Friday, 2 October 2015

7: Friday 2nd October 2015

From the Director 

I hope you and you children have had a good week in and around school in a week where there have been many opportunities to be involved in the life of the school.

As you may be aware the ABC has recently joined the Latin American Heads Conference (LAHC) and this week the school has been visited by Alan Downie the LAHC Executive Officer. We are looking forward to working with LAHC on helping the school share best practices with other schools in Latin America and continue to develop in line with best international practice. Like us, most of the schools in LAHC are British style international schools with bilingual programmes.

You may be aware that we are now offering early morning swimming in school to increase training opportunities. Can I please remind everyone of the importance of student sleep each night as well as having breakfast before school.We do offer breakfast at school and we hope that as parents you are monitoring the amount of sleep your son or daughter is having. 

I am aware that there have been some issues relating to the wet weather of the last few weeks and we are doing all we can to ensure that our campus is completely safe when wet. I would like to ask that you remind your children to be more careful in the wet but we will be looking at our facilities. 

I would like to remind you to organise an appointment with Estefania Chacon if a member of your family, or a friend, is interested in joining Pre Kinder next year. We only have a limited number of places. Please go to the admissions tab on our website for further information

We have seen parents of students beginning their journeys in both Primary and Secondary with the Pre-Kinder curriculum night and the Grade 6 Parent Partnership and Parent teacher meetings. We cannot over stress the importance of these meetings. It is vital that we talk to each other and work together with a shared understanding of our vision for a successful year. We hope to see many more parents at the forthcoming meetings for Kinder and Grades 9 and 11 next week. 

We have been finalising our calendar for next year and there are some changes to the normal school year following discussions with various groups. We are proposing that in August 2016 our first day of school will be on the Monday the 22nd August instead of the previous Thursday. we are also trying to build a few extra days breaks especially in the long second term to ensure students get more breaks. Research shows this is important in terms of encouraging a positive attitude and academic success. As a result the school year will finish a week later than our existing model. In practical terms the school year 2016/17 will end on Friday 23rd June. The proposed calendar for the year can be seen in a visual form on the ABC Newsblog. Dates will soon be posted on the main calendar.

On Monday 19th October we are having our first early closure day for Upper Primary and Secondary to provide time for us to work with staff on planning and preparation for the work coming later this term. As a result students will be leaving school at the following times and we ask for your cooperation in organising a pick up. 

11.25: Grades 7-12 depart (with Primary siblings)
11.45: Grade 1-5 depart with siblings
12.15: Pre Kinder
12.45 Kinder and Prepa

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

On Monday we had the culmination of the independence month with a whole Primary School Assembly. The students and staff looked fantastic in National Dress or blue and white clothes. It was all very colourful. The local band was great, dancing and playing at the same time. We all sang the National Anthem for El Salvador, the flags were paraded around the auditorium and some of our students performed a traditional dance with tons of energy and movement. It was a great finale for the month.

Thank you to the Primary Spanish Department for all the preparation and hard work they put in, to make the event a success.

Tuesday evening was the Pre-Kinder curriculum night and parents had the opportunity to learn more about the Pre-K curriculum and children’s development. The Pre-K team had produced a very nice video showing the students learning and explained what was going on in each section. Afterwards the parents were able to try out activities for themselves in the new classrooms. I saw some parents concentrating very hard and some obviously relishing the chance to get stuck into things they remembered from their own childhood. Others took the chance to explore both under and on top of the mezzanine. English books and items for activities at home were on sale and delicious refreshments were provided. The evening was a great success. Thank you to everyone who came and everyone who contributed to the event.

Also on Tuesday we had a rainforest appear in the grade 2 corridor as part of the introduction to their new unit of work ‘Save the World’ next week. It just appeared like magic overnight and the students were astounded when they arrived on Tuesday morning. Later in the day they mentioned to me that some of their own toys were there. I asked them how they got into school and they had no idea. So a big thank you to the Magic Elves and their helpers who made it happen.

On Wednesday 2nd Brook shared their talents with us in assembly. Their talents are wide and varied and they all demonstrated creativity, confidence and some courage. They were indeed awesome (which was one of the banners they were holding up).

On Thursday it was children’s day and the students did think they might get away with doing no work. They were a little disappointed because it was mainly business as usual in school but LP enjoyed their entertainer and all the students enjoyed the refreshments provided by our Madres Enlace and their team of parents.

Last week Grade 1, with a little help from PIMI, made pizza each day and delicious smells have been wafting down the corridors. I have felt hungry all week! This was the exit point for their unit ‘We are what we eat’. Earlier in the week dentist Tia Li had also been in to talk about nutrition with the students.

Friday was ‘The Big Draw’ when students recorded their work through drawing rather than through writing. It really helps the students to think about drawing as a form of communication and sets the teachers a challenge as well to design learning activities with a drawing focus or outcome. Please ask your children what they did yesterday. 

As a lead up to this we were lucky enough to have a cartoonist from a newspaper working with some of our students and the Primary Art department. They are preparing a mural for the grade 2 playground wall. I can’t wait to see it when it is done. Finally we had some Grade 9s working with the students in Art on Friday too.

Friday was also the official Grade 2 entry point. The students dressed up as animals you might see in the rainforest and thought about how to look after a rainforest, as well as what would happen to their homes if the rainforest was destroyed.

As you can see it has been another amazing week at the ABC and our students have enjoyed a wide range of learning opportunities - I wonder what next week holds in store for us? Here is a quick rundown.
  • Parent three way conferences start for Upper Primary. This is when students get the chance to explain and demonstrate their learning to their parents.
  • It is the turn of Kinder parents to find out more about their children’s curriculum and learning on Tuesday evening.
  • Thursday evening Prepa parents are in the PAC for some insight into what their children will be doing this year.
  • The extraordinary and very exciting Class Assemblies continue.
Please keep an eye on the school calendar and check the dates below for information on exact dates and times.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary 

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Tuesday 6th: Kinder Curriculum Night 6:00pm PAC
Thursday 8th: Prepa Curriculum Night 6:00pm PAC
Friday 9th: First Padilla Assembly 7:30am PAC
Tuesday 13th: First Grade Curriculum Night 6:00pm PAC
Friday 16th: Prepa Taylor Spanish Assembly 7:30am PAC
Friday 23rd: First Sullivan Assembly 7:30am PAC
Friday 30th: First Rivera Assembly 7:30am PAC

Upper Primary
Parent and Student conferences begin week beginning Monday 5th October
Wednesday 7th: 5th grade Spanish Assembly
Friday 9th: Primary extra-curricular classes 1st session finishes
Monday 12th: Primary extra-curricular classes 2nd session begins
Wednesday 14th: 5th Guzman Assembly at 9.20 and 12.15 PAC
Wednesday 21st: 4th Linares Assembly at 9.20 and 12.15 PAC
Monday 26th - Friday 30th: UN Week
Friday 30th: UN food fair
Wednesday 28th: 3rd Pattenden Assembly at 9.20 and 12.15 PAC

Secondary News

Theatre Week
Throughout the week we have had numerous performances and activities as part of our Theatre Week. 

Each day we have shown theatrical videos at break, lunch and after school; made different puppets; and, students have been participating in the Tribal Challenge ‘Who Said That?’ - a challenge in which students had to solve puzzles on the pillars in front of the LRC (and in doing so they earnt Tribal Points). 

On Monday KS3 students (Grades 6 to 8) saw the play The Wolf and the Three Little Pigs - an adaptation of the traditional tale in a Salvadoran context.

On Tuesday the KS4 and IB students (Grades 9 to 12) were treated to a performance of "La Fiesta". 

On Wednesday we played improvisation games at the Cafeteria at lunch time - students pulled a prompt from a hat and then had to improvise. Thursday was a human statue tribal challenge. On Friday the week ended with lunch time performances by students in character singing songs from movies and musicals, including ‘Hard Knock Life’ (Annie) and ‘Memory’ (Cats).

Thank you to everyone and especially the Performing Arts and Languages departments who have contributed to Theatre Week.

Cancer Awareness Months - October and Movember 
On Thursday students in ABC ACTUA launched the Cancer Awareness Months of October and Movember (moustache November). Below is a plea from ABC ACTUA:

Let's commemorate the coming months of October and Movember, The Crusade Against Cancer. Students in ABC ACTUA have taken this crusade very seriously, because this fight CAN not only touch lives, but also save lives as well. This group of volunteers will work both months to promote healthy living habits, and provide important information on the prevention and treatment of cancer for both men and women. During this month we would like to invite all members of the ABC Family to participate in the AVON WALK El Salvador on Sunday 25th of October, 7:00am in Santa Elena. ABC ACTUA volunteers will be selling kits for $8.00 during lunch. We encourage grade levels, friends, families and neighbours to participate in this massive event that takes place all over the world thanks to the AVON Foundation.

This annual event collects funds for the improvement of the Cancer Institute of El Salvador, a private institution, founded in 1965 with its mission to Prevent, Diagnose, and Treat Cancer of Salvadorans who are not part of the Social Health System, which is 70% of the population, but are being treated. With your help, these cancer patients will receive dignified treatments and free mammograms during the month of October. 

Thank you so much for your help,

ABC Actúa
Sandra Sol Wilson
ABC Actua Coordinator 

Sara Daniella Bright Funes
Student Coordinator

During October there will be a number of events/ways to support this initiative:
  1. Pink ribbons will be distributed to all Secondary students and teachers as a reminder of this month's efforts to take care of our health - from Thursday, October 1st.
  2. From the week commencing 5th of October healthy habits -do not smoke, eat healthily, exercise regularly, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water- will be shown on the TV screens around the school and on Secondary Vista. 
  3. All ABC athletic teams will be encouraged to wear pink shoelaces to support the ABC ACTUA’s campaign “We should all be supporting the Crusade Against Cancer” - during the month of October.
  4. The ABC family is encouraged to participate in the AVON Walk
  5. Everyone is invited to come and visit the ABC ACTUA’s kiosk to buy pink bracelets, pins, key holders, water bottles etc. All proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Institute of El Salvador - during lunch time in October and November (in November, ‘Movember’, blue key chains will be sold).
Shoeing Campaign
From October 12th to October 16th the ABC Shoeing Team will be collecting used shoes for people in need in El Salvador. Students, parents and teachers can donate shoes of any size. During this time there will be boxes in the car parks where shoes can be deposited. 

Know Your School 
On Thursday 1st of October we had the Grade 6 Know Your School Evening. The evening started with a talk in the PAC, part of which explored internet safety. Among other things, parents were advised to keep their children safer online by being familiar with the technology and applications that they use to talk with one another. We encourage parents to:
  • Know who their child/ren is communicating with online.
  • Open a family e-mail account to share with younger children.
  • Work with their child/ren to brainstorm screen names and e-mail addresses that do not contain information about gender, identity, or location, and that avoid being suggestive.
  • Teach their child/ren never to open e-mails from unknown senders and to use settings on IM programs to block messages from people they do not know.
  • Be aware of other ways their child/ren may be going online - with cell phones, laptops, from friends’ homes etc.
  • Tell their child/ren not to share passwords with anyone but them to help avoid identity theft and cyberbullying.
  • Familiarise themselves with popular acronyms.
On Monday 5th of October we have the Grade 9 & 11 Know Your School Evening. As these grades are embarking on their examination years (Grade 9 IGCSE and Grade 11 IB) we are going to look at the theme of transition and the skills/qualities that students need to develop to succeed in their IGCSEs (Grade 9-10) and IB Diploma (Grade 11-12).

Children’s Day - Thursday 1st of October 
In recognition of Children’s Day on Thursday this week we explored the convention on the rights of the child. In registration time students discussed how these rights are important for them, for children around the world and how we, as a community, can work together to promote and ensure the respect for these rights. 

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Saturday 3rd October: Dale Carnegie course starts
Monday 5th October: Grade 9 & 11 Know Your School meetings - 5:30pm PAC
Wednesday 14th October - Thursday 15th October: PAES exams for Class 2016 
Thursday 15th October: Grade 7 & 8 Know Your School meetings - 5:30pm PAC
Monday 19th - Friday 23rd October - Astronomy Week
Thursday 22nd October - Careers Day for Class 2017 and University Fair for Grade 9-12
Friday 23rd October - ABC Founder’s Day
Saturday 24th October - Save the Children Run Event
Mondary 26th October - UN Week
Monday 2nd - Friday 6th November: HALF TERM HOLIDAY
Monday 9th November - British Fortnight begins
Saturday 14th November - Mathscounts Internal ABC competition
Friday 20th November - Guy Fawkes party and Christmas Fair
Saturday 21st November - Empowerment Day for Class 2017 (Grade 11)
Monday 23rd November - Recycling Week

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