Coastal Retreat

Last week, the Year 8 pupils headed to the coast to reinforce their learning around coasts during Geography, the Portuguese and Arab occupation at the coast in History, Adaptation and Ecosystems in Science and Wood carving and Heena decoration in Art, Design and Technology. In advance of the trip they came up with very good enquiry questions to help them find out more about the Portuguese and Arab influence at the coast and its impact on the establishment of the Swahili Culture. During the trip, they made good links to other areas of learning as the opportunity presented itself.

At the end of the trip, the children reflected on the experience...

My most exciting experience was climbing the “Indiana Jones” rope bridge overlooking the ocean at the Mida Creek; a Broadwater tidal creek surrounded by extensive mangroves.  It was exciting because of how dangerous and risky It felt. I learnt about the different types of creatures which inhabit the creek and how they balance the ecosystem. Mangroves are trees that grow in water. (Isobel)

I found out that Fort Jesus was built at the end of the 16th century in the shape of a human being and named after Jesus. This is because it was first built by the Portuguese who were Christians hence, the name Jesus. It is one of the most outstanding buildings on Mombasa island and strategically built on the coral ridge at the entrance of the harbour to spot the enemy (then). The Oman Arabs and the British too conquered the Fort. (Gerald)

I was intrigued to learn about the Arab influence on the development of the Swahili Culture and way of life at the Gede Ruins. At the museum, there many unique mosques, with different architectural designs but united with the same purpose; to worship Allah. This reminded me of my old home in Siwa, Egypt. (Electra)

I was excited to learn how the Haller park was established to reclaim the Bamburi Cement quarry. Most of the plants and animals at the park have adapted to the weather and climate at the coast. For example, the Casuarina tree or whistling pine, have very thin leaves to reduce the rate of water loss and their roots have root nodules which have bacteria to fix nitrogen in the air. (Evie)

One of the distinct Swahili architecture features is the curved wooden door, developed in the 1800s. Prior to that, I learned that these designs were shipped from Zanzibar, India and Oman. I used my knowledge of measures and geometrical patterns to design a pattern that l carefully carved out using a mallet and chisel. This was challenging but the results were fulfilling. (William)

Thank you to all our hosts for the warm welcome the group received everywhere they went and also to Mrs Wangili for accompanying the group for their final, extremely memorable trip as students at BNIS.

Destination Naivasha

First thing in the morning on Monday 10th of June a group of 38 intrepid adventurers from Years 5 to 7 embarked on the long trip to Naivasha. They were accompanied by Mr Masafu, Mr Franco, Mrs Lettsome and Mrs Gould. 

The journey was very long, not very exciting but was very, very noisy due to the excitement of the children. There was no time to settle in on arrival, it was straight to Crescent Island to walk with the animals and learn a bit more about the beautiful flora and fauna of the wonderful country we live in. The children got very close to many things including giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, wart hogs. A total of 25 different species of animal or bird were spotted during the walk.

The group then headed to their camp at Carnelly’s to settle in. Tents were allocated and then there was some free time.  The children made the most of the space and the freedom to burn off steam before dinner. After they’d eaten they planned, rehearsed and then performed a ‘skit’ which caused much laughter for all!  Finally to bed and, somewhat unbelievably, fairly quickly to sleep.

It was an early start the next day for the activities at Hell’s Gate National Park. Children had the opportunity to rock climb, gorge walk and ride a bike for 10km through the park. All of them threw themselves wholeheartedly into the activities as did the teachers (much to the delight of the watching children!). Everyone stretched themselves, and also impressed themselves, with how much they were able to achieve. By the time everyone boarded the coach for camp, they were exhausted but...the activities didn’t end there!

As soon as they arrived back in camp, life jackets were donned and everyone was taken on a boat trip around the lake. There were hippo everywhere and the drivers delighted the children with some fast boating back to the jetty! 

Finally everyone had the chance for a shower and a relax, then off to dinner. This was followed by a camp fire, some hilarious round-robin games and marshmallow toasting. By the time bedtime arrived, it took no time at all before camp was silent (except for the odd hippo grunt!!)

On Wednesday it was an even earlier start to give time to pack up and for tents to be taken down. Everyone piled back onto the coaches at around 9am to set off for the Lake Naivasha Disabled Person Environmental Group. This was an inspirational visit to meet a group of people who are working together to make money from nothing. The children spent time litter picking, with a particular focus on plastic, which the group apparently recycle to make fencing. They also saw how rugs were woven using cement bags as a base and a special weaving needle to create the deep pile effect.

The very, very best bit of the visit was when the children were shown how to make briquettes out of recycled paper and charcoal dust. The children took unimaginable amounts of pleasure getting their hands in and creating some briquettes themselves. This was the most inspirational part as it generates a significant amount of money - from thrown out paper, the charcoal dust left at the bottom of the bag a bit of old pipe, some old metal discs and a hand made pressing machine.  What a phenomenal way to lead into next week’s Entrepreneurs’ Week!

Thank you so much to the organisers – Infinity Outdoors, Carnelly’s and the teachers for your efforts and for giving the children an unforgettable trip away.

Tag Rugby Festival

Bigger and better! On Friday 7th June we were proud to host the annual U11 Tag Rugby Festival. A total of twelve teams took part in this year’s festival - Braeside, St Austin’s, St Christopher’s, Oshwal, Rusinga School, Waldorf and BNIS competed. 

The preliminary pool matches were tough, with everyone giving their all to attempt to make it through to the next round.  St Austin’s, Oshwal, BNIS and St Christopher’s successfully made it to the semi-finals.

St Christopher’s took on BNIS for a very closely fought match.  The team work shown by both teams was amazing and it was neck and neck until the last minute.  In the end, St Christopher’s just managed to edge out BNIS with a score of 10:9.  St Austin’s played Oshwal in the other semi-final match with determination and vigour.  St Austin’s ended up taking the other position in the finals.

During the 3rd and 4th position play offs BNIS and Oshwal both appeared tired.  The children had been playing almost non-stop for hours!  Despite this they still managed to find energy to make the game exciting for all players and the watching audience.  BNIS emerged victorious to clinch 3rd place – well done team!!!!

St Christopher’s and St Austin’s both played a very strong game in the final but St Christopher’s had the edge and emerged the overall winners of the competition.

We couldn’t have been prouder of our children who showed their best sporting talent and a great sense of pride in themselves.  We were particularly proud when one of our Year 5 players - Theodore was awarded player of the event – well done!!!

Walk to Care

On Friday 7th June, the whole of Primary and KS3 – children, staff and parents - turned out for a sponsored walk around the school field.

The idea was suggested by the School Council and the Pupil Leadership team. The event was a fundraiser for Laikipia Palliative Care centre and we were delighted to welcome Mrs Pulei into school on Friday 22nd May to tell us about palliative care and what the money raised would be used for.  

Children made their own sponsorship forms and record cards for the walk. At 2.30pm the event was declared open and everyone set off around the field. Many children were so determined to get the most form their sponsors, they ran their laps rather than walking. Each lap was marked with a stamp on their record cards and everyone was very proud of themselves for stepping up to the mark. 

It was lovely to see everyone together, relaxed and happy whilst raising money for such an important service. Well done and thank you to everyone who took part!

Mini Rhino Charge

“Whatever they can do, we can do!”  That was the attitude of our little ones when they staged their own Rhino Charge event on Thursday 23rd May. Over muddy puddles, bumps and ramps, the children from Creche, FS1 and FS2 showed great determination and skill to ride their bikes and scooters around the set obstacle track.

Just as in the real Rhino Charge event, the children raised money in advance, and made a generous contribution toward the Rhino Ark conservation charity. 

Thanks to the parents for their help, support and encouragement during the event.