*Wir lernen Deutsch zusammen! Das ist einfach wunderbar! *(We are learning German together! That is simply wonderful!)
In January this year all the students were welcomed to German with a new workbook that is made up of a curriculum in the form of a programme that has age appropriate teaching materials specifically for German as a foreign language. These programmes are based on the levels from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) which are “guidelines used to describe achievements of students of foreign languages and provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which applies to all languages in Europe’’. The CEFR levels are for grading an individual’s language proficiency focusing on the areas of understanding (listening & reading), speaking (spoken interaction & production) and writing skills.
In Year 1, 2 & 3 we started the Hallo Anna workbooks, a Level A1 (CEFR level) introduction for ages 5-9.
This edition is specifically for children who are learning to read and write an additional language other than their mother tongue or 1st language. Therefore, it gently introduces German as a foreign language and concentrates on learning German mainly through listening and speaking in Year 1 and then the skill of reading and writing are gradually introduced in Year 2 and progress in Year 3.
These skills are taught using various methods including songs, comics, audios, experiment and a colourful workbook with lots of creative ideas.
The students are taken on an adventurous and exciting journey with the 2 main characters Anna and her friend Benno in the city of Munich in Germany.
These adventures take place at school in the classroom, with topics including my greetings, my day, my likes, my classroom and stationery and at home with my family and celebrations in Germany. The students enjoy seeing the characters come alive in the workbook and the interactive online programme I use in class.
In Year 4, 5 & 6 the students were introduced to the Wo ist Paula (Where is Paula?) range of workbooks and programme.
It has especially been created for the over 9-year olds and has a progression from book 1-4 to acquire the Level A1 (CEFR level) and then allowing for an easy transition into High School (Year 7) and the Cambridge curriculum.
The programme is set up to motivate participation using interdisciplinary teaching across subjects and a multilingual approach, perfect for a school with an international perspective.
It includes language training and vocabulary, various topics, songs, videos, learning about Germany and Europe, it has differentiation tasks for extension learning, revision and the students have opportunity for self-evaluation to see their progress.
The students have been introduced to using the audios to improve their listening and speaking skills at home anytime via CD, downloads or an app. I use the Blink digital educational platform to show the videos, audios and pages from the coursebook and workbook in class.
The students in Year 4, 5, & 6 are on a journey with Paula the tortoise with various topics including: answering questions about myself, name, age, where I live and come from, my family, my classroom, stationery, my hobbies, telling the time and what I do in my day.
“With 100 million mother tongue speakers, German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. A new survey has shed light on where people are learning German around the world. Some 15.4 million people are learning German as a foreign language all over the world” and you the students at Blouberg International in Cape Town South Africa are very much part of this growing number.
*Deutsch ist cool und genial! Deutsch ist International! *(German is cool and awesome! German is International!)
*Song lyrics from the Hallo Anna programme. See the Year 2’s singing the song Hallo Anna Hallo Benno filmed in Term 1.
Auf Wiedersehen, bis bald!
Frau Kerstin Pani
German Teacher Primary School
The year 3 classes have worked very hard over the last few weeks to interpret symmetry and its relevance to adventure. After being able to apply the concept they created perfectly symmetrical frogs and beautiful tessellation patterns.
The year 3’s also created beautiful Chinese Dragons, silhouettes and the cutest caterpillar hats that displayed their knowledge of fractions.
The bright colors and exciting projects has given Spring a warm welcome!
Year 3 Teacher
The Year 2 students have started to learn about fractions this past week and wow, the teachers were blown away at how quickly they have picked up on this concept. We decided to use a more tactile approach, therefore making the fractions lessons more enjoyable.
Teaching fractions can be complex and confusing, but understanding fractions is a necessary skill for young students to learn, in order to benefit them when they get older. Fractions are known as building blocks for other mathematical skills, therefore it is of great importance that students understand and feel comfortable and confident when practicing them.
There are many opportunities in a child’s life where one can help them understand the concept and show the importance of using fractions. Using fruit, cutting a cake, following a recipe with measuring cups, drawing a pizza and separating the slices, are just a few examples of ways in which one can bring in fractions to a child’s life in an interesting and fun manner.
We hope these little tricks will benefit both the parents and the students as Mathematics can be quite daunting for both.
“Life is a math equation. In order to gain the most, you have to know how to convert negatives into positives.” – Anonymous
Year 2 Teacher
In Reception year, we focus a lot on the importance of reading, and it is always such a pleasure to see the smile on a little one’s face when he or she mastered a new skill in reading or writing.
Every Monday, students come to school excited to share their weekend news with their friends, and now as their reading and writing skills have progressed, they also write down their weekend news in their writing books.
This year has been particularly challenging for our students, but despite this they have made tremendous progress in learning to read. It is wonderful to see the progress from week to week, as students gain more confidence in their own abilities.
We would like to share some of our weekend news with everybody:
Tilda Rohlandt (6) “I watched Peppa Pig on TV”Kirby Melvin (5) “I went to the strawberry farm.”Juliana Baruti (5) “I went to the shop. I went swimming.”Dora Wang (5) “I ride my bicycle.”
Bringing Back The Normal.
The most important year for any student is their matric year. Not just academically, but it is also the last time they will participate in school sporting events, productions, prize-giving and most importantly, the Matric dance.
Due to the pandemic our Year 12’s have missed out on so many of these traditions. However, as soon as we were moved to level 2 we began planning for a few important events this term. We are holding our Valedictory service next week and although parents cannot join us they will be able to stream the event online. We have also organised a Matric farewell dinner and the Year 12 students are extremely excited to dress-up for the occasion.
Although there were a lot of setbacks for schools all over the country and the world, it also opened doors of “first time ever”. For the first time ever, we held our Student Representative Council (SRC) voting online. Our IT department created a platform where the High School students were able to view prospective SRC candidates’ videos and then cast their votes on an online ballot. The new SRC will be announced at the Valedictory service.
In the Primary School we had our verbal feedback meetings and we trust it went well for all parents. The Primary students are also practicing hard their Jerusalema dance. Keep an eye out for this exciting video
Wishing all our families a restful weekend.
Head of Academics High SchoolRead More
In the AS year 11 course, students have been challenged to discuss various topical issues. We have debated the pros and cons of life online and what implications this has for us. During our discussion, one student joined us online while the others were physically present – an illustration of the very topic we were talking about!
The year 7’s have been studying animals and some of their attributes in German. They have had fun talking about the various animal abilities. Every Friday they like to pit their strengths against each other in our weekly vocabulary challenge.
With year 8’s taking part mostly online, our near-virtual class has been talking about cities and countries and discussing the various sights and how to describe them in German.
The Year 9’s are continuing in their IGCSE curriculum, currently learning how to complain about problems during a hotel stay.
In the German classroom, students are encouraged to make connections to what they already know. This creates a personal learning experience, one which is merely facilitated by the teacher.
Here’s to much learning success in the future!
High School German Teacher
The students were given a few weeks to brainstorm, collect recyclable materials and plan how exactly they will be assembling their bridges.
Recently, the students made their bridges and arrived with many interesting and creative materials as well as ways of building their very own bridge.
The Year 3’s have been waiting eagerly in anticipation to show their families their brilliant designs and imaginative bridges.
Year 3 Teacher
We made our ice-cream cones out of brown cardboard, paper-plates and lots of different decorative bits and pieces. We had so much fun designing our own creations, making them look super delicious just the way we would like it if we could eat them.
We are excited for the warmth and new beginnings that spring is sure to bring.
Year 2 Teacher
We have been learning about dinosaurs in Reception and the students have thoroughly enjoyed learning about this theme.
In art we used paper plates to make different kinds of dinosaurs and also had fun drawing our own dinosaurs in pastels.
We have been listening to dinosaurs songs daily and most of the students already know all the words. If your child also loves dinosaurs they would enjoy the educational songs about various dinosaurs from Story Bots. See the links below:
It is unbelievable to think that we are at the end of August! We have three weeks left till the end of term and our year 10 and 12 students are finishing their pre-lim examinations this week. On Monday, 07 September our year 7,8,9, 11 and 13 students will start test week. We are confident that our students are adequately prepared to write their tests and that all their hard work during lockdown will see them succeed.
This week we communicated about the commencement of our aftercare programme on 01 September and holiday care programme on 17 September 2020. I am sure many of you have returned to work and hopefully working from home is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past.
This afternoon Ms. Kiley shared with me one of the topics from her PSHE classes with the Year 2’s. The topic was about ‘worrying’, and the students were encouraged to identify some of their own worrying thoughts. It was heartwarming when a parent shared with us that her daughter taught her some of the lessons she had learnt in class. It turns out that this inquisitive mind encouraged mom at home about not worrying and shared what she had been taught in class!
This is the opportunity we as educators have daily. We can share our experiences with the young minds in our care and teach them important skills which they can apply even at this young age. The responsibility we have is great and not to be taken lightly. We educators need to ensure we are adequately prepared to take care of every student in our care.
As we begin a new phase in our aftercare classrooms next week, we hope that you will share your thoughts and suggestions with us as we strive to make your return to work smoother. We are in this together and together we are better.
“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.”- Unknown
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.