School Newsletter 07.09.2018


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  September 2018

Versión española 

 School Calendar

Monday 10 SeptemberMeet the P2, P3 & P4 teaching teams
Wednesday 12 SeptemberInspired meeting with parent community – 19:00 -20:00 in Cantina
Thursday 13 SeptemberPersonal Project information session for M5 Parents – 16:15 – 17:00 in Cantina
Thursday 13 SeptemberMeet the P5 & P6 teaching teams– 16:00 – 17:00
Friday 14 SeptemberMeet the EC2 & P1 teaching teams– 16:00 – 17:00
Friday 14 SeptemberSIS Activities Fair – 15:00 – 17:00 in Gymnasium & Cantina

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! We began on Tuesday with a meeting for new families. I would like to extend my gratitude to parent ambassadors, PTA members and students who gave up the last day of their holiday to welcome and help our new families and students to settle.

It was lovely to be on the gate on Wednesday morning to welcome you back to school! We spent some assembly time as a whole school to introduce the new teaching team members and I am delighted to introduce them to you in this newsletter. This was also an opportunity to announce the results and congratulate the many students of all ages who achieved great success in various music and theatre examinations taken at the end of last term.

Finally I would like to remind you that the meeting with Inspired will take place on Wednesday 12th September at 7pm in the cantina.

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes

Jak Kearney


We would like to remind you of some critical points around traffic.

  • The new bus park is for buses only – Please do not drop students off, or arrange to collect students from this point.
  • The drop zone in the morning, is for this purpose only. Please DO NOT park in this area.
  • Please do not arrange to pick up, or drop students on the roundabout.
  • Please do not do U-turns in the road. There is a turning area through the barrier in La Reserva
  • Please do not double park when you arrive to pick up students – Instead please park a little further away and walk.

Parent & Student Handbook
Our 2018 Parent & Student Handbook contains lots of useful information, ranging from a ‘who do I contact if…’ section to ‘school rules and policies’. This should be your first point of call for all queries. All of our school handbooks can be found online in the School Handbooks section of the SIS website.

New staff

As we begin the new school year, with many new faces, we would like to remind you that we are 100% committed to safeguarding to ensure our community is safe for you and your children. Our safer recruitment policy (main details below) has been praised and ratified by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

  1. A clear statement of safeguarding on the employment page on our website.
  2. A clear set of questions in all interviews, regarding safeguarding.
  3. All employment history gaps are investigated.
  4. All references require referees to answer questions involving safeguarding, dismissal, warnings and convictions.
  5. One reference collected must be from the current Head of school.
  6. SIS makes make 1 formal phone call to speak to one referee over the phone to ensure applicants are who they say they are.
  7. All staff must complete a CRB, or similar police check before arriving at school. If a person has worked overseas, a clear police check for all countries where a person has worked is required.


A little bit about me – meet our new teaching staff


Paul Summers

I graduated from St Mary’s College, London in 1997 and taught both History and Physical Education in London for next 14 years. I then moved back home to Newcastle where I started a family. My last teaching post was in one of Asia’s leading schools where I was Head of Sport at Bangkok Patana School.

My main passions apart from my family are football and travelling. I have taught or coached in the UK, USA, Thailand, Australia and have travelled to more than 80 countries. My main hobby is football and I played semi-professionally for 15 years as well as coaching for professional clubs.

I am really looking forward to working at SIS and my family are really excited to be moving to such a beautiful country.

Roberta Conway

I am a qualified Chemistry Teacher, gaining my degree at Edinburgh University. It was at Oxford University that I qualified with my PGCE and represented my college in rowing competition both in the UK and abroad. Over the past 20 years I have been fortunate to teach across several schools in south east England but this marks my first year in an international school.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to enroll my two children at this school.  I believe that school should not be solely about academic success but developing the whole person, which fits beautifully with this SIS philosophy.


Hélène Caillet

My name is Hélène Caillet. I am French born and bred. I studied computer studies at university, first in France then in England, thanks to the Erasmus programme and the support of my family. After moving more permanently to the UK, I was lucky to discover the best job in the world and became a qualified language teacher. I have been teaching within the IB Diploma programme for the past 18 years: 3 years in Italy at the International School of Milan, then 8 years in Kenya at The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa and the past 6 years in Swaziland at the United World College of Southern Africa. But the real reason I consider myself an international teacher is that I am a witness, again and again, that when people from various cultures, religions, nationalities agree to a shared set of values, it is possible to build a vibrant community which embraces diversity and lives at peace. I’m delighted to join such a community at SIS and I’m looking forward to engaging in its numerous service projects.


Glenn Pickup

I am a New Zealander who moved to London in 1999, 6 months after graduating from Dunedin College of Education. I met my now fiancée in 2000 and we have a wonderful daughter called Daniella who is 12. I also have 2 stepchildren, Drew (24) and Brooke (22) who have stayed in London but are sure to visit! Professionally I have taught in state Primary in Harrow Wealdstone for 8/9 years and then moved into private education where I have taught from Years 3 to 8 as a form tutor, Head of P.E. & Games and also Head of Maths. I love teaching and very much look forward to plying my trade here at SIS and experiencing the wonderful Spanish culture.



Cari Romans

Originally from Texas, I am in my tenth year of teaching primary in international schools.  After earning a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from Central European University in Budapest, I completed my teaching degree at the University of Maine and launched straight into teaching overseas.  My husband, Kenny Romans, is also a teacher, and together with our 7-year-old son, we´ve lived and worked in the Czech Republic, Morocco and Texas.  I delight in all of the different, interconnected topics we teach in primary, but it must be said that my favourite learning experiences centre around the visual arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).  I am really looking forward to experiencing Spain and working in such a welcoming and great learning community!



Kenneth Romans

I am originally from Fife in Scotland and I have been teaching internationally for eleven years. I have taught two stints in Prague, Czech Republic, where I met my wife Cari, and have worked in Marrakech, Morocco, and Austin, Texas. My first degree was in genetics at the University of Aberdeen and I followed that by completing my PGCE at the University of Dundee.

I have a seven-year-old son, Evan, who will be joining P3. In my spare time I am an avid follower of Aberdeen F.C.



María Florenzano

I graduated from the University of Barcelona in Linguistics and Spanish Philology and taught Spanish Language and Literature both in schools and universities in Spain and England for more than 10 years. I have also worked in the corporate sector as a consultant for more than 4 years in the technology company Promethean.

I am married, and have a 6-year-old son called Oliver. My main passions apart from my family are sports and traveling. I am really looking forward to working here and meeting the big SIS community.


Phil Berry

I am from Burnley, UK and studied a Physics and Maths Degree at Loughborough University, followed by a PGCE in the same subjects, graduating in 2012. I then went on to teach A level Physics at Greenhead College for one year before leaving for Rugby School. At Rugby I taught Physics from GCSE to Pre- U and A Level and I started working as an Assistant Housemaster in a boarding house. After 4 years at Rugby I have moved to Spain to take up post as Deputy Housemaster in the boarding house and as a Physics teacher. I enjoy playing and watching both football and golf, and I am a big Burnley FC fan.


Tim Knight

I am from Burnley, UK and I studied Mathematics at Oxford University before gaining my PGCE from the Institute of Education, London University. I have taught Mathematics in international schools in Africa, UK, Asia and South America for over 25 years. I am an IB examiner for Math HL and I have also been a Math HL workshop leader and an IB diploma authorising visiting team leader. Recently I have had my own business working as an independent education advisor, focusing on online education, in particular Pamoja Education.

I am married to Laetitia who is French and an IB language teacher and senior examiner. We have two children; Maélis who is 13 years old and Marius who is 15 years old. I like sport, in particular football and cycling, as well as food and reading.


Tim Kirby

I am originally from Coventry but most of my young life was spent in Leicestershire, UK.  I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Secondary Design and Technology. I have been a teacher of Design for 22 years.  I’ve spent most of my life teaching in the UK but travelled 13,000 km to be here having come from a short stint teaching in the Falkland Islands. I am passionate about creativity and engineering.  I’m looking forward to passing on my knowledge to the students of SIS.




Eder G. Pascual Soto

Hola, my name is Eder Pascual.  I was born in Bilbao and grew up in the beautiful city of Granada. I developed most of my career in a regional TV station where I held multiple roles during 15 years, such as ICT technician, TV producer and finally ending as Managing Director. In 2009 I decided that it was time to open my mind to new horizons and I moved to England to learn English, finish my degree in International Business Management and seek new opportunities.Once I finished my degree and a PGC in Management Studies I decided to embrace my true passions, technology and teaching.  I studied a PGCE in secondary Computer Science with ICT and I have been happily teaching ICT, Computer Science and Imedia in the UK since then.Today I am recently married to my wonderful wife Alix and I am happy and excited to have returned to Spain to begin teaching at Sotogrande International School. I enjoy travelling, cycling, sailing, swimming, diving and most water sports, so I am extremely happy to be living on this beautiful spot on the Spanish coast.


Jesús Vélez

I started Geography studies at the University of Seville. After a short period working in fundraising for a charity I got a Masters degree in Education and started to work as a teacher. Since then I have been working in different schools until four years ago, when I moved to the University of Cádiz at the School of Education. This will be my first year in an International School and I am enthusiastic about joining in this community. Although I see it as an opportunity for my professional development, I realise I have a lot to learn from all the members of the community, and I happily look forward to facing the challenges that the new course will give me.


Paula Arqués

Hello! I graduated from Primary and Nursery Education degree a few months ago in with a specialisation in Attention to diversity in Barcelona, where I am from. This year I am joining the school as a member of the Learning Support team!

Having been a monitor for a few years in Switzerland I found out about the amazing camp SIS offers, and I have had the pleasure to work in them as a Head Monitor of the camp for the past two summers, which has allowed me to learn a lot about the school and its surroundings.

I am really looking forward to this school year and I know I will really enjoy being a part of this big family.


Stephanie Laureyns

Hello, my name is Stephanie and although I am originally from Belgium, I grew up in Spain and went to school at SIS. I graduated from Bournemouth University in Sport Psychology & Coaching Sciences. After leaving university, I worked in marketing in the sports industry for over three years but realised it was not for me. Having a passion for coaching, I decided I wanted to get into the field of education and began working at a secondary school in London before moving to Valencia to work at an international school. I have recently completed my teaching training and am excited to begin my career in teaching where I hope to inspire the students the same way I was when I was a student here.


Aimee Barker

I am from Leeds, UK. I am a fully qualified hairdresser and barber, with 6 years experience, working both in salons and freelancing for my own business. In June I graduated from the University of Northampton with a first class BA (Hons) Advertising and Digital Marketing degree. Whilst at university I worked at Rugby School as a PSHE educator, working with M3 and M4.

I would definitely say I am a world travel enthusiast, I try to explore a different part of the world any chance I get and think it is very important to do so like a local. I love stepping out of my comfort zone and I am always seeking new experiences and challenges.

I will be covering maternity leave as an EC2 Teaching Assistant and I am really looking forward to trying something new and getting involved with the SIS community! I will also add I am taking on new clients for anyone seeking a British hairdresser.


Daniel Hoddinott

Hello, my name is Daniel Hoddinott, I am from Newport, Wales. I am currently studying ‘Education with Psychology’ at the University of Bath. I am in my third year and graduate next year. During my time at SIS, my duties will be split between the boarding house and the learning support team. After leaving university, I hope to go into the field of research and then become a primary school teacher; I am particularly interested in the gender gap within education, siblings and classroom structure in relation to learning.



Holly Scott

Hello, my name is Holly! I am originally from Norwich, however I have been studying at The University of Bath for the past two years. I am doing a four-year course in Education with Psychology and I am spending my third year doing a placement here at SIS. I will be working in both the boarding house and within the learning support team. Since starting my university degree, I have become particularly interested in Special Educational Needs and I am excited to learn much more about this through doing the internship in learning support. I am also looking forward to facing the rewarding challenges of working in the boarding house and getting to know the students.


Yulia Knottenbelt

Hello! I am the Russian teacher at SIS. I was born and bred in St Petersburg. I studied at Herzen State Pedagogical University and started teaching languages while I was a student.

After completing BA in Teaching Russian and English and MA in Intercultural Communication, I went to University of Northern Iowa to teach Russian and study MA TESOL. I returned to my Russian alma mater to for my PhD in Language and Translation. While in Russia, I worked as an English teacher. For the last 10 years, I have lived in London and taught Russian, Translation and Interpreting at two London Universities. I also qualified as a legal interpreter and worked in the courts.

I came to Sotogrande with my husband and two daughters, who are joining Primary School. I love travelling, learning languages, meeting new people and learning about countries’ culture, arts and nature.


Jade Tattersall

Hello, my name is Jade Hannah Tattersall. I was born in Gibraltar and brought up in Southern Spain. I’ve always had a passion for teaching and working with children and teenagers.

I’m extremely happy and grateful to be part of the ELD team, and I look forward to sharing my values and experience with the students of SIS.




Arts News

LAMDA Results

Results are through for our last set of LAMDA examinations….and they are great!!!

Last term our M1-D1 Secondary students excelled in a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. A 20-minute section of this was entered for an Acting Gold examination and was awarded a well-deserved Distinction. Congratulations to the cast as a whole but in particular those students who presented this particular scene work:

Florence Webber, Selena Barbera, Jacob Fisher, Natasha Baracese-Hamilton, Blanca Bordas, Hugo de Heekeren, Madeline Peacock, Fabio Gold-Sacker, Tala Masterson, Zara Bell, Jasper Craven, Jordan Campbell, Ella McCormack, Katie Holmes and Anna Betteley.


Also last term DP1 Theatre group performed the hilarious comedy An Unnecessary Farce. The group entered scene work from this play for a Group Acting Silver Award and they too achieved a highly commendable Distinction. Congratulations to Ella McCormack, Gabriele Morace, Anna Betteley, Katherine Holmes and Hannah Coventry.



We are looking forward to some more great performance work throughout this year!

Finally we are very proud of our individual entries. These three students have shown phenomenal commitment, passion and skill in being awarded a Distinction in their Acting Solo examination.

Zara Bell:
Acting Solo Silver – Distinction

Marija Segale:
Acting Solo Gold – Distinction

Ella McCormack:
Acting Solo Gold – Distinction

Particular recognition needs to be given to Ella McCormack who through her LAMDA examinations over the past couple of years has accumulated an amazing 124 UCAS points for her university applications. This is the equivalent to more than two grade 7s in a Higher Level Diploma subjects.


SIS Stage School Results


SI Stage School is proud to announce another set of fantastic LAMDA examination results. Our students aged between 5 years and 16 years were awarded the highest grades in Acting and Musical Theatre.

A 100% pass rate with 8 Distinctions and 3 Merits. A special mention goes to Tala Masterson who gained a Gold medal with Distinction. If you are interested in joining us at SI Stage School, please contact Daniel Maloney at

Music Results

A great set of results this year in ABRSM, Trinity London and Rock School Music exams with over 50 students successfully passing music grades. Particular congratulations go to Jade Burgess for passing her Grade 8 with Distinction.



Message from SILA

Multilingualism has become more than just ‘important’. Speaking a foreign language has evolved to be extremely beneficial, whether viewed from the financial or social aspect. Being able to communicate in a foreign language helps to make real connections with people, provides an insight into different cultures, and opens doors in the world of job opportunities.


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SILA is the language academy endorsed by Sotogrande International School and our aim is to provide the best experience in foreign language learning, through our team of native speaking, qualified teachers. Whether you are just beginning your language studies or looking to advance to the next level we have classes to suit everyone. Our lessons are specifically planned and tailored to meet the specific needs of the class and individuals. At SILA we include sessions for young learners, teenagers and adults. Language levels are assessed prior to joining to ensure students enter at the correct level and get the most out of every lesson.


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 © 2018 Sotogrande International School, All rights reserved.

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