Welcome to Term 2 of 2017! I trust you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter break and that you are as excited about the term ahead as we are.
It is also with much pride and excitement that we can announce our IES board has announced the new acquisition to a school in Italy. I am attaching a link to the website for you to browse. The Udine school is situated in Italy and the link is as followswww.udineis.org
It is indeed exciting to a be part of this vastly growing group of schools.
It is always so refreshing to start a new term with all kinds of plans in place. Proper planning prevents poor performance. We are therefore committed and all set and ready to execute these.
Two of our main focus areas this Term is the Tuckshop and the Aftercare facility. I wish to thank the parents who have brought forth some ideas in terms of both these facilities. Parents are invited to communicate their ideas/needs especially in the area of what is provided as healthy meals for the Tuckshop. Please email me these directly in order for us to make provision for the current needs.
Our Aftercare facility will be a more structured environment as of Term 2. We will be sending a programme to parents in order for you to know what exactly is provided in the afternoon as well as where the various venues are. Our children and their wellbeing is of the utmost importance and we need to ensure that the service provided is excellent.
Our Year 12 students had a very short break, as they were part of a very intense holiday workshop for Science and English. We had the pleasure of one of UCT’s finest professors, Dr Christopher Woolard, teaching our Year 12’s the key factors of science practicals. Dr Woolard had them all participating and presented his subject area in an interesting manner.
On Tuesday evening, 18th April we had the pleasure of having Mrs. Cindy Arenstein addressing our parents on the ten-week Protective Behavior Programme which we will follow this Term with the Pre-Reception to Year 6 classes. It is important for parents to know that the students will bring home worksheets regarding this programme which you need to discuss with them. This was a very informative talk in terms of guiding our children to have the right to feel safe at all times. Should you at any time have any questions regarding the programme, you may contact your child’s class teacher who will gladly answer any queries.
We are also very excited about the initiative Mr. Greg Smith (Sports Coordinator) has taken to create an incentive to encourage our children to do sport and work together as a team.
Each week a specific class will be receiving a floating trophee for best participation and teamwork. Our students welcomed the idea as teamwork means; TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE!
Just a friendly reminder, that the following few weeks have some public holidays and school bank holiday in between.
Thursday, 27th April – Freedom Day
Friday, 28th April – School bank holiday
Monday, 1st May – Workers day
We will not have the Aftercare facility open on these days, but will resume normal times on Tuesday, 2nd May 2017.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead and a successful Term 2 to all staff and children!
30 MARCH 2017
We have come to the end of the first term and it just seems so surreal! It has been three months of evaluation, observation and a definite change.
I feel strongly about setting goals and ensuring these plans are in place to guarantee that these goals are reached. It is thus important to reflect on objectives from time to time and make the necessary adjustments in order to meet the end result.
Change is not always easy and sometimes the adjustments that are made are not always widely accepted, yet it is a necessary component to reach one’s goals. During these processes there are periods of reflection, pain but mostly the joy that comes once the objectives have been met.
As a school I believe management should reflect on the following:
- What do we do best?
- What can we improve on?
- What is it that works and can be fine-tuned?
- This is a journey and a process that involves every stakeholder and by relating these objectives it will ensure that they are not abstract but rather achievable.
I wish to thank every staff member, parent and student for your involvement this term. Without every stakeholders input the definite changes could not have been possible. The time you spent in meeting with the teachers and management, was time well spent in order for Blouberg International to become the educational facility of choice in our community.
Just as a reminder to the high school parents, there will be a holiday programme running during the week of 3 April until the 13th of April. These workshops have been planned to enhance learning, especially in the areas of Chemistry and Physics practicals.
To all the students who will be writing their IGCSE and AS examinations in the May series, I wish you all the very best and every success.
If you are planning on traveling during this time, I wish you safe travels and God’s speed.
23 MARCH 2017
News from Junior Academic Head
As a continuously growing and developing educational institution, we at Blouberg International aim to provide our students, from as early as the Foundation Stage, the necessary tools and skills to be able to become well integrated, competent and life longer learners. For this to become a reality a great leader is needed to instil trust, confidence and a desire to always keep striving to learn more as teachers.
I came across a very interesting article a few months ago written by Jonathan Streeton, where he highlighted ten key points and questions leaders say to highly engaged teams:
- Thank you
- What do you need from me to make this a success?
- Sorry my fault
- I value your contribution
- What did we learn from this that we can use next time?
- I have complete faith in you
- You’ve done a great job
- What do you think?
- How could we do this better?
- Do you have the capacity to do this now
After reading the article it immediately made me think about our newly appointed Principal, Ms Edna Carolissen. This past term has been one of positive change, challenges and encouraging steps forward, not only for the students, but staff alike. I can honestly say that each point above epitomises Ms Carolissen’s leadership style.
I would like to share some comments made by various staff members regarding our new leader;
- Edna possesses “strong values and morals and has done a phenomenal job raising her girls”.
- “Edna is a kind, caring and compassionate person who always considers others. She appreciates her staff members and for that we love and respect her”.
- “I have been most impressed by Edna’s very professional approach in all her dealings with staff, students and parents. Her example as a leader instils in the staff to do their best each day and I would not like to disappoint her”.
- “Edna is compassionate, yet she is able to make difficult decisions when necessary. Her calm, honest, dedicated and organised approach to running Blouberg International School will ensure that the school is a leading academic contender in the area”.
- “If I think of the characteristics of a great leader, I think of someone who is decisive, but not rigid, firm, but fair. Someone who leads by example. Someone approachable and transparent. Someone trustworthy and with a sense of humour. Someone like Edna Carolissen”.
- “It meant so much to the participants of the First Aid course last weekend that Edna personally made lasagne and salad for us. She provided muffins at tea time and then joined us for our especially prepared lunch. Afterwards she insisted on clearing away. That attention to detail is what makes her good at the administration, but it is the personal touch that makes it a pleasure and a privilege to be led by her”.
- “Edna Carolissen has been one of the best things that has happened to Blouberg International School in a while. Her strength of character and integrity makes her a leader that stands head and shoulders above others. Edna goes out of her way to make her staff feel appreciated and likes to be involved in every facet of the school. I enjoy seeing her at the Junior Campus and having her pop into my class from time to time, which the students also love. She believes in bringing out the best in people and uses her kind, personal touch to show her appreciation.
- “When I think of Edna, I always think of this quote by Joel Osteen: I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors. I am so grateful to have her as my Principal. She encourages me to always look towards my goals and to never give up”.
If we, as staff are inspired, so in turn will our students be inspired to achieved whatever they set their hearts and minds on.
Looking forward to seeing you all at our annual Founder’s Day and Food Fair this Friday!
26 JANUARY 2017
Week two at Blouberg International deemed to be very exiting indeed. We had two very successful parent information evenings held on Tuesday 24th of January for the Foundation Stage and 25th of January for Key stage 1 and 2. We do appreciate the diligence which you have shown in supporting the staff by attending.
We trust that the video clip of IES which was shown during these meetings gave you thorough insights as to our goals and that it has you as excited about future exchanges between schools, as it has us as a staff.
This week we had the pleasure of Mrs Adele Searle (Head of Mathematics at St John’s in the UK) visit our school. She spent two days at our sister schools in Houtbay and Helderberg and two days at our school. It is unfortunate that she has to return to the UK or else we would have kept her in sunny Cape Town. Her current head at St John’s, Mr Mike Burgess has kindly requested that she not be poached by myself as this would mean the loss of his best mathematics teacher! She is a great asset to the IES group globally and our school greatly benefited from her visit.
Mrs Searle is a wealth of knowledge; both students and staff enjoyed her wisdom and passion alike. It is the heart of IES for all our schools “to be better”. The initiative of training and sharing skills amongst our teachers is high on the agenda. Continuous networking amongst our schools will definitely ensure that we are always thinking ahead and planning accordingly. As I have mentioned at the information meetings, proper planning prevents poor performance and therefore, we need to raise the bar in terms of continuous communication and transparency.
The great team spirit of sharing between the various IES schools reminded me of the Southern Africa philosophy of “Ubuntu” – humanity or humanity towards others. The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
We are looking forward to our Key stage 2 and High school sports days on Friday, 27th and Saturday, 28th of January and wish every student all the best as they compete in their individual events.
19 JANUARY 2017
I wish you a prosperous 2017 and welcome you to the new academic year at Blouberg International.
My heart warmed up by the lovely well wishes I have received from so many parents as well as the support from my staff. I am very mindful that the task ahead of leading this wonderful school from strength to strength is by no means a puny. It is very evident though, that every staff member is willing to give their very best to your children and the school.
On Monday 16 January, when I welcomed the staff to the new year, my heart felt the joy in seeing the excitement on every teacher’s face as we embark into this brand new season. As I pondered over the summer holidays on a message to encourage the staff, I thought about sharing my heart in terms of education, children and the growth process we all need to embrace.
The importance of having vision and to plan the timeframe to achieve personal goals, which will bring forth internal growth in every area of our lives came to mind.
It should be every teacher’s dream to grow continuously and not to stagnate. When we have passion, we can inspire others passionately. When we have a desire to grow, we allow others to grow. The high expectations we have of others should start with a high expectation of oneself.
Although every new season brings its challenges, we can ensure that the season will be a triumphant and victorious one.
The challenge to myself, every staff member and every student is the following:
- Be excellent
- Be purpose driven
- Communicate openly and honestly
- Redeem the time
I look forward to this new season and leading a team on a journey that will ensure that Blouberg International School is the educational institution of choice in our community.
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