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