Friday, 22 August 2014

2: Friday 22nd August 2014

From the Director

It was a real pleasure to walk around school yesterday morning as school was opening for the new academic year. The school was looking at its best as staff and students were starting to arrive. Friends were meeting each other after a long break and there was a real spirit of community in the school. Many teachers were out to meet and greet students and the Student Council also made an effort to welcome the bulldogs back home! In the Primary School there was a real sense of a new dawn as our new children came in for their first morning in pre kinder. It was great to see them settle down and start to feel at home. I do believe our staff, students and families together form a strong community with a shared vision of doing the very best for all our students. I can report that our students achieved excellent examination results again this year but I also want to report the many students who were finishing school and made a point of telling me how much they enjoyed their years at the school. We have a very strong foundation to build on this year and into the future and we all have a part to play in ensuring the school continues to grow and develop into the best school it can be.

As part of our team work I want to ask all of you to play your part in helping and supporting the school. Please do this by helping us with feedback when we ask, by prioritising meetings and doing all you can to ensure your son or daughter complies with school expectations including for example our rules about uniform, hair, jewellery etc.

I am looking forward to a very exciting year. A year of learning, fun and progress and a year we will all look back on with happy memories and pride. I know that together we will manage to achieve this for all of the children in our care. As a last note my leadership team and me want to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions as we are always open to ideas!

Primary News

I have had a thoroughly enjoyable two days meeting with all of your children. They made me feel very proud to see how smart they looked, how polite they were and how nicely they interacted with each other. I was very impressed with the caring and understanding that the staff demonstrated towards the children too. very few of the new Pre-Kinder children cried and nearly all the older children were delighted to get back into school and to catch up with their friends. It was also a pleasure to meet those few parents who I had the opportunity to talk to.

In school we work very hard to keep your children safe and well so I thought I would just mention a couple of things that I noticed that you may like to give some consideration. 

1. Please be aware that it is very dangerous for children to be unsecured in cars. If you break sharply they fly through the air and can seriously hurt themselves. Children 5 and under should always be properly strapped in a car seat. Sitting on an adults lap is even more dangerous as the adult squashes the child between themselves and the seat or dashboard. Older children can have a booster seat to make the seat-belt fit them more comfortably but children should always be wearing a seat belt of some kind.

2. Please provide your children with healthy snacks and lunches. Fruit, raw vegetables, wholegrain foods and protein are all fine. Anything with sugar in it is not a good idea as it gives the children a sudden short term energy release and then leaves them tired and listless so they cannot fully take part in the learning activities. Do check food labels, you will be surprised how many things are sugar laden.

Very best wishes,

Sharon Short 

Upper Primary Parents - For Upper Primary children we provide the Primary After School Service or PASS club. The service is available during term-time for a daily charge of $1.50, and can be used for management of extracurricular activities and as a facility for late pick up. Children picked up after 2:15pm will be sent to PASS club and parents charged accordingly. We will not charge in the busy traffic period until Extracurriculars and Team Sports start on September 1st. Please do not be alarmed if you arrive after 2:15 and your child is not waiting, they will be in PASS club.

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Week beginning 1st September: Extra curricular activities start 
Monday 1st September: Back to school night for Pre-Kinder and Kinder 6.00-7.00 pm in the PAC and then in your child’s classroom
Wednesday 3rd September: Back to school night for Prepa and First grades 6.00-7.00 pm in the PAC and then in your child’s classroom
Monday 15th September: Independence day
Tuesday 16th September: Staff inset training day
Friday 19th September: McLay Fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.

Upper Primary
Thursday 9th September: extracurricular activities start 
Tuesday 9th September: Back to school night for 2nd and 3rd grades, 6.00-7.00 pm PAC
Wednesday 10th September: Back to school night for 4th and 5th grades, 6.00-7.00 pm PAC
Monday 15th September: Independence day
Tuesday 16th September: Staff inset training day
Friday 19th September: McLay fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.

Secondary News

The start of a new school year is always a fantastic time for me, a beginning filled with promise. I have greatly enjoyed meeting my new colleagues and the wonderful students that we have the privilege of teaching. I have been particularly pleased by the large number of students that have made the effort to come and welcome me to their school in person and to ask me how I am settling in. 

Every day is a chance to reflect and change how we behave. However, the start of a new academic year is a milestone for students to reflect on their recent performance, and possibly behaviour, and to identify targets for the future. This year students will be encourage at key times in the year to personally reflect, to set themselves academic and personal targets and to review these. I believe strongly that students should take ownership of their education.

Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?

As promised in the previous ABC Weekly, below are the first batch of brief introductions from our new staff in the Secondary School: 

Edward Hodder Smith 
My name is Edward Hodder Smith. I am teaching Mathematics to Grades 6, 8, 9 and 11 and I am Head of Year for Grade 11. Before moving to El Salvador I was working at an inner city school in London where I was also teaching Mathematics and was Head of Year.

I believe wholeheartedly that every student should be given the opportunity and encouragement to achieve all that they can be and that through working with students inside and outside of the classroom I can help to facilitate this. I have done a lot of travelling in my life, although this is my first visit to Latin America and so far I am really enjoying my time here. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next few years.

Prudence Meggit
I have been teaching for six years: five in Melbourne, Australia and most recently I worked for a year in Kazakhstan. I will teach English at ABC though I am also a Drama teacher. I have a Masters of Education and I am passionate about literature, theatre and good grammar. I love teaching and look forward to sharing great learning experiences with the students at ABC.

Matt Tupling
Hi, my name is Matt Tupling and I'm really excited to be in El Salvador and at the ABC. I've worked within education since 2008 at school's in Norway, Thailand and most recently Leeds, England. I'll be teaching Physics in the Secondary School which will give me the opportunity to meet and work alongside some fantastic teachers, get reaquainted with the IB diploma and hopefully be a part of the wider ABC team creating responsible outstanding citizens.

I look forward to meeting my new students, getting down to business in the classroom and also getting involved with as many extra curricular activities as possible.

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 26th August: New Secondary Parents Welcome Evening for secondary parents new to the ABC and Madres Enlace at 6:30pm in the PAC.
Thursday 28th August: New York Trip Information Evening, 7pm in ABCLT 
Wednesday 2nd September: CIS Tour, 2.00pm to 3.00pm Auditorium
Tuesday 30th September: Grade 6 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October: Grade 11 & 12 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Monday 6th October: Grade 7 & 8 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October: Grade 9 & 10 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC

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