As a school student, I hated English Grammar. I mean, did we really have to know if the verb was in the past simple tense, if it was an irregular verb or an auxiliary verb? Then there is the question of definite and indefinite articles. Most of the children who have been in my class, will tell you that Mrs. Coetzer says “English is a crazy language: For every spelling rule, there is an exception. What about two sounds which sound the same but are spelled differently? Then there is the matter of homonyms and homophones.
In all sincerity, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn and yet it is used universally, and we use these parts of speech without even realizing it.
Thankfully, the grammar taught in Year 2 is still fairly simple. To explain the importance of learning what a noun is, I asked various students to me bring me a ‘thingy’. Obviously, they were totally confused and kept bringing me different items in the classroom, with me rejecting each one. They caught on quite quickly and asked me to name the items I wanted. I tried another experiment and read them a story, leaving out all the adjectives and adverbs. They all agreed, it was a boring story. After I read it again, with the adjectives and adverbs, they told me they could imagine the story in their heads.
So, it appears that these parts of speech do play an important role in the English language, after all. As I always tell my students, we need to paint a picture with our words.
Year 2 Teacher
We have come to the end of term 3 and are looking forward to our holiday. On Wednesday, we had a great time having dinner with our Year 12 students. It was a privilege to end the term off celebrating them this week, with a Valedictory service as well as treating them to a dinner at the Gorgeous George hotel in the City Centre.
We finished our term having some fun recording the Jerusalema dance and what great fun we had, from the youngest year group to the teachers joining in.
I realized again how wonderful it is to be part of the Blouberg International family. As we prepare to take a break, I wish you all a wonderful time spent with family. May all the staff enjoy their break and come back refreshed and ready to finish the last term well.
Thank you for all your hard work and support throughout term 3. We look forward to welcoming you back next term.
*Wir lernen Deutsch zusammen! Das ist einfach wunderbar! *(We are learning German together! That is simply wonderful!)
In January this year all the students were welcomed to German with a new workbook that is made up of a curriculum in the form of a programme that has age appropriate teaching materials specifically for German as a foreign language. These programmes are based on the levels from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) which are “guidelines used to describe achievements of students of foreign languages and provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which applies to all languages in Europe’’. The CEFR levels are for grading an individual’s language proficiency focusing on the areas of understanding (listening & reading), speaking (spoken interaction & production) and writing skills.
In Year 1, 2 & 3 we started the Hallo Anna workbooks, a Level A1 (CEFR level) introduction for ages 5-9.
This edition is specifically for children who are learning to read and write an additional language other than their mother tongue or 1st language. Therefore, it gently introduces German as a foreign language and concentrates on learning German mainly through listening and speaking in Year 1 and then the skill of reading and writing are gradually introduced in Year 2 and progress in Year 3.
These skills are taught using various methods including songs, comics, audios, experiment and a colourful workbook with lots of creative ideas.
The students are taken on an adventurous and exciting journey with the 2 main characters Anna and her friend Benno in the city of Munich in Germany.
These adventures take place at school in the classroom, with topics including my greetings, my day, my likes, my classroom and stationery and at home with my family and celebrations in Germany. The students enjoy seeing the characters come alive in the workbook and the interactive online programme I use in class.
In Year 4, 5 & 6 the students were introduced to the Wo ist Paula (Where is Paula?) range of workbooks and programme.
It has especially been created for the over 9-year olds and has a progression from book 1-4 to acquire the Level A1 (CEFR level) and then allowing for an easy transition into High School (Year 7) and the Cambridge curriculum.
The programme is set up to motivate participation using interdisciplinary teaching across subjects and a multilingual approach, perfect for a school with an international perspective.
It includes language training and vocabulary, various topics, songs, videos, learning about Germany and Europe, it has differentiation tasks for extension learning, revision and the students have opportunity for self-evaluation to see their progress.
The students have been introduced to using the audios to improve their listening and speaking skills at home anytime via CD, downloads or an app. I use the Blink digital educational platform to show the videos, audios and pages from the coursebook and workbook in class.
The students in Year 4, 5, & 6 are on a journey with Paula the tortoise with various topics including: answering questions about myself, name, age, where I live and come from, my family, my classroom, stationery, my hobbies, telling the time and what I do in my day.
“With 100 million mother tongue speakers, German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. A new survey has shed light on where people are learning German around the world. Some 15.4 million people are learning German as a foreign language all over the world” and you the students at Blouberg International in Cape Town South Africa are very much part of this growing number.
*Deutsch ist cool und genial! Deutsch ist International! *(German is cool and awesome! German is International!)
*Song lyrics from the Hallo Anna programme. See the Year 2’s singing the song Hallo Anna Hallo Benno filmed in Term 1.
Auf Wiedersehen, bis bald!
Frau Kerstin Pani
German Teacher Primary School
It is unbelievable to think that we are at the end of August! We have three weeks left till the end of term and our year 10 and 12 students are finishing their pre-lim examinations this week. On Monday, 07 September our year 7,8,9, 11 and 13 students will start test week. We are confident that our students are adequately prepared to write their tests and that all their hard work during lockdown will see them succeed.
This week we communicated about the commencement of our aftercare programme on 01 September and holiday care programme on 17 September 2020. I am sure many of you have returned to work and hopefully working from home is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past.
This afternoon Ms. Kiley shared with me one of the topics from her PSHE classes with the Year 2’s. The topic was about ‘worrying’, and the students were encouraged to identify some of their own worrying thoughts. It was heartwarming when a parent shared with us that her daughter taught her some of the lessons she had learnt in class. It turns out that this inquisitive mind encouraged mom at home about not worrying and shared what she had been taught in class!
This is the opportunity we as educators have daily. We can share our experiences with the young minds in our care and teach them important skills which they can apply even at this young age. The responsibility we have is great and not to be taken lightly. We educators need to ensure we are adequately prepared to take care of every student in our care.
As we begin a new phase in our aftercare classrooms next week, we hope that you will share your thoughts and suggestions with us as we strive to make your return to work smoother. We are in this together and together we are better.
“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.”- Unknown
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
We are extremely proud of how our year 4 students have adjusted to all the safety protocols during these unprecedented times.
Break is a joyful, happy experience, where they spend quality time with their friends. The students learned to play old games again such as hide and seek, they have also invented a few new games to play.
The students respect the safety rules and don’t complain about wearing their masks. They enjoy their lessons; overall, they are happy to be back at school. We are greeted by smiling faces every day and it warms my heart to witness their connection and how they thrive.
We look forward to full classes again, because as much as they miss school, their teachers and peers miss them too.
Year 4 Teacher
It was a treat to watch them draw pictures of their favourite animals, work out how to create their habitat and add in all the bits and bobs that they need to make an ideal environment for their animal.
They all came up with so many ideas, and were able to assist each other in ways that could encourage new designs. I saw them make cylinders, cubes and domes. I was super impressed.
They were all so proud of their accomplishments, and I am sure that we can all agree that we are proud of them too.
Year 1 Teacher
Something that has struck me throughout the term is the reaction my students have had to lockdown. It would have been easy for them to give up and simply do the bare minimum, but instead they threw themselves both into online learning and into projects at home. Not a morning meeting goes by without one or more of my students telling me about something they made, something they’ve done, or a cool new exercise routine they thought up. Moreover, generally the things they are sharing are things they’ve done with or for family members – going cycling or running with their parents, making a cake for their Dad’s birthday, looking after a younger sibling, playing with their pets, and so on.
The lockdown encouraged our students to experiment with what they could do at home. They baked, made art, and spent time with their families. Don’t get me wrong – they’ve had their frustrations, but they have taken what they had and made the best of it, and I am incredibly proud of them for it!
Year 5 Teacher
Here are some of the interesting things Year 5HK has been up to…
During the second term the Year 1 classes have had individual, small group and class Zoom meetings.
The class zoom meetings have been fun times to see friends, share news, play games and even dress-up. The students have really enjoyed seeing their classmates even though they can’t play together it has been a way to connect with each other. As their teacher it has been a chance to see the class and catch up with what they are doing and how they are coping.
On Friday, 5 June my class enjoyed another Master Chef class. This time they watched a cooking demonstration on how to make Cheese puffs. The students then received the recipe via email and were encouraged to bake some for their families. Judging from the photos I received, they are all budding chefs!
Year 1 Teacher
CHEESE PUFFS RECIPE:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup grated cheese
Salt and pepper
Mix these ingredients together.
1 egg (beat with a fork) add about half a cup of milk.
Mix with dry ingredients. Spoon into a muffin pan and bake at 220 for 10 minutes.
Recipe from: Gabriel Bamani
Year 1 Student
The world has inevitably changed how we teach and how students access, share and facilitate information. Mathematics has been fun for most our students, with the assistance of great websites like Quizizz, Kahoot, and SPARX, which allow students to be interactive while learning. The most popular way of teaching has been the use of pre-recorded videos, either from specialist providers such Khanacademy or produced by teachers themselves. The latter have typically involved teachers delivering lessons backed by PowerPoint presentations on Zoom, the most popular screen and video recording software.
I love hosting classroom quiz games. They can be great for formative assessments and a tool to help students review before a test. You’ve probably used (or at least heard of) the multiplayer gaming website Kahoot. There’s a lot to like about Kahoot: it’s free, works in web browers on tablets, computers, and smartphones, and you can input your questions (or copy a pre-made quiz from their library).
Quizizz is an alternative to Kahoot, and there’s also a lot for educators and students to enjoy. It is very similar to Kahoot, with a few key differences. Just like Kahoot, the teacher (or host) chooses a quiz to begin. A five digit game code is provided. Players (students) use their browsers to join.quizzizz.com and input the game code, along with their names. If students are using smartphones or tablets, I display the join link as a QR code.
Kahoot is designed to show multiple choice questions on a large screen, and students respond by clicking buttons on their devices that correspond to the answers they want to choose.
Quizizz takes a different approach. No projector is necessary because students see questions and answer options on their own screens. The question order is randomized for each student, so it’s not easy for students to cheat. With Quizizz, students don’t have to wait for the whole class to answer a question before they continue to the next one.
So, Quizizz is student-paced while Kahoot’s pace is determined by the teacher or host. This is the major difference and can be a benefit depending on the situation. If you want to pause after each question, then Kahoot is better. The class can stop and discuss after each question, immediately addressing misconceptions. With Quizizz, students zip through questions at their own pace, limiting all discussion to after all questions have been answered.
This pandemic has showed us all how important the bond between teacher, student and parent is. It is because of the parents that we are successful at implementing various strategies outside of classroom, since they are the ones who have more contact time with their kids.
I want to thank all the parents that have supported us throughout this unusual journey.
High School Mathematics and Physics Teacher
We have conquered!
This term started off with a lot of uncertainty and unfamiliar ground. Although the challenges were many, the successes were more!
The Year 5 students are feeling amazing and they should. They have tackled challenges unknown to them and educated themselves beyond what any curriculum could teach. They have shown responsibility and maturity as each and every student took control of their learning and applied themselves to every task at hand.
Here’s how Year 5NM turned a challenge into a success with just positive thinking:
“I like online learning because I can work at my own pace, and I can spend more time with my family.” Kourtney Jones
“Ten weeks into it and online learning is going very well. My best part of it has to be working while sitting next to a crackling fire, sipping hot chocolate and keeping warm and toasty during the cold weather” Sanam Srikewal
“My favorite thing about online learning is that I can stay in my Pajamas all day and learn in the comfort of my own home.” Joshua Greyling
“The best part about online learning is that I can concentrate without any distractions” Tshiamo Ngcizela
“The best part about online learning is that I can have snacks in the middle of a lesson and I can spend the whole day in my pajamas.” Isabella Lockhart
“The best part of online learning for me is that I can work at my own pace and stay in my pajamas. I can also snack and take breaks whenever I want to.” Cole Dreyer
“I have found the best part of online learning is I have a friend who is helping me with my work. I enjoy working with him.”
“I enjoy seeing my friends on the calls and I enjoy doing challenging work because I can learn from the challenge!!!!” Jenna Eberlein
We have turned challenges into successes and we keep it moving! Positive thinking is our goal. Well done, Year 5NM!
Year 5 Teacher