Michaelmas Term 2020 No 2

Michaelmas Term 2020
                              
Letter from the Headmistress

No 2

New Teachers, Calendar, Timetable & Form Lists, Equipment, Cameras on, Monday Morning, The Christina Chapel, Live School, Pembroke Parents’ WhatsApp Group, Asking for Help, The importance of good habits….
Dear Parents,

I cannot quite believe it but here we are with less than a week to go before our online learning programme begins and the new academic year is underway.

We have had some time to get used to this idea but it does not make the prospect any the less bleak. However, we must be grateful that we do have an online option and that between all of us we have actually made it work and made it as enjoyable as possible for our children.

Online Learning...
New Teachers
I thought it might help to remind you of our new teachers who have joined us. Catherine Gatheru is back and she has taken up the reins as Head of the Junior School. Ms Gatheru will be teaching Year 3 with Mrs Foxton. Dani Goodchild has arrived and she has already met up with her little Year 1 pupils and all is in order for the term ahead. Chris Haynes our new Head of Digital Learning & Graphics has also arrived and he has taken up his position in this increasingly important area of school life.  Together with Andrew Nyansikera matters are coming together for the digital term ahead. Chris will be joined by his wife Nthenya Haynes who will teach Middle School Science and she will also join the team in the Coach House for learning support. Finally we have Fran Pim-Kaime who is not really new and we are most grateful for she often joins us to help with support and cover teaching. This year Ms Pim-Kaime will join Judy Wairimu to teach the Year 2s.

Calendar / Timetables & Form List
Tutors are just in the process of contacting you all to give you the timetable for the coming term. We will also make sure you have your child’s form list so you know what’s what and who to expect in the classroom. The calendar has already been sent and I attach a link below for ease of reference.

Calendar Michaelmas 2020
(click to open)
Equipment
I know Mrs Jensen is also sending out a list this week of equipment that will help you have everything to hand for your art work. In terms of all other subjects it would be wise to have some A4 lined paper, some A4 plain white paper and pencils, pens, calculator and coloured pencils to hand and of course a ruler, rubber, a pair of scissors and a pencil sharpener.
Bits & Pieces needed for lessons..
Cameras on
Whilst I am writing could I ask you all to kindly insist that your children keep their cameras on during lessons. This means the lesson is much more engaging and our children cannot pop up a screen shot of themselves and wander off to ‘do’ something else!

Monday Morning
Term will start with a live assembly on Monday morning 7th September at 8.15 am. I am hoping that the confidence to manage this, not to mention the technical ‘know how’, will not have left me and all will be well - we will see. What I can say is that it is tremendously exciting to see everyone logging on and knowing we can all see each other. Being able to address you all from the Christina Chapel gives me great strength especially when I think back to when it was built with the boys helping their Masters and teachers and all in the aftermath of World War ll.

Photographs
I have added a couple of photos below to take you back to this time…..

 

Boys building the Christina Chapel

What else…
I would like to wish our leavers well as they set off to join their new schools and we hope that the quarantine measures abroad are not too difficult and they all settle in very quickly.

Live School
I know we are all on tenterhooks with regards to a return to ‘normal live’ school. To this end we have welcomed the Public Health Department and are putting into place their advice and making sure that all areas of school life are ready to go should the Kenyan Government give schools the ‘all clear’. At present we are aiming for January and the start of the new year 2021. However, there is a slim chance matters may change before this and I can assure you I will keep you posted.

Pembroke Parents' WhatsApp Group
The Pembroke Parent WhatsApp group has been so helpful and reassuring for us all and allows for the instant dissemination of information and keeps us all up to date with whatever might be going on. Please do not hesitate to send a message or reach out over anything at all and I can then do my homework and get back to you.

Asking for help...
We all face so many challenges each day and this pandemic has just added to the list and for many of us the techie side of life does not come naturally. For our children this is not such a problem and this time of online learning will have really brought them all up to speed and I am sure the advantages will become most apparent later on in our children’s lives. However, for us as parents, logging on, clicking, opening, filing, submitting and all manner of other instructions are not second nature.

Please do ask for help. Between us we can always find a way…

An image from Charlie Mackesy

Keeping Up.
Finally I know we all worry that our children will in some way be left behind with this way of learning. Perhaps we will not be able to cover so much ground and our children’s education will in turn suffer. Of course ‘live’ school and lessons altogether with a teacher in the room are so much more engaging and ultimately more fun...it is what life is all about, enjoying our natural curiosity, engaging, exchanging, debating, discussing, the passing on of knowledge and the exciting synthesis of new ideas and thoughts. However, with our online option we are most fortunate that we can enjoy much of this and with commitment and determination to complete each task set, we can get through so much of the curriculum. Our children will grow and develop accordingly, benefitting from the range of lessons they can enjoy each day. The way to make sure we can all make the most of this time is to inculcate and encourage sensible habits whereby our children attend to each and every detail of  their school day and of course helping at home.  Step by step we will get there and I have pasted below some wise words from Aristotle….

So I think this brings us to the end of this Letter No 2. I look forward to seeing all our children on Monday morning 7th September. I can then send them on their way to their first lesson of the new academic year.

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your perseverance, support and enthusiasm in helping us get this term off the ground. Hopefully, it is our last and I will let you know the moment we hear anything at all from the authorities here in Kenya.

For now stay safe and well and of course make the most of the coming weeks and months at home with your children. However much we all hope for a return to ‘normal school’ we must remember these are also very special times indeed.

With very best wishes,

Debs

 
Mrs Deborah Boyd Moss MA (Cantab) PGCE
Headmistress
Pembroke House
+ 254 (0) 720 602 483
headmistress@pembrokehouse.sc.ke