear to the ground we are optimistic that this lockdown may be just for the Easter period and schools may well get the go ahead to open after the break. Of course this is our wish. The thought of asking our children to go back to online learning is a scenario we will do everything we can to avoid. Our time together last term was magical. Every child relished the company, activity and excitement of being at school and this was mirrored by their teachers. School is about so much more than just lessons and subjects learnt. The crux is the joining together of minds, sharing thoughts and ideas, coaxing everyone along, endless opportunities for curiosity, taking the rough with the smooth and the real fun of dialogue, chatting and much wondering about all manner of things.
I attach the calendar; it is just below and takes just one click to open. Many of you, perhaps slightly traumatised by the endless circling of the wifi icon as items download, do not manage this click and this then leaves you somewhat in the dark. Please do try to click and I hope the calendar appears as if by magic so you can have a look. So much is ‘to be confirmed/TBC’ but we are aiming for as much activity as possible that will take place outside. This term the matches against staff and gaps were much appreciated and after the holidays we hope to have many more of these. We also hope to have a gymnastics club which will be very exciting for the Year 8s, who seem to spend most of their free time upside down, walking on their hands, cartwheeling or tumbling all over the place.
For starters, at the moment our back to school date is Monday 26th April with lessons beginning at 10 am.
Of course this will have to be confirmed and we will give you as much notice as we possibly can. As soon as we hear anything we will pass the information on to you. I will send out a WhatsApp because this is by far the easiest way to reach you all at the same time.
As we were winding down and arranging for children to have their Covid tests, travel home by bus and taxi and catch their flights, we received notification that we, as members of staff working in a school, were eligible for the Covid vaccination. Thanks to our Head of HR, Michael Amaru, who was extremely organised and ever helpful, we arranged for our teachers and support staff to travel down to Mbagathi Hospital for these injections. Of course the vaccinations are now available in Gilgil, Naivasha, Nakuru and Nanyuki and indeed elsewhere and hopefully you too may have been able to be vaccinated. I am sure you will agree with us that this is an impressive roll out of the vaccination programme by the Government of Kenya and we are all truly grateful. Hopefully, this programme will reduce the transmission of the disease and help to protect us all in the future. The date of the next round of vaccinations for us will be the week beginning 24th May.
With staff vaccinated, they will be protected and they will be safer. Furthermore, with staff vaccinated the chance of the disease spreading amongst us all is reduced considerably and the children will be safer.
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing
In order to help guarantee the safest environment for the school community we feel that it would be sensible for all staff, parents and children coming into school to have a rapid lateral flow test a day or two before their return.
This will at least give us some assurance that we are more likely to be starting school without Covid amongst us. We are looking into inviting a company to join us for two days prior to the start of term to carry out this testing and help everyone manage this request as easily as possible.
Testing; Results So Far
The tests last term numbered 95 and we only had the three cases of Covid at school which I reported at the time. I would like to reiterate that all close contacts of these cases were tested immediately and those close contacts, although negative, were asked to isolate away from school for 14 days and then test negative before returning. Of course we are constantly learning and listening to medical advice and scenarios from this country and abroad. I hope we can build on these early beginnings and together improve our protocols and risk assessments to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible and maximise time in school for us all.
Sadly, we missed our Final Assembly along with the Play and Easter Games. However, I will give you a round up of the information here and we will arrange for this assembly to take pride of place as next term begins. Our assemblies last term took place on Pre’s Lawn and somehow we all got used to sitting on the grass, socially distanced and wearing our masks, so that these important whole school meetings could take place. Fortunately, despite our location in the tropics, Gilgil mornings are deliciously cool and if one is going to meet outside then this is the best time.
There is a list of Colours included in the line up of awards below that will be a surprise to the children themselves, so please do read through all the lists carefully. As I said these Colours will be awarded in person at the start of next term.
Just before I start with the information for our awards and commendations I must just add congratulations to our new Prefects. It was with great pleasure that I announced to the school, a few weeks ago now, that we had decided to appoint four more Prefects. So our team of Prefects now includes Eloisa Gufler Brandstaetter, Keeley Taylor, Monty Surtees and Archie Seagon bringing the number to an auspicious thirteen. We meet our Prefects formally once a week in the meeting room and have long and interesting discussions on everything that is going on. As I have said before Year 8, as a group, is an outstanding team of seniors and it is very much thanks to them and the example that they set, each and every day, that the school as a whole is ticking along so well.
Pembroke Voices also met twice last term and each form chose a representative to take certain matters of concern or ideas to this forum. Again, we had many interesting debates and in some cases we needed to explain why matters cannot change (for example why sushi cannot go on the weekly menu!) and in others the requests are perfectly reasonable and we can help to make them happen - ‘more drinking water dispensers’ or ‘please mend our zip line’.
Awards & Commendations
Academic Achievement & Effort Awards
Academic Achievement: Kensie Cork
Effort: Kensie Cork
Academic Achievement: Lucy Yiannakis
Effort: Conor Froome
Academic Achievement & Effort: Tian Goodchild
Academic Achievement: Reya Shah
Effort: Reya Shah & Harley Miller
Academic Achievement : Ishan Nanji
Effort: Iona Elwes & Billy Tundo
Academic Achievement: Isabelle Charitatos & Adrienne Kamau
Effort: Isabelle Charitatos & Abbie Aung
Academic Achievement: Kian Murigah
Effort: Kian Murigah & Digby Outram
Academic Achievement & Effort: Natalie Yanda
Academic Achievement: Marie - Alix Liebeskind
Effort: Isabelle Wright
Academic Achievement & Effort: Vesper Murray
Academic Achievement: Neema Ruwa
Effort: Chiara Craig
Academic Achievement: Marianne Lee
Effort: Marianne Lee & Maggie Yanda
Academic Achievement: Lily Llewelyn
Effort: Lily Llewelyn & Arianna Kamau
Academic Achievement & Effort: Isobel Foxton
Academic Achievement: Siena Barclay
Effort: Alice Trent
The Inter House Athletics Awards
The Ryden Shield
(for effort or sportsmanship): Kaia Davies & Caitlin Neylan
The Ker Cup
(best Senior throwers): Chilli Winter, Malachi Rune & Desmond Mboya
Victor & Victrix Ludorum Winners
(The best all round athletes, based on points from their best four events):
U7: Chloe Cordingley & Anton Low
U9: Abbie Aung & Justin Furnivall
U11: Vesper Murray, Archie Camm & Digby Nightingale
U13: Sasha Camm & Desmond Mboya
The Fury Cup for Tug of War: Fosters
The Relay Cup: Opies
1st: Opies on 539 points
2nd: Fosters on 529 points
3rd: Turners on 457 points
4th: Hazards on 445 points
So….The Cock House standing so far for Lent 2021:
4th - Hazards with 51 points
3rd - Fosters with 59 points
2nd - Turners with 85 points
1st - Opies with 105 points
Full list of all Results
Artists of the Week
Great Ademeri, Marianne Lee, Natalie Yanda, Iggy Miller, Rosie Wheeler, Ryan Aung, Harley Miller, Noor Zuurbier, Mark Namisano and Siena Barclay.
Cricket Full Colours
Alistair Froome, Dandan Withey, Archie Seagon, Miles Tomblin
Cricket Half Colours
Hockey Full Colours
Isobel Foxton, Sasha Camm, Alistair Froome, Dandan Withey, Lochy Murray
Hockey Half Colours
Siena Barclay, Chilli Winter, Alice Trent, Aica Omulen, Georgie Fernandes Mark Namisano, Archie Seagon, Monty Surtees, Malachi Rune, Sean Mazinga Miles Tomblin
Athletics Full Colours
Sasha Camm, Isobel Foxton, Chilli Winter, Dandan Withey, Desmond Mboya
Malachi Rune, William Farquharson
Athletics Half Colours
Mark Namisano, Lochy Murray, Quinn Miller, Neema Ruwa
Will follow after the Play has been performed.
Reports should be with you today or at the latest tomorrow. I hope you find these both interesting and informative. Children can be very different depending on the circumstances and the social environment around them and all the information feeds into what is a much bigger picture. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s tutor over any concern or thought you may wish to share.
Just a reminder that these exams are scheduled for the week beginning Monday 21st June. The later date is to give us all the maximum amount of teaching time. We have been in touch with all our ‘next schools’ and they feel comfortable with this plan. The papers will be marked at Pembroke House and then the percentages sent on.
We were all so disappointed not to be able to watch the Senior School Play. However, we are not going to be defeated and between us we are looking for a date for next term that might work. The time ahead is more complicated with the CE exams looming and this affects the ability to rehearse. Once we have a plan in place that has the greatest likelihood of success we will let you know. Do have a look at the video on our website to see some photos and videos from rehearsals.
As ever I must thank you for your endless patience, flexibility and support. These are not easy times and I know we all want our children in school, learning and enjoying growing up as much as possible. Your understanding and resourcefulness has helped us all find a way forward, making the very best of the situation in which we find ourselves. Our little ship sails on thanks very much to the whole crew; you our parents, our wonderful members of staff, our ever enthusiastic, good natured and spirited children and the endless support from our Council. Thank you. I daren’t yet hope for calmer waters but with a little good fortune on our side perhaps we will reach them; all in good time no doubt.
Now all that remains is to enjoy the holiday ahead. We have nearly four weeks from today to recharge our batteries and prepare for the term ahead. I understand we have all become used to the ever changing state of affairs across the world and as yet we cannot be absolutely sure when we will be back at school. However, for now Plan A is a return to school on Monday 26th April. Plan B is a slightly later return to ‘live’ school and Plan C would have to involve more online lessons and perhaps no ‘live’ school. With my ear to the ground I understand Plan A is the most likely and I will keep you informed as the weeks play out. For now please make only reservations for flights so that if necessary we can tweak matters according to the instructions from our Government.
I hope you manage to keep safe in the weeks ahead and enjoy the holidays. Please get in touch if I can help in any way at all.
With very best wishes,