Last Saturday, our MSMUN delegates joined their peers from other schools to participate in the Middle School Model United Nations (MSMUN) Mock Debate at the French School.
Not daunted by the morning drizzle and chill, they enthusiastically took up positions on the floor to express their views. Many of our delegates got their first opportunity to express themselves before a sizeable audience; they also practised catching the chair’s eye, while deciding on which parliamentary motion to use. The team work skills were enhanced as they had to work in their different teams to create resolutions which they then debated. At the end of the day they all walked out having sharpened their skills and making new friends.
Congratulations for a successful mock debate to Vineet, Conrad, Izzyan, Mudit, Nizar, Anushka, Jay, Erika and Vaibhavi. We wish them all the best as they prepare for the main conference next January where they will carry the flags of Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Ms Waitumbi and Mr.Makanda
In the course of Term 1, Year 6s were privileged to visit Kembu farm located in Njoro – just outside Nakuru town. Kembu is a perfect place from which to explore the Rift Valley, with its rambling gardens set out in picturesque, secure grounds on a working farm.
This trip is imbued with a variety of fun and educational activities which our students benefited from. They kicked off their trip with the following activities:
On the farm activities:
Archery – the farm provided bows for drills. Students were guided on how to use the bow to master its potential.
Walks on the farm / farm tours – as the students moved around the farm they were able to see horses, dairy herds, calves, chickens and chameleons. They were able to appreciate the contribution of the animals to the ecosystem at Kembu farm.
Orienteering - the students were provided with Kembu farm maps and given tasks to look for various items around the farm working in groups (with the supervision of an adult for safety). At the end of the activities students were able to embrace a variety of navigation skills.
Obstacle course activity – students were placed in teams and subjected to rigorous activities which helped them promote their wellness and team working skills.
Kenana knitters - our students were taken round the small industry at the farm an initiative borne by the local women to boost their livelihood. They were able to see how wool is sheared from a sheep and refined into strings which end up making products like bags, teddy bears, table cloths, etc.
Camp fires were built up and students sat around to listen to exciting stories of the farm. From afar sounds of birds and the coolness of the night helped keep the students alert.
Outside the farm activities (hiking):
The following morning after spending a night at the farm, the students were dropped off at the base of Kiplombe, a dormant volcano, for their hiking activities.
The rangers for the trip orientated the students and reminded them what they needed to do to be safe. They then started the ascent of Kiplombe, seeing how deforestation had caused soil degradation as well as the hydrology of the mountain.
They stopped in the crater for a lunch break before exiting the crater on the walk down to their start point where the students hydrated with a soda.
Along the hike they learned about various plants which have medicinal values, for example datura, aloe vera and leleshwa plants.
The Kembu trip provided our students with a plethora of learning opportunities. They emerged from the trip with a burning desire to conserve our environment having seen the impact of human activities on water catchment areas. It dawned on every student that we all need to play a role in protecting our environment for future generations.
On September 26th Braeburn took part in the annual Badminton drama competition (named after the UK school that donated the trophy to IAPS Kenya) hosted this year by The Banda school. Ten students were carefully selected to represent the school; five under 11’s (Amna, Lou Lou, Yannick, Keith, Mariam) and five under 13’s (Ian, Angel, Naomi, Harlene, Emile) against 9 other IAPS schools. There was a palpable amount of excitement leading up to the event due to it being the only competitive drama event of the year (and because we haven’t won it in nearly 10 years!). The competition takes the whole day and comprises of a random word being drawn out of a hat which each school then use as the stimulus for a devised piece of drama lasting between 4-7 minutes. The rules are strict, tried and tested: -
- No pre-planning a performance
- The teacher may help their group for the first and last 15 minutes of the 90 minutes only
- No costume or props are allowed to be used
- The use of a piano and drum are permitted
The judges had fantastic credentials too; Davina Leonard: actress, author and playwright. Julia Mathews: former LAMDA teacher and examiner, actress and director, and Tirath Padem: actor and singer, recently playing the lead male role in 'Subira', a Kenyan feature length movie which has been nominated by the Kenyan Film Association for OSCAR consideration….no pressure then!
The word picked out of the hat was ‘Tangled’. The children all went to their designated areas and began devising. I was very pleased with how our group came together, they listened to each other’s ideas and seemed genuinely excited during the whole process. I then had the agonizing task (along with all of the other teachers) of then leaving my group for an hour whilst they continued creating their piece. On my return I watched their creation and gave them a few tips on how to improve it. Their ideas were different, challenging and unique. I loved their bravery, I loved how they wanted to use physical theatre; abstract symbolism was key to their piece. Time was up.
All the groups then came back together into the theatre and the order of each performance was picked out at random. We were performing 9th out of 10. I must admit, having been involved with drama for a number of years, I was blown away by the overall standard of the pieces that we watched. This meant that our group became more and more nervous (probably due to the realization that their piece was so ‘different’). Finally, our time came and we performed. They were fantastic. Their piece was based on the idea of a ‘case of mistaken identity’. A woman is wrongfully accused of committing a murder and is entangled in a web of deceit and lies. It involved physical tangling of bodies, slow motion moments of wonderful suspense, a well-choreographed fight scene with an impressive lift and to top it off a twist in the story at the end. That being said, it was VERY different to the others. We waited for the judges to decide.
The results were in. In third place – Brookhouse. In second place - Braeburn Garden Estate and, after what seemed like an age, in first place – Braeburn School! We were all stunned. The children couldn’t believe what they had achieved. They were presented with the trophy and two of the judges insisted on having their photographs with the children (whilst recreating the ‘lift’) because they were so impressed.
Overall, it was the most special of days. The children were a credit to the school, their behaviour was exemplary, their creativity was unique and I believe the experience will stay with them for life. Thank you to Mr. James for his invaluable input and thank you to everybody that supported them in the lead up to the event. Roll on next year!
Mr. Williams – Head of Drama
The annual Music Instrument Zoo took place at the beginning of the school year. All the classes in the primary school had an opportunity to go and learn about the instruments available in the music department for individual tuition.
A lot of interest was shown, not only in the ‘popular’ instruments (drums and guitar), but also in the orchestral instruments. Questions were asked, such as, "Why aren’t you holding that big violin under your chin?" That big violin is a cello!
The loud sounds of the trumpet and trombone had a lot of the Year 5 and 6 children quite excited, while the violin's ability to sound like an ambulance siren was quite fascinating to most of the children. Having a station with music production equipment drew quite a lot of interest from the older pupils, who expressed an interest in creating their own beats and putting them to song.
All in all, the response was very promising, with a lot of the children determined to speak to their parents about taking up an instrument. We hope to see this come to fruition and have most of the school playing an instrument throughout the year!
In July 12 Braeburn Primary pupils, along with two teachers, joined their eight counterparts from the High School to prepare for the Global Round of the World Scholars Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
The official opening program was graced by diplomats from various countries, the organising team and local officials. The students got a chance to settle into their surroundings by embarking on an interactive Scavenger Hunt where they were grouped with scholars from other countries. This took place at the expansive Rotterdam Zoo, giving the scholars a chance to interact with Netherlands best flora and fauna. The day ended with the students enjoying a sumptuous Dutch dinner, while watching some eye-catching performances from local dance troupes.
The Competition Tasks
On the main competition day at The Erasmus University in Rotterdam, students put their wits to the test in the Scholars Challenge, battled their peers in The Team Debate, and argued with their pencils in the Collaborative Writing events. The second day of competition was marked by the Scholars Bowl where they had to answer on the subject matter studied while working in their teams. This event was the last competitive activity as the scholars later retreated to their hotels to prepare for their social evening which was held at the World Forum. This was quite a relaxing end to the taxing two days of gruelling competition.
The scholars managed to enjoy three main tours after the competition, they spent a whole day at the Efterling Park where they experienced numerous roller coasters, water fun drives, train rides, oriental, continental and traditional Dutch restaurants, in the process learning a lot about Dutch culture. On the Rotterdam and Delft Tour, the scholars visited The Euromast, historical sites in the Delft City and toured the modern city centers where they learnt lots of facts about Holland. On these tours the scholars got a chance to visit and shop in The Hague and other Dutch cities. The tours culminated in a visit to the Johann Crjuiff Arena, the home of Dutch football giants, Ajax Amsterdam. A canal cruise afforded the scholars a final chance to cpature the sights and sound of Amsterdam and was a fitting end to what was an enthralling tour of Holland.
The Closing Ceremony
This was the long awaited day and everyone trooped into the auditorium full of expectation as to what the results would bring. After a long morning filled with show stopping performances by scholars and teachers from different parts of the globe. Our team posted very impressive results, even more so considering that they were not only competing against older students in the same category but also facing students who come from academically selective schools.
Two teams out of four comprising of Njeri Maina, Sanjeevani Pokala; and Jiwon Shin, Erica Ruo, Pratham Bafna all finished in the top 20 positions for Africa to qualify for the Tournament of Champions at Yale University (USA) in November. Congratulations to:
We are extremely proud of the scholars for all the effort that they put into this competition, and for flying the Braeburn and Kenyan flag high! We wish the TOC qualifiers the best of luck at Yale. For those who didn’t make it, we celebrate their performance and are confident that they will go a step higher next time.
World Scholars will be back after half term as we start preparations for the regional round in term 2.