School Newsletter 27.03.2020

 

Monthly newsletter

27th March 2020

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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.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you very much for your continued support and understanding through this uncertain time. Last night the state of emergency was officially extended until April 11th. The whole team at SIS are working hard to make our new virtual school a success, and the messages of positivity and support you have been sharing with us are really valued and appreciated. Over the week, we have shared many aspects of fun, enjoyment and connectivity. I wanted to use this week’s newsletter to share how we are continuing with our curriculum, ensuring that the outcomes are being met and, at the same time, providing support and challenge for all students, irrespective of the current situation. Attendance this week has been once again remarkable with 96.5% of students attending school. In respect of this, I hope you received the communication yesterday related to the amendment of dates for the summer term.

Friday April 3rd will be the last day of the Spring Term

Monday 13th April will be the first day of the Summer Term 

Wednesday June 17th will be the final day of the Summer Term

Last week, our M3 students completed their community project. They were given 4 lessons to work together to produce a video presentation of their learning journey. On Friday, our community project supervisors moderated these presentations. 

In Secondary, our IELTs tests have continued. These critical language exams are used to measure the growth and development of our non-English speaking students. We use the results to help us ensure students are in the correct phase and therefore challenged appropriately as well as being an entrance requirement for university. 

In Primary, our P6 exhibition has been launched with a focus on current events.  The student-led inquiry is to investigate how people respond positively to events that affect our families. This is particularly relevant as the current instruction to ‘stay in our homes’ is affecting families here in Spain, and around the world. 

Meanwhile, auditions for the virtual Dream Factory began!  The music and peripatetic teachers have been working hard to keep delivering virtual singing, piano, trumpet, trombone and drum lessons. Some of our staff members have even been running their extracurricular activities virtually. Having this variety of engaging activities, available so quickly to our students is something I am very proud of. I would like to congratulate and thank all staff for taking the time to plan creatively, encourage students to take part and for keeping our community connected. I would like to thank students for their support, enthusiasm and continued commitment to the programme.

Please be aware that the school is currently implementing a new data system and requires updated information from all families. If your data is not up to date, or there are missing items the admin team will be contacting you over the coming week to complete this. Again, your help and support is appreciated.

All week, our thoughts have been with our D2 students and parents following the announcement of the cancellation of the Diploma exams. Students have remained strong and focused. Today we were informed of further news from the IBO. We will now act upon those developments with the best interests of our students at the centre of every decision, with the key aim of helping every single D2 student to achieve their goals.

I would like to remind you that notice for withdrawal from Sotogrande International School in June is Tuesday 31st March at 4pm. Giving notice by this deadline will enable us to return your deposit.  Please email admissions@sis.gl . Clearly we hope that you all decide to stay and continue to choose SIS as the place of education for your children.

Finally, our IT team has been into school to collect the 3D printers so that we can support the local community in Campo de Gibraltar by printing the components needed for masks at local hospitals. Using education as a force for good forms part of our school mission, and the value of ‘giving back’ continues strongly within our community in these unprecedented times. These actions are never more valuable or appreciated than at a time of crisis.

This weekend the clocks go forward, so please make sure you are on time for virtual school on Monday!

Be safe.

Best wishes,

Jak Kearney

Advisory Panel Update

The Advisory Panel met for a quick update before school closed. The panel discussed the importance of staying safe and yet connected as a community during these trying times.

The school leadership team is in constant contact and keeps well informed of the situation locally and globally. 

At the time of the meeting, building work on the new Secondary building was going ahead as planned.

Fundamentals ``Virtual Nursery``

Fundamentals are excited to launch a new adventure for 2-3 year olds and their families. Working alongside the Early Childhood team at SIS, Fundamentals are offering a specially designed online ‘virtual nursery’.

The ‘virtual nursery’ will combine daily face to face, 1:1, and small group sessions, along with suggested activities which parents will be guided through. These sessions will include arts and crafts, music and movement, language and storytime, construction and play and of course enjoying the outdoors where possible.

Message Emma Butler

Message From Emma Butler

The month of March 2020 will certainly be a month never forgotten in SIS history. 

When our teachers and teaching assistants arrived back at school for a professional development day after the half term break, the training already planned and prepared had to be cancelled. The previous weekend our School Leadership Team made a strategic decision to change focus and respond to what was happening around the world and begin the preparations and skills needed in case of school closure due to the spread of COVID-19. 

For the following two weeks our Primary team continued with the teaching and routines of daily school life all while planning for the eventuality of a SIS Virtual Primary School. The impact and importance of these weeks of preparation turned out to be invaluable as on March the 16th our whole school successfully went virtual.

Today we finished week two of virtual school and we now know that it is going to be extended further. These past two weeks our students, families and teaching team have shown great flexibility and commitment. I, together with the whole Primary Team, are very confident that we will continue to adapt to this new way of learning and grow from the experience. 

If you have any questions or needs, academic or emotional support during these unprecedented times please do reach out to your child’s teacher and as a school we will do our very best to help.

Fundamentals

Fundamentals are excited to launch a new adventure for 2-3 year olds and their families. Working alongside the Early Childhood team at SIS, Fundamentals are offering a specially designed online ‘virtual nursery’.

The ‘virtual nursery’ will combine daily face to face, 1:1, and small group sessions, along with suggested activities which parents will be guided through. These sessions will include arts and crafts, music and movement, language and storytime, construction and play and of course enjoying the outdoors where possible.

Early Childhood

Highlights from Early Childhood

As we come to the end of the first two weeks we would like to share some of the photos we have received.

P3

Earlier this month.

On March 4th the P3 students enjoyed the play “Cinderella only wants to dance”, they were able to interact with the actors and participate in the development of the show. On this day they had the opportunity to use all the vocabulary worked on in class previously. On behalf of the whole Spanish team we would like to congratulate our students for their exemplary behaviour and attitude towards this type of activity which shows their interest in Spanish.

P6

P6 PYP Exhibition

This week our P6 students have been introduced to their PYP Exhibition topic. The PYP Exhibition is the culmination of the PYP and provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge, concepts, skills, and attitudes that they have developed throughout their years in the Primary Years Programme. Students work together to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. This year it will definitely feel differently and as they start on the process virtually we wish them the best of luck.

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English and Russian Literature students visited The Collection of Russian Museum in Malaga. We saw portraits of one of the most famous Russian poetesses, Anna Akhmatova, whose beauty inspired many artists. We also visited an exhibition of Nikolai Roerich, an artist who looked for spiritual growth in the mountains of Tibet. 

Peter Permaculture update

Just in the nick of time! The Permaculture Project was able to contribute over 15 kilos of snow peas/tirabeques/mangetout/sugar snap peas to the cantina twice before the school campus closed. They went into a delicious cabbage curry stir fry one day and a vegan asian wok entree the next.

Sports Tournaments

Sports Tournaments

In light of the recent COVID-19 developments in Spain and Europe we have sadly been forced to withdraw our participation in all sports tournaments this term. 

However, two of our secondary students recently had the great honour of representing the province of Cadiz in the Andalucian championship of Provincial Selections.

Following 13 weeks of trial matches and training sessions, Joaquin from M2 who trains with Taraguilla CF was selected for the Infantil Squad and Thomas from M5 who trains with Algeciras CF represented the Cadete squad. The province of Cadiz is widely recognised as one of the leading areas in fútbol development thus really highlighting Joaquin & Thomas achievements. This was a great achievement and recognition for them both and an experience that they will remember for years to come.

Virtual PE

Virtual PE

This week we have embarked on a new journey, where we travel through the virtual world of e-learning. With most of the SIS community on lockdown it is important that we remain active when we can. The PE team has therefore designed workouts which our MYP students can complete at home during their scheduled PHE lessons as well as at any other time of the day. We encourage parents and guardians to join in with their children, exercise is good for the body and mind! Don’t forget to complete a challenge or two of those out there on social media! 

#WorkingTogetherAtHome

Peter Permaculture update

Just in the nick of time! The Permaculture Project was able to contribute over 15 kilos of snow peas/tirabeques/mangetout/sugar snap peas to the cantina twice before the school campus closed. They went into a delicious cabbage curry stir fry one day and a vegan asian wok entree the next.

5 Key Features of Personal Growth from Boarding

A boarding education can uniquely equip our students in developing the independence, zest and emotional intelligence to succeed and flourish. 

In this article, Nick Wergan, European Education Director for Inspired Education Group, discusses the many benefits, social and academic, of a boarding education. Read more here.

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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