School Newsletter 21.12.2018


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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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21st December 2018


Versión española 

 School Calendar

Friday 21 DecemberPrimary Reports available on Managebac from 16:00
Wednesday 9 January 2019First day of new term

Dear Parents and guardians,

I would like to begin the newsletter this week by thanking the PTA for the wonderful Christmas Market last weekend in Sotogrande Port. The event was really well attended and I felt, created the right balance for all ages of people.

The week began with the B-Vocal concert in Palmones. On Monday morning 48 students had the chance to take part in a workshop with the performers. It was a very interactive and energetic workshop that allowed our students to really explore their passions around song. In the evening, we were lucky enough to host the show, with support form the sponsors, Land Rover. Thank you to everyone who came to experience the event. It was an amazing, interactive show that allowed all to enjoy the wonderful versatility of the human voice.

This week has been filled with festive joy through numerous celebratory Christmas shows.   On Tuesday and Wednesday our youngest students delighted parents and families with their Christmas productions. The weeks preceding have been awash with song, dance and costumes. This week, every aspect of the preparation came together in these enchanting performances. Thank you to parents for all their support for these events and to the staff for their hard work and time in creating the opportunity for every child to shine.

Additionally the Advisory Panel met on Monday for the final meeting of this calendar year. Please see the item below for feedback from this meeting.

The last event of this calendar year was the Polar Bear Challenge. Congratulations to everyone who took part!  Finally I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and to remind you that school starts at 8.50am on Wednesday January 9th.  I look forward to welcoming you all back to school in 2019!

Best wishes,

Jak Kearney

Advisory Panel feedback

The school presented suggested planned changes to reduce waiting times in the Chiringuito, an issue that was raised at the last Advisory Panel meeting. The changes will be implemented in January.

Following the panel’s previous identification of stakeholder wants and needs regarding buildings, JK confirmed that discussions are ongoing between the school and Inspired and will continue into the New Year.

In the last meeting, we discussed the need for parents to give timely notice of students who will not be returning after the summer. Every year in March we send out a form asking for parents’ intentions. Despite this, in September 30 families left without giving us notice. Next year we will be full in a number of year groups. JK asked the Advisory Panel members to do some research to understand how other international schools cope with being full. As a school we have to employ teachers, complete expansion projects, order materials etc. for teaching a set number of students. This creates a huge amount of preloaded expense based on parent intentions completed in March. For September 2019, based on current knowledge and parental intentions provided in March, it is almost certain that we will have to turn away some potential new students.

Following research done on a number of international schools around the world, the Advisory Panel suggestion is that asking families who are staying to make a prepayment on the first term fees will be a way to psychologically increase buy in, help families to make the decision to stay and increase awareness in parents of the impact of their decisions.

The Advisory Panel does not want families to be financially hurt by a change in payment regulations, however we believe it is important that parents also understand the situation of the school. JK will take this idea to Inspired and will be in touch in the New Year.

Christmas Choir Tour 2018
The 11th Choir Tour took a group of 38 secondary students from M1-D2 around 10 different venues in 3 days. Raising money, promoting their new song release and spreading Christmas happiness. The singers put smiles of the faces of nurses and patients at local hospitals, refugees at the Red Cross, our friends and partners at Hogar Betania and for Christmas shoppers. They also had a live radio performance and interviews.

“Although it was exhausting, it was such great fun, being on tour with our friends and seeing how much impact singing can have on people” – Choir Member


Christmas message to the Russian community

 Уважаемые родители!

Напоминаем, что по понедельникам и пятницам в 4 и 5 часов проходят занятия по русскому языку для учеников начальной школы. Возможны индивидуальные занятия или занятия в маленьких группах с Ольгой Пахомовой. За более подробной информацией обращайтесь по электронному адресу


Я хотела бы обратиться к родителям, которые могли бы помочь мне проводить маленькие занятия (30 минут) для детей начальной школы во время обеденного перерыва, в 12.10 или в 12.30, в любой день недели. Обычно на таких занятиях мы беседуем, играем и читаем вслух. Для детей это возможность поговорить на родном языке, познакомиться, послушать интересные рассказы. Если у вас есть время и желание этим заниматься, пожалуйста, напишите мне!

Поздравляю вас с наступающими праздниками!

Юлия Ноттенбелт

PTA News

The run-up to Christmas became truly festive on Saturday at the Christmas Market. Thank you to everyone who came along, took a stall, ate a few mince pies and to our wonderful SIS performers who again showed how fantastic they are. A special thank you must go to Santa who arrived in ‘Soto Style’ on his summer sleigh whilst Rudolf was catching a few hours extra sleep before his long shift upstaging Correos.  (John, you were brilliant and very convincing!)


Congratulations to the SIS student who won the iPhone XS and to the V.I.P. parking space winner (the parent in the playground who will look considerably less stressed than most). Congratulations also to all who received an extra Christmas gift from the raffle. The remaining prizes (as notified by text message) are at reception awaiting collection.

A very Merry Christmas to you all; we hope you enjoy a much-needed break with your families,

The PTA.

Robotics Workshop

A group of enthusiastic young programmers enjoyed a workshop with robotics competition expert, Richard Hatcher on Tuesday afternoon. We were so lucky to have Richard come from Atlanta, Georgia where he works with Gifted and Talented students and runs workshops and summer camps. Students loved working with Ozbots and Parrot Drones to write programs to solve challenges such as recreating Dorothy’s journey in the Wizard of Oz or rescuing a glow-in-the-dark robot Santa. Thank you, Richard, for a thoroughly engaging afternoon!


The Kindred Project News

Last Thursday, The Kindred Project´s Primary and Secondary Club members brought a little Christmas magic to Hogar Betania in La Linea by hosting a festive party for over 150 people that use the centre on a regular basis. Our students (ranging in age from P2 to D1) led a range of fun, seasonal activities such as gingerbread cookie decorating, Christmas card making, Christmas tree decorations and face painting and games.

They also put together a merienda for the guests to enjoy before the annual visit of the SIS Christmas Choir, which was as always, a huge hit! The delight on the children’s faces was a joy to behold and reaffirmed our belief that the future is in good hands with children like these with kind thoughts, intelligent minds and big hearts leading the way.

The Kindred Project – Seasonal Greetings

Parent Ambassador training

Last Friday the group of new parent ambassadors listened to a very interesting talk and gained better insight into our Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme. Thank you to everyone who participated and a special thank you to Ms Belén González and Ms Jane Bannell who took a morning out of their busy schedule to come and talk to us.


Dreaming Dragons Christmas Gift List

Ready to make a real difference this Christmas? Dreaming Dragons has put together a wonderful list of gifts making the act of giving truly mindful and life shaping. Take a look at the Gift List LINK here and send us an email to to start shopping!





Extra curricular swimming lessons

Swimming classes for the first tem finished on Wednesday with an exhibition by our young swimmers.

Parents were able to see the progress made by their children and afterwards enjoyed watching them receive their diplomas, medals and a further surprise.

There are still places available in next term’s classes, please contact for more information.

We take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019.

La Reserva Activities
Tennis has been central to the Sotogrande Life since 1965 and La Reserva de Sotogrande has full-service tennis facilities to be enjoyed. They have organized the following programs and activities designed for children and families to learn new skills and have fun in the fantastic sports facilities. For more info CLICK HERE


Magical moments for our students and parents at our Christmas workshops. Thanks to all of the families and teachers for being part of this wonderful event.


Message from Emma Butler, Head of Primary

As we come to the end of our first term of this academic year I would like to wish all our primary students and their families a wonderful Christmas and winter break. I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

 Christmas Performances

What a festive time we have had in Primary this week. Over Tuesday and Wednesday we hosted 10 Christmas shows. Our EC1-P2 students shone as they proudly took to the stage and wowed their audiences.

Announcement of our Primary Ambassadors 2018/2019

On Wednesday I was delighted to be able to announce our Primary School Student Ambassadors for 2018/2019. Congratulations to Lily, Alba, Indi, Alex, River and Javi.


Student Council Campaign

On Thursday the Primary Student Council visited Hogar Betania in La Linea.


Thanks to everyone’s generosity donating lots of chocolates and turron, students were able to make up Christmas ‘goodie bags’ for many underprivileged families.

Thank you to all those who contributed; we will definitely make a small difference to many families this Christmas.

Secondary School News

Visit from Maserati chief engineer

On Tuesday 18th we had the pleasure of a visit from the chief engineer of Maserati Iberia. During the visit, a group of students from the pre-engineering club showed and explained some of the engineering challenges they are currently working on. After a mini tour round the school, guided by the students, Maserati Iberia chief engineer gave two “Master Class” sessions on aerodynamics and suspensions.

To conclude the visit, the pre-engineers students also had the opportunity to participate in an open debate on how to make improvements in the design of the chassis, aileron structure, damping, point of gravity … in two of the projects: Hiperbaric Challenge and Formula One in Schools.

This session was part of the SIS Maserati Incubator Programme that will provide more sessions throughout this academic year. STEAM projects of this type offer us ways to give our students the opportunity to develop their passion for engineering with the contribution of specialists in the area.

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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