The Woodland Star Story Board

At Woodland Star International School we believe that everyone has a story to tell. Moreover, we believe that everyone’s story matters! That is why we share stories from our Woodland Star Village on a weekly basis, whether from our children, our parents, our staff or our partners.

We hope you enjoy them, and, by the way, we’d love to hear your story too! If you would like to share your story with us, contact us at admin@woodlandstarkenya.com.

Meet Zarina – Our new STEM and Library Teacher

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Zarina graduated from the University of Georgia (USA) with a Masters in Teaching Early Childhood/Elementary Education. She is also certified to teach STEM and Gifted Education. She grew up in Kenya and previously worked as a service manager in an international bank after graduating from  Moi University with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology.

In between academic pursuits, Zarina has also volunteered and taught Math at a Middle school to students who speak English as a second language, as well as taught English to students at a Middle school in Italy. Nothing has challenged her as much as being a teacher. She has always had a passion for working with children and is a proud aunt to 9 nieces and nephews. She is a strong proponent of Reggio Emilia’s Hundred Languages, emphasizing that there are a hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, and of learning.

Zarina is so excited to be relocating back to Kenya (from the US) to teach and already feels a strong connection to Woodland Star and its unique approach to teaching and learning. She can’t wait to join the WSS family!

Hello Preet – Our new Middle Years Teacher

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Hailing from Brooklyn, Preet has spent 3 years working in higher education at The New School, in New York. She was born in Kenya has lived and worked here in Kenya as well as England and the U.S. She joins Woodland Star as a Middle Years teacher and believes in the success of cross-curricular and theme-based teaching. Preet has a diverse background in media, including documentary film, Travel TV and Radio. She has fulfilled teaching placements in both Primary and Middle Years, teaching Science, Social Studies, plus Media and Literacy. Preet enjoys putting students in the driving seat allowing them to find their voice, release their creativity and realize their individual and collective potential.

Her strength is bringing lessons alive by integrating media and hands-on activities. She regards teaching information literacy as a central facet of today’s wired and information-loaded world. She has an international PGCE from Sunderland, an MA in Media from The New School and a BA in Business from Sheffield. Preet and her two boys are thrilled to be part of the Woodland Star Village and are excited to engage with the nature and the community at the heart of the school, while delving into the rich holistic curriculum.

 

Meet Zarek … Our on-campus Eco-Giant

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My love for my partner, my family, and my friends; my love for nature – specifically spiders, scorpions, butterflies, birds, and native trees; and my love for Kenya, its diverse cultures, its learning opportunities, and its chaos – these are what make me who I am. I’m a bit of a jack of many trades and master of none, but I’m passionate about protecting and experiencing what I love.

You may not know that I am colour-blind in greens and reds – making birding very interesting indeed! I’m ashamed to say I only speak English and Swahili. Despite a number of years of French in school, almost none of it stuck!

Exciting, strange, and inexplicable things happen to me and around me on a weekly basis. That’s part of what I love about living in Kenya. The more you observe what’s going on around you, the more you notice bizarre things! As a safari guide and operations manager for ACTS and Edutours Africa, it pays for me to be observant. I’ve recently begun learning about how to identify and differentiate the 30-some species of scorpions in Kenya. Some of them are easy, while others are extremely difficult to differentiate.

If I had to change one thing about the world we live in, I would want everyone to learn a greater respect for the environments that sustain all life (including ours). Not enough people understand the connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy humans, putting “environmental matters” far down on their priority lists.

Hello Hana & Caroline!

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Here is a brief reflection from two of our stars in the Jackals Village, after a recent trip to Kitengela Glass:

“We learned that at Kitengela Glass they recycle the glass. They melt it in a big heating oven and it was over 100 degrees Celsius! They melt the glass till it becomes like a red and orange gooey lava. Then they put it into little red colored glass particles that stick into the gooey lava. They keep putting it back into the big heating oven and picking up more melted glass till it gets bigger and bigger. Then they take it out and blow into the metal pole that was connected to the unfinished bowl.  Then they put it back into the heating oven and take it out with even more melted glass and blow into it again making it expand more on the inside. After that they spin it around and around. Then they put it back in to the oven and take it out and then they push a hole into it and take a peace of newspaper and roll the bowl on it until it becomes smooth. Then they do the same thing over and over again till the bowl is as big and fat as a jar. Last, but not least, they take the bowl and they test it by putting a newspaper on top of the bowl and suddenly it sets the newspaper on fire! They take out the bowl from the metal pole and put it in the cooling oven, which is actually still pretty hot.

Now at school we are going to use what we learned at Kitengela to create glass wind chimes and other things out of glass.”

– Hana and Caroline

THANK YOU: The beautiful photos are courtesy of Kirill Voloshin – thank you for joining us!

Hello Mr. Tiny Free Library!

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Hello, everyone!

I am Mr. Tiny Free Library, and I’m still pretty young. In fact, I was only born last week!

I live at Woodland Star International School, just above the lower school campus. Sometimes I get quite lonely, because there aren’t many of me around in Nairobi, or in Kenya for that matter. But I am hoping that I will have lots of visitors soon, and that I will make lots of new friends in that way.

My job is to provide free books to read to anyone passing by. If there’s a book they like, I allow them to take it home with them to read, but I always make sure to ask them to bring me back another  book that they like, one that they may have already read. In that way, I constantly have new books going in and out – it’s really quite fun!

If you’re ever in the area, please come around and say ‘hello’! I love seeing new faces and meeting new people, especially if they loooooove books, just like me. And especially if they bring along a book to leave with me!

I hope to meet you soon … until then, happy reading!

 

Hello Sagan – our “Rocking Entrepreneur”

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Hello, I am Sagan, and my friends and I are all about ROCKS!

Our passion for rocks led us to start our own rock business at Woodland Star International School. Along with our friends, we use natural tools to crush rocks into powder, which we then trade with others on the playground. We’ve even created packaging out of sticks and leaves to transport our product to our customers across the campus. In addition to grinding rocks into powder, we’ve been learning about using rock powder as decoration, thanks to my experience of the decoration of the palace walls on a recent trip to India. Now we are experimenting with different colors of rock powder and painting beautiful natural objects in our surrounding school landscape.

If you are curious about our products, you are welcome to join us in the forested area near the pitch to learn more about our crafting skills!

Hello Pablo – Our budding author!

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8 year-old Pablo Carranza is becoming a well-known author among our students, teachers and parents at Woodland Star International School. While Ms. Donna and the Grass Snakes Village have enjoyed his personal and fantasy narratives for a while now, his first widespread publication The Attack of the Three-Headed Snake from Outer Space vs. Toilet Slayer is becoming a breakout success!

Pablo chose to create his hilarious adventure story on his own at home. Next, his father graciously offered to publish his masterpiece so we, the masses, could enjoy Pablo’s witty humor. Readers anxiously await more entertaining stories by Mr. Carranza and we hope that 2017 will bring more graphic novels to his fans and readers.

Muraho, Pablo!

Hello Eli!

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Ms. Sarah, our beloved Peace Heroes Teacher,  and her husband, Teo Mukundi, welcomed little Eli John Kariuki into the world on 18 January 2017.  This “ray of sunshine” was born at 4:57am and weighed 3.45kgs.  Please join us in celebrating this joyful event with the Mukundis! A big welcome to a new member in our Woodland Star Village – Eli!

Muraho, Eli! We can’t wait to meet you!