Newsletter 07/2017

Welcome Back from Mid-Term Break

As I welcome back our students, staff and families from the Mid-Term break, I am hopeful that students were able to keep a sensible balance between work and rest over the short break. Whilst acknowledging that the commitment of our students to their schoolwork and ongoing improvement is nothing short of exceptional, there is always a need to realign some of the thinking among some students and parents that students must keep working hard all the time. I want to bring it to your attention that too much work, without sufficient rest, becomes counter-productive. It is important for students to have plenty of breaks, engage their interests by playing sport or a favorite musical instrument, and have time for friends and family. Being able to participate in various forms of activity help young people grow and develop positive relationships with peers and adults, keep them physically and mentally fit, and give them opportunities to develop collaborative skills and teamwork. These are equally valuable skills for the personal and academic advancement of a student.

Honesty is Helpful in Coaching!

I was recently touched by an incredible story of Emma Walker, who is a product of honest coaching and hard work. Back at varsity, her basketball coach (Coach P) wanted the best out of her and did not give her the opportunity to play before she was good enough to do so. Emma is a twenty-six year-old high school English / Language Arts teacher at Atlantic High School in Atlantic, Iowa. She is also the Head Varsity Volleyball Coach, and Assistant JV Basketball Coach for the Atlantic Trojans. Here is an extract from her writing:

“When I was a freshman in high school, my basketball team was small … My coach was tough. He had high expectations and conducted physically and mentally demanding practices. I suited varsity, but only got in the last minute or two (if we were winning by enough). Essentially, I only had the opportunity to play in practice. However, I battled, knowing that next year could be my year … I urge all parents to encourage your children to fight their own battles. Have your kids come talk to me, but also make sure they are open to my honesty. I am not going to tell your child she deserves to play if she doesn’t. Coach P did not lie to me. He told me I wasn’t good enough to play yet, and I accepted that. In fact, I felt that he respected me enough to be honest with me. It motivated me, and I worked harder, until it paid off.”

You can read the full article here: https://emmabirelineblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/tough-conversations/

Parents’ Evening

A huge thank you goes to all those parents who ventured out in the rain and braced the cold last Thursday to attend Parents’ Evening. It was a very good turnout despite the weather and we are encouraged by the commitment of our parents to partner with us in the education of their children. A most sincere thank you is also due to all our teachers who make themselves available to engage with parents and who give of their time and their energy to ensure that our students are supported in every way possible. Our teachers are our most valuable asset at Waterford and their commitment, passion and professionalism is what makes Waterford such a great school. Thank you teachers and parents – with a team like you on their side, our students are in good hands!

COP Simulation

As reported last week, this year the school pioneered a new educational initiative by hosting the world’s first ever COP simulation in the African Continent. In association with Alliance Francaise, the European Union, the Swaziland Ministry of Tourism and the Environment, the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Development Programme, this event was held on 23rd Feb 2017. The simulation involved 26 IB2 students and the entire year group of IB1 and preparations with these students happened over the course of a month. The main goal for the day was to deliberate, debate, discuss and evaluate two major agendas - International Climate change adaptation and contributions to the Green Climate fund.

Ably facilitated by a student playing the COP president, supported by her IB1 and 2 colleagues as the delegation from the UNFCCC, the meeting involved twenty-two countries, carefully selected to be represented at the simulation. Each nation had a team made up of 4 students - a lead negotiator, an advisor, an expert in adaptation and an expert in finance. In the best teams, these representatives had done their research and their meeting immediately led to spirited debate. In particular, the EU came into well-disciplined conflict with the vigilant “COP president” taking the role of lead negotiator for Saudi Arabia. Some students also showed an excellent degree of specialized knowledge in their representation of the interests of countries such as China and Trinidad and Tobago, among others. The interests of vulnerable nations were ably represented by other students. Each government debated fiercely to protect their communities and to strengthen the resilience of their country’s economy to combat climate change. It was an exciting day!

Community Service Updates

This term has seen a series of projects focusing on the empowerment of young women. We have submitted competition applications for both the Aurora Humanitarian Project and Go Make a Difference, both initiatives facilitated by the UWC International Office. Several of these projects involve the theme of empowering young women and we wish our students who entered the best of luck with their submissions. Last week we visited a school in Malkerns where some of the girls in IB presented their Girl Up project to the students at St Annes. There was a wonderful exchange of ideas and friendships were made. This will be an on-going project and they will visit WK on the 22 March where they will continue discussions on the issues facing young women.

We are working on several new projects this term and some IB students are working on starting bee keeping on campus. We are also working hard to start an organic permaculture garden. Form 3 started community service this term and they are involved in the new vegetable garden as well as working in the dining room, helping to prepare for the lunch service on a Tuesday.

Temporary French Teacher

Ms Chilipaine has gone off on Maternity leave and we are awaiting the imminent announcement of a new addition to the Waterford Family in due course. We have been very lucky to retain the services of Mr Chris Mbewe for the duration of Ms Chilipaine’s absence. He is a very experienced teacher having taught A level, AS Level and IBDP French. We are confident that he will be able to provide our students with the high standards and academic rigour to which they are accustomed. We welcome him to Waterford and wish him a pleasant and fulfilling stay with us.

Form 5 history trip

The History Department has planned an educational excursion for the Form 5 History class to the Hector Pieterson Museum, Kliptown Open Air Museum and Mandela House Museum. They will also visit the Gold Reef City Theme Park for the Gold Mine tour and their “Jozi’s Story of Gold” about the history of the discovery of gold - the social, economic and political impact of this discovery. This educational tour will support the study of their Paper 4, IGCSE History examination. Students will need to ensure that they have a valid passport and a study permit (where necessary) as well as all the supporting documents for crossing the border into South Africa, according to the new South African laws for children below the age of 18. Further details are available on the school website. Students are also reminded that this is an educational trip; therefore all the GIB rules apply.

Letters with full information on the trip went out to parents and guardians of all Form 5 History students before the mid-term break. Staff members accompanying the students are: Ms. Dlamini-Muyambo, Mr. Gambe and Miss Ware (all History teachers).

They leave on Thursday the 9th of March, 2017 at 8:15am and return on Saturday the 11th of March, 2017 at about 6:30pm.

Banking details

We just realized that some parents are still using the old bank account. We have received lots of payments that have bounced back. Please use the banking details available on the school website: https://waterford.sz/perch/resources/our-banking-details.pdf

Entrance testing

Next week Saturday, March 11th there will be an Entrance Testing for the forms and IB 1. It will start at 08:00 am.

Sporting Activities

St Johns College Basketball tournament: Last week, our under 19 boys’ basketball team travelled to Johannesburg to participate in a tournament at St Johns College. They came position 4 out of 28 Southern African teams! We are proud of our boys!

Inter-house swimming Gala: Next week Wednesday, on the 8th of March at 10am, there will be the Inter-house swimming Gala (weather permitting). Parents are kindly encouraged to come and support their children.

Badminton tournament: The Waterford annual badminton tournament will be held at the school tomorrow, Saturday the 4th of March 2017.

Chess tournament: There will be an Independent Schools’ chess tournament taking place at Bahai tomorrow, Saturday, the 4th of March 2017.

Public Speaking: Our speakers will participate in a public speaking competition at Sifundzani high school tomorrow, Saturday, the 4th of March 2017.

Rugby: Our under 19 rugby team will play against Enjabulweni high school tomorrow, Saturday, the 4th of March 2017 at Waterford.

Soccer team & Tennis: Today, our under 19 boys and girls, soccer and tennis teams, travelled to Maputo International School for a tournament.

Reminder: Important dates

• 8 March - Inter-house Swimming Gala (10:00am to 13:00pm)

• 11 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms and IB (8:00am)

• 18 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms only

• 8th April - UWC Day

• 13th April – School closes, buses depart for Johannesburg

• 13th May – Regional Entrance Testing (Details to follow)

• 10th June – Entrance Testing in Maputo

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

Newsletter 06/2017

Bill Brown Visit

This past weekend we hosted US philanthropist, Mr Bill Brown who partially funded the construction of the school dining hall. Mr Brown was hosted by local members of the Governing Council and School management team on Saturday evening. On Sunday he visited some of our community service projects before being treated to some local dancing at the Cultural Village. In the afternoon Mr Brown together with his son-in-law, John Reppas had the school choir and Marimba band perform for them and then participated in an open forum in the school assembly hall, attended by students, staff and some parents. On Monday before their departure, Bill and John attended some classes and had a tour of the school. It was our pleasure to host them and we are happy to see that Mr Brown still keeps Waterford close to his heart.

Homo Sapien eARTh

Yesterday evening the Homo Sapien group held their final event in the CCLD with art and performances related to the environment. By all accounts the Homo Sapien activities over the past week were a great success and we applaud the student organisers on their hard work and attention to detail.

COP Simulation

Today, the IB1 and some of the IB2 students are taking part in a large-scale simulation of the Paris COP Climate Change Conference. This exciting project was implemented in association with Alliance Francaise, the European Union country office, Swaziland Ministry of Tourism and Environment as well as the United Nations Development Programme. Students are working in teams representing 24 countries, undertaking international negotiations throughout the day to determine global adaptation to climate change. This has been a very exciting event and we will have more in next week’s newsletter for you.

PSA

The PSA meets every first Monday of the month to discuss issues in which management seeks parents’ advice. Through the PSA, parents also get an opportunity to raise general concerns of the school community. Through the Annual Golf Day the PSA raised funds to improve the learning experience at the school and further contributed ZAR 35,000 to the Student Financial Assistance Fund and are hoping to be able to give more support next year. We advise that the AGM that was supposed to be held this week is now postponed to the parents evening of the 2nd term.
Parents who would like to join the committee can email Yael at yaelut@gmail.com. Those who do not wish to take part in the meeting but are happy to help when needed, please also send Yael an email.

Link Group

Last weekend, Link group and the SRC collaborated to bring the student body Late Night Lounge. Almost like a poetry café, the CCLD was filled with beautiful song and poem performances served with a side of fresh homemade iced tea while everybody sat on cushions and watched the performances on a small stage lit up by fairy lights. The atmosphere was a very warm one as the songs and poems were based on the theme of love. Be it from our friends, our family or our significant others, it was very clear that love is something the we should all give and receive as it is a kind of subliminal basic need. Thank you to all the performers, Link Group and SRC members and the great audience which came out to support.

UWC Day

It is only six weeks until UWC Day, which will be held on Saturday 8th of April. This is an annual event where we celebrate our diversity as a school. Link group is reaching out to the students to please bring their national dress back to school with them when they return from mid-term break. We want you to wear your culture with pride and boast your UWC spirit! Those who have flags are encouraged to bring them as we would like to make this year’s UWC day very colorful. Thank you.

Term Calendar

We have had a few changes to our term calendar and thought it worthy to attach an amended version. This amended version can be found on our website as well. I would like to bring to your attention specifically the Love Matters programme for Form 4’s that was scheduled for March 1st to 4th. This has been postponed until March 15th. It will run from the afternoon of the 15th to the 18th. A letter to Form 4 parents will be sent out in due course with more details.

Sporting Activities

Inter-house swimming Gala: Due to the wet weather experienced this week, the Inter House Gala was postponed to Wednesday the 8th of March 2017. We look forward to seeing you all on the 8th of March at 10am to watch the Inter House Gala (weather permitting!)

St Johns College Basketball tournament: Our under 19 boys’ basketball team will travel to Johannesburg today to participate in a tournament at St Johns College. The tournament will take place from 23-27 February 2017.

George Quality Soccer: Students and their family members are invited to the George Quality Soccer (GQS) midterm camp. The camp will take place from Friday 24th February to Monday 27th February 2017 from 08:30 am – 10:30 am at Waterford. Those interested should call Coach George on + 268 7628 0491.

Reminder: Important dates

• 24 February – 28 February (inclusive) Mid-term

• 11 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms and IB

• 18 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms only

• 8 April – UWC Day

• 13 April – School closes, buses depart for Johannesburg

• 13 May – Regional Entrance Testing (Details to follow)

• 10 June – Entrance testing in Maputo

Mid-Term Break

We wish all of our students, staff and families a good break over mid-term. Please remember to bring traditional clothing, recipes, flags and any other items that will add to our UWC Day celebrations back to school with you. We wish everyone safe travels.

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

Newsletter 05/2017

Appreciation note

I recently received a lovely e-mail from a 2016 graduate of the school. I consider this feedback to be a reminder of the tireless efforts put forward by every stakeholder in making the school the success it is. Some extracts:

“I am an IB3 student who has just enrolled at the University of Pretoria to study medicine. I would like to pass on my gratitude. The school has done a tremendous job in helping me get into the university and get to register on time … Going to Waterford has greatly benefitted me. I now think outside the box and my process of thinking is now more analytical and critical. I do not only accept what people tell me. I also ask about it but not forgetting to accommodate other people’s opinion. I learnt all of this from the values instilled in us by the members of the WK community. Being at the school has made me more aware of the world around me and to accept differences in terms of cultures and people’s backgrounds. I have the teachers and WK staff to thank for this. These are the sort of traits one needs in the world we live in. Being at a UWC has made me a well-rounded person. Although the teachers seemed to be battering us with endless assignments and showed a bit of tough love, I now see that it was for the better. Being at university and doing courses that I did in IB, I believe that my first year experience will be less daunting because I remember what they taught me. Their constant pushing and drilling of information and work made sure that I always have this knowledge. Thank you for providing an excellent team of teachers … I would like to particularly mention how the Admissions department helped me through all of these applications to South Africa and the US. I worked closely with the Admissions department during my last year of IB. It always went the extra mile to assist me with my applications. It never grew tired of helping me and I say this because I have been to the office countless of times just to clarify matters regarding my application. … I just want to thank the school for everything because if it was not for its patience and thoughtfulness, I might not be at the University. I would like to thank the staff for all the hard work they have put in to make WK a wonderful community.”

Bill Brown Visit

Mr Bill Brown is an American philanthropist who partially funded the construction of the school Dining Hall. He is visiting the school this coming weekend together with his son-in-law, Mr John Reppas and his grandson, Hadrian. They arrive tomorrow afternoon and will leave for Johannesburg on Monday where I will accompany them on a tour of Johannesburg. During his stay here, he will get to see various initiatives by the school including our Community Service projects. Mr Brown will hold an open forum with students on Sunday afternoon in the school assembly hall, starting at 3:45. Parents and Guardians are invited to join us as well.

Homo Sapien eARTh

Homo Sapien started on a high note, with an amazing evening of poetry and song last week Friday. I hope that it will continue to have high attendance throughout the year. Parents are invited to the second event, eARTh, which will take place on Wednesday, the 22nd of February at the CCLD, starting from 6pm. This is an arts exhibition, showing both visual and performance arts. The Homo Sapien is an ongoing student led school event, which celebrates the environment through the arts.

TOK Presentations

Over the next two days, IB2s will have their oral Theory of Knowledge (TOK) presentations in front of their peers. TOK is one of the IB Diploma requirements. The overall assessment of the course is done through an oral group presentation and a final essay. These two forms of assessment are intended to give IB students an opportunity to reflect on the ways of knowing, where students ask themselves “how we know what we claim to know.” These presentations are always very interesting to watch.

Parties and Underage Drinking

It was brought to the attention of the school management that a few of our younger students (form 3 upwards) attended a party at a local establishment on Friday 10 February 2017. Although these students were all under the care of their parents or guardians, we would like to inform parents that we have heard reports of the excessive consumption of alcohol from some of these underage students. As they were not under the jurisdiction of the College at the time, we simply informed their parents of what was reported to us, leaving it to the parents to manage. We thought it prudent to bring this to the attention of all our parents and offer some ideas regarding the tricky situation of teenagers and parties:

We encourage parents to find out information on where their children are going, particularly if they say that they are sleeping over at a friend’s house. Speak to other adults who are either hosting or transporting your child directly. Try and meet them face to face and do not rely on SMS’s or messages. Arrange lifts for your child (or better yet transport your own child) - it is risky for children this young to be making use of taxis late at night. Call venues in advance and ask questions about the event and venue. Find out if there is an age restriction and whether or not alcohol will be served. If the venue tells you that it is an under 18 event, ask whether or not there will be adult supervision.

Inquire about start and finish times and stick to a suitable curfew time. Do not allow underage children to attend parties / events at a licensed venue, unless there is a responsible adult accompanying them. Be awake (or wake up) to greet your child when they return home. We are committed to keeping your child safe and are willing to assist if this is required.

Sporting Activities

Basketball Festival: The school’s under 14 girls basketball team will participate in a basketball festival to be held at Sifundzani High School tomorrow. They will play with 6 other teams. Basketball Tournament: The under 19 boys and girls basketball teams are participating in a tournament to be held at WK tomorrow, starting at 10:00 am. St Johns College tournament: Our under 19 boys basketball team is travelling to Johannesburg next week Thursday to participate in a tournament at St Johns College. The tournament will take place from 23-27 February 2017.

Errata

Please be advised of the following errata’s in the school calendar. AISM soccer: The American International School of Mozambique has approached us with a request to move the tournament a week forward. The tournament will now be on March 3rd instead of March 10th. Musical (Urine Town): Due to a clash with the annual Art trip, the Theatre production of Urine Town will now be held at the end of March. Further correspondence closer to the time, will follow. We regret any inconvenience this has caused.

Reminder: Important dates

• 23 February – Parent’s Evening Forms 2 to IB2 (4:30 to 6:00pm)

• 24 February – 28 February (inclusive) Mid-term

• 11 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms and IB

• 18 March – Entrance Testing for the Forms only

• 8 April – UWC Day

• 13 April – School closes, buses depart for Johannesburg

• 13 May – Regional Entrance Testing (Details to follow)

• 10 June – Entrance testing in Maputo

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

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