School Newsletter 13.02.2015

Dates for your diary
Whole School


20th FebruaryDia de Andalucia celebrations
23rd-27th FebruaryHalf term holiday
2nd MarchProfessional Development day – No school
9th MaySIS Film Festival


16th-20th February After school, Primary Parent Teacher Consultations (EC1-P6)
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


16th-19th FebruaryInspiring Futures career consultations for M5 & D1 students
5th MarchMYP Personal Project report deadline
12th MarchPersonal Project Fair
19th March Careers & University Convention at SIS

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Whole School News

From the Head of Teaching and Learning

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We have had another very busy week at SIS.

On Friday 6th February, students from P5 and P6 took part in an end of unit handball event.  There was a huge competition on the pitch, which lasted all morning.  The students were so enthused and excited about taking part in such a different end of unit celebration.  Thanks to the Primary PE staff for organizing this.  On Friday afternoon students from P6 upwards took part in the SIS bake off.  I was really impressed by the level of competition and high level of baking expertise.  Congratulations go to Enola Gavira and Juliana Pouroulis in M2 for their wonderful culinary creations. Thanks to Maria Pinnock for all the organisation of this eventand to the four judges Lisa Reynolds, Lisa Mungles, Henry Reyes and Margaret O’Farrell.

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On Wednesday 11th February we hosted an Apple Lighthouse event at SIS.  Over 30 people from schools around Spain came to SIS to see how we use Apple technologies to enhance the learning experience for our children. Students from P6 – M4 guided our visitors and parent ambassadors around and students from EC1 – Diploma demonstrated how they use technology within SIS.  Thanks to Mr. Carmelo Sanchez for his time and care in preparing this event, to the students who guided our visitors around and to the staff whose flexibility and openness enabled this event to be such a success.

On my walk around this week I seemed to drop into lots of maths lessons.  I had a lovely time working with the P6 students on angles and bearings.  They discussed some of the problems associated with using the semi circular protractors compared with the circular ones.    I also spent time with some M1 students who were looking at solving equations.  It was lovely to spend some time with small groups of students asking questions and trying to extend /support their learning where required. Mr. Wickersham also shared this link with me ; this is a video that was created by the M1 music group this term.  I was literally blown away by their talents.  The students wrote and recorded the song in their music lesson and then used their technology time to edit it.  Sincerest congratulations to all involved.

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Finally I would like to introduce the newest member of the teaching team to you.  Mr. Steven Sanders has joined us from Chile to teach IT and computer science in diploma.  I have asked him to tell you a little bit about himself in the newsletter below.

I hope to see many of you at the infamous Kiss the Casbah event tonight to help our D1 students raise funds for their upcoming trip to Morocco.

I wish you a wonderful weekend,

Jak Kearney

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A little bit about me…

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Hello community, my name is Steven Sanders and I am very pleased to have started here as the new teacher of Computer Science and MYP Technology. I am from Liverpool, England, where I gained my masters in Education, and after some wonderful experiences teaching in Italy, Canada, and Chile, I am now realising my dream of living and working in Andalusia, close to some family and friends, and surrounded by the fantastic culture, food, and climate that has drawn me in.

I’m a keen musician and like to play several instruments – not at the same time of course – and I also take an interest in foreign languages, great food (tapas!), photography, and sport. I’m looking forward to meeting you all.

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SIS Great Bake-Off Competition

The very first SIS Great Bake-Off Competition took place on Friday 6th February. 12 finalists, from P6 to M5, were selected to bake and compete for the first prize. The school cantina was converted into a huge cake factory and baking began at 3pm. The finalists had 30 minutes to prepare the cakes, 1 hour baking and cooling time and then a further 30 minutes to decorate.

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The standard was remarkable with delights ranging from chocolate cupcakes, blueberry muffins and gingerbread cookies to huge rainbow cakes.

Congratulations go to Enola Gavira and Juliana Pouroulis from M2, for winning first prize in the first SIS Great Bake-Off Competition 2015. Their ‘Classic Chocolate Cupcakes’ were professionally presented and tasted absolutely delicious. One of the judges described them as a “divine taste explosion of chocolate sponge with a crunchy, biscuit centre”. Please see the SIS Facebook page for the recipe.

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Second place went to Shauna Mann and Leonie Withoeft from M2 who made a fabulous raw brownie fridge cake, decorated with fondant roses, slices of hot chili and white chocolate flakes.

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Nanna Zachariassen and Emilie Hansen baked a chocolate cake decorated with chocolate cornflake crispies and popcorn. This delectable creation won them the 3rd prize overall.

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Special mention must also go to:
· Franciszek Dabrowski and Daniel Perez from P6 for the moist texture of their strawberry/vanilla star cake.
· Charlotte Brien from P6 for participating on her own (her intended partner was ill that day) and producing fabulous rainbow cupcakes.
· Carlota Rivera and Maria Fernandez in M4 for their imaginative ‘SIS Values’ cupcakes. The cupcakes were professionally presented.
· Lucia Gil and Maria Abrines in M2 for excellence in hygiene and organization throughout.
Well done to all finalists including Carmen Perez, Loreto Bordas, Veronica Malka, Carla Bordas, Alejandra Aramburu, Africa Harrington, Hattie Greenwood, Ninon Forcione and Maya Sambeat.

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SIS Apple Centre of Excellence Event

On Wednesday we were privileged to host our first ever event as an Apple Centre of Excellence. We hosted a group of around 30 visitors, invited by Apple, selected from different schools throughout Andalucia. Our students were the stars of this event! They played the key role in ensuring that our visitors had a truly outstanding experience.

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Teachers and learners showed how, within our school, we integrate Apple technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Visitors observed diverse activities including the use of i-pads, macbook pros, i-macs and other Apple devices within the class room. They also had the opportunity to see numerous applications in action within different subject areas across PYP and MYP. Huge congratulations to everybody involved: students, teachers, parent ambassadors and the IT department.

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Welcome to 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 email:

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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.

Día de Andalucía Celebration
On Friday 20th we will be celebrating El Día de Andalucía in our school. Students will be offered a typical Andalucian breakfast and ” tapas” for lunch. In their different subject lessons they will learn about Andalucian history, geography art, and culture through traditional games and workshops.

Parents are invited to come and join us in the Theatre at 14:00 to taste some traditional tapas/Spanish cuisine and enjoy a short flamenco show.

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Please contribute a dish (Spanish or non-Spanish) towards this community celebration. If you require any further information please contact the PTA through Eilish Jenkins

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Primary News

In support of P1 unit ‘Who we are’

P1 students have been exploring the central idea, ‘our world is made up of different people and communities that all have their own culture.’  As a case study Miss Ysabella’s class has been learning lots about China and Chinese culture and this week the children enjoyed a visit from Angela Qiao, one of our parent ambassadors, who came along to support their learning and answer questions.
After visiting Angela shared with Miss Ysabella and the children the following message.

‘On Tuesday the 3rd of February Miss Ysabella’s students welcomed me into their classroom. They had been learning about cultures around the world and had focused on China. The teachers had prepared the classroom with everything. They had a big dragon, examples of Chinese writing and clothes. I was really impressed.

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The students had so many interesting questions for me… ‘Why did China have a great wall? Why does only China have a panda?’ … As I looked at them waiting eagerly for their turn to ask their questions, with their little hands all raised and curiosity in their eyes to find out the answers, I was overcome with emotions and memories of childhood education and wanting to join them in class to revisit such wonderful childhood school days.

The thirty minutes I spent with P1 flew! But I am coming back very soon with my home cooked hot Chinese dumplings so that we can taste the delicious Chinese food together!’

End of Handball Unit Celebration

Last Friday P5 and P6 celebrated the end of their Handball unit. In total twelve teams of keen players enjoyed and participated in this wonderful event. The atmosphere on the pitch was electric as each team played some fantastic games.It was wonderful to see the students having the chance to put into practice all the skills that they had been learning during the previous weeks.

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Real Life Learning and the Power of Role Play

On Monday there were lots of excited EC1 children as they had a visit from our local police. The children waited eagerly as they watched the police car drive into the school grounds and up to their classrooms. The policeman and policewoman let the children go inside the police car, explore the equipment they use and learn the signs they use to stop traffic so that people can cross the road safely.
After the police left the children continued their learning, making sense of their experience by playing together in role-play.

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Secondary News

United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Competition 

Last week on Thursday the 5th of February, 30 students from M4 and M5 participated in the UKMT Intermediate Individual Challenge. Congratulations to all participants and thank you to Mrs. Bannell and Mrs. Birkbeck for organising the event.

Oxbridge Seminar

On Monday a group of some 15-16 M5 and D1 students were able to take part in a University presentation seminar for applying to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. This event was presented via a live link with the international recruitment officer for Oxford University; a follow-up question and answer session is planned for those students who wish to take their application further forward.
Jason Mungles, University & Careers Coordinator

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Maria Parra wins Andalucia Women’s CupSIGA player Maria Parra has triumphed in the Women’s 2015 Andalusia competition which ended last Sunday at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, augmenting her position in the national women’s  and under 18 rankings and female world ranking . Congratulations to the champion!

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Fundamentals News

Baby Stay and Play sessions

Baby Stay and Play sessions give parents and carers of babies aged birth to walking, the opportunity to play together in a stimulating and fun environment. Each session offers a range of activities, promoting the babies’ development, whilst also providing ideas of things to do at home.
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