BISA is fighting climate change - please join us!

“There is still so much in the world worth fighting for. So much that is beautiful, so many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help alleviate the suffering. And so many young people dedicated to making this a better world. All conspiring to inspire us and to give us hope that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part.”

—  Dr. Jane Goodall’s New Year Message For 2018

At BISA we believe that many tiny changes can make all the difference. Here are some of the changes happening at BISA as we play our part in the fight against climate change:

  1. Sustainable Events: You may have noticed that we have replaced bottled water at events with filtered water in jugs. By replacing buying bottled water with filtered water, we are reducing our plastic waste from events immensely. Within our daily school activities, our students and staff use refillable water bottles so this is a natural next step for our events. Please keep this in mind at future events at BISA and bring a refillable water bottle instead of buying bottled water at the bar. 
  2. Recycling Bins: Our Junior Dragon students are often at the forefront of tiny changes around the school as part of their Community Service award. Inspired partly by BISA's paticipation in World Clean Up Day, outside classrooms in Primary there are now three labelled bins: one for paper; one for plastic; one for organic waste. Year 4 have been focussing on caring for our environment and are creating a beautiful garden next to our new library. Part of their project involves recycling plastic waste to turn it into a shade over the garden, and collecting organic waste to make compost for the soil. With snack times and fruit breaks throughout the day in Primary, there is plenty of organic waste to be used - what a fantastic idea!
  3. Glass Recycling: BISA events generate a lot of glass waste but, don't worry, we are already making sure we recycle. Glass bottles that can be returned, cleaned and refilled at manufacturers are collected, and glass that cannot be returned is donated to Shanga, who recycle them into glassware, jewellery and houseware while giving skills training to disabled people in the community.
  4. Tree-planting: Our recent tree-planting day, in collaboration with Roots and Shoots,  helped replace many trees in our community and it is something we intend to continue doing around the Mateves and Kisongo area over the coming years.
  5. Fuel Consumption: Powering two school sites and transporting hundreds of children to and from school every day uses a significant amount of fuel. In addition to our daily practise of switching off lights and electrical equipment when not in use, as well as using more fuel-efficient bus routes, every year, BISA off-sets it's carbon footprint by buying carbon offsets with Carbon Tanzania and protecting forests here in Tanzania.

Please continue to support BISA as we consider our impact on the environment. What tiny changes can you make?

Climate Change is Real (Year 7/8 Report)

From Greta Thunberg's emotional speeches to world leaders to the global climate change school strike, more and more young people are stepping up to fight climate change, and the students at BISA are no different!

Recently Year 7 & 8 presented a passionate assembly about the frightening reality of climate change. Here are some highlights of what was presented:

"We need to be aware that the world is changing fast and not in a good way because of us humans. If nothing is done we will cause, not only our own extinction but also other species. Imagine a new born baby slowly dying in 10 years and all a president can do, in one of the most powerful countries in the world, is build walls....

This is the 6th mass extinction and we are entirely to blame. It is up to us to stop this from happening fast. " - James

"Let’s look after our mother planet.  To stop animal extinction, we should stop throwing our trash into our oceans. We should encourage our governments to stop burning fuel and taking fossil fuels out of the ground. We should start using electric cars, walking or cycling more and fly less. It is never too late to change." - Yusrah

 "We are the first generation to really experience climate change and the last generation to do something about it. Climate change is not something to worry about in the coming decades. It is already here and strengthening. Climate change is not just a statement to grab our attention. It is real and we need to act now!" - Shreya

"The UN has released a report this week, written by 50 scientists from all over the world, which confirms that a million species will be on the brink of extinction in DECADES, IN OUR LIFE TIME. We can all do something, no matter how small. If we all act, it will make a difference. And remember, it is not just about saving the earth. The planet will still be here long after we have gone. This is about saving ourselves, our children and our grandchildren." - Nicolas

"Global warming is something we all have to live with. Because of generations before us, we have to ACT NOW. We cannot ignore this and pretend it is going to go away and that it will all be ok. We need to change our lifestyles. We need to persuade grownups, businesses, governments to listen and change. We need to act fast. " - Myles

As BISA continues to make changes across the school to do our part to fight climate change, we hope that you will support our efforts.

The ban on plastic bags - what it means for you and why it’s a positive opportunity for change.

From the 1stJune this year, Tanzania will join other East African nations and many countries worldwide in banning single use plastic bags; but why? Well that’s easy, pollution. Plastic bags are made from oil, which, when burnt, release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When buried, they slowly degrade into microbeads that end up in our water sources and food products. Let’s be clear here, microbeads are not part of a healthy diet! 

So, what do the regulations actually say? It’s quite clear; ‘a total ban on the sale, distribution and use of ALL plastic bags, regardless of thickness.’

There are exceptions to this, that is ‘any of the following materials that are sold in plastic bags: food products, medical services, agricultural and construction materials, sanitary and waste management.’ 

Enforcement of the regulations will be by the police, revenue authority, ports authority and local councils… essentially anyone who is anyone in enforcement. In short, the best approach here, that is if you want to avoid some pretty hefty fines or jail time is to do what needs to be done - stop using any plastic bags.

If you’re a massive plastic bag user, change is coming. But this change shouldn’t be seen as a negative, it’s actually an alternative for many Tanzanians to create an economy making bags out on less polluting materials. You can support your local women’s groups by buying a kikapu and take your own bags to the shops. But remember, if you are caught with a plastic bag, it’s you that gets the fine.

For now, single use plastic bottles will remain, but based on what’s happening in the rest of the world, they too will soon be banned. 

- Marc Baker (Carbon Tanzania)

Year 2 continue building links between our two school sites

"A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long I want to be your friend."

In preparation for joining together as one class in Year 3, the students in Year 2 in Njiro and Kisongo have been building their friendships through collaboration days. Last Wednesday they all gathered at the Infant School for fun and games with Mr Brown, Mr Odhiambo and Miss Logan.

The theme was 'circles of friends' and the children entered into this collaboration day with much enthusiasm and excitement. Beginning their day with PE with Mr O, they were soon working together playing touch rugby and cementing friendships at the same time. With Mr Brown they took part in energetic team games, while Miss Logan helped the students create a large piece of collaborative art based on the circle theme. It was wonderful seeing the children comfortably and happily work together across the two schools.

All in all, a fantastic day with a very excited group of Year 2s!

DELF Exam registration is complete - a message from the French Department

We completed the registration for the DELF French exam at the end of last term and we are very excited to announce the highest number of candidates ever: 48 students from Year 4 to 8!

We really believe this program benefits the students in many ways.

The IFO estimated that there will be about 700 million French speakers in 2050 and 85% of them will be in Africa. So, with this program, we are opening up a range of opportunities for our students.

The program allows them to qualify with a French level from A1 to B2, equivalent to IGCSE up to the level required to enter a French speaking university. These levels are the same for all European languages and the certificates are internationally recognized. Nice exam experience for our students!

In addition to the obvious advantages of proficiency in another languages, we have seen many other benefits after 5 years of offering this exam.

Students are eager to register and take the exams, taking responsibility for their studies and accepting the challenge and the effort needed to complete it. This program has also proved to boost students’ confidence allowing them to succeed at their own path.

For the first time, we believe all students in Year 6 will leave Primary with a French DELF certificate and in preparation we will be very busy practicing speaking and a wide range of strategies for the written paper.

We hope all students will also be supported at home with the ongoing preparation.

Please remember the exam date: 15th of June.

Again, in a perspective of widening opportunities for our students and the importance of Kiswahili in East Africa,  Mrs Sekemi is in discussion with MSTCDC to start a similar program for the Kiswahili Language. Keep your eyes peeled!

Good luck to all candidates on their preparation and exam!