Although things looked a little different at BIS this term, we are so fortunate that our students were able to attend school for the majority of the term. Thank you to everyone who supported the staff and students through this journey.
We will continue to ensure that the curriculum is comprehensively covered, ensuring that we stay on track for the rest of the academic year.
Our sincere thanks go to the teachers for all their hard work with the planning and delivery of the online lessons, as well as the teaching of the students in the classroom.
On Wednesday, we held a special Valedictory & Prize-Giving Awards Ceremony on the school campus for the Matric Class of 2021, joined online by students and parents. Ceremonies like this one enable us to pause as we recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate our students’ success and development.
We also had the pleasure of announcing the 2022 SRC Leadership Team:
We are so incredibly proud of all the year 11 students who nominated themselves and gave speeches a few weeks ago. Whether they have received a formal position or not, they will all be incredible leaders for our school in 2022. I have no doubt that they will work hard to make our school an even better place by upholding our school’s values throughout the year.
This holiday is a short one, and I hope that you have time to rest and recuperate.
We look forward to welcoming our students back to school on Wednesday, 29th September.
Carmen de Villiers
High School Coordinator
The October/November Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A Level examinations are fast approaching, with the first examinations already taking place on 28 September 2021. It is vital that students prepare themselves for these examinations.
Below are some helpful hints and tips for preparing for the examinations:
- Familiarise yourself with your examination timetable.
- Ensure that you know exactly:
– what work will be covered in each subject;
– the format of each examination paper;
– the time allocation;
– the equipment that may be needed for the examination (e.g. calculator for mathematics).
- Get copies of old examination papers and worksheets.
- By now, all your notes should be up to date and you should have all that you need to study effectively for the examinations.
- Prepare your study area. Some things to consider are:
– have a good source of light;
– have lots of paper available;
– a clear work surface;
– coloured pens if you prefer to use colour;
– light or unobtrusive music if you prefer to learn with music.
- Keeping healthy! Eat fresh foods such as fruit and nuts. Pile up on the vegetables in the evenings and drink plenty of water and fruit juice to keep the flu at bay. The brain needs to be fed well to perform at its optimum.
- Try not to nibble on too many chocolates and sweets while studying.
- That said, the odd sweet or chocolate will provide an energy boost when you feel really tired.
- Getting a good night’s rest is also important. Sleep will rejuvenate you and keep you going.
Devising a Revision Timetable:
If you plan your revision carefully, you will enjoy the feeling of being well prepared for the examinations, secure in the knowledge that you have done your best and have covered all the work.
- Create a calendar for this purpose, using bright colours/larger paper etc.
- Start by marking in the dates and times of your examinations.
- Shade in the dates and times when you know you have other commitments, e.g. sports fixtures/family function.
- Work out how much time you would need per section per subject. Remember to spend more time on those subjects you find more difficult.
- Using a pencil, begin to draw up your revision timetable by writing in the subject and the sections that you wish to cover each day.
- You could leave a revision time blank each week, as a “safety net” for work not covered as planned. This may be as a result of those unforeseen circumstances that make life interesting.
- Do not get stressed out if you don’t stick rigidly to the timetable. Sometimes you start by expecting to cover too much at one time. The main idea is to get you to focus on the work that needs to be covered and to work towards a goal.
- Be sure to timetable rest and relaxation.
- Before changing subjects, take a longer break of about 20 – 30 minutes and try to get outside or do something different.
Each one of you will have your own method of studying and it is important that you feel comfortable with your chosen style. It is equally important that you admit if your method has not worked in the past.
Here are some tips that you may like to try out. These are tried and tested methods.
- Start by reading through a section from beginning to end. This will give you an overview of what is to come. Focus on headings and pictures and diagrams.
- Ask questions as to the content of the section (why, what, when, where, how and who?). This will help to get your mind in touch with the main areas within each section (e.g. What do I need to know about this topic? What exactly is this text about? How does this section link up with what I have just studied?).
- Re-read the passage with the aim of answering your questions. Look up words you do not understand, refer closely to graphs and diagrams, highlight important ideas in colour, etc. Do not try to make notes at this stage.
- Aim to check that you have understood the work. Think about the passage and focus on key points. Re-read the passage, making notes on the relevant material. This may take the form of block notes or diagrammatic notes e.g. mind maps/spider diagrams.
- It is a good idea to redo mathematics exercises and worksheets as well as work through past papers.
- Diagrams can become excellent forms of summary in subjects such as geography and biology. A diagram should be drawn clearly with large labels for easy identification.
- When encouraging a difficulty concept, try to break it up into smaller units and talk your way through the steps of the problem.
- If you have difficulty remembering something, pin up key words on your bedroom wall or cupboard door as a constant reminder. Each time you walk past the word, stop, and ask yourself a question or two about it to trigger a response.
- In language, you need to understand the rule to apply it, e.g. rules for the past and present tense.
- Review. Aim to ensure that you remember what you have learned by reviewing worksheets/past papers/testing yourself with questions that you set or working with a friend and testing each other verbally.
Just before the examination:
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Have a good breakfast.
- Arrive at the venue with time to spare.
- Make sure you have the right equipment, tissues, watch, etc.
During the examination:
- Don’t rush into answering questions.
- Read the instructions at the beginning to ensure that you know how to answer all the questions and how many questions to answer.
- Read through the questions carefully.
- If there is a choice of questions, make your choice carefully. Underline key words in the questions.
- Stick to the time plan given to you by your teacher.
- At the end of the examination, if you have time, read through your paper to check that you have answered all the questions.
I would like to wish all students the best with their 2021 examinations.
Cambridge Examinations Officer
Many people think that the teachers have a lot of holidays during the year, well that can be true – what they do not know is that perhaps half of that time or sometimes more, we are researching new ways of presenting our subjects and the content in a more attractive format for our students.I believe that we need to allow ourselves time to explore new methods of teaching and, as a second language educator, my goal is to try to minimize the specific grammar that the students need to learn or at least present it to them in a more appealing way.
In addition, the ways that they learn have changed completely with the new technologies and the use of electronic devices. The time that they are able to “hold” their attention on you is scarily short.
For all these reasons, I personally believe that by creating your materials you can connect better with your own students and adjust the content to the topics that you are explaining in class. I also feel more confident and passionate about resources of my own creation.
When I am in the process of designing these new materials, I always have the below points in mind:
Make it as FUN as possible: The materials need to be fun in content and format, so you can connect easily with the students. They need to “forget” that they are learning another language. Engaging them from the beginning. This will also help to increase their participation in the lessons – key factor in their learning.
The materials need to be USEFUL: In my view, this means that the students can apply what they are learning to real life situations, ordering food, going shopping, booking a hotel room, and introducing themselves. So, the question that I will ask myself is: Are the material useful as well as fun? Will I be using these expressions in a Spanish speaking country if I was their age?
Create INTERACTION: When creating a story your students need to be part of it. Just to read the story to them it is not enough, they can finish the story, you ask questions about what is going on, or you can create a similar story with them.
Firstly, introduce all the vocabulary, adjectives, verbs, or expressions to them so it is COMPREHENSIBLE – that needs to be familiar for them to keep the focus and understanding. Creating the story with the topics and grammar that they are learning during the term will help me with this point: story at the school (school objects and subjects, facilities at the school, adjectives related with the teachers), going shopping (clothes, colours.) translate it with them first and then we read it again, answering basic or more complex questions depending on the year group.
Finally, all the materials must be ACCESSIBLE: I continue posting all the materials in Google Classroom, so my students can always access these, and they can send back their stories or questions.
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
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
Amid much uncertainty, I wish to reassure you that as we are ending off this term, we are already planning for Term 1 of 2021.
We will continue to provide our children with the best education during this time.
We lost 0 days in academic time and could proudly celebrate our students last week at the prize-giving ceremonies. You will continue to receive excellent education and thorough communication from the school.
Our high school students finished their last examinations on Wednesday, 02 December and the teachers are currently preparing their results.
Our last day of school will be on Wednesday, 09 December and holiday care will resume until the 18th of December. Holiday care will also start on 04 January 2021 for the new academic calendar year.
We will communicate the 2021 school opening and closing times with you by next week.
UNIFORM STORE INFORMATION
Please note the Hatrick online store will be closed for orders from 18 December 2020 to 6 January 2020.
- For orders placed after 11 December 2020 at 12h00 to get your order before 2020 ends, please select the courier to home/specified address. If not, your order will only be delivered to the school in the week starting 11 January 2021.
- For orders placed between 6 and 8 January 2021, please note if you select delivery to school, the order will arrive at the school in the week starting 11 January 2021.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
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 to the 2020 academic year! We are all excited about this year and the changes, both aesthetic and academic, planned.
We received our matric AS results last week and are very happy to announce that 29 of the 32 students who wrote passed matric. 16 students passed with matric exemption.
TOP IGCSE STUDENT 2019!
Chloe Goldman wrote 8 IGCSE subjects in which she obtained 6 A* and 2 A’s. A total of 8 distinctions! We are exceptionally proud of her and are looking forward to more such achievements in her AS levels!
A total of 22 distinctions were achieved across the various subject areas. Top marks were achieved in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, First Language English, English Literature, Spanish Foreign Language, German Foreign Language, French Foreign Language and Music.
We wish to congratulate Ms. Alice Pryor on her excellent teaching skills in English First language. A total of 6 Distinctions were obtained for First Language English and 5 Distinctions for English Literature. Her dedication to her students and her love of the subject area is clearly displayed.
Just a reminder that we are starting renovations on the downstairs bathrooms on Monday, 20th January and request that you remind students to use the bathrooms upstairs. Foundation Phase have a brand new hopscotch-themed play area and the students are thoroughly enjoying the colorful spaces.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have a Parent Information Evening on Thursday, 23rd January and we are looking forward to an enjoyable and informative evening.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead.
I have just returned from a wonderfully informative conference in Budapest. It is always encouraging when principals from different corners of the world come together as it’s an opportunity to learn from each other’s different experiences.
I have also recently had a visit from Cambridge Regional Director, Juan Visser, on Wednesday the 16th of October. I am happy to report that as a Cambridge Registered Centre we are looking forward to continued support from Cambridge; their guidance with regards to university entrance, subject choice and compliance is invaluable.
Cambridge Primary has traditionally focused on Mathematics, Science and English as Core Subject Areas. However, effective from September 2019, the curriculum will be broadened. It is important that students are able to identify their favorite subjects early in their academic career and are encouraged to pursue the areas in which their natural talents lie. In order to accommodate the differing strengths and interests of the students, Cambridge has broadened its curriculum with the addition of Art and Design, Digital Literacy, Music and Physical Education. Their aim is to develop the all-important “soft skills” of teamwork, responsibility, leadership and resilience. Cambridge is constantly developing and revising its programs in order to offer the best possible education for the learners.
“In a fast-moving world, education needs to evolve.”- Dr. Judith Roberts
The focus of the curriculum for the various subjects are as follows:
- Digital Literacy aims to develop learners understanding of the digital world and celebrates the opportunities that technology offers. The aim is to increase the confidence in students while using technology.
- Physical Education focuses on developing movement skills.
- Music allows the learners to explore the subject as performers, composers and listeners.
- Art and Design encourages learners to express themselves as they experience and reflect on art.
We are incredibly excited about the broadened scope of the curriculum as we are now able to offer the above subjects to the standard which Cambridge requires.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.