Friday, 29 August 2014

3: Friday 29th August 2014

From the Director



As we complete our first full week it is a time to reflect on our aspirations for the year ahead and the best ways for us to ensure we meet them. I know you at home will have hopes and expectations for the year ahead for your children and we have high hopes for them as well. In all our dealings we seek to be firm, friendly, fair, focused and forward looking with the appropriate learning of our students at the centre of all we do. In this respect all of us as role models are very important - both at school and at home. In school we work hard to ensure students learn from good role models and we also ask that our school community follows suit. This includes in the morning in the line waiting to come in to school. It means being patient, waiting your turn and driving safely and sensibly. We ask that you do not cut in to the line, that you do not speed and that you do not use your mobile phone while driving. We also ask that you wear and insist your children wear their seat belts.

In order to help promote our values and to help all of us understand how to be better role models and to use our values to educate our children we have invited Dr. Neil Hawkes to visit the ABC next month. He will be meeting with staff and students and will be providing training for teachers at our INSET Day. He will also be giving a talk to parents at 6.30pm on Tuesday 16th September as advertised in the poster above. We will provide access to translation if you need it and we hope the PAC will be full of ABC parents who want to hear about ways of ensuring our children grow up respecting themselves and the world around them.

Primary News

All classes now have their ‘Madre Enlace’ in place and their first meeting will take place next Tuesday morning at 7.00am. If you have any questions about school routines your Madre Enlace can be an informal source of help and advice. They will introduce themselves at the Back to School Nights. Please also be aware of any new parents joining your class and make them feel welcome and part of the parent community.

The ‘back to school night’ is an important evening where you get a chance to spend time with your child’s new teacher and find about about their particular routines and requirements. There will also be light refreshments afterwards served in the Jubilee Library.

The Primary school Spanish team is preparing a series of events over the course of the month of September to celebrate Independence. I hope your children will tell you what they have been doing but you may need to ask them from time to time!

Have a wonderful week. Very best wishes.

Sharon Short - Head of Primary

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 first full week of school ended with a special tutor time Periods 6&7 on Friday. During this time students explored their learning style, reviewed their achievements from last year and set themselves targets for the first term.

Please discuss with your child what they discovered about their learning style and what they can do in school, and at home, to improve their performance.

Useful websites on the topic of learning styles (and some other very useful information) include:

www.brainboxx.co.uk
www.educationplanner.org
www.edutopia.org

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.- Confucius

Grade 11 & 12 Economics and Business & Management New York Trip. 
The payment deadline is this Monday (1st September) for those interested in the New York Trip. The trip is open to all IB Economics and Business & Management students from Grades 11 & 12. If you missed Thursday’s Informational Evening and have questions please contact andrewmurgatroyd@abc-net.edu.sv. The trip should be a GREAT experience.

New Secondary School staff
It is my pleasure to introduce to you the rest of the new teachers that joined the Secondary School in August 2014:

Tim Brogan 
Tim Brogan has lived and worked in many countries around the world including United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, USA and Colombia. He will be teaching Mathematics and will also be a form tutor.

He is looking forward to getting involved in all aspects of school life and of course becoming more fluent in Spanish.

Tim enjoys all sports and supports this season’s premier league champions- Chelsea! He also plays football and tennis.

He also loves music and plays guitar and piano.

Natalie Gowman 
I am a Biology and Science teacher. My previous experiences include teaching at bilingual and Welsh medium schools in Wales, UK and an international school in Italy. I have been a Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 form tutor and look forward to Grade 10 this year. I am really looking forward to developing my teaching experience at Academia Britanica Cuscatleca.

I am excited to explore El Salvador, including the many beaches, ancient ruins and all it has to offer. I hope to learn Spanish ‘quickly’ and hopefully learn to surf. I am really enjoying and overwhelmed by the warm and friendly welcome we have received from everyone inside and outside the school. 

Gill Gregory
I am Gill Gregory and I am teaching History and English at ABC. I have been teaching for over twenty years in a wide range of schools around Britain and most recently in Bahrain. Over the years I have taught numerous subjects including History, Government and Politics, Religious Education and PSHE.

I love my classroom, the interaction with the pupils and sharing my passion for learning. For me there is no better vocation than educating future generations.

I am excited to be in El Salvador and I am looking forward to exploring this part of the world. 

Extra-curricular activities
The first session of extra-curricular activities start on Monday 1st September. I am very pleased with the range activities on offer, provided by both teachers and students, and I hope that students will embrace the opportunities to widen their individual interests and talents. The students have been informed of the activities on offer and they will be signing-up during lunchtime on Monday 1st September.

CIS Tour
The ABC will be hosting the CIS Tour on Tuesday 2nd September from 2.00p.m. to 3:30p.m. Thirty universities from around the USA will be represented. Parents are invited to support this event.

Please contact Mr Eric Quijano to to confirm your participation or to ask any questions about the event. 

ericquijano@abc-net.edu.sv



























Stephen Spicer - Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Wednesday 2nd September: CIS Tour, 2.00pm to 3.00pm Auditorium
Thursday 4th September: Costa Rica 2015 Environmental Systems Meeting, ABC Theatre at 6pm (This is a meeting to present information relevant to the 2015 Costa Rica field trip for Environmental Systems. Parents of students enrolled in the current Grade 11 course are invited to attend and ask questions. The meeting will last for one hour approximately).
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

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

1: Tuesday 19th August 2014

From the Director


Welcome Back from the School Leadership Team on behalf of all of us here at the ABC


The new school year starts this Thursday and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school after the summer holidays. In my role as the new Director I would particularly like to welcome Mrs. Short, the new Head of Primary and Mr. Spicer, the new Head of Secondary. I have been working with Mrs. Short and Mr. Spicer for a while now and we are all really excited at the prospect of leading this great school forward. We have a great opportunity to build on the work done under the leadership of Mr. Hobson for many years. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Dickson for the huge contribution she has made in the Primary School during the last four years.

In terms of the start of the coming school year please note the new road layout on the Panamericana. In particular please be careful turning onto the Panamericana from the slip road right towards the Admin school entrance where the new cycle lane will change the traffic flow into school. 

On another practical issue we have updated our telephone system over the summer and we have new phone numbers. The school numbers all start 2201 followed by the extension you need. Each Section has included the necessary numbers below but the main switchboard is 2201 6222 or 2201 6200. As usual at the start of the year we will not be starting our extra curricular or Team Sports activities until the week beginning Monday 1st September but there will be extra PE and Prep sessions for designated students on certain days. Details will follow. In the meantime we look forward to welcoming you on Thursday. I would advise arriving early to avoid spending too long in the line up! 

As I mentioned earlier the school recently said farewell to Mr. George Hobson who has been the highly respected Headmaster of the ABC since 1999. In a world of change we have been so fortunate to have had a Headmaster who has committed such a period of time to the school and On behalf of the whole community we are grateful for the development of the school under his leadership. Mr. Hobson posted the following “farewell” message when he left for us to pass on.

A Farewell message from Mr. Hobson
“My wife Carys and I have been very moved by the various messages of thanks and good wishes for the future - thank you. I have had the privilege to work with a wonderful team of teachers, admin and support staff, as well as getting to know parents and students over these fifteen years. The school is lucky to have such a supportive and dedicated community, together with a board and foundation which truly cares about the school and works incessantly towards the improvement of the ABC. Finally, I would like to wish Mr Keslake every success as the new Headmaster of the ABC - I know that the school will be in good hands.”

Summer Holiday Building
The roofs of the classrooms in the lower area of Upper Primary have been replaced with well-insulated modern roofing. We have also started a major renovation of our Maintenance Building by the main gate. This will provide appropriate facilities for our maintenance, cleaning and support staff as well as workshops and storage areas. One important feature of this project is the access to what we have been calling the emergency car park which will now be from within school and not from the Panamericana. This should make it much safer for cars to enter and leave that car park area. As part of this project we will enlarge and bury the rainwater drain that flows under our property from Santa Tecla. We anticipate this work will all be completed by December 2014. Obviously until then we will have slightly less car parking space for staff and visitors and we ask for your patience and help in reducing the impact of less parking spaces in any way you can.

It remains for me to say that all of the ABC team will be looking to work positively with you and your children to ensure their success in the coming term and academic year. I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks at our events to mark the start of the year.

Primary News

As the new Head of Primary I feel very privileged to be working at the ABC. The welcome I have received has been so warm and supportive. I am extremely excited to be leading the Primary Section of the school as it develops and moves forward in order to give our children the very best start in life.

I have worked predominantly in the UK where I was a head teacher but my last posting was at the International School of Milan in Italy which I really enjoyed and was able to introduce some of the latest and best teaching practices to the staff. 

Arriving with me this year we have Mr Ben Pattenden who will be teaching in Grade 3, Mr Ben Brooke - grade 2, Mrs Lindsey Gray - Prepa, Ms Maria Watt - Prepa, Mr Nicholas Turner-Ware - Prepa and Ms Marianne Taylor - Prepa. This will provide a real strength to the children’s English language acquisition at a key time in their education.

I look forward to getting to know you all at the various meetings in the next few weeks and months and working together for the benefit of our children.

Please note the reminders below.

Very best wishes

Sharon Short

Please note our new phone numbers
Lower Primary 2201 6241
Upper Primary 2201 6252

Please also note that in order to ease the congestion of the first week and a half grade 4 and 5 will leave school at 1.45pm until Friday, August 29th

Uniform
In order to create a suitable learning environment we ask you to support us by ensuring all students wear correct school uniform and have their hair securely tied up, wear no jewellery except stud earrings and that there is no nail varnish and no chewing gum in school. Thank you.

Trainers
If you are planning to buy new trainers/tennis shoes for your children during the summer holiday please remember that in the primary school we insist that students wear trainers that are predominantly white. 

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Thursday 21st August: First day of school
Extra curricular activities start week beginning 1st september
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
Friday 5th September 7.20-8.20 LP Spanish Assembly
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 21st August: First day of school
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
19th September McLay fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.

Secondary News

From Mr. Stephen Spicer - Head of Secondary
I look forward to working closely with the staff and parents to ensure that our students enjoy their education, feel happy and safe and realise their full potential. As well as striving for the highest academic standards, I also believe that education should be about students learning about themselves and the rest of society. My team and I will work together to continue to foster confident, responsible and emotionally intelligent global citizens.

I come to El Salvador having worked for the past five years in a large private school in the Middle East and having taught for twelve years in a range of schools in the UK. My wife Gill Gregory will also be working at the ABC, in the Humanities and English departments, and our 7 year old daughter Emily is excited about entering the 2nd grade at the school.

We are joined in the Secondary School by the following enthusiastic and experienced new staff:

Tim Brogan - Mathematics
Natalie Gowman - Science and Biology
Edward Hodder Smith - Mathematics and Head of Grade 11
Prudence Meggitt - English Second in Department
Matthew Tupling - Science and Physics
Sandra Wilson – English and History

Over the coming weeks the new staff will be introducing themselves through the ABC Weekly.

It has been lovely to see our new staff quickly settle in and encouraging to hear them talk about the warm welcome they have all received from everybody here at the ABC. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sarah Harrison on her promotion to Deputy Head Curriculum. I know that this year I will be ably assisted by both Sarah Harrison and by Natalia Caceres, Deputy Head Pastoral.

I will be meeting with parents in person in the "Know Your School" events which are coming up in the next few months. These events will give us the opportunity to discuss our plans for the future and how we intend to build on the academic success at the ABC.

Uniform & equipment
I look forward to welcoming returning and new students during Thursday’s assemblies. As with the start of every new academic year it is always worth reminding students and parents of the school uniform and equipment requirements. Students need to be in full school uniform from the onset, hair must adhere to school policy (girls’ hair should be safely tied back in practical classes and boys’ hair should be smartly cut and not extend over the collar) and students should have all the necessary equipment. Further information regarding uniform, hair and equipment is available on the school website, the student planner and the parent handbook.

Parent Handbooks
Parent handbooks were sent out earlier this week. If you have any queries or have not received one please contact:

Grades 6-8: Marielos Soto (Extension 2201 6273)
Grades 9-10: Roxana Hall (Extension 2201 6261)
IB: Lissett Castro (2201 6236)

End of day arrangements
The end of day arrangements for the next two weeks (from this Thursday until extracurricular and team sports activities begin) will be sent out to all parents by email, we are very grateful to you for your cooperation in helping to make this time of the day as stress free as possible for everyone.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 
Nelson Mandela

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 26th August - New Secondary Parents Welcome Evening for secondary parents new to the ABC at 6:30pm in the PAC and Madres Enlaces at 7pm in the ABCLT
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