The June exams are fast approaching and many students will be starting to feel the pressure. Perhaps the best way to counter exam stress is to come prepared. To this end, I have ten guidelines students can follow that will go a long way to helping them feel prepared and confident for each exam.
- Print a copy of their exam timetable and put it in a prominent and safe place.
(Exam timetables can be found on Engage).
- Compile and stick to a study timetable.
- Give yourself sufficient study time for each subject.
- Identify topics you find most challenging and, if necessary, ask for assistance from the subject teacher. It is best not to leave this to the day before.
- Utilize effective study methods rather than simply reading the textbook. Summaries, mind maps and flash cards are examples of alternative study methods.
- Avoid pulling “all-nighters”.
- Limit your social calendar and put your phone on silent when you are studying.
- Avoid fad diets so as to maximize energy and concentration.
- Pack the necessary equipment for each exam, including a spare pen.
- Arrive punctually for each exam.
Parents should also be involved in their child’s exam preparation. We know from our own experience as students how easy it is to become distracted and bored. Encourage regular study sessions with short breaks, physical activity and healthy eating. Do not be afraid to check up on your child’s exam preparation progress, even if they are in their final years of school.
I wish students all the best for their exams and I hope that they have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
High School Teacher
MORNING DROP OFF
I am very aware of the frustrations around morning drop off times. The gravel area is of concern, but is being attended to and you will see a difference soon. Next week’s newsletter will explain more.
Please may I ask that parents not get out of their cars at the “drop and go” in the main parking lot. This means we should have school bags placed strategically in the car so the young ones can easily access the bags when they get to school. If we limit each car’s stopping time, this will greatly assist the situation.
Thank you for your patience in this regard.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Mandy Goch. Five/Six facts that not everyone knows:
1. She is Portuguese.
2. She is a very enthusiastic reader and always has a book in her hand. Her favourite books include The Elephant Whisperer (Lawrence Anthony) and Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
3. She worked for many years in a model agency, managing the careers of models.
4. She can eat an entire large bag of NikNaks all by herself.
5. She is a bit of a perfectionist and as a child would change clothes regularly if she spotted one speck of dirt on her outfit.
6. Her school day starts with a laugh and ends with one.
IES CHIEF ACADEMIC DIRECTOR VISIT
Our IES Chief Academic Director, Mr Darryl Lottering, is currently in South Africa. He has been visiting Blouberg and engaging with students and teachers. He will be at school again on Monday, 24th May.
Darryll would also like to offer our parents an opportunity to speak with him. We are, therefore, having a parent meeting on Monday, 24th May at 5.30pm. This meeting will be limited to 50 people and there are still “spots” available. If you would like to attend this meeting, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting will take place in the Junior Hall.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Your Attitude
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton
This certainly makes us think about what we view as a disability, doesn’t it?
Maybe Hamilton is hitting the nail on the head.
Whenever I meet a person with a disability, it always amazes me how the individual usually (if not always) insists that they do not want to be treated as a disabled person. Their vigour for life truly is always inspiring…
Then, on the other hand, we sit with individuals who have everything going for them: youth, health, fitness, opportunities, etc., but who will find every imaginable excuse to disqualify themselves from doing certain things. In stark contrast to those who actually have disabilities, these able-bodied people display bad attitudes towards life, and it is these attitudes that will end up hampering any possibility of growth, development and ultimate success.
To grow, thrive, develop, and enjoy each of life’s precious possibilities, we need to ensure that we have the right attitude – always, and in all circumstances. Individuals who do so are the ones who will live meaningful lives and have a deep sense of purpose, regardless of their circumstances.
Do you have a disability? Before saying “No”, first make sure to check your attitude towards life.
Have a wonderful week, it is time to unpack those winter items…
The Cambridge International AS Level Afrikaans syllabus enables learners to achieve greater fluency, accuracy and confidence in the language as it is spoken and written, and improve their communication skills.
They learn how to improve their use of Afrikaans in a variety of situations, understanding how to read texts and other source materials, and how to extract information, initiate conversations and respond to questions both orally and in writing.
In the Afrikaans class we want everyone to share in the creation and enjoyment of Afrikaans culture, specifically literature, and the development of the language as an intellectual instrument.
One of our AS-topic areas for 2021 is Kos en Drank (Food and Drink)
The Afrikaans language is expressive, rich and unique to South Africa and its food words are as intriguing as the items they describe.
We put compiled a list of our favourite Afrikaanse KOS-words.
Potjie: Direct translation: little pot. A traditional stew slow-cooked in a cast-iron three-legged pot over the coals of a fire.
Slaptjips: Direct translation: floppy chips. Potato fries.
Frikkadelletjies: Little meatballs.
Koeksister: Traditional dough braids that are deep fried and soaked in syrup. Try the classic recipe.
Melktert: A traditional South African recipe for a cinnamon-topped custard tart in a sweet pastry crust.
Naartjie: A sweet and easy-to-peel citrus fruit indigenous to South Africa.
Padkos: Direct translation: road food. Food that you eat while on a journey, usually homemade and containing boiled eggs for comedic effect.
Poffertjies: Fritters or profiteroles. Direct translation: little puffs.
Spookasem: Direct translation: ghost’s breath. Candy floss.
Ystervarkie: Direct translation: little porcupine. Lamingtons (sponge cake dipped in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut).
When it comes to South African food, Afrikaans has the best descriptive words to make your mouth water! Afrikaans is undeniably and deliciously vivid.
Carmen de Villiers
Afrikaans Department High School
DROP AND GO
Please be aware that the main parking area is a “Drop and Go” zone. This means that parents should not be leaving their cars unless they have parked in one of the designated parking bays. At times, cars are backed up into the road and this causes major congestion for the community around us. As with everything else, the smooth running of this system is reliant on everyone co-operating and working together. Please try to limit your “drop” to one minute only and keep the flow of traffic moving.
We are currently revising our uniform policy. However, we are all aware of what is required.
Please could we ensure that our children wear the correct uniform to school. School uniform means the proper school shoes, pants/skirt and shirt. When we wear our PE kit and tracksuit, we wear takkies. Shirts tucked in, looking proud.
The hair and jewellery regulations have not changed. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our school is presented in a positive manner.
Staff are unable to enforce school pride alone. This needs to be a team effort and I therefore request that parents ensure that, when they drop students at school, they are looking smart.
This is OUR school.
The updated uniform policies will be placed on the website soon.
Time management is an extremely important skill we should teach our children. I am aware of many students arriving late for school. This is quite unacceptable.
Please assist us in teaching our students that being on time means you are also respecting other people.
Students should be dropped off no later than 7:45am in the morning. Please assist us in this regard.
IES CHIEF ACADEMIC DIRECTOR VISIT
Our IES Chief Academic Director, Mr Darryl Lottering, is currently in South Africa. He will be visiting Blouberg on Friday, 14th May and also Monday, 24th May. In addition to this, he will be assisting the staff with our “clean-up operation” on Saturday, 15th May.
Darryll would also like to offer our parents an opportunity to speak with him. We are, therefore, having a parent meeting on Monday, 24th May at 5.30pm. This meeting will be limited to 50 people. It will work on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you would like to attend this meeting, please email me at email@example.com.
The meeting will take place in the Junior Hall.
Our main newsletter photograph features Ms Bronwen Nuthall. Bronwen is a born and bred Capetonian who has lived in the Table View area all her life. She has teachers on both her mom and dad’s side of the family. Bronwen obtained a BEd (Foundation Phase) at CPUT in 2003 specialising in ECD and Special Educational Needs. She has been teaching for 17 years and has spent 10 of these years at Blouberg International School. Bronwen has taught 4 different grades namely Grade 1, 2, Reception and Pre-Reception. She now has 12 years of experience teaching Reception Year and believes that there is something special about teaching this age group. It is very rewarding to observe the student’s growth over their Reception Year knowing she had a part to play in preparing them for “big school”. She maintains that a students’ personal growth and independence remains the most important part of the Reception Year. A child’s Emotional Intelligence is a far better springboard for success one day no matter their academic IQ. In her personal life she likes to be creative and make cards and gifts for others by knitting or crocheting. She is very much involved in her church and is passionate about facilitating Divorce Care 4 Kids at View Church Milnerton.
Fun facts about Ms Bronwen Nuthall:
- Ms Nuthall is the only teacher to still be in the same classroom (Room 9 at the Junior Campus) at Blouberg International School, since taking occupation of the classroom in 2012.
- Ms Nuthall is one of a twin and is “Aunty Bonnie” to her twin brother’s twins (also a pigeon pair).
- She speaks 3 languages, namely English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa.
- Ms Nuthall started writing children’s stories at the age of 8. She has a published poem, ‘Beautiful Time’. The several unpublished children’s stories she has written since childhood have often been given away as gifts.
- She is rather obsessed with all things feline and her long lost cat, Shmeegles is on her screen saver of her school computer. She often apologises to parents in advance for potentially converting their child to a “cat person” and for any future pets that may be named after her Shmeegles.
- Ms Nuthall loves to sing and dance, although she may not be an expert at any of these.
- Joining Run Walk for Life was the best decision she made in 2020 and she recently completed her first 10 km, which was a personal best achievement for distance and time.
Thank you for making a difference in so many students’ lives.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Choices
“Short cuts make long delays.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
These are true words which we will do well to remember when it comes to the many decisions, we make every day…
As humans, we usually opt to do things the “quick & easy” way. Unfortunately, we often only realise our error in doing so when it is too late.
Instead of just choosing between various options when making decisions, let us consider Tolkien’s advice and realise that the “shortcut” could very well be (and often is) the long and tedious way to take.
I am reminded of someone who once remarked: “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well!” May this be our attitude towards life and its challenges.
Let us be ready to face each challenge head-on and do what needs to be done to resolve it, even if it takes more time and effort than some other “easier” solutions might promise. By choosing to do things right the first time, you will be saving yourself and others some serious heartache and trouble in the long run.
Have a brilliant weekend of personal growth – make sure to invest in yourself – it is a worthwhile investment!
Did you know that German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in Europe? It is also spoken in many German-speaking communities around the world, including South Africa. An impressive 1000 German companies are world leaders in their business. When it comes to science and research, Germany is also right at the front of the pack. In the last 100 years, more than 70 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Germans, solely in the field of natural science and medicine. It is also a popular place to study; German degrees are highly valued by employers worldwide.
Not everyone realises the doors that German can open – be it in business, science or education, not to mention gaining access to the rich cultural heritage of original German literature.
The Cambridge syllabus aims to foster not only a knowledge of the language but also to create cultural awareness and sensitivity. This is an invaluable skill to have and makes for well-rounded, empathetic individuals with a broad outlook on life.
I have included some snapshots of this term’s German classes.
High School German Teacher
Greetings from the English Department!
It’s only the second week of term and already my desk is hidden under a snowfall of loose paper. And we all know what ‘Term 2’ means… the whispers of which flit their way along the corridors in tones of quickened dread… it’s an exam term.
“Honestly, it’s really not that bad!” My biannual refrain seems to bounce off the students like those tiny silver balls used to decorate cakes (not the most creative analogy, I admit, but what else would bounce dramatically pleasingly off a teenager?). Point is, they never do seem to believe me. Rather than inspire dread, I believe an exam term is an exciting challenge! An opportunity to beat your personal best and push the pliable boundaries of our own abilities. However, we’ve still got a few weeks ahead of us and plenty of essays to pen before exams start. So, pop your head down the rabbit hole and take a look at what our students are busy with in English class:
The Year 7’s can only watch as the blisters spread across the palms of poor Stanley Yelnats as he digs those blasted holes at Camp Green Lake. A class project making homemade Sploosh anyone? Although perhaps the season for peaches is over?
Ralph, Jack and Piggy are the constant companions of the Year 8’s this term… and ‘the beast’ of course! We can’t forget about him…or it?
The Year 9’s are wading through their IGCSE Literature short stories and this week covered a particularly satisfying story called ‘The Widow’s Might’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A widow gets the upper hand on her children who, after their father’s death, are quibbling over ‘who gets mom’ and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the lawyer with dad’s will. The students experimented with Blackout Poetry as way to engage with the deeper concerns or themes of the short story. We received some beautiful and insightful submissions; the talent of our students never ceases to warm my heart. Please see the photos accompanying this article.
The Year 11’s are similarly enmired in the wonderfully marshy ground of prescribed short stories (the ‘short’ in short stories being a decidedly subjective term). They have just read a story called ‘Gabriel Ernest’ (Hector Hugh Munro) about a werewolf who, well, does what werewolves do best really.
Our 10’s and 12’s are on a desperate quest for something so rarely experienced in the final year of IGCSE and AS-level – free time. The word ‘revise’ a mantle around their shoulders. Setworks are looking decidedly grubby and overly thumbed, but the sight of their dog-eared books I find oddly reassuring… experience has taught that it’s the pristine-looking copies one needs to be concerned about.
And for now, that’s all from us. If you are looking for the English Department, we are reassuringly close to the library, always within reach of a good book.
High School English Department
The Year 3 group have been learning how to use a dictionary. They are having so much fun building their vocabulary which is one of the greatest assets that a student can have. It improves their academic performance and lays a strong foundation for future skills to develop. The use of a dictionary has also been linked to better mental health.
Using a dictionary supports students in developing language skills and helps them understand new words at different ages. Using a dictionary helps students master important concepts like spelling, word meaning, alphabetical order and word classes.
Using a dictionary is a skill for life that students develop with practice. We are so proud of the Year 3’s who have developed a love for dictionary work, which makes looking up words fun!
We are pleased with their application considering that they are using dictionaries for the first time. Well done Year 3!
Year 3 Teacher
It is important for young students to understand, recognise and use the units of weight as it appears in their daily lives.
Learning about weight in Mathematics can be an extremely fun activity as measuring weight requires a lot of practical work. Students need to use their hands or place items on a scale to compare the weight of items.
The Year 2 students may find it difficult to judge weight visually at this age and that is why it is very important to focus on necessary measuring tools. Students’ subjective interpretations of weight (heavy/light) are replaced by the graduation indicated on measuring tools. This is where teachers will start bringing in the use of a scale.
Since we introduced weight this week, the Year 2 teachers thought it would be best to begin measuring weight by using a balance scale, as it makes it easier for the students to understand the concept of weight and visualize the meaning of measurement. To our delight, the students found the lesson extremely interesting and they are excited to share their knowledge with their families at the end of the school day.
“Pure Mathematics is, in its own way, the poetry of logical ideas” – Albert Einstein
Year 2 Teacher
Thank you to all the many parents who joined us for our parent meeting on Tuesday. Your interest and support is much appreciated. A recording has been sent out for those who were unable to attend. I will be sharing a google form during the course of next week and will appreciate your input and honest feedback. In the meantime, I remind you of our school’s mission statement. It is important that we remain aware of this so that we can align our vision and goals accordingly and ensure that we are consistent.
Mission Statement – Blouberg International School aims to empower all its students to become educated, lifelong learners, by teaching the English National Curriculum together with Cambridge International Education in a caring, dynamic, creative, encouraging and nurturing environment.
Our main newsletter photograph features Ms Yvette Fourie. Yvette started at the school in 2006, as a Year 2 teacher. After a few years she moved over to Pre-Reception and then for 4 years as a class teacher she taught Year 3. She loved being a class teacher, however her passion is sport and she knew that being the Head off Sport was what she wanted to do. In 2019 she took the position of Head of Sport. She is passionate about her school and it is her vision to build a great sporting culture within the school and provide our students with top class coaching in all sports. She is extremely proud of all our sport stars.
Did you know that Yvette:
- Loves reading crime novels about serial killers and has a bookcase full (300 books).
- She is very scared of spiders!!!!
- She was born in Botswana and spent most of her childhood on their family farm.
- She loves studying and has completed a number of courses and diplomas in education.
- Her dream is to foster a baby rhino.
Parents are reminded that this weekend is a long weekend, with Monday, 26 April (School holiday) and Tuesday, 27 April (Freedom Day) being no school. School will re-open on Wednesday, 28 April at the normal time.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Perseverance
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich
Too often we think, “Well, I truly have persevered a great deal – it must be time for a break.” Or maybe this sounds more familiar: “I have persevered for such a long time now; I am sure that success is imminent.”
For those of us that think perseverance is reflected in these statements, Gingrich says: “Nope, you may not be there yet.”
True perseverance is to “keep on going on” long after you think you have done enough, waited long enough, and worked tremendously hard…
In the trying times we face worldwide and in our country, we need the perseverance Gingrich is referring to. Things might even get worse before getting better. We must prepare ourselves for this, buckle up, roll up our sleeves and persevere.
If you know you’re heading in the right direction, keep on walking, do not be deterred, do not rest, do not change course, and don’t slow down. Keep going. Persevere.
Have a brilliant weekend, don’t give up…ever!
Thank you so much for the warm welcome to Blouberg International School. It was wonderful to be greeted by so many students and parents on Tuesday and I was immediately touched by the smiles and warmth. I look forward to a wonderful time at the school and getting to know you all better.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mr Julian Harrison. Julian has been with the school for nearly 10 years and currently holds the position of High School Academic Head and is, most certainly, the glue that holds the High School together. For those who do not know Julian very well, here are 5 facts about him.
- He holds a degree in dietetics.
- He is a qualified architectural draughtsman.
- He hates flying and therefore does not fly anywhere.
- He is part of a bowls team who have been the champions for the past 2 years.
- He is a true South African – He has braaied EVERY DAY since January 2021.
Thank you, Julian, for your commitment to the students, staff and the school.
Please be reminded of our school values. Respect, Integrity, Dedication, Responsibility, Leadership, Excellence & Stewardship. We use these values to ensure that our students become responsible adults who will make a positive difference in our country.
It will be appreciated if you could use these same values, at home, while parenting your children.
Together, we make a difference.
ONLINE PARENT MEETING
We have scheduled an online parent meeting for Tuesday, 20 April 2021 at 6.30pm. The meeting is an opportunity for me to introduce myself to you. It would be great if you could join me for 30 minutes.
Please use the following link: meet.google.com/upe-rdgk-pdb
I look forward to spending time with you.
Every week I will be sharing a WEEKLY THOUGHT with you. I find these very interesting and often they lead me to improving what I do. I trust you will enjoy them too.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Thinking Clearly
“The first step to think clearly is to question what we think we know about the past” – Peter Thiel
In response to this statement by one of PayPal’s founders, most people will remark, “Much easier said than done.” But Thiel’s view is 100% correct.
Most of us find ourselves working in the same careers, living in the same towns, and applying the same patterns of thought which we’ve known for decades. But what if where you live and what you do are no longer satisfying or sustainable, leaving you emotionally, mentally or financially at risk…What then?
Thiel suggests that we press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” (at least to an extent) in our thinking and ask ourselves the following:
- Are all my assumptions about life correct?
- Am I on the right road?
- Do I have the expectation that this road will lead somewhere?
- What new innovations are realities today that were not around a couple of years ago?
- Can I use these technologies to my benefit?
Thinking is a lost art, but it is one of the most worthwhile and essential exercises any human being can engage in. After all, we have been given the wonderful ability to use our minds!
But we must not only think – we need to think CLEARLY.
May Thiel’s advice bring us all to the point where we can start the process of thinking clearly.
Have a brilliant weekend, make time to just sit and think.