DROP AND GO
We would like to remind parents that children should always exit/enter vehicles on the left hand side. We would like to ensure that our students remain safe at all times.
COVID AND ONLINE LEARNING
Due to the Covid situation in the Western Cape, our hybrid teaching will continue for the remainder of this term.
Please ensure that if your child learns from home they are committed and attend every lesson. Sadly, we do have students who take advantage of the situation.
Every BIS student has an iesmail.com email address. Students are reminded that this address is for school related matters only. All private chats should be done using a private email address.
Mr Brian Sizani is our Mathematics and Physics teacher at the High School. He has been at BIS since October 2017.
Did you know…..
- He only reads novels by Martina Cole. He has quite a collection of them.
- He aspires to be an Astrophysicist.
- He was part of the UWC choir for 4 years, singing tenor. He is also a choir member at church, singing tenor solos and at times he gets to conduct the choir.
- He loves traveling and exploring/learning about various cultures, especially indigenous cultures.
- As much as he admires the natural beauty of this planet, he has not been able to overcome his fear of the ocean yet. One day!
Thank you, Brian, for your commitment to the students and the school.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Discipline in Life
“Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.” – Eliud Kipchoge
Freedom to do what we want to, when we want to, is usually the type of freedom that the majority of people wish for. But what does this “freedom” mean and how does it manifest practically in everyday life?
For us to better understand what Kipchoge – the world record holder in the marathon – is trying to bring across, let’s take a simple example that most of us can relate to:
Each of us believes that we are free to eat whatever we like. We also believe that we have the choice to exercise as much or as little as we want to. “Yes, we are truly free,” some will remark. But wait, there is a catch…
We all know that if a person eats without any restraint and does no exercise whatsoever, chances are very good that he/she will gain weight. If this continues over an extended period of time, they will gain a lot of weight. This lifestyle has long-term implications, including susceptibility to certain diseases and a variety of other health risks. People in this category are also often not able to participate in many activities, both indoor and outdoor. Though sad and unfortunate, these are facts.
Life gives us many examples like these, proving that exercising our “freedoms” does not always lead to true freedom.
Let’s look at Kipchoge’s words again. He is in fact saying that if we are not slaves to our moods and passions, but live lives of discipline, we will find true freedom.
This may not be the most encouraging message; but when it’s applied, it can be life-changing indeed.
Question: What “freedoms” in your life could lead to circumstances that you would rather avoid?
Have an amazing weekend, let’s remember to be grateful for all the privileges we enjoy daily.
WHAT OUR SCHOOL STANDS FOR…
We would like our school to be known as a “Bully Free Zone”. Let’s consider this a little.
More details to follow!
COVID AND ONLINE LEARNING
I have had a few queries as to what extent the school is affected by Covid cases. As with most other work places we are most certainly affected. However, we try and manage it per class/group and discreetly as possible. We have over the past 3 weeks closed certain classes or phases and isolated staff where necessary. During these times we follow all health & safety protocols and often ask for professional advice.
We continue with Hybrid teaching until the end of August. We will re-assess this towards the end of the month before we communicate the way forward in September. Thank you to everyone for working together and supporting one other.
Online learning should be taken seriously, and all classes should be attended.
Our main newsletter photograph features our newly appointed Key Stage 2 Coordinator, Ms Katherine Nel. Katherine started her journey at BIS in 2016. She then moved to Dubai in 2018 where she taught at an international school. In 2020, Katherine came back to our BIS family.
- Katherine is originally from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and moved to Cape Town in 2016.
- She has three dogs and shares a birthday with her Poodle, Bentley.
- She has lived and worked at schools in both London and Dubai.
- Katherine enjoys studying (maybe a bit too much) and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media, Communication and Culture (majoring in English Literature and Public Relations), a Postgraduate Degree in Education, an Honours Bachelor of Education- with specialisation in Inclusive Education, an Honours Bachelor of Education- with specialisation in Psycho-Educational Support and she is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology. She also hopes to one day complete her Master of Education in Educational Psychology. Wow!
- When she was in pre-school, she wanted to be a waitress in Paris.
Thank you, Katherine, for your contribution in making our school a great place to be.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Little Things
“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.” – Bruce Barton
We live in a culture where everything is measured by size and numbers. A normal meal doesn’t catch the eye until it’s “SUPER-SIZED”; when we expect 30 people at a gathering and only 5 people pitch, the event is considered a failure; when raising funds for a certain cause and end up with less than expected, we become discouraged.
We live in a world in which size matters more than ever before. Although most families can live in a home of around 150 square meters, we look at the guy living in a 1,000-square house and somehow think that’s better.
All these ways of thinking have brought us to a place where we no longer take notice of the little things. This is very detrimental, as we will most likely miss some wonderful opportunities in life because of it.
Take business for instance: How do the majority of businesses start? With 100,000 clients on day one? Of course not – they start with one! Valuing that client and giving them the best possible service will then hopefully draw the 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 10th clients in. And so, it starts.
Looking for that business or opportunity that will give you “instant” wealth or success will lead you down a road of emptiness and discouragement – not because there aren’t opportunities, but because you aren’t sensitive to the ventures and opportunities in life that start off small.
Once we reset our bias toward big things and tune in to the many small opportunities all around us, we, like Barton, will start to consider the consequences of little things and realize that they weren’t all that little after all.
“Let’s get all the little things right”. The big things will take care of themselves.
Have a brilliant weekend – give someone a reason to smile.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS NOT WELL
Please be reminded that if your child is not well, rather keep them at home. Given the current pandemic we would prefer you err on the side of caution.
We are aware that this may be an inconvenience for you but this is to ensure that we all stay healthy and safe.
We continue with Hybrid teaching next week. Thank you to everyone for working together and supporting each other.
Please do not keep your children at home if they do not have access to the learning platforms. If there are concerns or problems, please contact me so that we can assist.
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY
Monday, 9 August, is Women’s Day. While this day may be celebrated for various reasons, I believe it is a day where we should honour and celebrate the ladies/girls in our lives. This is a perfect opportunity to spoil our wives, girlfriends, daughters and mothers.
While we are celebrating Women’s Day, let us honour our latest Olympic gold medallist, Tatjana Schoenmaker. What an incredible swim in the 200m breaststroke final – Gold medal and a world record.
Happy Women’s Day to all the ladies/girls in our community.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Beverley du Plessis. Beverley is one of our Music teachers and started at BIS in 2018.
Did you know….
- She is pregnant with her second daughter.
- She does Triathlons and has done various races like Ironman 70.3 and Double Century cycle race.
- She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and running.
- She loves to explore new places and travel. Having been to various countries, the most recent was Bali, just before Covid.
- She has a lot of animals and only adopts animals to give them a second chance at life.
Thank you for all your amazing work, Beverley.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: What am I alone with?
“Being alone with fear can rapidly turn into panic. Being alone with frustration can rapidly turn into anger. Being alone with disappointment can rapidly turn into discouragement and, even worse, despair.” – Mark Goulston
In a time where “lockdown”, “social distancing”, and “curfew” have become all-too-frequent words in our vocabularies, it may be a good time to ask the question: “What am I alone with?”
Goulston suggests that being alone with fear, frustration and disappointment can lead to panic, anger, and despair. It also seems as if mainstream media and news outlets want to push us toward these negative and very detrimental human emotions. Do you agree?
Although there are a multitude of wonderful stories of hope, courage, and survival against all odds playing out in our communities every day, these don’t seem to appear on our social feeds. We need to guard against becoming prisoners of what we do see and hear on a daily basis.
Yes, there certainly is hurt and pain – even death – closer to us than ever before in our lifetimes, but by making these things our only reality, we will inevitably go down an ugly road of which our minds were partly the architects.
If each of us are determined to share uplifting stories – the real-life dramas of friends and family showing courage and compassion and coming out on the other side when nobody thought they’d have a chance – I am convinced that they will awaken a sense of hope and purpose in all of us. So, before simply repeating a story we’ve heard or read, we need to ask ourselves: “Am I building or breaking with what I am about to say?”
Whenever speaking with others, reading articles or watching news clips, let us continue to ask ourselves: “What am I alone with?”
Have a fantastic weekend and encourage those around you. It’s all or nothing in SA’s final test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday!
As some of you may know, International Friendship Day is on Friday, 30 July. The idea behind the day, which was proclaimed by the UN in 2011, is that friendship between people, cultures, and countries has the power to inspire peace and build bridges between communities. I believe that there is no better time than right now, to celebrate those close to us and show gratitude and support for our peers, friends, family and staff.
This day is a great opportunity for parents, students and educators to share in the spirit of human solidarity.
“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Friday, 30 July is “Pyjama Day” at Blouberg International School. Students are encouraged to pay R10 and come to school in their PJ’s. They have also been selling candy floss @ R10.
This is a matric farewell fundraiser.
Events like these create energy and positivity on campus and is good for our wellness and mental health. Let’s enjoy the day within all necessary protocols.
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference” – Nelson Mandela
We move into the next 2-week period at BIS
Monday, 2 August – Friday, 13 August
We are mindful of the fact that statistics show that there is still an increase in Covid cases in the Western Cape and we will therefore continue with hybrid teaching during the first two weeks of August. We will not have any extra-curricular activities during this period, but we sincerely hope that from 16 August we can re-introduce extra-curricular activities. Additional academic lessons may be scheduled by various teachers during this time.
I request that parents inform the respective class/tutor teachers of their choice for the next two weeks (2nd – 13th August). Once a choice has been made, we expect students to stick to that choice for the duration of that period. It becomes very disruptive and disorganised if students do not stick to their choice. Please could you let teachers know by the end of this week so they are prepared for Monday.
I am aware of a number of students who believe online learning is optional. Online learning is no excuse for students not to attend classes. It is normal school. Please assist all students in maintaining their full commitment.
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Charlotte (Charlie) Cronje. Charlie is one of our Year 1 teachers and started at BIS in 2018.
She believes a cup of tea makes everything better!
- Charlie was born in Kent, England, and she obtained her BSc Degree in Psychology. After working with psychopathic men with personality disorders she went onto pursue a Masters in Social work.
- She loves trampolining and was captain of the Trampolining Club at Liverpool University.
- She enjoys travelling, but camping is a family favourite.
- Her favourite film is ’The Sound of Music’ closely followed by ’Mary Poppins’.
- She plays the trumpet and enjoys playing in the Cape Town Concert Brass Band. (CTCBB).
- She likes to hike. She completed the 3-peak challenge in England which involved walking the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours and she would like to try the 3-peak challenge in Cape Town.
Wow, certainly an interesting life! Thank you for being a ray of sunshine at our school.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire
Congratulations to our IT teacher, Mr Gemayel Kroukamp, on the birth of his son, Sebastian Jacobus. We trust that he will be an incredible blessing in your life.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Pain and Suffering
“The climb might be tough and challenging, but the view is worth it. There is a purpose for that pain; you just can’t always see it right away.” – Victoria Arlen
This is what Wikipedia has to say about Victoria Arlen, the lady who made the above statement:
“At the age of eleven, Arlen developed two rare conditions known as transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. This was an extremely rare scenario, and Victoria quickly lost her ability to speak, eat, walk, and move at all. She slipped into a vegetative state from which recovery was highly unlikely. Arlen spent nearly four years “locked” inside her own body, completely aware of what was going on, but unable to move or communicate. Doctors saw little hope of survival and believed recovery to be improbable.
In 2010, after almost four years, Arlen started re-learning how to speak, eat, and move. In June 2012, after a world record-breaking performance at the U.S. Paralympic swimming trials, Arlen qualified for the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games. In London, she won four medals as a proud member of Team USA – one gold and three silvers.”
Our challenges may not be as severe as those faced by Victoria Arlen, but they can often feel like insurmountable mountains.
When looking back on our own lives and seeing the countless times when pain and suffering birthed new and exciting things, we can take courage in the following:
- There is always hope;
- We will leave stronger than we started;
- We are not alone – there are others going through tough times too.
May we encourage others who are facing difficult circumstances, the same way in which we confront and handle our own pain and suffering. Who knows, maybe someone else will encourage us too. That’s what community, family, hope and life are all about!
Have a great weekend, stay warm, enjoy the Olympics and the 2nd test match between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions. Go Bokke!
Term 3 is a short 9-week term. We should remember that there is much to do as this is a non-exam term and every task is important.
Our school activities remain hampered by the Covid pandemic but we remain positive. We have much to be grateful for and making excuses will not help us. Let us continue focusing on the many blessings we have and make the most of every opportunity.
We welcome Mr Louis Marais (Year 7 & 8 Mathematics, Science and PE teacher) and Ms Michellene Williams (IGCSE, AS and A Level English teacher) to our school. It is with much excitement that we look forward to having them settle in and work with us to reach our goals.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today” – Abraham Lincoln
“Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment to results” – Will Craig
Thank you to all concerned for a good start to our 1st week of online learning despite some connectivity issues on Tuesday. We sincerely trust that our students will fill our school from Monday, 26th July.
As mentioned at our Parent meeting on Tuesday evening, we have divided the first six weeks of this term into 4 periods. Parents/students have a choice to learn from home or attend school in person from Monday, 26 July 2021.
I request that parents inform the respective class/tutor teachers of their choice for next week (26th – 30th July). Once a choice has been made, we expect students to stick to that choice for the duration of that period. It becomes very disruptive and disorganized if students do not stick to their choice. Please could you let teachers know by the end of this week so they are prepared for Monday.
Online learning is no excuse for students not to attend classes. It is normal school. Please assist all students in maintaining their full commitment.
6 Tips for productivity:
- Establish a routine
- Be organized
- Make deadlines
- Take small breaks
- Stay motivated
- Know yourself
“ACCOUNTABILITY – It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable” – Moliere
Our main newsletter photograph features Mrs Nadia Mahomed. Mrs Mahomed is one of our Year 5 teachers and started at BIS in 2016.
A little bit about Nadia:
- She was born in Durban, schooled in Johannesburg and currently lives in Cape Town.
- The things she loves the most are being a mum and those moments when she gets to hide in her room with a bag of Simba chips.
- She is obsessed with Thai food and loves cooking. She does not like baking and has been known to set an oven or two (or three) alight in her attempt to bake.
- She has a Bachelors of the Arts Degree, specialising in Industrial Psychology and English Literature. She also has a Postgraduate Degree in Education.
- She loves travelling but stays far away from camping or any place she cannot plug in her hair straightener.
- Kindness and honesty are values of high importance to her.
Thank you, Nadia, for all you do for the students and our school.
WEEKLY THOUGHT: Do We Invest in Ourselves?
“We take better care of our smartphones than we do of ourselves – the phones are always recharged!” – Arianna Huffington
If the above were not so extremely accurate, one might have thought that Huffington was taking a cheap shot. But she really isn’t…
Our cell phones have screen protectors, covers, and are always charged.
When it comes to us humans, however, the reality is that we do not always take as much care of this person – ourself – whom we hope makes it to a 100%.
I am sure you will agree that most of us don’t take enough care when it comes to:
- What we eat and drink, and in what quantities;
- Ensuring we get enough sleep, rest and time for meditation & thought;
- Exercise and outdoor activities;
- Friendships and depositing into the lives of others;
- Spiritual matters.
While most of us get a new cell phone every 2 years, the body we have and the person we see in the mirror each morning, will be the same image we see until the day we die. The better we take care of ourselves, the better shot we have at a long life. But merely reaching a high age is not first prize – it’s reaching those big numbers and still being able to enjoy life at that stage. That’s the trick!
Like most investments, the sooner you start, the better.
Have a brilliant weekend, setting some time aside for a coffee/tea with yourself.