2021 started with a bang and now that we have reached the end of the term, I can only wonder where the time has gone.
We were very fortunate that school sport and sport lessons for Year 7 and 8 could resume after February 15th when the Covid restrictions were eased. We remain positive that we will be able to resume with our winter sport in Term 2.
Term 2 will commence on Tuesday, 13 April 2021. Term 2 is an important term as students will be writing their June examinations. There will be parent-teacher meetings in Term 2, and we encourage parents to attend if they have concerns regarding progress in a particular subject. Parents will receive more information about these meetings next term.
We would like to thank Mrs. Lawrence for everything she has done for us as parents, students, and teachers. We wish her all the best for her new journey.
Finally, we would like to thank all the parents and students for their hard work in Term 1 and we look forward to a busy and exciting second term. If you are travelling these holidays, please be safe.
Head of Academics, High School.
My eyes can see the big bright sun.
My nose can smell hot cinnamon buns.
My ears can hear the big loud drum.
My tongue can taste good things. Yum! Yum!
My hands can feel the sand. What fun!
I like my senses, every one!
In Science, this term, Year 3 had a lot of fun experimenting with their senses. From testing different flavours in a tasting experience to participating in a treasure hunt, making their own telephones, and ultimately culminating in creating a Taste Monster!
Here’s how they did it:
First, students were asked to select one flavour – sweet, salty, sour, bitter or spicy. They then had to bring pictures of foods illustrating their particular flavour to school. After that, they selected an A3 colour card which matched their flavour. Using their imagination, they drew a Taste Monster which represented their particular flavour. Students needed to pay special attention to their monster’s mouth as the final step was to fill the monster’s mouth with their food pictures. The results were spot on and some were quite scary…
Well done, Year 3!
Year 3 Teacher
Our new curriculum subject, Global Perspectives, has proven to be a hit with the Year 2 students. Over the last few weeks, they have imagined packing a bag and jetting off to a destination.
We started our journey, touring South Africa, made our way to Madagascar (a firm favourite) and then on to Japan. This was particularly of interest to the children, as we have a student, currently studying online, living in Japan. We ended our trip in England and the London Eye was definitely their most discussed landmark.
Apart from learning about the different traditions, cultures, foods, sports, and landmarks, we also explored what it would feel like to move to a new country. The children made posters and discussed their favourite destination during our Show and Tell lesson.
We cannot wait to continue exploring when we return for Term 2!
Year 2 Teacher
Everything the Nursery and Pre-Reception students do during their day’s activities contribute to their over-all development.
Children learn creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, dedication, collaboration and accountability through art.
Sensory play also contributes in crucial ways to brain development. Stimulating the senses sends signals to the children’s brains that helps to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning.
Children learn through doing. Art is an important part of a child’s world. It’s not only a way for children to express themselves, but it also helps them develop their fine–motor skills. The process during creative activities is more important than the final product. Small–muscle control is needed in order to cut with scissors, paint with a brush and colour with crayons. Creating these works of art builds a child’s self-esteem. The finished product, displayed on the refrigerator or wall, validates a child’s sense of worth.
Another very important activity during our day is building puzzles. Puzzles develop a child’s abstract thinking ability as they must be able to see a space and visualize what belongs in that space. Fine-motor coordination is developed when fitting the pieces into place.
Fine-motor control is developed by playing with a variety of toys such as big and small Legos, wooden blocks, pegboards, beads to thread, play dough etc. These manipulative toys help develop a child’s fine motor skills, which is a precursor to being able to write.
I hope you see play differently, through the eyes of a teacher and the importance of it!
Nursery and Pre-Reception Teacher
As I was packing up my office and making the final preparations for my new journey, I was reminded how many times I have had to deal with procrastination.
Procrastination: – “The action of delaying or postponing something.”
In all honesty, I should’ve filed a few things earlier in the week. However, my delayed tidy-up did reveal wonderful reminders of my time at Blouberg International: students’ artwork, pictures of concerts, class photos etc. These will all become part of a memory book I have started compiling.
I don’t believe procrastination is always a bad thing. Bruce Grierson writes that sometimes it means you are putting something off to make time for your passion instead (Psychology Today). He also suggests that it can give you a change of energy. Another psychologist, Fuschia Sirois, says procrastination can be about something bigger, like self-doubt.
Students often procrastinate before exams, leaving studying until the very last minute. This has serious repercussions when they find themselves unable to cover all the term’s work the night before the exam. In this example, self-doubt creates negativity and anxiety. In the workplace, procrastination has much the same effect, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet our deadlines.
The question is, why do we put things off for another time? Why not complete the task as soon as it arises? This would create a sense of accomplishment and avoid feelings of guilt and anxiety. This week, I am not putting off anything for a later date. I am enjoying my time with the students and spending quality time with my staff. Then lastly, I am packing away files and books in order to make space for Andre. No more procrastination, but rather taking on tasks with a goal-oriented and positive mindset.
“I am taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see!”- author unknown
I hope that last sentence gave you a good chuckle!
Have a super weekend and enjoy quality time with those special to you.
I have been at Blouberg International for as long as I can remember. I joined the school in Pre-Reception when I was only two years old. Now I am in Year 10 and I have seen the school grow so much over the years.
In Year 9 I was given the opportunity to take Computer Science and Coding as a subject. Since beginning the course I have taken a strong liking to the Coding aspect of the curriculum. In Coding, I am able to stimulate my mind and develop my problem-solving skills.
As the world we live in is continuing to advance in the digital aspect, taking up Coding as a subject is a huge benefit to anyone as it is a more sought-after job and skill set to wield in the current day and age.
Our school also offers a variety of different languages for the students to learn to code in, opening up many opportunities for the future.
With Computer Science, the possibilities are endless for future opportunities, whether you take it further in a career or continue to the code as a hobby.
– Shaylee Brandt (Year 10 Student)
Last year, Riaan Vosloo, our high school art teacher, painted games on the corridors of the foundation phase building and on the playground. These games not only keep the students busy at playtime, but also give the teachers opportunity to use them, to reinforce maths concepts taught in the classroom.
Benefits of playing maths games:
- Increase student engagement –
Maths games are an excellent and fun way for students to practice their maths skills. Although students are thinking, working and exploring concepts, the games increase their level of engagement by adding excitement to the learning process.
- Reinforce learning –
As teachers we can reinforce the concepts learnt in class and give the students new and meaningful ways to practice.
- Develop social skills –
Working with a partner or in a small group reinforces social skills such as taking turns, co-operation, communication skills and sportsmanship.
- Provide opportunities to differentiate –
All students learn at different rates and in different ways and games provide ways to differentiate, so student’s individual needs are addressed.
- Build student confidence –
When students are playing a game, they are less fearful of failure and work through mathematical challenges and this builds their confidence.
At home parents can play games that develop maths skills and at the same time enjoy family time together. While electronic games are fun, children do work in isolation. Pintrest is a great resource for finding games you can play at home with your children.
Year 1 Teacher
Reference Credit to STORIES by storie March 25, 2019 (storiesbystorie.com)Read More
The love of reading is something we aim to cultivate in the Foundation Stage classes, and we are so proud to see the little ones embrace this as they practise their letters every day. Another favourite part of the day is story time and each week a few students are given the chance to go the library and choose stories for the class to read.
Some of the most popular stories in our class are the Mr. Men stories. The students love hearing what Mr. Tickles is up to, or what misadventures Mr. Bump had. We asked the students to draw their favourite Mr. Men or Little Miss character.
I think we may have a few future illustrators in our class.
Reception Year Teacher
As the term is drawing to a close, I find myself reminiscing about my nine years at Blouberg International. I have extremely fond memories of my time spent here and when I think about the students, past, present and future, I see achievement, greatness, and opportunity.
Blouberg International School is a family: a group of staff, parents and students which has expanded over the years. I have seen students matriculate and further their studies. I have seen primary students grow into high school students. I have seen little ones, Reception, or Pre-reception students I once towered over, grow into tall and confident young men and women. I have seen teachers grow and achieve the goals they’d set for themselves.
I have seen this school grow!
In my heart there is much pride as well as humility. There is gratefulness and satisfaction. There is so much I will miss about this journey and so much I am proud of.
Blouberg International’s board, staff and students will always have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to visiting in the future to celebrate future successes.
As parents, you can rest assured that the school will continue to flourish and be in good hands. The best is yet to come.
Next week our primary school will have verbal feedback meetings and the high school will start their test week.
I wish all our high school students the best of luck for the test week and wish to encourage them to stay focused and come to school well prepared. Proper planning prevents poor performance!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
This term has been a busy one in the Biology laboratory with various topics covered and practicals completed.
IGCSE – The Year 9’s started the term with an introduction to IGCSE Biology. They had an overview of the work covered during the course, as well as the different exam papers they will write at the end of Year 10. Their biological journey began by discussing the features of different groups of organisms which are used by biologists to classify them into groups. We moved on to the cellular organization of living organisms and the processes involved in moving substances across the cell membrane. We did practicals to investigate the movement of water between potato cylinders placed in different solutions and investigated the nutritional content of unknown food stuff by doing various food tests.
In Year 10 we are fast approaching the end of the syllabus with only three chapters left to do. This term we compared the advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction, drew countless Punnett squares to look at the outcome of genetic crosses and discussed the various adaptations that organisms may have to survive in their environment. We are currently discussing energy flow in food webs, nutrient cycles and factors which regulate population size in species.
AS Level – We’ve made a gentle start in Year 11 as the jump from IGCSE to AS level is an intimidating one. We’ve spent many weeks discussing the ultrastructure of plant- and animal cells and the microscopy calculations associated with this chapter. A couple of microscope practicals were done to practice drawing skills and identifying structures in cells. Next, we looked at the building blocks of biological molecules and the chemical bonds that hold them together in complex arrangements. Currently we are investigating enzymes by comparing their affinities for their substrate and the commercial application of immobilizing them in alginate beads. A few “wet practicals” have also been done to practice the skills of diluting stock solutions using different methods, gathering accurate results and the ability to present these in a suitable table. The practical in the photos required students to test for the release of carbon dioxide from a suspension of yeast cells in a sucrose solution by using bromothymol blue indicator solution. This indicator will change to different colours depending on the concentration of carbon dioxide.
The Year 12’s finished the syllabus at the end of 2020, and we are currently revising by working through activities from a workbook and past papers. Practicals are also important to build confidence for Paper 3 at the end of the year.
A Level – We are firing on all cylinders, working through the A Level topics as this is typically a jam-packed and intense academic course. Various topics have been covered in great depth, from the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration, to how the kidneys regulate the osmotic potential of blood and tissue fluid. Currently we are delving into nervous and chemical coordination of animals, by looking at how action potentials are generated in neurons, the process of muscle contraction and how hormones regulate the female reproductive cycle. This has indeed been a very busy term.
IGCSE, AS and A Level Biology Teacher