We sometimes tend to underestimate our children’s ability to adapt to change and forget how resilient they are. The dreaded ‘online learning’ loomed over our heads during the holidays. Would we? Wouldn’t we?
Of course, I can only speak for us teachers and have no idea how much effort, bribing or even begging, parents have had to resort to, to ensure their children are online and also complete their work daily. So, our heartfelt thanks go to all the parents, grandparents, family members and friends who are supporting the children during this process.
I have really enjoyed the one-on-one chats I have had with my class over the last few days. In a classroom situation, often there just is not enough time to listen to every child’s story or viewpoint.
Yes, it is stressful for parents and teachers alike, but if I compare Term 3 now, to the hard lockdown during Term 2 last year, I think we have all come a long way.
We look forward to welcoming our students back into the classroom and sincerely hope it will be sooner than later.
Year 2 Teacher
The winter holidays are often a challenge for many parents especially when there are rainy days. However, the Year 1 students enjoyed the time at home and had lots of fun.
Usually on the first day back at school, they love to share their news with their peers, but could not do that with online learning. Instead, they have practiced their writing skills and wrote about the highlights of their holiday.
Year 1 Teacher
Term 3 is a short 9-week term. We should remember that there is much to do as this is a non-exam term and every task is important.
Our school activities remain hampered by the Covid pandemic but we remain positive. We have much to be grateful for and making excuses will not help us. Let us continue focusing on the many blessings we have and make the most of every opportunity.
We welcome Mr Louis Marais (Year 7 & 8 Mathematics, Science and PE teacher) and Ms Michellene Williams (IGCSE, AS and A Level English teacher) to our school. It is with much excitement that we look forward to having them settle in and work with us to reach our goals.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today” – Abraham Lincoln
“Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment to results” – Will Craig
Thank you to all concerned for a good start to our 1st week of online learning despite some connectivity issues on Tuesday. We sincerely trust that our students will fill our school from Monday, 26th July.
As mentioned at our Parent meeting on Tuesday evening, we have divided the first six weeks of this term into 4 periods. Parents/students have a choice to learn from home or attend school in person from Monday, 26 July 2021.
I request that parents inform the respective class/tutor teachers of their choice for next week (26th – 30th July). Once a choice has been made, we expect students to stick to that choice for the duration of that period. It becomes very disruptive and disorganized if students do not stick to their choice. Please could you let teachers know by the end of this week so they are prepared for Monday.
Online learning is no excuse for students not to attend classes. It is normal school. Please assist all students in maintaining their full commitment.
6 Tips for productivity:
- Establish a routine
- Be organized
- Make deadlines
- Take small breaks
- Stay motivated
- Know yourself
“ACCOUNTABILITY – It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable” – Moliere
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Nadia Mahomed. Mrs Mahomed is one of our Year 5 teachers and started at BIS in 2016.
A little bit about Nadia:
- She was born in Durban, schooled in Johannesburg and currently lives in Cape Town.
- The things she loves the most are being a mum and those moments when she gets to hide in her room with a bag of Simba chips.
- She is obsessed with Thai food and loves cooking. She does not like baking and has been known to set an oven or two (or three) alight in her attempt to bake.
- She has a Bachelors of the Arts Degree, specialising in Industrial Psychology and English Literature. She also has a Postgraduate Degree in Education.
- She loves travelling but stays far away from camping or any place she cannot plug in her hair straightener.
- Kindness and honesty are values of high importance to her.
Thank you, Nadia, for all you do for the students and our school.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Do We Invest in Ourselves?
“We take better care of our smartphones than we do of ourselves – the phones are always recharged!” – Arianna Huffington
If the above were not so extremely accurate, one might have thought that Huffington was taking a cheap shot. But she really isn’t…
Our cell phones have screen protectors, covers, and are always charged.
When it comes to us humans, however, the reality is that we do not always take as much care of this person – ourself – whom we hope makes it to a 100%.
I am sure you will agree that most of us don’t take enough care when it comes to:
- What we eat and drink, and in what quantities;
- Ensuring we get enough sleep, rest and time for meditation & thought;
- Exercise and outdoor activities;
- Friendships and depositing into the lives of others;
- Spiritual matters.
While most of us get a new cell phone every 2 years, the body we have and the person we see in the mirror each morning, will be the same image we see until the day we die. The better we take care of ourselves, the better shot we have at a long life. But merely reaching a high age is not first prize – it’s reaching those big numbers and still being able to enjoy life at that stage. That’s the trick!
Like most investments, the sooner you start, the better.
Have a brilliant weekend, setting some time aside for a coffee/tea with yourself.
We have reached the end of the term. Thank you to our amazing Blouberg families for your support and commitment during the past term.
Thank you, to our teachers, for your hard work and the extra effort put into providing a great education for our students.
We wish all our families a safe, and wonderful, winter holiday.
We will communicate, with you, during the last week of the holiday regarding the arrangements for the new term.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mr Riaan Vosloo. Mr Vosloo is our High School Art teacher and started at BIS in July 2019.
- He was the first South African citizen to challenge Section 9, subsection 4 of the South African constitution at the Supreme Court. A short film, entitled “A Still life” about this was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. The New York Times published a follow up article about him.
- He wrote columns for “Die Burger”, interviewed and photographed IFBB SA athletes for sport magazines.
- He acted professionally for Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB). He was always either the antagonist or the “not so smart” character.
- He did conceptual designs for Sun International.
- He was twice in the top 10 of the AngloGold SA jewellery design competition.
Thank you for your commitment to the school.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Original
“The point is not to take the world’s opinion as a guiding star but to go one’s way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.” – Gustav Mahler
Why do we do the things we do? Have you ever sat down and given this some proper thought?
Like most individuals, we often look around us and ask: “What will people say of this action or this achievement?” It’s a prominent attribute of human beings to want to be accepted by our fellow humans – well at least for the vast majority of us. Wouldn’t you agree?
But Mahler, the famous composer and conductor, warns that if we want to live meaningful lives, we should make less of the world’s opinions and aim to live perfect and committed lives, always trying to do that which we ourselves know to be right.
All too often we do things because of the applause we think we’ll receive from others. The opposite is also true. In many cases, we decide not to embark on a project because of our previous failures, or sometimes even due to the past faults of others.
What Mahler seems to be encouraging us to do is the following: “Live as wisely and unwaveringly as you can each day, not worrying about previous failures or the applause you might receive from the world. Just do what you find to do and do it well.”
If we do this, our journey will certainly be an epic one, not walked by many others. In one word – “Original”!
Have a wonderful weekend, encourage those around you – they need it more than you may think!
I think we can all agree that this term has flown by, and I can’t quite believe that we are already halfway through the year. It has been a busy term with prelim examinations, internal June Examinations and external Cambridge Examinations taking place.
Term 2 reports will be available on Engage on Friday, 25 June 2021. A letter was sent out on Engage explaining how to access your child`s report. If you experience any problems please contact Ms Trindade Camara on 021 557 9071 or at email@example.com.
I also want to congratulate our Interact Club on a successful clothing project. Yesterday they delivered 38 bags of clothing to Home of Hope. A special thank you to the parents who donated clothing and other items.
As a staff would like to thank each and every parent for their support during the term and we look forward to working with you in Term 3.
Head of Academics High School
This Term the Year 5’s explored shadows in Science.
Did you know…
“A shadow puppet uses a silhouette to represent the puppet. Long ago, people recorded their history by telling stories. This was before writing was invented. In ancient China and Indonesia, storytellers used shadow puppets to help tell stories. Each Village’s storyteller was known as a puppet master. When he put on a show the whole village would watch. He used his hands and even his feet to make a puppet move. He also added noise effects.”
Year 5NM delved excitedly into the task of planning and preparing their own shadow puppet shows. The students wrote play scripts filled with adventure and mystery. They creatively cut out silhouette characters and props for the setting of their stage. They used bed sheets as their screens and torches, headlamps and lampshades as their light source. It was a massive task of planning and rehearsing to get everything ready.
Storylines included tales of forests and challenges, camp adventures and under the sea mermaids. Careful thought went into the character design. Students were able to manipulate the size of the shadow by moving the silhouette characters closer or further away from their light source.
Lots of fun and excitement was had by all. Well done Year 5!
Year 5 Teacher
“There is a relationship between sight and touch, something about eyes being able to see through the fingers touching the clay, about fingers being able to feel what the eyes are seeing without the fingers actually touching it.” – Jose Saramago
During the Term, our Year 2 students learnt about Manipulating Materials in Science. The students were enthusiastic and showed an eager attitude towards this concept, so to end off the Term, the Year 2 students were given some clay to manipulate into making a small bowl, which they would later paint if they wish to.
Clay plays an important role in developmental growth in students from a young age. Manipulating (squishing, squeezing, pulling, pushing, etc.) helps develop a student’s large and small muscles, fosters eye-hand coordination, builds on fine motor skills and it helps teach to them the ability to focus.
The use of clay with infants and toddlers allows for discovery of body awareness as it provides a tactical experience. The older the student gets, the more creative he/she may find themselves when manipulating clay which is extremely important for the developmental growth of all students.
“Learn to humble yourself, you are but earth and clay.” – Thomas Kempis
Year 2 Teacher
This may be a long newsletter but contains very important information.
NON-ACADEMIC DAY – THURSDAY, 24 June
Our students have worked hard these last six months and we have decided they deserve some fun on the second-last day of the term. Please find the relevant details for Foundation Phase, KS 1, KS 2 and the High School for Thursday, 24 June.
Foundation Phase students must dress up in any colour of the rainbow. They will participate in creative activities that will take place both indoors and outdoors. Students may be collected from 13:30.
Key Stage 1:
Key Stage 1 students must dress up in any colour of the rainbow. They will participate in art and science activities and a scavenger hunt. Key Stage 1 students may be collected from 13:30.
Key Stage 2:
Key Stage 2 will be holding a Games Day. Students may come to school wearing civvies and will spend the day playing a variety of games in their classrooms. The Games Day will end at 14:00.
High school students will participate in an Inter-house Winter Olympics. Students need to dress in civvies that correspond to their house colours (Bodiam: green; Leeds: blue; Windsor: red). There are a variety of games in which they can participate. Some games will require students to bring supplies (e.g., tape or scissors) so students should take note of ‘required materials’ when signing up for an event. House points will be awarded to the leading house in each event, as well as the best-dressed house and the house that displays the most spirit. High school students may leave from 13:30.
The Matrics will be selling cupcakes on the day. Students from all phases are encouraged to bring money to support them.
Please note that Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to at all times.
YEAR 6 & 7 PARENT EVENING
We are currently planning a parent information evening for Year 6 & 7 parents and students. This will take place early in the 3rd term. We will communicate details soon.
2022 SCHOOL CALENDAR
This will be circulated to parents by the end of the week. I trust it will help when planning your holidays – Covid dependant, of course.
Let me assure you that all necessary protocols are followed at school, i.e.. wearing masks, sanitizing and social distancing. As the 3rd wave takes hold in the Western Cape, we are on high alert and will do everything possible to ensure our community stays healthy.
Our school term ends next Friday, 25th June and Term 2 work has, mostly, been concluded. We have some other academic and fun activities planned for the remainder of the term and this requires the presence of students at the school.
Before school resumes for Term 3 on Tuesday 20th July, we will make an informed decision regarding online classes. Should the 3rd wave be of such a nature that it poses a risk for our school community, we will not hesitate to consider online classes after discussions with the Board and sister schools.
We will communicate this to parents during the last week of the holidays (12th – 16th July).
Please be assured that the school will do everything in our power to minimize the risks at school.
Thank you for understanding and working with us to fight Covid and the winter colds.
The following staff changes will come in effect at the beginning of Term 3:
Mr Julian Harrison has a change of title and will now be the title of Cambridge Examinations Administrator.
Mrs Carmen de Villiers has been appointed as High School Coordinator (Year 7 – 12).
Mrs Katherine Nel has been appointed as Key Stage 2 Coordinator (Year 3 – 6).
Ms Yvette Fourie has been appointed as Year 4 teacher in the place of Mrs Marlize Keyser.
Mr Louis Marais has been appointed as Year 7 & 8 Maths and Science teacher in the place of Ms Tayla Shergold-Smith.
Ms Michellene Williams has been appointed as IGCSE and AS/A Level English teacher in the place of Ms Alice Pryor.
Mrs Sheila Marais takes on the portfolios of SRC (High School) and Discipline (Whole School).
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Avril Lai Wing. Mrs Lai Wing is our Administration Secretary at school.
Avril started at BIS on 1 March 2019. She was born in Cape Town and is the third youngest of 7 children. She recently celebrated 23 years of marriage with the love of her life, Brent. They have 2 wonderful children, Tamika 22 who’s an internationally certified PRO make-up artist and Mikhail 15, an enthusiastic soccer player who dreams of going pro one day. Avril worked in the corporate industry for many years, one of it being advertising where she worked in reception but also did voiceovers and jingles for ads. However, she always had a desire to work with children and was fortunate to be granted an opportunity to work in the first collaboration school in Cape Town as a remedial support assistant teacher for 3 years before joining BIS as the Administration Secretary.
5 facts about Avril:
- She is a motivational speaker at events, specifically women’s events like church high teas, ladies’ retreats, couples retreats and youth camps, but her absolute favourite is doing stand-up comedy emceeing at events.
- She loves entering competitions and has won quite a few over the years which included 2 big ones. The 1st being Brent and herself being the first runner ups of a SA Bridal Couple of the Year competition shortly after they got married and the winner of the Volvo V40 T3 Sport Pack in the KFM Pumped up for summer competition in Nov 2013.
- Avril and two of her sisters have been an acapella trio since their childhood and have performed at many events over the years. She has also directed church youth choirs and young adult choirs.
- Avril loves camping and the outdoors, especially nature reserves and off-roading.
- She screams blue murder when someone scares her but has the warped desire to explore a ghost house one day!
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Our Reaction to Others’ Actions
“When we see men of worth, we should think of equalling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inward and examine ourselves.” – Gustave Courbet
Our actions are so often influenced by how we view the actions of others. Courbet understood this and provided some valuable advice in the quote above.
He describes two scenarios in life:
Firstly, when we see a man of worth – an individual of exemplary character – we should make it our mission to equal him. But if we’re very honest with ourselves, this usually isn’t our first thought when we come across someone walking the “straight and narrow” road of integrity and truth. Instead of wanting to imitate such a person, we often look for something they do wrong, or at the very least, remark that we “can’t live up to such standards”. Courbet encourages us to react in a positive manner towards someone displaying positive attributes.
In the second (and perhaps more common) scenario, Courbet states that, when we see a man with a contrary – flawed and perverted – character, we should first look inward and examine ourselves. Do you find this difficult? I know I do! If we’re like most people, the first thing we want to do is to immediately correct someone acting in the wrong way. Courbet, on the other hand, advises us to first examine ourselves. He understood something of human nature that few people do – the fact that the character flaws we so easily spot in others are the very flaws we battle with most ourselves.
In this second, more challenging, scenario, we’re encouraged to react in a positive manner again, even when confronted with someone else’s flawed character. We are to use these instances as mirrors to examine ourselves.
May we consider this French painter’s advice in each of our interactions with others in the week ahead and see if we can apply it. By doing so, we will most certainly continue to grow and develop as individuals.
Let’s always consider Courbet’s advice when working with each other in Prepaid24 and when working with our clients. If we do, we will gain far more than we could possibly imagine.
Have a fruitful weekend and stay warm.
The year 4’s have been inspired by the Eisteddfod Art competition. For the competition, their art needs to include the Nautilus of the Blouberg International School crest and the values of BIS:
The lesson was a great opportunity to discuss these values with the students and was thoroughly integrated with our Global Perspectives learning outcomes.
Learners also learned the skill of paper marbling, which linked to our Science lessons, where they learned about states of matter and density. It was so lovely to share the skill with the learners as it is a lesson that I remember doing when I was about 10 years old.
Many learners are still busy completing the project and we can’t wait to see their interpretation of it.
You can try it at home, but be careful as you need to use oil-based paint. See the following link.
Year 4 Teacher
The Year 7’s were given a Science project to create their own “Energy robots”. This fun and integrated project was a means to assess their understanding of the different forms of energy that they had just learnt about in class.
They had to design, draw and then build their own robot that could produce at least three different forms of energy; such as heat, sound or light energy. All of the students really thought “out of the box” and incorporated a range of innovative ideas.
I was extremely impressed by the final products of the year 7’s, they really seemed to enjoy using a bit more of a creative side to learning about energy.
Year 7 and 8 Mathematics and Natural Science Teacher