“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
And so the time of year swings around when fledglings stretch their wings and fly into the final two years of their education. They cannot do this without a magnificent celebratory ritual which is the Year 11 Graduation. It is a very special and happy ceremony where students, teachers and parents can all collectively celebrate this transition. The celebration also marks the final end of arduous IGCSE examinations.
Ms Diana once again ensured a beautiful sparkling setting, the theme, Memories. The students were barely recognizable; tired uniforms exchanged for glamorous, eye catching attire and adolescence exchanged for a tremulous adulthood. The transition is quite breathtaking to see. We were entertained by BISA’s music students and by some of the Year 11’s. As usual, the entertainment was first class. Teachers delivered amusing and informative speeches on each student. It is quite special to watch each individual standing up there, beautiful, valued and accomplished.
We at BISA are so incredibly proud of this year’s IGCSE class. They have all worked hard and handled the stress of the examinations extremely well. We wish them luck in their next and final stage of school, hoping that most of them will stay at BISA for their last two years of sixth form where there is a unique diversity of courses to take, ranging between A-Level and BTEC subjects.
This last weekend saw us saying goodbye to an extraordinary class full of incredibly confident, successful and responsible individuals. But for the purposes of this article, we would like to shine the spotlight on our three departing leaders. Find out what they achieved whilst in the School and what they are going on to do next.
Marvin Onwukwe – Head Boy (January 2017- December 2018)
It was not surprising that Marvin was elected into the position of head boy as he is such an inspirational leader: a young man of integrity, who leads through example. The kind of leader we all hope to be led by. He is one of the most well-rounded individuals that we have ever had in our school. He is a talented sportsman, renowned for his gritty determination in long distance running, holding records for 1500m and 800m. He has competed for the school both nationally and internationally in rugby, football, athletics, cross country and basketball and received a range of awards including the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ Award twice. But it is not just his sporting success that stands out, it is the fact that he is such an exemplary sportsman that makes him exceptional: he is polite to his opponents and encouraging and motivational to his team. He never loses his temper, however frustrated he may feel. He is also academically successful, with a string of A grades to his name: Hard work, perfect attendance and never missing a deadline all play a part in his success. Few people are great on the sports field, talented in athletics and equally as dazzling in the Arts. Yet Marvin is just this: He has performed in 7 school plays and most notably as Eric in An Inspector Calls: learnt all his lines and attended all the afterschool rehearsals, on top of studying for his A levels; he is an impressive dancer; gained a distinction in his LAMDA grade 8 Public Speaking and won an award for his inspirational speaking at the MUN special summit. Marvin always gives his best and never gives up. This determination, focus and drive were seen in his successful summit of Meru and Kilimanjaro and in the way he led his team of prefects last year. His successes were recognized when he was awarded the Head teacher’s Award twice.
We are very proud of Marvin and the positive mark he has left on the school. He is going to study Biological Science in the University of Maryland in the USA. I predict that he will later serve his country is a very senior position in the future.
Ttanya Sachdev – Head Girl (January 2017- December 2018)
Although on a first meeting, Ttanya may appear quiet, shy and retiring, she is anything but! Her powerful speech for the position of Head Girl, left no doubt in anyone’s mind, that she was a force to be reckoned with and her ascent up to the summit of Kilimanjaro showed her grit and determination. Her approach to her Business classes showed her to be diligent, focused and very organized. She never missed a deadline and she always gave her best. As a result, she scored distinctions for every unit that she worked for and gained a distinction * overall. She is a natural leader, able to motivate others, working under her, as seen in the School Enterprise Challenge. Through this competition, her team won $1000 for the school with their social enterprise project, making bags from scraps of material; she also gave up her time to work in the school tuck shop, serving others over the year and keeping meticulous accounts and in between all this, she set up a very successful confectionary business. She impressed her bosses in Nissan Kenya with her professionalism and work ethic during her week of work experience and she impressed all of us in her planning of the women empowerment forum dubbed ‘Sisterhood’ where she, along with some other sixth formers trained 200 girls from our local schools on entrepreneurship, self-esteem and aspirational career paths. Possibly it was these traits that were recognized in the prestigious BTEC International Award for being the best Business and Enterprise student in the world.
Ttanya’s quiet and humble approach to leadership has inspired many students and staff in our school and we will all really miss her. She is going to the UK to study Business Administration and we have no doubt whatsoever that she will own a very successful business in the not-too-distant future.
Kauther Ali – School Council President (January 2017- December 2018)
Kauther has been one of those rare students who demonstrates maturity, amazing confidence and complete independence. Her organization skills are second to none and she has wonderful creative problem strategies. These skills made her a strong and powerful student council president. She faced student issue head on and got things done. Kauther has been very proactive and tenacious. When she sets her mind on doing something, she will ensure it gets done. She is compassionate and empathetic and as a result she has really pushed the ‘Scholarship Fund’. Through her hard work and single-mindedness, she led a number of fund raising events to collect over $3000 towards Joseph and Phillipo’s scholarship fund. The ‘Colour Fest’ was her brainchild and inspite of all the resistance she faced, she pulled off an amazingly successful event. She came out of this as a ‘determined mobilizer’. In spite of all her whole school responsibilities, Kauther’s academic work never suffered: she put hours of work into her studies in the library, whilst remaining cheerful and helpful at the same time.
Kauther’s maturity and responsibility has made a real difference to our school, especially in what she has achieved for others. As a result, I have no doubt that she will go on to be a very capable and successful Doctor. She is going to The University of Nairobi to study Medicine.
If you thought last week's Year 9 achievement of scaling Little Meru was impressive, just wait until you read about our incredible Kilimanjaro climbers this week!
Our willing teacher adventurers, Ms Elvinah Obuya, Mr Andrew Flanagan and Mr Rob Wallace, gave us this report:
A small but determined groups set off for this year's climb: just five Year 10 boys and 2 girls along with Mr Flanagan, Mr Wallace and two gap students, Moritz and Jackson, and Ms Obuya. Not to mention the small army of porters, cooks and guides.
The climb from Marangu Gate to the first three camps went well. All the students were strong and kept up. No-one dragged or moaned. The weather was dismal but not awful; dull and overcast with drizzle and sometimes heavier rain but never torrential rain and everyone seemed adequately prepared for it. Of course, due to the weather, the views were limited but without that distraction we could really get to appreciate the remarkable flora; club moss, giant groundsel, liverwort Mountain Forest.
As we reached the last camp, we finally rose above the clouds and got some spectacular views of Mawenzi, and the Massai stepp below us. On arrival at Kibo hut, everything looked good for a spectacularly successful trip. However it is above 4,500m that altitude strikes and the next morning the class woke to find that their spritely, male teacher leaders had transformed to decrepit old men. Fortunately, Jackson and Moritz retained the sprightliness of their youth and, along with Ms Obuya, successfully led the majority of our team to the crater rim. With a few adventurers succumbing to altitude sickness and turning back at or before Gilman's point, Rajvir, Jaivir, Janina and Pendo continued on and successfully made it to Uhuru Peak, along with Jackson and Moritz.
Back at Kibo hut, the rest of the group were recovering and, as the last of the summit team returned, we were ready to set off for Horombo Hut where we all rested for the night.
Next day, descent to Mandara hut a mere 3 hours away seemed too tame so we strode powerfully the whole of the rest of the way to Marangu gate managing the whole climb in 5 days rather than 6 and securing ourselves a comfortable night’s sleep in clean sheets. Such bliss.
"Never again!" said most of us but already the seeds of the next trip are in our minds. Bring on next year!
Our annual trips take our Secondary students on many adventures, including scaling some of our beautiful mountains. Mrs Rashid updated us on the Little Meru climb!
This year's climb up Little Meru was fantastic. The group were really lucky with the weather and didn't have any rain at all - to the point that some people were complaining they bought rain coats for nothing! The climb was steep but exhilarating and everyone had very sore knees at the end.
On their last day they even stopped for a dip in a waterfall which was great fun. Everyone made it to the top and a couple of people even had a short snooze up there!
Well done to everyone!
Our FS1 children have made an exciting new step in their journey this week as they stayed for a full day for the first time. They are getting ready for the longer school days when they move up to FS2 in September and they all did a great job coping with the extra hours in school as well as experiencing lunchtime.
The FS1 children at the Infant School had fun making fruity 'Gruffalo Tusks' for their afternoon activity, following on from learning about the children's author Julia Donaldson. Meanwhile our FS1 children at our Kisongo Campus had a wonderful time making chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. They were also super excited to go to the main lunch hall to have their lunch with the older students!
Well done to all of you - you are growing up fast!