Lent Term No. 4 2023

Lent Term 2023

Letter from the Headmistress

No. 4

Saturday games practice,
Visitors, Closed weekends,
School’s feedback - Burford & Bedales.
Coming Up, Please get in touch - Numbers & Email addresses

Dear Parents,

The second half of term is well underway and with our Inspection now over we have time to turn our attention to other matters.

First and foremost I would like to update you with some more Scholarship news. We have 3 new awards to add to the list: Megan Heath has been awarded an Academic Scholarship to Sherborne Girls, David Rust a Sports Scholarship to Glenalmond College and Michelle Owor has been awarded a Music Exhibition to Peponi. Congratulations to all three pupils - well done!

We all understand the desire to whisk your children home on a Saturday morning should we not have a fixture against another school. However, this practice time is very much appreciated by our sports coaches and we would be most grateful if you could somehow find a way to collect your children ‘after’ rather than prior to their games session.

Moto X
Our last specialist in this area did not work out but we have been lucky enough to find a new team to come up to Pembroke House to help us. Many of you will already know Peter Kuria and Patrick Malungu, for they are part and parcel of the Moto x and Enduro scene in  Kenya. Work has already started to prepare a track at school and we look forward to giving you more details a little later. We will have an Open Day on Sunday 26th March for our pupils to see what this new activity will involve.

Last week saw us welcome a number of visitors from the UK. Alastair Graham, the Principal of Hall Grove School was with us on Tuesday. On Wednesday we welcomed Christopher King the Chairman of IAPS and on Saturday we were fortunate enough to host Dr Ruth Sullivan and Dr Dominic Luckett from Sherborne Girls and Boys respectively. All our guests remarked on our delightful and charming pupils and may I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and help in promoting respectful and courteous behaviour,  a desire to engage and help and so much kindness.

Closed Weekends
These weekends provoke a mix of responses. Most notably one can sense a note of injustice which understandably leads to frustration. Thus we feel the time has come to propose a tweak to this tradition. Starting from next term we would like to have closed weekends listed in the calendar throughout the term for certain year groups. So for example, this last weekend would have been closed for Year 5s who were having their camping night and team building exercises. We would also have had a closed weekend for the Year 8s to help them with revision and getting ready for their mock CE exams, which started first thing on Monday morning. This term we propose that the final weekend of the term remains closed for Years 5-8. We have House matches taking place on Saturday and on Sunday we will have the senior and U11 squash matches for the Bamba Cup. On Saturday night we have the school disco, which for many is a highlight of the term.  Over the course of this weekend we also have senior school play rehearsals and of course the bouncy castle water slide will be in action, so all in all, lots of fun and activity going on.

The last time we suggested a tweak to closed weekends there was a great deal of comment asking us to leave matters as they were. As always, please feel free to get back to me with your views on this matter. The chances are we will run the new proposal for next term and see how it works and we can then assess the pros and cons of this approach to weekends at school. For a normal weekend that is not ‘closed’ the average number of children who stay ‘in’ is about 80 so there is always lots of good company for those children who are at school each weekend.

Burford School
As you may recall I visited the UK over half term and one of the jobs on my list was to go and visit Burford School. The school is located in Burford which is a beautiful, small town, outside Oxford. The school has 1,500 students and is well appointed with extensive playing fields. There are 100 boarders divided equally between girls and boys. Their accommodation is lovely, situated towards one end of the town in delightful yellowstone, cotswold buildings. The boarding tradition is strong and the pastoral support is comprehensive and well thought out. It is important to appreciate that school begins at 8 am in the morning and finishes at 3.30 pm. Games takes place on a voluntary basis after school. Lunch time is also quite different. Apart from the boarders and those students assessed to need free school meals, all students bring a packed lunch and choose where to sit and enjoy their picnic, be it in the classroom, in the playground or on the fields. The lack of a family type lunch with a sense of community, along with the very loose games  and activities programme would be one of the biggest differences for our children when leaving Pembroke and trying to settle into such a school. Furthermore, there is no weekend programme of school as such and although there may well be matches and practices this is somewhat more on an ad hoc basis or driven by individual student wishes. The advantage of sending one’s child to Burford or one of the other 44 or so State boarding schools in the UK is that the fees are £11,000 a year rather than £14,000 a term, if one is looking at the more traditional selection of schools which are most popular.

Bedales School
Visiting Bedales was the other job on my school list. Bedales is a very well known and highly regarded independent boarding and day school just outside Petersfield in Hampshire. I went to see Bedales because it has a school farm on its grounds and a programme of study and assessment has been developed based on a range of farming activities. Children look after the land and the farm animals over the course of the year. They learn about hedging, land rotation and animal husbandry with sheep, pigs, ponies and cows to look after. They make their own honey, pizzas, woollen yarn and sheepskins to name but a few of their activities. Bedales has also developed its own National accredited courses. As you are aware we have our own sustainability committee at school and the development of a little farmyard nestled under a woodland canopy is firmly on our agenda. As a rule our children have a great deal of experience navigating the outdoors and looking after animals and over the years our pupils are very much involved at school with all manner of activities from moving bee hives and collecting honey, to making biltong and worming goats and sheep when they visit Babong. We are not quite sure how this area of school life and study will look but visiting Bedales was a first exploratory step in making sure we get off on the right foot in the very near future.

Coming Up
This is quite a list, but we thought it might be wise to bring to your attention some of the various events that lie ahead. I have also included the main important dates for the Trinity Term just to help you plan the coming months.

Fixtures and Dates for your diary until Exeat
Friday 3rd March
5M Form Chapel
Hockey vs St. Christopher's and Cavina
Girls 1st and 2nd and U11 A & B
Boys 2nd VII and U11B
2 pm at Home

Hockey vs St. Christopher's
Boys 1st and U11A
2:30pm Away

Saturday 4th March
Boys IAPS Hockey Tournament at Kenton College
1st VII and U11A
9:00 am Away

Sunday 5th March
Girls IAPS Netball Tour departs for UK
Year 7 Longonot Day Trip

Wednesday & Thursday 8th / 9th March
Inter-House Swimming Pre-Events
Competitors & Timings to be confirmed

Thursday 9th March
U9 Hockey Festival at Hillcrest Away
Happy Hour
Drinks and Supper at The Martlet with Council to meet Sedbergh School

Friday 10th March
Boats at 9:00am
Inter-House Gala at 10:00 am

Hot Dog lunch at 12:30 on Pre's Lawn
1:00 pm Exeat begins

Exeat Fixture - Saturday 11th March
Girls  IAPS Hockey Tournament at Peponi House Prep School
1st VII and U11A
9:00 am Away

Exeat Fixture - Sunday 12th March
Up-Country vs Nairobi East/West Schools at Kenton College
Boys and Girls U13
Time TBC Away

Back to School
Monday 13th March
Chapel 9 am

Please make a note of other dates coming up at the end of term.

Sedbergh School Arrive 
Rugby, Netball and Music Workshops throughout the week.

Saturday 25th March
Boys and Girls Hockey House Matches
U13, U11 and U9
Time TBC

Sunday 26th March
Bamba Cup
Senior & U11 Pembroke House Squash Competition

Thursday 30th March
7:00 pm A Midsummer's Night Dream

Friday 31st March
Inter-House Cross Country
4:00 pm Ghetto Classic Band Performance
7:00 pm A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Children may go home after the performance with a gate pass.

End of Term!

Key Dates of Trinity Term

Monday 24th April
9:00 am Start of Term

Saturday 29th April
The Pembroke House Foundation "Trooping The Colour" Colour Run

Monday 8th May
Coronation Charity Day and Street Party

Friday 12th  May
Exeat Starts 8:00 am

Saturday 13th May
IAPS Cross Country Event at St. Andrew's Turi.

Saturday 27th May -Monday 5th June

Saturday 17th June
Ndume 7s & Public Schools Fair

Sunday 18th June
Pembroke Foundation Fun Golf Competition

Monday 19th June
Common Entrance Starts

Friday 23rd June (lunch time) - Monday 26th June

Wednesday 5th July
Night Stage Dinky Safari Rally

Thursday 6th June
Widgery Cup Tennis
Final Boats
Dinky Safari Rally
Year 8 Black Tie Dinner at Head's Hub

Friday 7th July
Final Assembly 9:00am
Speech day 11:00am
12:30pm Champagne Reception
End of Term 1:00pm

Friday 7th July
Foundation Ball
(Save The Date and more information to follow)

We look forward to seeing you at the various fixtures which lie ahead and of course at the Inter House Swimming Gala on Friday 10th March, just before exeat starts.

Please make a note of our invitation below to a Happy Hour on Thursday 9th March to meet Sedbergh and many of our Council members who will be with us that evening.

As always please do not hesitate to get in touch over anything at all. Please remember that Terry is always on hand to help with your transport needs. For ease of reference, I list below the numbers and emails which you can use to reach us during the day.

Katrina +254 708 143 600
Terry  +254 727 267 642
MJ Nuijten-Coulson - 0722 526 374
Chantal - +254 742 374256
Purity - 0703 848 088

With very best wishes,