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.
The High School staff welcomes all students and parents to the second term of 2021!
We hope you all enjoyed the well-deserved holiday. We also wish to extend a special welcome to our new principal, Mr. Andre Swart and wish him the very best for his first term at BIS.
Term 2 is a busy and important term. June examinations for Year 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13 start on the 7th of June 2021 and the Year 10 and 12 students start their Prelim examinations on the 31st of May 2021. Prelim examinations are extremely important in preparing students for the final IGCSE and AS Level examinations at the end of the year.
The High School will have online parent/teacher meetings next week and parents are encouraged to book with the relevant subject teachers. A letter has been sent on Engage regarding the online meetings and how to book.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Head of Academics High School
When we embrace the truth that we are the authors of our own stories, we become empowered to add to the joy and beauty around us.
This term, Year 4’s are going to look at the genre of fiction based on real life problems.
We have a whole audio library of books to enjoy for the next month that deal with everyday problems. After reading how the characters in these books made choices that overcame obstacles, we will be choosing a problem to write about – and then developing our story to ensure that the solution makes for, not only a happy ending, but an enjoyable and intriguing read.
Starting a new term, with a new Head and so many new opportunities, the Year 4’s prepared themselves last term by designing colourful and vibrant inspirational art.
What a great beginning to this new chapter of 2021 – I can’t wait to see how our story unfolds.
Year 4 Teacher
Everything we see in the world around us has a shape. We can find different basic shapes such as the two-dimensional square, rectangle, and oval or the three-dimensional rectangular prism, cylinder, and sphere in the objects we see around us.
In Year 1 this term, we are learning about shapes and noticing them in the world around us.
We had some fun making shapes using various materials in our classroom such as ice cream sticks, play dough and then we went onto the school field to create shapes with our bodies.
We look forward to learning more interesting facts about shapes as the term progresses.
Year 1 Teacher
2021 started with a bang and now that we have reached the end of the term, I can only wonder where the time has gone.
We were very fortunate that school sport and sport lessons for Year 7 and 8 could resume after February 15th when the Covid restrictions were eased. We remain positive that we will be able to resume with our winter sport in Term 2.
Term 2 will commence on Tuesday, 13 April 2021. Term 2 is an important term as students will be writing their June examinations. There will be parent-teacher meetings in Term 2, and we encourage parents to attend if they have concerns regarding progress in a particular subject. Parents will receive more information about these meetings next term.
We would like to thank Mrs. Lawrence for everything she has done for us as parents, students, and teachers. We wish her all the best for her new journey.
Finally, we would like to thank all the parents and students for their hard work in Term 1 and we look forward to a busy and exciting second term. If you are travelling these holidays, please be safe.
Head of Academics, High School.
Our new curriculum subject, Global Perspectives, has proven to be a hit with the Year 2 students. Over the last few weeks, they have imagined packing a bag and jetting off to a destination.
We started our journey, touring South Africa, made our way to Madagascar (a firm favourite) and then on to Japan. This was particularly of interest to the children, as we have a student, currently studying online, living in Japan. We ended our trip in England and the London Eye was definitely their most discussed landmark.
Apart from learning about the different traditions, cultures, foods, sports, and landmarks, we also explored what it would feel like to move to a new country. The children made posters and discussed their favourite destination during our Show and Tell lesson.
We cannot wait to continue exploring when we return for Term 2!
Year 2 Teacher
As I was packing up my office and making the final preparations for my new journey, I was reminded how many times I have had to deal with procrastination.
Procrastination: – “The action of delaying or postponing something.”
In all honesty, I should’ve filed a few things earlier in the week. However, my delayed tidy-up did reveal wonderful reminders of my time at Blouberg International: students’ artwork, pictures of concerts, class photos etc. These will all become part of a memory book I have started compiling.
I don’t believe procrastination is always a bad thing. Bruce Grierson writes that sometimes it means you are putting something off to make time for your passion instead (Psychology Today). He also suggests that it can give you a change of energy. Another psychologist, Fuschia Sirois, says procrastination can be about something bigger, like self-doubt.
Students often procrastinate before exams, leaving studying until the very last minute. This has serious repercussions when they find themselves unable to cover all the term’s work the night before the exam. In this example, self-doubt creates negativity and anxiety. In the workplace, procrastination has much the same effect, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet our deadlines.
The question is, why do we put things off for another time? Why not complete the task as soon as it arises? This would create a sense of accomplishment and avoid feelings of guilt and anxiety. This week, I am not putting off anything for a later date. I am enjoying my time with the students and spending quality time with my staff. Then lastly, I am packing away files and books in order to make space for Andre. No more procrastination, but rather taking on tasks with a goal-oriented and positive mindset.
“I am taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see!”- author unknown
I hope that last sentence gave you a good chuckle!
Have a super weekend and enjoy quality time with those special to you.
I have been at Blouberg International for as long as I can remember. I joined the school in Pre-Reception when I was only two years old. Now I am in Year 10 and I have seen the school grow so much over the years.
In Year 9 I was given the opportunity to take Computer Science and Coding as a subject. Since beginning the course I have taken a strong liking to the Coding aspect of the curriculum. In Coding, I am able to stimulate my mind and develop my problem-solving skills.
As the world we live in is continuing to advance in the digital aspect, taking up Coding as a subject is a huge benefit to anyone as it is a more sought-after job and skill set to wield in the current day and age.
Our school also offers a variety of different languages for the students to learn to code in, opening up many opportunities for the future.
With Computer Science, the possibilities are endless for future opportunities, whether you take it further in a career or continue to the code as a hobby.
– Shaylee Brandt (Year 10 Student)
As the term is drawing to a close, I find myself reminiscing about my nine years at Blouberg International. I have extremely fond memories of my time spent here and when I think about the students, past, present and future, I see achievement, greatness, and opportunity.
Blouberg International School is a family: a group of staff, parents and students which has expanded over the years. I have seen students matriculate and further their studies. I have seen primary students grow into high school students. I have seen little ones, Reception, or Pre-reception students I once towered over, grow into tall and confident young men and women. I have seen teachers grow and achieve the goals they’d set for themselves.
I have seen this school grow!
In my heart there is much pride as well as humility. There is gratefulness and satisfaction. There is so much I will miss about this journey and so much I am proud of.
Blouberg International’s board, staff and students will always have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to visiting in the future to celebrate future successes.
As parents, you can rest assured that the school will continue to flourish and be in good hands. The best is yet to come.
Next week our primary school will have verbal feedback meetings and the high school will start their test week.
I wish all our high school students the best of luck for the test week and wish to encourage them to stay focused and come to school well prepared. Proper planning prevents poor performance!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
This term has been a busy one in the Biology laboratory with various topics covered and practicals completed.
IGCSE – The Year 9’s started the term with an introduction to IGCSE Biology. They had an overview of the work covered during the course, as well as the different exam papers they will write at the end of Year 10. Their biological journey began by discussing the features of different groups of organisms which are used by biologists to classify them into groups. We moved on to the cellular organization of living organisms and the processes involved in moving substances across the cell membrane. We did practicals to investigate the movement of water between potato cylinders placed in different solutions and investigated the nutritional content of unknown food stuff by doing various food tests.
In Year 10 we are fast approaching the end of the syllabus with only three chapters left to do. This term we compared the advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction, drew countless Punnett squares to look at the outcome of genetic crosses and discussed the various adaptations that organisms may have to survive in their environment. We are currently discussing energy flow in food webs, nutrient cycles and factors which regulate population size in species.
AS Level – We’ve made a gentle start in Year 11 as the jump from IGCSE to AS level is an intimidating one. We’ve spent many weeks discussing the ultrastructure of plant- and animal cells and the microscopy calculations associated with this chapter. A couple of microscope practicals were done to practice drawing skills and identifying structures in cells. Next, we looked at the building blocks of biological molecules and the chemical bonds that hold them together in complex arrangements. Currently we are investigating enzymes by comparing their affinities for their substrate and the commercial application of immobilizing them in alginate beads. A few “wet practicals” have also been done to practice the skills of diluting stock solutions using different methods, gathering accurate results and the ability to present these in a suitable table. The practical in the photos required students to test for the release of carbon dioxide from a suspension of yeast cells in a sucrose solution by using bromothymol blue indicator solution. This indicator will change to different colours depending on the concentration of carbon dioxide.
The Year 12’s finished the syllabus at the end of 2020, and we are currently revising by working through activities from a workbook and past papers. Practicals are also important to build confidence for Paper 3 at the end of the year.
A Level – We are firing on all cylinders, working through the A Level topics as this is typically a jam-packed and intense academic course. Various topics have been covered in great depth, from the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration, to how the kidneys regulate the osmotic potential of blood and tissue fluid. Currently we are delving into nervous and chemical coordination of animals, by looking at how action potentials are generated in neurons, the process of muscle contraction and how hormones regulate the female reproductive cycle. This has indeed been a very busy term.
IGCSE, AS and A Level Biology Teacher