The Nursery class is enjoying building blocks. They have been working together to make big towers, learning to share with each other while cooperating for a greater goal.
We have been learning about different shapes and discussing what shapes the blocks are. At this stage we are investigating squares, rectangles and triangles.
A few benefits of building blocks include:
- Improves hand-eye coordination by learning to place the block on the block tower in such a way that does not topple the tower.
- Teaches early math and engineering skills through hands on learning.
- Spatial awareness.
- Improves fine motor skills.
I wish to encourage parents to spend time with your children, building with a variety of blocks and Lego. Such a simple activity can have a tremendously positive impact on learning.
I have just returned from a wonderfully informative conference in Budapest. It is always encouraging when principals from different corners of the world come together as it’s an opportunity to learn from each other’s different experiences.
I have also recently had a visit from Cambridge Regional Director, Juan Visser, on Wednesday the 16th of October. I am happy to report that as a Cambridge Registered Centre we are looking forward to continued support from Cambridge; their guidance with regards to university entrance, subject choice and compliance is invaluable.
Cambridge Primary has traditionally focused on Mathematics, Science and English as Core Subject Areas. However, effective from September 2019, the curriculum will be broadened. It is important that students are able to identify their favorite subjects early in their academic career and are encouraged to pursue the areas in which their natural talents lie. In order to accommodate the differing strengths and interests of the students, Cambridge has broadened its curriculum with the addition of Art and Design, Digital Literacy, Music and Physical Education. Their aim is to develop the all-important “soft skills” of teamwork, responsibility, leadership and resilience. Cambridge is constantly developing and revising its programs in order to offer the best possible education for the learners.
“In a fast-moving world, education needs to evolve.”- Dr. Judith Roberts
The focus of the curriculum for the various subjects are as follows:
- Digital Literacy aims to develop learners understanding of the digital world and celebrates the opportunities that technology offers. The aim is to increase the confidence in students while using technology.
- Physical Education focuses on developing movement skills.
- Music allows the learners to explore the subject as performers, composers and listeners.
- Art and Design encourages learners to express themselves as they experience and reflect on art.
We are incredibly excited about the broadened scope of the curriculum as we are now able to offer the above subjects to the standard which Cambridge requires.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
The definition of appreciation- the thoughts of a teacher.
It’s the little things.
As clichéd as it might sound, I truly feel that it is the small moments of triumph, the quiet moments we keep to ourselves when an involuntary smile breaks across our face and a lightness, a sense of joyous freedom descends; these are the moments we return for.
Humans need to feel valued, is this not a universal truth? Most of us want our value vocalized, trumpeted, for us to feel secure.
I am coming to realize that teachers are a little different in this respect.
The importance of teachers is undisputed and good teachers are invaluable. I think we know our value and it’s not just about our students reaching a predefined academic standard. We applaud the A’s and encourage the C’s and, naturally, seeing a student or a class improve over time gives us pleasure; it’s the pleasure of knowing that we are fulfilling our purpose, our requirements. Where I believe the true joy in teaching lies is in the little moments, insignificant perhaps in the grand scheme of academic terms and mark sheets, but nourishing to the soul of a teacher.
The simple phrase “thank you, ma’am” has a healing quality which can transform bitterness into relief, it can coax a reluctant smile from even the most recalcitrant of jawlines. A scribbled note in the corner of the board, a ‘U rock!’ Or perhaps a ‘stay awesome!’- it doesn’t secure an A, but it sure secures a smile.
We enjoyed a visit from Andrew Blackie (Commercial Director) and Louise Mayor (Head of Marketing) of Sparx this week. The Sparx Programme will be introduced to our School next year. More information will be sent to parents shortly.
Wishing you a restful weekend.
Art programs encourage students to be creative and use their imagination as much as possible. As this increased emphasis on creativity happens, children cherish new ways of thinking about the world in general. Needless to say, art programs are a critical aspect in helping students to magnify their understanding of their place in relation to the rest of the world they live in.
Additionally, students are also capable of developing an understanding and appreciation for different cultures, which can translate to an increased sense of tolerance and social acceptance.
The Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Students gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. They also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. An ideal foundation for further study, Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.
The Cambridge International AS and A-Level Art and Design syllabus considers expression and communication. Students gain an understanding of visual perception and aesthetic experience, and the ways in which art and design creates a language of its own. Most of the work for this syllabus is practical or studio based, so that students can develop their abilities of observation and analysis of the visual world, sensitivity, skill, personal expression and imagination. They also learn how to relate their skills to an enhanced knowledge of their own cultures, past and present, as well as an appreciation of practical design problems.
Students are often asked to “think outside the box” in terms of problem solving. Art programs encourage novelty and nonlinear thinking, skills that can be used not only in academic settings but in the professional world as well.
High School Art Teacher
On Friday, 4 October, the year 2 classes visited the Planetarium and the Iziko Museum. They were treated to an amazing show in the dome, experiencing travelling around our galaxy in a spaceship commanded by aliens. Although fun, the students learned some new interesting facts about the planets in our solar system.
We visited a part of the museum where the students explored sea life in various forms. They enjoyed the Whale tunnel, which they could stand in and hear the whale calls. A highlight was definitely seeing the jaws of a shark, and actually being able to fit their heads into it.
Visit http://www.iziko.org.za/museums/planetarium for more information on this fantastic outing.
Year 2 Teacher
“Show and Tell” is always a very exciting day in the Reception classes. Students come to school eager to share their presentations with their friends.
Although a fun day, the importance of “Show and Tell” cannot be overlooked. “Show and Tell” gives students the opportunity to share some of their personal experiences and general knowledge with their peers. Preparing a presentation with their mom and dad creates that special time between parent and little one and often they find facts that even the teacher didn’t know.
Our “Show and Tell” this week was all about under the sea and the students came prepared to tell everyone about their favourite sea animal. It is daunting task standing in front of the whole class to do your presentation, and some of the little ones are often shy at the beginning of the year. Though as the year progresses it is amazing to observe the growth in confidence. “Show and Tell” not only builds that self confidence that comes from presenting, but also teaches students respect for their peers, as it is just as important to be a good audience.
How to Prepare for Show and Tell:
(When your child is practising you may need to remind them of the following)
– Keep your head up and look around at your audience as much as possible.
– Use a loud and clear voice.
– Keep your feet still and together on the floor.
– Try to use exciting words or adjectives to describe your adventure or object.
Go to https://speakupstudio.com.au/show-and-tell-part-two-tips-for-show-and-tell for the full article.
We are so proud of our little ones and as always, the teachers also learned some interesting facts. (Who knew there are 440 different species of sharks?)
Welcome back to the fourth and final term of 2019
A warm welcome back to all high school students and their parents. It is finally upon us, the fourth and final term of 2019. One of these days the holiday jingles will echo noisily throughout the shopping centres and that’s when one realises that the end of the year has arrived. Before we reach that stage however, we have a busy and important term ahead of us.
Whilst the majority of our students were enjoying the last two days of their holiday, our Year 10 (IGCSE) and Year 12 (AS/A Level) students began their final external examinations. The Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A Level examinations run from the 30th of September to the 15th of November 2019. We wish all our students the best of luck during this time and urge them to prepare as thoroughly as possible.
We also congratulate the newly elected SRC for 2020. The role of the SRC is very important in the high school and we look forward to working with them.
Good luck to all the students and parents in this final stretch of 2019.
Mr J Harrison
Head of Academics
During this term the Spanish students from Year 1 to 3 are going to review all the vocabulary and topics learned in the first three terms together with some new topics:
Numbers, colours, class objects, family members, animals, parts of the house, city buildings, days of the weeks and months of the year, just to name a few.
To gain as much vocabulary as they can during the first two years, is key for the future use of the language. It is very important during this last term and in the holidays that the students go through their Spanish books as often as they can, to refresh the vocabulary related with each topic, together with the games on Rockalingua. Please feel free to take the Spanish books home as often as you can.
In Year 3 we are learning how to use nouns together with some adjectives – such as colours, to describe animals and objects and to translate simple phrases. We will also focus on the students to introduce themselves in Spanish (name, age, nationality and where they live).
The Year 4 students are learning a little more complex ways to describe objects (such as their house) following four easy steps that will help them to structure their thoughts:
- Name all the rooms in your house (My house has a living room, two bedrooms…).
- Describe the house (My house is: colour (white), aspects (big, modern).
- Location of the house using the prepositions of place: (My house is near to the beach, in front of the commercial centre, behind a petrol station).
- Add extra fixtures using there is, there are. (At my house there is a swimming pool, a garage).
- They are also requested to know how to introduce themselves and their family members in 5 easy steps:
- This is my mother (relation).
- Her name is Maria (name).
- She is forty years old (age).
- She is from South Africa (nationality).
- She Lives in Cape Town (place of living).
It is also fun to practice with them at home and take any opportunity to show them how proud you are for them to be able to introduce you in Spanish.
The students made brilliant progress students in Year 5 and Year 6, delivering some outstanding oral presentations: talking for 2 minutes, all in Spanish and without any notes! They have been able to introduce themselves; describe what they look like and their personalities; communicate their likes and dislikes and describe their own houses and home cities and even talking about their daily routines (Year 6); or the weather in Cape Town (Year 5).
More important, they show understanding, not only of the vocabulary, but also the rules of the Spanish grammar. (Verb to be, to have, to like, reflexive verbs, use of adjectives, frequency adverbs, the time, present tenses, interrogative questions, regular and irregular verbs..)
Special mention of the following Year 5 and Year 6 students:
Mario Da Silva Montero
Best oral presentations:
Profesor Javier Vidal
Junior School Spanish
On the first day of school, the students arrived very excitedly to begin the last term of Reception Year. They really enjoyed the holiday and could not wait to tell us all about it.
We are now training to work in books with lines in preparation for next year. The students had to write their own heading for their news followed by the zig zag, ‘w’ pattern. Through practice the students are becoming more aware of motor planning in their books and are learning to skip lines when needed.
We recapped the simple sentence rules:
- A sentence always starts with a capital letter.
- There are always finger spaces between words.
- A sentence ends in a small neat full stop on the line.
Each week for their news the students will choose and make use of a sentence starter such as “I went…”, I played …”, I saw…”, I liked…” The teacher will then write the unknown words on a strip for them to copy. They will be encouraged try and complete their own sentences using known High Frequency Words and by independently sounding out phonetic words using their knowledge of the Jolly Phonics sounds.
Reading and writing skills certainly goes hand in hand. All the reading practice they have been doing this year will definitely help them to apply their knowledge to attempt writing sentences with confidence.
The students are very excited about the following sentences they have written in their writing books this week:
“I went to the shop.” – Gabriel Perdigão
“I went to Namibia.” – Madison Carli
“I went to get donuts.” -Thami Makubalo
“I went to the shop.” – Michele Lemme
“I went to Dubai.” – Zoe-Jane Way
“I went to holiday care.” – Emmanuel Omole
“I went to the movies.” – Britney Quadri
“I went to the shops.” – Melissa Moje
“I went to the playground.” – Ali Sadi Hasturk
“I went to the shop.” – Lizelle Vorster
“I went to holiday care.” – Enzo Tona
“I went to the hospital.” – Jenna Miller
“I went to the shops.” – Reuben Davids
“I went camping.” – Malin van Zandvoort
“I went to the mall.” – Ndalo Kweyama
“I went to the movies.” – Sarah Miller
“I went to the shop.” – Irén Martinez Baqueiro
“I went to the holiday care.” – Joel Mofokeng
Reception Year Teacher
Welcome back to the final term of 2019! The teachers enjoyed a short break but are ready and eager to run the last leg of the race before the end of the academic year.
REFLECTING AND GROWING
The importance of self-reflection is one of the best life lessons I have learnt. The end of a task, the end of a season or a term at school is an opportunity for self-reflection.
What have I done well? What can I do better? What areas are in need of change?
Reflecting gives us the opportunity to positively critique our decisions and behavior in order to improve.
Nothing can ever be perfect and change is as good as a holiday.
Reflecting on one’s performance and asking ourselves the difficult question of where we need to improve leads to growth and only good can come from acceptance of what needs to be changed or improved.
We are busy with the installation of much needed air conditioning systems in the junior school. I am certain that both the staff and students are looking forward to the cooling effect!
This term key stage 2 and the high school will begin athletics practice. The homeroom teachers will discuss the sports uniforms with students and how best they can wear their uniforms during these crucial practice sessions.
On Tuesday, the 8th of October, the high school will have an information evening for all Year 6 parents regarding the transition into high school. We look forward to an enjoyable and informative session.
At Blouberg International, the safety and well-being of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. We wish to reiterate that no parent or visitor may go directly to a teacher’s classroom. All visitors to the school must report directly to reception and the relevant teacher will be informed of your presence. Any items you wish delivered to your child during the course of the school day must be handed in at reception and the child’s teacher will be notified of the item at reception. We are tightening security around the entrance of the school grounds and we will close the security doors to the building in the morning, during break times and after school.
Please also note that all cars entering the school grounds must carry the official school sticker to prevent unknown vehicles entering the premises. We have our students’ best interests at heart and therefore we will be enforcing these rules strictly.
I wish every teacher, student and parent a successful fourth term with regards to all aspects of school life.