Weekly Head’s Update 13.03.2020

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.

13th March 2020

Versión española

Dear parents and guardians,

Well, the end of this week was not what I envisaged at the start!  We will now be closing for a minimum of 15 days from Monday 16th March, as instructed by the Junta de Andalucia.

This change of pace has come at a positive time for our Diploma students who thankfully were able to complete their Language B and Abinitio oral exams, individual art exhibitions and theatre performances, which allowed all of us to breathe a huge sigh of relief. All externally assessed work is now complete. We can now send this critical section of work off to the IB and allow our Diploma students to focus on finishing the Internal Assessments, and working on exam preparation.  I would like to applaud the Diploma students, as they have remained focused and committed through this uncertain time.

This week, staff have been experimenting with technology from afar, with teachers and students testing virtual lessons, and ensuring all resources for classes are available online.  This experience has really helped to provide an opportunity for staff to try something new. Students have also started to imagine what learning online would be like. Next week, this will become a reality for us all. I request that you read the list of essential items to have at home, which was shared a week ago.

The homeroom teacher in primary and advisor in secondary are going to be really important people for your children to connect with. They are the ones who will help solve problems, communicate with staff and be there for your child.

For our students who receive extra support in English Language Development, this will continue and you will be contacted shortly with details of how this will work over the next two weeks. Student Support Services will continue as normal across primary and secondary, following the school timetable.  The team has been working with individual students to ensure they fully understand how to access continued academic support.  Additional information will be posted on Managebac for individual students.  If you have any questions regarding student support services please email sdavies@sis.gl.

The Need2Talk service for secondary school students will also continue, using Zoom. Times will be arranged between students and the school counsellor, via email. Should any student wish to self-refer during the school closure they can do so in the normal way by emailing need2talk@sis.gl. Any queries please email Nuria, at ngomez@sis.gl.

Next week will be a new learning experience for everyone. Staff will have successes and failures. Please be supportive, provide helpful, kind feedback and realize that your child is at the heart of everything we do. Equally, your children will sometimes get it wrong. Please allow them the space to make and learn from mistakes, and patiently coach them to see their errors. As a community, we are entering something new for us all. Together we will grow, learn and refine.

Finally, please do not underestimate the size of this decision by the Junta de Andalucía. We all need to take our social responsibility seriously and to do what is right for the good of the community. In my letter yesterday, I shared the lessons learnt from communities in Italy and China. It is our time to not be caught out by blasé attitudes. For the good of the elderly and the weak in our community, we need to self-isolate and go out only when essential. Enjoy our homes and families, and seek the fun and relaxation of staying in.

We will continue to send you important updates via email, but please do stay connected via our social media channels where we will share news and updates from our virtual school.  #workingathometogether

I wish you a safe and secure weekend and look forward to welcoming you back virtually on Monday.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best wishes

Jak Kearney

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