Log In

Reset Password

A Year in Review: Whitney Institute

First Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next Last
MVPs for WIMS Cricket Girls Team

Over the summer holidays Young Observer will be featuring highlights of the school year in some of our middle and senior schools in our “Year in Review” series

Bowled over

WIMS thanks AXIS for sponsoring Girls Cricket this year! The season started with the Super 8 tournament. WIMS were undefeated in the pool games against CW and WA, and then went on to play TNT and were knocked out in the semi-finals placing 3rd overall. WIMS Captain: Jada Miller, Co-Captains: Stefanie Francis and Satia Burchall. The Boys’ Cricket season began with WIMS winning the BSSF’s Super 8 Tournament. The U13 Boys’ team is the BSSF’s League Champions and the BSSF’s Knock Out Champions.

WIMS Family Showcase

At WIMS building and developing positive relationships is a valued component we try to instill in the students. Each May we enjoy bridging the gap by developing better relationships with our primary feeder schools and high schools through our annual Whitney Family Showcase.

The purpose of the showcase is to show the development of the Arts from primary, middle and high school. Along with various performances from each level, students are highlighted via art displays.

This year Mr. John Woolridge was highlighted as a teacher who has done so much for the school system and the community. He shared his experience growing up as a student and highlighted the experience of writing the wonderful song, “Proud To Be Bermudian”. As a tribute to his contributions, the WIMS School Band played an arrangement of this popular piece.

Ball boys

In January, the WIMS U13 Boys’ Football Team was the BSSF Knock Out Champions.

Students’ good manners thrive through popular Whitney principles

This adaptation of Ron Clark’s Essential 55 began at Whitney in 2009 led by Mr Wayne “Tony” DeSilva.

Principal Swan saw the benefit of implementing this programme and within a short period she was able to tweak the 55 Essentials to a mere 20.

It is a programme where everyone can achieve success through mastering basic behaviour:

• Saying thank you within 3 seconds of receiving an item or compliment

• Addressing adults with Yes Sir, No Sir or Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am

• Making eye contact when speaking

• Learning the names of all teachers and greeting them by their names

• Doing homework each and every night without fail

• If someone bumps into you, even if it was not your fault, students are expected to say excuse me.

The programme goals:

• To promote respect for self and others at Whitney Institute

• To help foster a mature and responsible way of living in the world beyond Whitney Institute

• To teach students to be orderly, respectful and to feel appreciated through the use of proper manners

• To improve behaviour in the classroom and beyond and offer character instruction

Over the year, students have been recognised for exhibiting these Wims Essential Twenty behaviours. Certificates were given at special assemblies and now students proudly wear badges acknowledging that they have been recognised as Wims Essential Twenty winners. Respect, responsibility and resilience are the core values that we hold high at Wims and the Wims Essential Twenty Programme embraces these.

Cancer fundraiser

In October, about 60 M1, M2 and M3 girls participated in Wims’ Girls Night In to assist in raising funds towards breast cancer treatment.

The school collected a small donation to defray costs associated with the night and to provide a small donation to Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre for the construction of the Radiation Treatment Centre.

The night began with a presentation by Marie Beach from the Bermuda Government about healthy lifestyle choices. Miss Thang of Power 95 brought her energy to empower and motivate the girls regarding healthy self-esteem and making positive choices.

Geisha Rene of Bodhi Fitness reiterated the importance of physical activity with a high-energy workout/dance routine to get our blood pumping and singing to girl power anthems.

Kali Marcus of Kinetix allowed us to tune into a meditative state by bringing both the mind and body into harmony with a calming yoga routine followed by an aerial performance that wowed the girls.

The group ate and then had a blast figuring out the clues that led them throughout the school property on a Fear Factor challenge/scavenger hunt.

In preparation for bedtime, they received facials from a Wims mom who donated her time and resources to provide the facial products and take home gifts for the girls. The night ended with movies and sharing stories. The girls enjoyed themselves and stated that they are looking forward to similar events in the future.

We would like to extend a special thank you to those community partners who sponsored products: John Barritt & Son Ltd, Butterfield & Vallis, BGA, Buzz and The Market Place.

Making a splash with Kids on the Reef

Living on an island provides many opportunities to move the classroom outdoors.

In November the Pulse programme participants at Wims were offered the opportunity to participate in the two-day Kids on the Reef course at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.

The students and their teachers spent the first morning in the classroom learning about effective breathing from professional freedivers and Bermuda’s marine life from Dr Alex Amat of Bamz and the freediving instructors who showed the students some amazing photos from their dives around the world.

Having learnt some yoga and practicing controlled breathing, the class moved to Trunk Island where students got to put what they had learnt into practice. Students and teachers alike spent the afternoon snorkelling and doing shallow freedives around Trunk Island, exploring the corals and searching for sea urchins and fish in the caves under the rocks.

Day 2 had to be relocated back to Trunk Island.

After a brief refresher session on the breathing techniques, snorkelling from the beach to the freediving floats, students got the chance to push themselves to dive deeper than they had believed possible.

Everyone left feeling proud that they had accomplished something, had a greater appreciation for both the marine ecology of our beautiful island, and an understanding of how their own bodies function and the amazing things they can do.

Thanks to Dr Amat and her incredible team at Bamz.

Christmas cheer

In December, ten Wims families were provided with a food hamper.

Students participated in the annual St Mark’s Christmas Tree Decorating Initiative. Staff and students then engaged in Christmas carolling at the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors’ Residence.

Students revved up over initiative

In January, BMRC ran a three-day workshop at WIMS with a group of preteen boys as part of their school’s Alternative Pathways programme. Co-facilitator of the school’s P.U.L.S.E. programme, Mrs. Helen Paynter, reached out to the club in search of an engaging initiative that could deliver hands-on experience to the students.

P.U.L.S.E. recognizes the importance of developing well rounded persons - morally, intellectually, physically, and socially through a set of eight core skills and values namely: Character Development through 7 Habits curriculum course; Self- Management Skills through weekly group sessions; Social and Cooperative Skills through mentor relationships; Literacy and Numeracy through integrated learning opportunities; Communication Skills integrated learning opportunities; Information Skills integrated learning opportunities; Thinking Skills and Creativity through practical application; and Knowledge Application Skills through portfolio development. WIMS was delighted to partner with the Bermuda Motorcycle Racing Club and provide a unique learning opportunity where the students could see the value of what is taught in the classroom with practical application to social and career opportunities.

BMRC committee members and racers C.J. Richardson, Jason Pacheco and Marcus Pimentel visited the school to discuss topics including the sport of motorcycle racing, safety and protective gear, potential career and training opportunities locally and abroad, as well as a full lesson on motorcycle mechanics led by the club’s technical team. Students were able to work directly on a functional motorcycle engine including changing the oil, removing the casings and examining the inner components of the engine.

The students were then invited to the club’s racetrack at the RUBiS Southside Raceway and given a lesson on riding fundamentals and technique by one of BMRC’s head youth coaches and ex-pro racer, Antoine Richards.

Coleridge Fubler Jr. shared, “I enjoyed the whole three-day experience right from the start as I also raced street bikes at Southside racetrack for a couple of seasons.”

Deontae Armstrong added, “My experience was exciting. I learnt how to change the oil and how the bike runs. I enjoyed riding the bikes and can’t wait to go back.”

Whitney brings back the track

The Wims campus was a beehive of track and field activities February 3 as it hosted the Running of the Bulls.

Students from Whitney Institute and Dellwood Middle schools battled it out under the lights in the following track and field events: 60m, 300m, 1000m races; long jump, turbo javelin throw and 4x100m relays.

DJ Brother Ritchie kept the crowd lively and excited. Commissioner of Education and former Wims Principal, Dr Freddie Evans was the night’s announcer.

The event was spearheaded by the Wims physical education head, Mr Devarr Boyles.

The purpose of the track meet was to give our athletes exposure to athletic competition, allow them the opportunity to mingle with their other school peers in a healthy and fun environment, to foster camaraderie among the school community and to allow our young people the opportunity to work alongside some of Bermuda’s noted track and field greats.

For example, there was support and assistance of school track coach, Mr Larry Marshall, Jr; Mr Devon Bean, BNAA National Coach; Mrs Debbie Jones-Hunter, a former Wims board member and Bermuda sprinter whose record still stands in the 200m; Miss Terry-Lyn Paynter, our current ECAT officer and former Bermuda Carifta athlete; and Mr Norbert Simons, of the Department of Youth and Sports and former Bermuda sprinter. Mr Wayne Raynor and Ms Nicole Caines of the BNAA also assisted with the Hy-Tek system and the finish line; and Mr Emmanuel Faria of the BSSF, was the official record keeper of scores and times.

Wims is grateful for the support of all who came out and assisted in this inaugural event.

The event was truly one of community as was expressed by those present.

With additional and continued support, the school will be hosting more events such as this for our young people.

Students have a blast at Boys’ Night In

In February, Wims held a Boys’ Night In. Approximately 65 of our boys attended this lock-in event.

We had food/beverages donated to us from The Market Place, John Barritt & Son Ltd, BGA, Buzz, and Butterfield & Vallis.

This was important as we know young growing boys love to eat!

We wanted the boys to have fun, but also learn.

Ross Ford came in and talked about the risk of sexual behaviours and STIs.

The Bermuda National Drug Control did a presentation on the dangers of drugs.

A few influential young men came and spoke to the boys as well.

They were divided into small groups for this.

During these breakout sessions, the boys were inspired through personal testimonies, questions and answers.

When it came to entertainment, we had movies playing from 12am until dawn. XTREME sports donated their time and a few of their activities. Tonee Creations created an interactive Amazing Race which the boys really enjoyed with male staff.

Soul Food Promotions allowed us to use two of their TV’s and two of their gaming systems and a Fifa tournament was held.

The grand prize — a brand new PS4 that was donated by a member of staff.

The final match was held the next day during lunch in front of all who wanted to watch. M1 student Kenaze Cann defeated M3 student Oni Smith.

The boys are already asking about next year’s Boys’ Night In.

An early start on DoE awards

The Bermuda Bridge Award was first piloted at Wims in September 2012 and initiated by award leader Mrs Karen Simmons.

She wanted all young people to have an introduction to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award starting at an earlier age. Students would enter at two levels, starting at age 12 or 13 years old.

Since its inception there have been more than 100 participants who have gone through either one or both levels of the programme. Many have matriculated into the international award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) upon entering senior school.

This youth development programme nurtures students’ personal interests and their level of involvement shapes how the experiences will be.

The programme comprises of four components. Three are individual activities that they choose for either two or four months: Skill, community service and physical recreation.

The last component is within a team of no less than four participants to a maximum of seven, which is called the adventurous journey.

Some of the names for the groups over the years are: The Unique $tarz, Blurple, Max5, OMG Swagg, Reckle$$, JANZSY, Fantizy, Team Pink, Vintage Edition, Zamks, Penny $liders, The Young Inns, Flawlezz, etc. These names represent their free spirits and willingness to have fun.

Students attend weekly or bi-weekly training sessions to prepare for the adventurous journey — team-building, navigation, camp craft and cooking, route planning, first aid and more. This is when most people see, “young people walking along the highways of Bermuda carrying those big rucksacks.”

Most importantly, the Bridge Award helps young people to further discover who they are and their interests.

ABRSM celebration

For the last three years WIMS has had the privilege of entering students into the ABRSM (the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music) examinations. We have found this experience to be encouraging and beneficial in various aspects. Students show a greater level of commitment, their level of musical knowledge and ability are recognized on an international level, and they are given the opportunity to better understand and express the only universal language in the world.

We have found that the students who have enrolled in the program gain invaluable life lessons for the future; learn how to be more committed to a project; gain confidence in expressing knowledge and ideas as a result of having to express musical knowledge; and learn how to communicate more effectively with others which will help with relationship building.

Each year we have seen consistent progress made by students who have sat the exams. The first year we had 100% pass rate followed by an increase in the amount of students receiving the highest honor of Distinction.