The Year 2s are learning about electricity and simple circuits. Mrs. Baker’s class were guided safely to discover how electricity works.
The class was divided into four groups. They were given: a small light bulb, some wires, a battery, a battery holder, and a switch. Their task? Make the light bulb glow!
Much consternation, frustration and excitement followed. Each group was determined to be the first group to get the light bulb to glow. Mrs. Baker soon realized that a couple of tips were needed. The students got back on task, and before long, an excited shout could be heard as one of the groups were able to get their bulb to glow.
Why do such an activity in Year 2?
Science allows for many skills to be integrated in one subject. Students were expected to collaborate to complete the task. They had to problem solve and critically analyse what they were doing to change what wasn’t working and improve on what they had done so far. Once the students saw that all the wires and metal parts had to be touching for the light bulb to glow, immediate cohesion was seen in the group with each child having to hold a wire or a battery holder or the bulb to make sure everything was working in circuit.
I don’t think these Year 2s will easily forget this lesson! Hopefully this will ignite their curious minds to ask questions and discover new things daily.
Year 2 Teacher
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
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
Our theme in Foundation for the past two weeks has been Pirates and Fairy tales. Magnificent castles, dainty princesses, charming princes, little elves etc – the world of make believe! Fairy tales can aid child development and help children develop into creative, intelligent and emotionally whole human beings. Read aloud Fairy tales can also instill a love of reading, improve vocabulary, develop the imagination and even increase intelligence.
I asked some of the students in my Pre-Reception class what their favourite Fairy tale was and why. These are some of the answers they came up with:
Hannah Baker (4) – “Cinderella because she has a pink dress and pink is my favourite colour.”
Keverne Paul (4) – “Jack & the bean stalk is my favourite because the giant comes down the stalk.”
Jaanae Pillay (5) – “Snow White & the seven dwarfs. She is beautiful and a prince comes.”
Tilda Rohlandt (5) – “Cinderella is my favourite because a fairy appears and she gets to go to the ball.”
Ruby Kiley (4) –“Snow White and the seven dwarfs because it just is!”
Allegra Schoeman (4) – “Cinderella is my favourite. I watched the movie and it’s nice.”
Lilia Blom (4) – ‘Rapunzel because she is beautiful!”
Kungawo Xhasa (4) – “Rapunzel is nice & I watch it at my home.”
Laila Zaki Ibrahim (4) –“Princess & the pea. I like the princesses.”
Keona Chukwuemeka (4) – “Rapunzel is my favourite. I Love her beautiful dress.”
Omar Zaki Ibrahim (4) – “Goldilocks and the three bears because the girl was inside the house.”
Yohann Lawrence (4) – “Jack & the beanstalk because my dad bought me new crayons and I use my imagination to draw.”
During Term 3 the Year 8 classes discussed and studied food as a topic area.
Throughout some of our lessons, talking about our favourite tasty treats, made us very hungry. (Especially the lessons before break time.)
Wat is jou gunsteling kos? (What is your favourite food?)
- Sushi is my gunsteling kos in die hele wêreld. Maar dit is ‘n bietjie ryk as jy te veel eet. (Rylee Howes)
- Hoender en groente is my gunsteling kos. (Keno Theart)
Wat is jou gunsteling ongesonde kos? (What is your favourite unhealthy food?)
- My gunsteling ongesonde kos is ‘n hoenderburger en skyfies. (Philade Luthango)
Wat is jou gunsteling gesonde kos? (What is your favourite healthy food?)
- My gunsteling gesonde kos is vrugte. Vrugte smaak baie lekker. Ek hou van lemoene, appels, kersies, aarbeie, piesangs en druiwe. (Layla Moodley)
Wat is die vreemdste kos wat jy al geëet het? ( What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?)
- Die vreemdste kos wat ek al geëet het, was krap. Dit is vreemd, omdat jy eers die skulp moet kraak voordat jy by die vleis uitkom. (Vincent Chamunorwa)
Watter land dink jy het die beste kos? (Which country do you think has the best food?)
- Ek dink Suid-Afrika het die beste kos, want ons het biltong, koeksisters en lekker braaivleis.
Watter kos weier jy om te eet? (What food do you refuse to eat?)
- Ek hou regtig nie van aartappels nie. Ek eet langtand daaraan. (Oscar Berger)
Wat bestel jy gewoonlik by ‘n restaurant? (What do you usually order at a restaurant?)
- Ek bestel gewoontlik stokvis en skyfies by ‘n restaurant. (Kian Frauendorf)
Here is a recipe for proudly South African “ Soetkoekies”
Carmen de Villiers
High School Afrikaans Teacher
In Year 6, the students have been working on their descriptive writing skills as well as their ability to create a specific mood through word choice. They had an assessment where they responded to a photo that allowed them to either create a calm, relaxing mood, or one of fear and tension. Naluthando Mangaliso and Darian Iyer both wrote stunning pieces of contrasting moods. I applaud their talent and look forward to reading more from them in the future.
Yours in writing,
Year 6 Teacher
Tone: Calm and Relaxing
By: Naluthando Mangaliso
By the time I had set up my camp-fire to heat up my freshwater hake, I suddenly glanced up at the fire-orange, majestic sun, taking its decent like a cruising airplane. My eyes were glistening with eternal joy for this was no ordinary sight. This was a momentous view of the blazing cherry-red and apricot-orange infused sky.
The mild scent of the air swam into my nostrils and in the process polishing it like a priceless shoe. The sun-smoothed sand caressed my naked feet with love, and the music of the wind sunk into my ears as if a DJ was in my head.
There was one thing that stood out to me though.
This brunette-brown, young, vibrant tree was dancing with the music as if it was on stage and at the same time, it seemed to be giving me this joyous smile that warmed me to the heart like a mug of cappuccino.
By then the sun had descended and the moon was ascending like a jet, dashing on a runway. My now golden hake was inviting me to eat. It didn’t have to ask twice.
Tone: Fear and Tension
By: Darian Iyer
Slowly, I drifted downstream. The icy fog bit deep into my flesh while blood-red flowers glared at my soul. I was almost paralysed by the fact that this once luscious canal could turn into part of hell in less than a day. The convoy would arrive soon.
Beginning to cloud over the river was the fetid scent of decayed fish. I was close. While resting my aching bones, I gnawed on a ripe apple. Although being fresh and pure, the mere aura of the canal had diseased the taste of the fruit. Tasting like a pair of moulded socks, I spat out the vile thing. The cacophony of mutant animals were bullets to my eardrums. Feeling like my life had drained away, I thought of when joy and mirth ruled my life.
The trees waved in frustration, trying to stop me.
But my tenacity persevered.
Without warning, an arrow whizzed past my head, a horizontal bolt of lightning, just grazing my ear. The sentry howled with anger as my life essence dissolved it into a pile of ash. Nearing it, I noticed the dirt start to look almost like scorched flesh.
Oh wait… it was.
I was at the demon convoy…
In Year 4 we have been learning about Sound in Science this term.
Sounds are made when things vibrate. A vibration is a quick movement that makes a backwards and forwards motion. Sound has different volumes and pitches and the size and shape of the sound waves determines the kind of sound we hear. Animals such as bats, dolphins and whales use Echolocation to help direct themselves through their surroundings. Echolocation is the process of using sound waves to find objects that are not in sight range.
The Year 4’s have been investigating what causes pitch to change and how one can create music using that. They are now building their own creative instruments which need to be created from recycled materials and built in class. The students are not only learning from the teacher regarding the topic but they are also able to teach themselves when it comes to practical tasks such as this.
At this stage they are still busy building their own musical instruments and we are all very excited to see the final outcome.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Year 4 Teacher
If you remember back to when you were in school, in my case, twenty odd years ago, the expectation was for us to sit still, do our work, and keep quiet. Things have changed. Schools have changed. Children have changed.
Research has shown that children need a mental break every 25 to 30 minutes. This is where Brain Breaks come in. The benefits of Brain Breaks are multiple. Studies have shown that students are calmer, more focused, and ready to learn. Students have been found to be less stressed and more engaged in a classroom that allows for Brain Breaks. These breaks have been shown to revitalise, energise and activate children’s brains so that they are ready for learning. Brain Breaks are not only for during school time.
They can be used anytime you find your child needs a quick recharge. Brain Breaks even help to retain memories.
What is a Brain Break?
A short 5 to 20-minute break to help children to ‘reset’ for the next lesson. Brain Breaks can take many forms.
Here are some ways that I do it in my classroom:
- Dancing – following specific dance steps, Popsico is one of Year 2GB’s favourites.
- Outside movement with brain integration – children skip and cross their hands from knee to shoulder as they skip. This integrates the left and right brain, essentially boosting brain function.
- Rub your belly, pat your head – children, once again, do an activity where both sides of the brain are required.
- Find it fast – give children a person or persons they need to find in the class with something that is the same as theirs e.g. same shoes, eye colour etc.
- Inside Break – a Brain Break can be as simple as a quick 5-minute break for the children to do something calm, in the class, for a short time
I have found that using Brain Breaks in my classroom have allowed for a calmer class, more focused learners, and happier children overall.
Year 2 Teacher
It was a very early start for our Foundation Stage classes this past Monday as we came to school ready for our Outing to the Artscape Theatre.
The students were very excited to see some of their favourite characters on stage. This year’s production was called “Kipper and the Storybook” and featured beloved characters such as Kipper, Biff, Wilf and Wilma as well as some new and exciting characters.
There was the evil witch, who ate children’s imaginations, and off course the silly trolls. As Kipper and Biff (helped by all the girls and boys in the audience) defeated the evil witch all the stories in Story land returned to normal.
The production focused on the importance of stories and reading, encouraging our students to use their imaginations and read as many books as they can.
Our students were asked to write down some of their best moments from the Outing. Some wrote about their favourite characters, some even wrote about the set and how the stage turned.
It was a great adventure, enjoyed by all.
Reception Year Teacher