Weekly Newsletters

Newsletter 24/2020

7 August, 2020

We Made It!

At the start of the second term I made a distinction between online teaching and learning and home-schooling. I said that during this time apart we would continue with as many of our usual activities as we could like our assemblies, for all of us to stay connected. I am pleased to say that while our virtual community was not as busy, vibrant, and engaging as it would have been in person, we have still managed to be a real school, not simply some disjointed lessons. Our students have continued to thrive and engage in the curriculum and their values-based education.  We held a number of virtual events and activities such as Kamhlaba Day and the Eswatini Careers Fair. This week we concluded the term with a  virtual UWC Africa Week, another annual student-led event that gives students a platform to explore Africa and reflect deeply about the challenges and opportunities presented by the continent. A big thank you to the organizers for putting together such events. I would like to remind you that all our virtual events from Term 2 will continue to be available for you to view from the OTL Landing Page, and I would encourage you to have a look at them during the holidays if you have some time to kill, especially if you were unable to see them during the term.

I must say that we would not have been able to achieve this vibrant online community without the participation, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication from our 20- and 30-something Millennial livewires in the advancement office. Immediately we started OTL, Ms. Mhangami the director, took charge of the assemblies and simply grew the repertoire as the term progressed, ensuring that we could continue with so much.

Likewise Mrs. Stewart, my trusted right-hand colleague, became a zoom expert, making sure so many of our meetings and forums could continue, including important events such as concluding SRC elections and ensuring the student leadership transition.

I would also like to thank the staff, student body, governors, alumni and friends of Waterford for continuing to support us as we work to make sure that the school operates despite the COVID-19 pandemic. No one anticipated this event, but we have been able to adapt quickly as a community and together we have kept the ship steady during these strange storms. We made it! As always, I appeal to parents and guardians to please allow our students some time to rest during the holidays. I am aware that some will use the holidays for catching up with school work, but it is also important that they get some rest. Enjoy the break.

Please note that my end-of-term message can be found on YouTube and invite all, especially our parents to watch as there is an important message of appreciation to you our most loyal of supporters. 

 

COVID-19 Infections

We are beginning to receive reports about some of our students or their family members who have been infected by the C-19 virus.

As we approach the spike in the region, both here in Eswatini and next door in South Africa, we are aware that increasingly members of our community will be affected. It is not an easy time for any of us, and we appeal to parents and families to be in touch with the school if there is any way we can assist, particularly if any of the students need extra support especially from the counselling department. Please do consider us a resource to help you during this time. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all in our community at this very difficult time.

 

Form 5 Exam Town hall Meeting

Yesterday we held a virtual meeting with Form 5 parents / guardians to provide updates and answer questions from parents, guardians and students regarding the IGCSE examination. The recording is now available on the College website. We have also included whatever IGCSE information we think relevant on our “COVID-19: frequently asked questions (FAQs)” which can be accessed on the school website.

 

Communication

Please note that we are integrating all relevant information into our “COVID-19: frequently asked questions (FAQs)”, so there is one place for any queries you may have. We will alert you whenever there are changes. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you think we need to be communicating about anything to do with the school.

 

Farewell to our Volunteers

We would like to bid farewell to our volunteers who have been with us for two terms. We thank them for their hard work and for assisting us during the second term during online teaching and learning. There have been some developments with the US Embassy and we are hopeful that they can get visas and travel to the US for their college education. We want to reassure the community that for those who are unable to travel and for whom Eswatini is not home, we will continue to take care of them.

 

SRC Elections

The 2019/20 SRC have officially handed over now to the new leadership. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SRC for their hard work. The outgoing members are Bora Lugunda, Nkosinothando Mhlanga and Kuzivakwashe Goora. I look forward to working with your successors: they have big boots to fill!!

 

SRC office-bearers (from the SRC)

The ballots have been counted and the new office-bearers elected. We would like to thank all the candidates for their courage and for their goodwill in participating in this race. We would also like to thank the student body for engaging throughout that process. It is now our pleasure to announce the new office bearers:

·         Lungiselwe Mbingo  (IB1),

·         Ezra Narun (IB1),

·         Thomas Farrell (IB1)

Congratulations to the three of you, we are very excited to see what you do!

 

 

Note of Appreciation

I thought I should share the feedback below which I got from a parent this week:

“Dear Principal, As the term comes to a close I want to take time to say a big thank you to you for always keeping us informed, the teachers for their sterling work and dedication, the parent-staff association for not leaving us behind and the whole Waterford community. To say I am greatly impressed is an understatement. My daughter really misses being there but I am so glad that she continued with her school online. God bless you all.”

 

And another:

“Thank you so much to you and all the teachers involved in (our children’s) education and actually all the students around the world, especially in these last 5 months. Indeed unprecedented times… Thank you for the hard work, effort and continued perseverance. And the follow ups. Listening when the (children) needed to talk. I think everyone has deserved the coming holidays. May you take time out to refresh, recharge and relax a bit.”

 

Congratulations!

We are very proud of Lisha Lovely (Form 3) who has been selected as a finalist for the MathsArt competition held by the Govan Mbeki Maths Development Centre at Nelson Mandela University. This is the second year in a row that Lisha has been selected as a finalist. Her work, which she entered last year, has been on display in Austria and in South Africa. It is a huge honour for Lisha to be selected as a finalist for a second time. It is so pleasing to hear of student achievements outside of school especially in this unusual Covid 19 context.

 

Alumni Speaker Series

We concluded UWC Africa Week with a talk on "Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence" with our alumnus Thabo Ndlela, CEO of Amani Business. If you missed it, a recording of the talk will be made available on YouTube and the alumni space KAMHLABA CONNECT in the next few days.

 

Education Commission Campaign  

The Education Commission – a global initiative encouraging greater progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4 by ensuring inclusive and quality education and promoting lifelong learning for all (with a quite impressive leadership - has launched a campaign: "Save our Future" and wishes to bring global attention to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for education worldwide. 

As part of the campaign, the Education Commission launched a youth survey through which they want to collect the thoughts from young people worldwide. They define "young" as anybody under 35. Our students and alumni who are under the age of 35 are encouraged to participate in this survey.

 

From the Parent-Staff Association (PSA)

The PSA has tasked a team of 8 parents to lead an engagement exercise on responsible digital citizenship as a result of the Digital Uses and Behaviour Survey that was conducted in 2019. Results from the survey profiled two key areas that need particular attention. Firstly, students, parents/guardians and staff need guidance and support on healthy digital use and online behaviour. Secondly, attention and measures are required to address cyber-bullying.

In term 3 we will explore this issue together through a series of presentations by online expert speakers to implement the digital behaviour program that will promote the UWC values of Mutual Understanding and Respect. To launch the healthy digital behaviour webinar series, we invite you to spend an hour with Dr. Pernille Hansen, a PSA member who is a Psychologist and works as a mental health and psychosocial support consultant. Pernille has many years of experience supporting children and families, focusing in particular on how to promote resilience and positive coping in difficult situations. Please send any questions you have for Pernille, especially concerning your children’s psychosocial well-being in relation to their online engagement, in advance to psachairperson@waterford.sz

We have already started receiving questions for Pernille and this is encouraging.

We welcome suggestions for future speakers and topics that you may want to see covered.

The task team therefore invites you to the first zoom chat for an open discussion where every WK parent or guardian can participate, including staff and management.

·         Date: Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020

·         Time: 6:00 PM SAST

·         RSVP here or by sending an email to psachairperson@waterford.sz

 

Reminder: Walk the Talk

Waterford Kamhlaba parents are reminded to come for an open forum on multicultural living and anti-racism, to be held virtually tomorrow, Saturday 8th August 2020.

The PSA has tasked a team of 6 parents to lead an engagement exercise on multiracial living and anti-racism. Some of us might have seen the latest events in the world, but we do not necessarily have the tools or the skills to engage our children in an open discussion about racism and living in a multiracial world. We do know that education starts at home, but we may not know how to do it.

This is an opportunity to explore this issue together. We invite you for an open and safe chat where we will try together to understand the role of parents in ending racism in our world.
Please use 
this link to register for the talk.

 

Important Dates

        Wednesday 9th September – School opens for third term

        Friday 13th  November – Form 5 Graduation

        Saturday 14th November – IB2 Graduation

 

Any Questions?

If you have any questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to send an email to principal@waterford.sz.  If the question is of broad interest, it will be published (with the permission of the writer and without the name) in the newsletter or in our “COVID-19: frequently asked questions (FAQs)”. Parents are also encouraged to be in touch with their child’s tutor or residential head for any matters about which they may be concerned.

 

 

Kind Regards

Stephen Lowry

Principal

 

© Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA 2020

Follow Waterford Kamhlaba United World College Southern Africa - (WKUWCSA) on Linkedin
Follow the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College Southern Africa - (WKUWCSA) page on YouTube
Follow the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College Southern Africa - (WKUWCSA) page on Instagram
Follow @WaterfordUWCSA on Twitter
Follow the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College Southern Africa - (WKUWCSA) page on Facebook

Website designed & hosted by Onswaziline