The year 4 classes started the second term launched into virtual orbit. We have all had to learn how to navigate Google Classroom, when to talk and when to be quiet in a Google meeting and how to upload and mark completed work.
I am so proud of how our students have owned their own learning. Cambridge education emphasises the development of students who can think, solve problems and actively take responsibility for their own learning. We must be doing something right, for this is what I saw over and over again today.
What absolute stars our students are. Thank you to the parents too, for making launching such fun. I look forward to tomorrow and the rest of the adventure online.
Welcome back to Term 2, only this term things are slightly different. On Wednesday, the Year 1 classes had their first day of E-learning.
What do I mean by E-learning?
It is a learning system based on formalized teaching, but with the help of electronic resources. By using Google classroom, videos and resources the teachers put together, the students were able to start their curriculum as normal. Our students receive regular learning objectives and we offer real time online support to parents who may need additional guidance.
A few parents shared photos with us showing how much their children are enjoying learning online. It is interesting to see the different ways they have set up their study spaces at home. There are wonderful tips and tricks to create an effective study space for your child online and would be worth looking into.
Here are some basic tips to create a great study space for your child:
– Position the desk to look away from distractions like windows and doors. Have them face a special wall where you put up the alphabet and other helpful materials for them to easily refer to.
– Set up supplies (computer, headphones, books, stationery, art supplies, etc) before studying begins and explain to your child how to keep them neat and in their place.
– Light is very important, a well lit area will make for better concentration.
– Control the clutter by encouraging your child to have a special place to keep their little trinkets and treasures in. (For example a container, drawer or shelf)
– Headphones are a great tool for E-learning and will minimise distractions if you have a busy household.
– Device downtime is extremely important and taking brain breaks to burn off energy cannot be overemphasized. Allow your child device free time and motivate them to get fresh air. Free and imaginative play will be a very beneficial addition to your child’s E-learning schedule and ultimate learning success.
We look forward to seeing many more E-learning photos and videos!
Year 1 Teacher
Whilst we are all on lockdown trying to flatten the curve, teachers and parents are embarking on a new curve of a different kind- the exciting learning curve that is online learning. Teachers have been upskilled within record time, thanks to our amazing IT department and are now navigating the uncharted waters of Google Classroom.
Just as teachers take time and effort to create a happy learning environment in their physical classrooms, the Foundation Stage teachers have collaborated to create lessons and other content that will stimulate learning in a fun way in their virtual classrooms, which are found in the comfort of the students’ homes. It has been a rewarding experience creating video clips incorporating Jolly Phonics and attempting to bring story books to life in the teacher’s recordings.
We wish all our families all the best during this online learning journey and trust that it will be an enjoyable opportunity to spend quality time together as a family.
Reception Year Teacher
Welcome to Term 2. Most of us are working from home and juggling our jobs and the education of our children. This can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially with all the challenges at the moment. I wish to reassure you that this is a season; this too shall pass, and we will overcome!
In our household we are trying to focus on the positive. Whilst my husband is working as he normally would and is able to leave home, I am stuck in the dining room, caught between Mathematics and English comprehension… not to mention the PEEL paragraphs and the 350-word essays!
So how do we look at things positively?
- I get to spend more time with my daughter.
- I realized again today that relationships between colleagues are so important and the little daily interactions we take for granted are sorely missed during a time like this! I work with a group of special people and observing how they encourage one another is special indeed.
- I can teach my daughter new skills such as cross stitch, embroidery, baking and cooking. (and learn the Math on Sparx!)
- I am encouraged by the numerous messages from parents and students and their positive attitudes during this time.
The system of online learning is as new to us as it is to you and there will be bumps in the road and challenges to overcome, but we will get there if we work together and communicate openly. Ensure that your children work as independently as possible and follow their normal school timetable with regards to daily lessons. Please contact the relevant teacher or staff member should you encounter a problem or have a query. No question is a stupid question. We are here to help and assist and to go the extra mile!
This morning I read an encouraging poem that I hope will be an encouragement to you too.
“When this is over, may we never again take for granted a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbors, a crowded theater, Friday nights out, the taste of communication, a routine checkup, a school rush each morning, coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath, a boring Tuesday, life itself.
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way – better for each other because of the worst. “– Laura Kelly Fanucci
Until things normalise, we are at your service via email, telephone calls, messages and Engage!
Wishing you all health and safety!
On Tuesday the 10th of March the year 9 to 12 Biology and Business students, together with the 9 and 10 Geography students, visited the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Among the most interesting things that were discovered was that fish have their own personalities, such as the fish that loves cuddles! About Yoshi the turtle who was released back into the wild 2 years ago after 20 years in captivity and has since traveled a record breaking 37 000km!
We learned how the marketing team at the aquarium aim to not only promote the aquarium to attract customers, but also how they use this platform to communicate about causes that are close to their heart. A few causes they mentioned were sustainable fishing, single use plastic and environmental sustainability.
Another interesting fact is that South Africa ranks as the 3rd most bio-diverse country in the world.
The Two Oceans Aquarium is truly a magical place with so many treasures to enjoy!
The students had been practising relentlessly for months and the day finally arrived! Mr Riaan Vosloo and Ms Genevieve Kerswill accompanied them to the theatre where they spent the whole day preparing for one of the biggest local drama events of the year.
The whole production was performed by our students on stage in front of a live audience at The Fugard Theatre.
Twenty six Blouberg International High School students took part in the stage production and assisted with roles such as directing, sound and lighting, backstage prompting and props.
This performance was an experience they will cherish forever. We wish to congratulate all the students involved and their teachers on their magnificent achievement.
High School Drama Department
The Year 2 students had the pleasure of visiting the Ostrich Farm recently where they were fortunate enough to be taught the life cycle of an Ostrich and facts about their skeletons. Interesting facts such as their eyes are bigger than their brain and they are the world’s largest bird.
They spent their lunch break on the lush green lawns where they met two beautiful cheetahs and some lovable, yet hungry, goats…
A valuable life lesson the students also learned, according to Gamelihle Masuku, was “If an Ostrich comes after you, it is important that you lie on the floor and cover your head”.
An extremely interesting and enjoyable outing overall, we are all looking forward to visiting the Ostrich Farm again shortly.
Year 2 Teacher
Why do we engage in Sensory Play?
From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.
Children and even adults learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses. Many of our favorite memories are associated with one or more of our senses: for instance, the smell of a summer night campfire or a song you memorized the lyrics to with a childhood friend. Now, when your nostrils and eardrums are stimulated with those familiar smells and sounds respectively, your brain triggers a flashback memory to those special times.
- Research shows that Sensory Play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
- Sensory Play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
- This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory.
- Sensory Play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child.
- This helps children learn sensory attributes. (hot, cold, sticky, dry)
I wish to encourage parents to get messy with their children at home to make learning more fun.
The students presented their clouds and shared their favorite type of cloud with the class. Learning about the different types of clouds through art was exciting.
What is your favourite type of cloud?
I realize more and more that time is a precious commodity. We are facing various threats and challenges in our lives and we all deal with these in our own way.
At the moment we are all very aware of the COVID-19 virus and the threat it poses. We are taking preventative measures and have strategies in place should a crisis situation arise in the Western Cape. I am mindful that as parents we have concerns and we need to plan. It is vital, however, that we do not panic or overreact.
We have a few more days until the end of the term and we are all looking forward to spending time with our families. This is a good time to reflect; spend time with our children and plan for the possibilities of what we might face.
Next week Key Stage 1 will have a Spelling Bee on Monday and Tuesday. School will close earlier on Wednesday, but aftercare will be available.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday ahead and I hope we all return with renewed vigour and strength.
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