Secondary Interhouse Cross Country

Report by Angel Karegyesa

"Wednesday 13th June 2018 BISA held its annual Secondary Interhouse Cross Country. The sun was out and the mud had dried. The courses were all in good conditions for our athletes to tackle. With incredible performances from all four house teams. Kilimanjaro placing first, runners up Meru, third place Mawenzi and fourth Lengai.

Starting with our hardest course (Red course), our Year 10s and 12s ran this 5km course successfully. With Micah coming 1st in the boy’s race, Marvin 2nd and Kiasile 3rd , all running incredible times. Also, an equally captivating performance from the girls, with Niamh placing 1st , Waitta came 2nd and 3rd place for Robyn.

Going onto the Yellow course which our Year 8s and 9s participated in. With Pendo sweeping in 1st place for the girls, 2nd Stella and Janaina coming 3rd . Alongside an extremely strong finish from our top three boys in the Yellow course, Aleeke narrowly placing 1st , 2nd place was Finlay and a sturdy 3rd finish from Oscar.

Finally, our year 7s tackled the White course. With an outstanding performance from Yasmina coming comfortably 1st , 2nd place Bridgette and Natalia came 3rd. As well as an incredible performance from the boys with and exciting race for 1st place between Clinton and Yuri, both battling it out until the last stretch. Yuri just nicked 1st place, Clinton coming in
2nd, and Antonio 3rd.

A BIG WELL DONE TO ALL OF OUR PARTICIPANTS!!"

Poet, William Patrick Woodcock, Visits BISA

Article by Josephine Kiaga - Media Prefect

‘Writing is as essential to me as eating and sleeping.’

Braeburn was fortunate enough to host and work with the brilliant William Patrick Woodcock. Woodcock is a Canadian author of nine books of poetry inspired from diverse experiences drawn from his travels into Iceland, Poland, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Kurdish north of Iraq, Azerbaijan and most recently our own Tanzania. Woodcock has a fluid, ever-changing style that he attributes to mood and experience. His poems are highly regarded by their content, form and style, which he himself said inspire him as they are easily translated between languages.

Woodcock came from a creative home. His father an Irishman who had a taste for singing -leaving a limerick for his wife every morning- and his mother was a ballet teacher while his brother played violin. Though he loves all forms of art from paintings to music, poetry has always appealed to him more than others. The love he has for his favourite poems remain unmatched by his love for other works of art. At age 16 he began to explore music. He enjoyed the lyricism of the songs and listened to artists that spoke of poetry and art.

‘Writing physically affects my body...I’m far happier and kinder when I write.’

Writing is a huge part of Woodcock’s daily life. He always has his trusty camera and recorder in order to capture the natural beauty of the world he lives in. Naturally, he pays attention to the little things in his day to day life, drawing inspiration from things some people would ignore or take for granted like the texture of someone’s hand or the colours merging in the sky. Alongside capturing day to day activities, travelling is essential to Woodcock’s writing. He prefers to work in the country and become one with the culture and give back while creating his art. He chooses places to live based on his cultural instinct and getting drawn to the area.

‘I want to write to celebrate the good things in the world but also to purge myself of the things that I find too disturbing to keep in.’

Not everything is as beautiful and bright as one might expect. Woodcock has seen some very horrific things for example in Sarajevo he was constantly faced with grenade bombs in the ground on the streets marking areas where people had died (The Sarajevo flower). But as he said ‘from this pain comes art’. Out of the tragedies Woodcock learns and gets inspired by the culture and this affects how he himself will see the world. Deciding where to go for him is simply a work of inspiration, sometimes it’s as simple as a news story on TV.

‘There’s no shortage. Every day I see something.’

From Tanzania he has drawn experience from graffiti, the environment and conversations with locals. He admires the kindness of the Tanzanian people and their willingness to cooperate and speak to him. He works at a local school, Baraa Primary School with children, teachers and colleagues. Through teaching them, he inspires and shares creativity. He has held a number of workshops at Braeburn and has already inspired some of our poetic sixth form students with his experiences and stories. Woodcock journals and documents anything that inspires him and let’s face it, in Tanzania there’s nothing short of inspiration around the corner. His poems about Tanzania will finish his upcoming book and begin his following book as he writes in a consequential style. 

‘Use the internet as a tool to explore.’

Because of the internet, Woodcock feels he has furthered his career. Due to the instant availability of information, his poems can be regarded as true and not fictional tales. As a teenager he would often go to the library to research his favourite poets and track them back further. He believes that the ability to read and see the finest work plays into our lives perfectly. By using the internet to explore your favourite poets you can then find their favourite poets and so on and so forth. Art is based on inspiration and learning. Now this new generation can search things within seconds this is what they should do. You can experience so much without even leaving your room. Once you find a poet that you like and means a lot to you, you should follow in their path and track his or her roots. He was drawn to Eastern European and Asian writers and accredits his writing style and work to this research.

‘If I worked at it for a week...I would have thousands of inspirations’

Woodcock has a very fluid style that is drawn from multiple inspirations. Though his inspiration depends on the particular day you ask him, some poets that inspired him remained unchanged. One being famous poet Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky who was expelled from Russia and moved to the States, learnt English well enough to write in it and primarily focused on society. As well as Sergei Yesenin, one of the most famous Russian lyricists of the 20th century. His poetry meant a lot to Woodcock growing up. When he went to Azerbaijan he went to the house Yesenin lived in and wrote about him in his very home. So many poets inspire him. Every day he might tell you another. But all in all he uses each of them to further his work every day. We hope to see Woodcock progress even further in his work and wish him the best.

‘Even now I’m not where I want to be but it’s just something I’ll work at till my dying day’

All the news from Secondary Trips Week

In the week before our half term, our Secondary students head off on many an adventure around East Africa. Here is all the news from Trips week!

Year 7 - Sagana

Year 7s enjoyed a fantastic trip to Sagana in Kenya this week. A full day's travelling on the Saturday meant that little other than settling in and enjoying some activities was had on our first evening. Sunday, however, proved somewhat more action-packed, as the students travelled to a nearby dam to try their hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and Ducky (Kayaking). In both, the students had to quickly master their ability to balance whilst moving on water - some feat I can assure you. I'm sure, that most students, spent longer periods in the water than they did actually on their rafts. Nonetheless, the students thoroughly enjoyed frolicking about in the water, as did the nearby villagers who were thoroughly amused at our escapades.

Our plans for Monday, however, were hindered due to the preceding heavy rainfall which had befallen the area of Kenya that we were based. We had been scheduled to do White Water Rafting but the river had swollen to such an extent that it would have been simply unsafe to do so. Instead, one group climbed to a nearby hill to enjoy some quite spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, whilst the other tested their temperament with heights by doing some rock climbing. The remainder of the day was spent with all students completing team building activities.
Tuesday's schedule was, similarly, altered because the river simply hadn't reduced sufficiently enough for the students to safely white water raft. A brief visit to a nearby Cultural Centre gave students an opportunity to engage with local Kikuyu life (both past and present), was followed by the whole group testing their endurance and physical limits with some mountain biking. For the afternoon, students had an opportunity to select either rock climbing or an extra round of mountain biking - both activities were very much enjoyed. This, along with the evening's activities, helped put an end to what was a fantastic trip and one that I am convinced our Year 7 students would have found to be an extremely rewarding trip.

Year 8 - Zanzibar

All we can say is that the Zanzibar trip was simply great. It was fun and educational and we had a chance of seeing one the largest tortoise, we had a tour of the prisons’ island, stone town and the spice farm. The most exciting bit was having free time during hot afternoons to swim in the ocean. It was one of our best trips so far and a trip we would like to treasure in our memories forever. It was worth of every minute and penny too. We interacted and got to know each other better than before.

Year 9 - Meru

Year 9 had a fantastic trip up to Little Meru. The weather couldn’t have been better: Clear blue skies and wonderful views. The group were coherently fit and while some claimed to be exhausted, they kept together with no stragglers at all and everyone made it to the top: A good omen for next year. As a sign of their exhaustion, the level of chatter never ceased from start to finish, even on the bus home there was the same lively energy. This group will fly up Mt Kilimanjaro next year. A big thanks to our illustrious  leader who couldn’t have had a worse group in terms of having to keep up but who nevertheless rose to the occasion and led her tutor group to their successful conquest.

Year 10 - Kilimanjaro

Our Year 10s bravely took on Africa's highest freestanding mountain - the beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro. Taking the 6 day Marangu route, they traversed through tropical rainforest, moorland and alpine desert before scaling the heights of a snow-covered Kibo summit. This is a massive challenge for our students and they faced it with bravery and determination. While not everyone managed to reach the absolute summit, every member of the group gave it their all. Congratulations! You should all be very proud!

Year 12 - Lukenya

The Year 12s spent 3 days in the picturesque Lukenya Hills in Machakos Kenya. The trip forms part of a compulsory assessment for BTEC Business. The training is carried out by Blue Sky. They believe in experiential learning.The students learn how to work as a team and how to listen to others; these are invaluable skills, which they will use in their working lives. In addition, they were able to challenge themselves and partake in activities such as low ropes, high ropes and swings. Trusting their team mates was an integral part.

As well as team building activities the students were able to meet other groups of people such as American youngsters who had come to train as team leaders; in this way they were able to identify themselves as global citizens. 
Multi-Year Group Enrichment

The theme or our enrichment activities was reduce, reuse, recycle.

“It has been a long but wonderful 3 days. We learned a lot and have participated in some recycling processes. I enjoyed Shanga, especially when my fellow students were participating in blowing the recycled glass. The other thing that we enjoyed were the bus rides and trips that we took, it brought us closer together as we bonded over recycling. We saw some very tragic things in the community, I hate to think about the environment around us and how people ignore it. As a group we just really want to thank the members of staff that helped us throughout the process. I hope to make more of an impact now that I’m more informed.”

“The three days if enrichment were pretty interesting. We went to a couple of places, one of them being "Shanga" where we were highly inspired by disabled people who made jewellery and all sorts of amazing things! Being there made me think of my well-being and how we take the smallest things for granted. In Shanga they reused old glass, melted it and made new beads, ornaments and some beautiful glassware. They also recycled paper and used old sufurias (aluminium pots) to make wind mobiles. Apart from Shanga we went to "Maendeleo Factory". Besides the funny smells we endured, it was a weird experience. There, they collected trash, and also bones (all sorts), crushed them and made them into some sort of calcium rich food for chickens. Overall it was an experience that has changed the way I look at plastic. I have a whole new perspective.  I am more or less scared by how harmful it is, as we speak we are breathing in microbeads of plastic which could eventually give rise to unknown diseases or even kill us. From these three days, I feel we could start working on the small things like the school wetlands area and later on expand to country wide projects. You never know how big an action is ...no matter how small it us to you. We all need to start taking action.”

A Beautiful Music Keys Recital

Our Music Keys programme allows all students in Upper Primary to learn a musical instrument with the help of music mentors from Secondary. They have weekly sessions with their mentors, working together and building their musical skills.

Every year this culminates in a beautiful afternoon of music at our Music Keys Recital.

This took place last Wednesday 23rd May in our amphitheatre in Kisongo.

Our young musicians performed beautifully, showing the skills they had learned and their ever-emerging musical talents.  Performing both individually and in groups, they showed no sign of nerves or stage-fright.

Congratulations to you all!

Inter-Schools Cross Country at Kennedy House

A week after our very muddy inter-house cross country,  it was a very different atmosphere for interschool cross country in Kennedy House. No mud to be seen and even the sun was shining!

BISA students displayed great team work and gave their best in all races. A special mention should go to Lein in Year 4 who, after arriving late, braved his fear and competed in an upper age-group category which he did brilliantly!

BISA came 3rd overall with runners from Year 1 to 8.

Well done to all!