Weekly Head’s Update 01.01.2021

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.

01 January 2021

Versión española

James Kearney

Head of school

We are so excited to have opened our new Secondary building, called the Ubuntu building. This amazing new building houses over 20 new learning spaces, offices and an IB Diploma common room. The Ubuntu building has been created to facilitate student agency, with flexible learning spaces, with tiered seating, movable tables and learning spaces set at different heights. This is a first for Inspired as an Education group. The creation was done in conjunction with students and staff, who had input into the design of the new learning spaces. In the coming months, we will be completing the new sports facilities and renovating our Main building to become an upper Primary learning centre.

This month, we received an award from Education Advisors Limit, who work with Imperial College London as a top Global IB school for 2020. Our most recent exam results (36 average point score) in May 2020, saw us placed as a top 75 IB world school and in the top five IB schools in Spain. This is a remarkable achievement for a non-selective school. Within the EU we were placed number 14 and we were the second highest school in the Inspired network of over 64 schools. I would like to thank and congratulate our graduates for their amazing achievement and applaud all of our staff, who worked so hard to help our students, and Sotogrande International School achieve this amazing recognition.

A Top Global IB School for 2020 Certificate




We are so happy to have the children back at Fundamentals after the Christmas holidays. There is no better place to enjoy enriching activities than in the open air and under the winter sun. At Fundamentals we continue our unique projects in the middle of nature, which stimulates and delights the little ones.

SIS Virtual Open Days

We are pleased to announce that we are hosting two SIS Virtual Open Days
in February for prospective parents. The first one will be on February 4th, for
parents of Primary students and the second will be on February 11th for
parents of Secondary students. The platform will enable prospective parents
to watch a few videos made by staff and then allow live zoom chats with key
members of the Primary and Secondary teams. If you have friends who
would like to find out about SIS, please let them know and ask them to
contact the admissions team to book a time admissions@sis.gl. Please note
that the virtual open days are not designed for current parents. We are
looking forward to welcoming new students to discover our personalised
approach to learning.
4th February 2021 at 4 pm for Early Childhood and Primary
11th February 2021 at 4:15 pm for Secondary and Boarding School
Virtual Open Days 2021


Polo Valley Academy

We are delighted and excited to announce the launch of our third Elite Sports programme and a world’s first. Sotogrande International School have partnered with Polo Valley to create a new Polo Academy, combining outstanding education, with an opportunity for students to follow their dreams and passions in Polo. We already have an excellent programme with Golf and Tennis, connecting with the Jason Floyd Golf Academy and Soto Tennis respectively. Our new Polo academy will enable students to take part in extracurricular polo (ages 7-14), the Junior sports programme (ages 14-16) enables students to leave school at 2pm to play polo in the afternoon or the elite sports programme (ages 16-18), where students play polo in the morning and attend to school from 2pm-7pm. To find out more, please contact admissions@sis.gl or visit http://www.polovalley.com/sotogrande-polo-academy/


Technology in Primary

At SIS, technology plays a big role in our learning, and we
continuously develop the level of confidence and IT literacy in our
students that allows for teamwork, real-world applications and
making conscious choices about digital tools for projects. In the
younger years, the students have collaborated virtually in small
teams using 3D printing pens to craft their own plastic creations.
Some primary year groups have begun to explore the language of
coding, controlling microprocessors to send messages and to
display sensor data about the weather. Older students have learned
to apply more advanced algorithms to different interfaces, such as
Spheros, Swift playgrounds, and online coding. The middle years of
primary have used iPads as tools to document scientific research in
bioplastics and to create AR worlds using 3D design and their
knowledge of 3D shapes. In preparation for the P6 exhibition the
students are honing their skills creating original digital work,
exploring different ways to communicate information and learning to
create interactive online and gamified elements.

Creative maths in PYP1

Fun and creative activities gives the students opportunities to connect and
deepen their understanding of maths.
Maths in PYP 1 is a crucial stepping stone for developing children, which is
why it’s so important that our students can explore and experience it in an
enjoyable way.
In PYP1 the new year started with a focus on numbers and the operation of
addition. Gaining confidence in a variety of strategies is essential, regardless
of numbers, our students become confident applying an approach that
works; adding with fingers, counters, number lines, one hundred squares,
and leading to mental calculation. Along with this learning journey, children
are inspired to apply the concepts practically, leading to a deeper level of
understanding and connection. We believe that interesting visual
representation is key to facilitating the retrieval of learned concepts and their
application. Last week, P1 teacher Miss Ysabella constructed an adding
machine from recycled materials. It has fast become a fun way for students
to design and solve equations. Children were on their feet making equations
for one another and turning their maths lesson into a game with the fun
factor. Use of this was not limited to our classrooms, our hybrid students
were also inspired to create adding machines at home.


The Arts Department

The SIS Arts department has published an article in both
ECIS and ISTA online magazines.
The article celebrates both the value of the Arts within the
curriculum and showcases examples of M1-D2 student
Drama, Film, Music and Visual Artwork.
We hope you enjoy this read, we are as proud as ever of our
SIS Arts students!

M5 Personal Project

The Personal Project Product Assessment Day is the first
part of the Personal Project that is assessed. It is an
opportunity for students to show their successes, their
struggles, and the obstacles they had to overcome in order to
complete their product.
This year once again saw many outstanding products, from
explorations of body language, to creating body positivity in
teenage boys, to apps, music and podcasts. This year’s
projects saw students pursue interests that were extensions
of themselves, and they challenged themselves to go outside
their comfort zones.
As we head into the final stretch and the writing of the report,
students should take a moment to reflect on their outstanding
achievements. Despite challenging times, they have risen up
to face these challenges and showed perseverance.
Congratulations to this year’s M5!


Return to Boarding

Students arrived back from over 35 different countries and
whilst we celebrate the immense intercultural aspects of the
Boarding House, it is quite an operation during these
uncertain times to organise! Obviously, safety for all was
foremost in each person’s mind and continues to be so.
It is an absolute privilege for the staff to witness the resilience
and adaptability of the student community during these
uncharted times and, most importantly, the large family
community environment continuing to flourish.

New year resolutions

The Boarding House awakens with student enthusiasm,
passion and dedication when we open our doors at the start
of each term.
Some students even returned this term with new year
resolutions which the Boarding team will look to encourage.
The longevity of these may though depend on the resolution –
abstinence from chocolate proving a particular difficulty for


We are delighted to welcome two further schools to the Inspired global family, European International School Ho-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam, and Kensington School, Madrid, Spain. European International School (EIS) Ho-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam, is one of the few authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum Schools in Vietnam, offering studies for children aged 2-18. Set amidst lush gardens, the campus provides a tranquil village atmosphere where students of all ages and nationalities learn and grow together. EIS’s philosophy and values are perfectly aligned to Inspired’s forward-thinking educational ethos, continually encouraging children to be genuinely resilient independent learners. The school emphasises the importance of learning to collaborate, caring for others, asking great questions, researching thoroughly and reflecting on personal actions. With more than 25 IB schools in the Inspired Group, EIS joins an IB network second to none. Kensington School, Madrid, Spain, is one of the pioneer centres of a British education in Spain. Providing a truly multilingual education, students start at Kensington School at the age of 3 and learn English by immersion, reinforced by some subjects in Spanish and beginning French in Year 7. In later years, from Year 10 and up to Year 13, students study the official Spanish curriculum, reinforced by intensive preparation in English and French for official external examinations.

The school offers students an excellent human and academic education so that they leave the school as fine young adults, fluent in English, Spanish and French with internationally INSPIRED NEWS School Meals Managebac Parent Portal School Calendar Copyright © 2020 Sotogrande International School, All rights reserved. recognised qualifications. We pride ourselves on the depth of excellence in British curriculum achievement across our Inspired schools, and now on the mutual benefits of Kensington School joining such an exceptional partnership. As part of the Inspired network of schools, both European International School Ho-Chi-Minh City and Kensington School will add to the depth of knowledge and experience that already exists within our schools. They will also benefit from world-leading educational expert support, and gain access to Inspired’s state of the art learning platforms. Nicholas Wergan, Global Education Director commented, “We welcome families from both schools to our unique group, spanning 5 continents and 20 countries, and to the exciting opportunities for collaboration, global connectedness and shared best practice that this provides for all our teachers and students to achieve their absolutely best potential. “

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