School Newsletter 15.03.2019


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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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15th March

 School Calendar

Wednesday 11 – Sunday 17 MarchDiploma History Trip
Friday 15 MarchM1 & M2 Reports published on Managebac
Friday 15 MarchSoto Sessions music event at Foodisiac, Ribera del Marlin 25 – 19:00-21:00 (See Whole School news)
Monday 18 – Friday 22 MarchM3 Service Week
Monday 18 – Friday 22 MarchM4 Parent interviews by invitation
Tuesday 19 MarchEC2 Unit based trip
Wednesday 20 MarchPTA Meeting – 09:00-10:00 in Cantina – All welcome
Wednesday 20 MarchM1- M3 U13 Football festival
Wednesday 20 MarchTEDx Talks – 17:00 -20:00 in school theatre (See Whole School news)
Friday 22 MarchM2 Spanish trip
Friday 22 MarchDiploma Art Exhibition – Hotel Club Maritimo de Sotogrande –18:00- 21:00
Friday 22 – Wednesday 27 MarchD1 CAS week

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I would like to begin by congratulating the PE team for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to competitive sports. Over the last 2 weeks, and over the next 3 weeks, we will be hosting weekly football tournaments for students aged between P3 and M4. This level of commitment is outstanding.  I wish all of our students the best of luck as they prepare for their tournament.

This Tuesday we were lucky enough to host Mr David Thomas, AKA the “memory man”. David is a Guinness World Record memory champion and motivational speaker. During his time here, he was able to work with students from M1 -D2, helping them to work on their memory techniques, mind mapping and speed reading. These study skills are immensely important and will enable our students (if used and practised) to learn more, learn faster and retain more. These should come in VERY handy with the weekly cycle tests and the upcoming end of year exams. I would like to thank David Thomas for his time and congratulate the students who attended on being great ambassadors.

One passing comment from David was,
“Jak, this place is awesome.”
“Thanks David, why do you say that?”
“I was with M4 and some students started talking. I didn’t have to say anything, the other students told them to be quiet! This has never happened at any other school.”

I would like to invite you to the Soto sessions music event tonight, hosted by SIMA music and the Peripatetic team at Foodisiac from 7pm.

I would also like to draw your attention to two more exciting SIS events taking place next week. On Wednesday from 5pm a group of D1 students has organised an official TEDx Youth event here at school, and on Friday evening we are hosting the D2 Art Exhibition at Hotel Club Maritimo de Sotogrande. This is the culminating event of the Diploma Visual Arts course and an opportunity for our students to showcase some of their 2 years work.  I hope many of you will be able to attend and support these two events.

Rice Day has become firmly rooted in the service DNA of our school,  raising awareness on important issues like the UN ́s Development Goal Number 2, Zero Hunger. This Thursday our secondary students, once again, had the opportunity to “pledge” to swap their usual school lunch for a plain dish of rice. But have you ever wondered how this amazing student-led initiative came about? Read on to find out.

Finally, I would like to remind you that the memorial for Paul Templeton will take place on Saturday March 30th at 2pm in the Sotogrande Church. There is a book at reception, for you to write thoughts, comments, condolences and reflections to be passed to the family.

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

Soto Sessions at Foodisiac – TONIGHT!

There will be a 10% discount on all food served tonight; please note table reservations are advised. (Tel. 856 399163) We will also be offering a SotoSessions cocktail with ‘a clean version’ available for kids!

 TEDx Talks at SIS

On Wednesday 20th March, a group of D1 students, Amy, Lucía, Izzy and María, will be holding our very own official TEDx Talk. The theme is ‘The Essence of a Changing World’ and there will be speeches discussing a variety of topics, ranging from sexual abuse to the impacts of single use plastics on our planet. It will be held in the school theatre from 17:00 until 20:00. Tickets are €5 each and all proceeds go towards the wonderful Asni trip that the D1s will be embarking on later on in March. There will of course be a bar for drinks as well in the intervals. We hope that you can all come and join us to support the participants as well as the community in Asni!

We will also have a child care service in the cantina where parents will be able to leave their children, ages ranging from 3-13 years old, during the talks and they will be taken care of by D1 students and some members of staff! This will allow all parents to come and listen; the children will be playing games and will have some snacks there and during the intervals the parents may come in and see them. For more information visit our web.

Diploma Art Exhibition

Our creative and talented final year Visual Arts students will proudly exhibit their artwork in the ‘Vernissage Exhibition’ at Club Maritimo de Sotogrande. The exhibition is the culmination of the students’ hard work, conceptual and artistic skills development. The exhibition reflects the creative individuality that we nurture at SIS, with exhibits that show experimentation in each medium of painting, photography, film, sculpture, ceramics, print making and fashion.

I proudly invite all parents and friends to join us at the Exhibition opening at 6pm on Friday 22nd March, Hotel Club Maritimo De Sotogrande. See you there!

Daniel Maloney

Art and Drama teacher

PTA News

The auctioneer’s gavel is poised for a special event at the end of May (watch this space!) – can you help us put together a fantastic auction? If you are able to offer items for the auction, all in aid of supporting the PTA, we would be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch:


Diary note: Wednesday March 20th is the next OPEN PTA MEETING. We’ll meet in the school cantina, ready with tea and coffee at 9am. All parents and teachers are welcome and we do our best to translate as much as possible.

If we can help or you’d like to help us, email:

Parent Ambassador Training

Our group of dedicated Parent Ambassadors attended a very interesting, interactive workshop at SRC on Tuesday morning. We found out more about how our English Language Development team works, about the Learning Support system at school and we also got to meet our school counselor. Thank you to all the ambassadors who came to broaden their knowledge of SIS. I would also like to say a very warm thank you to Ms Lisa Mungles and Ms Maria Franco from ELD, to Ms Sue Davies from Learning Support department and to Ms Nuria Gómez, our school counselor, for taking the time to come and enlighten our PAs.



Primary students have brought home this week Scholastic/Baker Books catalogues with a wonderful selection of books for children aged 3 to 14.

If you would like to place an order please complete the order form in the middle of the catalogue and return to Mrs. Lin Campbell in PYP1, with the correct cash in Euros.  There is also an option to place orders online by connecting to: . Online there is also a greater selection of books for older children.

The online method allows you to pay by debit/credit card however books will still 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 Wednesday 20th March. Books normally arrive within two weeks from the order being placed.  If you have any queries please email .

M3 Community Project – Meeting in the Town Hall

Last week, three M3 students, Pilar A., Marina P, and Paula V., went to San Roque Town Hall to propose their project to improve the quality of the San Roque municipality beaches. This was their address to the Mayor, “The quality of the beaches seems to us a subject and a problem of maximum interest and, of special importance for the inhabitants of the area, since we are in a locality that depends mainly on the tourism sector, being one of the pillars of greatest weight for the local economy. The need for this project in the municipality of San Roque is evidenced by the shortage of facilities and current means detected on the beaches, clearly deficient for an environment of our characteristics, which has been translated into a loss of resources, hardly justifiable, given the enormous importance of this sector in our economy. ”

These were their proposals:

– Wooden infrastructure over the sand on the beach to facilitate access for disabled or elderly people.

– Small bags of organic material located at the entrance of the beach to put garbage. The bags will be deposited in the nearest container, avoiding the presence of debris on the beach.

– Jellyfish nets placed strategically so that people can swim without risk. The net would be a material that is harmless to the environment.

The students will be at the entrance of the school next week to collect signatures, to be able to launch one of their proposals.

M3 Community Project Service Week

Food Drop (Milk) for Hogar Betania

We are two students in MYP 3 hoping to make a change for the local community as a part of our service week during the Community Project. We spoke to the people in Hogar Betania who told us what they most need is milk, so we are organising a collection point at the main gate during the coming week and asking for your support with donations of cartons or bottles of long life milk. This is the only item we wish to collect.

We will be at the main gate from 8:30-8:50 and 15:40 to 16:00 on everyday except Friday where we are only going to collect in the morning. Later on Friday we will take the donations to Hogar Betania so that the residents there can make use of the resources. Thank you in advance for your support.

Fernando R. and Mateo T.

Diving Courses – 3rd Term

Summer is coming and it is time to go and explore the beautiful underwater world! Why not join the last diving course of this school year?

We will meet all the new students for the third trimester course at the SIS cafeteria near the pool on 28th and 29th March for subscription and information from 3:00 to 5:30 pm.

Let’s go diving!

Sports Round-up

San Enrique Football

The local football club UDSE is still looking for players in P1 through P3, training and matches take place every Tuesday and Wednesday. There is also a planned trip to watch Real Betis in May.

UDSE have also started a ladies team for those students aged 14 and above and any parents. The team trains every Tuesday at the club from 19.30-21.00


School is looking to host a golf tournament at Almenara in May; we have guests from the American School in London over for a friendly competition. If you are in secondary school and you are interested in playing, please speak to Mr Summers in the PE office.

Sotogrande Football Festival

On Wednesday SIS hosted the Costa del Sol Football tournament for under 11 teams Girls and boys from P5 and P6 competed in A and B teams at the event. Both B teams performed very well and won a couple of games in their groups. Both of the A teams progressed to the semi-finals, where the boys lost out to the eventual winners. The girls went one step further to the final where they overcame EIC on penalty kicks to be crowned champions. Congratulations to all the players!


Netherlands Tour

Due to issues with securing flights the tour has been cancelled but an alternative is being looked at. We hope that the students will still get the opportunity to compete against other international schools in Portugal or Spain.


Trials will soon be taking place for our Varsity football teams who will be competing in the ISAA football tournament in November. The girls will travel to Eindhoven and the boys will travel to London.

Del Estrecho Rugby

Well done to our local rugby side who were represented by Felix, Billy, Robbie, Ben in M4 and also Stella in M3. They defeated their rivals 117-0 to remain top of the league.

Student successes – Equestrian and Snowboarding

Congratulations to Blanca V. and Selena B. for their excellent performances in the recent horse jumping tournaments in Montemedio and Chapin (competing for Cádiz). Both finished fantastically in second place!

Kai, one of our P4 students, finished second at the Campeonato de Andalucia over the weekend… he is having a great season!

If any other students are achieving success in sports outside of school then please let Mr Summers know.

Fundamentals News

Parents and children workshop – Connecting with nature

Come and connect with nature in this family workshop led by Paqui Godino, editor, educator and author of the book Compartir la naturaleza. You will learn some simple, fun activities that you can do with little ones to help them develop skills and connect with nature. The workshop will be held in Spanish. For more information contact

Message From Miss Emma Butler

P4 engages with their new unit

P4 had a wonderful time investigating forces using their roller skates, skateboards and scooters in the primary playground.  They were introduced to the concepts of push and pull, friction, air resistance and gravity.

Maths lessons in P4

Before half term I spent some time in P4 looking at what happens and how the students work during maths. The photographs below illustrate the different stages and processes of a maths lesson.

Firstly we start with a warm-up activity, something to practise either mental strategies or previous work. In this case, the students are working together to complete a jigsaw matching answers to questions for adding fractions with the same denominator.

The next part of a lesson looks to develop understanding of a concept. This can take the form of direct teaching or, as in this example, the students applying previous knowledge to a problem and then sharing their solution. Here the students had learned about equivalent fractions and adding fractions with the same denominator. They had to apply that knowledge to working out a method to add fractions with different denominators.

The next step is for the students to apply this new knowledge during independent work.

Finally we complete the lesson with a plenary, which reviews the learning in the lesson.

Space Pirates

For the first time in Spain, you will have the opportunity  to watch Space Pirates, our P3/P4 Expressive Arts production.

The performances will take place on the 1st and 2nd of April at 6.30pm in the school theatre.



Tickets , costing 3 Euros each, will be on sale at the school gate from 25th March Initially, parents from P3 and P4 will be able to buy two tickets per child performing. Any remaining tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis from 28th March.

The show will be professionally recorded and a copy will be available soon after the performance; however on both nights we will have a specific standing area where parents that wish to record the performance can do so. We ask that you do not record from the seating area as this restricts the view for everyone seated behind you.

The students are very committed and working hard on this this production. We look forward to seeing you on the night!

Dream Factory

Dream Factory is happening again! We have three fantastic evenings of music where children can show their talents and dedication across 4 different categories: Singing, Dancing, Playing or a combination of these.



The Primary School is already buzzing with auditions and the standard and commitment shown by the students has been incredible. It is looking like this event will be one of the most impressive yet.

Dates for your diaries:

  • P3/P4 Semi-final is on the 10th of May at 6pm in the school courtyard.
  • p5/P6 Semi-Final in on the 24th of May at 6pm in the school courtyard.
  • The Grand Final is on the 7th of June at 6pm in the marquee.

Tickets will be available after the Easter holiday and all profits will go to The Kindred Project.


M3 Community Project

Service as action in APRONA

We are two secondary students: Marta and Teresa, and we are in M3. As most of you already know, this year we have to do an interesting project, called The Community Project, that will hopefully open our minds up and help us become aware of the world around us. Our project is focused on a centre where people with special needs go. This centre is located in Estepona and it is called Center of Special Education APRONA. These past months we have concentrated mainly on researching information about the centre, we went to visit APRONA to enlarge our knowledge about how this impacts the real lives, history, and experiences of the people it serves and we have organized a solidarity event using social media (Instagram) to create awareness.


MUN trips to Copenhagen and The Hague

From the 20th– 24th of February, 18 students from M4 to D1 traveled to Copenhagen to participate in BIGMUN, a Model United Nations conference hosted by Birkerød Gymnasium. Our students represented the views of Sweden and Israel in different committees debating some very real issues in a simulation of the United Nations, organised and managed by students. Particular congratulations to two M5 boys; Ignacio B. (Ambassador for Sweden) who was awarded Best Delegate in the Social, Cultural & Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), and Elmar I. who received the award for Best First Time Delegate in his committee, UNICEF.

Last weekend it was the turn of 3 different M5 students to be delegates for Turkey in HagaMUN, a large conference with over 500 delegates, hosted by Haganum Gymnasium in The Hague.  Mrs Adamson and Mr Barling would like to congratulate all our delegates in both these conferences for their focused and committed approach to doing their best throughout the conference, while enjoying working and socialising with their peers from many different schools, countries and cultures.

Careers and Courses News

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology  ( )

Over half-term break, I was invited to visit the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology HKUST. The QS ranks it globally at number 37 in the world, and with a high research output, and excellent location it has a lot going for it.  What surprised me at first was the relative affordability of studying at HKUST; with annual tuition fees of 140,000 HK$ that equates to just under 16,000€/year for international students.

If you are a student reading this, you can, of course, drop into my office to read some of the more detailed information on each faculty and also ask me any questions I might not have answered here for you. Should a Sotogrande student consider HKUST? If you want to be adventurous and are ambitious to work in the Asian employment market, probably at the start of your career, then perhaps HKUST is for you.

St. Andrews University visit to Sotogrande  ( )

On Monday this week we had an informative visit from Calum Williamson from St. Andrews University, Scotland. A number of our students are very keen to apply to St. Andrews and they had lengthy conversations on the potential courses they could focus on. Javier, for example, was very interested to learn about the dual Maths and Physics degree programme, as St. Andrews is one of his university choices.

Jason Mungles

Head of University & Careers Guidance

Boarding House News

The boarding students went for a day trip to Altitude trampoline centre in Malaga, followed by Carnival in the city. All the boarders had a great time, several demonstrated their abilities on the trampolines, Georgi Tsekov particularly enjoyed wiping out Mr Berry with a long distance hit in trampoline dodgeball.

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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