School Newsletter 06.03.2015

Newsletter 06.03.2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

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Dates for your diary

Whole School
10th March PTA monthly meeting – 9:00am in the Cantina
10th MarchPTA Pub Quiz Night (see below)
12th MarchMYP Personal Project Fair–10:00am-1:00pm in the Gym
23rd MarchSpring Peri Music Concert in the theatre 4:00-5:00pm
29th & 30th AprilEvening production of Moulin Rouge at San Roque theatre
9th May SIS Film Festival (see below)










12th MarchSelected pupils to play in SIS hosted football event
17th March P2 unit related trip to Duquesa
18th MarchPYP Exhibition information session for P6 parents, 9:00am in Primary IT room   
30th AprilPrimary Student Led Conferences Day (No formal school, students and parents will be given an appointment time during the school day for  their individual Student Led Conference.)
13th MayP6 PYP Exhibition for parents and school community











7th-11th MarchD1 History Trip to London
11th March M1-M4 Girls U13 &U15 Football tournament at El Río
12th MarchIB Diploma Presentation for M5 Parents, 9:00am-10:00am in P23
19th MarchCareers & University Convention at SIS, 3:00 -5:00pm







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Whole School News

 From the Head of Teaching and LearningDear Parents and Guardians,I hope you have had a lovely half term and that your children are feeling refreshed and rested.  We finished off before the holiday with 2 massive events that I would like to mention.On Thursday February 19th we had the finals of the M1 Big Thinker.  The event was well attended by parents who all witnessed some outstanding presentations by the M1 students.  The top 3 students were Noa, Shannon and Dario with Special Congratulations going to Noa for her heart-wrenching performance as Malala Yousafzai. The finalist presentations generally were of an outstanding standard and I would like to thank the M1 teaching team for their support and encouragement.
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On Friday 20th we celebrated Dia de Andalucia with the whole school experiencing a range of activities, some stunning flamenco performances, great food and lots of wonderful dressing up.  It was a real high to end the half term and I wish to thank the parents who attended our afternoon event and everyone who helped to make the day so successful.During our Ultimate Frisbee lunchtime club on Friday we witnessed an outstanding performance from the M1 girls who managed to thrash the M5 and Diploma boys at Frisbee with some help from Mr. Mungles and myself. This is a great sport that breaks down the barriers of gender and age and allows people to come together collectively.  Well done to the M1 ladies!


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Over the half term we ran our SIS ski trip, taking 54 students to the Sierra Nevada with Adventure Bug.  Feedback from students and staff was excellent, with great conditions and really fantastic company.  I received a very complimentary email from Matt Butler for Adventure Bug saying how well the students supported each other, took responsibility and were great ambassadors for our school.  Special thanks go to Mr. Wickersham and Christian Duran for giving up their time to support the trip.

Also over the half term break two of our staff gave presentations at the Managebac Conference in Munich.  Special thanks go to Mr. Peter Reichert and Mrs. Andrea Bennett who helped to share with the International Community the headway we are making using this educational platform.

We are looking forward to all the various activities between now and Easter, which will make up yet another busy and fulfilling half term.

Best wishes,
Jak Kearney

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Ski-Trip 2015

Some excerpts from Matt Butler’s post trip letter  …
…We had brilliant weather and snow conditions throughout and a high number of hours on snow where the kids could work with their instructors in small groups and improve their levels of ski and snowboard techniques.

After skiing we took time to visit the Pradollano Ski Resort – soaking up the atmosphere of the ski culture, later followed by adventures outside our lodgings where we built snow forts, did sledging and simply enjoyed the colourful sunsets over the beautiful snow slopes that surrounded us. In the evenings we celebrated the day with a group gathering where Mr. Wickersham presented unique awards of achievement and the children shared with us their experiences of the day! Our final night hosted the TALENTS of the kids themselves, a traditional event for the trip and we thank those that took to the stage and shared their musical abilities.

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 …The 2015 Sotogrande Ski Trip was a great success and I would like to praise every single one of the 54 participants from P6 to M5 who made this trip so easy for us to manage; and as tour organizer I would also like to sincerely thank the SIS volunteer staff that devoted an entire week of holidays (day and night) to the demanding care, safety and quality of experience for the students. Without the attention of Mr. Wickersham and Christian Duran from SIS, the kids would not have gained such valuable and life-changing experiences!

IB MYP Personal Project Fair 10:00 am -1:00 pm, Thursday 12 March

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we invite you to visit the M5 Personal Project Fair on Thursday March 12th. The event will take place in the Gym from 10:00am – 1:00pm.
As part of their learning journey, students will be showing not only their creative products but also their process journals and reports. It will be an opportunity for the whole school community to share and appreciatethe wide range of talent displayed by the M5 students and the skills they have developed through the Middle Years Programme.

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Belén González
IB MYP & PP Coordinator

Moulin Rouge

This year’s Secondary production is a family friendly adaptation of Moulin Rouge. This iconic love story is set in 1899 Paris and tells of the doomed love between Christian, a young English writer, and Satine a dancer at the Moulin Rouge. This show is a breathtaking whirl of brilliant characterisations, snappy choreography and mesmerising musical numbers, resulting in a truly ´Spectacular, Spectacular´ show, suitable for all ages.

Taking place at San Roque Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday 29th and 30th April, we expect an audience in excess of 800.

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There will be some limited advertising spaces available in the programme, so if you might be interested in this please contact Fred-Eric on for information (or Wendy Moody on

Also we are looking for any parents who maybe interested in either coordinating or being part of a backstage hair and make-up team. This is going to be an explosive and dynamic production and we can pretty much guarantee that being part of the crew will be a really buzz! Please contact Christine if you would like to help.

Managebac Conference In Munich

The Bavarian International School in the beautiful city of Munchen, Germany was the venue for a conference attended by four members of staff during half term.  Andrea Bennett, Carmelo Sanchez, Mark Allen and Peter Reichert were amongst over a hundred IB teachers and school administrators attending the two day European Region Conference. Peter and Andrea were also attending in the role of conference presenters. The focus was on how our planning and reporting are supported through the use of the platform Managebac.

This was not just about technical issues, but also pedagogical aspects of the IB that Managebac supports.  Through presentations and discussion forums our team had the opportunity to feedback to Managebac to support the further development of the platform, to discuss and share ideas with other schools and to support those in the early stages of using Managebac in their schools.  The conference was insightful and the team came back feeling very positive about how we are currently using Managebac and that we are prepared for continuing developments in using this system.

Initiation courses for tennis champions

SotoTennis Academy is a professional training centre located in Sotogrande, which is exclusively dedicated to training young tennis players to become professional players.The school has convinced Dan Kiernan, the founder of SotoTennis to offer our young students an opportunity to get a taste of and develop an interest in, or even a passion for, this fun and challenging sport, supported by his great team of professional coaches.
Tennis helps to develop life skills such as resilience, independence, discipline and humility to name but a few.

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Initiation courses will be held in San Roque for children aged 8 to 12 years on Mondays from 5:00 – 6:00pm and on Thursdays in San Roquefrom 5:00 – 6:00pm for students over 12 years old.
Lessons will start after the Easter break on April 20th and will finish at the end of the summer term. The cost will be €225 for the term including transport from the school to the activity. Students will have to bring their own racquet and wear tennis shoes.
Take advantage of this great opportunity before the summer and sign up with Nancy ( at the reception desk before March 20th, as places are limited.

Welcome to the first Sotogrande International School Film Festival

Calling all filmmakers, screenwriters, actors & creative minds alike.
Students will be able to express themselves through story, character and film techniques in their very own local film festival hosted by Mad Hatter’s Film Camp.  Enjoy the food, live music and of course all the submitted student films. The evening kicks off on Saturday 9th of May at 5pm. All students are welcome to submit a film, which must be under 10 minutes long, at a cost of 25 euros.
If you have any questions and for further information please

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If any students would like help creating their film, Mad Hatter’s Film Camp will run two weekends of intensive movie making courses where students will learn how to write, act and direct their own movie, which will then be ready to enter into the 2015 film festival. Students can sign up by emailing: or facebook MadHattersFilmCamp

Weekend dates are April 18th/19th and April 25th/ 26th.

Labeling of clothing

Every day various items of clothing are left lying around in all our buildings and around the campus generally (with over 600 students this is probably inevitable); sadly very few of these items are labeled in any way so are often not reclaimed. Parents, please ensure that your child’s clothing, particularly all items of school uniform, are marked with a name as this will go a long way to helping solve the problem of missing/ lost property.

You may wish to consider investing in some customized labels from HFG Labeling Services.

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Primary School News

P2 Unit Of Inquiry Based Trip

On Wednesday P2 became investigators and set off to Castellar Viejo and Castellar Nuevo to explore these two communities. They were looking for evidence, which would enable them to understand the history of each community and the connections between them. We were very lucky to be accompanied by Gara Hernandez, a teacher here in school and also a P2 mother to guide us. She told us the history of both villages and took us into some very interesting areas of Castellar Viejo where the public are not usually allowed. We sketched and took photographs of the evidence we found and will use these to tell the communities’ story. It was a very enjoyable experience, especially as the weather was so favourable!

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Primary Subject Specialists Supporting The Learning of our Early Childhood Centre Partners at Fundamentals

On Tuesday our Primary Teaching specialists Miss Swords, Miss Eugenia and Mr. Sanchez spent the morning supporting the learning of our youngest students at our Early Years campus, Fundamentals. During the morning the children rotated through different music, IT and sport based activities. Great fun was had by all.

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End Of Unit 3 Celebration

We would like to share the following photo of the students who were recognised and received an award in the End Of Unit Values Assembly just before half term.

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Secondary School News

IB Diploma Parent Presentation 9:00-10:00 am, Thursday 12 March

I am delighted to inform you that we will be holding an IB Diploma Parent Presentation in room P23 of the Main building on Thursday 12thMarch at 9:00am just prior to the M5 Personal Project Fair. The aim of the presentation will be to inform M5 parents about the diploma programme offered at SIS and the application process to join the programme.

Jane Bannell
IB DP Coordinator

M1 Big Thinkers Balloon Debate

M1 students were given a task…to outsmart their fellow “Big Thinkers” in a spirited scuffle of words, to earn one of only 8 places in the final of the 2015 Balloon Debate. Since Christmas, M1 students have been working on “The Big Thinker” challenge. They looked at how to use different persuasive tricks and techniques as a way of staying safe in the balloon. Over six weeks they researched, planned, wrote and edited their ideas to produce some very thought-provoking speeches.

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 At the beginning there were 51 thinkers, then 24 and then only 8…the finalists, who battled it out in the theatre on the Thursday before the half-term holiday.
Our congratulations to all the finalists: Shannon Quintana Panlilio, Dario Esteban Rodrigo, Carla Bordas Diaz, Jacob Fisher Moreno, Mae Greenwood, Hattie Greenwood and Fabio Gold-Sacker, but particularly to Noa San Martin Vidal who quite rightly won her place in the balloon. I think we can agree that all our M1 students are bubbly, brilliant “Big Thinkers”, and today the group did themselves proud.
Arts News

Congratulations to the following students for their commendable results in the LAMDA Acting exams.Group Devised:
DP 1 Theatre class- Pass with Meritimage picLevel 5 Acting solo:
Scarlet Jenkins- Pass with Distinction
Veronica Malka- Pass with Distinction
Blaise Craven- Pass with Merit
Adam Wilson-Barnes- Pass with Merit
Keegan Van Dyke- PassGold Award Acting Solo:
Particular credit is given to Christopher Jenkins for receiving a distinction in this demanding exam. This has added another 65 points to his UCAS entry, which is an equivalent to a D grade A Level result.Getting going with the M3 Community ProjectM3 students presented their Proposals for Action in order to start their Community Project. Students decided to work with several local and international organisations such as: Castellar Zoo, Hogar Betania, ADANA, Hípica in San Roque Club, Nabugabo School in Uganda and the Old People’s Home in San Enrique. Our projects’ aims are to raise awareness in our community about global issues such as the effects of Coltan in relation to mobile phone recycling, skin cancer, organ donation and the importance of reforestation.image pic

Here are some of M3 students’ responses to the question,“What is your opinion on having the opportunity to do these sorts of projects in your school?”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity because you have the chance to make a difference in your community and also we learn very useful skills for the future.” Aleksei Norum, Christoffer Aarup Jensen & Carlos Canela Gómez

“We like to have this opportunity because we are more aware about what is around us because it’s not studying with a book, it’s seeing real life.” Victoria Valero Maillo & Inés Mico Aldeguer

“The Community Project is good because it’s a project we choose so that it’s something that we really like.” Laura Pastor Escuin, Blanca Bordas Diaz & Laura Warniers

“It’s a good experience because it prepares you for the future where you work independently.” Madeleine White & Hannah Al-Omar

“We like it because it’s not just work work, in reality it’s fun work.” Airton Palacio Stagnetto, Charlie Ellery & Oliver Davis

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“We like it because we want to help people who need help and make them happier.” Stephanie Rydstrom-Franco, Almudena Villanueva Guillen & Irene Martínez Rodríguez

“It’s a good opportunity to learn how to organise activities and work as a team but it could be stressful because there are many things to do. We also learn how to communicate with other people.” Euphemie Rhodes, Rui Kuhlman & Alaya Van Leeuwen

“It’s an excellent experience because we are more aware of real global issues” Megan Hickman-Roberts & Hannah Coventry

“We learn things that we didn’t know and also it’s a different way of learning.” Carlos Pérez Albors, Eduardo Parra Garrido & Pedro Marin Santander

Sports Report

5 teams from SIS competed in an Inter-school Hockey Tournament at Aloha College in Marbella on Wednesday 18th February. Our results were as follows:

Girls U14: 2nd
Boys U14: 3rd
Girls Soto 1 U16: 2nd
Girls Soto 2 U16: 3rd
Boys U16: 1st

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University & Career Programme

1. ISCO visits for M5 students 16th – 19th February

The week before half-term saw an intensive interview session for the M5 students. The entire year group had the opportunity for a 1 to 1 interview with Inspiring Futures adding to their preparation for their University/Diploma and Career choices. This will be followed up with further preparation sessions after half term, as part of the rolling programme for university application preparation.

2. Oxbridge representative in school on Thursday 19TH February

Oxbridge Academic Programs had a representative available to talk about Oxbridge’s summer programs at lunchtime on Thursday 19th February. Oxbridge Academic Programs are aimed at academically advanced students aged 13-18, who have the desire to enrich themselves intellectually while immersing themselves culturally. They offer programs in England, USA, France, and Spain. For more information please visit

3. SATS information for USA college applicants

Yesterday, 4th March, saw the start of the application process for M5 and D1 students who are thinking about applying to the USA. The presentation was well attended and also included a few M4 students who would like more information. The US application process is changing between D1 and M5 with the introduction of the new rSAT and the support of the Khan Academy. All this is excellent news for the current M5 students, as it will be a much more internationally minded test.

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The students will all now register with the US College board, and create their SIS SAT accounts in the run-up to the next test for D1 in May and the first potential rSAT for M5 in June, and our follow up meeting in 3 weeks time. You can find more information about the US Application process here.

Jason Mungles
University & Careers Coordinator

4. Careers & University Convention at SIS on Thursday March 19th from 3:00–5:00pm 

The SIS Careers & University Convention is focused on offering students from M3 to D2 an insight into the world of work, university and professions, to help them with their future plans.
We are inviting a range of professions, universities and businesses to give our students a comprehensive introduction to potential careers.

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There will be presentations on careers in Law, Accountancy, Medicine, Hospitality Management, Science & Technology, where professionals will give a more focused view to small groups of students and parents.
Parents and Students from M3 to D2 all welcome.

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Fundamentals News

Andalucia Day 

Last week our youngsters took part in creative workshops linked with getting to know the traditions of Andalucia and developing the important skills of creativity, interest in the world, independence and teamwork.

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One of these projects included the famous Andalucian writer Juan Ramón Jimenez, author of “Platero y yo”, seen through the eyes of our children. Please take a look and enjoy some of our best moments.

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PTA News

PTA Monthly Meeting

The next committee meeting will be held in the Cantina at 9:00am on Tuesday 10th March. All parents welcome.

Pub Quiz Event

Do you enjoy quizzes?  The PTA is pleased to invite you to a fun quiz night on Tuesday 10th March in the Ivory Restaurant in Pueblo Nuevo.  This light-hearted event is open to all SIS staff and parents; and though the quiz itself will be in English, we have been assured the questions will be appropriate and fair to an international audience.
The start time will be 8pm and tickets will be sold on a per table basis. There is a definite space limitation, so all tickets must be reserved and paid in advance. The cost is €40 per team of 4 people, which includes tapas. To reserve your team table, please email as soon as possible as the restaurant needs to know numbers for catering.

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