Welcome to Lukenya Schools
HEAD TEACHER’S WELCOME
As I draft this welcoming text, I’m looking out through my office window and across our new quad. It’s 8.30pm, and I’m on evening prep duty with two other teachers. One of my colleagues is sitting with a class, reinforcing some exciting aspect of Geography, while the other roves the outer compound with three senior students and a torch, searching for a younger student’s fallen reading glasses. Two other of our off-duty teachers who live on site are nevertheless in the staffroom next door; they are both studying students’ first drafts of coursework.
And I’m thinking that this little scene, acted out on our newly-built site, perfectly illustrates what our small, co-educational boarding school has always been good at: a dedication to academics on the one hand, and a real sense of community care on the other. This is the sort of educational institution that I’m inviting you and your child to join: the sort of school that I would happily send my own child to, secure in the knowledge that s/he’s getting a strong education, supervised by a team of professional and caring teachers who listen to our parents and our students.
As you click through this website, my hope is that you’ll find it both informative and honestly persuasive. If any of your questions are left unanswered, or if you’d like to enrol, please do contact me directly by the means listed on these pages, and I’ll certainly reply. In fact, I look forward to it, in the same way that I look forward to being here again tomorrow, in a school where teaching is a real pleasure, and where learning can be a real joy.
With all best wishes,
Stephen Derwent Partington, BA(Hons), MA, MSt (Oxon), PGCE [a.k.a. ‘Mr Steve’]
LUKENYA ACADEMY IGCSE: CORE DETAILS
Lukenya Academy IGCSE is, by British Curriculum standards, a low-to-medium cost co-educational boarding school: after a registration term of fees that cover a small amount of other costs, our standard termly fee for full boarding is, as of April 2007, a mere 63,550 Kenyan shillings.
We are located on a large, wildlife-filled farm that encompasses the imposing and historical Lukenya Hill, site of the infamous Athi River ‘Mau Mau’ detention centre (er, nothing to do with our school!), some rare flora and fauna, and one of the largest concentrations of rock art in Africa. Our school is approximately 35km south of Nairobi, so we are easily reached by means of the Mombasa Road. We are a small, family-atmosphered school, with a new policy to ensure class sizes of no more than 25 students in the senior school.
Lukenya Academy IGCSE is becoming increasingly well known in Kenya for our excellent IGCSE results: recently, for example, various of our students scored TOP IN THE WORLD in two of our British Curriculum subjects. Overall, too, our results are substantially above British national averages. However, when considering results, we’re more proud of our Value Added education; that is, the difference between students’ incoming and outgoing marks and grades. We are certain that we’re one of the very best international curriculum schools in Kenya on this Value Added level; as successful as the very high cost schools. Certainly, we send vast numbers of our students directly to private universities in Kenya (with five ‘C’ grades and above), or to public universities via A Level schools that we cultivate links with. Importantly, all of our students get to progress with their further studies of choice, whether academic or vocational. We’re proud of this, and we’re proud of our excellent students.
We’re not only known for our academic prowess, but also, and rightly, for the behaviour of our students. Our whole-school-whole-child approach to discipline, based upon mutual respect and honest communication with parents and guardians, has seen our school avoid many of those issues that parents naturally worry about when releasing your children to the care of a boarding school. However, we do have what we and parents believe are appropriately strict rules regarding such matters as possession of mobile phones and other issues potentially affecting mixed boarding schools, and we like to inform prospective parents of this in advance! Here at Lukenya Academy IGCSE, we are aware of parents’ wishes, and seek to foster that behaviour which we, as teachers, would expect from our own children: respectfulness, courteousness, kindness, dedication to study and play, and a responsible joy for learning.
All these things are possible because we have made a conscious decision as a school community to shape a responsibly hybrid school. Yes, our qualification has one foot in Britain and the wider world, but we’re extremely keen not to churn out little Englishfolk, divorced from their own cultures and traditions. In terms of ethos, we have one foot firmly placed in Kenya, and are proud of our school’s simplicity and noticeable lack of pretentiousness: our food is balanced and local; our dorm facilities are pleasantly basic; our teachers are worldly-wise, but always down to earth – we believe that the most admirable communities are not to be judged by the shininess of the school bus (although we have a few of these), but by the confident yet modest character of its members. Lukenya Academy IGCSE is a wonderful community by these standards, and we invite you to become a part of it.
Lukenya Academy IGCSE: The British Curriculum School That Knows What Country It’s In!
INTAKE AND ENROLMENT
Although an ever increasing number of our students come from other British Curriculum schools in Kenya, the vast majority of our intake still comes from the Kenyan system, from all over Kenya, and we welcome this. Students may enter our school from Kenya’s Standard 8 or Form 1 directly into our Grade 9 (Kenyan Form 2 equivalent); Form 2 leavers may enter into our Grade 10 (Form 3 equivalent), the first year of syllabus teaching. Our final term for admissions is the second term of Grade 10.
Responding to our intake and to parents’ requests, we have recently adjusted our school academic year to begin in January, in line with the Kenyan system and the southern hemisphere in general. We find that our parents understand this, as do the universities that take our students. Consequently, our exams are now in November, rather than May. Again, we feel that this benefits our students. Most further education institutions accept our students not only for September intake, but also during other terms.
Being a consciously mixed ability school, we do not oblige incoming students to sit for an entrance exam. Instead, we merely ask for the chance to meet parents and child for a short chat with a senior teacher, so that we can understand any issues a prospective student might have, and so that you can get to know our site first hand. We feel that a boarding school has responsibility to welcome parents in this way, and to establish clear relations right from the outset.
Being mixed ability on the whole school and the individual class level, we welcome students of all perceived abilities, and work well to support all students within the mixed ability classroom; all of our teachers have experience in differentiation.
A basic copy of our school’s registration form can be downloaded here [LINK], or you might wish to visit us in person, where further documents such as uniform lists can be collected from our main school office – certainly, we’d like to meet you.
Note: completion of the relevant forms, which can be collected in person from our school office (we recommend that you visit us with your child) is not in itself enough – prospective pupils MUST arrange a short meeting with the Head or Deputy.