School Newsletter 27.09.2019


Monthly newsletter

27th September 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

Friday 27th September 7:00 – 10:00pmBack to School Party
Monday 30th September – Thursday 3rd October Primary student, parent, teacher consultations. Target Setting. By appointment.
Tuesday 1st – Thursday 24th OctoberReadathon P1- P6
Wednesday 9th October 4:00 – 5:00pmPrimary Parent Session P1 – Learning Spanish A and Spanish B
Thursday 10th October 9:00 – 10:30amPTA Open Meeting in the school canteen
Monday 14th – Tuesday 15th OctoberEnvironmental Charity Event “Towards Nature” at the Palacio de Congresos in Marbella
Thursday 17th October 9:00am – 3:30pmU9 Football at Aloha College
Thursday 24th OctoberRice Day
Friday 25th October Climate Change Awareness Day – Travel to school in a green way day
Friday 25th OctoberSend a Child to School Day

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you enjoy reading our longer edition of the newsletter, which reflects on events over the first month back at school. I would like to thank the students for participating with such enthusiasm in all events, the staff for their time in organizing and dreaming up so many wonderful activities and finally you, the parents for supporting everything that happens in our community.

This has been another fun-packed week, with the secondary students reflecting on their bonding trip experience, P6 attending their first unit trip of the year and our secondary swim team taking part in their first swimming tournament of the year.

On Thursday we hosted students from Swans School, Aloha College, International School of Monza, Italy, and Fulham School, London, the last two being our sister Inspired schools, for Sotogrande’s Model United Nations event (SOTO MUN).

This 4-day event will provide students with an opportunity to debate world affairs, develop confidence, enhance their public speaking skills and make friends along the way. I would like to thank our sponsors Montecello, Rocio Moreno and the PTA for their help in funding this event, and our staff for taking the time to organize this wonderful opportunity.

It was wonderful to see so many of the community joining our efforts to reduce emissions by walking to school on our first Climate Change Awareness Day. This is going to be a monthly event in the school calendar, and we encourage everyone to join in by car sharing, walking, cycling or scooting to school. Small changes to all of our routines can, collectively, have a positive impact on our planet.

Finally, I am looking forward to seeing you tonight at the PTA Back to School Party (B2SP). This will be a wonderful opportunity for you to see some of our talented students on the stage, relax with food and drinks and reconnect with parents and staff after the summer break.  I would like to remind you that students in M2 and below MUST be accompanied by an adult.

 I wish you a wonderful weekend.

 Best wishes

Jak Kearney

PTA News

Walk To School day

Today was, without a doubt, the best Walk to School Day we’ve seen. Thank you to everyone who took part and made it to and from school in a more environmentally conscious way.  Get practicing for the next one!

October 24th is International Day of Climate Action so next month’s Friday Walk to School Day will be again notable on the global calendar. Can we better the number of non-motorised journeys?

In the environmental calendar, 2019 is ‘Beat Air Pollution’ year and this week, the United Nations Climate Change Summit took place. MUN localises this for us and reminds us to take action and do more and more and more.

Back to school party 2019

It’s TONIGHT @ 7pm – 10pm!

Don’t miss Powder Paintball, Face Painting, Virtual Reality games, face painting, live music, bbq, paella, popcorn, wine, soft drinks…

For another year running, this mainstay of the SIS calendar is going to be fabulous. Don’t miss it.

La Reserva

Autumn tennis and padel program at La Reserva Club

This month, La Reserva Club Sotogrande has launched their Autumn Tennis and Padel program for both students and parents. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced kids’ programs, with weekday afternoon and Saturday morning slots available, as well as fun monthly competitions on the last weekend of each month. For adults there are also group classes

Mondays to Fridays, with flexible times to suit your routine and mix ins where you can play social double matches.

Autumn is a great time to practice sports, with cooler temperatures and blue skies making it a pleasure to play outside on the four clay courts and five glass walled padel courts at La Reserva Club. Come and benefit from their expert training and tuition programs and enjoy improving your game this Autumn.

For more info call +34 663 020 792 or email

If you want to read our brochure click here


Ecuador – How Cultural identity preservation and moving towards an eco-friendly world go hand-in-hand

In a time when many of us are seriously starting to question our lifestyles in relation to their impact on the environment, we should think closely about our choices. The environmental crisis that we are living in is a direct consequence of our lifestyles. But what can we do to change this? How can we live sustainably? And most importantly, are we ready to commit to doing what it takes? These are questions which the Shino Pí Bolón Cultural Group are helping us answer. Read more here

Uganda. Service Learning at SIS; How Effective Hands On Experiences are Transforming Lives 

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, in recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. ll IB schools across the globe need to satisfy this section of the curriculum, and at Sotogrande International School our students don’t simply satisfy it, but exceed it thanks to meaningful curricular connections, enhanced by our student driven NGO, The Kindred Project. Read more here

Activities Fair

SIS activities fair

The SIS activities fair is always a well awaited event and a great display of the various opportunities we provide to all our students.

This year the fair was more successful than ever. Currently we offer more than 100 activities in the areas of Sports, Science, Music and Curriculum Enrichment.

If you would like to enrol your child in one of our activities, please visit the following link.

Alumni updates

ALUMNI updates with Jason Mungles

It is always great to hear from our Alumni, and to continue to build on our relationship and connections even after they’ve left SIS. Here is a collection of updates from some of our SIS Alumni.

Lily Moore DP2006 and Lizzie Moore DP2008

Lily graduated the Diploma Programme in 2006 with 41 IB Points, and has been studying literature at the University of Southampton in the UK.

“I am a Production Manager at RSA Films in London, where I’m currently working on a TV Commercial for Qatar Airways. RSA makes TV commercials and it’s my job to organise the shoots (crew, equipment, locations, cast, run the budget). My sister Lizzie, who graduated in 2008 is a Creative writer at Lucky Generals – an advertising agency in London where she writes the scripts for TV commercials. Last year she wrote the Amazon Super Bowl TVC, starring Antony Hopkins and other celebrities.”



Poppy Jones graduated from the SIS Diploma Programme in 2009

“I am currently the Risk and Internal Audit Manager at Cambridge Assessment International Education. We are part of the University of Cambridge and the world’s largest provider of international education programmes, best known for offering international GCSEs (IGCSEs) and A-Levels. In my role, I provide assurance to the CEO and directors,  support to all colleagues on the effective management of our processes and our risks. All of this is working towards the organisation achieving its aims of providing our learners with the best possible experience studying our qualifications, and of extending our reach to more learners around the world.



I had  wonderful experiences at SIS in a friendly, stimulating and encouraging environment that promoted a lifelong enthusiasm for learning and education. My time at SIS  inspired me to work in the international education sector myself and means that I can really relate to the learners and schools that I now work with. Contributing towards their experiences and their futures motivates me every day”

We had a great start to Universities and Careers guidance this year.

Our D1 and D2 students received an inspiring talk from one of our ex-students, Carlota Sanchez, on good preparation techniques for the IB programme, during their application meetings, career profiling preparation. I would like to thank Carlota Sanchez and the D1 and D2 advisory teams for their support.

Trinity exams

Trinity College London music exams

Every summer around 35 students take an exam on their chosen musical instrument with an examiner from the UK. The success rate at SIS is very high and the students, all though a bit nervous, seem to enjoy taking the music exams and find it a beneficial experience.

These examinations are recognised world wide and at the higher levels – grades 6, 7 and 8, they carry UCAS points for University.

Please congratulate the 42 music students and their teachers from SIS who achieved the highest ever results on their accredited RSL Music Exams this past December and June with 19 Distinctions, 22 Merits and 1 Pass! Instruments examined included Bass Guitar, Drums, Electric Guitar, Ukulele and Vocals.

Passed with Distinction:

Ella M (Vocal), Natasha B-H (Vocal), Silvana A (Vocal), Jill O (Vocal), Thomas W (Vocal), Keisha S (Vocal), Darcey H (Vocal), River M (Drums), Pilar A (Vocal), Felix J (Electric Guitar), Felix J (Bass Guitar), Harrison E  (Bass Guitar), Mikella J (Vocal), Savannah K-S (Drums), Savannah K-S (Electric Guitar), Eduardo D (Drums), Iker C (Drums), Yair B (Drums) and Josh O (Drums).

Passed with Merit:

Elise L (Vocal), Solana S (Vocal), Alejandra R (Electric Guitar), Maxamilian W (Grade 3 Electric Guitar in December), Maxamillian W (Grade 5 Electric Guitar in June), Hannah K (Drums), Ricardo G (Drums), Esperanza G (Vocal), Maximus G (Drums), Louie W (Electric Guitar), Oscar S (Drums), Frank D (Drums), Alice S (Bass Guitar), Danny L (Ukulele), Isla C (Ukulele), Freya M (Ukulele), Alvaro G (Drums), Jude E (Ukulele), Zac C (Ukulele), Juan U (Ukulele), Louis S (Ukulele), Jasmine H (Ukulele)

Passed with Pass: Ben W (Bass Guitar).


News from SIMA (Sotogrande International Music Academy)

Two time World Beatbox Champion and Emperor of the Mic, Dharni NG featured in the first ever Acapella & Beatbox Camp in Sotogrande this past summer! Music students had the amazing opportunity to sing and perform alongside World Beatbox Champion, Dharni NG. Themed as the PITCH PERFECT Rock camp, SIMA made a mini-movie with the students, recreating the famous Riff-Off scene from Pitch Perfect. Laura Krier, vocal coach at SIS said, “We are super proud of the work these students did with ONLY their voices – no instruments at all! Thank you Darren Mortimer for all your hard work on this video and to Anne-Marie Pettit and Paul Sedkowski for helping make the vision a reality!”

Following the PITCH PERFECT camp, SIMA held their second Bohemian Rhapsody Rock Camp two weeks later, this time covering some of the greatest hits from Queen. The songs were not just performed and sung live, but all parts were recorded in the SIMA recording studio in less than a week with students averaging just 12-years old

The final music camp from SIMA this summer was called THE VOICE and focused on seriously preparing students for auditions to TV talent shows like The Voice, Idol Kids, and Got Talent. Each student received a portfolio at the end of the camp with photos and show reels for submitting to casting agencies and television production companies. More news to come as the story unfolds for students who took it a step further by submitting applications!

For more information about SIMA’s music lessons and programs contact

Message From Emma Butler

Message From Emma Butler, Head of Primary

As we come to the end of the first month of this academic year I would like to formally welcome back all the returning students and also welcome all our new students and their families. We have had a fantastic start and the Primary Team and myself are looking forward to the year ahead.

What A Wonderful Start For Our Youngest Students In Early Childhood! (EC1-P1)

Over the summer, lots of work was done in our Early Childhood learning spaces. We now have a fantastic large multi-purpose learning space, new outdoor climbing frames and equipment and a designated outdoor ‘wooded area’ classroom. All of the classrooms have been painted, had lights fitted and redesigned thus creating environments that are filled with natural light, order and beauty. The improvements to the learning spaces are to encourage collaboration, communication and exploration. It has been wonderful to see our younger students enjoying it all.

 Primary Class Sites: Please make sure you and your children check them regularly

The class google sites are where we share information with parents and students. Each week there will be a class blog for each year group. The blog not only shares what students have been learning and investigating during the week but this is also where teachers will post messages and information about upcoming events together with the students’ home activities. The class sites hold other important information such as curriculum information and timetables.

In Primary, the class site is our main point of communication and we urge parents and students to access it weekly.
The sites can be accessed through the following links or the SIS app.

As the class sites are updated weekly, any urgent messages will be communicated on the official school whatsapp group.


Message from Ana Guani, Head of Fundamentals

Summer is coming to an end which means it’s time to enjoy a new educational adventure at Fundamentals.

At Fundamentals we recognize the importance of the early years in a person’s education. Little ones are welcome in a safe and welcoming environment. Days are filled with exciting, fun and educational activities where teachers inspire learning while attending to the individual needs of each child.

Each course is a new period for each student and their family, which is why we devote the utmost attention to making the experience enjoyable and rewarding for everyone.

We create exciting and fun educational activities for our children to play, learn, explore the outdoors and develop a strong sense of self and a wide range of skills that will lay the best foundation for future learning.

September is for many the beginning of this experience and we work with parents to make this transition as easy and enjoyable as possible for the family. Education and personal development are very important, but we are aware that the safety and health of children is a priority.

We invite you to continue our journey in this space and through our social networks


October is International School Library Month (ISLM) and at SIS that means the Readathon.

This a lovely yearly event encouraging all P1-P6 students to read or be read to as much as possible.

With the reading comes a challenge – which class has read the most during the month? This class then wins the very popular ice cream party! All P1-P6 students has had information sent home this week explaining how the Readathon works.

The money raised with the reading will be channeled through The Kindred Project to support the construction of the first ever library at St Kizito’s Secondary School in Uganda. This will in turn support UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education – Target 4.6: By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

The Readathon begins on the 1st of October and ends on the 24th of October.


P6 Unit Based Trip

Last week our P6 students went on the first unit based trip of the year. They visited ‘Museo Rali’ in Marbella to support their unit on ‘Appreciation of the Aesthetics in Art’. During the visit the students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the seven elements of visual art while analysing the variety of fantastic artwork displayed there.

Last week our P6 students went on the first unit based trip of the year. They visited ‘Museo Rali’ in Marbella to support their unit on ‘Appreciation of the Aesthetics in Art’. During the visit the students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the seven elements of visual art while analysing the variety of fantastic artwork displayed there.

Russian lessons

Russian Lessons for native speakers

Занятия по русскому языку для начальной школы

Уважаемые родители!

Хочу обратить Ваше внимание на то, что в нашей школе проходят занятия по русскому языку для учеников начальной школы.

Расписание занятий:


16.00 Старшая группа (Р4, Р5, Р6)
17.00 Младшая группа (Р1, Р2, Р3)


16.00 Младшая группа
17.00 Старшая группа

Стоимость занятия 15 евро. Оплачиваются только посещенные занятия.

Занятия проходят в здании Сервантес (белое двухэтажное здание рядом с музыкальной хижиной).
Занятия в небольших группах проводит опытный и талантливый педагог Ольга Пахомова, основавшая русский образовательный центр в Марбелье.

На занятиях дети развивают речь, учатся грамотно писать, знакомятся с основными понятиями русской грамматики, читают произведения русской литературы, играют, общаются.

Занятия русским языком позволяют не оставлять пробелов в речевом развитии русскоязычного ребенка, живущего вне родной языковой среды. Многочисленные педагогические и психологические исследования подтверждают важность сохранения и развития родного языка у ребенка-билингва.

Надеюсь, наши русскоязычные дети будут заниматься родным языком и продолжат обучение на уроках в средней и старшей школе.

По всем вопросам обращайтесь к Ольге или ко мне

С уважением,

Юлия Ноттенбелт

Преподаватель русского языка и литературы


Secondary Bonding Trips

Bonding Trips

At the start of each school year our students, advisors and Pastoral Leaders embark on a series of challenges and cultural experiences around Andalucía. Spending time away together helps to form bonds, understand each others’ strengths and skill sets and to have fun in a relaxed and fun environment. Photos and reflections on this year’s trip can be found in this link.

Student Support and events

Student Support

September has been a very busy month welcoming our new and existing students to school. We are also delighted to welcome Grace Carter to our team, who is on a year’s placement from Bath University where she is studying Education & Psychology.

On Tuesday 24th we welcomed Ali Silver, health coach and nutritionist, to talk to the girls from M3 to D2.  The discussions that followed Ali’s talk were very insightful and provoked some thoughtful responses and engagement from our students. The areas explored were complex, combining students own perceptions of body image, their health and well being. The feedback from students was very positive and we hope to follow up with additional workshops and talks within the school, based on the students’ requests and discussions.  We are also working on developing a similar programme to cascade out to the wider school community.

We would like to thank those parents and staff who were able to join Ali at the end of the day for the parent feedback. If anyone would like any further information from yesterdays’ workshops please contact the student support team.

We would like to extend our thanks to the PTA for their continuing support of such initiatives across the school.

Week commencing 7th October sees the return of Dyslexia Awareness Week. The focus of the week will be EMPOWERMENT; helping students to feel stronger, more confident about dyslexia, to take control and not let it be a barrier.

Dyslexia spans every ability level and every culture, people with dyslexia will be as individual and varied in their interests as their neurotypical peers. In the right environment, one where they are empowered to play to their considerable strengths, students with dyslexia are making invaluable contributions in their individual work and in their wider communities.

Please join in, we hope our activities in school will be a lively and positive experience, empowering all students with or without dyslexia.

If you have any questions about student support services, please do not hesitate to contact me, or come along to P13 on the first floor of the main building.

On 19th September our School Counsellor, Nuria Gomez, attended the Twelfth Annual Conference for Counsellors working in Schools which took place in Didcot, UK. Its focus was mainly on how counsellors can work most effectively with young people within schools. The focal point of the opening address was on ‘What really works and what doesn’t’. Nuria also attended workshops on ‘Developing a whole-school counselling service’ and ‘Working with risky young people’. It was a great chance to network with other school counsellors and both reaffirm the current work she is carrying out and look for new ways of working with young people. As Didcot is only a few miles away from our sister school Reddam House Berkshire, she took the opportunity to visit and meet their school counsellor, sharing their experiences within the schools and discussing ways of improving.

For any information on the Counselling Service in school (Need2Talk) please do not hesitate to contact Nuria on

Sports Success

SIS student Ben B has been selected to represent the Andalusian U16 Rugby XV at the first training/trial phase. We wish him luck as he works towards gaining Selection in the final team.

On Monday we had the pleasure of welcoming the Oxford University ladies Rugby team, who are currently in Spain training and playing a number of local teams. They managed to take some time out of their busy training schedule to come and speak to our prospective Oxford students about life at the university. Our students gained some good insights into the application process and were also a few interview tips. In addition they were able to discuss the social and sporting aspects of life at Oxford and came away with a real appreciation of the process and the grit required to be successful there.

Thanks to Pete Burgess and Adrian Parsons for their help in organising the event.



Following the Oxford Rugby Ladies visit, three of our M4 Rugby students Teresa A, Teresa G and Stella B, have been invited to practice with them on Tuesday 24th September before they go back to their university. We thank them for the great opportunity they have given to our students/players.

SIS D1 student Marcus K has been chosen to join the eighth project of the ‘Alberto Contador Foundation’ youth category. Marcus is one of eight riders selected to make up the new squad of thirteen riders of The Kometa Cycling Team. Read more here

The Eco-School Green Flag

The Eco-School Green Flag

In January 2017, in line with our SIS values and mission statement, we made a committed decision to begin the process to become a recognised Eco-school. In June, we were delighted to receive the much-coveted green flag, granted by the Eco-School organisation.

Carmen, from the Spanish branch of the organisation, spent the day at school, meeting all the groups around the school who have been making enormous strides to make the school more environmentally friendly.  Read more here.

Permaculture Project

Permaculture Project -We want your plants!

If you are thinning out your garden, getting rid of fruit trees, shrubs, aloe vera, any plants – please consider donating them to the SIS Permaculture Project.

As part of the Eco School program, the school is building a sustainable food forest on campus. Please contact if you are interested in donating plants.

Climate Change Charity Event

Climate Change Charity Event: ‘Towards Nature’

SIS students and parents are invited to attend this event held on the 14th and 15th of October at the Palacio de Congresos in  Marbella. The event will incorporate speeches, art and music. Johan Ernst Nilson, a well known explorer and motivational speaker, will give a speech aimed to inspire and unite people to take action against climate change and its consequences.


SIS students aged 8 to 12 years also have the opportunity to actively participate in the event in the following ways:

– One boy and one girl will be a master of ceremonies on stage, demonstrating their public speaking abilities at this large venue

– Give an environmental presentation on the stage

-Participate in the music concert.

Students aged 13 years are invited to put forward a question to Johan, a prize will be given to the student with the best question.

For more information about participating please contact Lisa Kearney

Tickets are available on the webpage

Children are free but must reserve a place on the website. Adult tickets are 20 Euros

14th October: Age 13 years plus

The Boarding House has been incredibly busy this month, opening its doors to over 100 students and settling them into boarding life. With a mix of 30+ nationalities and 24 languages spoken in the house, the team have made it their priority to make sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. The Boarding House welcomed 6 temporary boarders over the past 4 weeks, ensuring they settled quickly and enjoyed their visit. All in all, a wonderful start to the new academic year!

The Boarding House activity program kicked off with a fun-filled weekend spent at Bahia Water Park and Laser Tag. During these past 4 weeks the boarders have been taken go-karting in Jerez where they fought for the fastest time and had a chance to create a professionally filmed and edited music video. The younger students have been getting involved in community projects, expanding their ever growing skillset. This array of activities has given each student an opportunity to bond and create friendships that will flourish during their time at the Boarding House

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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