Term 4 has seen the return of most of our students to regular classes and the Year 9 Computer Science students began the term with a particularly interesting chapter in their syllabus, namely “Sensors”. Using various sensors, they were able to program and build models that react to certain environmental situations.
We focused on various problem-solving skills as the importance of students being able to interpret algorithms to discover what works and what doesn’t, is a valuable skill in all spheres of learning. The discovery of different solutions to various problems encourages and stimulates creativity in students.
Thinking about the 2020 pandemic, we realise how technology has progressed in leaps and bounds to connect us to our everyday tasks. We are mindful of the science involved to get us to this point.
Questions that lead to algorithms ultimately lead to new technological developments. If I look at what was achieved in such a short time span, I can only be excited about future developments.
Who knows, our next major development could be from one of our very own students.
Computer Science Teacher
With just around 7 million native speakers, Afrikaans is one of the world’s youngest languages.
Afrikaans originated in South Africa in the 17th century with the arrival of Dutch settlers in the Western Cape region. The language evolved from European Dutch dialects and drew influences from indigenous South African languages, Malay, Portuguese and Indonesian. Although sometimes described as a Dutch-based creole, Afrikaans is recognised as a distinct language in its own right.
Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa and neighbouring Namibia and Botswana. You’ll also find large expat Afrikaans communities in places like Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
So, let’s get into it. Here are 4 reasons you should learn Afrikaans.
Afrikaans is considered one of the easiest languages to master for English speakers. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) classifies Afrikaans as a Category 1 language, meaning you’ll need around 23-24 weeks (575-600 hours) to reach proficiency.
It can help you learn Dutch
Afrikaans is a descendant or daughter language of Dutch. Although Afrikaans has borrowed from other languages such as Malay, Portuguese and French, around 90% of Afrikaans vocabulary is derived from Dutch.
If your plan is to become a polyglot, Afrikaans is a good stepping stone to mastering Dutch and Flemish (and maybe even German at a bit of a push).
Experience the vibrant South African culture
If you’re planning a trip to sunny South Africa, knowing a bit of Afrikaans will instantly make you the most popular tourist in the room. Throw in some isiXhosa and we’ll practically hand you the key to the city.
Although pretty much everyone speaks English, knowing the local lingo will enrich your travel experience and may even get you invited to a ‘lekker’ braai (a fun barbeque).
Access a whole new world of exciting literature
Afrikaans has a rich literary tradition. From the poetry of N. P. van Wyk Louw to the fast-paced crime thrillers of Deon Meyer, you won’t be wanting for good reading material.
Students favourite Afrikaans words:
|pikkewyn||penguin||Danie M (Year 9)|
|pannekoek||pancakes||Connor N (Year 7)|
|koejawel||guava||Tumelo M ( Year 11)|
|Leeu||lion||Brenden A (Year 8)|
|tannie||aunt||Oratile T & Damon M ( Year 7)|
|braai||barbeque||Keno T ( Year 9)|
|verlief||in love||Siena A ( Year 7)|
|spookasem||candyfloss||Layla M ( Year 9)|
|pantoffels||slippers||Chloe R ( Year 7)|
Carmen de Villiers
High School Afrikaans Teacher
The annual matric dances and dinners have evolved from being just a farewell party for matriculates, to somewhat of a ‘red-carpet’ event. It has become one of the most exciting and luxurious nights for high-school graduates, and although this year was definitely different for us, we still had the chance to feel glamorous and socialise with our friends and teachers.
From receiving our beautiful invitations, and between mock exams; the weeks and days leading up to the matric dinner were mostly spent picking out dresses, suits, shoes and accessories, and eagerly sharing pictures and descriptions amongst friends the following day. The farewell had been something that we had thought and spoken about since the beginning of the year, or even last year, and when the lockdown began, the idea that it wasn’t going to take place began to set in. The perseverance and commitment of our teachers and heads to give us a memorable farewell, despite this, is what made the evening, as well as the valedictory and the matric breakfast, even more special.
On Wednesday, 16th of September, the Class of 2020 had their matric dinner at the Gorgeous George rooftop restaurant. From the moment we stepped into the building we were treated, and felt like absolute royalty. Each matric student proceeded to make their own elegant entrance in their beautiful dresses and classy suits, being served extravagant welcome drinks and compliments going all around. Two photographers attended to us throughout the evening, capturing the memories being made and snapping gorgeous individual and group photos. We were treated to a mouth-watering 3 course meal of various options, which did not disappoint. Sharing memorable moments from over the years, whilst eating and taking pictures was definitely something I think we will all remember.
The spectacular evening could not have been what it was without the hard work and dedication of Miss Pryor and Mrs de Villiers. On behalf of the Matric Class of 2020 I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for everything they did to make it a memorable evening, in spite of the interesting final year we had.
Year 12 Student (Class of 2020)
The fourth term is always a busy and important one for both staff and students. Our Year 10, 12 and 13 students began their IGCSE and AS/A Level external examinations on the 29th of September 2020 with second language orals. We wish all our students the best of luck with their examinations.
It is also an important term for the rest of the High School as they will be writing their final internal examinations in November.
We wish everyone a productive and successful term.
Head of Academics High School
As the outgoing president of the Blouberg International School Interact Club, I would like to extend my gratitude to the BIS family. Despite the years’ immense regulations and restrictions, the support that we received from the staff, the parents and the students remained constant, if not increased.
At the start of the year we had a specific goal in mind: to support and empower people and children in need. It is no secret that 2020 has been an especially difficult and unfavourable year, and often in more ways than one. In spite of this, and because of this, we received hundreds of generous donations in aid of our initiatives.
The BIS Interact Club had 3 drives this year, the Bring-a-book Civvies Day, the second hand clothing drive as well as the sanitary pad drive. With the support of everyone in the school, we managed to collect over 1000 books, almost 800 items of clothing, 70 pairs of shoes and a box full of sanitary pads, diapers and underwear.
The books, that we collected earlier this year, were donated to the Vaatjie Moravian Primary school and the Sunshine Educare organisation. The proceeds from the clothing and sanitary pad drives were split between the Blouberg Rotaract Club and the Table View United Church for use in their outreach programs.
Good luck to the new Interact Board for the year ahead and please continue to support the Blouberg International School Interact Club in the coming years.
Secretary/Treasurer and Interact representative of the SRC 2020
BIS Interact club President 2020
One cannot help but wonder what happened to Term 3… the days and weeks have flown by so quickly. On Tuesday, 15th September 2020, we held our online Valedictory Service in which we celebrated the Year 12 class of 2020. The challenges of the recent months have perhaps been most taxing for the Year 12 class, and we recognise their resilience and determination. Congratulations to all the prize winners as well as our newly elected Student Representative Council.
Lastly, I want to express my sincere gratitude to you all. I want to thank each and every student, parent and teacher for all the hard work and effort that was put into this term. Without your dedication and hard work this wouldn’t have been possible.
Please look after yourselves during this holiday and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to the last term of 2020.
Head of Academics High School
In the AS year 11 course, students have been challenged to discuss various topical issues. We have debated the pros and cons of life online and what implications this has for us. During our discussion, one student joined us online while the others were physically present – an illustration of the very topic we were talking about!
The year 7’s have been studying animals and some of their attributes in German. They have had fun talking about the various animal abilities. Every Friday they like to pit their strengths against each other in our weekly vocabulary challenge.
With year 8’s taking part mostly online, our near-virtual class has been talking about cities and countries and discussing the various sights and how to describe them in German.
The Year 9’s are continuing in their IGCSE curriculum, currently learning how to complain about problems during a hotel stay.
In the German classroom, students are encouraged to make connections to what they already know. This creates a personal learning experience, one which is merely facilitated by the teacher.
Here’s to much learning success in the future!
High School German Teacher
As I was looking back through the school calendar for 2020, I was reminded of all the events we have missed over the past few months. We missed the Interactive Curriculum Morning in April, a bi-annual event where parents participate in an interactive learning experience in the classroom. This was also the first year we did not have our Grandparents/Someone Special Day. No school photos were taken in July and the SRC of 2020 had little chance to enact any of the plans they campaigned for.
However, do not despair! We are not going to let the rest of the year pass by without enjoying some of our annual celebrations. Planning is underway for a special Valedictory service for our matric students and even though the matric dance cannot follow the traditional format, that does not mean we don’t have something exciting up our sleeves! We also launched our first Virtual Open Day last week and this week, our very first Virtual Talent Show! We look forward to many entries for this competition as we know how creative and talented our students are.
There is always something to be grateful for and always something to look forward to! Where there is no vision, people perish. Blouberg International staff, students and parents are not without hope, vision, or innovation.
To our matric and year 10 students who started their prelim examinations this week, we wish you all the best and success ahead.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend filled with family time and much laughter.
Our A-Level student is completing her final module on European dictators. I wish her all the best for her final exam.
AS Level students are learning about the Unification of Germany. Students are learning how to tackle advanced source-based papers and are becoming increasingly responsible for their own learning as they carry out research.
IGCSE students are learning about the events that precipitated the Second World War. They are forming judgements about the significance of events, as well as learning how to approach source-based questions.
The Year 8 students are currently learning about the First World War. Thus far, they have learnt about things such as the reasons for the war, the alliance system, wartime propaganda, the weapons that were used during the war and life in the trenches. Students created propaganda posters to recruit soldiers for the war effort.
The senior IGCSE and AS Level students are currently writing their Prelim exams. I wish them all the best as they prepare for their finals.
High School History Teacher
Biology is the study of living organisms, both in terms of their structure (anatomy) and how their different parts function (physiology). The cell is introduced as the basic unit of life, which then form tissues, organs, systems and ultimately an organism.
Biology can be divided into many different fields of study, such as biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and biotechnology to name but a few. Each of these directions delve deeper into the complexity of being alive. As a school subject Biology skims the surface on all these topics to provide a platform from which to launch for those interested in further studies at university level. It is important to understand how the different components of an organism function together as a whole. The intricacy of organs such as the heart or the eye is astounding and every part of these structures have a very specific and complementary purpose. Emphasis is placed on the practical application of Biology in the real world, from developing vaccines for infectious diseases, how gene therapy is able to provide hope to people with currently incurable conditions to understanding the impact of lifestyle choices on our health. Biology often overlaps with Chemistry as we investigate the chemical components of cells and study the equations of photosynthesis, respiration and the binding of gases to haemoglobin in blood. Mathematical calculations also make a regular appearance in Biology papers and is a necessary skill that students require.
Practical work is another important component of Biology as it gives students the opportunity to handle apparatus and chemicals, while conducting a scientific investigation based on work covered in class. Other skills developed are the ability to present the results obtained from practical work in a suitable table as well as reading and interpreting graphs. AS students begin preparation for their practical exam from Year 11 to ensure they have the necessary confidence and skills when the Cambridge exams arrive. The Year 12’s recently did a practical where they investigated the effect of different concentrations of an enzyme (catalase) on the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide. Filter paper discs were soaked in a solution containing catalase and then placed in a container with hydrogen peroxide. As the enzyme breaks down the peroxide it produces oxygen gas which causes the filter paper discs to rise to the surface. Students had to time the movement of the discs dipped in different concentrations of catalase.
Biology is a subject which provides countless career options, especially in the field of medicine or research. It is a diverse Science involved with finding answers to some of life’s most interesting questions. Despite the biological advances made over the years there are still many things to learn and discover.