Students, parents and teachers all gathered to mark end of 2018 with a beautiful party. It was amazing to have all the people coming together to enjoy the last day of school the year. After a long year of hard work, it was great to finally meet and look back to the year that was. We look forward to making 2019 even better.
There was all colour and excitement as DGS marked its 2018 Graduation Day. It was a beautiful day as the Pre Primary 2 class (formerly Kindergarten 3) graduated. Parents, teachers and fellow students gathered to share the joy together. At the end of the day there was a huge cake for all to taste a slice. The graduating class will now join the primary school wing in 2019 as Grade 1.
The Third Term in Kenyan schools is a short one, just September and October. At the end of October, the children in the older classes complete written assessments. Most of the classes take in house assessments, apart from Year 8 pupils, who take the KCPE before moving on to High School. These assessment are used to track students’ progress and plan for the following year.
Five members of the teaching staff (Bety Odingo, Christine Nyariera, Nicodemus Muthoka, Catherine Mutuku and Christine Ulii) attended an ICT Training day. Afterwards, the school received five tablets donated by the program trainers. DGS is keen not to be left behind as Digital Learning becomes a key part of education and will be essential in many areas of employment. Staff are already making use of the tablets in the classroom.
Here are DGS Class Photos for our 11 classes of 2018!
Class 8 is our final class. These students will be taking their KCPE examinations (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) in November and will hopefully progress on to High School.
During this term the children have enjoyed class celebrations, where sponsors had sent funds for them to have a treat.
The children greatly enjoy their time at school, putting lots of energy into playing games during breaks!
Fatuma Mwalimu was awarded The Joe Hunt Trophy for DGS Footballer of the Year at the end of Term 2. Fatuma has been the most outstanding player in the school for the past two years. In August, she played in the National Schools’ Football Tournament. This is the first time a DGS pupil has been selected to participate in a National Sports Competition. DGS is extremely proud of Fatuma and we wish her much success as she pursues her passionate interest in Football.
DGS had one of its best ever years in the Term Two Schools’ Ball Games competitions. Most of the teams progressed into the higher stages of their competitions. Most notable was the performance of the Girls’ Football Team and the individual achievements of Fatuma Mwalimu, progressing all the way to the National level of the Football Competition.
During Term 2 DGS had a number of very welcome visitors.
Guillermo and Marta visited DGS in May and spent some quality time with our students. Guillermo is one of Allies & Morrison’s architects who helped with the construction of the new Library/Dining Shelter. Their visit was particulalry valuable to our upper primary, where they shared ideas and understanding on different topics. Marta, a Pharmacist, gave a fascianting and informative talk on drug and substance abuse.
Another visitor was Lea, from Munich, Germany, who volunteered at DGS for three months starting in May. She assisted in classrooms, in the office and during the Games break in the evenings. The students greatly enjoyed her company during her stay. DGS was delighted that Lea was able to stay and particpate in so many school activities; her help was greatly appreciated.
Nick, one of the Destiny Children Charity Trustees, together with Helen, his wif, and their
two Daughters, Polly and Maddy, visited DGS in the last week of Term Two. They did
various activities with the children, including helping them to completing their ‘Dear Sponsor’ letters and conducting an Art Class.
Finally, DGS also has a visit from Kate, a teacher in the UK, and Sam, in August. They spent time with students from various classes and had lots of fun with the children. The children in Nursery school were delighted to receive some artwork made by the pupils at Kate’s school in the UK.
During the Summer term, Teaching Staff participated in a number of training sessions to ensure their skills and knowledge are all up to date. DGS is keen to ensure that staff are supported by appropriate training to deliver the best possible educatuon to our students. This term’s training focused on building the skills needed to deliver the
In other news, we were delighted to receive a new camera in the month of May, funded by a UK supporter. It is one of the latest models (Canon 800D) built with a 24 mega pixel sensor. The Camera will enable us to continue to provide top quality images for our school reports and sponsor updates.
The school office now has an assistant manager, Maricela Chao. She received a new laptop to assist her in her work. DGS is grateful for the Laptop which was donated by one of its sponsors. DGS is growing fast in the ‘Digital World’ and it is only a matter of time before our staff and students are all fully incorporated.
There was a big surprise in store for all DGS children on the day they received two printed photos of themselves, a portrait and an action shot. The children were all delighted to have the photos they had been waiting for. The children enjoyed sharing these pictures with their friends at school and with their families. It was a very exciting event!
The photos were kindly printed and laminated in the UK by a DGS sponsor.
In the Spring, DGS students wre invited to design and make bracelets for the wedding favours at a sponsor’s wedding. An enthusiastic group of children had a wonderful time producing these beautiful bracelets. They demonstrated impressive design skills and artistry, for young children. As always, the children’s talents are impressive!
Guillermo and Marta visited DGS and spent some quality time with the DGS students. Guillermo is one of Allies & Morrison’s architects who designed and monitored the progress of the new Dining Shelter/Library. Their visit was a boost to our upper primary students – they shared with them a number of lessons on drug and substance abuse, a topic we usually cover to create awareness amongst our students in order to combat negative peer pressure. Marta, a Pharmacist, did this very efficiently.
DGS aims to adopt and implement the New Curriculum during 2018. As we get closer to
the end of its first year, teachers and pupils are giving it and enthusiastic reception. The new
curriculum is more practical and hands on than the previous curriculum. There is, of course, a need
to buy new books and materials to support this.
DGS are fortunate in receiving sets of Exercise Books for our classes. Having the correct writing materials for our students means learning is always improving. This is reflected in our assessment results and the letters the children write to their sponsors. One of our primary goals is to ensure that all children are effective communicators in speech and in writing and in all academic areas. Well supported by our outstanding Staff Team, students show great determination to achieve the best results.
Class 6 children were surprised this term by the presentation of a new school uniform for each child, bought with a donation from a DGS sponsor, Debi. (Debi also sponsors Grace, one of the Y6 pupils)
Debi said, “Children being the same as their peers creates confidence and equality, which is so very important for them all .”
Debi donated an amount which was enough to provide each child with a full school uniform i.e. a dress and socks for girls and a shirt, a pair of shorts and socks for boys. Staff at DGS spent several weeks making sure each child would receive a uniform that fitted properly. The new clothes were presented on 7th March which was Grace’s Birthday. The children were very excited when they received the new uniforms. Those who had no uniform, or tattered, worn out uniform, are now able to wear their new clothes with pride.
Grace’s birthday party was a great celebration for the whole class. They all wished one another well as they loked forward to another great year ahead. They enjoyed some fruit juice, a large cake and biscuits.
Many thanks to Debi for her generous gift.
The Games Department received a very useful donation of sports equipment, thanks to the generosity of the architects and engineers, Allies & Morrison and Arup. This has enabled more pupils to particpate in a range of sports. Physical Education is now a mandatory subject in the Kenyan Education curriculum, so the donations came at just the right time to ensure DGS is able to fulfil the new requirements.
DGS has had quite a few successes in sports in the past. Term One was an Athletics season in the Sports Calendar. DGS did not disappoint. We had a representative in the Sub-County Games. We hope to achieve more in the coming Term Two ball Games Competitions where we are favourites in various categories.
Class 4 visited the famous sixteenth century Fort Jesus and Museum on Mombasa island. This was an educational trip that was also very exciting and a lot of fun for the children, who are normally limited to classroom activities. The trip was sponsored by Miguela and her son Valerio who sponsor one of the children in the class.
Letters sent to children by sponsors continue to play a major role in improving the quality of language. The children read out these letters in class and learn how to reply to letters. It also offers a rich sense of diversity to the children as they learn about how people live in other countries. The photos and drawings are always a great source of interest!
Here are some photos of Fatima, Kaula, Maua and Salome reading their letters and celbrating their birthdays with a cake for the class. And, of course, each birthday child has some of the cake icing dabbed on her face!
In March DGS was proud to play host to as educational gala. The school staff and pupils were delighted and proud of the choir who won an award in their category.
The children now have rows of newly installed wash basins outside the toilet block. These fulfil the requirements of the Ministry of Health. The children can now make sure they have clean hands before sitting in the new Dining Shelter to enjoy their mid day school meal.
The new look DGS Classrooms, funded by a Mombasa company, came into use in January. It came as a total surprise to the children, when they returned from their holiday, to find bright, newly refurbished classrooms. The walls had been freshly painted, the floors tiled and glass windows installed. What a difference! With additional desks in Grades 1 to 3, crowding at tables in most classes is now greatly reduced.
In 2018 the Library was completed. It has space to acomodate 2 whole classes, with plenty of room to view and choose books. The librarian is always available to help the children choose new books. Another wonderful resource for the children!
The beginning of 2018 saw the completion of further major developments at DGS reflecting the tremendous progress made in the previous four months. The most exciting change for the children was the completion of the Dining Shelter and Library. The classrooms also completed major renovations. DGS continues growing from strength to strength thanks to the generosity of our many sponsors.
With the completion of the Dining shelter and provision of benches and tables, the children can now sit comfortably to eat their lunches, out of the sun and rain.
A very exciting event was the special meal served to celebrate the opening of the Dining shelter! In January, DGS was treated to a special meal, to mark the building of the new Dining Shelter. Donations from sponsors Simon and Matt provided a rare fish meal and fruit. This was a great celebration to launch the Dining Shelter. A number of parents were present to share the joy of the occasion.
The Kenyan educational system is undergoing a major change. In January DGS teachers attended a training session on the new Kenyan education curriculum. As with any change, there are many challenges for the school. DGS is fortunate in being able to offer relevant expertise and training to our teaching staff. They will undergo several training sessions to ensure they are fully up to date with the new Education regulations.
In April, AMURT through WWW trained five teachers: Jeremiah, Beth, Jessica, Catherine and Nicodemus. The training focused on Girls’ education challenges. Teachers were trained on a variety of approaches to teaching numeracy and literacy skills to appeal to the pupils and improve their progress. At DGS, staff/ teachers’ training is a priority in order to provide our pupils with the best possible educational experience. We now plan to have all staff members included in a Team Building expedition to enhance teamwork.