- types of problems it addresses
- methods it uses to address these problems
- the results it has achieved
Mathematics relies on both logic and creativity, and it is pursued both for a variety of practical purposes and for its intrinsic interest. Primary and Secondary Mathematics however should focus on a holistic definition encompassing all facets of the subject as a discipline. I would like to explore, again another category generally believed to address Mathematics in its totality:
Mathematics as the prime human endeavor
We teach Reception and all Primary measurement of time for example, years, months, weeks, days, hours. We also teach distance measurement that developed throughout the world. For some people, the essence of mathematics lies in its beauty and its intellectual challenge. Because mathematics plays such a central role in modern culture, students need to perceive mathematics as part of the human endeavor, comprehend the nature of mathematical thinking, and become familiar with key mathematical ideas and skills.
Students and us as teachers tend to define mathematics in terms of what they learn in mathematics class. The instructional and assessment focus tends to be on basic skills and on solving relatively simple problems using these basic skills, this is only part of mathematics.
Beauty in Mathematics
It is important to study enough mathematics so that students understand and appreciate the breadth, depth, complexity, and beauty of the discipline. Mathematicians often talk about the beauty of a particular proof or mathematical result. G. H. Hardy was one of the world’s leading mathematicians in the first half of the 20th century. In his book “A Mathematician’s Apology” he elaborates at length on differences between pure and applied mathematics.
Mathematics is an aid to representing and attempting to resolve problem situations in all disciplines. It is an interdisciplinary tool and language.
Mr Hebert Tapfuma
High School Mathematics
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
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.
For our children to remain healthy and strong and live long lives, we as adults need to help them develop good eating habits.
During our last week of Term 3, the Foundation Stage classes covered the topic of ‘Healthy Living’. The discussions were about: what it means to be healthy and what can we do to live healthy lives?
We spoke about how we could make changes to our lifestyle to help us maintain a healthy life, and we came up with a few ideas:
• Be physically active
• Protect yourself from too much sun
• Eat a variety of healthy foods, and limit sugar and fat
We looked at the food pyramid and reminded ourselves what the most important groups were to help us maintain our healthy lifestyles. Which groups were we allowed more of and which groups were to be limited within our diets? Carbohydrates/ the grain group were the important foods, like pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals, however, we noted that brown bread was far better than white bread.
We realized the best way to eat a nutritious meal is to eat a little bit from each food group every day. The students had to take the food out of their lunchboxes and place it in the correct food group, namely fruit/vegetable group, milk group, meat group and grain/carbohydrates group. They all did an awesome job and found all of the food groups in their lunchboxes.
With the busy lives we all have today, it can be a rather daunting task to pack a lunch box for school everyday and hope that it is healthy enough but also appealing at the same time. For our children to remain healthy and strong and live long lives, we as adults need to help them develop good eating habits. Good Nutrition = Good Growth
Written by Martie van Dyk (Reception Teacher)
For more information on Children’s Growth Awareness Day and Child Growth Foundation please visit: https://childgrowthfoundation.org/gad/Read More
This week, as I was marking the year 12 examination papers, I was filled with pride when assessing the quality of the work produced. I taught this particular group when they were in year 7 and I remember, even back then, how much they enjoyed hearing real-life examples of the business world and its application in the curriculum. Marking their papers and seeing how far they have come gave me such a sense of accomplishment.
This experience reminded me of the dedicated staff I am surrounded by and of our shared love of teaching. The job of a teacher is not an easy one and sometimes the challenges we face seem insurmountable. We take decisions based on what is best for the collective and what will be of benefit to the students in the long-run. We have all been guilty, I believe, of being too focused on what is important to us in our private sphere of influence, rather than focusing on the bigger picture.
I wish to thank all the staff at Blouberg International for the dedication and determination they show on a daily basis. It is not always easy, but when students come and share their excitement with you or hug you from pure joy, that is what makes the job easier every day.
I had a chat with one of our year 12 students who I met years ago at a previous school. She was only in year 4 then and soon relocated to the Blouberg area. Years later when I started teaching at Blouberg International, we were reunited at our old campus. We often joke about how I followed her and about how her family left for Abu Dhabi but returned once more to Blouberg (This time she followed me!). I feel such joy when she relates her memories of us at our old campus and now at the current one. It is wonderful to see what a special young lady she has become and it is these bonds we form, which make our years of teaching worthwhile. I truly have a grateful heart.
Let us remember the good and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. When one looks for the good in others, we are sure to find it. The opposite of this is unfortunately true as well.
To all the teachers: may you come to school every day to make a difference.
This morning, I had the privilege of enjoying breakfast with the cast of our musical and the teachers who worked relentlessly to make the show the success it was. Thank you to all the cast members for working so hard at rehearsals and to all the parents who supported their children.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Blouberg International School’s up and coming entrepreneurs got to show off their skills at the annual Year 6 and 7 Market day last week.
The Market day was the culmination of the Year 7’s term work on how to set up and run a business. A variety of goods from sweet treats to beautiful bowls were sold with slime and hair scrunchies proving to be the most popular. In total the students earned more than R10 000 which goes to show that we really do have some potential Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey’s among us.
I could not be more proud of the students, they worked hard, kept up the enthusiasm and most importantly came together as a group to help and support each other.
We look forward to having an even more successful Year 6 & 7 Entrepreneur Market day next year!
Business Studies Teacher