Weekly Head’s Update 11.10.2019

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.

11th October 2019

Versión española

School Calendar: Dates for your Diary

Monday 14th – Tuesday 15th October

Environmental Charity Event “Towards Nature” at the Palacio de Congresos in Marbella

Thursday 17th October 9:00am – 3:30pm

U9 Football at Aloha College

Monday 21st – Friday 25th October

D1/D2 Parent/Guardian interviews with Pastoral Leaders. By invitation

Wednesday, 23 October10:00am – 1:00pm

U9 Team Games SIS

Thursday 24th October

Rice Day

Friday 25th October

Climate Change Awareness Day & Travel to School in a Green Way Day

Friday 25th October

Send a Child to School Day

Monday 28 October – Monday 4th November inclusive  

Half term break – school closed

Friday 8th November

PTA Fireworks Night

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am delighted that so many of our students are deciding to travel to school in environmentally friendly ways. The PTA is working with the school to find space to create more bike racks to further encourage people to ride to school. One concern that has been raised by a member of our community is about safety whilst riding a bike. To ensure safety and visibility to all road users, especially as the mornings are getting darker, I would strongly advise all cyclists to wear helmets and reflective safety vests. Additionally, it is essential that our younger cyclists are aware of the rules of the road and are stable when riding. Finally, we request that cyclists are mindful of pedestrians and dismount and walk along the red bike paths around the school.

Over the forthcoming weeks, we will be discussing road safety in class, focusing on P5 to M1 students. However, I ask you as parents to help us to triangulate and reinforce road safety by talking to your children at home and taking them out for a few bike rides.

Last year a number of parents requested an October half term camp for their children. The team have been brainstorming and we are delighted to announce a Halloween themed Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM)  camp, that will be taught in Spanish, for students aged 6-10 years old. The camp will run from Monday 28th October to Thursday 31st October. Students will be able to explore design and creation, through 3D printing and video game programming, whilst developing their Spanish. Students of SIS receive a discount when booking their place. For more information, please visit our website  www.sotograndeinternationalcamps.com or email internationalcamps@sis.gl

 

Finally, we were pleased to announce earlier this week the news about Inspired connecting with Berklee College of Music. At SIS we already have strong connections to Berklee through SIMA, our music academy and Atsuko, one of our piano teachers, who completed her training at the college. We look forward to strengthening this relationship and will share information about this exciting opportunity as it arrives. 

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

Advisory Panel Update

The Advisory Panel met on Tuesday for its first meeting of the year and several areas were discussed in depth, including the cantina and demographics. One advisory board member took part in an independent study of the cantina and has a summary document below.

Cantina

After receiving some comments from parents regarding queues and waiting times in the cantina, I decided to make a couple of unannounced visits. The purpose of the visits, that took place roughly one month apart, was to observe and registrar any changes the school could implement. My observations were that Primary lunchtime works flawlessly. Some changes have been made this year to improve the Primary students’ lunch experience. For example, Primary students now need to raise their hands before they are allowed to leave the table. Teachers check how much they have eaten and encourage them to finish, or at least try, their meals. Teachers also walk around encouraging good table manners and the salt shakers have been removed from the tables.

 

 

The Secondary system also works well, with the cantina being able to serve students with little, or no queues coming in. My opinion is that there’s still room for improvement in the assigned times for each year group,  and the priority given to students arriving after their assigned times. Having said this, on the days I visited the Cantina I saw students who were arriving later than their assigned times, able to come in and finish their lunch on time.

Here are the suggestions passed onto the school for consideration:

  • Start lunch turns earlier. There is a 10 to 15 min gap between primary and secondary that could be used for the last turn of M3 students.
  • M1s and M2s to come in at the same time, thus giving all students a bit more time. 
  • M5s eat at 13:25 instead of 13:30, again increasing the overall time for students.
  • Students can come in at any time after their assigned lunch time without waiting. There is a big overlap from M4 students coming in the Cantina that slows down M3s. Sometimes this is also true with Diploma students that are allowed in at any time without waiting. Setting some limit times might result in  M3s not having to wait for other students to come in the Cantina. M3s are the ones that have the least amount of time and this should be respected one way or the other.
  • Make sure there are always four staff members serving so the queue moves quickly.

 If anybody would like to get the full report on my two days of observation, please feel free to contact me on the following email:vdelso@sis.gl

Diversity

As an International School, we celebrate our diversity. The number of nationalities represented in our student body has grown this year to 50. Year on year our demographics shift and this year students from Spain, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany are the most prevalent.

This diversity brings a true international feel to our school, and allows students to learn first hand about different cultures and gain new insights and outlooks by forging friendships with students from different backgrounds.

nationalities, diversity, cultural, sotogrande international school,
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