Lent Term 2023
Letter from the Headmistress
This is just a quick letter to welcome you to school for the new term on Monday morning, which is just a day away!
Matters at school got underway on Thursday with about 50 children signed up for our Sports Camp. They have all been working very hard, honing their skills on the hockey pitch and in the swimming pool, ready for the challenges that lie ahead. I am most grateful to Henry Snow, Kaila Millar, Ali Omell, John Wright, Sammy Likoko and Isaac Ndegwa for coaching the children over the camp. Poolside, the children have been coached by Carol Ngori and Seth Gumbo and on Saturday they were joined by Polly Beraondo, a swimming coach from the UK - thank you Polly! Polly will actually be with us at school for the first week of term to support our swimmers as they work on their stroke technique, breathing and fitness.
Monday 9th January - Tuesday 17th January
29 of our Senior School children will leave tomorrow, to head to the UK for a Sports Tour. We have matches against Millfield Prep School, Blundells, Cheltenham College and The Down’s, Malvern. I would like to take this opportunity to thank these schools for their generosity and support in helping us arrange and put this trip together.
Monday 9th January - Friday 13th January
At the same time, the rest of the Senior School will head off to Lewa for a safari led by Laelia Surtees. We are most grateful to Mike and Sarah Watson for being so very kind and hosting the group for the week.
Changes for the new term.
TPR, 5M English & Kiswahili & Citizenship
Catherine Forsayeth has left and Paul Odera will now be teaching TPR to our seniors and Catherine Gatheru-Therenja will teach English to 5M. Paul Odera will also take on 8F as a form, which will become 8O. Ms Gatheru-Therenja will also take on Ms Forsayeth’s tutees from last term. Fortunately, both Mr Odera and Ms Gatheru-Therenja are well known to these classes and they are excited to work with the children once more. Having moved Mr Odera to TPR we then needed to find a teacher to take on Kiswahili and Citizenship. We are most fortunate to have found Grace Nganga. Grace has taught for a number of years at The International School and please do introduce yourselves to Grace when the opportunity arises. Change is always a challenge and I do apologise for the disruption and we will endeavour to make these plans work as seamlessly as possible.
Next term’s calendar has now been finalised and I attach it below for your information. Hard copies will be available from the office.
Sunday 5th - Wednesday 8th February
As you know we are looking forward to welcoming our two Inspectors from ISI who will arrive on Sunday 5th February and leave us on Wednesday 8th February.
With Inspection in mind we are aware that there is a growing amount of communication between us which takes place via WhatsApp. Whilst this works well from an adult point of view, it does mean that on occasion teachers find themselves with their attention on their phones, trying to answer queries, when their thoughts and concentration should be focussed solely on the children.
With your permission and blessing we would very much like to make a concerted effort to move as much communication as possible, back to email. Our policy is to make sure all emails receive a reply within 24 hours and if possible within 12 hours depending on when your email arrives.
We all worry about what happens if there is an emergency. Should you need to get in touch with the school as a matter of urgency we would like you to contact the office and we will then make a plan to sort matters out as quickly as possible. In most cases the teacher with whom you need to communicate will ring you back or send a message at break or rest time, or failing that after school.
Members of Staff that can be contacted throughout the day:
Katrina Dingley - 0708 143 600
MJ Nuijten-Coulson - 0722 526 374
Terry - 0727 267 642
Chantal - 0742 374 256
Purity - 0703 848 088
As you know the main school area is a no traffic zone which we feel is much safer for us all. We have also asked our staff to leave the airlock parking free for parents. You are of course most welcome to park down by the fields. May I ask you not to park by the triangle/ roundabout outside the theatre so that this is a safer place for the children when they head to and from this location; thank you.
We are in the midst of a real drive at school, at all levels, for more action to take us towards a sustainable outcome for the future. Our focus at the moment is to prioritise making healthy choices for our daily food at school. As a rule organic vegetables are already being used and we have made a little bakery in our kitchen and purchased an oven, specifically to bake our own bread. We have the expertise of a professional baker teaching us how to make our own bread and our own sourdough. I write during sports camp and all the bread on offer at school has been made from scratch in our school kitchen.
We are also working hard on the menus to try and reduce the sugar intake of the children and I copy below two days of the menu for this coming week.
Breakfast - Fruit, cereal, drop scones, toast and grilled tomatoes
Break - mandazis and fresh sliced pineapple
Lunch - Spare ribs, chips, veggies, salad. Mississippi Mud pie and cream
Tea - flapjacks
Supper - Macaroni cheese with carrots and cucumber and banana fritters.
Before bed - cocoa and home made rusks
Breakfast - fruit, cereal, omelettes, toast
Break - rocky road, bananas, cucumber sandwiches
Lunch - Chicken with sour cream, chives, rice and veggies
Tea - shortbread biscuits
Supper - cornish pasties, coleslaw and baked potatoes
Before Bed - cocoa and popcorn..
As you might assume, we do everything to vary the menu and appeal to all tastes.
At the same time as making the sort of meals from scratch, detailed above, the school prepares food for all manner of special diets: gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, no onions, non pork, vegetarian and so on and we give a more Kenyan orientated option everyday of githeri, sukuma wiki and posho for those children who would prefer this. Caroline would always refer to our a la carte menu with a wry smile!
Our Banda matches are scheduled for Saturday 21st January and we are playing away in Nairobi.
The Hog Charge
The Hog Charge is on Sunday 22nd January, the day after the Banda matches. Registration will take place on the Saturday afternoon after the Banda matches at Peponi School on the Thika Road. The Pembroke team will be camping on Saturday night at Peponi and please do get in touch with Laelia Surtees if you have any queries. Mrs Surtees would prefer that ALL children camp at Peponi on Saturday 21st January at the special Pembroke campsite, as the children have to be ready for the Peponi briefing by 6:45am on the Sunday morning, it is therefore much easier to keep track of everyone, their bikes and their teams if they are kept together. Please note that the queue to access Peponi on Sunday morning can be quite hectic and it can take an hour to park your car! As you will already know, Pembroke parents are invited to camp on the Saturday night and Mrs Surtees will be in touch soon (when she returns from the Lewa Trip) with details.
Laelia Surtees - 0757 811944
We are very lucky to have managed to book Fabian to be with us on Wednesday and Thursday 17th and 18th January. Please get in touch with Purity if you would like your child to have an appointment with Fabian.
Exchange Programme Year 6
St George’s School, Windsor.
We have 7 children who have signed up for this exchange programme which will take place in September when the children are in Year 7. We have a Zoom meeting on 17th January to which all those interested are invited to attend and ask questions about the programme on offer (details to follow nearer the time). Should you have yet to register your interest do get in touch with me so that we can put you on the list. Matters have a tendency to change and there is one place remaining at present.
I think this brings you up to date with news and information that is helpful for the start of term.
As always please get in touch if you have any queries or concerns.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow with your children, all ready for Chapel at 9 am.
With very best wishes,
Mrs Deborah Boyd Moss MA (Cantab) PGCE
+ 254 (0) 720 602 483