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
Art, caft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality Art and Design education should engage, inspire and challenge students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of Art, Craft and Design.
As students progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design. They should also know how Art and Design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. Therefore, exposure to various fields and techniques is what Art in Year 7 and 8 is all about.
At the start of Year 7, we focus on the formal elements of Art as well as the principles of Design. These make up the foundation needed to create all artwork.
During Term 2, we started with teaching students the skills to draw different facial features. After this, they had to put their newly acquired skills to use by drawing a portrait of our principal from a photo. The results are astounding. This is in preparation for Year 8 where they do self-portraits.
Colourful Mandalas were the order of the day in their June practical exam. This served as yet another opportunity to show their creative skills and freedom of expression. Currently the Year 7’s are busy with paint blending while the Year 8’s are exploring the world of Graphic Design. They are designing their own emotion-inspired font and using this in further practical tasks.
In Term 4, both Year groups will be exploring other areas of Art and Design as well. The purpose of exposure to the various areas of Art and Design is to help students make a more informed decision when it comes to taking Art as a subject at IGCSE or AS Level.
Art in Year 7 and 8 is exciting, challenging and a test for student’s creativity, thinking, hard work and dedication.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few examples of what the Year 7 and 8’s have been up to thus far in 2021…
Year 7 and 8 Art and Design Teacher
71% of business leaders and 63% of young people asserted that formal education alone is not enough to equip young people to be world ready. According to business leaders surveyed during the 2020 Global Survey; the following skills in the order of importance are considered in helping young people become ready for the world out there:
– Individual skills, such as confidence, resilience and determination.
– Analytical critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
– Social skills, communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
– Humanitarian skills such as empathy, adaptability, intercultural and civic engagement.
– Technical ability, technical knowledge and practical technical skills.
Achieving The President’s Award will give participants the skills, confidence and an edge over others when they apply for college, university or a job. Beyond their academic achievements, universities want to see evidence of so called ‘soft skills’ that they have developed through extra-curricular activities, such as communication, commitment, leadership and teamwork. The President’s Award is a fantastic way to demonstrate these practical skills.
The President’s Award equips young people for life through the development of universal skills enabling them to become responsible, committed, dedicated citizens. It provides a framework for non-formal education and has set guiding principles, with proven outcomes for young people who complete the Award.
It creates experiential learning opportunities to help young people discover talents that do not necessarily show up in the classroom context.
The programme brings together practical experiences and life skills, building confidence, encouraging physical health and recreation, and motivating young people to engage with their communities.
For the thousands of young people who take part in developing themselves through the President’s Award each year, the benefits of achieving The President’s Award at any level are endless. The Award is about helping you along the path to a productive and prosperous future. Many of our participants say that it’s a life-changing experience. Participants will make a difference to other people’s lives and their community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and memories to last them a lifetime.
Participants undertake regular activities in four main sections:
– Physical Recreation
– Voluntary Service
– Adventurous Journey
The Award is comprised of three levels and four sections. Participants complete all four Sections at each level in order to achieve either their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. At Gold level, participants also complete a Gold Residential Project.
Here follows the requirements of each level:
Bronze level requirements
Older than 14 years old.
Younger than 25 years old.
Minimum completion period of 6 months.
Participants must complete the requirements in each of the sections simultaneously.
Silver level requirements
Older than 15 years old.
Younger than 25 years old.
Minimum completion period of 6 months for Bronze Award holders and 12 months for non-Bronze Award holders.
Participants must complete the requirements in each of the sections simultaneously.
Gold level requirements
Older than 16 years old.
Younger than 25 years old.
Minimum completion period of 12 months for Silver Award holders and 18 months for non-Silver Award holders. Participants must complete the requirements in each of the sections simultaneously.
“South Africa’s youth are our future. Developing their potential is a top priority in our country. One practical way is to develop this huge reservoir of talent through their participation in The President’s Award Programme. The young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in the future as future leaders. ”
– The President’s Award Founding Patron-in-Chief, Mr Nelson Mandela.
To register for The President’s Award please contact Mr Riaan Vosloo,
High School Teacher and President’s Award Coordinator
The BIS Arts Eisteddfod was created to offer students a chance to build confidence and skills through performing to an audience and provide feedback from external expert adjudicators. It is also an opportunity to watch and share with fellow musicians. We are excited for this to be the beginning of a new annual tradition at our school!
The Music category took place on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. As the music department, we aim to create multiple platforms for our students to perform in front of audiences and adjudicators, so that they have firm goals to work towards, and have the opportunity to learn something new and different from each experience. It is very important for our musicians to not only learn how to play their instrument, but to also learn how to become a confident performer.
We welcomed Ms Elizabeth Retief, head of music at Elkanah House, as our adjudicator for the music Eisteddfod. For the high school category, we congratulate Mateja Mitic, Faith Chivaka, Iviwe Matakata, Jéan Marie Schoots, Saumya Maharaj and Niklyn Pillay on their outstanding performances and results. A special congratulations to Zoe Onochie for winning the high school Eisteddfod Music category for 2021.
We hope to see and hear many more of our students in future Eisteddfods.
Heidi La Bercensie
Music Teacher – IGCSE Music
My name is Rifqah Price and I have been a member of the Interact Club since I was able to join in year 8, 2018 and I have loved being a part of it. I have been able to watch it grow in size over the years and observe as the club comes up with new ideas on how to better the community, ourselves and help those in need. I have recently been elected as the new 2022 president of the Interact club and I am so excited to be able to continue the work of the previous presidents in reaching out to the local community and helping out wherever we can.
Covid-19 has made social interaction with the community quite difficult, but that just leaves room for more creative ideas to surface. I hope that in the coming year, I alongside the rest of the board members, will be able to become an integral part of the community again, not only reaching out to the main charity organizations, but also the lesser known ones, who don’t have as many resources at their disposal. I plan to make the effort to inform the club and the school about exactly who we are helping, what they stand for and in doing so we not only help those less fortunate, but are also able to unify the club, put a face to a name and effort into a cause. I know that with the help of 2022’s board members, we can grow the interact club even more in size and in perspective.
President of the BIS Interact Club 2022
The Shine and Strength personal development programmes aim to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to develop greater self-awareness and personal growth. These programmes have been endorsed by the Institute of Group Leaders (IGL). In 2015, the Shine programme achieved the Institute of Group Leaders (IGL) Gold Endorsed Programme criteria.
The target audience is girls and boys aged 11 – 17 years. We have launched this within our High School for Year 7 and 8 this term and students will participate in Shine for girls and Strength for boys respectively.
The programme is broken down into 3 units, with each focusing on achieving specific objectives. The first unit, Worth/Significance focuses on enhancing self-esteem; the second, Strength/Resilience aims to increase emotional intelligence; and lastly, Purpose/Courage encourages participants to dream and set goals for the future.
Group activities and discussions are used to help participants think critically, solve problems, and address problems of delinquency. More specifically, the activities aim to assist individuals in changing unhealthy or unhelpful thoughts and behaviours into healthy, helpful ones. The programme covers relevant topics such as self-worth, emotional wellbeing, healthy relationships, and personal dreams.
Shine and Strength is supported by empirical evidence through doctoral research with findings revealing that graduates of the programme are likely to make positive changes in their own lives. The key findings showed that self-esteem, emotional intelligence, purpose, and mobilisation significantly increased in participants after completing the programme. Examples include Shine graduates applying for jobs, enrolling in training or university, starting their own business, and reporting enhanced social connections.
High School Teacher
On this past weekend, we held our casting and workshop that was done in preparation for Blouberg International School’s production of Bar & Ger by Geraldine Aron for the 25 – 27th August 2021.
This will be a dinner time show. So bring a packed dinner for you and your companions.
At 9 o’clock on Saturday morning, we gathered outside in the parking lot and because of the gentle heat from the bright sun and crisp wind, we decided to practise outside in the gorgeous weather. We started off with a couple of exercises to help warm our bodies and voices. The exercises included warm ups to loosen our lower and upper bodies – from the tips of our toes to the stretching of our tongues. Thereafter, we proceeded to utter random words and phrases by using our diaphragms to help project our voices so that our teachers, who were standing near the middle of the field could hear us. Finally, after lots of repeatedly thrown words and fully worked out diaphragms, we were ready to start reciting our lines! Finally, we could practise like the talented thespians we knew ourselves to be.
We were then split into groups of two by which each were given a number of pages to practise. We were encouraged to share with helpful feedback with one another before meeting with our instructors, who sat waiting patiently. Throughout the performances, each respective group received constructive criticism and advice from the directors to help us improve our performance and feel more in tune with the characters we were portraying. The means to project out voices is a huge factor in order to reach the audience members, particularly those who will be sitting at the back of the theatre. Afterwards, we took a break to recuperate our energy with pizza and cool drinks – this was such a special treat from our teachers. By enjoying the delicious and cheesy pizza, and fizzy drinks, we were able to get to know each other better and form stronger bonds that helped us feel more comfortable with one another, which contributed to making our acting ability to feel more natural.
Thereafter, we got back to work where we switched up team members, continued flipping pages during practise and carried on with the day. Just before we were about to head to our separate ways and return home, we all lay down on the field for one last exercise that was conducted by Ms. Kerswill. Through calming instructions we were guided into what felt like a tranquil world wherein our bodies and minds became relaxed. In addition to sitting up from our peaceful minds, we bid farewell with a calm and pleasant mind set. All in all, it was a lovely end to a hard days work.
On Sunday around 9 am once again, we found ourselves back at the parking lot of the school. The cold, crisp, morning air sent shivers down our spine and the minute the junior hall was offered as shelter, we raced through the side door and welcomed the warmer area with open arms. We resumed with the workshop starting with a few warm up exercises, before splitting off into our pairs to finish the last few pages of our script. Everyone embraced the emotions of their characters, and we were slowly becoming more and more in touch with the characters we were playing. The relationship between ourselves and our respective characters had eventually taken form – that is having become immersed into our characters . This could be comparable to being a small seed like having slowly grown until we blossomed into something special – we would not just portray the character, but instead be the character.
Throughout this workshop, we were able to achieve a better idea of the play and our characters, as well as feel the nervous excitement that always happened at rehearsals. We hope that everyone will come to experience the curtain rise for this play at the end of August and eventually realize the fruition of our efforts and hard work that we had put into practise. We have certainly learnt a lot over the past weekend and cannot wait to perform in this play, be it in front of an audience, or live streamed. We are ready and excited to share our hard work with everyone. We hope that you will support us by coming to watch the exciting, incredible, emotional, remarkable and heartfelt production of Bar and Ger!
Year 11 Student / Bar and Ger Cast Member
I trust you were able to enjoy quality time with your family and are well rested.
On behalf of all our staff members, I would like to welcome back our high school students, who are currently online for now and will hopefully soon be back in class.
We have big smiles (and smiling eyes), positive attitudes and a group of children who have settled marvellously into the new normal.
We would like to welcome Mr. Louis Marais, our new junior high school Science, Maths and PE teacher and Ms. Michellene Williams, our high school IGCSE, AS and A Level English teacher, to our team and wish them the very best for the term to come.
Also, sincere congratulations to the newly elected Interact Board Members for 2021-2022:
Rifqah Price – President
Ayanda Gumede- Vice President
Altesse Cimbalanga – Secretary
Oscar Berger – Treasurer
Ben Cimbalanga – Board member
High School parent-teacher meetings for Term 3 will take place over the following dates:
26/07/2021 – 08:00 – 16:00
27/07/2021 – 08:00 – 16:00
28/07/2021 – 08:00 – 16:00
Parents are kindly requested to book meetings with subject teachers via the Engage platform. Further communication regarding the booking process will be sent out on Friday, 23 July 2021.
As an outstanding school, we value the holistic education and growth of our children and I want to thank all parents, students and staff for working endlessly and incredibly hard to continue to maintain a very high standard of work in the school and also at home.
Carmen de Villiers
High School Coordinator
I think we can all agree that this term has flown by, and I can’t quite believe that we are already halfway through the year. It has been a busy term with prelim examinations, internal June Examinations and external Cambridge Examinations taking place.
Term 2 reports will be available on Engage on Friday, 25 June 2021. A letter was sent out on Engage explaining how to access your child`s report. If you experience any problems please contact Ms Trindade Camara on 021 557 9071 or at email@example.com.
I also want to congratulate our Interact Club on a successful clothing project. Yesterday they delivered 38 bags of clothing to Home of Hope. A special thank you to the parents who donated clothing and other items.
As a staff would like to thank each and every parent for their support during the term and we look forward to working with you in Term 3.
Head of Academics High School