Braeburn History

Started in 1968 by an English lady who called it Braeburn House International School, the school has been around for more than 30 years. Braeburn Limited (the present company) bought it in 1979. In 1979 the school consisted of a classroom block - still recognisable as the main school corridor - an old two-storey house with a carport and a very rough and untidy playing field about one-third the size of the present one, with a large clump of eucalyptus trees at the end. What is now the Early Years Unit and the Year One block had been started but still had no roof. There were Jacaranda trees everywhere and the grounds were often purple with blossom.The school colours were purple - two different shades on the walls and the windowsills. The children were purple too - or at least their uniform was! First, the name was changed to Braeburn School - the origins of the name 'Braeburn' being from "Burnbrae", which was the colonial name for this part of Nairobi. Burnbrae, in turn, came from the Scottish "burn" for stream and "brae" for hill.A new main building was opened in 1985, and it continues to change as the years progress. At first, the present dining room, staff room, library and other offices above were a large open sports area, doubling as a dining area at lunchtime although it was extremely draughty and cold to eat in during the cold season. Doubling as an assembly area, the theatre was a welcome addition as previously children had to squeeze into a very small hall where the present Year Five classes are. The stage in the first hall was a wooden platform and all were eager to perform on a real stage. The original school hall was used as a mini cinema on Friday evenings. The school had its own cine-projector and the 20th Century Cinema would to rent films out. The films were very popular as it was in the days before satellite dishes were legally allowed, before KTN and before the set up of video libraries. (The cost of a seat was KSh 5/-). With the theatre there was now somewhere to hold speech days. Previously they had to take place on the field as the whole school used to attend. The kitchen started in what is now the Primary block. It was later moved to its much larger designated area in the new building.The sports facilities have been improved considerably over the years. Before the pool was built, children were sent by bus to various places such as the YWCA and the Kenya Science Teachers College, which took up a considerable amount of their swimming time. The school's own swimming pool was built in 1982, inaugurated 'bravely' as it had no solar heating in those days! The school playing field was originally quite hilly and this was levelled (unfortunately during a very wet period) at about the same time as the old house was demolished. The size of the field has grown considerably over the years and is now over three times its original size.The opening of the present sports centre was very exciting when it eventually happened in January 2003. For a long time previous to that it had stood as an unfulfilled promise of what was to come. Works began in 1996 and apart from providing a huge indoor sports hall it was also meant to vastly improve the Braeburn Club facilities, bringing with it dreams of a gym with weight machines, saunas and steam rooms, and an indoor heated pool.The biggest change to the sports centre happened with the move of the High School from the Garden Estate campus to the Gitanga Road (Lavington) campus in September 2003. The promised gym may have become their assembly hall / dining facility but at least the swimming pool is now in use! The next phase of building is the completion of new squash courts extending the sports facilities. Also with the move of the High School came the conversion of the store area into a temporary boarding block. The name "Hoteli" is used to describe it and points to its eventual use as a small hotel for visitors to the school. Our links with the University of Warwick often brings overseas visitors and the least we can do is to provide them with comfortable accommodation during their visits. It is partly thanks to them that the old High School at Garden Estate became our new 6th Form College, which among other courses also offers an International Foundation year for University. During the first quarter of 2004 an agreement was reached between Braeburn Limited and the owners of Mombasa International School (MIS) that with effect from 1st September 2004 Braeburn would manage this high-class learning establishment based in Shanzu, north of Mombasa. MIS is a delightful school and will be a great asset to the group. To have a base at the coast is of benefit to us here, and for MIS to have a base in Nairobi is of great help to the children at the coast. In September 2006, Braeburn took on Total Escapade, an existing costume company, which continues to be managed by its old owner. Total Escapade has added the Braeburn Theatre costumes to its own large stock to offer an unimaginable array of costumes for hire for all occasions. In the second term of the 2007 academic year, Braeburn Schools Limited took over management of a small school in Kisumu, the Kisumu International School (KIS) This opened up a myriad of possibilities for Braeburn as well as the student body and teachers of this school. Our world at Braeburn is ever changing and evolving. Changes include the new main reception area, coffee shop, communications and business centre upstairs - the number of computers in the school has rapidly increased, and with three resource centres in the school as well as many computers in classrooms and laboratories throughout. New international standard glass-backed squash courts have been built, and plans for expansion are always in the pipework. The boarding / teaching block has also been completed now housing the three Year 6 classrooms, changing rooms, music rooms, sports office and stores. There is also a new verandah above the bar, usually occupied by parents and teachers as it offers the best view of the playing fields! A new Operations block is now being built, and there are plans for a covered walkway around the field. Since acquiring the property adjacent to the Gitanga Road campus, there are also plans to build a new parking and transport centre which go a long way to freeing up the congestion in the main car park. In June 2007 and after 28 glorious years, Terry Childs opted to dedicate his time to the strategic management of the ever-expanding group as Managing Director of Braeburn Limited. Terry handed over the day to day management of Braeburn Schools Limited to Rob Williams. We wish him every success in his new job as Managing Director. What does the future hold for Braeburn? Who knows! There are many new ideas in the pipeline. With numbers steadily increasing in the schools, things are looking bright…!

 

 

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Head Teacher Introduction

 On behalf of the Braeburn Primary School community, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our new and improved website.

At Braeburn Primary School you will find a long established reputation for ensuring that children in our care enjoy the very best possible start. We provide opportunities to develop and succeed whilst enjoying a safe and happy learning environment nurturing a sense of social responsibility and respect. It is our constant aim to bring out the best in our children and to provide a well-rounded experience for every child; developing a blend of creativity, confidence and courtesy, which will enable our young people to cope with the demands of life in the 21st century, wherever in the world they may live. We encourage all students from the ages of three to thirteen, to develop their individual talents to the full whilst at Braeburn and to aspire to excellence in all they undertake; we strongly believe in a holistic approach to learning where an equal emphasis and weighting is placed on academics, music, sports, the arts, outdoor pursuits and drama.

Braeburn School is both IAPS and CIS accredited: its international standards are of the highest order. Among the many facilities for the students at Braeburn, we have a number of specialist teaching rooms which include a science laboratory, computer suites, drama workshop, art room, design technology room, music rooms. The school is also justly proud of its well-stocked library and its two theatres. Braeburn also possesses a thriving Personalised Learning Department; its team of well-trained and experienced Learning Support teachers cater for the variety of different needs of all of the children who attend the school. 

A multi-cultural and diverse community of over 80 nationalities are represented in the 700+ strong student body. Over 60 graduate teachers deliver the curriculum which follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Braeburn is staffed by a dedicated, hard working and professional body of teachers with high expectations of all students. Our parents are also actively involved in the school and feel very much part of what goes on. Finally our students, they are a delight. Polite, enthusiastic, well mannered, independent and keen to learn; they are an absolute credit to the school. But most important of all, they are happy, and happy children learn.

Braeburn is a happy and fun place to be. Trust your children to this school and we will deliver happy and confident achievers in return. If you haven’t visited us recently – come and see for yourself!

Charlotte Hilton
Headteacher