Year 4 students enjoyed a lovely morning of team building to end the term. Coach Fabein from FP Sports and his team of professional coaches organised some fun activities for the classes to complete in a Round Robin competition. The students had a great time and Mrs du Plessis’ class won the challenge overall.
We would like to thank our wonderful team of coaches for the care and support that they show our students every day. We look forward to a well-deserved holiday and to come back refreshed and ready in Term 4.
Year 4 Teacher
The Year 4’s have been focusing on an interesting technique in Art and Design for the past few weeks, namely Cubism.
A few facts about Cubism:
- Cubism is a style of Art invented in 1907.
- It was a very different way of painting to anything that had been done before.
- In Cubism, an artist tried to show different views of the same object or person all together in one painting. When you look at a Cubist painting, you might see the front, side and back of the same object.
- Cubist artists tried to break an object or person up into different parts. This often made the painting look like it was made up of geometric shapes like cubes.
Pablo Picasso was one of the first artists to explore Cubism. He wanted to paint things that he felt, remembered and saw all in one painting. Some of his most famous creations are the guitar sculptures made of cardboard and sheet metal, and the painting The Weeping Woman. We used these two art works as inspiration to create our masterpieces.
Have a look at our beautiful paintings of Picasso’s guitar and portraits using pastels and the Cubism technique.
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso
Ria du Plessis
Year 4 Coordinator
“Every Chess Master was once a Beginner” – Irving Chernev
This is not a game of Chaturanga or a Queen’s Gambit, but it is certainly a move in the right direction for Sinddhizhai Divakaran in Year 3.
Sinddhizhai finished first in the Western Province Open Chess Championship and came second in the Under 8 Girls closed championship. Sinddhizhai matched the total points with the player who ranked first, but because of a tie breaker system, she ended up in second position.
Last week, Sinddhizhai took part in an International World Youth Under 10 Rapid online chess tournament, stage 1. Top players from 54 different countries participated in the tournament. Sinddhizhai managed 4 wins and drew 1 game, and also achieved an overall position of 97th out of 154 players.
Sinddhizhai got the chance to play with players from Slovenia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Malta, Belgium, Panama, Vietnam, Albania and South Africa. She also managed to directly win against the South African player, who previously won the under 8 National Championship in tie breaker.
An important highlight in this whole story is, that there is no separate section in the international arena for Under 8 girls, where Sinddhi actually belongs. She competed with a more senior group of under 10 players.
As Irving Chernev said, this is only the beginning for Sinddhizhai Divakaran.
We are super proud of you!
Year 3 Teacher
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.
One of the challenges after online teaching has been to bring the students back to be part of the dynamics of the class. We must adapt activities to help students continue to feel connected with their own learning, but also with their peers.
In my opinion, no online learning experience can replace the classroom dynamics that include student behaviour, emotions and imagination; giving space to the students for their self-expression.
It also includes a teacher’s way of presenting academic materials and students’ interactions. A teacher’s profession demands dynamism, you must also be organized, encourage participation, surprise your students, try new things, give them structure and consistency (beginning of the class routine, role-play lessons, oral projects) and challenge students to think through appropriate questioning strategies. We move from the simplest to more complex ones, helping them to build their confidence. (* Please see some examples below)
Teachers also need to promote relationships between students in the class, as with team work skills. These relationships need to be positive and productive, because they will have a big impact on the result of the group. We can make them positive by choosing useful aims, relevant topics, and appropriate and fun activity types. Effective teaching and learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom.
One recommendation is to make things more visual by showing your class ways they can use images to practice high-frequency structures in Spanish. For example, in my class, I worked on how to present the prepositions of place and present continuous form in a fun and practical way.
To expand on this idea, I asked the students to take “crazy” photos or capture funny videos of their pets during their holidays.
I asked students to describe in Spanish where the animals are and what they are doing in those images, using the prepositions of place and present continuous expressions that we are learning. These videos and photos have personal meaning to them, they are fun to watch and have an academic purpose.
In class, we display the images, and I start lessons by asking the students questions:
A simple yes/no question for the students to answer:
“Is the cat on top of the bed?” ¿Está el gato encima de la cama?
Then asking two option questions:
“Is the cat on top or under the bed?” ¿Está el gato encima o debajo de la cama?
Finally, more difficult and open questions:
“Where is the cat?” ¿Dónde está el gato?
Visual images have become an essential tool in language learning and such a big part of the new generations. They are so adaptable and help students interact with the Spanish language in multiple ways at the same time. During our Spanish lessons this last year, I have encouraged the classes more than ever to send me pictures or videos practicing everything that we have learned in the class.
Here are some examples of the images that the students brought to the class or sent to Google classroom for their pets projects:
In Global Perspectives this term, the Year 6 students have been learning about values. To start off the discussion, they were asked to brainstorm their own personal values. They needed to design and create a poster illustrating which of these values were important to them and explain why. The students presented their posters in class, and wow, the Year 6 teachers were so impressed with their heart-warming presentations.
We then moved on to discuss the differences between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and looked through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Once the students gained a better understanding of children’s rights, they explored how all their educational needs are met, and who is responsible for this.
They then had the opportunity to read our school’s mission and vision statement. In groups, they had a discussion on how the mission statement could be changed or adapted and made suggestions on what they would add to the school’s mission statement.
The Year 6’s will soon move on to researching information on school attendance worldwide and research an organisation that is helping to get every child into school. They will present their findings in class.
It is very impressive to watch the Year 6 students collaborate, develop and unify their ideas. We cannot wait to see what the next presentations hold in store for us.
Keep up the great work Year 6!
Year 6 Teacher
Throughout the course of Term 3, the Year 5’s have been exploring the different aspects of the working world, thinking a little deeper about the type of jobs they wish to one day have.
We have done extensive research, conducting interviews and internet searches, to find out more about what to expect in our future lives.
We also investigated the possibility of a robot taking our job in the future – making predictions and checking our answers using a website called “Will Robots Take My Job”.
After of all this thought and preparation the Year 5’s were ready to report back to their classes about the jobs they hope to hold when they are older. Let me tell you – considering the vets, astronauts, engineers, teachers and pilots who stood before me this week – I can confidently say that our future is in great hands!
Year 5 Teacher
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!
Becoming overwhelmed is easy as we navigate constant change. Becoming inspired and excited by the very same, allows us other opportunities. This term, the year 4’s have been online and/or in class. Every day they enter the classroom, full of expectations and open to the joy of the moment.
It is delightful to see that their education and excellence is determined by enthusiasm and encouragement. This is because of a team effort between teachers, parents and our students.
Google Meets in a hybrid class, encourage moments of magic- as we have to create moments that resonate, whether we are together or not. Most are spontaneous as we aspire to give everyone an equal chance to take part and see…
e.g. suddenly my laptop becomes a webcam for science experiments:
Our hall display reminds us of Mrs Keyser – she wanted to remind us that together we can make something beautiful, and a pinch of fun makes it great.
Who knew that our Google Hangout chats this holiday, would help us in English…
And that a lesson on French knitting at the end of last term, would become an obsession.
Together is so much better.
Mrs Carey Schoots
Year 4 Teacher