Friday, 19 December 2014

18: Friday 19th December 2014

From the Director 


At the end of an exciting term I want to start by wishing every member of our community a happy Christmas holiday season. We break up today for three weeks of holiday and we look forward to seeing you all again in January. Your son or daughter should be bringing home their copy of the ABC Yearly for you to enjoy some memories of the last school year.

We have had hundreds of Christmas shoe box donated to school over the last week and we will be using them to spread a little Christmas joy. They will be going to orphanages, children’s home and other community projects that the school works with and supports.

I know many of you have been to school this week and we have had fantastic events. The Lower Primary shows were terrific and it was great to see both the confidence of our young children as well as the support of the community to help them be the best they can be. The Christmas show last night led by Dee Leong and the Performing Arts Department was an amazing event and if you missed it make sure you go next year!

There are pictures of our Roll of Honour students on our Class blogs so please go there and have a look!

I cannot end my last letter without thanking so many of you for your help and support this term. It has been an amazing privilege to work with so many caring and wonderful people all of whom are determined to play their part to help build and support our ABC community. Thank you and Enjoy your holiday with your children - Christmas time is family time - I like the saying that “at Christmas time all roads lead home!” - enjoy and celebrate your family.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

The Lower Primary Christmas shows were a resounding success and we hope you all enjoyed them. The children and staff worked very hard to put them together. The photos will be available on the blogs very shortly. The money raised from the Christmas Fair was in the region of $3,000. Thank you for your support with this event.

On Thursday the children has their class or grade parties. There was plenty to eat and drink and the children had a lovely time with games and activities. I hope you all made it to the Whole School Christmas show on Thursday as well. It was a fantastic evening. Once again lots of dedicated individuals put in hours of practise to bring the evening together.

This is our final day in school. Thank you on behalf of the staff for the generous presents you have sent in to show your appreciation for all that the staff do for your children. I know how much it means to the teachers that you recognise their hard work.

I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Try to keep up your child’s English while we are out of school. Ms Corry always has books available if you need a last minute Christmas present or something to read with your child over the holidays.

Our first day back is the 12th January. Please make sure everyone is well rested and ready to put their ‘best foot forward’ in the coming term. We are looking forward to seeing you all again then.

Once again, have a wonderful holiday season.

Very Best wishes,

Mrs Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
December
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 youngest child.
UP siblings will leave at 11am too
January 2015
First day of school 12th Jan 2015
Thursday 22nd Prospective parents night 
Saturday 24 Jan 2015 LP sports morning and Family day 
February 2015
Saturday 28th February Spring Fair 

Upper Primary
December
Friday 19th: Last day of school - all UP students leave at 11:30am
First day of school 12th Jan 2015
UP sports morning and Family day 31 Jan 2015
Spring fair Sat 28th February 

Secondary News

We have had a very busy term. Students have been working hard since the start of the school year, following on from some excellent IGCSE and IB examination results. We were also delighted by the superb PAES results achieved by this years Grade 12 students. Our Grade 10 and Grade 12 students have been working very hard towards their upcoming examinations and they are currently preparing for the important mock examinations at the end of January. Grade 12 students have also been working hard on their university applications and making great progress - many have now received offers from top universities around the world. Well done.

It has been my pleasure to participate in the recent CAL1 Achievement Assemblies and I have greatly enjoyed congratulating all the students that have been awarded the ‘ABC Role of Honour’ and/or ‘ROC Merits’. There have been many academic achievements so far this year.

This term has also seen a large number of sporting achievements, celebrations, themed days, trips and charitable work. To name but a few of these: students have travelled to Europe to learn more about WWII and the reality of the atrocities that took place during the holocaust; helped many local communities and charities here in El Salvador; and, assisted with nature conservation projects. This term also saw the first ABC Pride Day, which proved to be a massive success. These have only been made possible thanks to the continued support from the ABC staff, students and parents.

I would also like to thank our existing Head Students Andres Carranza and Sabrina Escobar who are reaching the end of their time as Head Students. Congratulations to our new Head Students Sabrina and Alberto who were appointed this week. It was a difficult choice and congratulations to all students who were nominated.


Finally, it has been very pleasing to see how well our new Secondary School students have settled in and how quickly they have become a valued part of the ABC community.

I hope you have a very peaceful, restful and enjoyable holiday. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” 
- Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 19th December: End of term, 12.00pm finish for students.
Monday 12th January: First day of term
Thursday 15th January: KS3 Disco, 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Friday, 12 December 2014

17: Friday 12th December 2014

From the Director 

This weekend please help your son or daughter put together a shoe box with small gifts, school items and sanitary items for a child of the same gender and age as your son or daughter. You will have been sent details from each of the two sections of school. We are expecting a shoe box from every child from Grade 2 to Grade 12! Please pay your part in helping children realise the importance of giving, especially at this time of year.

We are launching our new PE uniform next term and they will be available in the school shop from 12th January. We have researched various options and we think these uniforms will be more comfortable and longer lasting. We hope you like them!

Please take note that our ABC school offices will be closed from Monday 22nd December 2014 to Friday 2nd January 2015, both dates included, due to the Christmas break. The school shop will re-open on Friday 9th January 2015 due to inventory taking. All tuition charges previously scheduled for Friday 2nd January 2015 will need to be made changed to Monday 5th January 2015. Can we please ask all parents to be up to date with payments so that the school can also fulfill its responsibilities on time.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now heading into our final week of this term. There are still many activities for the children to participate in and learn from. This last week is always a busy one for everybody.

This past week the primary choir performed for an orphanage and in La Gran Via. They did a marvellous job. Take a look at the music blogs.

The Lower Primary shows will be taking place on the 17th of December. Please check the exact times for your child’s class and be considerate about where you sit. Everybody wants a good view and we have tried to increase the audience vision for some of the shows but not everyone can have the front row seats. We need parents to model thoughtful and considerate behaviour to our students. 

At the same time the Upper Primary Staff have arranged the annual Christmas Fair. All primary students are most welcome but the main focus is for the Lower Primary students and their families while they wait to see the shows or when they come out afterwards. There will be a variety of stalls and activities for the students to ‘have a go at’ and buy from.

On Thursday the 18th December it is the Whole School Christmas Event. Our choirs, orchestras and other groups will be performing. Everyone is welcome the tickets are $2 and can be exchanged for refreshments which will be available before and after the event. All funds raised will be used to support charitable causes.

I hope everyone in Upper Primary saw the letter I e-mailed out concerning social networking sites. Please remember students are legally required to be 13 to have an account and this is because they are at risk. Data is also unknowingly being collected on their movements and interests. Primary does not allow the use of electronic devices or these sites in school. Any problems that arise will be the parents responsibility.

We are delighted to see that the room alterations for the new LP library are taking place and the results are very pleasing. We have placed an order for some new library furniture and hope it will be with us soon. Our new library staff are settling in well and working with our existing staff to implement the new ideas that have come from our discussions. I am sure the students will be reporting more positive changes to you soon and the library will be one of their favourite places to go.

The student collection times for next Friday have been well published but just in case you missed them - Lower Primary children should be collected at 11.00, Upper Primary children should be collected at 11.30. If you have a child in both sections the older one will be taken to the youngest ones classroom just before 11.00 and you will be able to collect them together from the youngest child’s normal collection point. This will reduce the number of cars at this time and allow for a quicker getaway. Please remind your children to come straight to the collection points - no visiting the cafe or dawdling!

Today was the last day for Upper Primary Shoe boxes to come in, but if anyone did forget we will continue to accept them on Monday.

I hope you are all able to feel the Christmas Spirit around you. I am sure your weeks are very busy and exciting at the moment. Have an enjoyable last week of term.

Best wishes,

Sharon 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 youngest child.
UP siblings will leave at 11am too

Upper Primary
December
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

Litter
Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” Evo Morales

I can say without any doubt that the ABC is the most attractive school I have had the pleasure of working at. The green and lush grounds are beautifully maintained by a team of dedicated ground staff. However, litter is increasingly a problem at the school.


Please speak to your child/children about:
  1. always making sure that they properly dispose of their garbage;
  2. recycling all that can be recycled (using the recycling bins provided) and putting all other rubbish in the proper containers;
  3. challenging their friends if they see them throwing something on the ground or leaving an area untidy; and, 
  4. picking up other people’s litter and throwing it away.
Thank you for your support with this matter.

Uniform & Jewellery
Please use the Christmas holiday to review your child’s school uniform and, if necessary, purchase new items. 

Below is a reminder of the ABC’s uniform and jewellery rules: 

Boys - Navy blue trousers, white short-sleeved shirt with school badge, 
school tie, black socks, formal black school shoes and black belts.
Top buttons are to be done up and ties properly tied with shirts tucked in.
Boys’ hair should be smart, cut around the ears and not extend over their collar.

Girls - School skirt (no more than 2 inches above the knee), white short-sleeved blouse with school badge, school tie, white ankle socks and black flat school shoes. Shirts are to be tucked in properly.
No make-up or nail varnish may be worn.

All students are permitted to wear one plain bracelet, a ring and wrist watch. Girls may wear one pair of simple stud earrings.

We appreciate that purchasing school clothes is expensive and we would not want you to buy new items of clothing that do not satisfy the ABC uniform requirements. 

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
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.

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).