School Newsletter 07.06.2019


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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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7th June 2019

 School Calendar

Friday 7 June

Dream Factory Grand Final – 18:00 – 20:30 in Marquee    

Monday 10 – Friday 14 June

M5 Work experience week

Monday 10 – Friday 21 June

M1- M3 End of year summative examinations

Tuesday 11 – Friday 21 June

D1 Exam period

Wednesday 12 June

EC1 Unit based trip

Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 June    

Rock School examinations

Saturday 15 June

ABRSM Theory examinations

Monday 17 – Friday 21 June

M4 End of year subject examinations

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I would like to begin by congratulating our D2 students, who graduated on Friday, and their parents for coming to the end of a long journey. The evening was a beautiful mix of celebration, laughter and tears.  We look forward to hearing about the results during the summer and in the meantime, wish them the best as they leap to the next chapter of their lives.

Friday’s Graduation Ceremony was also a time to recognise the commitment and leadership of Jane Bannell. Jane has been our Head of Upper School and IB Diploma Coordinator for 15 years. Sadly for Sotogrande, Jane will be retiring this year. Eduardo wrote and delivered a wonderful thank you to Jane at the event.  Jane has helped so many students and parents to navigate the treacherous waters of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for years and has supported these students with their transition to the next chapter of their lives. On behalf of our community, thank you Jane.

Whilst we are reflecting on one of our retirees, I would like to acknowledge our other friends and colleagues who will also be retiring this year.

Pete Lawrence has been a dedicated and energized contributor to SIS for years, initially as Head of PE and latterly as an inspirational English teacher. He was the innovator of the CAS connection with Asni and continues to be a full supporter of The Kindred Project connections; often spotted on stage with students and staff, playing a banjo, mandolin, harmonica or Kazoo. I would like to thank him for his passion and dedication. Pete will be departing to spend some time at Nabugabo in Uganda, where he will connect with Dave and Judy to help the primary students prepare for their End of Primary English exams.

Anne Adamson has been at SIS for 25 years. Initially working in the Primary department, Anne’s main role since September 2000 has been as our librarian, but she has also been so much more than this.  A keen advocate for the school, Anne has supported many school activities over the years. She was the innovator of the popular annual Readathon contest, and she has been an enthusiastic facilitator of the MUN Club at Sotogrande for many years, leading so many amazing trips, freely giving her time and responding to the needs and wants of the students. She has also been a mentor to many students as they complete work in the library, whilst she might not know the answer (although she usually does), she coaches and guides students to find solutions to their own questions.  Anne has also been responsible for the Health and Safety committee (which was praised in our recent accreditation visit); she has been the editor of the weekly newsletter and an additional editor for many of the policies within our school. Anne is also a member of the Advisory Panel. I would like to thank her for her contribution to SIS and wish her all the best as she transitions to retirement to spend time with her grandson, who arrived earlier this week! Her legacies of Readathon and MUN at Sotogrande will live on, and she will be back to support our first MUN of the year in September.

Finally, Graham Hall has been a peripatetic guitar and drum teacher at SIS for 18 years. He has supported the musical development of many students and has been an inspirational source of encouragement, especially amongst the younger students. We wish Graham the best for his retirement.

This week has been the week of trips!  P6 departed on Monday for their 3 days and 2 nights experience, on Tuesday P3 were out on their unit trip, on Wednesday our M1 – M3 footballers departed for their football tour to Portugal and today our P2s have been out on a unit trip. These trips really sit at the core of our philosophy of teaching and learning. By truly experiencing for ourselves, we as learners gain so much more than by passively receiving information.  I would like to thank the staff for taking the time to organize these experiences for students, the students for their wonderful behaviour on these trips and the parents for supporting our approach to teaching.

On Tuesday the PTA held its AGM; this is the time of year when new members are elected, reflections on the year are made and one understands the full impact of directed energy!  I would like to thank the PTA team this year for a truly fantastic year. The energy, enthusiasm and direction created by the whole team has been amazing. They have supported so many events over the year with new twists and turns. From the Back to School party, to fireworks, the Christmas market and the 40th celebration, the team has managed to create a series of flowing events that enabled funds to be raised, fun to be had and memorable experiences to be shared and held.  On behalf of the community I would like to congratulate and thank the whole committee for their energy, Dennis O’Connor for his leadership and the events team for their passion, determination and drive.

I wish you a wonderful weekend,

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

Scholastic/Baker Books

Primary students this week have taken home Scholastic/Baker Books catalogues with a wonderful selection of books for all ages.  For secondary students, catalogues/order forms are available in The Link.    


If you would like to place an order please complete the order form in the middle of the catalogue and return to Ms Lin Campbell in PYP1, with the correct cash in Euros.   There is also an option to place orders online by connecting to:

This method allows you to pay online but books will be delivered to and distributed from school.  The cost of the books is the price shown in Euros as this includes a delivery charge.  By placing an order, not only will you be receiving beautiful books for your child, but the school libraries will be entitled to free books from the commission accrued.  The last day for returning orders is Monday 10th June.   Books normally arrive within two weeks from the order being placed.  If you have any queries please email

Sports Round up

Porto Football Tour

39 students accompanied by 4 PE staff left for Porto, Portugal on Wednesday. Over the 4 days the students will be representing SIS, and will play 6 games against local schools and football clubs.

They will also have the opportunity to visit Porto FC, which is hosting the UEFA Nations League Finals whilst we are there.

Mr. Summers would like to thank Erica del Manzano, the PE team and parents for their support in making this trip happen.


On June 2nd M4 Student Gonzalo A took part in the 6th Sprint Granada Triathlon. Competing against adults he performed really well coming out of the water in 20th place out of 200 participants, he lost some advantage on the bike but he managed to finish 1st in the U17 Category.  Congratulations, Gonzalo!

Feasting on Art at Finca Monasterio

The Arts Society de la Frontera has invited our students to participate in this event at Finca Monasterio on Wednesday 12th June from 10:30am till 3:30pm. There is also an open invitation to any interested parents or friends who may wish to attend.

The following students were selected to represent MYP and DP Visual Arts: Marcos F. & Daniela A. M4; Bianka L. & Blanca M. M5 and Carmela M. D2.

PTA News

The PTA AGM took place this week and we were delighted with the number of attendees. Minutes for this meeting will be shared next week.

There have been many exciting fundraising events and the special 40th Anniversary Cocktail Party this year, as well as the launch of the Speaker Series with ONline & Me: aimed at supporting both parents and students, helping to navigate through today’s  fast-paced online activity, acknowledging changes and to better understand what information is being used and to what end.

Fundraising to support is the main objective of the PTA and during this academic year those monies have been distributed to numerous projects and items that will benefit and enrich SIS students. A plethora of requests were submitted from across the school with music, science, sports, playground equipment, extra-curricular activities, workshops and cultural and academic celebrations receiving PTA financial contributions so far.

What an achievement from all – organisers, event attendees, teacher support, pupils’ identification of needs and backed with encouragement from headmaster Jak Kearney.

Sotogrande International Music Academy News

Exciting news for SIMA Summer Rock Camps 2019
3 x World Beatbox Champion, Dharni NG, is coming to Sotogrande this summer!
Here’s Dharni in action

UPCOMING Sotogrande International Music Academy Summer Rock Camps

Do you want to learn how to sing in a capella group, beatbox, play in a band or audition for The Voice?  Sotogrande International Music Academy offers three music camps this summer that cover topics such as these. Our music camps are perfect for musicians at any level who want to increase their skills and gain valuable music experience. Book now before places run out!  

We can’t wait to see you there!

Laura, Paul, Anne-Marie, Mr Mortimer & Dharni  

Pitch perfect: A capella & beatbox camp, with World Beatbox Champien World Beatbox Champion, Dharning – July 8-12

For fans of Pitch Perfect and Pentatonix, this summer camp gives students the opportunity to take their vocals to the highest level.  Perform, record and make a music video alongside three-time World Beatbox Champion, Dharni NG.

Recognized as one of the best beatboxers in the world, Dharni has opened for artists like the Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Jin, Lady Gaga, Flux Pavillion and performed during Mariah Carey concerts.

In addition to developing their individual voices, students will learn how to blend their voices together to create a cohesive sound, how to manipulate their voices to mimic instrumental sounds, and how to use their voices percussively in a beatbox-fashion.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime music opportunity not to be missed!


You asked for and you got it. Our Easter Bohemian Rhapsody Camp (video below) was a smashing success so here is a second chance to blaze through the amazing discography of Queen! Emphasizing their favourite songs to sing at the top of your lungs, blistering guitar solos and stage performance, this camp will bring your appreciation for Queen to a whole new level!

Campers will meet and interact with other musicians to learn a set of songs all leading up to a final live performance! Programs are taught by our team of amazing musicians who combine years of technical expertise and knowledge with extensive experience working with kids. Students gain music appreciation, song structure, music fundamentals and teamwork in an amazing rock n’ roll environment!

New to an instrument? No Problem! We also offer private lesson packages leading up to camp! Great for students 8-18 years of age who have had some previous instruction.

The Voice: Vocals for auditions & competitions – August 19-23

This camp focuses on your solo vocals. Whatever your views may be on singing competitions and auditions, they are a scary but helpful rung on the ladder to the next level of understanding how to train your voice. And whether you’re participating in a local concert, trying your luck on a television show, or participating in a school talent contest, this summer camp is the key to your audition success. 

Including rigorous vocal and performance training, song selection, studio recording, a professional show reel and live performance, this camp will be a fun and rewarding experience for singers from beginner to advanced levels.

La Reserva News

Get active this June at La Reserva!

To celebrate the start of summer and help you to get active and beach ready, we’re organizing a number of excellent sports activities at La Reserva this June. We hope you can join us for tennis, padel, yoga and water sports and get active and have fun together as a family.
We have a Junior Tennis Tournament on the 8
th of June, and a Padel Mix-In for adults at the same time. There’s yoga classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and even SUP Yoga on the lagoon on Thursdays. You can also try a whole host of water sports activities and learn to Scuba Dive or Windsurf on the lagoon, so whatever you’re into, there’s no excuse not to get active this June!

More info here

Enjoy a Full Day at The Beach at a Special Price

The Beach is a paradise where families, adults and children can relax and have fun 7 days a week. But don’t just take our word for it, come and experience it for yourself with our exclusive The Beach 360º Experience. We’ve created this special package to allow you to enjoy a full day at our exclusive beach club at a very special price. Your incredible beach day will include a massage or water sport activity, a delicious lunch and a sunbed.

If you live the 360º experience, you will never forget it!

Contact us for further information and prices via the link below or by calling us on +34 956 791 006.

More info

Primary School News


Oranges not only taste lovely, but the peel is fantastic to play with too! Tearing it, grinding it, smelling it, feeling the texture – great fun for our little ones! 

Message From Miss Emma Butler

Golf success for Katrina in P6

Last week the world’s best young golfers, ages 5-18, arrived in East Lothian, Scotland for the 12th annual U.S. Kids Golf European Open Championship. Over 630 players and their families travelled from more than 50 countries from all around the world to compete in Europe’s premier junior golf tournament.

In a very tough competition, difficult weather conditions and for the third year in a row, Katrina finished in the top 5, placing her as one of the best golfers for her age group!

This is truly an amazing achievement. Well-done Katrina!

Katrina is now looking forward to competing this summer in the World Championship in California, USA.  Good luck from all of us at SIS!

P6 Two night trip

On Wednesday 5th June, the largest P6 group we have had so far returned from a 3-day excursion to Coto de Isleta in Puerto de Santa Maria. Here they had a fantastic time kayaking, travelling along rope courses, competing in team games, dancing, playing on the beach and in the sea, and carrying out other numerous and varied activities together. All students demonstrated excellent cooperation, resilience, communication skills and thoroughly enjoyed their stay in the wooden cabins surrounded by a pine forest.

P3 Unit based trip

On Tuesday P3 visited Jerez Zoo to engage the children in their new unit on ´Endangered Animals´. They attended a talk from one of the educational leaders who taught them about the various species under threat that they could visit, and the reasons why they are endangered. The children enjoyed seeing the animals and learning about how we can help them.

Dream Factory Final

Good luck to all the students performing in tonight’s Dream Factory 2019 Final. If you haven’t already bought your tickets, there will still be some on sale on the gate tonight.


Secondary School News

Global Citizenship Programme

World Turtle Day (May 23rd) is celebrated around the globe in a variety of ways. The purpose of World Turtle Day is to bring attention to, increase knowledge of and respect for turtles and tortoises, and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Our M1 GCP students spent some time researching Sea Turtles and created some fun educational games and activities to help raise awareness amongst our students of the shrinking habitat and declining numbers of these sensitive creatures.

Inter-School Debate with Swans School, Marbella

On Tuesday 4th June, a team of keen M4 students took part in an inter-school debate with Swans. The motions were: ‘This house would fine any citizens who do not exercise their right to vote” and ‘This house would ban cars with petrol and diesel engines in the next 5 years”.
In front of an audience of Swans M3 history students, M4 SIS representatives Harry B., Vladimir C., Jaime C., Robbie S., Diego Y. and Evan R. (with time-keeper Remi S.) verbally battled in two heated debates.
There will be many more opportunities to take part in debating and public speaking events in the new term, so please volunteer if interested or see Mrs McCann for further information.

Careers and Courses

Now that DP2019 have moved on, the process begins again for DP2020. We launched this week with our Wave 1 candidates in the current D1, these are our first early UK applicants, meeting for prospective Oxbridge applications, doctors, lawyers, dentists and veterinary students, in order to prepare them for the additional testing required and ensuring they are ready for early submission of their applications.

Boarding House News

Last Saturday the Boarders took part in a Vietnamese cooking course in Marbella. They learnt how to make rice paper, spring rolls, pork sandwiches, and authentic noodle dishes. All this followed up with banana and papaya sorbets.

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 © 2019 Sotogrande International School, All rights reserved.

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