School Newsletter 31.01.2020


Monthly newsletter

31st January 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.

Dates for your diary

Monday 3rd February

P6 into M1 meeting with parents (4.10pm-5.00pm)

Monday 3rd – Wednesday 5th  

D1 mid-year exams

Wednesday 5th February          

Primary Inter School Cross Country Event

Wednesday 12th

U9 Inter School Football Tournament

Thursday 13th

SotoRox 2020

Friday 14

SotoSmash 2020

Monday 17th

Thursday 20th – Primary student, parent, teacher consultations. Target Setting. By Appointment.

Thursday 20th

PTA Meeting

Thursday 20th

Rice Day

Friday 21st

Inter School Handball Workshop

Friday 21st

Climate Change Awareness Day

Friday 21st

Send a Child to School Day

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you to everyone who joined us to ‘travel to school in a green way’ this morning. As well as the environmental benefits,  it creates an excellent opportunity for our students to walk, talk and laugh together before the start of a busy day’s learning. While walking into school, you may have seen our SotoRoxV poster and team selling tickets and wondered what it’s all about, in this short video our Head of Music, Mr Wickersham, explains it all.

As we come to the end of January, you will have noticed that work is progressing on the development of our new secondary building. This new facility will massively transform our school, hosting the main office, Design Laboratories, Language and Literature and Individuals and Societies classrooms. Additionally, we will be expanding our sports facilities with a 5-a-side football pitch and multi-surface sports area for all to enjoy. For more details, please see the design drawings in reception.

This transformation will open up the main building to be redesigned, expanding the cantina and creating new and exciting learning spaces for P5 and P6 students. To help visualise how our new campus will look, please take a look at this video. 

Following feedback we received regarding last year’s late release of fees, we have worked with Inspired to finalise these sooner, and we can now share them with you. To view the fees for the academic year 2020-2021, please click here. To view Elite Sports academic fees for the year 2020-2021, please click here.

We understand that living in an international community means families often come and go. I would like to ask that if you already know you will be leaving us at the end of this academic year that you notify us immediately using the below procedure. This is vitally important to us so we can plan the teaching provision and admissions for the next academic year. To formally notify the school of your intent to leave, please send a withdrawal letter to the admissions team; email address: The official deadline for informing us of your intention to leave is 31st March 2020 at 4 pm CET. Any notification after this date will result in the non-return of your deposit. 

I hope you enjoy reading the rest of our end of month newsletter and sharing in the successes and achievements of our school community.

Best Wishes,

Jak Kearney

SotoRox and SotoSmash

SotoRox is an epic music event that takes place every four years at SIS. This year is a SotoRox year, and the date is confirmed for Thursday 13th February. Making this year even bigger and better we are holding SotoSmash, a DJ event, on the following evening, Friday 14th February. Our first ever two-day festival!

You can get your tickets every day between 8:40am – 8:50am & 3:30pm and 4:15pm at the school gate. 15€ gets you entry to both nights performances. Tickets are selling fast and we have limited availability, so make sure to get yours quick!

All profits go to The Kindred Project to support the construction of 2 classrooms for our Moroccan partners, Association Tiwizi.

Students M1 and below must be accompanied by an adult. The event is only open to the SIS community and their friends.

Elise L, D1 student

Finally, we would like to thank our wonderful sponsors for the event: Eccolo, San Roque Golf Club & Bunker Beach. With their contributions to this event, we have managed to make it even bigger, better and bolder! If you are ever in the local area they provide fantastic services that won’t let you down.

Health and Safety

Annual Plan to combat the Pine Processionary Caterpillar.

To combat the pine processionary caterpillar we have an annual plan based on the biological cycle of the processionary caterpillar.
The main approach is to use biological insecticides that take their effect in the months of September / October. This year, on September the 9th, all the pines on the school grounds and on the perimeter area were treated by endotherapy, using a biological insecticide, directly injected in tree, this respects the environment and contains bacteria that attack the larvae. All the fumigated trees have been identified with a plastic ribbon attached to the trunk.

This endotherapy biological treatment is an effective measure against processionary caterpillars, and our experience is that it is usually enough to prevent them from appearing in February and March when the caterpillars become adults.

However, occasionally, for weather reasons these measures are not enough and nests form in the branches of the pine trees and then caterpillars disperse to feed and bury themselves in the ground. 

If that happens this year, in February / March, we will be responding by using a range of methods:

  • Searching (using drone with camera) and elimination of pockets where the caterpillars inhabit, cutting them one by one, and then burning them. This work will be carried out by specialized company and they use specialist machinery for this purpose. (January to March).
  • Removing caterpillars when they come down from the trees using plastic tramps bags placed on tree trunks.
  • The nesting areas of the caterpillars are looked for), they are unearthed and eliminated.
  • The playgrounds in affected areas will be made ‘out of bounds’ for students.


Elite Sports - Golf

Elite Sports – Jason Floyd Golf

Elite Golf student, Gustav Ordel, performed outstandingly in the recent Triple A European Championship, coming 1st in the U16 category. 

The leader board was dominated by our Elite Golf students, read the tournament write up here.

Sotogrande International Camps

Once again Sotogrande International School launches its summer camps with a variety of programs designed with the same philosophy and educational excellence as SIS. Aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 17, our campers will be able to choose from multiple options such as sports, artistic activities and languages. Not to mention all the fun activities organized by our monitors and the excursions on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Reserve an unforgettable summer in Sotogrande now! For more information please visit our website, or write to us at to receive more details about the special discounts for our SIS families.

The Kindred Project

Achieving the Unimaginable

In November I had the chance to travel down to Nabugabo to see, for the first time, the project and community we have been supporting through The Kindred Project since 2012. As you can imagine, this was a long awaited opportunity and it couldn’t have happened at a better moment in time. The 10 Primary pioneering students with whom the Nabugabo Community Learning Centre (NCLC) opened its doors, were finally graduating, and of course we weren’t going to miss it. It was a huge privilege for Ms. Jane and I to be able to represent all the students, staff and parents at the graduation ceremony. SIS is in every brick, book and child that shines in Nabugabo, and with this trip we laid the next bridges for future projects and dreams with NCLC.

Since then, the graduating students have been eagerly waiting for the results of their Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), a set of four exams that all Primary students in Uganda need to pass in order to be able to continue to Secondary education. These results, if good, would also prove the radically different system and approach that NCLC has decided to offer to this small and courageous community in Uganda. No need to say, NCLC’s journey has been challenging, requiring never-ending commitment, resilience, grit and a huge dose of craziness not to give up on their dreams.

Only a few days ago we received the most wonderful and inspiring email from NCLC, letting us know that the students have absolutely smashed it! One of the students, Dorn, was awarded a Distinction 1 (85%-100%) and the other 9 students achieved a Distinction 2 (80%-85%). There are 5 possible passing grades. The scope of their achievement is unimaginable, not only in a normal situation, but especially in the one these children and families face daily, with barely any electricity, running water or food. What an accomplishment these children have attained, resiliently committed to make it through Primary education, regardless of all the challenges faced.

Last week the 10 students were happily and proudly enrolled at St Kizito School ready to begin their first year of Secondary. We wish them all the best for what lies ahead.

On behalf of everyone at Nabugabo and The Kindred Project I wanted to take a few minutes to thank each and everyone of you for your continued support towards all the KP initiatives.This is the biggest reward we could have ever dreamt off and it wouldn’t have been possible without your energy, drive and determination to enable our students to carry out all the activities they do through school. And of course, to your direct participation in these activities!

We must never underestimate the power we have as a community that cares and acts to make our world a fairer one. We have definitely made a positive impact. 

 Thank you for going that extra mile and for believing. May Paul Templeton’s and SIS’s commitment to use education as a force for good in the world continue to drive us. 

Valentina Stirling

KP Coordinator

Message Emma Butler

Message From Emma Butler, Head of Primary

The start of 2020 has been very busy for Primary, with unit based trips, inter-school sporting events, guest speakers coming into school to share their knowledge and expertise, LAMDA exams, preparations and rehearsals for the P3/P4 expressive arts, our Pre Engineers excelling and four of our students recording a radio advertisement for a local English and Spanish radio station.

On behalf of all of Primary I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PTA for their recent gift. Through their generosity, we now have a state of the art sound mixer. Thank you PTA you have made many students and Mr Luis very happy!

Congratulations to our Primary students who were awarded certificates in an international writing competition run by Pearson Global Schools.  We enjoyed reading your imaginative and original modern day fairy tales based on ‘ My Twist on a Tale’.

Student Council, Primary KP, School Ambassadors

Please join me in welcoming our new Student Council representatives for this term. Each week our Student Council meet with Miss Maureen to discuss current school issues and upcoming events.


Winter is here!


Children have been learning and exploring all about winter.

The children created beautiful winter scenes in their classes making sure to incorporate play, imagination, science, sensory activities and art.

Using their 5 senses to discover, explore and learn all about winter in a cozy and warm environment. 


P1 Learning about different cultures

Our students in P1 are currently learning about different cultures. In the middle of January they focussed on our host country Spain. During this time they spent a day in the Spanish countryside and took part in the tradition of orange picking.  During the trip the students had the opportunity to pick, taste and sketch a variety of local fruits. It was wonderful for them to to see our food come from tree to table and experience first hand a day in the life of an Ecological fruit orchard.  


P6 Spanish Language Trip

The beginning of term has offered our P6 students the great opportunity of attending a play in Spanish, the latest Baobab, a timely, fresh and direct show. A story set in our times which, through the vision of a group of 11 year old friends facing a real challenge, shows with humour and commitment everyday stories of the great heroes of our planet. A hymn to ecology, where respect for ourselves as a civilization begins with respect for our environment.

The purpose of this play is to know, experiment and value the Theatre as an artistic expression and social instrument for change, to promote respect for the natural environment from the reflection on our own acts as responsible agents and to encourage the change of daily habits that are consistent with respect for the Environment.

Primary KP


Bake Sales are run every month to coincide with ‘Send a Child to School’ day. These have been student-led by Hanna, Elsie and Sophia with the KP primary team supporting it with some amazing baking and raised considerable funds. 

The Dog Food Drop. This initiative makes it easy for people within our community to donate dog/cat food, old towels, blankets etc. SOS Perrera cares for over 300 abandoned, abused and neglected dogs desperate for homes.

‘Back to School Party’ and the ‘Firework Party’ KP Primary have prepared sweetie bags to sell. In step with eco-school initiatives, these sweets contain no unethically sourced palm oil and are sold in bags made from recycled and recyclable paper.

Movember KP Primary contributed with sales of fake moustaches. which is always enjoyed by the children and a source of amusement for the teachers too!

Other activities: Face painting motifs to raise awareness of United Nations Sustainable Development goals

Work has begun on the KP herb garden.

Christmas cookies at the Christmas fair 

Collaborative opportunities with KP Secondary, Student Council and the eco-school team. 

We have over 70 students signed up and students come and support different activities that best suit their skills. 

Money raised supports different KP initiatives where a need is identified. And every year we especially love sending Musitafa, our sponsored child in Uganda, the funds he needs to gain an amazing education.

Pre-Engneering Club

Learning to Drive….After Learning to Build. 

After weeks of diligent work, the Pre-Engineering and Robotics club finished building remote control cars from scratch. The project involved constructing a chassis, adding wheels and axles, and reversing the motor direction, all before reaching the most complicated part: the wiring. The students really stretched their understanding of wiring diagrams and turning these into actual wiring on a machine. Finally, last week, we finished and, after some troubleshooting, had the fun of learning to drive them!  A big thank you to the M5 and D1 students who have helped with this project!

Local Experts

Enhancing our learning through local experts.

This month both P6 and P4 had the opportunity to learn from visiting experts. 

P6 have had four visiting experts including a 92 year old grandparent of the school who talked about his evacuation exprerince during World World 2, one of our Support Teachers came and talked about living through apartheid in South Africa, a former teacher talking about life and conflict in the 1970’s and our Russian teacher talking about the seige of Leningrad. 

P4, as part of their healthy lifestyles unit had the opportunity to take part in a zumba class led by local fitness instructor Lisa Greenwood.

As part of our unit of Inquiry into different cultures, P1 recently travelled to the Spanish countryside to participate in the tradition of orange picking. The children had the opportunity to pick, taste and sketch a variety of local fruits. It was wonderful being able to see our food come from tree to table and experience first hand a day in the life of an Ecological fruit orchard. 


Congratulations to Christopher G (P3), Jackson H (P3) and Charlie H (P2) whose teams won the Sub 8 and Sub 10 Categories of the Andalucian Rugby Championship held last weekend in Jerez. Despite adverse weather conditions the boys persevered through a very competitive tournament and came out champions.  Well done!

Cross Country

The primary Cross Country Championships took place on Wednesday 29th of January. The championship took place by the beach and once their races were finished, all participants enjoyed some fun in the sand. SIS came in a very commendable third place, with some outstanding individual results. P2 student Julia A. came in first position, P4 student Emma K. in second position and P6 student Connor R. in third position. Well done to all participants, you did us all very proud!


Earlier this month P5 student Kai H. and M1 student Teiva H. were on the snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada where there long hours of training and dedication has paid off as they completed the first Copa de España. Kai finished 2nd in his category whilst Teiva finished 7th in the U16’s. Keep it up boys, SIS is with you all the way!



Before the Christmas break,  D1 students auditioned for a TEDx event in sister Inspired school, St John’s, Belgium. From a strong field, Selena B, Mark-Henri M, Millie M and Freya L were selected to deliver their speeches on: Vulnerability, Turning 18, Eating disorders and Dyslexia. Their dedication and commitment to this task was clear. Learning and delivering a 12-minute speech in front of an unfamiliar audience, in another country, is no mean feat, and they did this with true professionalism. Watch out for their blog next week!


Secondary student, Katrina B, showed commitment and determination in both her academic studies and golf last year. Katrina won the Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic and came second in the US Kids Holiday Classic Tournament. Well done Katrina, we are proud to be supporting you while you follow your passion!

Cross Country 

On Tuesday the 28th of January our SIS students went to Marbella for a Cross Country friendly against EIC in preparation for the Championships next Wednesday 5th of February. Students from P6 to M5 demonstrated great resilience as they ran a mixed terrain course with some of the best runners on the coast. Training will continue over the next few days, it’s crunch time!!


M5 student Ben B. will play his last game with the U16 XV Andalucian Team this Sunday February 2nd, finalising a fantastic Autonomic Selections League where the Andalucian team is opting for the first place in the league. Ben has been an essential player to the team having been been called to every concentration and played every game. He will continue training and playing with his Team El Estrecho in Pueblo Nuevo, and await a possible call up for for the Sub16 Sevens Andalucia Selection Team in April. Well done Ben!

In addition, our M4 students Teresa G., Stella B. and Teresa A. have had a very busy January, participating in the first official all girls Andalucian-Spanish Federation practice in El Puerto de Santa María. They even got to meet members of the Spanish national squad referred to as “Leonas” in Almería and being asked to participate in the inauguration international game against Scotland for the flags and teams presentation. What an experience!


Earlier this month P5 student Kai H. and M1 student Teiva H. were on the snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada where there long hours of training and dedication has paid off as they completed the first Copa de España. Kai finished 2nd in his category whilst Teiva finished 7th in the U16’s. Keep it up boys, SIS is with you all the way!

Global Citizenship Programme


We would like to draw your attention to a great project led by our M5 GCP students, who have entered a competition and are working on ways to reduce food waste. Learn more about their inspiring project in this blog

Food at SIS Boarding House

There are over 100 students who are part of the thriving Sotogrande International  Boarding House community. Along with 100 students, come 100 different timetables, cultures, tastes, interests and activities. One thing that brings all the students together during their busy schedules is food!

More information about food at SIS boarding 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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