Boarding

GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala is a modern and progressive Boarding Facility at its Butabika site located next to the Royal Palms Estate.

Our Boarding Facility provides a boarding experience for up to 150 students within two houses – one for males and the other for females, both housing 75 students across three floors. Students catered for range from ages 7 - 18 and are overseen by our Director of Boarding, Mr Peter Sawers, who has a wealth of experience of boarding within Africa. Along side our Director of Boarding is a qualified team of staff who will be on hand to ensure that the boarding students receive a high-quality boarding experience.
 
GEMS Cambridge International School provides a warm, supportive, homely and progressive boarding environment in which friendship and social skills can be nurtured with provisions made for students to develop and expand their academic studies and leisure pursuits. Students have many opportunities to take part in their boarding environment through various collaborative activities – this establishes good patterns of collaborative living alongside discovering and learning the values of living within a culturally and ethnic diverse community

While all teachers at GEMS Cambridge are responsible for the well-being of students, a specific team of boarding staff is at hand to enhance students residential safety and happiness. Boarding can be a particularly demanding, yet rewarding form of education, involving an especially close relationship between staff and pupils based on mutual trust and shared experiences.

 
Boarding staff at GEMS Cambridge have high standards of professionalism, discretion, pastoral care and confidentiality, whilst maintaining a sense of humour and proportion.
In our boarding houses, students come together for relaxation and activities in our large communal areas, which include common rooms, study rooms, movie rooms and balcony areas.
 
Each house has resident members of staff including the Head of Boarding as well as a team of Child Care Assistants and support staff.
Boarders’ meals are catered for by caterers during the week and over weekends – our menus are designed to reflect trends in healthy eating.
 
Boarding students have the use of the school’s outstanding
facilities such as the digital communications room including an Apple centre, library and LEGO studio, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, the sports field and the indoor sports gymnasium during the week and weekends.
 
Similar to our LEGO Innovation Studio at school, boarding creates something very special – taking the letters of LEGO we build into relationships to ensure that our boarders are Linked in, Equipped for life, Grounded in their values and beliefs and Open to change and new challenges.
  • Boarding Overview
  • Boarding Principles
  • Boarding Practices
  • Boarding Philosophy
  • A typical school day
  • Things to bring from home

GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala is a modern and progressive Boarding Facility at its Butabika site located next to the Royal Palms Estate.

Our Boarding Facility provides a boarding experience for up to 150 students within two houses – one for males and the other for females, both housing 75 students across three floors. Students catered for range from ages 7 - 18 and are overseen by our Director of Boarding, Mr Peter Sawers, who has a wealth of experience of boarding within Africa. Along side our Director of Boarding is a qualified team of staff who will be on hand to ensure that the boarding students receive a high-quality boarding experience.
 
GEMS Cambridge International School provides a warm, supportive, homely and progressive boarding environment in which friendship and social skills can be nurtured with provisions made for students to develop and expand their academic studies and leisure pursuits. Students have many opportunities to take part in their boarding environment through various collaborative activities – this establishes good patterns of collaborative living alongside discovering and learning the values of living within a culturally and ethnic diverse community

While all teachers at GEMS Cambridge are responsible for the well-being of students, a specific team of boarding staff is at hand to enhance students residential safety and happiness. Boarding can be a particularly demanding, yet rewarding form of education, involving an especially close relationship between staff and pupils based on mutual trust and shared experiences.

 
Boarding staff at GEMS Cambridge have high standards of professionalism, discretion, pastoral care and confidentiality, whilst maintaining a sense of humour and proportion.
In our boarding houses, students come together for relaxation and activities in our large communal areas, which include common rooms, study rooms, movie rooms and balcony areas.
 
Each house has resident members of staff including the Head of Boarding as well as a team of Child Care Assistants and support staff.
Boarders’ meals are catered for by caterers during the week and over weekends – our menus are designed to reflect trends in healthy eating.
 
Boarding students have the use of the school’s outstanding
facilities such as the digital communications room including an Apple centre, library and LEGO studio, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, the sports field and the indoor sports gymnasium during the week and weekends.
 
Similar to our LEGO Innovation Studio at school, boarding creates something very special – taking the letters of LEGO we build into relationships to ensure that our boarders are Linked in, Equipped for life, Grounded in their values and beliefs and Open to change and new challenges.

Working closely with parents and internal stakeholders we aim to create an atmosphere in which success and achievement is championed, resilience and independence encouraged, and confidence, maturity, honour and responsibility developed. 

Every child at GEMS CIK Boarding, regardless of age, religion, nationality or cultural background has the right to be treated equally, with respect and as an individual.

Through a range of activities and, to the best of its abilities, GEMS CIK Boarding promotes equal opportunity and multi-cultural harmony.  Within any school learning is the primary focus and the atmosphere within the Boarding Houses should reflect this principle – it should be conducive to study and both promote and value academic progress and achievement.  Students should therefore be able to work undisturbed and have access to avenues of academic support, be it additional learning, teacher-led or peer support, whenever necessary. 

 

These aims will be achieved through well-structured study time during the school day as well as in the Boarding Houses.  In addition to this we strive to provide an holistic approach to learning support through teaching staff involvement during study times.  Formal and informal monitoring of academic progress, and also personal progress and welfare, are continuous during a student’s time at GEMS CIK Boarding.

 

Boarding should, as far as possible, reflect family life and stand out as a home away from home experience.  We aim, therefore, to be an open and trusting community where a sense of individualism and collective responsibility is fostered.  Within our community boarders should feel safe and secure, free from the threat of all forms of bullying and in an environment where they can be happy, healthy and fulfilled.  The whole House must be seen as one community – boarding staff, their families and students. The relationships between students and staff must be one which engenders mutual respect and enables easy dialogue and the sharing of feelings.  Boarders must be able to contact parents, family and friends either in person, by email or telephone (landline, mobile or VOIP/Skype).

 

We strive to develop a strong moral sense, where students pride themselves upon being honest.  They should have a high regard for the happiness of others and respect for both their possessions and privacy.  We aim to develop leaders and team players – self-confident young men & women who can work with others. The senior students who make up the Boarding Student Leadership Team within the Houses will be trained by House staff so that duties are carried out in a fair, reasonable and unthreatening manner.

 

GEMS CIK Boarding provides a wide range of facilities and opportunities for its boarders: academically, in Music, Art, Drama, ICT, Sport and in many other ways. These facilities are available throughout the week, and particular attention is paid to ensure that there is a full programme of week day and weekend activities.  GEMS CIK Boarding actively encourages involvement in exercise and sport as an aid to both physical and mental wellbeing and also promotes a healthy lifestyle with guidance on all aspects of personal and social development including: alcohol, tobacco, sex, diet and drugs.

A high priority is placed on maintaining students’ safety around the school site and within the local area.  In addition to clear guidelines for students themselves, GEMS CIK Boarding is covered by CCTV cameras and has a 24 hour security presence.  The School bounds are defined within the Boarders’ Handbook but permission to leave school bounds may be granted by members of the House team generally according to need and seniority, and with regard to students’ safety and welfare.

GEMS CIK Boarding has two boarding houses, Malala House for the Girls and Mandela House for the Boys.  Each house is looked after by a team of boarding staff consisting of an Associate Director of Boarding, Resident Tutors and a full-time on-site Child Care Assistant.  The resident House team are supported by non-resident tutors and a domestic House team. 

 

Boarding at GEMS CIK is the responsibility of the Principal assisted by Head of Secondary and Primary and Associate Boarding Directors.
Medical matters are the joint responsibility of the School Nurse and CCAs.  Students are registered with the AAR Clinic in Bugolobi. 

 

The School Nurse works from 8.00am until 4:30pm with both CCAs assuming responsibility before and after these hours.
There is adult supervision in the Boarding House at all times by an identified member of staff.  Each member of the Boarding staff has a mobile phone to allow full and immediate access and communication in support of this supervision.  Duty rota are published and students are aware who is on duty.  The Associate Directors organise the rota of supervision with each member of the team supervising the House in line with their responsibilities, as set out in their job description.  Whilst on duty the member of staff must be on-site throughout the duration of the duty.  Boarding staff are fully aware of the House rules, systems, fire procedures and have access to emergency telephone numbers if required – including the Principal, Head of Secondary & Primary and Associate Directors.

 

Regular formal and informal meetings of boarding staff take place to ensure the effective exchange of information.  Additionally a formal handover of duty will take place when the member of staff on duty changes, again with all relevant information exchanged.  A weekend log is kept and a weekend report is generated by the Associate Director or Tutor on Duty.  An incident book is maintained within the House to ensure a formal record is kept of all incidents.  House registers, including details of any absences, are kept.

 

Living with others in a boarding house places obvious limitations on personal privacy.  It is expected that boarding staff and students respect the privacy of others as far as possible.  Staff resident in the boarding house should be discreet as their accommodation will be in close proximity to that of students.  Staff must behave appropriately within this accommodation and be ever mindful that there will be significant interaction between the students and staff accommodation.
Students should be fully aware about how to make a complaint and the Complaints Procedure will be published to all students at the start of each academic year.

 

  Additionally it will, at all times, be published on the House Notice Boards and within the Boarders’ Handbook (of which each boarder will receive a copy).  There will also be an anonymous suggestions box in the main foyer of each House for students to pass comments, suggestions and complaints to the Associate Directors.

We aim to provide a

    • warm,
    • supportive and encouraging environment

in which

    • friendship,
    • social skills,
    • learning enhancement and
    • personal growth can be nurtured through applying the

four Core Values of GEMS Education.

    • Leading through Innovation
    • Pursuing Excellence
    • Growing by Learning
    • Global Citizenship

 

Boarding at GEMS Cambridge is an inclusive environment. Respect for one another, respect for each other’s personal beliefs and feelings as well as physical belongings is crucial in establishing a safe and happy living environment.
Consideration for others and creating community spirit long lasting and secure cooperation and friendships is vital in establishing
We believe that boarding should be a ‘home away from home’ and as such boarding students will have many opportunities to voice their ideas and provide input into their experience of GEMS boarding via various committees.
We also value parental engagement – staff are always available to discuss any issues or feedback that parents may have.

  • Students wake up at 06:15
  • Students shower, tidy their bedroom and make their bed.
  • They can then go for breakfast, which is served in the school cafeteria area.
  • Students follow the normal school day between 07:45 – 15:00
  • Boarding students have lunch with all the other students at GEMS Cambridge.
  • Extra Curricular Activities take place between 15:00 – 18:00
  • Students will have the chance to participate in a wide array of sporting and creative activities – some programmes are run as part of the GEMS Enrichment Programme.
  • Students will also be able to use the Boarding House Study Rooms at this time to assist with their course work. A light snack is provided for students during this period.
  • Students will have an opportunity to rest and then shower before dinner.
  • Dinner is served in the school cafeteria from 18:00 – 19:00
  • At this time announcements may be made and students have an opportunity after dinner to enjoy the sports facilities in the school Gym or use the playground if they are a primary student.
  • Study takes place from 19:00 – 20:00
  • Depending on the weekday – students will have the opportunity to participate in religious studies or prayer times after prep if they so wish.
  • Bedtime is between 20:30 – 22:00. This varies depending on the age of the student.

It is suggested that boarding students bring the following items and where possible all items should be labelled:
Mattress protector, duvets sheets and pillows are supplied by the school. Students need to bring their own 3⁄4 bed duvet cover and pillow case. Students are welcome to bring their own duvet from home if they so wish.
School uniform (including shoes and GEMS House sports shirt uniform as indicated on our website these can be purchased at our school shop.

 

Comfortable clothes to change into after school and to wear over weekends, sleepwear and underwear as well as specialist sportswear and equipment. Please do not bring more clothes and equipment than can fit into a conventional single wardrobe.
Toiletries (excluding shower towels which are provided) – students may also bring shower shoes/slippers and bath robe. Swimming towels must also be brought from home.

 

All clothing must be clearly labelled. Labels should not be iron-on as these tend to come off in the tumble drier. Labelling of clothes can be done through our clothing shop - please contact our school clothing shop administrator for further details. Laundry bags are provided for every student and laundry is done on site.

 

Other items include:

    • Torch/headlamp.
    • Weekend bag.
    • Coat hangers.
    • Alarm clock.
    • Stationery.
    • Cuddly toys (but only if they are friendly!)

Sport and recreational equipment (bicycles will be allowed at your own risk). Bicycles are provided as part of our recreation programme.
Snacks – optional (in a sealable plastic container to avoid attracting insects). Healthy snacks and drinks are encouraged.

 

A copy of a Medical Aid card or medical insurance must be submitted.
Although each boarding house is equipped with its own ICT hardware, many boarders do bring their own laptops to the boarding house. It is important that before doing so, boarders consult the IT Technician. This is to ensure that their computers are compliant and are registered with our systems. All users of com- puters at GEMS Cambridge are required to sign a contract obliging them to behave according to our protocols. Each student is assigned a locker for them to lock up all their
valuables.

 

Students should bring headphones for when using audio equipment in the dormitory houses.
Pocket money / passports should be handed to the Director of Boarding for safekeeping and control.

Musical instruments and sport equipment are brought at your own risk and it is advisable that they are locked up when not being used.