Friday, 5 December 2014

16: Friday 5th December 2014

From the Director 

As we approach the last two weeks of term I would like all of us to reflect on the first term. I know many students are receiving reports and feedback which is a great time for us to think about progress and what we expect from school. It is my strong belief that all of us need to be positive and supportive in ensuring we help our students be the best they can be. This means that we are not over critical and we are sensitive to the needs of our students as they grow up. We are fortunate that our children go to a school where all of them have the potential to succeed, where they all have the potential to graduate and go to university, where they all have the potential to be responsible outstanding citizens of our future world. It is sometimes easy to feel your son or daughter could or should have done better and the way to help them achieve that is through support and encouragement. 

We are approaching a time of giving in the Christian calendar and I would like to extend that to the ABC community. We work with so many disadvantaged community groups that we want to ensure we help make a difference at Christmas in their world. We are asking therefore that every child brings in a shoe box with gifts and basic hygiene items for a child of their age and gender. More details will come from school but I want to urge you to offer your support and to include your son or daughter in this initiative.

We have been asked about traffic changes for next term and I can assure you that we plan no further changes. I am delighted at the improvements in the morning traffic and we continue to look for ways to improve the afternoon pick up. I know many of our neighbours are happy that we are not blocking the roads as much as we used to.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

The grade 4 camp was a major success despite the windy weather. Thank you to the staff and parents who supported the children with the activities. We really appreciate all your work. 

The Student Council have been working hard to raise money for new playground equipment that they will like to choose. Well done to all those students who have taken part and all those who have supported them.

This week we will be publishing information on the ABC website for Upper Primary parents. This is to help you with the new report information that will be going out on the 12th December. We are sharing the level descriptors for English, Maths and Spanish so that you can look at the expectations for each level. They are under Parents - Primary - National Curriculum levels.

The children are rehearsing for the Lower Primary shows now. As always it will be a bit tricky to get parents and in and out. We have arranged additional, off campus parking to make this a little easier. When your child’s show is over please leave the PAC quickly so that it can be re-arranged for the next classes’ performance. The Christmas Fair will be taking place while all the shows are on so there will be plenty for you and your children to see and do.

Please note that on the last day of school, the 19th of December, the leaving times will be different to normal. Lower Primary children will leave at 11.00. Upper Primary children will leave at 11.30. This should leave the way clear for the Secondary students to be collected at 12.00. When it is nearer the time, please remind your children to leave school as quickly as possible to prevent traffic snarl-ups if at all possible.

Just a few more reminders:
  1. The Christmas shoe boxes. We know they will have such an impact.
  2. The Lower Primary are still awaiting more toys.
  3. Second grade will welcome any second hand clothing or toys in lovely condition for our to support our CAS student Diego with his collection.
All of these will go to worthy causes at a very special time of year.

Have a lovely week.

Best wishes,

Mrs Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
December
Friday 12th: LP reports go home
Wednesday 17th: LP Christmas shows
Friday 19th: Last day of school - all LP students leave at 11:00am - NO PLAY ROOM
Pre-Kinder and Kinder picked up on the blue benches
Prepa and First picked up on the white benches
If you have more than one child they will all be with the oldest child.

Upper Primary
December
From 3rd to 5th: 4th Grade camping. Entre Pinos
Wednesday 10th: UP choir Christmas Celebration at Orphanage Adalberto Guirola - 10:00 AM
Thursday 11th: UP choir Gran Via Christmas Concert - 6:00 PM
Friday 12th: UP reports go home
Wednesday 17th: Christmas Fair
Friday 19th: Last day of school - all UP students leave at 11:30am

Secondary News

The ABC Book Week – w/c Monday 8th December:
There are a number of events next week as part of the Secondary School’s ‘ABC Book Week’:
  • Book donations - each day we will be receiving book donations.
  • Book Fair - there will be a book fair on the lawn in front of the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) on Wednesday,Thursday and Friday.
  • Book displays - there will be various themed book displays in the LRC.
  • ‘Dress as your favourite book character’ - on Friday 12th of December staff and students are invited to pay $1 to dress as a character from their favourite book. Donations will go to the Santa Tecla Children’s Library.
  • Local authors - we are bringing in local authors to work with some of the KS3 Spanish classes.
Extra-curricular activities:
In response to requests for longer sessions, we are now going to have three sessions of extra-curricular activities each academic year: 
  1. Autumn Session (Term 1); 
  2. Spring Session (Term 2); and, 
  3. Summer Session (Term 3). 
We will be asking students to sign up for the Spring Session activities in the last week of this term. 

Parent Partnership Meeting - Grades 6, 7 & 8 (Thursday 4th of December):
On Thursday 4th of December we had the Grade 6-8 Parent Partnership Meeting. The main focus of the evening was online/technology safety. Amongst other things, we advised parents on how they could help their child/ren better ‘protect’ themselves by:
  1. Changing their passwords - to change passwords often, make them easy to remember but not easy to guess, and to keep them private (and not to share with friends!).
  2. Editing privacy settings on all of their social media sites and apps - so only people they have approved can see what they post.
  3. Checking for software updates on their computers and mobile devices - if students are not using the most current version they might be missing out on some important security fixes.
  4. Finding the reporting features on the sites and apps that they use - so they know how to report spam and potential scams.
  5. Checking the location settings on their smartphones - students should turn off GPS for any apps that don't really need 
Thank you to all the parents that attended.

Parent Partnership Meeting - Grade 9 & 11 (Tuesday 9th of December):
Next week, on Tuesday 9th December, we have the Parent Partnership Meeting for Grades 9 & 11. Starting at 6.00pm in the PAC, our special guest will be the Jaime Hill Foundation. This organisation will be working very closely with your children under our programme of substance abuse prevention. The talk is entitled :"Warning Signs and Behaviours," "It will not happen with my child.."

This Parent Partnership Meeting intends to provide parents with practical tools in order to identify and interpret all those signs and behaviours of alert in teens and which often lose importance as we tend to believe that "it is part of adolescence. "

At the end of the meeting we will be issuing the Cal 1 reports. 

Last day arrangements (Friday 19th December):
Period 1&2 - lessons as normal for the entire Secondary School.
Period 3 - Grades 6-8 Assembly in PAC (Grades 9-12 lessons as usual).
Period 4 - Grades 9-12 Assembly in PAC (Grades 6-8 lessons as usual).
Period 5 - Grades 6-12 tug-of-war contest on Playing Field.
12.00pm - students dismissed.

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Sunday 7th December:Ataco School Campaign. 
w/c Monday 8th December - ‘Book Week’ (please see article above).
Tuesday 9th December: Grade 6 trip to Joyas del Pacifico at Costa del Sol.
Tuesday 9th December: Grade 9 & 11 Parent Partnership Meeting with reports issued (6.00pm to 7.30pm PAC).
Wednesday 10th December: CAT4 Assessment for Grade 9.
Thursday 11th December: Gran Via Christmas Concert (6.00pm to 8.00pm)
Friday 12th December: IGCA Jeans Day.
Friday 12th December: Year 8 Coffee Court (at Lunchtime)
Friday 12th December: ‘Dress as your favourite book character’ (please see article above).
Friday 12th December to Saturday 13th December: IGCSE Mock Art Exam.
Tuesday 16th December: Grade 7 History Trip to San Andres & Casa Blanca.
Thursday 18th December: ABC Christmas Celebration in the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) from 6.00pm to 7.15pm 
Friday 19th December: End of term, 12.00pm finish for students (please article see above).

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