School Newsletter 25.10.2019


Monthly newsletter

25th October 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.

Dates for your diary

Monday 28th October – Monday 4th November inclusiveHalf Term break – school closed
Friday 8th NovemberPTA Fireworks Night
Thursday 28th NovemberRice day
Friday 29th NovemberClimate Change Awareness Day & Travel to School in a Green Way Day
Friday 29th NovemberSend a Child to School Day

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Monday we launched our very popular Uganda Expedition to students from M3 – D1. This experience really is a life-changing opportunity, not just for students here at SIS, but also for the community in Uganda. Students often return having grown in maturity and outlook on life. If you wish to find out more, please contact

This week LOMCE teachers, Javier Orozco, Jesús Velez Alonso and Maria Florenzano Alcolea have presented at an Educational Conference in San Roque. Our teachers have been asked to share with the Spanish educational community the creative ways and platforms used at SIS to promote debate, critical thinking and communication skills.

Our newly appointed swim coach, Samantha Weaver has written a wonderful blog that I would like to direct your attention to. Samantha is driving change in our swimming provision, running lessons for students in school, developing the swim academy and also providing paid lessons for students who are learning to swim. Read more in Samantha’s blog

During this week our two elite sporting partners, SotoTennis and Jason Floyd Golf Academy, have both hosted tournaments open to elite athletes from around the world. The Triple AAA Tour, hosted by Jason Floyd, will be continuing over the weekend at the Almenara Hotel, if you get the chance, pop along and support our elite golf students.

At the start of this week, I received a message from the parents of Ben in M5, who shared with me two of his recent achievements. Last week Ben formed part of the GB Paddle Team at the World Junior Paddle Tournament and, at the weekend, he represented Andalucía as they took on Madrid in rugby. Congratulations Ben! We are very proud of our students’ achievements both inside and outside of school.  Please make sure you share achievements with Advisors, Class Teachers and Pastoral Leaders so we can celebrate their achievements as a community.

At the end of last week, the Inspired Group announced that the King’s College School group would be joining the existing family of schools. King’s College has 6 schools in Spain and a further 4 in England, Germany, Latvia and Panama.  This provides more potential opportunities for our students, which we will be exploring as a region over the next few months

Finally, I can’t believe that we have reached the end of the first half term! When I stop to think about the last two months, it really is amazing what we, as a community, have achieved in such a short space of time. I would like to thank the staff of SIS for their energy and creativity in finding inspiring events, activities and lessons to engage our learners. I would like to thank the students for embracing ideas, for pushing the boundaries and for allowing themselves to grow. Finally, I would like to thank you, the parents and guardians of SIS, for your trust to allow this to happen.

I will leave you with an open invite to the PTA fireworks event on Friday, November 9th. Please note this is a ticketed event. Tickets will be available for purchase upon our return from the half-term break.  Like all of our community events, any student in M2 and below must be accompanied by an adult.  I wish you a wonderful break and look forward to welcoming you back on Tuesday, November 5th, as Monday, November 4th is a training day for our teachers.

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

PTA News

Fireworks Party

Remember, remember, the fireworks party in November!

Come and experience the party atmosphere, food and drink, games, fairground activities and live music. The grand fireworks display closes the fabulous community party at Sotogrande International School.

Dyslexia Blog

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff and students who contributed to Dyslexia Awareness Week.  A number of resources, activities and ideas were shared with teachers to explore with their students.

La Reserva

A Spooky Evening – Halloween at La Reserva Club!

With a wave of our wand, the La Reserva Club team will create a magical Halloween for the whole family – ghosts, ghouls, wizards and witches big and small are welcome to celebrate with us.

Friday the 1st of November from 5:00 pm, 

Let’s get spooky and enjoy our:

  • Costume contest
  • Wounds & scars workshop
  • Terrifying masks workshop
  • Gymkhana
  • Themed dinner

Click to view the menu and book your table!

Forging future Champions

Junior Camps programme is a great chance for young tennis players and
golfers of all levels to improve their skills on world-class facilities

  • Monday 28th October-Friday 1st November -10:00 – 12:00*: Beginners and
  • Monday 28th October-Saturday 2nd November -10:30* *- 12:00: *Advanced

Tennis courses for all ages (4 years – 18 years) + levels.

For the beginners and intermediates, max. 6 children per group + option to
play 1 hour of golf on Tuesday and Thursday (10:00-11:00).

Advanced players: classes are 1.5 hrs long. Option of 3-6 days (Mon-Sat
am). Max of 4 children per group.

  • A t-shirt is given to any child playing at the club for the first time.
  • Fruit juice and snacks are included for the children in the beginner – intermediate classes.

Price: €35 per child per day (beginners-intermediates)

Advanced players: €80 (3 days), €135 (6 days), 1 day includes 1.5 hr. class

For bookings, contact +34 663 020 792

Cantina News

Preparing a menu that matches everyone’s taste buds can be a challenge! We consider many things, ranging from food allergies to cultural and religious requirements and preferences. Over the month we serve a range of healthy, balanced and above all delicious meals to students (and teachers) from around the world.


Universities & Careers

With a larger cohort than previous years, the D2 teachers have been under a lot of pressure to meet reference deadlines on time. It has been a phenomenal effort across the board with so much else going on in our school. I would like to say a big thank you to all of the reference writers involved in supporting our student’s applications to University, the support of academic teachers in preparing our students for the Oxbridge examinations on October 30th and the general support of the staff with the students for predicted grades and assistance in personal statements, application letters, and general U&C support. This year the U&C Hero Award goes to Mark Woolley  for completing 34 references for D2 students, on time and in great quality.

Jason Mungles, Head of University & Career guidance



Do you want to learn Spanish during the half term in an international environment? For more info contact



The Brownies picked up the garbage,and recycled it where possible, all the way up to la Reseva, down again, in the parking area and behind the garbage containers.

We are incredibly proud of these girls who tackled this clean up with an energetic and serious attitude!

Heike and Becky

Message From Emma Butler

Message From Emma Butler, Head of Primary

Student Agency In Action

Well done P6!

“Towards Nature” charity event was held in Marbella earlier this month. P6, together with M1 and M2 were invited to participate to deliver a 5-7 minute speech at this prestigious function. The fact that they only had the weekend to research, plan, prepare and practise their speech, proved to be an exciting challenge for eight individuals who returned on Monday with excellent, informative and well-structured work. All eight candidates eagerly spent their free time extending their learning by developing skills and knowledge learnt in school. After their first performance, they were keen to develop their information and improve their delivery, in preparation for the second round the following day.

Open Art Competition (8-12 years)

Earlier this month, students were invited to take part in a global climate art competition. The title was ‘the environment through the eyes of a child’. Well done to the students whose art work was picked to go on display in the SIS main reception


P2 Unit Based Trip

P2 Unit Based Trip

Earlier this month P2 have had the opportunity to watch a black light theatre performance in Algeciras.  The show, El Faro de Punta Carnero, performed in Spanish, used actors and puppets to communicate a message about protecting nature in our local area. 

The theater is a production of ‘La Asociación de Padres de Personas con Discapacidad’, the ‘Apadis Association’ in Algeciras.


Message from Ana Guani, Head of Fundamentals

Celebrating life!

At Fundamentals we believe that intergenerational learning between children and grandparents develops many positive emotional connections for both. Grandparents have a wealth of experiences to tell children and children can benefit from their knowledge and wisdom.

At Fundamentals we want to help children develop empathy and respect for all generations, so we decided to invite all the grandparents from a residential home in San Enrique.
What children need most are the essential elements that older people provide in abundance, time, unconditional love, kindness, patience, humour, comfort, life lessons …
Last Thursday the grandparents of the “Residencia de la tercera edad en San Enrique” came to Fundamentals to enjoy a beautiful morning together with the children.

KP News

This month our Primary students have been very busy taking on the challenge of our annual Readathon! They have been doing a fantastic job reinforcing their reading skills, whilst helping to raise funds for an equally fantastic cause.

In November 2019 the Primary 7 students at the Nabugabo Community Learning Centre (NCLC) in Uganda, will be taking their Primary Leaving Examinations, which will determine their entry into Secondary school. This is the first P7 cohort of students at NCLC since it opened its doors in 2013, and we are so proud of them! We are hopeful that they will pass and be able to continue their Secondary education at St Kizito school, not far from Nabugabo. This year we are aiming to raise 7,000€ to build the first ever library at St Kizito school to continue to support students with their learning.

Six of the ten students in P7 are currently supported in their education through KP’s ‘Send a Child to School’ sponsorship programme. Continuing these sponsorships into Secondary school, together with the construction of a new library, will provide invaluable opportunities to these committed and resilient students.

Professional Development

The Primary Team have begun the curriculum development focus for this year, working in a three-way rotation to explore some key areas for teaching and learning. These sessions provide an opportunity for discussing research on pedagogy and sharing good practise.

The three areas of focus for this term are;

  • Learning about and exploring online platforms to support teaching and learning,
  • Deepening understanding of strategies to most effectively use an aspect of concept based inquiry.
  • Reviewing and implementing the latest developments from the Enhanced PYP.

Student Council

Playground equipment such as soft balls, table tennis bats and balls, hula hoops, skipping ropes were purchased this week using funds raised by the Student Council.
The P3-P6 students are very excited as we are about to start a table tennis league!


El Cañuelo

El Cañuelo

11 years ago, I started a music trip to the beautiful Spanish village of El Cañuelo, in the hills of Malaga. Exclusive to musicians, with the sole purpose of music-making our students have the opportunity to take a trip away from all distractions, disconnect and just be surrounded by inspiration for 3 days. Throughout these 3 days students partake in several workshops, led by our highly trained and professional music staff and students from previous years. They then write and perform their original songs in an evening concert under the stars.

Over the years this trip has become somewhat of a legacy, often mentioned fondly in the yearbook by our graduates. This blog will give you a flavour of this year’s adventures!

Sports Success

Over the past three weeks, SIS has travelled to San Pedro where we have competed in various Costa del Sol football tournaments. All teams performed to a very high standard and did a fantastic job of representing SIS both on and off the pitch. 


The boys scored plenty of goals all the way through to the semi finals. Despite dominating against the British College of Benalmadena and playing the better football, the game finished in a draw which they unfortunately lost in penalties.


The girls showed that ‘tiki taka’ football is not only beautiful to watch but can also win you games and get you to the finals. Sadly, the great battle against Aloha College was lost but the girls went home with their heads held high!


It was a very competitive tournament where the boys did not make it through to the knockout stages but displayed some great skills in their final match! With plenty of ups and downs, the girls deservedly made it through to the finals against Aloha College, but after a very tight game they narrowly missed out on bringing home the gold. The U15 tournament in March 2020 will certainly be one to watch out for and one to put in your calendar!


Both the boys and girls teams deservedly played their way into the finals after playing excellent football in the group stages and playing two exciting semi finals. Despite the great teamwork, the boys were unable to beat their counterparts, losing 3-0 to Torrequebrada. The girls on the other hand beat Almuñecar International School a fantastic 2-0 and were the worthy winners of the competition. Great job!

A massive congratulations to all students involved, you displayed great spirit and resilience throughout the tournaments and should all be very proud! March 2020 isn’t too far let’s keep training and watch this space!

ISAA Football Tournament

We would also like to wish our varsity U19’s boys and girls football teams good luck, as they will be representing SIS for the first time in the prestigious ISAA Football Tournament in London next month. We are very excited to have entered such a distinguished tournament where schools from all over the world will be participating and believe this to be a great first step to exciting times ahead for sport at SIS.

 We would like to highlight the sporting successes of some of our students during these past weeks. Antonina M and Mariana F, for their participation in the Andalusian Cup, reaching first and second place respectively. Congratulations to both of them and we will continue to follow your successes very closely.

 We would also like to congratulate Esteban L for his participation in the final of the Seve & Jon national tournament held in Bilbao where he finished in twelfth place. A sporting event that collects funds for the Alicia Foundation who works to support children with cancer.

 On the 5th of October Noa S participated in the European Championships of Jujitsu in Valencia in a Gui Bracket, with her coach Shawn Ben-Senor of ‘Training of Titan Academy’. The category consisted of girls 51-56kg, white to green belts ages 12 to 13. Noa finished in second place and was awarded with an orange belt. This competition ranks her at number 38 in the ATHLETES KIDS GLOBALLY (with Gui), 163rd in the ATHLETES 2019 GLOBALLY (with Gui) and 275th in the ATHLETES GLOBAL GLOBAL. Congratulations Noa!


ALUMNI updates with Jason Mungles

University & Career news: This first half term has been rather busy in U & C, with a large D2 cohort applying to some of the most prestigious universities across the world, and the pressure of application deadlines, both the students and the staff have needed to prepare application and references letters to some quite very tight timetables. In addition to this, we have had a wide range of events to motivate and help organise our senior years in particular.  A number of our Alumni have been in to speak to our students, and a series of visits have also taken place. These have consisted of the Oxford University Ladies Rugby team, the EUC Universities consortium representing a range of European Universities, workshops with our Diploma Business students from Professors from UK Universities, the ANDAC STEAM (Science, Technology and Maths) conference at Aloha, visits from the London Metropolitan University and our attendance at the British and Spanish University convention! You can read more about these on my U&C Facebook blog at and the Alumni blog at


MYP trips


On Thursday 10 October, M1 went to Casares as part of his Humanities / Language studies. They began their research at the Blas Infante museum. Then they moved to the cultural center to see its historical and ethnographic museum.

After lunch, the atmosphere of the place inspired them to write poetry and creative writings connected with the environment surrounding them.

The day gave the children the opportunity to put their research skills into practice in a historic, and very traditional Spanish village. The legacy of Blas Infante lives on!


The M3 French students were asked to write a script about summer camps and how to meet, greet and interact when you meet someone new. They had to use the vocabulary learnt this unit. They then recorded their conversation and presented their video to the class. They did peer and self assessment using MYP Language Acquisition grade boundaries, criteria C and D.The winners of the video are Fernando, Antonio and Max. Bravo à vous et à tous les élèves de français M3


Diploma Music & Arts

Diploma Music

A couple of weeks ago, a selection of DP Music students enjoyed a trip to a concert at the Malaga Cervantes Theatre. They saw a programme by the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra that included the Overture to the Flying Dutchman by Wagner and also two Beethoven compositions, his Triple Concerto for piano, violin and cello and the always impressive Symphony No 3, the “Eroica”. It was an excellent experience for the students to see a professional orchestra and to hear these works live. It should also provide them with plenty of ideas for their own compositions!

Diploma Art

The Visual Arts Diploma students enjoyed an action packed day to Malaga last week when they visited the Pompidou Museum and enjoyed a tour of the current ‘Modern Utopias’ exhibition. The students were able to carry out a personal analysis of a chosen artwork and also developed their knowledge and appreciation of curatorial practice during the trip.



26th-29th September – 4 days, 5 schools, 3 committees, 48 delegates, 75 participants in total – an amazing event, packed full of new learning experiences and lots of fun! Read more in our blog

SotoMUN 2019

D1 Event Towards Nature

Seven D1 Geography students attended an inspiring talk by the famous Norwegian explorer and environmental activist Johan Ernst Nilson in Marbella on Monday 14th October. The purpose of the event was to promote an appreciation for the beauty of our planet, especially in remote, wilderness environments and to encourage people to become change makers and consider the consequences of their actions on the planet. The talk was accompanied by stunning photography showing places explored by Johan including the Himalayas, Deserts, the Arctic and Antarctica. His talk had a strong environmental message but was also motivational as he discussed ways to reach goals and achieve change. He finished his talk by concluding that nothing was impossible, it was just difficult, requiring perseverance, time and knowledge. He applied this philosophy to the issue of climate change and optimistically stated that we have the power to solve this, it is not an impossible task if we work together.

Congratulations to Shannon for asking the best question at the end and winning a signed photo of the Antarctic landscape taken by Johan himself.

Primary Workshop

Primary Workshop

On Wednesday afternoon, P3 received a very special visit from Miss Jade Vidler from the KP team. Miss Jade organised a really fun workshop to raise awareness about the importance of water, its uses, scarcity, and other relevant topics in connection with our current unit of inquiry. The students demonstrated being principled and considerate by sharing great insights about the way we can help with these world issues in our daily routine at home and in the school. It was very interesting to listen to the different water projects in which KP takes part in Uganda and Ecuador. We also had a touching discussion about human rights. The children listed what they think should be human rights, and how we can help to make sure everyone has them. We wrapped up the session appreciating how lucky we are.

P3-P6 To Bring Their Own Water Bottles

Eco Schools – P3-P6 To Bring Their Own Water Bottles To Cantina.

Well done to all P3-P6 who have started to bring their own water bottles to school and are using them in the cantina already. After half term, all of P3-P6 will join what is already happening in EC1-P2 and will bring their own water bottles to the cantina.

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The Boarding Team is a caring, committed, inspiring, and friendly group of people from diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to the wellbeing and welfare of every student. Each member inspires and encourages the students to grab every opportunity, combining academia with exceptional extra curricular experiences. This approach equips our boarders with the skills and knowledge needed to embrace new challenges and creates exceptional memories and life long friendships during their time at SIS. Read more about the team here 

During October the Boarding House has been busy welcoming over 15 guest students from SIS and the Jason Floyd Golf Academy. The ever growing popularity of the School Family Support option at the boarding house is indisputable. This option is available to students at SIS who need occasional boarding if their parents have work commitments or are required to travel during the year. It is also an option for students who would like an introduction to boarding life and to experience it firsthand. Some students have extended their stay by several weeks as they have enjoyed the experience so much!

The Boarding House is excited to welcome 4 student teachers from Gustavus Adolphus College who will be staying in the Boarding House during their time at SIS. The exchange between Gustavus and SIS has been happening for 15+ years and during their visit, they will be completing part of their trainee teaching course. All 4 students are from Minnesota, adding cultural wealth during their stay at the boarding house, creating relationships with the students and teaching them different activities and games. They will be a wonderful addition to the boarding house family.


This month’s activities have allowed the boarders to make the most of the wonderful October weather we have been having. They were taken on an action packed adventure to Isla Magica in Seville where they spent all afternoon on rollercoasters and exploring the theme park. They had the chance to experience land sailing in Tarifa as well as a trip to La Canada and to the cinema, catering for all students and all interests.

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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