Friday, 29 May 2015

36: Friday 29th May 2015

From the Director 

We are entering a very busy period in school as you can see from this newsletter. I have added a link to the school Three Year Strategic Plan which is now on our website. The link is from the Parent Portal page Please remember the invitation to coffee with the Chair of the Board and myself where I will be talking about aspects of the strategic plan and how we can work together to achieve its goals. I would like you to be aware that we have warned all staff about the prevalence of various games which children have seen from the internet and are playing including the Charlie charlie challenge. We are clear in our message not to play such games and hope you can reinforce this at home.

Coming soon...

Tickets available by Monday. 
$8 per ticket or 
$20 for group of 3!

Buy your tickets at:
Reception/Secondary/Primary Offices

Get your GREASE souvenir 
at only $1 per piece from the 
Secondary Office (Ms Marielos Soto).

Students with their pins on will be eligible for randomly awarded sweets on a daily basis...

Primary News

Report Evenings 
Thank you to all who attended this weeks report evenings for Upper Primary. We hope you found the information shared useful and now have a clearer understanding about the learning conversation we wish to engage you and your children in as a school. Reports will come home on June 12th and we encourage you to talk with your child about the information shared. 

Mexico Choir Trip
A number of our Upper Primary students are currently in Cozumel, Mexico, representing the school in an international choir festival. They spent their first day there enjoying some of the attractions and had some time to rehearse ready for the festival which starts today. More news and photos to follow next week.

Classes for next academic year
This coming Thursday and Friday are the days for the transition activities we have planned to familiarise students with expectations for their next grade level. 5th Grade will join the Secondary school for both days and on Friday all primary students will spend the morning in their new classes with their new teachers. An exciting end to the week for all.

End of term activities
As always the end of term and year brings a whole host of activities for parents and students to look forward to. Please ensure you check the dates below, the school calendar and communications sent home by teachers. 

Talent shows
In Upper Primary the Talent Shows will take place on June 11th. Both shows will be recorded and shared with parents and possibly live streamed, though we will confirm nearer the time. We look forward to children sharing their talents with each other.

LP Building Project 
The LP building project begins at the end of term. Classes 1 - 7 will be refurbished with ceiling height increased and classroom length extended by 2 metres.

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Monday 1st June: 1st grade trip to Galaxy Bowling
Monday 1st June: Pre-Kinder Siri and Pre-Kínder Cáceres - Trip to Pizza Hut Las Cascadas
Monday 1st June 7 am: Coffee with Director and Chair of Board
Thursday 4th June: Pre-Kinder González and Pre-Kínder Carbajal - Trip to Pizza Hut Las Cascadas
Friday 5th June: Moving up day
Friday 5th June: Extra-curricular activities ends
Friday 12th June: Reports go home
Wednesday 17th June: Father’s day - school closed
Friday 19th June: Last day of school

Upper Primary
Monday 1st June 7 am: Coffee with Director and Chair of Board
Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June: 5th Grade moving up day
Friday 5th June: End of extracurricular activities
Monday 15th June: 2nd grade achievement ceremony
Tuesday 16th June: 3rd and 4th grade achievement ceremony
Wednesday 17th June: Father’s Day, no school
Thursday 18th June: 5th grade moving on assembly
Thursday 18th June: 5th grade party
Thursday 18th June Grade 5 Drug information School for parents
Friday 19th June: Last day of school

Secondary News

This week in Secondary…
It has been a very full week. On the evening of Wednesday 27th of May we had the annual DVA awards. The audience was treated to the creative work of ABC students from across the school that had been nominated by students and teachers. 

A big thank you to everybody that made this event a success and well done to Jimena Lasala and Lizanne Arias who won ‘Movie of the Year’ for their short film Shift.

On Thursday (28th of May) afternoon Grade 7 students got together for their Team Building and Sports Afternoon. Miss Chavez wanted to share a few words about the afternoon:
Grade 7 had a wonderful empowerment activity yesterday afternoon - without the need for technology! We were very pleased to see how much fun our students had whilst developing their teamwork skills and bonding as friends. The Team Sports coaches, who kindly organised the games for them, were impressed with the enthusiasm shown by our students and we all thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon. A special thank you to Ms Ale who, along with the team of tutors, worked hard to make this a successful event. I also take this opportunity to thank the parents who showed support and encouraged their children to participate in this event! I am sure some the Grade 7 students will always remember sliding down the slippery slope toboggan! 

On Friday (29th of May) afternoon Grade 8 students got together for their Solidarity event. Below is a piece on the event from Mr Rombout Head of Grade 8:
As with all cohorts of nearly 100 students it is very unlikely they will all know everyone in the year group. However I would like to think that this event is a great opportunity for the students to spend some time getting to know those with whom they are less familiar. This is the primary aim of Friday's activities - student camaraderie and solidarity. When I was their age, in Britain, it was not unusual for a group of us to be out all day on our bikes either in town or in the countryside somewhere. This was not always as thrilling as it sounds, but we were able to hang out together without our parents watching us. Something like this is also what I'd like our students to be able to experience. Although security concerns take precedence, I hope that the Grade 8 students can still really enjoy themselves together in the safe environment of the school, but with lessons, classrooms and homework replaced by pizza, music, games and hanging out. Thanks to the help of the Class of 2019 Charity Committee, the PE staff and the Grade 8 tutors this should be possible. The other purpose of this event is to raise funds for the Class of 2019 local charity – Amor y Esperanza (Love and Hope) the children’s home. This organisation cares for orphaned, abused, abandoned and neglected children. So whilst our students are able to enjoy themselves together at the school they are also contributing in some way to the well-being of children of a similar age who are much less fortunate. By reminding them of our shared responsibility to support our local community we are therefore also fulfilling the school’s mission of producing responsible and outstanding citizens.

A special thank you to Miss Chavez and Mr Rombout for organising these events.

Be aware of what your child is watching on the internet…
It is really important to highlight that at the moment there are some very worrying crazes circulating the internet. Please check what your child is watching and reinforce the school’s message that they must not try to replicate pranks or challenges that they see others doing on the internet. Sometimes students do attempt to recreate what they see on the internet and there are numerous accounts of this ending in tragedy. Mimicking other pranks or challenges can be psychologically damaging, in some cases instilling fear when they challenge a student’s faith and beliefs. This is a topic being addressed by schools across the world and unfortunately these pranks /challenges seem to resurface on a regular basis.

How we investigate incidents
When we become aware of an incident involving students that conflicts with our values we investigate fully before taking any action. When we investigate any incident we attempt to speak to every student involved, giving them the opportunity to explain their involvement or what they witnessed. This takes time and there are often inconsistencies and conflicting accounts, but it is important not to act until we are confident that we have a good understanding of what has happened. 

Once confident of the details we often then involve parents of the students involved. It is not our policy to broadcast to the wider community the outcome of these conversations -with students or parents- nor give details as to any resulting punishments as this would clearly be inappropriate. Students make mistakes and when this happens we want them to reflect and learn from their actions. It is critical that students have the chance to put incidents behind them. We do not want to have students labelled or have their reputations tarnished for making a mistake. Schools should be a safe environment for students to learn, to make mistakes, and to grow into mature responsible adults. 

In some situations we may speak to other students, perhaps holding a special assembly, if we feel that it is appropriate to discuss an issue or incident. Indeed, we may also bring a matter to the attention of parents if we feel that there is a need to pass on information or if we want parents to reinforce a message that the school has communicated.

Our primary objective when dealing with any incident is to act as swiftly as we can and to be fair and consistent with any sanctions deemed necessary; I have the great fortune of working with a supportive and dedicated team of professionals, giving me the confidence that every incident is dealt with with this in mind. 

Fundación Corazón del Padre
On Sunday 31st May Mr Rombout, Teacher of History and Head of Grade 8, is participating in the Running For Help 30km race (see FaceBook link below) to help raise funds for Fundación Corazón del Padre which is on the way to becoming a sustainable children's centre in Quezaltepeque (see link below). The centre will eventually provide 84 orphaned and abandoned children with families that care for their holistic needs. If you want to sponsor Mr Rombout and help to significantly improve the lives of adults and children in the local community please hand in your contribution to Marielos in the Secondary School Office.

Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Monday 1st June, 7am: Coffee with Director and Chair of Board
Wednesday 3rd June: Ring Ceremony for Class 2015
Friday 5th June: Headmaster's Reception
Monday 8th June: Grade 9 Work Experience starts 
Thursday 11th June: Secondary School closes at 12 noon
Thursday 11th June: 5 pm Class 2015 Graduation Day attended by Grade 9, 10 and 11
Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June: Musical Production - Grease
Saturday 13th to Thursday 18th June: Environmental System field trip to Costa Rica
Tuesday 16th June: Awards Assembly for Grades 6 & 7. Grade 6 Family Day picnic
Wednesday 17th June: National holiday - Father's Day 
Thursday 18th June: Awards Assembly for Grades 8, 9 & 10
Friday 19th June: Award Assembly for Grade 11. Cal 3 Reports go home with students in Grades 6, 7, 8, 9 & 11. Last day of school.

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