Group work is so important for students, providing great opportunities for them to develop and practise their skills such as listening to each other, working with others, helping and thinking of solutions
The students have had a lot of fun planning and producing pictures in their groups over a couple of weeks together.
Here are some of their creations:
Year 1 Teacher
Our high school students have one more week of exams left before they can have a breather. As we wind down towards the June/July holidays and as the Western Cape enters the 3rd wave of Covid infections, I urge our families to remain vigilant with regards to health and safety protocols. If we all follow the necessary sanitizing, social distancing and wearing of masks, we will protect our school and community.
Next Wednesday, the 16th of June, is Youth Day. Let us take time to celebrate our youth. We have such an important task in equipping young people for the future.
It is our goal to ensure that when our students leave school they are resilient, confident, independent, respectful, resourceful, have a positive attitude, adaptable, well-rounded, self-aware, empathetic, critical thinkers, innovative, creative, problem solvers, responsible, good communicators, confident, compassionate, self-motivated, emotionally intelligent, resourceful, free thinkers, good leaders, balanced, flexible, self-regulated, team players, responsible and accountable.
Enjoy the day with your children.
Our main newsletter photograph features Ms Heidi La Bercensie. Ms La Bercensie is one of our Music teachers at school. Did you know:
She was born in Port Elizabeth, attended school in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) and in Wolfsburg, Germany. She studied at NMMU and UCT, and she currently performs with a few orchestras and in concerts on a regular basis. As much as she has a passion and love for teaching music and making a difference in children’s lives, a huge part of her passion is being on stage and performing!
Facts about her that not everyone knows:
- She loves travelling & experiencing different cultures around the world, and has been to 12 different countries and counting…
- She has a BMusHons; PGCE, an Associate and a Licentiate degree in Clarinet, and Grade 8 in Violin.
- She was invited to and took part in the annual London Notting Hill Carnival, performing as a steelpan player with the London Mangrove Steelband.
- She is an adrenaline junkie and has a goal to go to as many theme parks around the world as possible.
- She started playing in the South African National Orchestra since 14yrs old.
- She loves quad biking, hikes and doing outdoor adventures.
Heidi started at Blouberg International School on the 1st of January 2018.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: History
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley
History. We all remember asking ourselves the question at some point our school careers: Why do I need to learn about that specific event, this famous person or anything else for that matter?
Most of us have a few decades worth of experience behind us and aren’t sitting in school anymore. This being the case, here is another question: Do you still think studying history is a waste of time?
According to Huxley, your answer to this question will put you into one of two categories: You’re either a person that learns from history or you’re one that doesn’t.
Many of our successes and failures in life are a consequence of our attitude towards history and whether we apply its valuable lessons.
Have a brilliant weekend and make an impact.
This term in Geography, we have covered a number of topics across the High School dealing with our physical and human environment.
Just as many of us have changed and grown in the last year, so has our planet and the people on it. The earth and processes that shape it, work as part of a system with flows of energy and processes that each have a distinct role. In order to understand ourselves and the world around us better, it helps to be able to identify the factors that influence our actions and habits. We also need to understand how each part of the system affects the whole.
Year 7 and 9 have been studying Plate Tectonics and the resultant earthquakes and volcanoes the movement of the Earth’s plates causes. Mount Nyiragongo in Congo recently erupted, causing people to evacuate, and affecting neighbouring Rwanda with earthquakes due to the volcano. People that live in tectonically active regions have had to learn how to live with and adapt to these natural disasters.
Weather and Climate has been a topic in the Year 8 and 11 classes. This is often the most challenging section as the changes in the atmosphere and the reasons behind them can often seem to disappear and reappear like the wind, sun, and clouds do in Cape Town every day. There are also many factors that can affect the climate of a location, ranging from its proximity to the ocean, altitude, and latitude. These all work together to govern the weather systems that we experience locally and globally.
In Year 13 we have covered Global Interdependence. This section looks at connectivity in the world in relation to trade and tourism. To what extent do the resources and geographical location of a country determine its economic success? To what degree do the high-income countries that hold the bargaining power in terms of trade agreements shape trade patterns in low-income countries? Does aid play a more important role than trade in the development and success of a country?
Year 10 and 12 classes have been revising and consolidating their knowledge and skills in order to prepare for their Prelims, which they are currently writing. We hope all the hard work pays off!
High School Geography Teacher
In Art, the Year 6’s have been working on creating their own landscape art pieces.
As a class, we looked at many different images of landscapes, including paintings and photographs. We discussed the following elements of landscape composition: background, foreground, horizon, the source of light, lines that lead the eye, natural features and manmade features.
The students then went on to creating their rough sketches of natural features from some of the paintings and photographs that we looked at. Once this was done, they looked at local landscapes in our beautiful city and sketched the different landscapes, paying close attention to detail.
The final push was picking one local landscape and creating their own variations of a local landscape, using various techniques that they learnt in Term 1 and Term 2.
The Year 6’s really impressed their teachers by creating these familiar landscapes in Cape Town, including Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, the Waterfront, Boulders Beach and many more! We are so proud of the hard work and effort they put into their art pieces and how they have taken what they have learnt and applied it.
“Art is a place for children to learn to trust their ideas, themselves, and to explore what is possible” – Maryann F. Kohl
Year 6 Teacher
Last week, the Year 2 classes were given the task to design and build anything they wanted to… We decided not to be prescriptive, as we were keen to see what ideas they came up with.
They were given the opportunity to plan their designs, identifying items they would need. So on Friday, armed with bags of boxes, glues, empty toilet rolls, decorations and paper, they eagerly waited for their teachers to say, “It’s time for Design and Technology now”.
I was really impressed by how the students worked together, shared decorations and motivated and supported each other.
Some of their projects didn’t come out quite as they had hoped. We discussed the reasons for this and they were able to identify that some glue was not strong enough or some boxes were too floppy.
All in all, it was fun and our students learned some valuable lessons!
Year 2 Teacher
I pledge to stay healthy and clean
through exercise and good hygiene.
I will eat balanced meals every day
to have more energy to learn and to play.
Every night I will get a good rest
To be more ready to do my best
If I work to be healthy and strong
I’ll be happier my whole life long.
In Science, this term, Year 3 learnt about what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle. They started by examining their own food habits and creating a personal ‘food pyramid’ and then moved on to investigating the contents of their lunch boxes, recording findings and making conclusions based on these findings. We looked at how important it is to get enough sleep, researched what happens to our bodies after we exercise and conducted an experiment investigating why too much sugar is bad for our teeth.
The students also enjoyed a Healthy Day Inting. The day was spent with the students participating in some fun group activities, sports and games. Each student was also supplied with a delicious, healthy goodie bag for lunch and we had some VERY tired Year 3’s at the end of the day!
We ended the unit with the students presenting individual posters and orals on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Students had their classmates riveted with their creative, innovative designs and exciting presentations. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your presentations! Well done on an amazing job, Year 3!
Year 3 Teacher
The students of Year 1 are learning to tell the time.
At this age, the students need very practical sessions to learn new concepts. Our first lesson was a recap of what the students already know. Building on their prior knowledge of morning, afternoon, day and night, how we know when it is morning and night and different units of time.
We talked about an analogue clock, what is a day and an hour as a unit of time. Of course, we had to make a clock and then show the o’clock time on our clocks. We had lots of fun playing “What’s the time Mr Wolf’?”
The students had lots of practice making the time on their clocks and asking a friend to tell them the time. They also asked each other how many hours from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock. Next term we will learn to tell the “half past”.
Year 1 Teacher
GLOBAL PARENTS DAY
“The Global Day of Parents is observed on the 1st of June every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 and honours parents throughout the world. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children and that children, for the full and harmonious development of their personality, should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”
In celebration of Global Parents Day, I would like to thank all the parents of BIS. Thank you for looking after and caring for our children. As a school community, we should be focused on ensuring that, on leaving school, our leaners are resilient, confident, independent, respectful, resourceful, have a positive attitude, adaptable, well-rounded, self-aware, empathetic, critical thinkers, innovative, creative, problem solvers, responsible, good communicators, confident, compassionate, self-motivated, emotionally intelligent, resourceful, free thinkers, good leaders, balanced, flexible, self-regulated, team players, responsible and accountable.
Keep being amazing parents. We appreciate you!
YEAR 4 TEACHER
Following the resignation of our Year 4 teacher, Mrs Marlize Keyser, we have made an internal appointment and Ms Yvette Fourie will assume this position from term 3.
DROP AND GO AREAS:
Gravel Parking area
We have managed to pave the entrance to the gravel parking area and this seems to have made it a little easier for parents.
The area in the middle is for parking. The circular area around the parking is only for “drop and go”. Please do not park in this area as it will cause congestion. We also rely on our parents to be considerate and not to hold up traffic. Thanks to your cooperation the flow of traffic has improved drastically.
Please be vigilant of children and pedestrians. If we all work together, it will make a huge difference. Thank you to all our families for your cooperation and patience.
Main parking area in front of the school
May I request that if you intend to get out of your car that you park in one of the parking bays. We will no longer allow you to get out of your car at the “drop and go” area.
We understand that some parents want to walk their little ones to the sanitizing station, and you are welcome to do so, but please use a parking bay in that case. When cars are left at the “drop and go” it causes congestion and frustration for other parents. Let’s be considerate and work together in this regard.
Your cooperation is appreciated so much.
Our main newsletter photograph features Ms Sheila Marais. Ms Marais is our IGCSE & AS/A Level History teacher. Did you know:
- She did horse riding for 21 years.
- She has been a trail runner since 2019.
- She is an avid reader and collects Sherlock Holmes books.
- She also collects vintage and antique items.
- This teacher does in fact have a pet – a 10 year old English Cocker Spaniel called Eli.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Courage
“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
For most people, courage is the absence of fear, but John Wayne would disagree.
According to Wayne, everybody gets scared in certain situations – even the brave and courageous! BUT, the difference is that the courageous press forward in spite of their fear.
This should be good news for all of us.
Are you currently facing a situation that is daunting and leaves you with doubts and fears? Whether you are courageous or not will be determined by your next action – not by how you feel now.
So often in life, fear makes us feel inadequate, and the perception that others “do not fear” obviously doesn’t help. But what we need to understand is that everyone experiences fear and that fear gives us an opportunity to be courageous.
Victory and success are reserved for those individuals who move forward despite the fear they experience. During the last year, things all across the world have changed dramatically. The fact is that we don’t know what to expect from next month (never mind next year), but this should not paralyze us. Instead, we need to show courage by pressing forth regardless of what tomorrow may bring.
Our prayer is that those who are scared will discover the courage they need to keep going. Let us press on and never give up.
We have reached the business end of the term and this means exam and test time. By now, all students should have a study timetable to ensure that they are able to do THEIR very best.
Student wellness is most important. Let’s all work together to ensure that our children are as relaxed as can be. While these assessments are important, they DO NOT define our children. As parents and teachers, we need to care for our children more than we care for the results.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Ann Cordner. Mrs Cordner is our Key Stage 1 Coordinator. Did you know:
- She started teaching at Blouberg International School in 2014 as a Year 1 teacher.
- She was one of two teachers who started a brand new school in Durbanville. She taught Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 in one class for 6 months, an experience she never wishes to repeat!
- She runs about 5km 3 times a week and has aspirations of one day running a half marathon again. Actually, in her dreams it’s the Comrades.
- During the lockdown in April 2020, she ran a marathon over three weeks doing laps around her garden, each lap was only 120m which equated to 350 laps. So she was well acquainted with every blade of grass by the end of the 42.2 km.
- She loves to sit and read a good book accompanied by a cup of tea and a chocolate.
- She always jokes with the children in her class that she is 99 years old and sadly they find it easy to believe.
Thank you, Ann, for all you do for our school. You are an inspiration for many.
REAL MADRID SOCCER CLINIC FOR SEK AND IES
IES and the Real Madrid Foundation have signed an important agreement, exclusively for our students, with the aim of carrying out high-level sports activities.
From July 4th to the 10th, students between the ages of 11 and 14 will be able to take part in a soccer clinic (intensive soccer program) at “Real Madrid City” in Valdebebas (Madrid), considered the largest sports centre built by a club in the world.
Students will be housed, on a full board basis, in a student residence located in the heart of Madrid, on Paseo de la Habana, next to the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.
Daily soccer training sessions will be led by Real Madrid coaches, offering elite and competitive soccer training.
Our students will also be provided with a complete Real Madrid Foundation training kit.
In addition to sports activities, students will enjoy recreational and cultural activities in the city of Madrid.
The price of the complete course, including transport and transfers in Madrid, is € 1,190 (excludes flights).
There is limited space in the camp (a total of 25 participants) so if you are interested in having your child participate in the Real Madrid Soccer Clinic please contact our Sport Coordinator, Ms Yvette Fourie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Small Matters
“Big doors swing on little hinges.” – W. Clement Stone
Let that image sink in…
When things go right, it often is not because people or institutions got the “big” things right. This goes the other way too: If things go terribly wrong, it usually isn’t because people made massive and apparent mistakes.
In failures and successes, we must not immediately look for the obvious things. Instead, as Stone suggests, we should rather set our sights on the small things.
We will all do well to look at our own lives and ask ourselves whether we are living life as successfully as we would like to be? If the answer is “No”, we are quick to think that getting a degree or a new job in a different city is what we need to set our lives in a better direction – you know, some “big” changes…
But if we take Stone’s words to heart, we may want to consider the following things: How much we sleep; how much time we set apart just to think and meditate; whether we exercise and eat balanced meals; what and how we read; who we hang out with and call our friends; what we believe and the amount of time we spend on our spiritual lives.
Can you recognise these “little hinges” in your life? If we work on them, we may just find that the doors of opportunity swing open, along with peace and success. Though largely unnoticed, the above aspects of our lives are so much more significant than we could ever imagine.
Shall we try to get the “small” things right in our lives? Doing so may just mark the start of a wonderful new journey – for us and the people dearest to us.
Have a wonderful weekend and let’s execute well on the “small things”.
Many people think that the teachers have a lot of holidays during the year, well that can be true – what they do not know is that perhaps half of that time or sometimes more, we are researching new ways of presenting our subjects and the content in a more attractive format for our students.I believe that we need to allow ourselves time to explore new methods of teaching and, as a second language educator, my goal is to try to minimize the specific grammar that the students need to learn or at least present it to them in a more appealing way.
In addition, the ways that they learn have changed completely with the new technologies and the use of electronic devices. The time that they are able to “hold” their attention on you is scarily short.
For all these reasons, I personally believe that by creating your materials you can connect better with your own students and adjust the content to the topics that you are explaining in class. I also feel more confident and passionate about resources of my own creation.
When I am in the process of designing these new materials, I always have the below points in mind:
Make it as FUN as possible: The materials need to be fun in content and format, so you can connect easily with the students. They need to “forget” that they are learning another language. Engaging them from the beginning. This will also help to increase their participation in the lessons – key factor in their learning.
The materials need to be USEFUL: In my view, this means that the students can apply what they are learning to real life situations, ordering food, going shopping, booking a hotel room, and introducing themselves. So, the question that I will ask myself is: Are the material useful as well as fun? Will I be using these expressions in a Spanish speaking country if I was their age?
Create INTERACTION: When creating a story your students need to be part of it. Just to read the story to them it is not enough, they can finish the story, you ask questions about what is going on, or you can create a similar story with them.
Firstly, introduce all the vocabulary, adjectives, verbs, or expressions to them so it is COMPREHENSIBLE – that needs to be familiar for them to keep the focus and understanding. Creating the story with the topics and grammar that they are learning during the term will help me with this point: story at the school (school objects and subjects, facilities at the school, adjectives related with the teachers), going shopping (clothes, colours.) translate it with them first and then we read it again, answering basic or more complex questions depending on the year group.
Finally, all the materials must be ACCESSIBLE: I continue posting all the materials in Google Classroom, so my students can always access these, and they can send back their stories or questions.