Michaelmas Term 2022
Letter from the Headmistress
The New Academic Year 2022/23
The Calendar, New Teachers, Extras, Ski Trip,
Uniform, Rugs, Mosquito Nets and Duvets,
Classroom Equipment, Letter Writing, School Fees
Please ask for help.
The start of the new academic year approaches and I am sure you are all feeling a little bit anxious at the thought of packing trunks and getting ready for what is always a very ‘full on’ and busy term. Eight weeks holiday is quite something for us all and it is always so exciting to see how the children have developed and grown over the break. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back for the new school year and do remember that we as teachers get just as nervous! It will all be alright I promise!
The first thing you need to have at your fingertips is the school calendar for this term. Please click on the link below. Please make a mental note that for the first time this term, half term is 2 days longer; so we break up on Saturday 15th October and return to school on Wednesday 26th October with Chapel at 9 am. (FYI Boats will take place in the afternoon on Friday 14th October and children may leave school with you after this event)
Michaelmas Term 2022
The term dates for the coming year are at the end of the calendar but I attach them here as well to help you with planning your holidays and trips for the year ahead.
Term Dates 2022/23
The New Term
In the main school we start with 198 children and 12 new teachers and in Pre Prep we will have 40 children from six months to five years old and one new teacher.
I have already introduced our new members of staff but I shall copy below a few paragraphs from my last letter to help you familiarise yourselves with the changes at school to which I would like to draw your attention, now that we are nearly there.
New Staff & Changes
James and Alex Standen McDougal are coming from Beaudesert Park where James has been Senior Master and Head of History, and Alex, Head of Drama and i/c Girls. You may also be interested to know that James worked closely with Richard Foster at S. Anselms quite a few years ago. James will take on Head of History and he will also take over from Henry Snow as Housemaster of Mackie House. Henry Snow will become the Senior Tutor in Mackie House, working closely with James, as well as being our new Director of Sport. This move will allow Henry to relocate to a new home base out of the Boys’ House to gain a little extra freedom with his young family. As Senior Tutor Henry will work very closely with James and Alex to help to show them the ropes. Henry has considerable experience as Director of Sport for he headed up the sports department at Beaudesert Park and he is excited that, once more, he will be able to take on this responsibility. Alex will become Head of Drama and she will support James as an Assistant Housemistress in Mackie House.
Toby Blake comes to us from Kenton College and The Dragon School. Toby will be Head of Science. Toby will also join the team in Mackie House as Assistant Housemaster. Toby loves his cycling and I know he will add much to this area of school life.
Carol Ngori is also joining us as an Assistant Housemistress in Mackie House. She is a super swimming coach and has been supporting us throughout the later part of this academic year. Carol and Seth will work together to take on the swimming lessons and prepare the swimming squad for the competition season. Carol will live upstairs in Mackie House.
Alice Matthews will join us from Twyford High School in London and Alice will be an Assistant Housemistress and teach Middle School Science. Alice is keen to renew her Kenyan connections, for her mother went to The Banda.
Ian Adams was Head of Maths at Sherborne Prep School and he comes to us with much leadership experience and he has spent considerable time in Kenya and East Africa. Ian is to be Head of Digital Learning & STEAM and he will also work closely with Laelia Surtees preparing our scholarship candidates. Ian joins us with his wife Francesca and their two daughters Florence and Clementine.
Wambura Mitaru is joining us as Head of Music. Wambura won a Scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, USA to study Music Education and Music Business Management. Wambura’s CV is rich with innovation and experience and we are all excited to welcome Wambura to Pembroke House.
Heather Clarke is also joining us as a Science and Maths teacher. Heather has taught at Pembroke House before so we are all very excited to welcome her back.
Ginny Shambarla will arrive over the holidays to take on the role at school of Riding Instructor. Ginny has much experience of the horse world with a BHS Intermediate Instructor’s certificate and much experience of pony club, and running yards. Ginny has also worked in Kenya before and instructed at Pony Club camp up in Timau some years ago. I have already introduced Ginny to many of you who bring ponies to school and who like your children to ride. Hopefully, Ginny will have time at the weekends to allow the children to spend more ‘down time’ with the ponies, grooming, feeding and doing all those horsey things that so many children love. Ginny also has much experience managing the boarding side of schools and so she is ideally placed to move into Evonne’s house and become Assistant Housemistress of Scholes House. Evonne will remain as Housemistress whilst she gets her new team up and running. This means the House staff for the Girls’ House will be Evonne as Housemistress with Emily Kilonzo, Alice Matthews and Ginny Shambarla as her Assistants.
Catherine Forsayeth has much experience teaching Theology, Philosophy and Religion as well as English and so Catherine will take up the reins as Head of TPR at Pembroke and she may also teach some English. Catherine will fly in from Australia and despite being slightly more in my age bracket, she is experienced and very keen to coach some cricket and take some extra art and so we are anticipating plenty of action and energy from the TPR department! This may well lead you to wonder what Paul Odera will teach. Paul has kindly agreed to Head up the Kiswahili & Citizenship Department which is perfect for him to get to know each and every child at school and at the same time take this department forward.
In September Pre Prep will number 39 children from the age of six months to five years old. Over recent months Tiva Arkle has kindly been covering Emily Rowe’s maternity leave. Tiva has added much sparkle and creativity to Mini Martlets and with numbers growing in this area of the school we are most fortunate that she has agreed to stay on with us as part of the team. Emily Rowe will return to teach again in October, after half term.
Kirsty Rust will be taking a Year 4 class, with Katie Aung taking the parallel form of this year group until Ashleigh Harrold returns. Kirsty and her family arrived in Kenya in 2020 from the Kingdom of eSwatini and have set up home in Thika. Kirsty brings with her over 20 years experience in the education sector; teaching children from preschool through to senior primary in a variety of subjects.
Dorcie Agunda, Evalyne Njeri and Faith Lon
Dorcie Agunda and Evalyne Njeri actually arrived at Pembroke House last term to help us. This term Dorcie will teach in the ICT Department and she will coach Sport. We are most fortunate to find a teacher and sports coach with Dorcie’s experience and passion, for Dorcie played in the National Hockey Team for 10 years and was also Vice Captain. Evalyne is part of Alison Letcher’s team in the Coach House helping with Learning Support. She will be joined this term by Faith who is also a qualified teacher and specialises in this area of school life.
Tennis & Squash
I know we would all like our children to become proficient tennis and squash players and the more skills they can pick up at this early age the better for later on in life. We will continue to teach tennis as part of PE but we will also have two or three experienced and qualified peripatetic tennis and squash coaches available for ‘extras’ so please sign your children up when John Wright sends out the list ready for the new term.
This was a very popular ‘extra’ last term and now that we have some established rules around pikis and ponies, we are on the straight and narrow and ready for some new adventures next term!
With winter in the Northern hemisphere, ahead of us, it might be worth considering the ski trip which has been kindly arranged by Alan Dixson at Lets Go Travel. The location is Cervinia in Italy which is nice and high and the trip will be just as the Easter holidays begin in the new year. Please click on the link below for more information.
BIG HILL SKI TOUR TO CERVINIA, ITALY
APRIL 2023 OVER EASTER
Things to Remember - Please!
Please have a good look at your child’s uniform and arrange some new items if necessary. On occasion black shoes seem to be a challenge, as do long grey socks which go with our formal ‘whites’. Short socks seem to become rather worse for wear over time and once they are washed and tidied away, large holes tend to go unnoticed, so please check each pair of socks in the trunk!
The Clothing Company East Africa
Katie Keith and Mandy Hellings of The Clothing Company, East Africa will be at school on the days preceding the start of term and please do get in touch with them nice and early, to request and arrange those items of uniform you might need. Alternatively, the Sarit Centre uniform shop ‘School Outfitters’ stock our uniform and I am sure they can arrange to send you what you might need by G4S or Wells Fargo.
Please remember that absolutely everything needs naming - underwear, socks, tennis rackets, sports shoes, duvets, pillow cases and so on. This allows us to return misplaced items for I am afraid that once you get to school, so many things look alike and understandably the children are not keen to claim something as their own, unless it is named.
It would be so helpful if you could also help restock your child’s pencil case. The children need to have a blue pen for work in their exercise books, but not a biro please. Then they need colour pencils and I know they all love felt tips. As you might expect we need the usual pencils, ruler, rubber, sharpener, glue stick, scissors, calculator and such like - again all named please!
Stamped & Addressed Envelopes
We strongly believe in ‘letter writing’ and the children sending a letter home to you each week. However, it is a full time job for Terry to address and stamp all 190 odd envelopes if you do not help us! Please could you very kindly manage to add your address and a stamp to each of the 10 envelopes needed for this term.
Both Mackie House and Scholes House have had a little bit of a makeover during the holidays and we would like each child to bring back to school a bedside rug. This will help to personalise their area and make it feel more like home, especially as they get out of bed each morning!
The ideal net for school is a double net, for this gives the children lots of room under the net and helps us tuck it in, so it avoids touching them in the night.
Duvets and Duvet Covers
Please could we ask everyone to help their child bring a single duvet back to school that has its own cotton case/cover (not the more sleeping bag type of bed cover). This means the duvet will fit the bed and it helps with neat and tidy bed making! It also means we can take the cover off and wash it each week. Please bring one or two nice pillows along with pillow cases as well.
In days gone by, all our parents queued up outside the Bursar’s office on the first day of term to deposit their cheque for the school fees. Now, with online payments and credit cards it is somewhat quicker and easier and so please could I ask you to be very kind and make sure your school fees are all paid by the first day of term.
As you know MJ has very kindly taken up the role of Registrar to cover for Katrina and so please do reach out to MJ, Terry or me for any help you might need in the coming weeks, over absolutely anything at all.
Back to School
Monday 5th September 2022
Pre Prep will start as usual at 8.30 am on Monday 5th September.
Pre Prep Lunch
Please save the date for the Pre Prep Lunch that is in the calendar for Thursday 15th September.
For Years 1-8 school starts on Monday 5th September at 9.30 am with Chapel at 10 am. Hopefully, this will give everyone plenty of time to get to Gilgil, unpack and sort out their child’s belongings. Families are most welcome to come into school over the weekend to manage this side of things, but please do get in touch with MJ, Evonne or Mr Snow (who will be there to help Mr Standen McDougal) in order to arrange this in advance.
MJ - email@example.com
Evonne - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Snow - email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you very soon!
With very best wishes,
Mrs Deborah Boyd Moss MA (Cantab) PGCE
+ 254 (0) 720 602 483