Welcome to the start of the 2021 academic year. Although this is an unprecedented time, we are confident that this year will be a memorable one for every student. Even though we are starting the year with much uncertainty in terms of what the government will prescribe, we are confident that our educational programme can continue successfully.
On Tuesday, 12 January, we received our matric results. We are extremely proud of the excellent marks achieved, particularly in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. Our students have raised the bar and we look forward to continual growth in these subject areas. For more news about the results, please see our matric results page.
Our top student for the 2020 matric class is Darshan Naidoo, with a total of 3 distinctions out of 5 subjects on AS level and 2 A* distinctions in A level! Well done Darshan!
We wish to thank every parent for your support in ensuring the success of our first day at school on Wednesday. It is always a challenge to co-ordinate the first day of school, with logistics such as stationery collection, drop off and introducing new students to the school. Your compliance on Wednesday made it easy to co-ordinate and help our students transition into the new academic year.
We understand your need to connect with the new class teacher for 2021 and we therefore plan on holding online information evenings for meet and greet purposes and so you can be informed of the processes for Term 1. In addition to the online meetings, you will receive an information letter containing all the important information for the 2021 academic year.
We ask that you refrain from meeting with the teachers in the mornings as parents are still not allowed on the premises. We have a responsibility to our staff and students to minimize the number of people on campus. Teachers are available for online, face to face, meetings should this be necessary, but please contact them initially via email. We have everyone’s best interests at heart and as much as our medical personnel are on the frontline, so are our teachers.
COVID ISOLATION PROTOCOL
Just a reminder that should a member of your household test positive, you must not send your child to school (even if the child themselves tested negative). Students who are exposed to a confirmed positive case should be in isolation and not exposed the rest of the class. Please adhere to this strictly!
Our teachers will communicate the dates of the online information meetings for parents next week. This is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s class teacher and ask any questions you might have.
We also welcome Miss Tayla Shergold-Smith who has joined our high school staff. We wish her all the best for the year ahead.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
We have come to the end of the 2020 academic year. This has been a year of great challenges, but also a year of great opportunity. The difference for each and every one of us is the point of our perspective.
However, the future rewards those who press on. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves and to complain, we need to just keep going and press on. Thank you to each parent, for your support and commitment towards the school.
Thank you to our staff who relentlessly learned new methods and inspired our students. Your hard work is always appreciated.
In the words of Barak Obama: “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”
We are sadly saying goodbye to Alexia Holmes in year 3. Mrs. Holmes and her husband are relocating to Betties Bay. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Mrs. Wendy Menton will replace Mrs. Holmes in year 3.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TERM 1 2021
A letter has been sent today via the Engage platform with information regarding our drop off and collection times and points for 2021.
I wish all our families a great festive season and may you and your families be blessed with good health and prosperity!
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Amid much uncertainty, I wish to reassure you that as we are ending off this term, we are already planning for Term 1 of 2021.
We will continue to provide our children with the best education during this time.
We lost 0 days in academic time and could proudly celebrate our students last week at the prize-giving ceremonies. You will continue to receive excellent education and thorough communication from the school.
Our high school students finished their last examinations on Wednesday, 02 December and the teachers are currently preparing their results.
Our last day of school will be on Wednesday, 09 December and holiday care will resume until the 18th of December. Holiday care will also start on 04 January 2021 for the new academic calendar year.
We will communicate the 2021 school opening and closing times with you by next week.
UNIFORM STORE INFORMATION
Please note the Hatrick online store will be closed for orders from 18 December 2020 to 6 January 2020.
- For orders placed after 11 December 2020 at 12h00 to get your order before 2020 ends, please select the courier to home/specified address. If not, your order will only be delivered to the school in the week starting 11 January 2021.
- For orders placed between 6 and 8 January 2021, please note if you select delivery to school, the order will arrive at the school in the week starting 11 January 2021.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
Prize-giving ceremonies are a special part of our year-end celebrations; a chance to reward the hard work of our students. This is the one event we were not going to miss out on in 2020!
This has been an eventful week as we planned and celebrated our Prize-giving ceremonies online. Our children have endured so much throughout this year and still managed to finish the race with success!
As parents you too have endured many challenges and yet your support and commitment to the school and its teachers has been evident throughout. You all deserve star certificates as well!
I believe the challenges we all endured have made us stronger and increased our endurance. Our students are champions and well deserving of a good holiday.
Next week will be the last week of examinations for our high school students and we continue to cheer them on to the finish line.
As we are at the end of the week, I wish you all a wonderful and restful weekend ahead.
“Time spent with family is time well spent. Family is the one constant element in life.” – Author Unknown
Every morning I watch the students as they walk through the reception area. Some wave quietly and others are full of cheerful chatter! Having the students come through the reception area every morning provides me with such a valuable little window into their lives.
I can always sense when a student is not having a good morning and need that little bit of encouragement and support to brighten up their day. I cherish these moments with the students, and it reminds me of the importance and value in being an educator.
We have all had a difficult and demanding year, but this morning I am filled with enormous gratitude for my staff. I am proud of their adaptability and positivity. Each one of them is exhausted but they retain their cheerfulness and willingness to serve.
Last Saturday morning, the 14th November, we welcomed our new parents for 2021 and the feedback we received is amazing. We look forward to expanding the Blouberg International community next year and welcoming new faces and families.
One of the most important events of the year is the end of year Prize-giving. This year our various Prize-givings will be streamed virtually and you will receive a letter with the relevant dates and times. We cannot miss the opportunity to acknowledge our students’ hard work and dedication this year.
As we all prepare for the weekend, I hope you all have something wonderful in mind as we are going to have awesome weather!
It is that time of the year when we are all exhausted and in desperate need of a break. It sometimes feels like we have been experiencing this ‘end of year fatigue’ since March!
Our President described it very accurately the other night as “Covid fatigue”. There are just a little over three weeks left before the end of the 2020 academic calendar year. Normally, this would be a time of prize-givings, December holidays and Christmas celebrations, but I think most of us are just simply looking forward to the end of 2020. We must be careful however, not to place too great an expectation on 2021 and forget to celebrate the joy that is still with us.
We are having our New Parents Information Morning on Saturday 14 November and look forward to welcoming new families to our school. It is important that we abide by the Covid protocols and therefore the event is only for prospective parents and students, and the teachers involved in the event.
There will be a Bee-Bot competition on Saturday morning, run by our junior school IT teacher, Mrs. Sonia Terblanche, and a few of her students.
The music department will also present a music showcase, giving prospective parents a glimpse of the wealth of talent we have at our school.
As we reach the end of another week, let us remain positive and with our families this weekend, celebrate the good we have in our lives.
I am, and have always been, a firm believer in lifelong learning. As the world evolves around us and we are expected to move with the times, it is an especially important skill to be teachable in all areas.
Lifelong learning is when we learn new skills actively throughout our lives and it is so important that we nurture this passion for knowledge in our children. An important lesson to take from this difficult year is the necessity of adaptability and the importance of broadening our skill set. Stagnation and complacency are simply not an option.
In our staff meeting this week, I emphasized the importance of keeping abreast of changes and developments to the Cambridge curriculum. One of the areas we are exploring is the introduction of Global Perspectives as a subject in the primary school. Global Perspectives is a subject which develops the important transferable skills of critical thinking, research, and collaboration.
We are currently exploring many different opportunities for our students and we will keep you up to date about enhancements in the Cambridge curriculum and in our own subject-offering. I hope you are as excited about it as we are. Our teachers are enthusiastic about the recent developments in the curriculum and are equipping themselves for the challenges of the new academic year.
This week is the halfway mark of progression tests in the primary school. Year 5 will start their progression tests on Monday 9th November and Year 6 will start their progression tests on Monday 16th November. I am sure that both parents and students are grateful to have a weekend ahead of us.
In the famous words of Albert Einstein,
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
In my last few newsletters, I have avoided writing anything about the Covid-19 pandemic. I thought it best to shift to a more positive, student-centric focus.
Unfortunately, in the last few weeks there has been an increase in the Western Cape and the Parklands area specifically identified. Although we have only had one positive case, a student, we need to remain vigilant.
It is our duty to ensure that we follow the protocols prescribed by WCED and the Department of Health. Our year 10 and 12 students are writing their external Cambridge examinations and it is crucial they remain in good health. Should they test positive or be in contact with a positive case it will affect their ability to complete the examination series. We thus ask that you maintain rigorous protocols at home.
Students must always maintain social distancing. As much as they may wish to socialize and mingle closely with friends, it just takes one positive case to change the course of their lives.
We are also acutely aware that the process of dropping and collecting students at school can be very frustrating. Parents must please use the demarcated parking bays and not double park. Our neighbors, and the area around the school in general, has been negatively affected by the queues of cars trying to enter the school property at certain times of the day. We have sent letters in the past regarding this issue and respectfully ask you to adhere to the guidelines. We can make someone’s day or ruin it entirely by our own actions. Let us be mindful of one another in an already difficult and frustrating time. Let us be the kindness someone might need today.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
“A child is like a butterfly in the wind. Some can fly higher than others, but each one flies the best it can. Why compare one against the other? Each one is different. Each one is special. Each one is beautiful.”
– author unknown
An educator at heart, the best part of my job is working with children and over the years, having worked with students from diverse backgrounds, I continue to be moved by the innocence and humanity of my students. It is a privilege to aid in the development of a child and watch as they discover and develop their potential.
There are various ways in which we as parents and educators can encourage a child’s individuality.
- Make time every day to engage with your child and take note of all the little changes as they grow and develop.
- Foster their interests and encourage their hobbies.
- Introduce them to various activities to broaden their horizons.
- Encourage their innate curiosity.
- Practice patience no matter the situation.
Every child has unique characteristics and abilities which makes them special. It is up to us to celebrate their achievements and encourage them at all times. It is important that children feel understood and supported and that they know that we, as parents and educators, are always available to them.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend of happy play times, exciting discovery, and effective communication.
In 1969, a few professors from three California universities created the first communications network called the ARPANET. This would be the precursor of what we know today as the INTERNET. Since then, the growth in the number of users has risen exponentially, reaching more than 4.5 billion in this year 2020.
Today you can find on the “network” multiple services developed on different protocols such as email, instant messaging, online video games, education and communication platforms, or popular social networks, among others.
The recent pandemic caused by COVID – 19, has in many cases forced teleworking, proving a new normal way of living and communicating with the rest of the world. The use of global platforms for the acquisition of consumer goods over the Internet and the massive development of social networks such as Facebook with 2.45 billion users, YouTube with 2 billion, Instagram with 1.1 billion or TikTok with more than 850 million has also increased, just to name the most popular and widespread.
Today our world’s reality is very different from that of a few years ago, we can ask ourselves a series of questions:
– Do these technological devices or the algorithms that manage these applications cause addiction?
– Does the excessive use of social networks have negative effects on mental health?
– Are the big companies behind social networks using our personal data in a disinterested way?
– Is our consumption and life habits being influenced by controlling the use we make of social networks?
– Are massive amounts of data being manipulated to influence our citizens’ decisions in politics, life choices, hobbies, etc.?
These and other questions have complex answers.
As responsible educators, at Blouberg International we are concerned that our students may be making the wrong use of social networks and digital applications. We are convinced that benefits can be obtained, but there are also risks. We believe that parents and educators must do everything possible so that our students can take advantage of technological advances to have optimal personal, physical and mental development, but more importantly have them know how to discern between the positive and the negative in the world around them.
Recently, the Netflix platform has included in its offer the documentary “The Social Dilemma”. We believe it is a very interesting film and recommend students over the age of 14 to watch it. It will allow them to better understand how these and other networks interact with them as social network users, but of course, this being not a program specifically designed for schools, it must be you, their parents who decide at your own discretion whether or not it is convenient for them to watch it.
In 2019 we hosted Emma Sadlier from the Digital Law Company to address parents and students about the dangers of social media. We hope to have a follow up on the talk she had with us and would like to encourage you to attend when we host the next session with her.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead.