On Tuesday the 10th of March the year 9 to 12 Biology and Business students, together with the 9 and 10 Geography students, visited the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Among the most interesting things that were discovered was that fish have their own personalities, such as the fish that loves cuddles! About Yoshi the turtle who was released back into the wild 2 years ago after 20 years in captivity and has since traveled a record breaking 37 000km!
We learned how the marketing team at the aquarium aim to not only promote the aquarium to attract customers, but also how they use this platform to communicate about causes that are close to their heart. A few causes they mentioned were sustainable fishing, single use plastic and environmental sustainability.
Another interesting fact is that South Africa ranks as the 3rd most bio-diverse country in the world.
The Two Oceans Aquarium is truly a magical place with so many treasures to enjoy!
The students had been practising relentlessly for months and the day finally arrived! Mr Riaan Vosloo and Ms Genevieve Kerswill accompanied them to the theatre where they spent the whole day preparing for one of the biggest local drama events of the year.
The whole production was performed by our students on stage in front of a live audience at The Fugard Theatre.
Twenty six Blouberg International High School students took part in the stage production and assisted with roles such as directing, sound and lighting, backstage prompting and props.
This performance was an experience they will cherish forever. We wish to congratulate all the students involved and their teachers on their magnificent achievement.
High School Drama Department
The Year 2 students had the pleasure of visiting the Ostrich Farm recently where they were fortunate enough to be taught the life cycle of an Ostrich and facts about their skeletons. Interesting facts such as their eyes are bigger than their brain and they are the world’s largest bird.
They spent their lunch break on the lush green lawns where they met two beautiful cheetahs and some lovable, yet hungry, goats…
A valuable life lesson the students also learned, according to Gamelihle Masuku, was “If an Ostrich comes after you, it is important that you lie on the floor and cover your head”.
An extremely interesting and enjoyable outing overall, we are all looking forward to visiting the Ostrich Farm again shortly.
Year 2 Teacher
Why do we engage in Sensory Play?
From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.
Children and even adults learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses. Many of our favorite memories are associated with one or more of our senses: for instance, the smell of a summer night campfire or a song you memorized the lyrics to with a childhood friend. Now, when your nostrils and eardrums are stimulated with those familiar smells and sounds respectively, your brain triggers a flashback memory to those special times.
- Research shows that Sensory Play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
- Sensory Play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
- This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory.
- Sensory Play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child.
- This helps children learn sensory attributes. (hot, cold, sticky, dry)
I wish to encourage parents to get messy with their children at home to make learning more fun.
The students presented their clouds and shared their favorite type of cloud with the class. Learning about the different types of clouds through art was exciting.
What is your favourite type of cloud?
I realize more and more that time is a precious commodity. We are facing various threats and challenges in our lives and we all deal with these in our own way.
At the moment we are all very aware of the COVID-19 virus and the threat it poses. We are taking preventative measures and have strategies in place should a crisis situation arise in the Western Cape. I am mindful that as parents we have concerns and we need to plan. It is vital, however, that we do not panic or overreact.
We have a few more days until the end of the term and we are all looking forward to spending time with our families. This is a good time to reflect; spend time with our children and plan for the possibilities of what we might face.
Next week Key Stage 1 will have a Spelling Bee on Monday and Tuesday. School will close earlier on Wednesday, but aftercare will be available.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday ahead and I hope we all return with renewed vigour and strength.
Chemistry at Blouberg International School is experiential and hands-on; students conduct experiments, research ideas and work together in order to understand the world around them.
In simplified terms, the science of chemistry deals with the properties, composition, and structure of substances and how these substances interact with one another. In the IGCSE, AS and A-level chemistry curricula, topics of study are divided into three broad categories: physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry. In each category students learn about chemical theories and processes that are relevant to their lives and to the challenges faced in the world around us.
A strong emphasis is placed on how past and current chemical processes affect the environment and the lives of others. We have had many lively classroom debates about alternative sources of energy, agriculture and the use of fertilizers, food security and transport. The Cambridge curriculum allows students to be exposed to scientific applications on a global level – illustrating how countries around the world have approached these issues and found possible sustainable solutions. Our classroom discussions have also focused on solutions for the African and South African context: identifying our unique resources and challenges and how we can improve on our current processes.
Practicals are another important component of chemistry. Students are empowered to work independently, make discoveries for themselves and apply their theoretical knowledge in a laboratory setting. In the final AS Chemistry examinations, each student carries out their own two-hour practical in which they complete both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Using both their theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory skills, students calculate the quantity of a compound given using various laboratory techniques. In the second half of the examination they apply their knowledge to identify unknown substances using various chemical tests. The AS and A-level curricula prepare students very well for university by providing them with a solid foundational understanding of chemistry principles and laboratory techniques.
High School Chemistry Teacher
On Wednesday, 26th to Friday 28th February, the Year 6’s went on camp to Big Oak Adventures.
The Year 6’s had lots of fun. They worked on their teamwork, communication and leadership skills. They did a variety of difficult activities, but the Year 6’s were determined to accomplish all of them, and they did.
They did activities such as cliff jumping where they had to jump off a cliff into a river which helped them realise that they could accomplish anything they put their mind to no matter how scary.
We ended the camp off with an exciting group concert. Everyone came out of their shells and performed like they’ve never done before.
What we learned on camp that we can apply in our daily lives:
Learning about leadership and applying it in our daily lives was Big Oak Adventures Task and they succeeded. I am sure to apply responsibility in the life ahead of me. Kindness will be my daily task and leadership will follow me for the rest of my life. They taught us a lot but friendship was probably the most important to me.
I learnt to respect other people’s personalities as a leader and use their talents for specific tasks, to get to know people you don’t really know because maybe they could be nice and good at things you can’t do and to communicate and to be patient with your team.
I could learn to respect other people and to listen to people’s opinions in a better way.
During the last few years I have been thinking about the latest trends in foreign language learning and teaching and how as teachers we can use them to help our students learn Spanish in the future. I have found that one of the most successful ways to teach Spanish to kids is through technology.
I am confident to say that we have found a perfect formula for our students to success: the combination of Spanish videos, catchy songs and interactive games with vibrant images, accompanying worksheets and now also our new Spanish books.
During this year in the Spanish Department we are very excited to announce that all the students at Blouberg International from grade 1 to 6 each have their own access with their own username and password to the learning online resource called Rockalingua.
As many of you already know – Rockalingua is an interactive website where you will find songs, worksheets and games all in Spanish.
You can access Rockalingua by following the below 3 steps:
- Go to the web site https://rockalingua.com/
- On the top right of the page click ‘Login’ in and enter your child’s unique username and password.
Please note this website only works on tablets and laptops, Not on cellphones.
Start to enjoy the videos, songs and the games and complete the assigned tasks.
These videos are designed to combine vocabulary with high frequency structures so that students don’t feel like they’re “learning Spanish”, but instead enjoying it.
Since last year, students have been learning from this online resource in the classroom, and they really enjoyed singing along to the songs.
This year they will have to complete certain assigned tasks every week to progress and gain more vocabulary together with the exercises in their Spanish books.
By customizing the curriculum for each class by blocking and unblocking certain content the students can focus on the topics they are working on in class and complement perfectly the content of their textbooks.
Please allow the students to log in to complete their tasks. To play these games is vital because it takes the pressure off learning the language and provide an opportunity for students to have fun and practice the language at the same time.
In each task you can also view the instructions from the teacher that will indicate all the related content from the Spanish book that the students should complete together with their weekly task, offering in this sense a perfect complement for the Spanish lessons and learning. On the other hand, parents can also easily view their child’s progress during the year.
Rockalingua is a fantastic tool to test their knowledge, and presenting the exam in a more entertaining way, lowering the level of stress, and helping them to increase their vocabulary and knowledge of verbs: essentially to be able to speak Spanish in the future.
The structure is also effective because it promotes repetition by presenting the material in many different formats. Repetition helps students develop the four basic skills of communication—listening, speaking, reading and writing.
In these first weeks I have noticed that the students were very much engaged, working on the tasks I had assigned them, and that differentiated instruction was easily implemented since the program allows me to assign tasks to a whole class or to specific students that might need easier or more challenging assignments.
When I assign tasks the analytics will allow me to see, at a glance, how the class is performing those tasks so I will be able to see which students are already working on the assignments and which students have not yet started make it easier for me to keep track of students’ work and progress.
I will also be able to gauge which concepts each student, and the class, are having trouble with. This data is useful in order to structure the class and for preparing revisions.
Students can immediately see which assignments within the tasks they have already done and which ones they have yet to complete. This interactive learning management system gives students a sense of independence since they can work at their own pace and they can also see their % of right and wrong answers. They can also redo specific interactive games to improve their % of right answers! Keeping them motivated.
To ensure the success of “gamification” in learning a new language, we (teachers and parents) need to work together to capture and retain learner’s attention by allow them to play the games and listen to the songs at home. www.rockalingua.com
Everyone loves games. Albert Einstein himself indicated they are the most elevated form of investigation. He knew games are avenues for something deeper and more meaningful than a childish waste of time. Often times, playing games are the first method children use to explore higher-order thinking skills associated with creating, evaluating, analyzing, and applying new knowledge.
Profesor Javier Vidal
Spanish Teacher Junior School
In Year 4, I asked the students to have a look on their desks and identify anything that is German or made in Germany that they use on a daily basis. Without much effort they were able to identify many products by just looking in their pencil cases and finding various stationery such as pencils, highlighters, erasers , sharpeners, rulers and glue with the words MADE IN GERMANY. They were very surprised that Staedtler, Faber-Castell, Stabilo and Pritt were in fact German. Staedtler founded in 1835 by J.S. Staedtler, Faber-Castell in 1761 by Kaspar Faber and Stabilo in 1855 by G. Grossberger & H. Kurz are all long standing companies producing stationery, all from the Nuremberg area in German, as this area was rich in graphite and clay mines needed for making pencils. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwan-Stabilo“)
To discover that Pritt was produced by the German company called Henkel was an unexpected fact. Henkel was founded by Friedrich Karl Henkel in 1876 , the Pritt stick was developed and marketed in 1969 after extensive research and just celebrated its 50 years on the shelf. (https://www.prittworld.co.za/en/about-Pritt/pritt-history.html)
The year 4’s were asked to investigate further: “What kind of products or brands can I identify in my home or at the shops that are considered German or made in Germany?” and to bring the item and present it to the class.
At home they realised that they use many German products e.g. Nivea which is produced by Beiersdorf and many items from the brand Adidas, such as sport shoes and soccer balls. Adidas, a company founded in 1949 by Adolf (Adi) Dassler in Herzogenaurach, is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe.
At the shops the products are numerous but the sweets Haribo stand out because of their availability everywhere. The company Haribo was founded in 1920 by Hans Riegel Sr. from Bonn, Germany hence HARIBO the acronym from his name and place of birth. He invented the Gummibärchen (Gummy Bear) in 1922. (https://www.haribo.com/enGB/home.html)
We will continue to discover many new things about Germany in 2020.
One of the 10 compelling reasons in the article “Why learn German?”, is that German companies are considered global market leaders and many brands and corporations are found worldwide. Exploring these brands with the students has helped them realize how important learning German can be.(https://www.fluentu.com/blog/german/why-learn-german/)
Thank you to all the parents who attended the Interactive Curriculum morning recently to learn more about the curriculum and especially to the Year 1 parents who showed great interest in the exciting journey their children are starting in the the world of new languages.
Frau Kerstin Pani
German Teacher Junior School
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