Our top achiever in the 2020 IGCSE’s recounts her experience and shares some advice with future candidates:
“A famous author once wrote “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” That author was Alan Alexander Milne, the creator of the “Bear of Very Little Brain”. A bear who would sit around all day, doing absolutely nothing but he enjoyed every second of it. So, if there was one thing I learned in the 2-year course that is IGCSE, it was that I needed to relax more, to take everything in my stride and to not worry so much about the little things. To take everything step-by-step, day-by-day, and before you know it, you’ll be running.
I remember in Year 9, when the concept of IGCSE was first introduced, everything became overwhelming. I found it tremendously difficult in the beginning. At first, I wasn’t able to grasp most of the concepts for certain subjects and I was very confused most of the time. I’d never say anything though because no-one in my class ever seemed like they were having trouble, so I assumed it was just me struggling. Thankfully I had my friends, parents and teachers to tell me otherwise. My previous idea of studying consisted of working all day at school, then coming home and doing the same thing. It took a lot to make me realise that this wasn’t going to work for me anymore.
So, by Year 10, I changed the way I studied. I stopped studying for long hours on end and began working for shorter periods of time with a little too many breaks. I found that I study better when I’m relaxed and not putting any pressure on myself. I study consistently through the year and study in moderation. In class, I told myself that I was going to start asking as many questions as it took for me to understand because understanding a concept makes remembering it easier. I’d try to make notes for my subjects in a separate book, to make them clear and orderly on paper hoping it would appear that way in head as well. I found the use of different highlighter colours made certain sections of information easier to recall during an exam because it had a colour associated to it. I tried my best in class to understand the concept first before I made notes on it so that when I did, all I had to do was solidify the ideas onto paper. My dad would make fun of my highlighters saying , “At school all I had was a pen, one that wrote if I was lucky.” But I’d like to think that it was the highlighters and the stacks of cue cards with equations that helped me retain the information better. I realised it was also very important to take care of myself first before my schoolwork, through staying healthy and remembering that school is not all there is to focus on. For me , staying relaxed, calm and enjoying my childhood would be my top priority. Getting all A’s was unexpected , my goal is simply to do the best I can.
“The forest through the trees” is something my parents would have me repeat to myself. It reminded me to look at the bigger picture and focus on the important things. Stressing about the small tests and assignments wasn’t going to do anything except burn me out before the race was even over.
My advice to other students would be: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe “
Year 11 Student
Blouberg International School
In my last few newsletters, I have avoided writing anything about the Covid-19 pandemic. I thought it best to shift to a more positive, student-centric focus.
Unfortunately, in the last few weeks there has been an increase in the Western Cape and the Parklands area specifically identified. Although we have only had one positive case, a student, we need to remain vigilant.
It is our duty to ensure that we follow the protocols prescribed by WCED and the Department of Health. Our year 10 and 12 students are writing their external Cambridge examinations and it is crucial they remain in good health. Should they test positive or be in contact with a positive case it will affect their ability to complete the examination series. We thus ask that you maintain rigorous protocols at home.
Students must always maintain social distancing. As much as they may wish to socialize and mingle closely with friends, it just takes one positive case to change the course of their lives.
We are also acutely aware that the process of dropping and collecting students at school can be very frustrating. Parents must please use the demarcated parking bays and not double park. Our neighbors, and the area around the school in general, has been negatively affected by the queues of cars trying to enter the school property at certain times of the day. We have sent letters in the past regarding this issue and respectfully ask you to adhere to the guidelines. We can make someone’s day or ruin it entirely by our own actions. Let us be mindful of one another in an already difficult and frustrating time. Let us be the kindness someone might need today.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
Welcome back to the fourth and final term of 2019
A warm welcome back to all high school students and their parents. It is finally upon us, the fourth and final term of 2019. One of these days the holiday jingles will echo noisily throughout the shopping centres and that’s when one realises that the end of the year has arrived. Before we reach that stage however, we have a busy and important term ahead of us.
Whilst the majority of our students were enjoying the last two days of their holiday, our Year 10 (IGCSE) and Year 12 (AS/A Level) students began their final external examinations. The Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A Level examinations run from the 30th of September to the 15th of November 2019. We wish all our students the best of luck during this time and urge them to prepare as thoroughly as possible.
We also congratulate the newly elected SRC for 2020. The role of the SRC is very important in the high school and we look forward to working with them.
Good luck to all the students and parents in this final stretch of 2019.
Mr J Harrison
Head of Academics