School Newsletter 05.10.2018

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We are a learning community, passionate about providing an International Education,which inspires and encourages learning and intercultural understanding.
We facilitate self-discovery and the development of unique interests, gifts and talents, whilst promoting service learning as a force for good in the world.

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5th October 2018

Versión española 

 School Calendar

Sunday 7 – Wednesday 10 OctoberWednesday 10 October – D1 Theatre workshops
Monday 8 – FridayFriday 12 October – Individual & group school photographs continue
Wednesday 10 OctoberM4 visit to desalination plant
Friday 12 OctoberNational Holiday – school closed

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you have all experienced a wonderful week at SIS.

I would like to start by reflecting on the wonderful Back to School Party last Friday.  The event was generously hosted by our PTA and I would like to congratulate the new team on their teamwork and energy.

It was a lovely opportunity to make connections with new members of our community and to see students from across our school perform.  Thank you to everyone who joined us, thank you to Chez Vous Events and to everyone who helped in any way to make this party such a success.  Please keep an eye out for the next community event, which will be the Fireworks Party on November 9th.

This week the focus has been on connections between parents and teachers. All week in the primary school we have hosted parent consultation meetings. Thank you to everyone who has supported this initiative, which was carefully positioned after the first few weeks. On Thursday the secondary school hosted the Meet the Subject Teacher day, where parents were able to move to different subject areas around the school and hear about the different curricula and learning expectations across our school.  One of my quotes from the week has come from a new parent who said…

My children used to tell me facts about what they learnt at school; after 4 weeks at SIS, they have stopped telling me facts and have started to ask questions that extend their learning and understanding of the world.

This statement really captures the impact of our approach to teaching and learning.

I would like to send a reminder to any parent who may be considering joining the Advisory Panel; there will be a meeting in the Chiringuito at 9 am this coming Monday, where you can meet some of the existing Panel members and ask questions. Please note I will be happy to discuss the role with any interested people at 5 pm also on Monday 8th, but none of our other Advisory Panel members will be able to attend at that time.

Finally, I would ask you to join us in congratulating Natasha Gold, one of our staff team members, who has been chosen to represent Great Britain in next week’s Seniors World Padel Championships.

Have a great weekend!

Jak Kearney

Triathlon – Thursday 11th October – POSTPONED

Unfortunately, the SIS Triathlon has been postponed until the Ayuntamiento have given us permission to use La Reserva roads. Money will be returned via the school online payment system.

The Kindred Project News

The first Social Enterprise Day of the new school year took place last Friday, with the return of the Pop-Up shop selling uniform, books, saffron, and honey that generated €310. D1 students took responsibility to set up the stall displays and focused on the presentation and layout to entice their customers. They then worked diligently selling the products on offer. These opportunities give the students a chance to develop their leadership skills as well as enhancing their digital literacy skills. They send a massive thank you to those that came along for supporting them. Don’t miss the chance to see them in action again on 26th October.



Send a Child to School Day

The Kindred Project’s goal is to enable and empower students to use education as a force for good in the world. One of the ways in which we do this is by celebrating our Send a Child to School Day (SCS), in which all SIS students are welcome to come to school in home clothes in exchange for €1. This €1 goes towards sponsoring a designated student at the Nabugabo Community Learning Centre (NCLC) in Uganda. KP & SIS have been supporting NCLC since 2012 and, amongst other initiatives, up to date we sponsor 60 primary children at NCLC, 16 of them through SCS day! Last Friday we celebrated our first SCS Day and the result was phenomenal. Thanks to your €1 donation we have managed to raise €882.93 towards this life-shaping initiative. We leave you with Madrine and Ryan’s photos, students sponsored by our EC1 & EC2 classes. Thank you all so much for your support!


Back to School means Back to School Party!

During Friday evening, the awesome annual Back to School Party reverberated to the beat, welcoming the whole school community. The Dreaming Dragons student led social enterprise also had a great evening, with stalls present at the party. Working towards their CAS goals, the D1 students took the initiative to volunteer and learn how they can impact a school community. They sold popcorn, candy floss, KP hoodies, and KP Primary sold candy and face painted throughout the night and took €460 which is going towards secondary education sponsorships for two of the students in the Nabugabo Community Learning Center. It was great to see the entire school community coming together to light the fuse for another exciting and innovative year at SIS and for the Kindred Project and the PTA.

Jackson Joseph, D1.



Dog Food Drop

A massive thank you for so many generous donations to the DOG FOOD DROP this month. It was all delivered this Saturday; it was a beautiful morning for a walk with the dogs and we were joined by alumni Luli Marinetto.

Sadly, the pound continues to be overwhelmed with abandoned dogs and they are always desperately in need of help and homes.


Sotosol Walk and Fun Run – POSTPONED

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the organisers’ control, the 14th annual Sotosol Walk and Fun Run, which was due to take place this Sunday, has had to be postponed. The new date for the event is Sunday 25th November.

Parent Ambassador Programme

Are you interested in learning more about SIS and the IB system?

Then you should join this year’s Parent Ambassador Programme!

Whether you are new or old to SIS makes no difference, as long as you are a parent of the school you are very welcome to join.


The course starts on the 18th of October at 09.15. The programme, which will run during the course of the academic year, consists of a number of workshops and sessions, usually held in the morning.

As a Parent Ambassador,

If you are interested in joining this years programme please contact Sara Hagglof


PTA News  

The Back To School Party 2018 was a brilliant evening both in terms of the wonderful time had by all and the funding success – those who came along spent more than €2500 at the bar and just over €2200 on food!

The students excel in performing arts and get better and better with every event. For those not on stage, their continued support is wonderful to ­­­see; such a great skill to learn at school.


The next PTA event is the Fireworks Party on November 9th. Please do get in touch if you are able to spare a little time to help – we rely entirely on volunteers and could not offer so many fund generating stalls if it weren’t for the kind parents and teachers who give their time on the day.

This week, the PTA is proud to unveil a new grant application process, which we believe will enable us to solicit and evaluate a greater number of requests, leading to the funding of even more initiatives than ever before.  The teachers and school administrators have been briefed on the new forms that will be used to evaluate grant requests and we encourage all students, working closely with their sponsoring teacher, to develop ideas and approach the PTA.

All requests will now be required to be submitted by one of three deadline dates: November 1st, February 1st or May 1st. We look forward to receiving many creative requests for meaningful projects and initiatives.

Art lecture invitation to parents

Throughout the year The Arts Society de la Frontera hosts a series of lectures by visiting experts. The first one of the 2018-19 season is a special talk “As Good as Gold” to celebrate the society’s golden anniversary.

The society, which very kindly sponsors some lectures for SIS art students over the year, would be delighted to welcome anyone from the local community with an interest in visual arts to attend any of their events.



GOLF at The Almenara – Exclusive offer for Assist members

The Almenara hotel and resort is offering a 15% discount on green fees for 18 holes. Green fee for SIS students is 40€ for 18 holes.

For details contact

SPA ELYSIUM at The Almenara  – Special offer for Assist members

Assist discounts apply only for the full option of Gym, Spa and Classes.

Month 120€ instead of 150€
Quarterly 336€ instead of 450€
Annual 1200€ instead of 1500€
For a Gym only option, it is 80€ per month, 200€ per quarter and 800€ per annum.

For details contact


Message from Operations Manager

Annual Plan to combat the Pine Processionary Caterpillar

To combat the pine processionary caterpillar we have an annual plan based on the biological cycle of the processionary caterpillar.

The main approach is to use ecological insecticides that take their effect in the months of October and November. This year, on Saturday 1st October, all  pines on the school grounds were sprayed with biological insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis, this respects the environment and contains bacteria that attack the larvae. A second spraying will be done during the half term week. All the fumigated trees will be identified with a plastic ribbon attached to the trunk.

Spraying this insecticide is an effective measure against processionary caterpillars, and our experience is that it is usually enough to prevent them from appearing in February and March when the caterpillars become adults.

However, occasionally, for weather reasons these measures are not enough and nests form in the branches of the pine trees and then caterpillars disperse to feed and bury themselves in the ground.
If that happens this year, in February / March, we will be responding by using a range of methods:

  • Elimination of pockets where the caterpillars inhabit, cutting them one by one, and then burning them. This work will be carried out by a specialised company, using specialist machinery for this purpose. February / March.
  • Removing caterpillars when they come down from the trees using plastic bags placed on tree trunks.
  • Looking for the nesting areas of the caterpillars, unearthing and eliminating them.
  • The playgrounds in affected areas will be made ‘out of bounds’ for students



Hello October – Autumn!

Autumn has arrived, bringing its colours, smells and characteristic flavours.

We are taking all this into account in our classes and therefore our current project has activities related to autumn; making collages with autumn leaves, painting with yellow, orange and brown, playing on the light table with pieces of orange and lemon, manipulating nuts, chestnuts, and pomegranate seeds. We go out for walks and observe the colours of nature.

Welcome Autumn!

Message from Emma Butler, Head of Primary

Since Wednesday myself and Madame Caillet have been in Vienna attending the IB Regional Conference for the IB’s 50th anniversary. We are here until Sunday and we have already attended some fantastic workshops and general sessions,  listened to keynote speakers,  and have had the opportunity to network with fellow IB educators from around the world.



Parent Teacher Consultations

This week we have held student, parent, teacher meetings. Thank you to everyone who attended. Within these 3-way meetings students, parents and teachers had the opportunity to discuss how students had settled into the school year and to discuss and share their learning targets for this term.

P4 Unit Based Trip

P4 spent a wonderful day at the Picasso Museum in Malaga.  After looking at some of the artwork in the museum, they attended a workshop in the art studios led by the museum curators.

Sports Report by Mr. Summers

Last week saw the first inter-school competitions of the year with the U19 boys and girls basketball teams competing in a tournament hosted by Aloha College. There was also a secondary swimming gala hosted by EIC in Marbella.

At the basketball tournament the boys, guided by Mr Holmes, did extremely well, beating all their opponents until narrowly losing in the final to claim silver medals.

The girl’s team, under the guidance of Miss Heidi, went one better and managed to claim the gold medal! They lost to Aloha by 1 point in their group stage match, but then defeated the same team by 1 point in the final to claim the gold medal.

In the EIC swim gala, SIS was represented by 34 students from P6 to D2. The students performed well and were a credit to the school and PE team. Mr Alvaro and Mr Summers were very impressed with their attitude.

SIS came away with 7 Gold medals, 11 silver medals and 19 bronze medals.

Gold medal winners were James Butler, Eden Stone, Isabella Rodriguez, Tara Smith x 2 and Noah Jones, The U19 girl’s Freestyle relay team consisting of Tara Smith, Ella Adams, Izzy Block and Jade Burgess also claimed the gold medal.

M2 Bonding Trip 

 My Seville Experience

When we reached Seville we saw a beautiful town, we were given a treasure hunt with lots of different questions about Seville and the palace there. We looked at lots of historical walls and paintings. When we left the palace we looked around the gardens and we saw a maze (there was a maze because all wealthy people in those days wanted a maze to entertain others and themselves) and wanted to go in. We went to a place where a few movies like Mission Impossible, Star Wars and others were filmed; Plaza de España. Where we went on rowing boats on the river and others took part in some fun bonding games. I did fun games first, we had to tie a rope around a tree as high as possible and using everybody in our group. We had lots of fun on the boats but it was hard to turn although we made it in the end. At the hostel, after dinner, we did some trust games, which was super cool and fun. The next day in Tarifa we split into two groups again, one did activities the other went to the sand dunes. I had a lot of fun doing archery, zip-lining, rock climbing and doing an obstacle course. After everybody had finished we hopped on the bus to go back to school, then when we got back we could see our families.

By Aila Easterbrook

Inter-school Maths Day

For another consecutive year, we celebrated and hosted the inter-school Maths Day at Sotogrande International School on the 27th of September. We were joined by five schools from along the coast; Laude, Mayfair, Swans, Almuñécar and St. George’s. Each school brought 12 students from MYP1 to MYP3 (year 7 to year 9). The students were mixed into three groups to compete in the activities and they demonstrated their enthusiasm to communicate and share different approaches to problem-solving. The day was fun and full of challenges for all; a code breaker treasure hunt, young engineering marble challenge, Las Vegas activity, and an active Maths problem-solving challenge in the swimming pool. Overall students had an interesting and different day, which successfully fulfilled its aim of engaging students in Mathematics outside the classroom. Well done to all participants for showing fantastic teamwork and Maths skills.

Scrabble Club

Scrabble Club is up and running for any MYP students who would like to come. Have fun with your friends and expand your vocabulary. Monday lunchtimes in S14.


Creating awareness about healthy habits    

M4 Spanish Language Acquisition students have organised a series of activities to raise awareness about healthy living and the diseases that most affect the health of adolescents.  Through these actions, they put their Spanish into practice in context and develop their written, listening and public speaking skills.

University & Careers News 

This Tuesday we were pleased to welcome Gibraltar University to Sotogrande. Students were able to attend a series of drop-in sessions regarding the new university’s programmes in Business Administration, Sports, Finance and Digital Innovation to name some of the courses on offer.

What is cycle testing?

Cycle testing is a critical part of the assessment process. It requires students to complete a different test every week , under exam conditions.

Why we do cycle testing?  

Each test will be a snapshot of how your child is performing in a particular subject at that moment in time, allowing us to monitor their progress over the course of the year. In addition to this, we aim to take the ‘fear factor’ out of exam situations by helping students get used to the questions and conditions they will experience in their final exams.

How we do cycle testing

Teachers will give information to students about what to revise at least 1 week before each test. The tests will rotate weekly between the 5 core subjects in MYP and the 6 group subjects in Diploma.

Test papers will be marked and given a grade out of 8 for MYP and 7 for Diploma. These scores will be recorded on Managebac, which gives continual and consistent feedback to you, the parents, about your child’s performance.

Cycle Testing Schedule Up to Dec 2018: Link here

Boarding House News

This Saturday the Boarding House had a very exciting trip out Quad Biking in the campo near Tarifa! 25 students enjoyed some off-road action before some free time at Puerta Europa shopping centre.


We are a learning community, passionate about providing an International Education, which inspires and encourages learning and intercultural understanding. We facilitate self-discovery and the development of unique interests, gifts and talents, whilst promoting service learning as a force for good in the world.

Copyright © 2017 Sotogrande International School, All rights reserved.

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