We are in the final stage of phasing in students and look forward to welcoming back nursery, year 5 and year 6 students on Monday, 27 July 2020.
It is such a joy to hear the voices of children in the school building again. We are very aware of the necessity in ensuring protocols are strictly adhered to and wish to ensure you that students are in good spirits and taken care of at school.
The obvious joy the students feel being back at school far outweighs all the new responsibilities that comes with it. We are teachers by heart and having children in our classes is what makes the job worthwhile.
Further to the announcement our President, Cyril Ramaphosa made last night, I wish to confirm that we will remain open even if public schools are closed. No mention was made about independent schools and unless we receive a mandate, we will continue to be at your service both at school as well as online.
We are dealing with new mandates and changes continually and our staff are required to adapt daily. As parents, I am sure you are experiencing a similar rollercoaster of emotions. Given how surreal and scary these circumstances are, we need to ask ourselves continuously how we are coping. Our emotional wellbeing is crucial in making our children feel safe. This is important for you as a parent, for our educators and our children. In such difficult times, we must remember to cut ourselves a little slack. Nobody is perfect and we can all only do our best.
As the weekend is ahead of us, I wish to remind you to take care of yourselves, your emotions, your health, and most of all your family bond.
Cambridge Art and Design is not just one subject; it is many subjects. The syllabus covers a wide range of artistic activity divided into broad areas of study: Painting & related media, Non-traditional media, Mixed media, 3-D Painting, New Media, Printmaking, Three-dimensional studies, Photography and digital media, Graphic communication and Textile or Fashion Design and Craft design.
What is non-traditional media?
Non-traditional media include a wide range of modern materials that are used together or combined with traditional materials. They include collage, textiles, and waste materials. Collage artists often collect magazine photographs and coloured papers which enables them to choose a range of shapes and colours for their work.
Combining painting with 3-D objects has been popular since Cubism. Picasso and Braque added small pieces of card, wood, and metal to their canvas. By painting this assemblage, the viewer must try and work out what is real and what is painted, and what is 2-D and what is 3-D.
Three-dimensional (3-D) studies include a large variety of materials and approaches for creating art. These studies involve working in 3-D forms with one or more materials rather than on a flat, 2-D surface. This means you need to be particularly aware of space, volume, and form. 3-D studies can include: sculpture, ceramics, theatre and set design, environmental and architectural design, product design and craft design.
3-D studies can also overlap with other areas of art depending on which materials you work with. For example, a sculpture made of fabric might also be described as textiles.
Theatre design / Set design or Environmental / Architectural design
Theatre and set design involve creating ideas to support performances or productions of drama, dance, or music. This can include design work such as: a stage set or scenery, props or accessories, costumes, masks, and headdresses.
Like other areas of 3-D studies, you can present your work in various formats, including: photographs, digital images, scale drawings and 3-D scale models.
You can choose any aspect of theatre or set design as your focus, which will help to decide the materials and scale of your work. For example, if you enjoy working with fabrics and have an interest in fashion, you can design a costume for a character in a performance. Alternatively, you can make a stage set for a production as a scale model. You may also design the lighting for a stage production and consider what impact this has on the audience.
What is environmental and architectural design?
Environmental and architectural design involves creating ideas on a large scale. It includes designing new buildings, structures, or spaces that people can use. This type of 3-D design is about enhancing the surroundings in which people live and work.
You could design for a domestic, commercial, or retail space, you might also consider designing a garden or landscape. Creating sustainable and environmentally friendly design can also be a consideration.
You can use the following techniques to present your work, or any other technique that you think is useful or relevant: scale models, scale drawings, CAD, and photo montage.
Product design involves inventing new items that are either functional, decorative or both. Most products overlap between the categories. Products are often created in response to a design brief. This means that the design of a product involves solving any problems and requirements that are necessary to fulfill the brief. This process includes selecting the right materials and making sure the product functions properly, as well as looks attractive. It must also include making sure that the product is cost-efficient.
Like other areas of 3-D design, product design can range in scale from small to exceptionally large. You may decide to design a large-scale product such as a piece of furniture, but you do not need to make a full-sized model. You can communicate your designs as a scale model. However, you do need to show your understanding of how the full-size product would be made. This should include any manufacturing processes or specific techniques that are required to make the outcome. You must also use 2-D techniques to record the various stages of your work and ideas.
Craft design covers many types of skillful making by hand. Like most areas of 3-D studies, craft can be either functional or decorative, or both.
Examples of craft design are jewellery, wire and metalwork, paper mâché, mosaic, puppet-making and local craft such as basket weaving.
Jewellery is any sort of design object that can be worn on the body. It is usually fairly small scale but can also be quite large and elaborate. Consequently, jewellery is often linked with fashion design. Examples of jewellery are rings, necklaces or pendants, bracelets or bangles, earrings, and brooches or badges.
Traditional materials for making jewellery include wood, metal, glass, clay, precious stones and natural fibers or products such as shells, seeds, bone, or seedpods.
Modern materials and creative techniques use other materials such as plastic, paper, recycled materials, resin, and fabrics.
The use of digital technology has also enabled some designs to be mass-produced. An example of this is plastic jewellery that has been laser-cut into a pattern so that the same design can be cut out in the same pattern lots of times.
Traditional textiles are made from yarns that are woven, knitted, crocheted, knotted, felted, or fused together. The yarns are placed close together to form a solid fabric, or spaced to form a more open structure. Constructed textiles can be large or small scale, handmade, or mass-produced by machine. They can be two-dimensional, like a carpet, or three-dimensional, like a yurt.
IGSCE/AS & A Level Art and Design Teacher
“Children are made readers in the laps of their parents’’ – Emilie Buchwald
It is so important to encourage a love of reading in your child from a young age. Reading in a wonderful opportunity to bond and build memories as a family together. Research shows that reading to children, even before they can understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection. Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation.
The first words children encounter in their reading are often known as High Frequency Words. Some High Frequency Words can be sounded out, but often they need to be memorised. It can be useful for children to learn phonics rules to help them break down words so that they can make sense of them. Some High Frequency Words can be taught as word families where the rule is the same. For example in the short words ending in ‘o’ such as ‘go’, ‘no’ and ‘so’ the ‘o’ is pronounced as ‘oh’, However in ‘to’ and ‘do’ the ‘o’ sound is pronounced as an ‘oo’ sound. In this example children would learn that short words ending in ‘o’ either sound like ‘oh’ or ‘oo’ at the end of the word. Jolly phonics is really great at helping children be more aware of where they hear the sound in the word. The sound buttons help them see and find beginning middle and end sounds in words with ease. This helps them with both blending sounds to make words and breaking words up into sounds to read them.Once your child has knowledge of phonics skills and has mastered some of their High Frequency Words, they are ready to start reading books with simple sentences. A good knowledge of High Frequency Words will help with good fluency and gaining confidence in reading. As confidence improves it motivates your child to want to read more. It is so important to make your child’s reading homework experience as enjoyable as possible.
Here are some tips for parents:
- Find a quiet area in a relaxed area of the home where there won’t be distractions or interruptions.
- Encourage your child to use their knowledge of their phonics skills and spelling rules to sound out words.
- Be patient and allow your child to get the word wrong. Ask questions such as “Does it make sense?” “Does it sound right” “Does it look right?”rather than giving them the answer or losing patience when they are making the same errors.
- Tell your child to look for clues in the pictures for words they are unsure of.
- Practising learning High Frequency Words in fun ways such as writing them in fun ways or playing games.
Children often learn by imitating those most important in their life. It is vital to model attitudes towards reading in positive ways as motivation plays such an important role in the acquisition of reading skills. If your own experience with learning reading has not been positive, you need to be aware of not carrying that over to your child.
Create opportunities for your child to be aware of reading words in their environment such finding familiar words on signs, grocery products, menus and in magazines, etc. As you use opportunities to encourage reading, the whole world will to open up to your child, allowing them to interact with their world and achieve new goals they have never before imagined.
Reception Year Teacher
Welcome to the 3rd Term of 2020! I salute every one of you for staying strong and keeping faith. It has not been easy planning the re-opening of the school with so much contradictory information, safety precautions and family matters to consider. Planning the way forward has been stressful for us all, particularly for the teachers. They are the unsung heroes. We cannot overlook the fact that they have their health, and that of their family, to consider whilst juggling teaching in the classroom and online.
This is a time for kindness, empathy, and unity. Every precaution is being taken to ensure the health and safety of our students, but this term is unlike any we have experienced before and we therefore ask your patience should changes take place to accommodate changing circumstances or to improve the current systems in place. During this time, we ask for your patience; it is not a time to be critical and judgmental, but rather of encouragement and support.
We are looking forward to welcoming back our next phase of students on Monday, 20th July. Please remember the following:
- High school students are to be dropped of at the gravel parking area and screened at the double doors of the main building. (Should it rain, they may be dropped off at the drop and go area and proceed straight to the reception area for screening.)
- Parents, please do not proceed passed the demarcated area at the drop of and go. We need to be respectful of our own health as well as each other’s.
- When students are collected, teachers will be at the drop and go area to assist students to get into your vehicles to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
To every parent who sent us messages of encouragement and who understands that these are unprecedented times, I thank you for your support.
I am exceptionally proud of the spirit of Ubuntu amongst my staff. These difficult times have proven their endurance, character and most of all, the heart of a true teacher.
May you have a wonderful weekend, remain strong in spirit and physically healthy.
Blouberg International would like to welcome all High School students and parents to Term 3. We hope everyone is well rested and ready to take on the term with the “new normal” as we have come to call it. On Tuesday we welcomed back the Year 7’s, 10’s, 11’s, 12’s and 13’s. We look forward to welcoming back the Year 8’s and 9’s next week.
In terms of academics, it’s going to be a busy term with Year 10 and 12 students writing their prelim examinations. These examinations are an important step in preparing them for their final Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A Level examinations in Term 4.
We would also like to thank our parents for their ongoing support through this difficult time. By working together and supporting each other we will get through this.
Head of Academics High School
In German this term, the students in Year 1, 2 & 3 were welcomed to online learning each week with a greeting video and lesson. The students were able to feel right at home with the familiar animals who are always with me when I travel to their classroom at school. Anton der Affe (the monkey), Gerti die Giraffe (the giraffe) und Diddl die Maus (the mouse).
The greeting video included all the songs to say Hallo (hello) Guten Morgen (good morning) and Guten Tag (Good day), and to ask and answer the question Wie geht’s? (How are you?).
I asked the students each week to check the video to see if they could find anything new on the screen and to draw it on a piece of paper as a record of all the weeks. Then I would tell them all about the item from the previous week’s video.
Here are some of the items they found in the video; a shoe, a German soccer shirt, pens, rulers, pencils, Pritt glue stick, Aromat, pizza and a packet of sweets. These items introduced the famous German companies such as Adidas, Staedtler, Faber-Castell, Henkel, Knorr, Dr Oetker and Haribo. All products that we can buy in our local shops that are German.
We discussed celebrations in Germany around this time; Easter in Germany and made an Easter craft from the Hallo Anna Workbook. We learnt about the Maibaum (Maypole) festival that is celebrated in Germany to say goodbye to the winter and discovered that the Maikäfer (May Beetle) and Marienkäfer (ladybug) are all symbols of hope in Germany, that the summer and warm weather is near.
We were surprised about the fact that Fanta was invented in Germany and that the word originates from the words Fantasie (imagination) and Fantastisch (fantastic) and we were disappointed that Nutella and Kinder chocolate are not produced by a German company, but yet are part of the German culture. The chocolate even has a German name Kinder meaning children.
As a task to end the term, I asked the students to send in a picture that they had made or a photo of themselves and any of the German products. Thank you, it was Fantastisch to see your smiling faces and the German products. I could see that Dr Oetker pizzas, Aromat on popcorn and Haribo might just become a favourite in your home.
At the end of every lesson we sing Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye), bis bald (see you soon) to all the animals. We have learnt that the words in German do not just say ‘Goodbye’ but that it always has a hope in it that we will see each other again, and I hope Klasse (Year) 1,2, & 3, that I will see you again soon. I am really looking forward to it.
Auf Wiedersehen, bis bald!
Frau Kerstin Pani
German Teacher Primary School
During the last two weeks of school our Year 12 Chemistry, Biology and Physics students came into school to complete practical work in the laboratories. Completing practical assignments is an important skill as it allows students to apply the theory they have covered in class and I am certain that when the Year 12’s return next term they will complete many more such assignments.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to every one of you. Thank you to every student, parent, and teacher for all the hard work and effort you put in this term. Without your dedication and hard work our program of online learning wouldn’t have been possible.
Please look after yourselves during this holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back next term.
Head of Academics High School
As we come to the end of this term, it is with much gratitude in my heart that I write this week’s newsletter. This has not been an easy term for anyone, parents, students and teachers alike. We have all had to adapt to a new type of “normal”, adjust our thinking and challenge ourselves in everything we attempted.
I hope you now understand what we mean when we say that ‘teaching is a calling’. I do not think there is any teacher who is in this profession for anything other than the love of children. After all, our children are our future. We nurture them so they may create a better tomorrow.
I salute every one of you parents. You have been challenged in this storm and have endured. At times you might have felt fearful of the unknown, yet every day brings new hope.
I am reminded of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”
To every student, I wish you a wonderful time of rest during this holiday. May the time spent with family be one of joy and laughter.
To my staff, I wish a time of rest and refreshment. We will start the new term with renewed vigour and strength.
Stay safe and keep warm.
Something that has struck me throughout the term is the reaction my students have had to lockdown. It would have been easy for them to give up and simply do the bare minimum, but instead they threw themselves both into online learning and into projects at home. Not a morning meeting goes by without one or more of my students telling me about something they made, something they’ve done, or a cool new exercise routine they thought up. Moreover, generally the things they are sharing are things they’ve done with or for family members – going cycling or running with their parents, making a cake for their Dad’s birthday, looking after a younger sibling, playing with their pets, and so on.
The lockdown encouraged our students to experiment with what they could do at home. They baked, made art, and spent time with their families. Don’t get me wrong – they’ve had their frustrations, but they have taken what they had and made the best of it, and I am incredibly proud of them for it!
Year 5 Teacher
Here are some of the interesting things Year 5HK has been up to…
The world has inevitably changed how we teach and how students access, share and facilitate information. Mathematics has been fun for most our students, with the assistance of great websites like Quizizz, Kahoot, and SPARX, which allow students to be interactive while learning. The most popular way of teaching has been the use of pre-recorded videos, either from specialist providers such Khanacademy or produced by teachers themselves. The latter have typically involved teachers delivering lessons backed by PowerPoint presentations on Zoom, the most popular screen and video recording software.
I love hosting classroom quiz games. They can be great for formative assessments and a tool to help students review before a test. You’ve probably used (or at least heard of) the multiplayer gaming website Kahoot. There’s a lot to like about Kahoot: it’s free, works in web browers on tablets, computers, and smartphones, and you can input your questions (or copy a pre-made quiz from their library).
Quizizz is an alternative to Kahoot, and there’s also a lot for educators and students to enjoy. It is very similar to Kahoot, with a few key differences. Just like Kahoot, the teacher (or host) chooses a quiz to begin. A five digit game code is provided. Players (students) use their browsers to join.quizzizz.com and input the game code, along with their names. If students are using smartphones or tablets, I display the join link as a QR code.
Kahoot is designed to show multiple choice questions on a large screen, and students respond by clicking buttons on their devices that correspond to the answers they want to choose.
Quizizz takes a different approach. No projector is necessary because students see questions and answer options on their own screens. The question order is randomized for each student, so it’s not easy for students to cheat. With Quizizz, students don’t have to wait for the whole class to answer a question before they continue to the next one.
So, Quizizz is student-paced while Kahoot’s pace is determined by the teacher or host. This is the major difference and can be a benefit depending on the situation. If you want to pause after each question, then Kahoot is better. The class can stop and discuss after each question, immediately addressing misconceptions. With Quizizz, students zip through questions at their own pace, limiting all discussion to after all questions have been answered.
This pandemic has showed us all how important the bond between teacher, student and parent is. It is because of the parents that we are successful at implementing various strategies outside of classroom, since they are the ones who have more contact time with their kids.
I want to thank all the parents that have supported us throughout this unusual journey.
High School Mathematics and Physics Teacher