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

Newsletter 04/2017

Immigration Situation in the US

Last week I shared information on the current state of affairs in the US regarding the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” As a school, we are following this situation very closely and we are aware that there have been numerous developments around this issue. We are proud of the effort by the UWC movement. Just this week, the UWC International Office has committed to raise funds for 100 scholarships per year for refugee students to attend one of its 17 UWC schools worldwide. The UWC Refugee Initiative has been set up as a concrete response to the challenge many refugees face in gaining access to world-class secondary education due to their politically insecure status. For more information, go to: https://www.uwc.org/about/news/uwc-refugee-initiative

United World College (UWC) Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina has also announced that it will extend scholarships to refugees and students from all seven nations affected by the recent immigration ban in response to the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” issued by US President Donald J. Trump. They will be invited to study alongside fellow students from the US and over 50 other countries to foster international understanding. For more information, go to: https://www.uwc.org/about/news/uwc-mostar

Furthermore, I have received the following piece from Dr. Geier at Shelby Davis and thought it is worth sharing so that you appreciate the efforts being made by our partners across the world.

“At this point, this immigration issue and so much else about the new administration remain unclear in their implications. It is understandable and correct for UWC college counselors to be concerned, as indeed are many others.

We have no special insights as yet on this, but rest assured that we and the U.S. partner schools in our program remain fully supportive of all current and prospective Davis UWC Scholars. Whatever changes in U.S. immigration policy might unfold, we remain committed to our goal of making possible extraordinary scholarship opportunities for those UWC graduates who choose to pursue their tertiary education in the U.S. We now need to understand whatever might be the actual dimensions of any policy change while continuing to maximize the ongoing positive impact of our program on our scholars, our partner schools, our country and the rest of the world.

Regardless of today’s events or others that might arise in this country or elsewhere, we have always been encouraging of the UWCIO and others interested in the future of the UWC movement to make every effort to find ongoing scholarship support for UWC graduates in all parts of the world. In creating our program at the outset of the 21st century as a regional initiative, we envisioned it as a model for others to consider as a means to expanding opportunities elsewhere in the world for UWC graduates. We remain eager to see this take shape.”

Visit by Maru-a-Pula

Yesterday we welcomed staff and students from Maru-a-Pula, a school based in Botswana. During their stay here, they will collaborate with our Form 5 students working on the IGCSE Drama set. As always, we look forward to working with them.

Alumni Avenue Unveiling

Last Friday February 3rd an unveiling ceremony of the Alumni Avenue was held at Waterford Kamhlaba. The evening turned out to be a celebration of giving as speaker after speaker put emphasis on the value of giving. I thank all our alumni for making the Alumni Avenue a success. For more information about the event, go to: https://www.waterford.sz/news/newsfeed/post.php?s=2017-02-06-wk-unveils-alumni-avenue

Form 1 Parents/Guardians and Teachers’ Meet and Greet

All Form 1 parents and guardians are invited to meet the Form 1 teachers on Wednesday 15 February at 13.30 in the Form 1 Classroom Block. This is an opportunity for you to put faces to the names of teachers your children have, no doubt, been talking about! Join us to find out more about what is happening in Form 1 at Waterford.

Homo Sapien

The Roots and Shoots group of students will hold a Homo Sapien event this evening. Homo Sapien is a series of events, which combines environmental awareness and the arts. The theme of this event is the relationship between humankind and the Earth. Parents are welcome to the Homo Sapien performance arts exhibition to be held on the 22nd of February, starting at 6pm in the CCLD.

Community Service

The community service programme is up and running again. Form 5’s went out last week for the first time, followed by IB1 and IB2 this week. We have a record number of 51 projects taking place each week across the school. Two weeks ago the students visited Mpaka Refugee Camp where they helped in the library and the garden and played with the many children living in the camp. As usual it was a special experience for those who attended. This is an important and humbling lesson for our students. This weekend we welcome St Joseph’s school; a school for disabled children in Manzini, to the campus. They will visit the school on Saturday morning. They will join our students in a series of games and activities as well as joining them for lunch in the dining room. We are looking forward to it.

Fees

We are fast approaching mid-term and I wish to remind everyone to ensure fee payments are kept up to date. Please bear in mind that we do not carry arrears forward from one term into another so all fees must be cleared by or before the end of the term.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Tricia Fraser (Tel. 24221639), email pfraser@waterford.sz or the Bursar (Tel 24220866) email bursar@waterford.sz

Finance Committee Member

We are looking for a volunteer to serve on our finance committee. If anyone is interested, please send me an email with a brief description of your experience in the financial field.

Responsibilities:

We do have a set of criteria underlined below. The Finance Committee is responsible for ensuring that the College functions in a fiscally prudent manner, with high levels of financial stewardship and accountability. The annual budget maximizes the school’s ability to meet the strategic goals and monitor performance to budget on an on-going basis.

Duties of a member:

• Review and approve monthly accounts

• Provide oversight and make recommendations throughout the budget preparation process

• Review financial statements and budget to actual reports monthly

• Ensure adequate financial controls are in place

• Reviews accounting and control policies and makes recommendations for changes and improvements

• Review the audited financial statements, management letter, and senior staff’s response and provide recommendations as appropriate

• Review and make recommendations about investment policies

• Ensure assets are invested as stated in the investment policies

• Acts in an advisory role for the full Governing Council on financial matters and provides additional information and financial analyses as needed.

Experience, Skills and Abilities

• Understanding of and experience with analyzing financial statements

• Experience with budget development and monitoring

• Willingness and ability to prepare for and attend Finance Committee meetings

Waterford Travel Links – Mid-Term Break

The transport links for the mid - term 1 are now open and will close on Friday 17th February at 8am. Transport lists will be posted on the school notice boards on Friday 17th February 2017. Please note that the links below are permanent links and should be used at mid-terms and end of terms. Parents are encouraged to give their students the responsibility of signing up themselves. Students will not be able to complete their sign-up without supplying their correct passport number. It is required for the driver to supply a completed form at the border.

Transport To and From Johannesburg

http://goo.gl/forms/Jj9F7YAiWQ

Transport To and From Maputo

http://goo.gl/forms/Ko5ROpIaTu

Transport To and From King Mswati III Airport

http://goo.gl/forms/O51BgvsSqO

Transport To and From Maseru (Not during mid-terms) http://goo.gl/forms/SCGlg3Fk8z

Sporting Activities

At the start of every year, we have many opportunities for sports and activities. Often these are run by external coaches, students and ex-students. As time goes by, some of the activities fall by the wayside. As we rely on external coaches and students, the communication is often not what we want it to be. Mr. Phebeni, the Head of Sports works continuously with students and coaches in attempting to get these various activities running. We ask that you bear with us in this regard and please ask your child to bring it to the attention of Mr. Phebeni or the front office should they attend an activity and there is no-one there to run it.

Swimming: We have a professional life guard and swimming coach, Mr. Reggie Maphanga, at the swimming pool every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 4:00pm. We encourage our boarding children to use this time on the weekend for fun swimming, most especially with the extreme temperatures we are experiencing at the moment. Children must wear a cap/hat and sunscreen.

Reminder: Important dates

• 15 February – Form 1 Meet the Teachers (13:30)

• 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

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 03/2017

Effects of recent US policy changes on UWC community

There has been widespread news and global outcry in the past week about recent developments in the United States. Almost everyone, including the entire UWC movement, has been concerned about the effects of recent US policy and in particular the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” on our current, former and future UWC students both inside and outside of the US. Our International Office has reported outpouring of solidarity, activity, outreach and support across the UWC movement which has been a ray of light in a difficult situation. The UWC community spirit is certainly something to be proud of. UWC is committed to preparing young people to work towards a peaceful and more just world with a view to stopping terrorism and violence. As part of the UWC community ourselves, we believe that a peaceful world can best be realized through building bridges and engaging in an education which is based on respect, celebrating diversity and shared humanity. It is our firm conviction that the indiscriminate exclusion of refugees and nationals of certain countries will be counterproductive and potentially fuel further conflict. In this regard the UWC International Office has issued a statement which can be found on: https://www.uwc.org/about/news/uwc-international-statement-about-us-executive-order

Congratulations Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher

A Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA alumna, Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher, has been appointed as Director of Education at UWC International. She is a Swazi national who graduated at Waterford Kamhlaba in 1983. She will officially join the London office in August 2017 from the United Nations International School in New York.

About the school, she had this to say: “Waterford Kamhlaba UWC was a kingdom within a kingdom. Amazing things were taking place every day as we were taught all our academic subjects and about the world around us. Student advocacy was strong then and continues to be today. The drive to make a difference beyond community service propelled us to want to be up to date with current affairs. I would say it made me confident as a person, and more aware of the dynamics of the world around me. Being in a school with students from all over the world, enabled me to appreciate others and their cultures and what was happening.”

Help us congratulate our alumna Proserpina on her new appointment!! You can read more here: https://www.uwc.org/about/news/uwcio-director-education

Unveiling of the Alumni Avenue

Tonight marks the official unveiling of the Alumni Avenue. The Alumni Avenue gives our alumni a chance to have their names written on the walls of Waterford Kamhlaba. This Avenue aims to encourage giving back to the Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA family, as well as giving the school alumni an opportunity to leave their mark on campus. For more information about the Avenue, go to: https://www.waterford.sz/alumni/alumni-opportunities.php

Exeat Rules in the GIB

The Exeat rules as published in the school’s General Information Booklet (GIB) have undergone substantial revision after lengthy discussions with student representatives and residential staff over the past few months. The latest revisions were only approved this past Monday. This new version can be found on the school website at: https://waterford.sz/perch/resources/gib-2017-01-30-approved.pdf

Principal’s report

The principal’s report (Term 3 2016) can be found on the school website: https://waterford.sz/perch/resources/school-report-term-3-2016.pdf.pagespeed.ce.A4TK8hj9JS.pdf

Theatre Sports Tonight

The first of many Theater Sports events for 2017 will be held tonight in the assembly hall. The event starts at 7:00pm and usually lasts about an hour. Please do come along, it promises to be an evening of fun.

Sporting Activities

Basketball: Last week Thursday our basketball team (boys and girls) left for a tournament at the American International School of Johannesburg. The tournament involved teams from 6 countries. Our senior girls and boys were placed in position 3 and 7 out of 14 respectively, while the junior boys team were placed in position 9 out of 14. The teams returned to campus on Sunday.
Staff Soccer: On Wednesday, 01 February 2017, our staff soccer team (male) played against Correctional Services soccer team. Both teams played 3-3 draw in an exciting game that was played at the school’s sports ground.

Errata

Please be advised that the final calendar that was sent out by email to all parents has a discrepancy in the end of term dates. Due to the Easter weekend, classes will end at 1:00pm on Wednesday April 12th and buses will depart on Thursday morning, April 13th. We regret any inconvenience this has caused.

Reminder: Important dates

• 15 February – Form 1 Meet the Teachers (13:30)

• 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

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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