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Another eventful term has come to an end! Thank you to all our parents for the endless support and encouragement. The year has started on a high note and many activities have been carried out.

First, a big welcome to all our new students and their parents. Nearly half the population is new to secondary school with Senior One having the highest intake. Thank you for choosing Taibah International School Secondary (TISS), the school with a difference! Bonding trips for new students have been organised for S1, S5, Year 7, Year 8 and Year 12 to help them understand each other and set them in motion for our rich experience.

Our enrolment is over 1000 students of which the Cambridge section has the majority over the national curriculum. We are in the process of consolidating the two campuses although the Taibah values will remain the same. All our students are exposed to a rich curriculum with emphasis on the 5Cs.

The 2022 examination results were released during the term and our excitement over the high performance could not be hidden. All our candidates met our expectations, and many exceeded them! The number of top students for both UCE and IGCSE increased and at A Level, our pass rate was above 80% in UNEB and 90% in Cambridge. In a special way, I recognise the following students Oboth Michael and Ainemukama Andrew (year 13), Nayebare Treasure, Paula Theresa Nkolo, (year 12), Mercy J Babirye and Gift Ling Seiiy Lin (year 11), Casey Luyimbanzi Turigye, Ryan Ethan Ayebare ( Senior 4) and Amani Dhanani Sultani and Faith Namata Rainbow( senior 6).

In Term One, the focus is dedicated to teaching subject content thoroughly to ensure a high subject coverage. Therefore, there are no end of term exams but students undertake many tests to check comprehension. Take time to read through your child’s report and discuss with them their effort in class.

Thank you to all parents that turned up for Contact Day. The process of educating a child has three major players: the child, the teacher and the parent. Discussion and dialogue about performance in school has been found to be one of the key motivators to high achievement and good discipline. I am therefore encouraging you to prioritise attendance at school meetings.

Our major event for the term has been the theatre production. This year’s production has put us at an elevated level. After a long wait due to COVID-19, many of you were missing the Taibah shows. We are proud that we have given you something that compensated you for the three years we have missed. It was epic! Over 1,500 children were on stage! In a special way, we are grateful to our directors, Teri Kaddu S5, the Principal and other student leaders for the invaluable effort, leadership, innovation and management. Swangz Avenue, our new partner in this production, delivered on their promise! Thank you to all the children and their teachers for the great work! If your child was not on stage, demand for an explanation!

Our students have been given an opportunity to explore their potential at solving social economic problems. Taibah was among the chosen few schools that were invited to participate in the Pearl of Africa Civic Engagement – PACE, a competition that required students to come up with ideas to improve societies. 74 students showed interest and wrote concepts out of which 30 were qualified for Round One, and nine had ideas that qualified for the second engagement. Soon, a boot camp will be held at school in which thirty-four students from different schools will defend their proposals. We are confident our students will excel. Thank you to the Michigan Fellows for this invaluable experience.

Along the same line, a group of students represented the school at the UN Model conference. Again, our presence was meaningful. Our delegates articulated global issues in an enviable manner. A decision has been taken to encourage students to extend their participation beyond borders. Your support and co-operation will be needed.

The new curriculum under UNEB has been embraced with zeal. All our students of S3 will be registered for the Directory of Industrial Training (DIT) exams this year where competence in various fields will be measured and certificates will be issued. This has given all learners an opportunity to have a vocational subject. This offers a lasting solution to unemployment which is a major problem in our country. Again, thank you for paying your child’s registration fee. Interestingly, any parents who wish to register for a DIT exam are welcome.

‘Grub’ has continued to be an inconvenience in school. First, it causes congestion in dormitories as everyone comes in with cartons and boxes of different items but has also been a cause for theft! Our menu is adequate to satisfy the children. We are therefore encouraging you to stop stocking eats for the children.

This term, we have been able to go back to our normal operation where parents are allowed in school and children have enjoyed the weekly boarding option. It is, however, challenging when parents fail to keep time. We shall be stricter beginning next term. Our official opening of the gate is 7.00 am and we close at 5.30 pm. Please observe the school timetable to avoid being inconvenienced.

Work Experience programme has been relaunched with new innovations. Students of S3 and S5 have been engaged in practical experience relating to their career dreams and mentors have been assigned to give further guidance. The work experience for life has brought to light misconceptions about different professions and students have been empowered to make informed choices and decisions. External work experience will be a reserve for only qualifying students. Qualification will be measured by engagement in the internal programmes.

In a fast-moving world of Technology, we don’t want our learners to be left out! We have therefore continued to engage them through Microsoft Teams. All students have an account, and a lot of work has been posted in the different subjects. It therefore means that having a laptop is no longer a luxury. Please task your child to share with you their knowledge of online opportunities. On our part, we have invested immensely in ICT through expansion of our internet coverage, purchase of projectors and smart televisions and, of course, staff training. Our next move is to ICT provision in both the developing Computer Lab and Library.

In a dynamic and fast-moving world with many challenges, the need for counselling children is higher than it has ever been. We have been very deliberate in our pastoral curriculum, at assemblies and also invited external coaches to talk to the children. I am encouraging you to be more deliberate in monitoring your child’s discipline, their friends, their movements and dress code.

As the school population grows, the number of cars coming in has increased and this has put pressure on the limited parking space. We have expanded by securing parking space outside the gate. Prepare to increase your fitness levels as you will take longer walks into school.

Personal reading for pleasure and exploration has been highlighted as a universal challenge to many children. This has been accelerated by possession of gadgets which engage the children most of their time. You are therefore encouraged to pay special attention to your child’s reading. Avail the books, create family reading time, assign them some research work to do for you that will require them to read and reward them for reading!

In school, we have also observed that many boys are reluctant to take up opportunities. They lose their property the most, justify being untidy in dorm, have failed on time management the most and most bullying has been reported by boys. Let us give boys the same attention as girls. The future may be challenging if girls are empowered, and boys left out.

Finally, we call upon you to help in the fight against theft by providing reasonable items for your child. Expensive gadgets are not necessary for school. Also, check your child’s property to ensure they only bring home what you provided.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to serve you. We wish you a meaningful holiday with your children.

Annet Nannyonjo

Headteacher (TISS)

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