Lent Term No. 5 2023

Lent Term 2023

Letter from the Headmistress

No. 5

Good News: Scholarships,
Inspection Report & Action Points
Chromebooks, Sustainability, Executive Chef,
Piki Club, Sedbergh School Sport & Musical Workshops,
Coming Up, Inter House Cross Country, Final Assembly,
Parent v Child matches, Ghetto Classics,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Book Day, Please get in touch so we can help
  Numbers & Email addresses

Dear Parents,

I am just writing with a quick update to help us all through this last week of term.

Good News
We have just heard that we have one more scholarship. Milla Hastings has been awarded an All Rounder Scholarship to Glenalmond College. I list below the Scholarships that our pupils have been awarded this year. Very well done to each and every one of them.

Arav S - Academic Scholarship to Peponi Secondary
Michelle O - Music Exhibition Scholarship to Peponi Secondary
Megan H - Academic Scholarship to Sherborne Girls School
Digby N - All Rounder Scholarship to Gordonstoun
Vesper M - The Warden's Award - (top scholarship - All Rounder) to Glenalmond College
Robert R - All Rounder Scholarship for Sport and Drama to Glenalmond College
David R - Sport Scholarship to Glenalmond College
Milla H - All Rounder Scholarship for Academics and Sport to Glenalmond College
Seiya M - Kenya Award to Glenalmond College
Lyndsey S - Thomas Saunders Scholarship (All-rounder) to Blundell's School
Lyndsey S - Art Scholarship to Blundell's School
Michaela K - Thomas Saunders Scholarship (All-rounder) to Blundell's School
Lionel L - Sport Scholarship - Sedbergh School

Sports Round Up - Hockey Results - Lent 2023
We have had a wonderful selection of matches, tournaments and festivals for all our hockey teams and our final tally of results is as follows:

Played: 132     Won: 55     Drew: 34    Lost: 43

Inspection Report
We have received our Inspection Report and it has been placed on our website but I attach it just below for your information. As you will find we were given ‘Excellent’ for the pastoral side of the school and ‘Good’ for academics. The inspectors felt that the provision for our high achievers was excellent, as was that for our pupils who need extra support to access the curriculum. They also identified many excellent areas of the curriculum: Art, Music, English, Outdoor Learning and Games.

  • The inspectors observed that we could strengthen our pupils’ knowledge and skills in information and technology so that it can be used across the spectrum of the curriculum.
  • They commented that we could further secure pupils’ knowledge by identifying and targeting individual needs through greater consistency in teaching and assessment, including marking.
  • The final recommendation was that we should look to improve pupils’ self study skills and allow them to take the lead in their own learning.

Of course it is always disappointing not to score as highly as one could, when being assessed and it is now our responsibility to do everything we can to address the recommendations made by our visiting inspectors.

Thus we feel that the time has come for every child in Years 5 - 8 to have their own chrome book. Access to the internet for independent research and learning and the increased ability to use information technology will successfully address two of the inspectors’ recommendations.

Chromebooks are widely acknowledged to be robust pieces of equipment and they provide everything the children need to manage their own online work. They are safer than normal laptops and much less expensive. We are looking into options to both provide and help finance these chrome books so that we can take responsibility for this arrangement. We intend to both provide and arrange the pay back option for you as parents which we hope will be  in the region of 1,500 Ksh per month. When your child leaves and if you would prefer not to take the device we will make the necessary arrangements to ‘buy back’ the chromebook.

Next Schools & Technology
Most children are asked to have their own laptop when they move on to their ‘next school’ but the specifications vary enormously so we feel it is best for Pembroke House to arrange for the children to have the right device for us.

Chrome books will be kept locked up in each form room where they can charge up for the following day. We will have firewalls and security platforms in place to keep an eye on what the children may be trying to access which would not be suitable.

Free Time
We would envisage the chrome books being used during lessons and prep but not in free time so the emphasis would still very much be on children playing together, outside in free time.

The Third Recommendation
We are having a round of ‘blue sky’ meetings at school to try and identify ways to further improve the targeting of individual academic needs. It is fair to say that the report is full of praise for the moral and spiritual development of the children, their sense of fairness and the kindness and thought they show towards each other. On a pastoral basis we meet daily in a variety of ways to discuss the children and focus on those that need support and an extra helping hand. Hopefully, our brainstorming will give us more ideas as to how to equally, effectively target our academic intervention and support for pupils across the curriculum.

Inspection Report
Please Click

The sustainability committee has been hard at work and much has already been achieved. Tomatoes have been high on the list of matters to be addressed. You may or may not know that tomatoes tend to be grown by local suppliers and quite a range of chemicals are used to make sure that there is a crop to harvest. Whilst we seek a local supplier in Kenya who is growing EU safe tomatoes we have started to use imported tinned tomatoes from Italy. Of course this is not very good for our carbon footprint but we feel that having safe food at school must be the first priority.  Nearly all our vegetables are locally grown and ‘safe’ coming as they do from Ecoscapes and Dripland and other growers nearby. Finding organically grown or EU safe fruit is the next thing on the list.

Executive Chef
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Cyril Wanda. Cyril comes with a very impressive CV having worked at the Windsor Golf and Country Club, The Dorchester, the Land Mark Hotel in Regent’s Park and The Union Jack Club in London. He has joined our team in the kitchen to further improve the quality of the meals we produce. Mr Wanda is working closely with our baker and there is much excitement at school about the variety and quality of the meals and snacks we are all fortunate enough to enjoy.

Piki Club & Mountain Biking
As some of you may be aware we have been trying very hard to get ourselves going with some sort of piki club. To this end Mr Odera kindly introduced us to Patrick Malungu and Peter Kuria who are involved with the track at Jamhuri Park. Patrick and Peter are known and endorsed by many of our own parents and so we decided to work with them to try and create a course at school for what they would describe as their junior riders. Together, we identified a relatively small piece of land that might work to build a track. The area of land is close to  the Langa Langa gate and it occupies one of our small pony paddocks. Over the past week John Wright has worked closely with the building team to create what is an extremely impressive course. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bert Louwerse very much indeed for helping us with some large and impressive pieces of machinery which meant that the track was up and running in literally 5 days. Positioned as it is near the Langa Langa gate it means that the coming and going of vehicles and noisy motorbikes will not disrupt school life. It also leaves the main pony paddock and forestry area untouched.

Sunday - Open Day
Yesterday a group of riders from Nairobi arrived with their bikes and their kit and tested the track to see if it was up to scratch. Fortunately, all was well and we then proceeded to have the most fantastic morning, with so many Pembroke children putting on all the protective gear and taking to a bike to try out their abilities. Peter and Patrick were extremely professional and their team looked after the children very well. They were all taught and monitored closely to check they learnt how to ride safely. Once they had been assessed they were able to have a go on the track or if necessary on an easier piece of ground whilst they found their confidence.

During the school week not only will children be able to use the course for their motorbikes but our cyclists can also use the track and get much enjoyment from this new initiative.

Sport & Musical Workshops
Sedbergh School have kindly sent us two members of staff to help bring on our  rugby and netball over the course of this week and their Director of Music is also with us and he will join Ms MM for the next few days in the Music School. This is the most tremendous opportunity for our pupils and staff and we are most grateful to Sedbergh for this support.

Drought Relief
As many of you know there are large areas of Kenya struggling with the consequences of drought. On Wednesday, this week we will have a ‘mufti day’ when children (Years 1-8) may wear their home clothes to school for the day. In return we would like to ask you to give 500 Ksh for each of your children at school and we will send this to the Divinity Foundation. Please let us know if you would prefer not to donate this money, otherwise we will add this to your end of term account. I have included information about the Divinity Foundation below.

A Midsummers Nights’ Dream
Mrs Standen McDougal and her seniors have worked so hard on this piece of work by Shakespeare. It has been a long time since Pembroke House has attempted such a play and some of you may remember Dave Harries’ Shakespeare productions in what was then the locker room. We are all looking forward to the first performance on Thursday and then of course the main performance on Friday evening.

Ghetto Classics
Over the course of this term a group of musicians from Ghetto Classics have been working hard with some of our pupils, on a selection of pieces which they will perform in the theatre prior to the school play. The Inspectors were fortunate enough to be able to join us for some of our practice time with Ghetto Classics  and like us they were very moved by the strength and ability of the band. With about 15 of our own musicians we will have a band of around 45 young people and please do join us for this event on the final day of term.

Coming Up

Thursday 30th March
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 7pm

Friday 31st March
Inter House Cross Country 8.30 am
Final Assembly 10.30 am
Pre Prep ‘Stay and Play’ 10.30am - 12.30pm
Parent Child Hockey Matches 2pm
Parent Tea at Martlet 3.30 pm
Ghetto Classic Performance 4 pm
Refreshments at the Martlet 5.30 pm
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 7 pm
Children may go home with their parents after the play

Saturday 1st April
Buses and taxis leave at 6.30 am with children to go home.
End of Term 8 am

Book Day
A quick heads up for next term. Book Day will be on the first Friday of term (29th April). The theme this year is ‘Heroes and Villains’ which means I might have to be Miss Trunchbull! We would be very grateful if you could discuss this idea at home and if possible help your child a little with their costume.

As always please do get in touch and allow us to help you with any problem, concern or travel situation that needs to be solved or addressed. We cannot help if we do not know!

I include some numbers below to help you and speed things up.

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

We hope you can join us for all the fun and activities at the end of term and we look forward to seeing you very soon.

With very best wishes,