School Newsletter 02.09.2016

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''We inspire learning and intercultural understanding, enriqueciendo la vida de nuestros niños y nuestro mundo''

School Newsletter 2nd September 2016


Dates for your diary

  • Monday 5 Sep  – EC1 children start school
  • Monday 5 Sep  – 09:00 -10:00 in staff room – Introductory Managebac session for parents
  • Monday 5 Sep  – 16:15 in Theatre- Presentation to D2 parents & students
  • Monday 5 Sep  – 16:15 in advisory group bases – M1-M3 parents Meet the Advisor
  • Wednesday 7 Sep – 09:00 – 10:00 in Theatre – M1-M5 parents Meet the MYP Coordinator
  • Wednesday 7 Sep – 15:45 – 16:30 in primary classrooms – P2 & P3 parents Meet the Year Group teams
  • Wednesday 7 Sep – 16:15 – 17:00 in advisory group bases – M4 & M5 parents Meet the advisor
  • Wednesday 7 Sep – 16:15 – 17.15 in Theatre – Presentation to D1 parents & students followed by Meet the Advisor
  • Thursday 8 Sep – 15:45 – 16:30 in primary classrooms – P1, P4 & P5 parents Meet the Year Group teams
  • Friday 9 Sep – 15:45 – 16:30 in primary classrooms –EC2 & P6 parents Meet the Year Group teams
  • Tuesday 13 Sep – 09:00 -10:00 in Primary IT room – Early childhood workshop for parents: How Brain Research Has Influenced Teaching and Learning at SIS  (in Spanish)
  • Tuesday 13 Sep – 15:45 – 17:30 in gymnasium – Activities Fair (see whole school news)
  • Wednesday 14 Sep – 09:00 -10:00 in Primary IT room – Early childhood workshop for parents: How BrainResearch Has Influenced Teaching and Learning at SIS  (in English)
Further information about some of these events may be found by clicking on the relevant date on the school website calendar, and/or if relevant your child’s primary class Googlesite.

Message from the Head


Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to school!  It was delightful to see you all on September 1st, dressed in impeccable school uniform and on time!
The operations and maintenance team have been working really hard over the summer and have completed the 16 temporary classrooms, which sit above the pitch.  We have also increased the size of the Cantina, renovated the front office and expanded the early years play spaces.


With the growth of primary, P2 have now moved to the Sue Jenkins Centre and P5 and P6 have moved into the newly painted Timber Building.  The finance team are now located on the ground floor of the Cervantes Building, should you wish to discuss any financial matters.
Assist has a great deal for you during the month of September, with Helicopteros Sanitarios offering a 10% discount on a year of family cover, if taken out during the month of September.  For more information, please contact Fred Eric on
Over the summer we launched the SIS APP, which can be downloaded through Google Play and the App store.  When you download this, please allow Push notifications, as we will be sending future mail bulletins such as e.g. delays to trips, information about events and, should the need arise, notifications about school closures, through the APP.


On Wednesday this week we welcomed new families into our community. Parents and students spent time in school in the morning, meeting teachers, pastoral leaders and students. Following this they attended a barbecue offered by Sotogrande SA and hosted at their La Reserva Golf Club, where our new families had an opportunity to get to know each other on a social level. I would like to publicly thank the student ambassadors for their help and support on their last day of holiday, and also the parent ambassadors for their help, wisdom and time.


I am delighted to welcome a huge number of new staff and I have asked each of them to introduce themselves to you, immediately following this message.
I am looking forward to another great year at SIS.

Kind regards,
Jak Kearney


A little bit about me!
Primary School

Marta del Águila 

Hello! I’m Marta del Águila and I’m going to join the P4 team this year. I have recently graduated from university with a primary teaching degree, specialising in the learning of a second language. I’m really looking forward to starting my career at SIS and becoming a part of such a vibrant and enriching community. Aside from teaching, I also love to dance, I’ve been doing ballet for more than 15 years.

Marta Blanco

I'm Marta Blanco. I'm from Madrid (Spain). I have been teaching in Spain and Ireland. I'm so grateful and excited to be joining SIS. I will be in Early Childhood 1. In my free time I really like spending time with family and friends, as well as reading and practising sports.

Constanza Gutierrez Osores

My name is Constanza. I’m a former student of SIS. I studied in London, a BA (Hons) In Education and a Montessori Foundation Degree. I am extremely happy and excited to be back after 7 years to what I consider my family and joining the P1 team.  

Marta Lamosa

I am a Portuguese pre-school teacher and I have worked in Portugal, Gibraltar and Spain for the last 13 years. I have 2 little girls and what I most enjoy is spending time with my family, particularly close to nature. Some of you may already know me as a teacher at Fundamentals, where I really enjoyed working.

Danielle Lima

My name is Danielle Lima. I will be joining the EC1 team as a Classroom Assistant. I was born in England and have lived in Spain since I was six. I studied in Madrid and am bi-lingual. Over the years I have had many connections with SIS and am now excited about joining the school officially. I am a very active person who enjoys many activities including dance and skating.

Sara López

Hi there. My name is Sara and I am from Ciudad Real (Spain). I am really glad to be joining the Spanish department at SIS. I have worked as a history and science teacher before. Also, a few years ago I worked as a volunteer in a Saharan refugees camp which was an amazing experience, and currently I am a member of the Red Cross. Other things about me, I love travelling and playing padel.

James McCann

I am excited to be joining the Primary team as a Teaching Assistant working in P2. I have recently moved from Kingston upon Thames with my wife and three children. My previous experience includes teaching English as a Foreign language . I enjoy many sports including football and rugby.

Luis Saraiva

My name is Luis Saraiva and I am going to be the new Music Teacher at Sotogrande International School. I have a degree in Primary Education with a Specialism in Music and 12 years of teaching experience from Nursery to Year 7 in Portugal, Angola and London.
My main goal as a teacher is to develop a passion for Music in the children, so please expect fun and inclusive lessons and lots of musical projects and public presentations.
Let's keep the Music train moving!
Elisa Velarte

My name is Elisa Velarte and I will be teaching Spanish at SIS.  I am returning to the classroom after having had two daughters in quick succession!  Previously, I have taught Spanish in Cambridge for a number of years and to many different levels right from beginners through to IB Diploma students.  My passions are: teaching, philosophy, visiting countries and eating food from all over the world!

Lola Villa

I am Lola, I have been working as a Physical Activities Teacher for children and adults for many years. I have also worked for four years as a sports facilities manager. I have two lovely daughters and I am looking forward to joining the school.


Eva García
I am the new member of the Spanish department. I have been a teacher for 19 years, teaching both ESL when in Spain and Spanish as a Foreign Language when overseas. We have 3 boys that keep us really busy. I love yoga and want to take up jogging again.

David Green
In England, I enjoyed an eclectic career including teaching guitar, various roles within the music industry and several years’ work as a clay pigeon shooting instructor. I have been working in education for 8 years and am very much looking forward to joining the school in Individuals and Societies. I love music and take great pleasure in using songs and the arts as a gateway to the humanities topics.

Paul Lang
I have been a teacher for 17 years and have taught in seven countries. We have relocated from Madrid with our 3 boys and I hope to improve my Spanish while I’m here. I will be teaching Language Acquisition English and am excited to be a part of the SIS team. I am a fan of live theatre and comedy, and I want to reintroduce myself to the wonderful game of golf.

Michael Lee
My name is Michael Lee and I am looking forward to joining the maths department. I have been teaching maths for 12 years in UK secondary schools in the Northampton area. I am originally from Sheffield and started work in manufacturing management, making jet engine drive shaft forgings, gas cylinders, mens’ shoes, office furniture, jet engine exhausts and burglar alarms, I then retrained to be a teacher in 2003. I have 3 daughters in the UK who are grown up and living their own independent lives.

Zdenka Lesova
I am originally from the Czech Republic, where I studied for my Masters degree in Economics. I taught IB Business and Economics for two years in an International school in Milan, Italy. Prior to that I taught in the UK for five years at various schools; A Level Business Studies, Applied Business and Economics as well as Business and ICT at GCSE level. I love travelling and exploring new countries. I have had the opportunity to visit many places across Europe, including Spain, which I have visited many times, I fell in love with the country and now I am very excited to live here and am looking forward to become a part of the Sotogrande community.

Jane McCann
My whole teaching career so far has been in a variety of schools in the UK, so I am excited to be teaching English Language and Literature at SIS. My husband and I have relocated from Kingston upon Thames and have 3 young children who will be joining the school. As an English teacher I love reading, as well as going to the theatre and music concerts.

Susanna Nevalainen
My name is Susanna Nevalainen. I am from Germany and I will be teaching French at SIS. Besides my Finnish husband, my second big passion is travelling. I love to immerse myself in different cultures and to explore new countries. I am really thrilled to join this wonderful international team.

Arianne Parkinson
I am really excited to be joining the mathematics department at SIS. After studying mathematics and English Literature at the University of Glasgow I went on to complete my teacher training in Leeds; since then I have been teaching mathematics for two years in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. I love music and play the violin so I am looking really forward to seeing the future performances at SIS.

Viktoria Sokolova
I’m Viktoria, a Russian and ESL teacher from Estonia. I have taught at several international schools overseas over the past ten years. I hold a diploma in teaching and an M.Phil degree in English Language and Literature. I have two beautiful daughters and love travelling. My passion lies in language teaching methodology.

Susan Stafford
I have been teaching German and French for twenty-four years in the same secondary school in North Wales. Languages, new cultures and travel are my passion. I have studied Spanish, however have had little opportunity to use it, so I am very keen to improve my level of proficiency. I have had experience teaching English as a second language in Germany and I have recently completed a TEFL course. I am very excited to be joining the ELD team.

Noemi Vazquez Gallardo
My name is Noemí. I am an engineer and I am going to be the new Science Technician at SIS. I have been teaching secondary students here, in Spain (Spanish curriculum). I love nature and hiking. I like sports, concerts and theatre. I am really happy to be part of this great team!

Catrina Walters
I'm Catrina and have been teaching for the last 8 years. Originally from London in the UK, I have worked in El Salvador and Hong Kong, specialising in Film and Media. I'm an avid traveller, occasional blogger and amateur photographer.I will be teaching MYP film and design.

Mark Woolley
I am teaching IB Physics and have a Ph. D in computational molecular physics from the University of Málaga where I was the first non-native speaker of Spanish to obtain one from the university. In my spare time I am an active ultra distance athlete having competed in many races all over the world. I have been teaching for over 25 Years.

New International A-level and American HSD team

Paul Clark
I have taught A Level and IB for over 25 years.  More recently I have been running a business offering eLearning resources, professional development face-to-face and online, and managing IB teacher training workshops. I teach and examine Economics and Business and have authored textbooks and eLearning materials. I am an indiscriminate sports watcher and enjoy off road cycling.

Sergio Castro
I graduated in Physics from The Complutense University of Madrid and The University of Nottingham, and then I studied a Masters Degree in Education. I have done some voluntary work as a teacher in Central America, I have taught Mathematics in Spain and at an English International School in Germany during the last four years. I love tennis, football, swimming and running. I am very passionate about chess and Go.

Patrick Holmes
I have taught everything from Philosophy to PE. I have taught in North America, Europe and Asia. I will be running the English portion of the new program, and teaching weight training in the boarding house. I play and coach ice hockey and basketball, cycle, swim, canoe….

Heide Moyano
I have been teaching Spanish and PE at all levels in different international schools around Asia. I am Spanish but have been away for the past 25 years. I am a former professional basketball player, I coach basketball and swimming. My two daughters will be joining SIS too. I love the outdoors and I play basketball, I swim, I do kayaking, hiking, padel …. any sport, you name it I will be the first one there. I also have a passion for acting and musical theatre, basically I can never stop!!

Psychology Assistants (whole school)

Ravi Amruth
After studying a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree in the north east of England and working in adult mental health for two years, I’m excited to be working as an Assistant Psychologist / Intern in sunny Sotogrande! Outside of work, I’m passionate about music, drama, F1, and technology.

Ruth Benson
I’m delighted to be joining the Student Support Services department as Assistant Psychologist, while also assuming roles in Learning Support and Boarding. Having studied a BSc in Psychology in Liverpool, I furthered my education with an MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology from Newcastle University and returned home to Ireland where I have most recently worked in suicide prevention. My passion is helping others and I have volunteered with many charities. I also enjoy any high intensity exercise, especially Crossfit.

Whole School News


Activities Fair

Make sure you do not miss the Activities Fair on Tuesday 13th September, 3:45pm to 5:30pm.  This is your opportunity to sign up and join a fantastic extra curricular program for students of SIS. There will be sports activities, like sailing, scuba diving, football, horse-riding or golf; music, dance and theatre activities; language clubs, chess, Model United Nations and many nore. All catering for complete beginners through to more advanced levels. What a great way to meet new people and make new friends, particularly if you have just arrived at SIS!
Global Citizenship at Sotogrande International School
At SIS we have a strong belief in intercultural understanding and promoting Global Citizenship. As part of a community wide reflection and in order to gain a deeper understanding, we will be asking students, parents and our partner organisations how they would define global citizenship at SIS; so if you are planning to attend any of our parents meetings next Wednesday afternoon (8th September), we invite you to add your thoughts to our “Wonder Wall”. This will be a double-sided board located at the top of the path up from the school gate.  Please note: we are not looking for dictionary definitions, instead just a couple of key words or phrases, sharing what being a global citizen means to you.


Primary School News

Primary Swimming Programme P1- P6
Primary parents should already have received a separate letter about this. Please click here for full details LINK also please note Swimming Club starts next week on Thursday 8th September.


Secondary School News

Wakeboard Trip
We are delighted to inform you that a wakeboard trip for M3- D2 students will take place during the weekend of October 14th – 16th.  The cost of the trip is 375€, there are limited places on the trip, so please reserve your place quickly by paying on our website. To find out more, please collect a letter from reception.



Summer Dance Intensive
Valentina Kozlova, founder of VKDCNY in New York ( had her first Summer Dance Intensive in Spain, taking place at Sotogrande International School. Curriculum included Ballet, Character dance and Contemporary dance. Led by Ms. Kozlova, former Principal Dancer with both Bolshoi and NY City Ballet, teachers included Sergei Soloviev and Svetlana Ivanova, from the Bolshoi, and Rita Quaglia, from the Music and Dance Conservatory in Paris. 


Students, age 11 to 19, came from Europe, the US and even one from the Philippines. On the final day, the young dancers treated an enthusiastic audience to a stunning show, showcasing what they had learnt.
With Sotogrande International School wholeheartedly supporting the Dance Camp, the Intensive program was a great success. VKDCNY Summer Intensive at SIS will be back next year, July 30th to August 13th, 2017!
Kindred Project

Join this half term’s Family Trip to Asni, at a discounted rate! There are only a few places left so please email if you are interested.



We inspire learning and intercultural understanding,
enriqueciendo la vida de nuestros niños y nuestro mundo

SIGA Golf Academy

Based at Alcaidesa Golf Club and boasting outstanding facilities, including 2 18 hole courses, floodlit driving range, swing analysis centre, 2 putting greens, 2 chipping greens and a magnificent clubhouse. Come and see what we have to offer; a chat with the coach Juan Antonio Marín Ramos will help place you at the right level and you can start playing straight away.

Visit Site

The Kindred Project

“To promote education as a force for good to help create a more peaceful world”.

Aims to offer young people opportunities to explore, discuss and work together to help sustain change both locally and globally by developing leadership and critical thinking skills through projects requiring intercultural understanding and community building.

Visit Site

Sistech Academy

Since SIS students are privileged to be members of an IT learning environment that is an official Apple School. Our IT staff are not only trained by Apple but are themselves certified Apple Trainers. So uncertainties about using Apples vast suite of applications and devices are becoming second-nature to your children and the same level of expertise and teaching can be put at the disposal of parents too, and even other adults not yet members of the SIS family…

Visit Site

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