Friday, 20 February 2015

24: Friday 20th February 2015

From the Director 

We have had a very interesting week looking forward in the school. At the start of the week we were visited by Susan Jackson who is an expert in British style international education and she worked with the staff, the Board and the leadership team to help identify priorities for the future of our school. Thank you to all of you who contributed by completing the questionnaire last week. At the end of the week we have been visited by our Values Consultant Napoleon Ardaya who talked to parents on yesterday evening and staff this morning about our values and promoting them in school and throughout our community. I know both these visitors in different ways are going to help us develop into an even more successful school that has high academic standards and places positive caring values at the heart of the school. I do want to make the point that we are a listening school and we do want to hear your views and want you to feel that your voice matters. We see the school as a community and we need to support each other and the school in the development of that community.

We will be sharing the school strategic plan at a later date so you are able to understand the ways in which the school is looking to develop and the important role you will play in that development. School is closed on Monday for half term and we will be open as usual on Tuesday. 

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

As mentioned last week and the week before our traditional Spring Fair will shortly be upon us. As this event is designed to promote the students learning in a real context please note that all students are expected to attend. 

To support the Spring Fair we will be having a non-uniform day on Wednesday 25th February. The students can wear their own clothes to school in exchange for an item for a tombola stall. There will be a bottle tombola for Upper Primary Students, so students can bring in anything ranging from olive oil, through drinks to shampoo (as long as it is in a bottle) for the privilege. 

For Lower Primary a jar with a lid, perhaps a jam jar that has been finished with, or a pickle jar, that has been thoroughly washed out and filled with something else. Suggestions to put in the jar have included a small hair brush and some hairbands, a nail care kit and some nail varnish, a small lego kit or some other small toys or some luxury sweets. I have seen some ideas online so you could try an internet search engine if you are not sure what to do. the items can be suitable for children or adults, male or female. The jar can also be decorated to give it an individual feel and to create an attractive display. Please make sure all items are new and any food is wrapped. The children’s own clothes on the day should be smart-casual and suitable for school activities. No high heels, beach shoes, strappy tops, exposed midriffs, excessive jewellery or ripped jeans. Please check your child’s choice of clothes before they leave the house!

We are also trying to collect larger prizes for the raffle. If you are a business owner and can donate gift vouchers or a significant item related to your business as a raffle prize, please contact Mrs Claudia Aviles in the Primary office or a member of the Spring Fair committee team. We are intending to list donations of larger items and vouchers in the event flyer. Thank you for your support with this.

At this time of year we sell off our lost and found items so please make sure your child has got all their possessions and that everything is still clearly named otherwise everything we have will be up for sale at the Spring Fair. 

I have recently been asked why we do not start the academic learning processes such as writing and recorded maths earlier in school. There are, in fact, many good reasons for this but I will try and explain as succinctly as possible. The child’s brain is still at a very early developmental stage at the age of 3 and 4. Not all of the brain connectors ‘synapses’ are in place and this means that many children will not have the biological requirements in place for this type of activity at this age. In order to develop these good connectors children need plenty of physical activity and higher level thinking skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. Lastly in order to function effectively in a learning area or environment they need a complete set of social skills enabling them to learn from their teachers and their peers as individuals or as part of a cooperative process. The raft that children should have in place before they begin academic learning may not develop, for some children, until they are 9 years of age. This is why many countries do not begin their formal education until children are 7 years old, minimising the lack of preparedness for formal learning. At this age they then proceed very quickly and make very rapid progress. As highly trained professionals we understand the dangers of introducing reading and writing and paper recording of subjects as a risky business that can damage a child’s perception of themselves as learners, and fail to put the other skills needed in place first. Therefore we use multi-sensory methods and play, to teach children in a non-damaging way. Less highly trained professionals will have children writing and using worksheets from an early age which is very detrimental to their longer term development. Please encourage your young child to be up and doing, not sitting in front of the tv or computer for hours and you will reap the rewards in their brain development later in life. If your child is attending a ‘local kinder’ that has started any form of reading, writing or formal activities - please ask them to stop!

The week after next is book week. Your children will be invited to dress up as a character from a book on one of the days (Please note no disney costumes) and come in their night clothes another. keep an eye open for the full details which will be sent out to you next week.

Very best wishes for a wonderful week.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Monday 23rd: half term - no school
Friday 27th: Kinder Francés Assembly - 7:45am PAC
Friday 27th: LP Extra-curricular activities 2nd session ends
Saturday 28th: Spring Fair - all students to attend

Upper Primary
Monday 23: Half term break, NO SCHOOL
Saturday 28th: Spring Fair - all students to attend

Secondary News

Key Stage 3 Disco
On Friday 27th February we have the much anticipated Key Stage 3 disco from 6.00pm to 9.00pm in the PAC.

Tickets (priced at $3 - including a snack and beverage) are available all next week from the Secondary School Office. 

Parents of Grade 6-8 students, please make sure your child purchases their ticket before Friday as we will not be selling tickets on the night.

Students should purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment. Numbers are limited.

Personal belongings
To ensure the safety of personal belongings, students should not leave items unattended and they should make use of the locker that they have allocated. Frustratingly students, despite repeated communications, are not taking adequate care of their belongings. 

Each student has been provided with a locker, but many students choose not to secure their belongings in these and worryingly many students use lockers but decide not to secure them with a padlock. 

On a daily basis, to safeguard personal belongings, ABC staff remove items of value that are on clear display in open lockers and items that are left unattended around the school.

One particular area that has become a concern are the corridors around the Learning Resource Centre (LRC). Unattended bags as well as being at risk from theft are also a safety hazard as they obstruct the foot traffic in this area. As of next week all bags left unattended around the LRC will be taken to Secondary School Office.

Please encourage your child/ren to not leave items of value unattended at any time and to utilise their locker. Expensive personal items should NEVER be brought into school unless required. Please also note that Teachers can not accept money or other valuables for safekeeping. 

Furthermore, mobile phones if brought to school, should be turned off and stored securely in lockers for the duration of the school day. On a daily basis students are having their phones, and other electronic items, confiscated for improper usage. Hereafter, parents may be asked to retrieve confiscated phones, and other items, from the Head of Secondary.

Grade 12 Parent Partnership
Please be reminded that next Wednesday (25th of February) there is the Grade 12 Parent Partnership from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Cal 2 Reports will also be issued at this meeting.

Grade 10 IB Options Presentation (followed by the Grade 10 Parent Teacher Meeting)
On Thursday 26th February we have the Grade 10 IB Options Presentation starting at 5.30pm in the PAC. 

Established in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) was the first programme offered by the IB and is taught worldwide to students aged 16-19. The IB is recognised and respected by the world’s leading universities. 

As you may be aware, the Diploma Programme consists of six subject groups and the DP core. The DP core is central to the programme and comprises of theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, action, service (CAS) and the extended essay. 

The presentation will explain the Diploma Programme subject options that are offered at the ABC and provide advice on how best to decide on the subjects on offer. The presentation will also cover: key dates for remainder of Grade 10; the upcoming IGCSE exams; MINED CAS; and, at the end of the evening, Cal 2 reports will be distributed.

After the presentation Grade 10 subject teachers will be available in the Auditorium to discuss student performance and to provide guidance on DP options. 

Warm regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Monday 23rd February: Half term - school closed.
Wednesday 25th February: Grade 12 Parent Partnership (and Cal 2 Reports issued)
Thursday 26th February: Grade 10 IB Options Presentation and Parent Teacher Meeting (with Cal 2 Reports)
Friday 27th February: Key Stage 3 Disco, 6.00pm to 9.00pm in the PAC. Priced at $3

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