Some Final Thoughts for the School Year
And so we get to week 37. Every week as we do the newsletter we climb inexorably to newsletter 37, the final one of the year. I can hardly believe we have already got here. A colleague once said that he often found himself saying, “I just need to get to the end of the week”, and then “I just need to get to the end of the term…”, until he realised he was wishing his life away. Our students spend most of their time wishing they were older, whilst many of us adults wish we were not getting older so fast. Perhaps the best is to live in the moment, appreciate the present and savour all that life gives us.
On Tuesday night, I sat glued to the TV as many of the local and international channels carried the news of President Robert Mugabe’s resignation. It was clear from the people in the streets and commentators that these events have the potential to usher in some significant changes in Zimbabwe. Events like this do not leave us untouched as we have a significant number of Zimbabweans within our community. No doubt many are celebrating, although I know there are often different viewpoints. I am happy that it has stimulated some discussion in our classrooms and elsewhere on campus. It has to be a fundamental principle of education that we are able to think critically about current events in the world around us, even when sometimes the emotionalism of the moment might prevail. We do wish our Zimbabwean friends all the best at this time and do hope that this is a phoenix moment for that troubled land. One hopes that the new powers that be recognize that it cannot be business as usual and that fundamental change is required to achieve the development of the country and its people.
A couple of months back I was substituting a lesson, as the teacher had taken ill that morning. I settled the class down and about 10 minutes into the lesson, one of the students came late to the lesson. Minimizing student tardiness is a constant challenge of ours, so I took him outside and asked him why he was late. He explained to me that he had a sore ankle and had gone to the nurse. I told him to go inside wishing him well on the recovery of his ankle. At the end of the lesson as I was walking back to my office he came running up to me, to apologize for lying to me. He said he had panicked and that he did not have a sore ankle and had not been at the nurse. I thanked him for his belated honesty (I don’t think it is easy for an adolescent to come forward to own up to the principal), chastised him for the original lie and challenged him not to lie again and to get to lessons on time. It was a salutary moment for me at this school. I think the courage and honesty to own up to a mistake / poor judgement call reflects well on what we aim to be as a community and as a school.
Mrs. de Koning writes: “We often don’t “see” the impact of a UWC and Waterford Education on our children - perhaps because we live the values of UWC at Waterford on a daily basis in our community where celebration of diversity, respect for others and the environment is so real it has become “the norm”. However, it is sometimes useful to note that these attitudes and values, which we consider so inherent to who we are, are really evident in our students in the many different situations in which they find themselves. Over the last weekend of term, the swimming team attended a Gala at AISJ in South Africa. Our students were billeted out to host families of students at AISJ. The response to our students was quite remarkable. The host parents were absolutely amazed at the humble yet self-reliant, caring and interested students whom they hosted. They reported that they were absolutely incredulous that there was no list of food demands that our students made; confidently engaged with all members of the family and even helped with the washing up – something that the parent in that home said her own daughter never does. The host families said that they would be very happy indeed to welcome Waterford students back into their homes at any time in the future. It is always so heart-warming to hear such positive feedback. Not only does it highlight for us the caliber of the students we have at Waterford, it also reflects so well on the families from which our students come and it gives us a chance to recognize how much our UWC values become the living values of all of us who are lucky enough to be members of this community.”
Lastly, let me wish all of you a very restful and peaceful holiday season. I pray you travel safely wherever you are and take care in whatever you are doing. Please make sure that you have plenty of rest, taking as much time as you can to read and sleep. We look forward to seeing you all back here in January 2018.
During the school’s closing assembly yesterday we bade farewell to the following staff members: Mr. Doyle (Eco Estate Manager), Mrs. Doyle (Deputy Principal /Pastoral), Mrs. Pillay (English Teacher) and Mrs. Ndlangamandla (Librarian). It has been a great pleasure to work with these committed and capable members of our team, and I take this opportunity to thank them for their valuable contribution to Waterford Kamhlaba, as well as to wish them well in their future endeavors. Also, thank you to the outgoing volunteers who have assisted this last term.
23rd January 2018 Timetable
Please note that at the start of Term 1, 2018, Tuesday the 23rd of January, we will follow the Wednesday timetable. This will impact day students mostly, as the end of the school day will be 1:00pm.
IB2 Graduation Ceremony
Last week Saturday, marked a milestone in the academic lives of our IB Class of 2017; graduating from Waterford Kamhlaba. During the celebratory ceremony, 120 students representing 40 different nationalities received their certificates. The event was also full of great speeches and amazing student performances. To read more about the event, please click here.
The school’s Energy Hub was officially opened on Saturday 18th of November in the presence of the school’s Governing Council members, and Waterford School Trust member Mr. Michael Jarvis who funded the project. For more information, please click here.
Waterford completes Davis-UWC IMPACT Challenge!
Waterford Kamhlaba managed to unlock all of the $1 million in matched funding from the Davis UWC-IMPACT Challenge in just 2 years. We join 9 other UWC colleges that have completed this challenge. If you don’t remember how this challenge worked, don’t worry – we have all the details on our website. The graph illustrates how the matching worked. This year, WK will receive $750,000 from Shelby Davis, which will be used to support the scholarship programme. This ensures WK’s continued commitment to one of its founding principles; providing a quality education to qualified applicants, regardless of their ability to pay.
Thank you to all the parents, past parents, friends, alumni and family members who donated to WK over the past two years. Your generosity helped us reach this achievement.
But fundraising efforts don’t stop there. With a healthy scholarship fund, we can redirect our attention to much needed campus developments. Our next campaign will be for hostel refurbishments, beginning with Ekukhuleni. Hopefully we can count on your continued support to provide a positive learning environment for all the students the Davis matched funding will bring to WK.
From the SRC
The past two terms for the Student Representative Council (SRC) have been quite eventful. Two socials have been planned with the most recent one being Halloween themed! We have managed to fulfil most of our major goals such as getting student discounts from various restaurants and organising an SRC Hub which will be in use beginning in term 1 next year. The upcoming year will probably be just as busy too, with us starting the year by having a small orientation programme between the lower and higher forms. We would also like to extend our thanks to members of staff that have helped us, especially Mrs. Doyle.
Through the school’s Advancement Office, this year we started a Thanksgiving programme. Realizing that Thanksgiving is a very lonely time for many WK alumni in the USA, as this is a family holiday for Americans and the colleges and universities tend to completely close up for that period. I would like to give thanks to everyone who volunteered to host and hosted Waterford Kamhlaba alumni. This programme would not have been possible without you. Thank you very much.
UWC Short Course
Following a successful “Together for Development” UWC Short Course in 2011, Waterford alumni and allies have come together to organize the second edition of this course on Waterford campus this December. During the course, 60 young people from all over the world will come to Swaziland to learn about development through workshops, lectures, simulations, community stays and more. The course will run from 29 December 2017 until 13 January 2018. For questions and support suggestions, please contact Lukas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees – Scholarship Students
Please will parents whose child has been a scholarship recipient for 2017 ensure all fees due are paid up as soon as possible. These should have been cleared by 31st October. Scholarships for 2018 will not be granted unless fees are cleared. If your child has been on a scholarship and you did not receive a renewal letter for 2018 please contact our Accounts Office. Your child will not be registered for the new year so please settle any outstanding fees immediately. Please note that reports, access codes and university assistance will not be provided until accounts are settled in full. For any queries please contact the bursar email@example.com (24221807) or Tricia Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org (tel. 24221639)
We have come to the end of the year and wish to remind all parents that by now all fees should have been settled. As frequently mentioned, our books close at the end of October, however we do still have some outstanding fees which need to be in before the end of the term. We wish to re-iterate that we do not carry arrears forward from one year into the next. Any outstanding fees could result in your child being withdrawn for the new year. Please note that once a student is removed from our register you would need to go through the process of applying for admission again and we cannot guarantee we would have an available place for him/her. Reports, result access passwords and university assistance could also be withheld until all fees have been settled and unpaid fees could result in being handed over for collection. Kindly settle any outstanding fees immediately. Please contact the Bursar email@example.com (24221807) or Tricia Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org
BraveGirl Project Report 2017
A while back I reported on the incredible work of our BraveGirl project team, including the workshop that they put together in August this year. The final BraveGirl project report is out and can be found on our website.
CAS Project Progress
Three of our IB1 students, Deborah Kunda, Alexandra Ondeng’ and Michelle Ishimwe, have compiled an online Natural Hair booklet as part of their CAS project. This is a continuation of the Africa Week workshop, where they had a power point presentation and a discussion about natural hair and helpful tips. To read the booklet, please click here.
UWC Photo Contest
UWC International is excited to announce a brand new initiative: a UWC-wide student photo competition!
Students from across all 17 UWC schools and colleges are invited to participate, by submitting a photo from life at UWC that celebrates, in keeping with the theme of UWC Day 2017, the “Power of Diversity”.
Maximum of 2 photo submissions per person.
You must be a current UWC student.
Photo must represent the “Power of Diversity” and must have been taken during your time as a student at UWC.
Please include a short paragraph (1-2 sentences) about the photo and how it represents UWC and the power of diversity.
Please send your high-resolution photos to email@example.com by Sunday, 3 December 2017, with the subject line “Photo Contest”. The winning photos will be announced later that week, and will be used to represent UWC on social media, the UWC website, and our annual holiday cards which are sent to thank donors and friends of UWC who contribute to the UWC movement.
GoMakeADifference UWC Initiative
The GoMakeADifference UWC initiative has invited applications for the 2018 grant. GoMakeADifference is a grant scheme for UWC students to deliver projects that present personal challenge, initiative and commitment; as well as leave an enduring benefit for communities anywhere in the world. In 16 years, hundreds of students have delivered 80 projects in 40 countries. Thousands of lives have been touched and UWC students are making a difference. Our students are encouraged to apply for the 2018 grant. Closing date for application is 31st January 2018. To apply, please click here.
2018 Term 1 Timeline
Monday 15th January: IB residences open; new and returning IB students meet at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, departing for WK at 14:00
Wednesday 17th January: IB orientation begins
Friday 19th January: New Form students arrive for residential orientation
Saturday 20th January: Residential orientation for new Form students begins
Sunday 21st January: All residences open after lunch; WK bus departs OR Tambo airport at 14:00
Monday 22nd January: Form academic orientation begins
Tuesday 23rd January: School opens (to follow Wednesday timetable)
To access the 2018 school calendar, please click here.
Reminder: Important dates
● Tuesday 23rd January 2018 – School opens (To follow Wednesday timetable)
● 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
● 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
If you have any questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. I will send the next newsletter on Friday 26th January 2018.