School Newsletter 21.10.2016

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

School Newsletter 21st October 2016

Message from the Head


Dear Parents and guardians,

Since the CIS and NEASC visit in April, we have been working on reflecting on our School Mission.  Missions are critical for organisations as they give a clear sense of direction and purpose. As I wrote to you last year in May, we wanted to reflect to see if our mission aligned with who we were. We asked you to complete a simple Google form to get your feedback on how you see us as a school, what we do well and what we should aspire to be.

We asked for feedback in a similar way from students and staff at SIS during the summer term. Over the summer the SLT met to look at the data and began to put together key words to help align the thoughts and feelings of all stakeholders. It was felt that our mission needed to reflect more clearly who we now are as a school.

The whole process has been deeply collaborative, with lots of time spent reflecting on what it means to be part of the Sotogrande International School.
I am pleased to say we now have a Mission statement that truly reflects our purpose and passion, which was formally ratified at the last Board meeting.

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.

This Mission statement will act as our guiding star as we move forward.  It will help us to make decisions when we are unclear and help to bond our community.

As part of the process we also wanted to have a clear definition of what Internationalism means at Sotogrande International School. Last week, representatives from one of the CIS committee groups sought feedback from staff, students and parents. Together they created this definition, which we will use moving forward.

Internationalism at SIS means enabling and encouraging open mindedness, appreciation and respect for our culturally diverse community.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who helped to contribute to the development of our new mission and definition of Internationalism.  I feel excited about leading the school on its journey with a mission that has been created collaboratively and now truly reflects who we are.

Best wishes,

Jak Kearney


Whole School News

SIS DISCOVERY DAY – Get to know your school

On Thursday October 27th 09.30-14.00 we are organising a special event to allow parents to come and get a snapshot of what their children are experiencing every day.


SIS has talent!
– Our wonderful cast and directorial team for this year’s Secondary School Show BUGSY MALONE!!

The 3 weeks of auditions are finally over and the cast list has been finalised. It was tough selecting the right student for the right role. There seemed to be even more talent than usual this year and at one point we were seriously considering the possibilities of having 4 Blousy Brown´s and a couple of Bugsy´s! Rehearsals are now in full swing and our 70+ cast and crew will be sweating blood and tears to prepare yet another SIS ‘knock ‘em dead’ show. It may seem like many months away but we are aiming for performance perfection and we have a lot of work to do.

We are always interested in hearing from any parents who would like to be involved behind the scenes (costumes, make up, set, props, catering, logistics, etc.) Contact if interested.
Meanwhile put the show dates in your diary – 27th & 28th of April 2017.


Exciting news for all SIS footballers!  Adolfo Aldana’s coaching team will be running the football camp from the 2nd – 5th November, and Adolfo himself will be running the training session on Thursday 3rd November. Adolfo Aldana played for many top Spanish teams including Real Madrid and
Deportivo la Coruña, and for the Spanish National Team. Don’t miss out – book your place on our camps website today

Primary School News

Message from Emma Butler, Head of Primary

Parent Consultations

Next week on Monday to Thursday we have our Primary Parent Consultations. Sign up sheets can be found outside the Primary buildings.

Next week’s Primary after school clubs

Please note that clubs run after school by teachers will not be happening next week. Please contact directly for clubs run by external providers who use the primary classes as these clubs may not be happening or may be based in a different location.

Reading to our youngest students at Fundamentals
Today a group of P4 students accompanied Miss Lucia, our Early Childhood Coordinator, and myself to our Early Years Centre, Fundamentals. This event was in connection with the Readathon month that all our Primary students are taking part in during October. It was a real pleasure to watch our students read with confidence and enjoyment to our very youngest students.  Well done to Daniela, Canela, Maia, Gabriel, Javier, River, Jonnie, Indi, Dafne and Alba.

First edition of the ‘Primary News’
Congratulations to Miss Lisa and her Primary News club who this week published their first edition of the Primary News. It is the club’s intention to publish a newsletter once a month. Copies of this first one have been displayed around the Primary buildings. Next month it will also be accessible via a link on the newsletter.
ReadathonReadathon finishes on Thursday 27th October; students should ensure they bring their Record Sheet to school on Friday 28th so that all final reading minutes can be added to their class totals. The winning class will then be notified and invited to an ice-cream party in the Cantina during afternoon school.
Students should also hand in sponsorship money to class teachers on Friday morning (or after half term holiday if extra time needed to collect it).

Secondary School News

Preparation for SATs

We are presently offering Mathematics and English preparation support for Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) for boarding students planning to apply for American Universities. After half term (week beginning 7th November), these preparation lessons will be opened to non-boarding SIS students at a small charge of 10 euros per session. These evening classes will take place in the San Roque boarding house. Mathematics SAT support begins at 20.15 on Monday and English support at 20.15 on Wednesday.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact Paul Clark by e-mail at and/or Charles Debenham at


On Monday for the first time at SIS, we will be having our own one-day Model United Nations conference, involving all of M5 students.

Model United Nations (MUN) is an activity in which students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. This is usually an extra-curricular activity that takes place at MUN conferences, which are generally organised by a high school or university/college MUN club.

Benefits of participation for students include:
-improving research and writing skills,
– increasing self confidence through public speaking and debating,
– practice in working collaboratively,
– increase in global mindedness and knowledge of world/ current affairs,
– excellent experience to add to personal statements when applying to university.

This activity also fulfills many of the Learning Outcomes for an MYP Service Activity, a compulsory requirement of our MYP Programme; so although not specifically aligned with any one subject, it is very much an integral part of our M5 students’ educational experience.  We hope the students will find it to be an interesting learning experience and, although they are dealing with serious issues, a very different yet fun day.

Thank-you in advance to all the parents who have very kindly responded to a PTA request to help with catering; if you would like to contribute and could supply some snacks for our delegates to enjoy during their busy day, please whattsapp Barbara on 645428083 or


The Power Day Impact

The Power Day last Friday was a great success. We had fun, worked on trust, shared personal stories, and comforted each other when needed. At times it was confrontational, it demanded a lot of vulnerability and courage, yet resulted in greater understanding of each other.

The impact of this unique project results not only from the method which breaks down barriers like age, cultural background and gender, but also from its inclusive approach. Increasing mutual respect and reducing the chances of judgmental behaviour is something you work on together, as a community. M3 students, teachers, parents, all were involved. A very important element was the international collaboration with the Dutch University of Applied Science Inholland, which gave the Dutch Social Work students a chance to practise their coaching skills abroad.
Hopefully these photos will give you an impression of our day:

Some quotes:

Teacher: “Our school needed this years ago”
Student: “This day let us look at each other in a completely different way”
Parent-coach: “The way I look at teenagers has completely changed in a positive way”
Dutch coach: “I’m very impressed by how open and articulate these young students are and how they comforted each other”
M3 parent: “My daughter opened up to me after that day. She shared thoughts and concerns with me that I previously had no idea about”

On behalf of the Global Citzenship team, thank you to all students, teachers, parents and to the Dutch delegation for making this Power Day part of our school community!

For more information, contact Reshma Jagmohan:

M1 Casares trip
On Wednesday 19th October, 7 teachers and 64 M1 students headed off to Casares to study the history and changing environment of this famous area. They began their investigation in the Blas Infante museum in the town centre and then moved on to the cultural centre to view artifacts from long ago. After lunch the students settled down to write poetry inspired by the atmosphere of the place and the many stories that have been passed from one generation to the next.

The students interviewed villagers who remembered the immediate impact of Blas Infante’s life and courageous actions. The day gave the students an opportunity to study history in action and to learn that we are all mutually responsible for a larger community, and that Blas Infante’s legacy lives on.

M4 Spanish language acquisition

“Kids can save lives!” – CPR session with school nurse

As part of the European Day to raise awareness of cardiac arrest (Oct. 16) M4 Spanish language acquisition students attended a practice session with the school nurse about how to respond to a cardiac arrest. Students put into practice their oral communication skills in Spanish, and learnt techniques that even a child can perform, such as cardiac massage. Many thanks to the school nurse, Lynette Hillman, for her collaboration with the Spanish department to carry out this efficient, interesting and motivating session with the students and making an effort to do so in Spanish.


University & Careers

This week we have had a report from student Jack Burgess´visit to Herriot-Watt University in Scotland. The full review will be posted on my website. SIS Universities & Careers
We have also had personal coach Jeremy Behrman speak to the M4 students about their career aspirations and a visit from EUSA in Sevilla, reviewed here by Ms.Lourdes.

University Center EUSA
We had a visit from University Center EUSA, a centre affiliated with the University of Seville, which offers official degree courses endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce of Seville.

Mrs. Maite Bureau informed our students about the different degrees in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, Advertising and Public Relations.
Our students were interested and asked questions about everything concerned with the important decision you must make when choosing your future university.

Jason Mungles
University & Careers Coordinator

Boarding House Music Room Redecoration
Between Monday the 24th and Friday the 28th of October, artist and published illustrator, Aleesha Nandhra, will conduct some workshops in the boarding house to revitalise the music rehearsal room at San Roque Campus. Shortlisted for the 2014 Serco Prize for Illustration, and published in magazines including Little White Lies and Off Life, Aleesha will be working on two murals – including one showcasing prominent music artists, which will hopefully provide a sound space for creativity and communal working, as well as an area for use by Sotogrande International School’s music and performing arts academies. Students are invited to join in with the decoration of the room from 5-7pm everyday next week.

Psychology Drop In Sessions at Boarding
Here at SIS, pastoral care is a priority and we are continually working hard to develop initiatives to explore and support our students’ emotional well-being. One of these is the new Drop-in service available for boarders at Sotogrande International School Boarding House.

Two members of the SIS Psychology / Student Support department, Ruth and Ravi, are running these drop-in sessions for boarders to talk about any concerns in a confidential environment. Whether it is issues surrounding homesickness, family life, or challenges in the school environment, at least one of our two Assistant Psychologists will be available between 5pm and 6pm every Monday and Friday during term time to discuss any concerns that boarders may have in a supportive and non-judgmental setting.



Reminder: Your Assist membership card is at the back of your SIS security access card.

CANCHA TAPAS located in Torreguadiaro offers a 10% discount on your bill

SUNBORN GIBRALTAR offers a “Children Stay free” on board their 5 star floating hotel

ALFABARA BEAUTY CLINIC en Los Barrios offers a 10% discount on all body and beauty treatments

EL MOTOR 2, the hardware store located in Pueblo Nuevo offers a 10% discount on any purchase

MANUEL O GUEVARA Osteopathy offers a 20€ off, on a session at your home

Check all the exceptional offers from Assist partners at:

The Kindred Project – Upcoming student led events:

‘The Moment’
What: Art and Poetry Exhibition with an auction. All proceeds will go towards supporting Association Tiwizi in Asni.
When and Where: 23rd October 5pm-8pm at The Octógono Beach Club, Sotogrande.
Price: €10 Adult/€5 Student (includes Tapas and Drinks)

‘A Spooktacular Halloween’
What: Disco for P4-P6
When and Where: Thursday 27th, 5pm-7pm in school theatre

‘Send a Child to School Day’
Next Friday 28th will be ‘SEND A CHILD TO SCHOOL DAY´; an opportunity for students to wear own clothes and donate €1 towards their year group’s sponsored child at NCLC, Uganda. M1 students have suggested that for this month the non-uniform day should have a special Halloween theme, a chance to come to school in costume! If you would like to wear Halloween fancy dress (and we hope you will), then please donate €2.

Like last month, there will be a DONATION DROP OFF for unwanted items at the school gates both in the morning and afternoon. Also on that day the Dreaming Dragons will be running a SECOND HAND UNIFORM SALE.

Thank you for your continued support.

PTA News

Coming soon…
Come and join us for a great night- more details to follow!

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.

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.

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…

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