Lent Term 2021 No 9

Lent Term 2021
Letter from the Headmistress

No 9

Thank you,
Al’s Service at School
Year 8s Mock CE Exams & Assessments
Covid Results, Inter House Athletics
Instagram Updates: pembroke_house_school
Closed weekends, Easter Fun & Games, School Play,
End of Term, Dates for Travel, Transport Arrangements, Covid Testing
The Teachers & Staff

Dear Parents,

Once more I must begin this letter with a sincere ‘thank you’ for your understanding, flexibility and support. Hopefully, the result of our efforts will be to reach the end of term with us all enjoying the maximum number of days at school, remaining fit and healthy, learning and teaching and enjoying all that school life is about.

Year 8 Mock CE Exams
The desks are all laid out in the Sports’ Hall with the Year 8s are hard at work with their mock CE papers. As a group they have impressed us greatly with their maturity and focussed approach to this important task.

The rest of the school is now completing assessments in each subject. Such low key tests are important for teachers and pupils. It is so important to understand exactly what our pupils have grasped and to realise the difficulties they may be experiencing along the way.

Effort Grades
In order to give you a little more information and we hope to be fairer to the children, we have slightly tweaked our effort grades. Hopefully, this will give us all a better idea of the level of effort and application that each child puts into their school day across the board. Whilst the attainment grade is indeed important, it is actually the effort grade that is far more telling and will have a far greater influence on a child’s progress and success both now and later on down the line.
The Grades
6 Outstanding
5 Very Good
4 Good
3 Sufficient
2 Insufficient
1 Poor

Covid Testing
Sarah Percival has just four days left to remain isolated, as do Joe, Harry and Hugo. It has been a very challenging time for the Percivals as a family and I know you will join me in sending them all our very best wishes, as they struggle through the low times that inevitably come with isolation. We are very grateful to Sarah for continuing with her teaching and to Sammy Likoko who has managed matters in class and seamlessly supported the children through their Science lessons. Joe too has kindly conducted his History lessons virtually, ably supported by our Super Gap and History Graduate, Lucy Fitzpatrick. The children too have been most co-operative and they have really helped to ease things along behaving extremely well and they have adjusted quickly to their new circumstances and we feel very proud of them.

We have taken quite a few more tests in the recent week or so and they have all returned negative. This is of great consolation for us and as a school we have now dropped our protocol into the amber zone. This means we continue to be very careful but we can be slightly less anxious about this virus and concentrate our attention a little more on all the many lessons and activities that the children enjoy.

Al’s Service
On Tuesday last week, Year 4 led the most touching celebration of Al’s life and as night fell we gathered outside the Old Pavilion. There were many very special moments but one will remain forever etched on my mind. We were all sitting on the grass and benches, holding candles which were burning brightly and we joined together to look up to the stars, the pathways to heaven, and remembered Al. Very bravely, Esther is back with us at school and she and Jack are of course trying to come to terms with missing Al. We feel we can at least offer some distraction and wrap them both up with love and care.

Closed Weekends
I understand how sad you must feel at the thought of missing our annual Inter House Athletics Competition and not being able to see your children over an exeat. It is so difficult for us all but it is our duty of care to keep everyone as safe as we can and minimise risk of any sort. Furthermore, it seems that the vast majority of you as parents feel that your children are much safer without so much coming and going at school. In Kenya I am reminded that cases are rising (roughly 12% of those tested yesterday were positive; this compares to somewhere between 0.5-1% in the UK). We must all keep in mind our priority and remember that we have only just over two weeks of term left and we need all our children to have the opportunity of the most number of days at school, learning and enjoying the company of their friends. Whilst it is clearly impossible to stop all movement on and off the school site we are doing everything we can to keep this to an absolute minimum. We are truly grateful for your wholehearted support and understanding in this endeavour. Thank you.

Fun & Activities
As always we wish to give the children as much fun and games as possible over the course of the weekend and we have managed to create quite a program of activities.

Last weekend we had lots of riding and our equestrians loved their new xc course in the pony paddock and the brand new show jumping arena. We are so very fortunate to have Rachel Robley as our riding teacher and she has produced generation after generation of wonderful little riders, equipped with the knowledge and skills to work together with their ponies, beautifully balanced and confident in all manner of situations.

Year 7 Camping & Team Building
This took place over the course of Saturday night and Sunday. It was a super weekend with so much learnt along the way. The Year 7s baked their own bread and worked together to solve a myriad of problems and situations.

Matches against Staff, Pillow Bashing, Cycling, Walking, Baking, Football, Bush Clearing, Fishing, Tuck Shop …..
As you can see there was so much more on offer and as always one of the very best things about weekends is the ‘free time’ that the children can enjoy ranging over literally 100 acres and more.

This Weekend
Inter House Athletics

This weekend we will arrange for the Inter House Athletics to take place on Saturday, starting at 8:15am. There will then be Boats on Sunday morning followed by the arrival of a bouncy castle. Play rehearsals will continue and we will break up the usual routine with a BBQ outside and a picnic for the children.

We are aware that you would like to keep up to date with the results of the athletics competition so Jess Horner is very kindly going to post stories from the day’s activities to help with this. Hopefully, we will get updates as the children cross the finish line, along with podium presentations. Please do follow pembroke_house_school on Instagram to receive all the updates from this very special day. Remember, too, that you can share all this with your family and friends all over the world. If you are having trouble following us please do get in touch with Katrina or Jess for some extra help.

Katrina Dingley 0708 143600
Jess Horner 0703 957832

Final Weekend
The final weekend of term is Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st March
Over the course of this weekend we will have one more session of Boats and schedule this for after supper, so it will be Night Boats which is always even more exciting than the usual competition. We will also have Easter Games and Easter Dinner, which have been specially requested by the children. The weekend will be finished off with a party outside, down by the Old Pavilion.

The Final Week of Term
The final five days of term will be focused around end of term activities. This is an important part of life at boarding school and children will change dorms ready for next term and organise their belongings so that trunks do not have to go home. Of course should you wish to take your child’s trunk home this can be arranged. Please do just contact the Houseparents directly.

The School Play
The School Play will take priority this week, which we will watch together on Friday night (26.3..21). We are very aware that again it is extremely sad that you as parents are not able to enjoy this performance with us in the theatre. We sincerely hope that, come next term, we can schedule the play for the evening before half term and invite you to come to school to enjoy the spectacle.

End of Term
Children may leave after the play on Friday night 26th March at around 6 pm, or please do collect your children on Saturday morning, 27th March, from 7.30 am . We will arrange buses or taxis to leave first thing for Nairobi and elsewhere. Please do get in touch to let us know how we can help.

Next Term
For those booking return flights, we will start school on Monday 26th April 2021. School will start at 10 am (not 5pm as on this term’s printed calendar).

Covid Tests
Please let us know if you need help to arrange a test for Covid so that your son or daughter may travel abroad. Purity will kindly arrange for PCR tests with Pathcare which we have found very helpful up to now.

Our Teachers & Staff
I know you would like to join me in taking a moment to thank our teachers and all the staff at school. Whilst these closed weekends are indeed a sensible idea at the moment, to mitigate risk and keep us all fit and healthy until the end of term, there is no denying it is a very busy time for everyone. A full school means much more time on duty for all our staff and like you I am incredibly grateful to our teachers and the auxiliary staff for their wholehearted willingness to step up and help everything along and make sure we do our very best, no matter what the challenge. Everyone has pulled together across the board and the combined intelligence, intent and energy of the team at school, from pishi and gardener to san sister and DHM is tremendously exciting to behold. I feel very proud to be part of such a powerful, little school.

Should matters change in any way we will of course respond accordingly. We understand that each family is faced with their own set of unique circumstances and we will do all we can to help, so please do not hesitate to ask .

With very best wishes,


Mrs Deborah Boyd Moss MA (Cantab) PGCE
Pembroke House
+ 254 (0) 720 602 483