A Fond Farewell

On Friday 11th October we bid a fond farewell to our headteacher Miss Eva Kioko. She has been headteacher of the school for over 10 years and has seen the school grow from 20 children to over 200!

We held a special assembly to say goodbye on Wednesday 9th October.  Miss Kioko had received a special invite to the assembly in advance.  She arrived to a round of applause as she took her seat next to Maggie and Tim Hobbs who were founding parents of the school.    

Some of the children, who have been at the school since they were tiny, spoke about their memories of Miss Kioko.  Mrs Wangili, Mr Wamukota, Harriet and Nicholas played their instruments together in recognition of one of Miss Kioko's biggest passions being music. 

Mr Lettsome - the Chair of FANs - presented Miss Kioko with some gifts from the parents which included a handmade porcelain vase.  The whole school sang a slightly adapted version of a Bruno Mars song - Count on Us - to remind Miss Kioko that we will always be here for her - she was our headteacher, but now she is our friend. Mr Mulongo and Mrs Bebbington then presented Miss Kioko with her gift from the children - two enormous, framed pictures.  These pictures were put together by Mrs Bebbington but were created by the children of BNIS.  Each child produced a picture of a flower or a bug which were then put together to create a magical garden.  Miss Kioko is absolutely passionate about nature so this was a very fitting gift to her from the school.  One picture will remain at the school to mark her hardwork and dedication and the other will hang in her new home in Nairobi to remind her of us.  

The choir then sang a specially written song for Miss Kioko which was beautifully performed.  Miss Kioko herself then took to the stage to thank everyone and to bid us all farewell.  

It was a lovely morning and a perfect tribute to Miss Kioko after 10 years at the school.  Good Luck, we will miss you!

Athletes Compete

We held our third, and final, Atheletics event on Friday October 11th for our children in Years 5-8.  The children in Years 1 and 2 competed last Thursday 3rd and the children in Years 3 and 4 on Friday 4th OCtober.  All three events were very well supported by parents - thank you all for coming!

Mr Masafu and Mr Franco group the children for the events so that races are as evenly matched as possible.  The Years 1 and 2 event included some of the traditional favourites - sack race and racket and ball race - as well as standard running and hurdles races.  Every event included a relay, a tug of war and a parents race.  The parents event was popular as usual and was the most fiercely fought race of all!Children competed with determination against each other but showed great sporting spirit when congratulating those who ran faster than them!  For the Years 3 - 8 events, children compete in their houses, accumulating points to find the to be awarded to their house total so far this year.

It is a pleasure to watch how the children develop year-on-year and to see how they hone their skills to become more and more successsful.  We are very proud of all our children and the efforts they put into sporting actvities and training.  We are now very much looking forward to our annual visit to Kasarani next month. 

Biking Fun

Week 5 was Bike Week at BNIS.  Children in Years 1-4 brought their bikes to school for Tuesday and Wednesday to ride around the course set out on the school field. Mr Masafu and Mr Franco worked hard to create twists and turns as well as bumps and jumps. Children enjoyed time during their lunch play riding their bikes. The rain treatened to ruin their fun but only succeeded for a very short time!

It was the turn of the children in Years 5-8 on Thursday and Friday. The course was extended and the jumps raised for the older, more experienced riders who had a great time racing each other.

After school on Friday the course was opened to families for a Friday Fun Family event. Children continued to use the course which had an added mud stream for them to ride through. This caused much fun and some exceedingly muddy children!

FANs held their first Bake Sale of the year, coffee tea and squash was available and Butty Box pizzas were on sale. Parents milled around catching up with each other over a slice of cake whilst the children rode through the mud.  It was a great afternoon for everyone! All proceeds from the cakes and profits from the pizzas went to the FANs fund. They are delighted to announce that the event raised over 17,000 ksh!

Parent Support

This year we have extended our opportunities for parents to discover more with regard to supporting their children. Parenting is a daunting task that becomes incredibly complicated as our little ones grow up and we add the complexities of school.  We aim to support you as parents with negotiating life as a mum or dad of a school age child where we can!

Our first parent workshop of the year was a new one.  We have welcomed Mrs Charlie Abbonizio to our team this year in the role of School Counsellor.  Her role enables us to even more effectively meet the emotional and well-being needs of our children.  At her workshop on 5th September, she took parents through discussion around: child development including the growth of the brain; recognising and reframing behaviour; and how to nurture a child's mental health.  This workshop was exceedingly well received and there are plans to provide more focused support across the year with regard to areas such as anxiety, depression, anger, and sensitivity in children.  Various documents were shared via email. 

We ran our annual parent open sessions in Week 3 to share expectations of year groups and information about the year ahead.  These sessions also included an opportunity to undertake an activity with the children which is always fun for everyone!

Next was our phonics workshop, which is held each year. This is an opportunity to explore and understand how this essential element of reading is targeted and developed. We recognise that the time available did not enable us to fully cover the development of phonics in Years 1 and 2 and we are looking to provide another focused workshop for parents in this group. Here is a link to a very handy list of phonics websites and apps to support your child’s development with this essential area of learning.

Most recently Mr Gould led an ‘Online Safety for Parents’ workshop. This provided an insight into how to develop a culture within your home that will support positive internet use. The discussion revolved around developing an understanding of what to do if your child comes to you having: engaged in conversation with a stranger online; come across age inappropriate material; or is playing online games, and the importance of showing an interest in your child’s time online. There are many tools to help support safe internet use but nothing is fool-proof, and the development of the internet, and gaming, is so fast, it is essential that the culture and trust is created in homes that will support open dialogue if things are not as the should be for your child online. The powerpoint presentation, which includes a number of valuable links and details of recommended websites, was distributed to all via email and can also be found here.

Aladdin Night

On Friday 20th September we enjoyed our first movie night of the year. The rains were threatening and a short shower at around 5pm made everyone very nervous but, the skies quickly cleared and everything went ahead as planned. 

As families settled down and prepared their ‘spot’ it was good to notice parents new and old joining the event. This time we had the added treat of a popcorn seller on site. She kindly donated 20% of her proceeds to our FANs funds. 

The event began with a passionate speech, played on the big screen, from Greta Thunberg reminding us how we can take action now towards the fight against Climate Change. (Find out more about what the children at BNIS are doing to develop understanding around Climate Change and also to reduce the negative impact of BNIS in our Climate Activists news article.)

Aladdin, the film voted for by the children, began just as the sun set. It is a fabulous remake of this famous story which was very much enjoyed by both the adults and children. There were many people snuggling in blankets and chomping on popcorn as well as enjoying a drink under the stars. 

Watch this space to see what we will watch at our next movie night!