|Trinity Term 2021
Letter from the Headmistress
We Are Back!
Common Entrance Camp, Testing, Final Assembly,
The Calendar, The Colour Run, The Play, Good News, The Swimming Pool, Chromebooks, Adventure Learning, The Digital Hub, STEAM Lessons,
The Martlet Award, Football, The Staff Room,
Please Get In Touch
We are approaching the end of Week 3 for our Year 8s and Week 1 for everyone else. The happiness and excitement is palpable and it is lovely for us all to be together again.
Common Entrance Camp
This went very well and the Year 8s really enjoyed being together and having the school to themselves! They worked hard over the course of the 14 days and this culminated in sitting their Mental Maths exam and their French Listening exams on Monday this week.
The protocol we put in place for testing was well received. All the tests that we took at school proved to be negative and so far there has been no illness. Parents who are yet to be vaccinated and who are going in and out of school on a regular basis are asked to test each week. Those of you who will be taking your children home for the weekend are asked to test prior to coming for pick up unless you have been vaccinated.
Hopefully, these steps will help us to keep the school community safe and allow school to continue without interruption.
Our first assembly took place on Pre’s Lawn on Tuesday morning. I had the greatest pleasure announcing one more scholarship to add to our list. Congratulations must go to Malachi Rune who has been awarded a Sports Scholarship to Kingswood School in Grahamstown SA.
During this assembly we also announced the various Awards, Prizes and Colours from last term. The list was attached to the final letter of the term in March but I copy it below for your interest just in case you missed it.
Hopefully we will be able to drive on through with our events on the calendar and this weekend the Year 7s are off to Soysambu on a camel safari whilst the Year 8s are enjoying an optional exeat after their first three weeks of school.
The Colour Run
The next event will be the Pembroke House Foundation ‘Colour Run’. Please do join us on Saturday 22nd May. Again, those who have not been vaccinated are asked kindly to have a rapid flow test prior to joining us all on the fields.
Pupils in the Senior School are now hard at work with Becca Rayner and her team getting ready for the play. This will be staged on Thursday 2nd June, just prior to half term. Should we feel that testing is really helping to keep us all safe we may well be able to open the play up to parents of pupils in Years 7 and 8. This would be quite wonderful but as yet we need to see how things pan out in the coming weeks. We will of course film the play so that everyone can have the opportunity to watch the children and enjoy ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’.
The Swimming Pool
Thanks to support from the Pembroke House Foundation the swimming pool is now around 26 degrees celsius which is a considerable change and makes swimming, particularly in the early morning, very much more enjoyable. Warm water is also vital to allow children to work on their stroke technique and their times.
Our Chromebooks at school are a much appreciated resource, also made possible by the Pembroke House Foundation. These devices allow us to give the children the opportunity to use the digital world to support their academic work. The search engines to which they give access allow the children to look up and ‘find out’ and add much interest and a vital individual, personal component to each child’s learning. We are once more very grateful to the PHF for supporting us in our bid to extend this resource. Once the new set of Chromebooks arrives we will then have our ICT room and two sets of Chromebooks as well as one set of Learnpads.
The S T E A M Centre
The Digital Hub
STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Whilst STEAM incorporates all manner of skills from the areas listed above it is also a discrete subject in itself and as such it will have its own curriculum and lessons incorporated into the timetable for September.
We are most fortunate to have been given the funds to build the Digital Hub and despite the many priorities that might take centre stage our kind and generous sponsor agrees with us that this new specialised area of school is exactly what is needed to take Pembroke House on into the years ahead. We are hopeful that this initiative will add a vitality and an extra sparkle to the education that we provide for our Pembrokians. As you will appreciate, our digital world is becoming increasingly important, encompassing as it does electronics, robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data, coding, graphics, photography, film making and so much more. Most importantly, at the centre of it all lies problem solving. As our world population increases and our natural environment comes under increasing pressure, problem solving is going to become more and more important. At its heart STEAM focuses on finding creative and sustainable solutions to solve the dilemmas of our modern world.
With the funds in hand we have broken ground and the build is under way. I will keep you posted of our progress as the weeks pass.
As a school we feel that the time is right to bring this new aspect of learning to our curriculum. We have long been known for a love of the outdoors and making the most of Kenya, the very beautiful country in which we live, our natural environment, our grounds and our wonderful climate. Furthermore, Year 6 is increasingly becoming the year in which our children are assessed for their next schools. Over the course of their time in the Middle School the children will build a portfolio cataloging their interests, passions and achievements. This will support them when it comes to interview time and filling in the often asked for CVs. To give time to this new initiative we are planning to introduce two lessons into the Middle School curriculum each week (Year 5 and 6)
The Martlet Award
The final change to our curriculum and extracurricular programme will come with the introduction of The Martlet Award. This award will build on the lessons and portfolio that will have been started during Adventure Learning and STEAM lessons. The Martlet Award will run in a broadly similar way to The Duke of Edinburgh Award but will of course be crafted to suit the children at Pembroke House and the opportunities available. Children will be tracked and their progress recorded as they demonstrate a variety of skills including putting up their own tent, lighting a fire, cooking their own meal, completing a course in Survival Swimming, First Aid, Public Speaking, Community Service and much more. Plans are afoot for the children to be awarded badges in a similar way to Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Girl Guides and these badges can be sewn onto their tracksuits and these will be another marker of their progress.
Football is also set to take a more central place in the sporting calendar. This will be good news for many and it will serve as yet another string to our bow and hopefully another group of children will be truly excited at the thought of more time spent on the football field.
As always this time of year brings changes within the staff room. We are extremely sad to be saying goodbye to Edmund Lovatt. This has been his second tour of duty at Pembroke House and we are very grateful to him for everything that he has given to the school. Coronavirus has wreaked havoc upon all our lives and this has perhaps drawn him towards a more stable and predictable life in the UK. Edmund will be joining Sunningdale Prep School as Director of Studies in September and I am delighted to tell you that he has also accepted an invitation to be a member of Council. This will help us enormously as we stride on through the years ahead and I look forward to working closely with Edmund as we all try to steer Pembroke into the future.
Many of you may know Paul Odera. Paul has taught at Kenton and Peponi and is the Head Coach for the Kenya National Rugby Team. It is very exciting that Paul is going to join us and that he is happy to move his busy life to Gilgil. Paul will be Head of Pastoral Care and also Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion, and as you might imagine Paul will be very involved with our games programme and will be Master i/c Rugby. Paul will also teach some Maths and will join the Senior Leadership Team.
Kaila may also be a familiar name. Kaila was a pupil at Pembroke and she was then with us as a gap student. Since qualifying as a teacher she has spent many years working at The Banda, and we are thrilled that she is now returning to Pembroke House as Head of Girls’ Games.
In September Year 4 will be two classes and Ashleigh will be working closely with Katie Aung to teach this year group. Ashleigh comes to us from Australia and we are most fortunate for she has now settled here in Gilgil with her partner and her little girl.
Ed teaches CE French at Cothill House in the UK where he also runs General Studies and is Head of Football and Athletics. Ed is joining our line up of staff to allow John Wright to re-establish our Classics Department and teach Latin, while Ed takes on some of his French teaching. Ed will be instrumental in developing football as a more serious sport at Pembroke House. He will also oversee the ongoing professional development for our Sports’ Assistants in order to enhance and improve our individual coaching.
As you can see these are exciting times. The virus has given us all time to take stock and rethink how we do things and hopefully these changes will be truly positive and they will build on so much that is already taking place at school.
Please do get in touch over anything at all; it is a great pleasure to try to help.
With very best wishes,