The Play, Scholarships, RLF Testing,
Speech Day, Year 8 Black Tie Dinner, Exeat,
Changes to the Calendar, School Exams, CE exams,
Inter House Swimming Gala, Widgery Cup & Car Boot Sale,
Gilgil Summer Fete, School Trips, Dinky Safari Rally, The Digital Hub,
The Staff Room, Please Do Get In Touch.
I write as half term is underway and I hope you are all having a lovely time. In this letter I will endeavour to bring you up to date with where we are and what lies ahead.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
We were all thrilled at last to watch the Play. The children worked incredibly hard during their rehearsals and the final performance was a great credit to the cast and the entire production team led by Miss Rayner. Our senior school parents joined us in the theatre and we enjoyed a wonderful evening of entertainment. This was the first such event for nearly eighteen months which is really quite something. Huge congratulations to all the children and to Miss Rayner for bringing it all together and coping with so many setbacks along the way. It was definitely a case of 3rd time lucky!
I would also like to update you at the beginning of this Letter with what is probably our final Scholarship of the year. Alice Trent has been awarded a Thring Scholarship to Uppingham School in the UK. This is tremendously exciting and an outstanding achievement for we believe Alice’s award is the first Thring Scholarship ever to have been given to a pupil at Pembroke House. Very well done, Alice.
Scholarship List 2021
Miles Tomblin - Sir Michael Palin All Rounder Scholarship to Shrewsbury
Isobel Foxton - Sport Scholarship Sedbergh School
Mark Namisano - Sport Scholarship to Peponi
Yzeera Sebunya - Drama Scholarship to Peponi
Sasha Camm - All Rounder Scholarship to Millfield
Siena Barclay - Academic Scholarship to Sherborne Girls
Ayira Browne - All Rounder Scholarship to Sedbergh School
Chilli Winter - Sport Scholarship to Glenalmond
Lochy Murray - Sport Scholarship to Glenalmond
Malachi Rune - Sport Scholarship to Kingswood College SA
Alice Trent - Thring Scholarship to Uppingham School
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing
The ability to test easily, quickly and at a relatively modest cost has made all the difference to everyone’s level of confidence at school. So far Purity and her team have carried out 223 tests and all the results have been negative. We have had one night askari who has fallen ill with Covid but his close contacts at school were all negative and have continued to test negative. This member of staff is now on the mend. We feel that testing at the beginning of each half term gives us a known baseline and helps us all breathe a little more easily.
You have all been most supportive and patient in enduring testing whether it be prior to taking your children home for the weekend or once a week, just to make sure we have the most comprehensive health check possible in order to keep the school community healthy and make sure we can stay open.
There is still much concern over the levels of Covid in and around Eldoret in particular, so we must not become complacent. With six weeks now under our belt we sincerely hope to reach Speech Day on Thursday 8th July.
Thursday 8th July 2021
We have moved our Speech Day to Thursday evening to try to make sure that we can hold this traditional and very special event in the school calendar. With the whole school in attendance with their parents and all our teaching staff we feel that this event must take place outside. As many of you know we have a number of slide shows during the course of the affair and for these we need darkness. This has led us to set the time for Speech Day as evening falls. We would like you all to gather and join us at 5 pm at the Martlet Cafe where we will serve refreshments and fortify you for the celebration ahead. At around 6.30 pm we will head down to the Old Pavilion where Speech Day itself will take place. I shall not give you too many more details just in case they change and I would not wish to spoil the surprise!
The Year 8 Leavers for 2020
Knowing that our last leavers in 2020 missed out on their own Speech Day we have invited them to join us for this celebration and we will include the 2020s in the programme. Hopefully, this will go some way towards making up for missing their own special day back in July last year.
Year 8 Black Tie Dinner
To allow Speech Day to move to Thursday evening we have had to reposition our Year 8 Black Tie Dinner which will now be on Wednesday 7th July; this will be outside and will take place at the Head’s Hub.
Year 8 Party Clothes
The Year 8s will need their party clothes for both the Year 8 post CE party and the Year 8 Black Tie Dinner. Mrs Surtees has been in touch with the finer details but please do try to remember to send the Year 8s back with what they need. The teachers are very kind and often end up lending their clothes but the trousers tend to be very long and the jackets rather big for our 13 year olds!
Our next exeat is on Friday 25th June. In a similar way to this half term we would like to allow you to collect your children early on Friday morning, the day of departure, rather than waiting until lunch time. We sincerely apologise for changing the arrangements somewhat but for the good of the children and you, their families, we feel this is the right thing to do. The school will remain open and all children will be looked after until such time as you arrive to collect them. Should you live locally then, as always, you are most welcome to collect your children after the school day finishes on Thursday 24th June.
Changes to the Calendar
I would like to thank you for your support and understanding for the times that we have needed to change things over the past eighteen months. I would also like to apologise for any anxiety, heartache and frustration that might well have accompanied such alterations to dates and times previously listed in the calendar. We do not take the revisions lightly and do our best to keep any alterations to the absolute minimum.
School exams start in Week 8 which begins on Monday 14th June.
CE exams begin in Week 9 on Monday 21st June.
Inter House Swimming Gala
This will be held on Saturday 12th June and we are all looking forward to watching the children swim and seeing how they have improved over the last year. We are most grateful to the Pembroke House Foundation for their support in getting the solar heating up to scratch and the pool now reaches temperatures around 26 degrees C. Please do join us if you can.
School Riding Weekend
Unfortunately, Rachel Robley, our riding teacher, fell off a pony earlier this week and she has broken her collarbone. The children who were with her were wonderful and immediately alerted the teachers at school and we were able to send help down to the fields very quickly. I know you will all join me in wishing Rachel a quick recovery. Knowing Rachel, I believe riding lessons will start after half term but Rachel may well be supervising matters from her quad bike! We were going to have a riding weekend following the swimming gala on Saturday and Sunday 12/13th June but we will confirm matters once Rachel has returned to school and when she has had time to think things through.
Widgery Cup & Car Boot Sale
Saturday 3rd July 2021
On the final weekend of this term we have the Widgery Cup and we are planning a car boot sale and some cricket in the afternoon. We have also invited a Jazz Band to lift our spirits and make sure that this is a wonderful day at school. With everything planned for outside and Purity and her team on hand to administer any RLF tests that are needed we feel this will make sure that the day is very enjoyable for all concerned. Please could we ask you to partner up with your son or daughter if they play tennis to ensure that this annual competition is hard fought. The Widgery Cup is great fun and the final will be played around lunch time.
Car Boot Sale
Saturday 3rd July 2021
After 18 months involving a certain amount of lockdown we feel there may be many things that might need rehoming! We thought that a car boot sale might add a spot of extra interest to the day and at the same time will raise some money both for charity and for the Pembroke House Foundation. Entrance will be 1500 Ksh and we will arrange the cars in the shade of the trees in the forestry area. Please could you let Katrina know if you would like to bring your car. Late entries will of course be allowed but it will help us to organise things if we know who might be coming and the sort of space we need to arrange.
Gilgil Club Summer Fete
Sunday 4th July
On the Sunday following the Widgery Cup and Car Boot Sale, Gilgil Club is holding a fete. This is very exciting and we are all looking forward to crossing the road and enjoying everything that has been arranged. Please do plan to join us all so we can make the most of this exciting new ‘happening’ right on our doorstep.
Dinky Safari Rally
The Dinky Safari Rally will be in the last week of term with the night stage on Tuesday 6th July and the main rally on Wednesday 7th July. The children will make up teams and of course they will need a vehicle. Your support in helping to equip your child with a suitable car, resistant to tipples and within the ‘specs’ would be wonderful. Please do join us if you can for this traditional and very exciting event and I know there will be more details sent out later so we all know what is going on.
School trips are very much part and parcel of life at Pembroke House and since they are for the most part outside we feel these can go ahead.
Year 3 Trip to Naivasha Saturday and Sunday 19th & 20th June
Year 4 Trip to The Mara Tuesday 8th June to Thursday 10th june
Year 8 Trip White Water Rafting at the Sagana River & a Camel Safari in Laikipia.
A Busy Time
The second half of term is tremendously busy and we are all so excited at the thought of completing the weeks ahead as scheduled.
Please do change the detail in your calendar for the final days of term so that there is no confusion later. I will list the events in order below, which might also help you arrange your diaries.
Monday 7th June Back to school after half term
Tuesday 8th June Year 4 Trip to the Mara
Saturday 12th June Inter House Swimming Gala.
Sunday 13th June Riding day at School TBC
Tuesday 15th June School exams begin
Saturday 19th June Year 8 ‘closed’ revision weekend.
Year 3 Trip to Naivasha
Monday 21st June CE Exams begin
Friday 25th June Exeat begins, early pick ups allowed.
School Trip for children who would like to stay at school
Monday 28th June Back to school for 9.30am
Yr 8 Trip Camel Safari
Saturday 3rd July Widgery Cup & PHF Car Boot Sale, Jazz Band & Cricket
Sunday 4th July Gilgil Summer Fete
Year 8 Trip White Water rafting
Tuesday 6th July Dinky Safari Rally Night Stage
Wednesday 7th July Dinky Safari Rally & Year 8 Black Tie Dinner
Thursday 8th July Parent v children matches
Evening Speech Day
Children to go home with their parents after Speech Day
The STEAM Centre
The Digital Hub
With the funds in hand, thanks to our very generous sponsor, we have broken ground and the build is under way. We have had to remove a very large tree which was in the way which has slightly delayed our progress but this is the time to get such things right and so we were happy to shift the foundations slightly away from the Art Room to allow a little more light for both buildings. I will keep you posted as the weeks pass.
The STEAM Centre
An artist’s impression by Frannie Simpson
I know I mentioned our leaving staff in the last letter (No 3) but I understand that it is often hard to assimilate and focus on each piece of information in these letters. Thus I include the information about our teachers that are moving on and those new members of staff that are joining us so you can keep track of what is happening at school.
Unfortunately I must add Joe Percival, our Head of History, to the list of leaving staff. Joe’s father is not well and he feels that he must return to the UK to be near him and support his family. We fully understand and we are very sorry indeed that Joe must leave us. Joe will have completed 4 years at Pembroke and he has added much to the school during this time. Fortunately, Sarah will stay on with us for a little longer with Harry and Hugo and this is very good news for us all at Pembroke House.
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.
New Teachers Paul Odera
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 subsequently 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.
I hope that this letter will go some way to help as you think about the second half of term. There are just five weeks of school to go, so it will be an extremely busy time.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can help with anything at all.