Weekly Newsletters

Newsletter 35/2020

20 November, 2020


This week sees the successful completion of the Form 5 IGCSE exams. The November 2020 session of the Cambridge IGCSE exams has proved to be particularly challenging for our students, their families and the school. Of the 80 candidates that were due to sit for these exams, 35 were outside of Eswatini due to the lockdown. Cambridge International decided to continue with the writing of the exams and so we had to transfer these 35 candidates to other centres. This was quite a challenge and resulted in our students writing their exams in Kigali, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Mafikeng, Accra, Maseru, Kampala, Harare, Nairobi, Lusaka, Maputo, Lilongwe and London.

45 students were able to come to WK and write their exams here and it was lovely to have some students on campus again.

The MP Hall was set up as a physically distanced exam venue and all other health and safety protocols were observed on campus, an experience that all our students had wherever they were writing. We have been lucky to have had no Covid-19 infections amongst our students.

We were also able to help 3 external students, in Eswatini due to lockdown, to write their A and AS level exams – 2 students studying in South Africa and 1 studying in Zimbabwe. They used WK as their exam venue and they finished their exams last week.

The Form 5s have written 14 subjects and 48 papers over a 6-week period. We would like to thank our students for being so resilient in the face of great changes and challenges. They have taken these on with bravery and determination. Thanks must also go to the families and guardians who have supported our students through this time. Over the last 6 weeks I have been in touch with centres that are hosting our students around the world and here are a few comments that have been made to me:

 “You have lovely, polite students who are also so clever. “

“They were so happy to see each other when they met for the first time at our centre. “

“Your students are a credit to your institution.”


Next Week’s Assembly

Next week Friday marks the end of Term 3 and the 2020 academic year. Please note that Wednesday will be a normal school day following Wednesday timetable including tutor period, but there will be no assembly.  The final full school assembly will be held via Zoom on Friday starting at 09:00 AM. Please see the Zoom details below. We urge all of our students to attend this Zoom assembly and we would appreciate it if parents remind them of this assembly. As the final assembly it is our opportunity of taking leave of staff members and others, which includes me this time!

Topic: Full School Assembly

Join Zoom Meeting



Full School Indzaba

Yesterday we had our full school Indzaba virtual panel webinar with parents and guardians. The purpose of Tindzaba TaKamhlaba (a series of community meetings) is to connect with the community and have a discussion about the school and the unknown future ahead of us. It was a real pleasure to connect with the community and answer some of your questions. The recording for the panel webinar can be found here.


From Asinakekelane

On Thursday 19 November, Asinakekelane, in partnership with the advancement office, led a panel discussion on gender-based violence to commemorate the start of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The panel, led by Tanya in IB1, featured alumna: Khetiwe Kingston, Senele Mduli, and Negar Mohtashami, current teacher Dr Selena Rathwell, a representative from the United Nations, Erin Kennedy, and local artist Honest Lihle. A video was also shown commemorating the event, which is available here. 

From Men’s Week 2020 Team

As Men’s Week draws to an end, we as the event organisers would just like to show our sincere gratitude to everyone who showed up and showed out! We hope the week was as impactful for you as it was for us. With that said, we also hope that you will keep educating yourself, holding those important conversations and upholding the pledge to do and be better, even beyond the week. 

Although we do not have any further events for the week, we do want to remind you that if you would still like to submit a response to the padlet or be a part of the ‘Paint the Town Purple’ project, you are still able to do so. For the padlet, simply click on the link and follow the directions at the site. You may also send your photos to either the Men’s Week or Asinakekelane heads, or the supervisors; we will be sure to add you to the video. As previously mentioned, we will unveil those soon, so keep an eye out for them. Have a great weekend and a great end of term.


Gogo Umbane Trailer

Gogo Umbane was a collaborative production by the Music, Art and Drama students. It was a mammoth task involving all three departments. We thoroughly enjoyed working together. Each group used their expertise to create different aspects of the story of Gogo Umbane, the narrative, the music and the visuals. To assemble all the different parts we called on Izma Anwar (Bangladesh WK 2018-19) who is waiting to begin her studies majoring in animated illustration/publication design and film and television as a minor at the Savannah College of Art and Design in January 2021. She used her talent to compile both a trailer and the final digital production. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed working on it. 


Report from Nyatsela:

Days 1 & 2

On Saturday 14 November, all the Form 3 Nyatselanyana candidates gathered at the school. It was great to see each other in person after 8 months!! On arrival, the students were tested for COVID, had their bags checked and helped pack the buses, while the parents met in the Amphitheatre. There was a “send-off” assembly addressed by Nadia Joszkowski, Donovan King and Kirstie van Rensburg. The facilitators were introduced and the participants were presented with their Nyatsela Buffs.

The groups set off in the buses at about 10:30 and had safe journeys to their destinations. For both groups, their first task was to cut a walking stick for each person, which they will strip and refine in their free time.

Phoenix Group is in Bulembu where they set up camp on the sports field at the Club House. They summited the highest point in Eswatini on Day 2! It was a demanding climb in the hot sun, but every single person made it proudly up and down!

Kamhlaba Group is in Mlilwane. They climbed Execution Rock at sunset (how beautiful that must have been!) and had spent Day 2 learning navigation skills and then racing around an orienteering course. The winners were given a complimentary ice-cream from the Mlilwane organisers!


Days 3 & 4

Both groups have now completed their first rotation.

Phoenix was absolutely charmed by their visit to a Bulembu entrepreneur, Gogo Grace, as she is known within the community. She talked to them about her business, allowed them to sample the fruits of the trees in her orchard, and sold them 5 chickens for their meal that night! 

The next day they visited six different enterprises in the town, helping out in order to earn one component of their meal – honey, bread rolls, meat, vegetables and emasi, with pure Bulembu water to wash it all down.

Kamhlaba had a fascinating workshop with horses, learning from them several keys to communication 

While the one group was busy with this, the others learnt valuable tidbits about nature on their guided walk.

On the way back to the campsite, one Kamhlaba member sprained his ankle and has had to go home while the others move on to their next rotation, but will catch the others up as soon as he can. Phoenix is generously sharing a mild tummy bug that has crept up on them, and one person has left the group to recover, but the group was still able to do their community service at their new venue, providing wood to a nearby community. More photos of Nyatselanyana can be found here.


IB Graduation Programme

Last week we had a great virtual graduation event and I thought I should share the link to the programme. A big thank you to all who put it together!


From the Parent-Staff Association (PSA)

Those of you who are IB parents must have many questions about university applications and wish you knew by now what you are going to experience.  "Things I wish I knew before I sent my child abroad" is exactly for that. There is a virtual panel tomorrow for IB parents to ask questions and discuss these issues. Those who have been invited as panelists include IB 3, 4 and5 alumna and members of the community. They will share some of their experience and will do their best to answer your questions. If you have questions you think of in advance, please send them to engagement@waterford.sz or yaelut@gmail.com

Topic: “Things I wish I knew before I sent my child abroad.”

Date: Saturday 21 November 2020, starting at 03:30 PM SAST

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89697965886?pwd=SzdldjFpQWNBcmVBTWh5VG40and1dz09

Meeting ID: 896 9796 5886

Passcode: 912449


Important Dates                                                                                                                                                                                    

        Saturday 14 November to Thursday 26 November: optional Nyatselanyana for available Form 3s

        Friday 27 November: End-of-year closing assembly via Zoom at 09:00.


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. 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


© Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA 2020

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