Welcome from Head of Boarding – Mr Emmanual Mulima
Boarding is at the heartbeat of St. Constantine International School and I aim to make it a ‘home away from home’ for all the students who reside here. It is a special, unique environment, rich in culture and diversity, with students from a variety of different racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic backgrounds. People with different opinions, social experience, beliefs, heritage, languages, cuisine and life experience promote diversity at St. Constantine International, preparing students to be global leaders in the world at large.
My relationship with the students is a fortunate one, neither a father nor a teacher, but something unique in between. This leads to a triangular relationship between home, school, and student where all lines of communication are open and clear.
Boarding is available for both local and international students starting from age four (4) years, with students living on-site so they can make the most of all the School’s facilities and co-curricular activities. Within their House, they make new friends, gain a sense of belonging and are fully supported by the House staff.
Upon taking up residence at the School, the student comes under, the care and jurisdiction of the Head of Boarding. There are several recommendations that parents who reside permanently outside Tanzania should note in their consideration of applying for a place to the School:
- All School communications (e.g., newsletters, notices) are sent to parents and guardians.
- If a local guardian/relative is appointed by the parents, they are invited to attend school functions on behalf of parents including periodic meetings with teachers to discuss class progress.
For international students who choose not to board at the School, we do not provide a homestay service as an alternative. Parents must organise their own accommodation under these circumstances and monitor the homestay to ensure a positive, supportive experience for their child.
Boarding House Staff
The Head of Boarding has overall pastoral responsibility for the house, making sure the catering, cleaning and all the behind-the-scenes works are progressing as they should. He also provides the link to parents and teachers, assisted by a girls’ houseparent, and boys’ and girls’ matrons. We also have an assistant Matron and Patron.
There are usually up to four residential boarding assistants, who are recent school graduates from all over the world and stay with us for between a term and a year. Typically keen sports people, they help in the day-to-day running of the house and activities.
Assistant Head of Upper Primary, Miss Frances Peacock, and Assistant Head of Lower Primary, Mrs Christina Ng’aboli, personally tutor students after school, in study time.
“The duty teachers and I are responsible for overseeing students completing their homework tasks in structured study by assisting them when they need help, answering questions on the spot, hearing students read individually and revising concepts with children who need additional help.
Many parents are just too busy to be able to do this,” Miss Peacock says. “My main role is to ensure their wellbeing while supporting both their pastoral and academic needs, promoting high standards of behaviour and ensuring they make progress in their year group.”
Boarders Daily Life
In the mornings, students are woken by boarding staff, take their showers and put their school uniform on before enjoying breakfast in the boarders’ dining room. The boys’ and girls’ matrons assist the Primary students with dressing and make sure they eat a healthy meal. The boarding staff are always on hand to check uniform, sign forms, find missing PE kit – everything that their parents would be doing at home for them. Then it’s time for school, without having had to endure the long journey that their day student friends must make.
During the day, our boarding students are just like any other student at St. Constantine International, attending their lessons, playing sports, and eating lunch with their friends. After everyone goes home, however, they have the whole 35-acre campus to themselves. Primary students have a snack straight after school, and then have an hour’s prep / reading time, supervised by a teacher and three teaching assistants. One day a week, Secondary students also help them read, as part of their Service commitment.
Secondary students might be found enjoying an impromptu game of football (even if they have just finished playing it for Electives), working out in the gym, or swimming. Those whose exam commitments are imminent, can be found engaged in independent study in the library. The ICT lab is opened after school every afternoon, so that those who do not have their own laptop can complete research, or contact home.
Dinner is taken in the main dining room, followed by one to two hours prep for Secondary students, depending on age. The A-Level students usually work beyond this, and the Secondary library is available freely to them throughout the evening. Primary students enjoy the last of daylight in supervised play on the fields, before coming into shower, polish their shoes, and pack their bags for the following day. After cleaning their teeth, there is always time for a bedtime story, and then it’s lights out.
Secondary students have free time after prep, when they have access to the common room to watch movies or play pool, and enjoy the snacks (or ‘shares’, as we call them) and tea provided by the kitchen. Curfew times are staggered to allow each age group time to wind down for bed and prepare for the next day.
Our weekends start on Friday afternoon, when Secondary students might organise a football match, while others wind down after a long week. Boarding staff often organise a trip out to a restaurant, or cinema, on the Friday evening to celebrate the end of the week.
On Saturday morning, activities start. With boarders representing the larger number of players in our sports teams, Saturdays often see them playing fixtures both at school and at other schools locally.
When not engaged in sporting fixtures, we try for our boarders to live by the Round Square IDEALS. We have a fleet of mountain bikes and these are regularly ridden around the local hills accompanied by qualified staff. The younger students ride bikes around the extensive school grounds during the weekends. We also arrange hiking and bird-watching trips. Boarders have the opportunity to attend age-appropriate cultural events (theatre, art, dance, poetry, Alliance Francais, etc) as audience members and participants. Other popular on-site activities include baking and art, and we also provide students a chance to leave campus and stock up on essential supplies, or enjoy a movie at the cinema. To achieve all this, the boarding staff are assisted by teachers from the school on a rota basis.
To help keep in touch with family back home, the ICT lab is open most weekends. Every afternoon the swimming pool is open and staffed by our lifeguards. Students who join us with limited swimming ability, soon catch up with their friends, and this access to the pool means that boarders also form the larger number of members in the swimming team.
On Sunday mornings, Matron takes a trip to church for those who wish to worship. Although we are a secular school, students’ beliefs are respected and supported. Students of all faiths are welcome, and we always seek to meet their differing needs. Our Kitchen does not serve pork.
Students observing Ramadan are provided with meals at the times that they require to support fasting during daylight hours, and we have a prayer room for all students including those observing daily salat.