Weekly Newsletters

Newsletter 5/2018

23 February, 2018

UWC Board Meeting at Waterford

As I mentioned last week, the UWC board meeting is in session today and tomorrow. They were given a warm Swazi welcome yesterday when they arrived, with WK Swazi students performing a Swazi traditional dance. Later in the afternoon the visitors conducted a question and answer session with students and staff, inviting them to ask questions related to UWC. For more information, click here. This evening at 18:00 there will be a musical show/concert in the Assembly Hall, everyone is welcome. We wish the board and staff of the UWCIO a wonderful stay.

 

Form 3 CAS Day

Today was the Form 3 Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) day. They participated in workshops that helped to sharpen their skills in areas such as debate and public speaking, dance and creative art. For more information, click here. 

 

SRC Bonfire

Last week, despite the rain, the SRC had a bonfire.  It was a lovely evening which brought together the community. Read more.

 

Waterford Travel Links: Midterm 1 of 2018

Next week is midterm break. Please see travel links below and note that the links below are also on the school website and on the intranet. Travel links will close on Monday the 26th February 2018 at 8:00am.

Transport To and From Johannesburg

  • Departs Waterford on Friday 2 March at 6.15am and 8.15am
  • Arrives at OR Tambo at 11.30am and 13.30pm respectively
  • The 8.15am bus will only be confirmed if there is a high enough demand

Transport To and From Maputo  

  • Departs from Waterford on Friday 2 March at 8.00am
  • Arrives in central Maputo at mid-afternoon (traffic dependent)

Transport To and From Maseru:

  • School transport only provided at the end and beginning of terms

Transport To and From King Mswati III (SIKHUPE) Airport

  • School transport will leave from the Main Gate at least 45min – 1hr before the shuttle departs from Mbabane
  • Airport shuttle departs Mbabane at 5am, 8am, 11am and 2pm
  • On return the shuttle will drop college students directly at Waterford.

 

Fees

We are fast approaching mid-term and wish to remind all parents and those responsible for fees that fees are due and need to be settled before mid-term.

Our policy states that all fees must be paid at the start of the term. We have always tried to accommodate parents wanting to pay on a monthly basis; however we have a substantial amount due at present. Just as we understand the financial pressure experienced by parents, we, too, have our overheads and running costs to pay and rely on the fees for this. We also do not wish to exclude any pupils after mid-term, but we will have no alternative but to do so should fees not be settled.

If you have any queries please contact the Bursar at bursar@waterford.sz or telephone 24221807, or Tricia Fraser at tricia.fraser@waterford.sz or telephone 24221639

 

School Wifi

In the past week I received an email from a parent who is concerned about the quality of the Wi-Fi at the school. I thought the reply from the IT Director would be of interest to all: 

  • “We sometimes have over 1700 devices on the Wi-Fi. Wifi is a technology which is designed to share, so anytime that many users are busy in one location, the connection speed at that location will deteriorate.
  • To empower all the students we added extra network cables in the IT Center lobby last September. The students immediately started using them. Connecting via cable will give the student reasonable and reliable internet speed regardless of how many users are on the network.
  • For the IB's specifically, we have added extra cables in the Elangeni hostel before the school year started in January 2018 and in the Emhlabeni hostel at the end of January.
  • We have communicated this to the students there and asked them to spread the word, and we spoke to the hostel supervisors.
  • We are also getting better feedback from staff and students this year about sites that may have gone down - and are doing our best to ensure that they are addressed within an hour of the notification. Please note that power outages (which are beyond the control of the school) will affect the Wi-Fi, but the students know that the generator keeps the system up at the IT Center - which is available from 7am to 10pm weekdays and from 8am to 10pm on the weekends.
  • The IT Technicians are available from 7am to 7pm on the weekdays and from 8 to 1pm on Saturday - the students do come for assistance when they need it.
  • We have made a point of informing the students who ask about the best way to connect reliably. Our head of IT has spoken to the IB2's in their Admin session about two weeks ago and made sure to remind them about their options for decent and reliable internet speed.
  • There has been some improvement with regard to internet access.
  • In July 2017 there was one service provider and a total of 6Mbps for all users.
  • Now we have 3 Internet service providers providing 8Mbps, 3Mbps via fiber over wireless technology and 4 Mbps via fiber line from SPTC. This is a total of 15Mbps.
  • 8 Mbps is dedicated to the Wi-Fi. 3Mbps is intended for IT Center (once we have installed a firewall) - and the 4 Mbps fiber is for the teachers and staff to use for school business. 
  • There is still some fine tuning to be done once all the infrastructure is in place which will allow us to speed up the Wi-Fi signal by restricting bandwidth greedy applications to certain times (such as Apple and Windows 10 updates ) - and by reducing the reach of the signal which simultaneously increases the speed thereof.
  • Having said all that, I will still appeal for understanding – Swaziland Internet is not yet at the standard of the developed world.”

 

Parents Evening

Parents are reminded about the Parents evening which will take place next week Thursday starting at 16:30.

There will be a presentation for Form 5 students and parents about IB subjects (Global Politics, Environmental Systems and Societies, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Psychology, Economics) from 16:30 – 17:00 in the Assembly Hall.

 

Entrance Testing for Admission in 2019

Our entrance testing dates and venues are listed below. These dates and times are also available on our website. Please register siblings and spread the word to families and friends. The testing dates are as follows:

  • Saturday March 10th – 8am – WK Campus – for the Forms and IB (including all Swaziland National Committee applicants)
  • Saturday March 17th – 8am – WK Campus – for the Forms only

The Regional Entrance Testing takes place as follows:

  • Saturday May 19th – 9am – Nairobi (Sarova Pan Afric), Dar (Protea Courtyard), Harare (Bronte), Gaborone (Avani).
  • Saturday June 9th – 9am – Maputo – (VIP)

Applicants residing beyond Swaziland can make appointments to test on campus on a mutually convenient weekday by contacting the Director of Admissions at careers@waterford.sz

 

From the Cine Club

Saturday 24th February: Dr. Morgan Jones will introduce Zafirelli's film of Verdi's 'Otello', putting this powerful opera performance into context. This continues our thought-provoking and inspiring selection for the Shakespeare Season. The starting time is 19:00.

Friday 23rd March - It is Asia week: There will be a concert featuring a multi-cultural selection of musical and theatrical performances by Waterford's students. The show promises to be exciting, full of variety and a lot of fun. The starting time is 19:00.

Saturday 24th March:  Two films are screened this evening. At 4pm - 6pm, Asia Week is screening 'Haider' (Dir. Vishal Bhadwaj); a moving translation of 'Hamlet' into the context of the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. At 7pm - 9pm, we return to the advertised Cine Club program with 'Caesar Must Die' (Dir. Taviani). Both these films connect with our Shakespeare Season and both promise memorable viewing experiences.

 

Sporting Activities

Basketball: Congratulations to our under 14 girls’ basketball team for winning a tournament last Saturday. Read more.

Yesterday our under 16 basketball team travelled to St Stithian’s college in Johannesburg. They return on Sunday. Next week our senior boys’ team will travel to St John’s in Johannesburg.

 

Reminder: Important dates:

  • Thursday 1st March – Parent/Teacher Meeting at 14:30
  • Friday 2nd March – Half Term: bus departs WK for JHB at 06.15
  • Tuesday 6th March – Half Term: bus departs OR Tambo, JHB at 14:00
  • Saturday 10th March – Entrance Testing for the Forms and IB (Including Swazi UWC NC selection)
  • Saturday 17th March – Entrance Testing for the Forms only
  • Thursday 29th March (Easter Weekend) – Buses Depart WK for JHB at 06:15
  • Friday 30th March – Holiday (Good Friday)
  • Monday 2nd April – Holiday (Easter Monday); buses return from OR Tambo, JHB at 14:00
  • Wednesday 18th April – School closes
  • Thursday 19th April – WK bus departs for JHB at 06:15
  • Saturday 19th May and 9th June – Regional Entrance Testing

 

Any Questions?

If you have any questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at principal@waterford.sz  If the question is of broad interest I will publish the question (with the permission of the writer and without the name) and my reply in the newsletter.

 

Kind Regards

Stephen Lowry

Principal

© Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA 2018

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