Today would have been the end of the lockdown period, a measure which called for rapid adjustment. I am sure that most of you were just as disappointed as I was to hear that lockdown has been extended. We all understand the necessity of such action, but the daily reality remains tough. We still have family and work commitments, whilst being mindful of what the future may hold. In no way do I mean to sound pessimistic; I would rather speak openly about the reality we face. We must try to not be fearful or become resentful and despondent. We will all undoubtedly suffer twinges of these emotions from time to time, but they are not a healthy place to dwell. We are not always aware of the specific challenges faced by each individual or family, but I believe there does exist a common empathy amongst South Africans. Practice kindness and wherever you can, stretch out a hand or a sympathetic ear.
Parents, we are so grateful for your support during this time. Your encouraging messages and emails are much appreciated. To all my staff, I wish for you to know how proud I am of your hard work and dedication. You continue to serve our students and their families with commitment and care. I am sure you are missing the students as much as I am. We are teachers because we love the interaction our job brings, the daily chatter and bustle of a busy classroom. We all miss the cheerful meet and greets in the morning, the laughter and games during break time. The chatter of voices in the corridors and the slam of lockers. Yes, we miss it all!
May the next two weeks of lockdown be a time of positivity and let’s look forward to the morning school run.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
The high school started various new clubs for students to join in 2020. Clubs play a big social role in a student’s school career. It fosters a great sense of school pride and responsibility. Joining a club also allows for students to form a stronger bond with their peers as well as discover new friendships.
We hope to see our clubs continue to grow from strength to strength.
The Service Club is a new society that was founded in the high school at the beginning of 2020. Over thirty five students from Years 7 to 11 have joined the group. The purpose of the Service Club is to assist with tasks pertaining to day-to-day school activities, as well as serving at school events.
Although the Service Club has only been in existence for a short time, its members have been quite busy. Students assisted the SRC during Open Day, acted as messengers and raked the long jump pits at ISA, helped to entertain children in the nursery at the Food Fair and helped to set up chairs and tables for the Food Fair.
Perhaps the group’s most prestigious task yet was assisting with the school’s Shakespeare production. Members of the service club assisted with various backstage duties at the Fugard Theatre and also assisted with backstage work, ticket sales and helping parents to their seats when the production was held at the school.
The members of the Service Club are extremely diligent and show great loyalty to their school. They are always looking for more ways in which to serve. Members will be happy to learn that their long-awaited badges will be delivered soon.
Service Club Coordinator
In Term 1 the Garden Club took on the Spekboom Challenge. This challenge was to propagate a 100 Spekboom and to plant them at school.
We gathered a lot of cuttings and received many generous plant donations from parents. To date we have propagated 118 Spekboom plants and all of them have been successful.
We are looking forward to going back to school so that we can plant them out in the gardens of the school.
Our project for Term 2 would have been to establish a sustainable herb garden, from which parents and teachers could gather lovely fresh herbs. As soon as we are able, we will get this project underway.
Garden Club Coordinator
Last term saw the official launch of the BIS Chess Club. The club began with only three students, but by the end of term we had more than doubled in size.Chess develops the students’ ability to think critically and fuels their competitive spirit, which has led to some highly entertaining matches! Special mention must be made of Nicholas Neethling in Year 7 who took it upon himself to coach new students who hadn’t played chess before.
This club has great potential and I am excited to see how the club expands as the year progresses and the difference it will make in these students’ lives.
Chess Club Coordinator
The after-school Walking Club had only a few keen participants during Term 1. There were some very hot, windy days and if that’s the reason why you have not joined, I encourage all the students who are not busy on a Wednesday afternoon to join in Term 2 when we have lovely cooler days to look forward to.
We leave the school campus at 15h10 and take a brisk walk down the green belt close to school and back. It is roughly 2.2 km. It is great to get some fresh air after a busy day in the classroom and we have so much fun, sharing jokes whilst getting fit. We are going to enter as a BIS team for various charity walks such as Blisters for Bread, as soon as we are able to.
It is also a great way to get to meet students from other grades.
I hope to see you sign up for Term 2.
Carmen de Villiers
Walking Club Coordinator
As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all confronted with uncertainty. Research tells us that uncertainty increases anxiety and worry in both children and adults. We cannot remove much of the uncertainty we currently face, but what we can do is look for opportunities to feel some certainty and control. For this reason, following a normal routine and having some structure to the day is likely to be useful for kids and parents.
Attempting to school children at home puts pressure on parents at a time when anxiety is high. This is not helpful for them or their children. An alternative is to let the children play at certain times. The benefits of play are ranging. When children have more opportunities for play, they have better physical and mental health. It significantly decreases their stress levels, and more importantly it facilitates learning. Examples of play activities include building dens, dressing up, play dough or sensory play.
What is sensory play?
Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a young child’s sense of touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing, as well as anything which engages movement and balance. Sensory play is not video games and TV. We use our sight and our hearing for those activities but sensory play involves actively engaging the senses to discover and explore the world around us.
Some examples of sensory play:
Sensory play for toddlers– observing light and shadow created by torch light on objects of different sizes, or watching colours mix and the patterns formed by finger painting.
Sensory play for pre-school aged children- creating shapes and playing with sand, or playing with musical instruments and listening to the tone and pitch as they strike or blow through instruments softly or forcefully.
The benefits of sensory play:
Many well-known early years pioneers such as Montessori, Froebel and Goldschmid recognised the importance of sensory play as a fundamental experience for a child’s growth and development. Such benefits include:
- Experimentation skills and recognition of the sense used during the exploration of different items.
- Attention and concentration by focusing on the given stimuli, such as exploring a light box or torches with coloured cellophane.
- Increased hand/eye co-ordination and both gross and fine motor skills.
A lack of sensory play leads to the brain not getting accurate information about its surroundings. As the child gets older, experts typically refer to this as a sensory processing disorder. A lack of sensory play may lead to a child with anxiety and poor coordination. It can also lead to difficulty learning and paying attention. It’s important to give the child ample practice in all the senses.
That is why its best to let them play!
Martie van Dyk
Reception Year Teacher
The year 4’s had their camp at Bonamanzi Adventures Camp this week. They all had an amazing time taking part in each of the team building activities.
Bonamanzi is found on the spectacular Breede River and their fantastic team and facilities make the experience that much more wonderful.
On Monday the 18th of November the very excited Year 4’s hopped on their bus and made their way to Bonamanzi. They arrived and were instantly greeted by friendly smiles and enthusiastic team leaders. The students had the opportunity to go on the river and had a great time splashing in the cool water on a very hot day. They also took part in many team building activities and even created their own team war cries and flags. They went on an educational night walk and observed many interesting parts of nature. A termite mound, beautiful plants, the starry sky and even a few scorpions which shine a yellowish colour under a UV light.
On the last night the students took part in a bonfire and braai. They sang camp songs and really came together as one team! This was a wonderful way to end off the year and has solidified the bond of the group, which is a beautiful thing to see.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
Year 4 Teacher
The Year 3 classes are learning about our beautiful city and all its history as part of the “Local Environment” component in their History lessons. Crowned by the majestic Table Mountain, Cape Town is a vibrant city full of heritage, diversity and spirit. Thousands of people flock to the city each year to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer. We spoke about Boulder’s Beach, Table Mountain, Clifton Beach and Kirstenbosch Gardens.
During the past few weeks, the students have learnt about the history of the town and its historical landmarks. They have looked at aerial views of the city, satellite images and how to read keys and street maps. They drew aerial maps of their classrooms and even designed their own treasure maps.
Year 3 teacher
Being part of an Interact Club gives our students wonderful opportunities such as the Rotary Short-Term and Long-Term Youth Exchanges for University students. Thousands of young people from different countries meet each other every year and experience other countries’ culture, thus planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.
The Rotary Youth Exchange programmes are open to youth with leadership skills, as well as interpersonal skills, such as flexibility and a willingness to try new things, that will enable them to be excellent ambassadors.
The Ryla Camp is another excellent example of what an Interact Club member can benefit from. Ryla stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. This yearly camp aims to:
- Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
- Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
- Encourage leadership of youth by youth
- Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
Young people from various Interact clubs get together and enjoy activities such as hiking, leadership training and survival adventures.
For more information on the Ryla Camp, Interactors may contact our teachers in charge of BIS Interact Club, Elena Berger and Janine van Niekerk.
RYLA Facebook Page
High School Teacher
I thoroughly enjoyed the Key Stage 2 assembly this morning and felt inspired by the message Ms. Kiley presented to the students about talents.
As much as academics is an important part of any school, I was reminded by Ms. Kiley’s message that each and every student has other talents too. These are the areas of interest that come naturally to a person, whether it be a love of music or the performing arts.
These are also the areas in which we should offer additional encouragement, so that our students are not lost under the load of factual information they are plied with on a daily basis. Children need to play in the sand, climb trees and explore outside, rather than relying on technology for entertainment.
Here are five reasons why outside play is fundamental to the growth of our children:
- Sunshine: Vitamin D is essential for the development of the immune system.
- Exercise: Children are so happy when they are outside running and kicking balls. It gives them renewed energy and focus.
- Risks: Often times we as parents are too anxious and we want our children to be safe. Keeping them away from risky situations may dampen their bravery and confidence. Yes, they might get hurt, but the lessons we learn from failure are as important as the lessons we learn from success.
- Socialization. Children need to learn how to work together. They need to learn to make friends, how to share and cooperate and how to treat other people. If they only interact in very structured settings, such as school or sports teams, they won’t — they can’t — learn everything they need to know.
- Appreciation of nature. So much of our world is changing, and not for the better. If a child grows up never walking in the woods, digging in soil, seeing animals in their habitat, climbing a mountain, playing in a stream, or staring at the endless horizon of an ocean, they may never really understand what there is to be lost. The future of our planet depends on our children; they need to learn to appreciate it.
(Dr Clair McCarthy, Faculty Editor Harvard Health)
A reminder that school photographs will take place on Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th of July. A letter has been sent out on Engage.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
On our arrival we were briefed about the station and introduced to the safety measures that have been put in place to keep everyone safe, as well as the contribution Koeberg is making towards the environment.
In the well-equipped auditorium skilled and experienced staff members introduced us to Eskom, the Generation Division and Koeberg Power Station by means of a video and an informative presentation. Eskom’s Education Programme aims to educate school children about the value of electricity and the important role it plays in bringing so much comfort into the home.
The exhibition explains everything from how a nuclear reactor operates, to waste and radiation, not forgetting safety precautions and Koeberg’s commitment to the environment. Furthermore, it aims to bring awareness to the fact that ‘flicking a switch” is so quick and easy one almost never considers the hugely positive impact electricity has on our daily lives…
It was a fascinating visit as we moved back in history and looked at the development of mankind until present day. Our host engaged our learners with some gripping questions and she had a brilliant way of dealing with them. She did a great job explaining the process of how electricity is made at this power station. We were also encouraged to visit the private reserve surrounding the power station and were pleasantly surprised to learn about the hiking trails that take visitors through pristine Fynbos and Strandveld which are ideal for bird watching.
The Year 9 to 12 students experimented with the numerous models which explain how ‘Energy makes thing happen”. Thereafter we were allowed to relax and eat our packed lunches on the breezy deck overlooking Koeberg’s Nuclear plant and the blue ocean.
The students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the field trip and the opportunity to learn directly from the source.
High School Teacher
In Nursery we have ‘Manners for Minors‘ every Monday morning. Each week the students learn about a variety of manners and new characters.
This week we learned about Caring Kurt and how we care for our mommies and our friends when they are sick. We were taught how to listen to our mom when she talks to us and how to help others when they can’t help themselves.
Miss manners explained manners in the morning. It was fun to dance and sing to the new Mommy song and we read a new book learning about how we have to get dressed, eat breakfast and brush teeth before we go to school.
Boastful Betty, Rodney Rude and Princess Penny are just a few of the other characters that we learn about at Manners for Minors.
These activities are a fun way for our students to acquire the necessary skills to become a well rounded member of the community. Our lives have become so fast paced that we sometimes forget to place emphasis on the basics. Etiquette being a very important basic skill for the next generation, must be taught at home as well as in school.
On Friday 12th July, it was a privilege for Blouberg International School to receive guests, The A21 Campaign. They shared valuable information about the dangers of human trafficking.
They taught us how to better equip ourselves in harmful situations so as to enlighten us to be as safe as possible when using social media platforms. This can be done by not being easily lured by prospects such as international sporting and job opportunities as well as modeling and scouting — no matter how determined one may be.
The A21 Campaign offers insightful information at various branches worldwide. How can one get involved? This can be done by donating money, creating awareness, inviting people to talks given by victims and survivors and participating in annual charity walks. Word can be spread by reposting informative videos and hosting charitable competitions within your communities and schools.
The motto of A21 is “Slavery Ends Here”. The message that can be learned from this is that whilst modern slavery is the fault of those abused, the rest of society has a role to play in fulfilling our duty as fellow citizens. Make a change today!
– Lwazi Mpofu-Mketwa (Year 12)
Last week Friday we had A21, an organization which assists victims of human trafficking, visit our school. To say that a lot of us were moved is an understatement. We all gained so much information about what human trafficking actually is and how even when victims are rescued, they are never really emotionally free. It was shocking to learn that only 1% of victims are rescued and that traffickers maintain control by manipulating our vulnerabilities, our desire for food, shelter etc. The experience was stark and eye-opening. However, not everything is doom and gloom. A21 have 14 different locations in 12 countries across the globe. The organization rescues victims of human trafficking and helps them get back on their feet after their traumatic experience.
On the 19th of October, the organization is holding an event called ‘Walk for Freedom’ to raise awareness about human trafficking. Participants walk a designated route, wearing A21 t-shirts and carry placards in an effort to get people’s attention and make the public aware of the reality of human trafficking. The message is that slavery still exists and as a community we need to identify the victims and abolish this heinous trade.
– Etseoghena Oyoto (Year 12)Read More