by Joseph Karanja
We come to the end of another incredibly busy school year here at St Bernadette Mary School and what a year it has been! We have been so proud to serve the wonderful students here and the entire SBM community and this has reinforced, renewed and regenerated our spirit all along. Indeed by working together-and only together- do we succeed.
Our academic year began with a single step in January. Our working maxim for the year 2016 was ‘transformation begins with reflection’. The entire staff selected a Wednesday on a fortnightly basis to reflect on achieving the main objective of the year 2016 which, as we had been guided by Brendan Coleman, was our sole mission to ensure that we transform our academic standing and elevate the school to a new platform among institutions offering quality, principled and an all rounded education coupled with a friendly environment for our children.
Our education ,therefore, focussed on all the students developmental spheres. Academically, this has been a stellar year. Our students have delivered stunning results beyond what could have been imagined a couple of years ago in this ‘bushy’ school. Our commitment to be the highest achieving school in and around Kilifi academically is close to fruition-and we are obviously speaking as a school that is proud to be non-selective in our admission of the less privileged children.
In sports, 1st term saw our students take part in ball games and 2nd term in athletics and music. All these co-curricular activities are government controlled and a main domain of the public schools. However, in our quest to give our students the best and an opportunity to excel , our students took part in these competitions giving their very best, bearing in mind that there is usually a bias against private schools. The school choir was able to compete at the national level and scooped the national trophy, an amazing achievement for Mr Stephen & his pupils.
The wind of change is blowing across the ICT sector in the country and for this reason SBM was not left behind. A new teacher, Mr. Peter, was recruited to ensure that our teaching staff and the entire student body gets the best out of the new computer lab, fully equipped with digital learning resources, to facilitate learning. The enthusiasm of the teachers and the students as they collectively underwent the training and the lessons was and has been immense. The students’ joy as they undertook Skype sessions with Guardian Angels R.C School in Bury was unmatched. The ICT lab has indeed sparked a lot of creativity and stirred enthusiasm in learning.
Come 2017, we believe the exploits of the lab and technology in general will better our academic standing and generate the much needed understanding among the students. Indeed, we are humbled as an institution to see the great academic giants like Loreto School in Mombasa gladly visiting our ICT hub for more information since it has come to serve as a model for better education.
Students learn well by seeing and doing. This learning principle saw the school organise academic trips for our students. The kindergarten kids were taken to visit Haller Park, a learning resource, at the Coast. The Standard Eight students too had an opportunity to attend the annual national agricultural show in Mombasa. This is a major paradigm shift in the way we conduct our learning since it not only equips the students with a pictographic memory but also an opportunity for our children to see the world outside Mtepeni.
In our quest to ensure that the students of SBM are healthy and ready for learning, there were successful medical drives that targeted at improving the welfare of the students. The government held deworming exercises and also vaccinated against measles and rubella. In the 3rd term, under partnerships with the local health department, the students with ringworms were targeted too and the parents taken through an awareness campaign to educate then on the maintenance of better sanitation standards. Each term too, we have hosted successful guidance and counselling sessions aimed at improving the know-how of the adolescents and the pre-teens.
As the school took the homestretch, we hosted the SBM Spirit Award and also awarded certificates to various students who had achieved a lot during the year. Harrison Mgoti, our deputy head boy, scooped the spirit award. Outstanding students in sports, athletics, liturgy and poetry received merit certificates during our closing mass and KG graduation mass. We also bade our 2016 candidates farewell in their prayer day as we wished them success in their national KCPE exams.
It has been indeed a pleasure to have had all the achievements and we can only thank God and look forward to 2017 with a lot of zeal, vigour and optimism that it too will be a blessing for us. We thank all those who partnered with us to make us achieve our goals for 2016. Indeed it cannot go without mentioning that we truly appreciate the special contributions of our donor family who by their financial support make it all possible, Kevin and Mary for their tutelage and all the volunteers who came by our school. Thank you.