School Newsletter 09.03.2018

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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.

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9th March 2018

Versión española 

 School Calendar

Friday 9 – Wednesday 14 MarchD1 CAS activities week
Tuesday 13 MarchP3/P4 Dream Factory semi-final – 18:30- 20:30 in school theatre (See Primary News)
Wednesday 14 MarchP3-P6 U9 & U11 boys & girls football festival
Thursday 15 MarchM5 Personal Project Exhibition – 11:20 -12:50 in gymnasium (See Whole School News)
Friday 16 MarchDiploma Art Exhibition – 18:00 – 20:00 in Club Maritimo de Sotogrande (See Secondary News)
Friday 16 MarchPTA Race Night – 19:30 in Almenara Hotel (See Whole School News)
Saturday 17 MarchSilver Duke of Edinburgh Award trip
Monday 19 MarchM3-M4 Electives meeting for parents, guardians & students – 16:00 – 17:00 in Cantina


Tuesday 20 MarchPrimary (EC1- P6) Student-led Conference Day (See Primary News)
Tuesday 20 MarchP5/P6 Dream Factory Dream Factory semi-final – 18:30- 20:30 in school theatre

Dear Parents and Guardians,

What an incredibly wet week! I hope you managed to take advantage of the break, to connect with your children and spend some quality time together as a family.

Over the break we ran our first football based Madrid trip. The trip attendees managed to meet the Atletico first team players including Torres and Griezmann. They also had the pleasure to witness Atletico thrash Leganes at the Wanda Stadium. Thank you to everyone who took part and supported the first amazing Madrid experience.

You will have noticed from the work happening outside of school, the Board agreed to create a bus drop off point along Carretera de Arenillas. This will allow the flow of traffic at critical times to be increased, as well as improving the flow of students exiting the campus. We are aiming to have the work completed by the 9th April, but this will depend on the weather.

Next week we will hold our next Advisory Board meeting where we will be looking for feedback on the pathways, zebra crossing and work done to increase traffic safety as well as feedback on the annual report. To share your thoughts, please email your Advisory Board representatives.

Silvia Segura
Barbara Peacock
Nick Jefferson

Next week there are two Arts events to which parents and the community are invited: Tuesday evening will see the first of the two Dream Factory semi-finals featuring the musical talents of some of our P3 and P4 students, then from 6 to 8 pm on Friday evening the IB Diploma Visual Arts Exhibition, which this year will be held in Sotogrande’s Club Maritimo. Each year I am amazed anew at the creative talent shown by our D2 artists.

Also slightly later on Friday evening the PTA are holding a Race Night social event for parents in the Almenara Hotel; tickets now available from school reception.

On April 19th we will host our Careers Fair. Mr Mungles is looking to host over 50 different people from a variety of professions. If you are able to help he would love to hear from you

Finally I would like to remind you that the deadline for the notice of withdrawal is fast approaching. If you are due to leave this year, you must inform us officially by emailing before March 31st at 4pm.  This will allow us to return your deposit.  Thank you in advance for your support on this.

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

Personal Project Exhibition Day – March 15th

On March 15th, we would like to invite all parents and members of the school community to visit our Personal Project Exhibition Day from 11:20 to 12:50. The exhibition will take place in the gym.

The Personal Project is the culminating project for all M5 students at Sotogrande International School. Taking all they have learned over the Middle Years Programme and Primary Years Programme, students have pursued a project of interest from idea to product, carefully recording their progress, and creating something for which they shared a passion.

Please take some time to come out and support our students as they display their amazing achievements.


This week primary students have brought home Baker Books catalogues with a wonderful selection of books for all ages.  For M1 through to D2 catalogues/order forms will be available in the Link.

If you would like to place an order please complete the order form at the back of the catalogue and return it to Mrs. Lin Campbell in P1, with the correct cash in Euros.   There is also an option to place orders online by connecting to:

This method allows you to pay online but books will be delivered to and distributed from school.  The cost of the books is the price shown in Euros as this includes a delivery charge.  By placing an order, not only will you be receiving beautiful books for your child to enjoy, but the school libraries will be entitled to free books from the commission accrued.  The last day for returning orders is Monday 12th March.   Books normally arrive within two weeks from the order being placed. If you have any queries please email

Ski Trip Report

The 2018 Sotogrande Ski Trip had a mixture of challenge and adventure due to the extreme weather conditions on the mountain. Day 1 was a hit with brilliant sunshine and perfect conditions to get started! By day 2, the storm began and although we hit the snow all day, visibility was difficult.Day 3 the ski station was closed due to stormy conditions and instead we took out the snow bikes, sliding donuts and Russian Bobsleigh – playing in the Mirlo Blanco adventure site. That night the kids put on an energetic Talent Show at the hostal!


By day 4 the weather had deteriorated to the point that we chose to evacuate the mountain and head to Granada. Before departing home we visited the Igloo Ice Arena where everyone had a final winter activity and a chance to sharpen their skills on the ice! As tour operator we have to say the Sotogrande kids were superb in everyway and patient in these challenging conditions! A big thanks goes out to Mr. Wickersham, Christian Duran and Antonio Gámez from Adhocs for their dedication to looking after the safety of the children.

Many thanks to all the kids and parents for trusting in Adventurebug!


M2 Science with P4

M2 Science Set A show off their recently gained knowledge about the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, exercise, digestion etc. to P4 students in a highly visual and interactive way! Mr Smith was very proud.


M4 Elective 1 Visual Arts students presenting to P5 students

M4 Visual Arts students have developed artworks that address their concepts of migration. The students, led by Stella Paloluoma discussed creative thinking methods and how to acquire printing skills.

M4 students presented to P5 students; this approach to learning enhances learning.

Teachers involved were Margaret O’Farrell and Carol Hartland.


The Kindred Project news

Ecuador 2018 Expedition

We are still taking applications for the Ecuador Expedition; a life shaping experience that will help our students become effective interdependent global citizens and leaders. If your child is in M3-D1 and interested in joining this extraordinary experience, please send us an email to to find out all about it, or simply pick up an expedition brochure from Reception. Don’t miss out!

PTA News


Race NightFriday 16th March, 7:30pm at Hotel Almenara 

After the success of our very first Race Night last year, we are happy to announce this year’s event. Come and enjoy the fun, bet on the races, win some money, beat your friends!

Bet with Sotobucks, included in your ticket cost and win some great prizes. (Please note no real money changes hands and no horses are ridden, except by professionals on the video!)

Tickets cost 25 euros per person, which includes dinner and a welcome drink. We have a limited number of tickets (last year we sold out), so book now to guarantee your place. Tickets available from school reception or can be preordered by emailing

Come as a group, or come on your own – just come!
(Event is for adults only.)

White Party Returns!

Save The Date – June 15th
More details in due course.

Happy Crafting Workshop

Did you know that creative children are more flexible and better problem solvers?

Celebrate innovation and creativity in creative messes and an imaginative atmosphere.

Come and enjoy a fun moment at Fundamentals.

Every Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00pm

fb: happycraftingworkshop

00350 54006059

Contact: Tere or Lisa


Message from Miss Emma Butler

Student Led Conference Day

On Tuesday the 20th of March our Primary School will holding its annual Student-led Conference Day. Student-led conferences are an expectation of all International Baccalaureate schools.


These days are designed to enable students to focus on learning processes and develop awareness of their learning journey through shared activities with parents.  At SIS we also consider it to be an essential part of building the three-way relationship between students, teachers and parents. This day is not a normal school day and students should only come to school with their parents for the time slot they have signed up for. Students are not expected to wear school uniform.

Sign up sheets for all EC1-P6 classes will be posted outside the Sue Jenkins Building from Monday 12th of March to Friday the 16th of March.

During the day, supervision of siblings will be organized for the times when parents and students are taking part in their conference. This supervision will take place in the Primary IT room. Parents are responsible for dropping off and collecting their children.

I look forward to seeing you all at our 2018 Student-led Conference Day.

Dream Factory Semi-Finals

P3/P4 Dream Factory Semi-Finals: Tuesday 13th March in the school theatre at 6.30 pm.
P5/P6 Dream Factory Semi-Finals: Tuesday 20th March in the school theatre at 6.30 pm.

This year our Primary Student Council are supporting
During the past two weeks the community where the Portuguese Dream Factory is established has suffered major damage. Houses were lost and the quality of life for the families living there has been severely degraded.



More than a music competition, this is the celebration of our values as a supportive community.

Please come and support our children, using their education for a greater good in an evening full of quality musical entertainment!

Tickets costing 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for children are on sale now and can be bought at the gate from the student council. Snacks and drinks will be available during the show.

Please help us keep the Dream Factory alive!

Primary Expressive Arts Extravaganza 2018  – Shrek

After more than sixty P5 and P6 auditions in the past three weeks, the main cast for Shrek has now been identified!

Each audition was a surprise and an amazing display of dedication, commitment and professionalism from our students. As a community we can only feel proud of them and look at the future with hope and optimism!

Shrek is a play with a deeper message than meets the eye at first, and our children embraced it straight away with their unique enthusiasm and wisdom.

Shrek brings a message of tolerance and positivity in a fun and comical way and we could not think of a better play for our students to perform this year.

Here is the main cast list.

If you see any of these students please do congratulate them. They all tried hard, put a lot of work in and are excited as the next part of the journey begins!

Save the date! The Primary Expressive Arts Extravaganza will take place on June 20th. Please do come and support our students and enjoy a wonderful family experience!

P4 Applying Knowledge and Understanding

Before half term P4 had a wonderful afternoon completing the egg drop challenge, an investigation into gravity and air resistance.

Their challenge was to drop a hard-boiled egg from the bridge on the first floor of the Main Building so that it landed in the foyer without smashing!  The array of parachutes that they produced was impressive. This was an excellent opportunity for the teachers to observe how their students could apply their knowledge and understanding in order to complete a real challenge. Well-done P4!

P6 Using Visual Art and Poetry to explore Inner Conflict

As part of the unit ‘Conflict Resolution’, P6 students have explored their own inner conflicts. Through quiet reflection time, the students created mind maps with words, images and symbols to represent a personal conflict. These reflections served as a starting point for an art piece and a tanka poem.

A tanka is an ancient Japanese poem, which has a five-line structure governed by a set number of syllables per line (5,7,5,7,7). The poems are short and do not usually rhyme but require precise selection of words in order to be effective. Here are some examples of the students’ work.

Arts News


After an incredibly successful International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) High School Festival here at Sotogrande, a selection of M4 & M5 Drama students travelled to JFK School in Berlin to participate in a similar event. Hosted by local families and involved in an intensive 3 days of drama workshops the Sotogrande students were in their element.

We are proud of the positive energy and 100% creative commitment that these particular students have shown to their drama studies throughout these busy months of January and February 2018, that have included not only these festivals but for many an additional achievement in the demanding LAMDA examinations.


Many congratulations to the following SIS music students who took part in a classical music festival in Gibraltar before half term:

Connie Davies – clarinet
Grace Davies – trumpet
Andrew Zhalkovska – piano
Kateryna Zhalkovska – piano
Carlota Machuca – piano
Marija Segale – piano

They won a variety of medals in their different classes with Connie, Grace and Andrew being asked to perform at the Gala night on Saturday February 24th. Connie then received the award for Most Promising Woodwind Player and Grace for Most Promising Brass Player.

A most enjoyable and rewarding experience for all!

Visual Arts

‘The Way I See It’, the IB Diploma Visual Arts Exhibition will be held in the Club Maritimo de Sotogrande next Friday, 16th March from 6pm. All are invited to come and view the work of these talented D2 students.

The Diploma exhibition is the result of students’ hard work and creativity over the two -year course. The individual approaches to creativity are evident and the unique perspectives that our students bring to the chosen themes will give viewers an opportunity to engage.

The IB Visual Arts course is demanding. The students have worked hard to bring their concepts and themes to a finished exhibition and we hope that you will take time to engage with them and discuss the works on show.

We are grateful for the use of the exhibition site in the Club Maritimo and for all the support that we have had in mounting the exhibition.

We wish our students every success in their creative futures, whatever fields of study they engage in.

M5 French

During unit 3, “Le lycée et notre éducation”, the M5 French students were asked to present 5 main ideas as well as conduct interviews around the school to present SIS in French in the form of a video. The 5 main ideas were: What does it mean to you to be an SIS student?  What are the values of SIS? What would be an ideal M5 timetable? What is the map of SIS? Can you compare SIS to a French public school looking at uniform, curriculum, rules etc.?

In groups of 4-5 people, the M5 students created 5 videos, they answered all 5 main ideas and executed the interviews based on choosing from 16 different questions. They were then asked to grade each group using criteria C and D of the MYP French B curriculum for peer-assessment practice and finally vote for the best video out of the five. Xavier, Nathan, Ella and Leonie’s group video won. Bravo à tous! Jade, Lucia, Taha, Augustin and Maria A’s group video came second! Ana R, Thomas, Emmanuelle and Loreto’s group video came third! Well done to all five groups for an excellent piece of work presenting SIS.

Miss Bosson
French teacher

University & Careers – Alumni experiences 

Oxford University: Guillermo Valle Perez (DP2012) 

Over the half-term break, I was able to catch up with one of our Alumni, whilst attending a conference for counselors at Oxford University on the admission process. Guillermo Valle Perez graduated from SIS in 2012 and went to Oxford to complete a degree in Physics. He has since graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford and is now working on his DPhil in Machine Intelligence at Kellogg College, Oxford, having achieved a scholarship to continue his doctorate with them. He explained to me that the interview process for Oxford was not unlike the tutorials that he undertook during his undergraduate degree. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in on a Physics tutorial whilst at the conference, where the ability to think out loud and critically was paramount to the tutorial learning experience. The physics tutor, whose tutorial I attended, also explained that the interview is essentially the first tutorial and at that stage the university wants to see how the applicant thinks critically about a problem they might not know a lot about. Guillermo also added that “Sotogrande prepared me to speak out in my thinking” and he encouraged more Sotogrande Spanish students, in particular, to apply to Oxford. Also, he had some good advice for the interview saying that it was important, “to think out loud when you don’t know the answer”. Guillermo´s plans for the future are still open, although he is very interested in two established AI companies in the UK and the USA.

UCL: Selina Pazos Rotter (DP 2013)

Later in the week, I participated in the ‘World Class Study in London’ conference, involving 5 of the top universities in the world which are based in London; SOAS (School for Oriental and African Studies, King’s College, UCL, Imperial, and LSE. One of our alumni from DP2013, Selina Pazos Rotter was able to give me some excellent insights into UCL, where she did a “BSc in Planning and Real Estate, as well as a Masters in Project and Enterprise Management.” and she states ”UCL is a great university and attracts some of the best leaders and professors in their fields, I was very fortunate to get into the Bartlett School of Planning, which is ranked as the best school of Architecture and Planning in the UK, and second in the world after MIT. I am currently working at AECOM as a Graduate Economic Development and Regeneration Consultant; it’s a long title but basically, I develop strategic, economic land use and development analysis reports for transport and regeneration development projects in London.”

She went on to say that, “In many ways studying in London felt like being at SIS, having international friends from all over the world, many of whom had come from International schools and had completed the IB. It was really interesting to hear similar experiences from people who had done IB in Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines and it brought so many of us together through that connection. I do feel that IB prepares you in a way that other school systems don’t. Extended Essay, for instance, was one that many of my friends agreed was so valuable as so many other people on our course struggled to properly reference in essays. Also, SIS helps you stand out in personality and character due to all of the activities and extracurricular that the IB and the school provide.“ She finished with some wise advice for our current cohort, “… the best advice I can give is to be focused and study hard for the next couple of months before exams; it will be worth it. Studying here has been the greatest experience; whatever you like, London has it! And if you ever have self-doubt, as I’m sure many do at this very stressful time, then just remember that: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!”


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.

Copyright © 2017 Sotogrande International School, All rights reserved.

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