Friday, 20 November 2015

13: Friday 20th November 2015

From the Director

Please note we have postponed Guy Fawkes until next Friday 27th November due to the rain this afternoon and the threat of more rain tonight. The event will take place as planned tonight but next Friday.

Thank you to everyone who shared the Save the Children Race for Survival event last Saturday. You can see some pictures on our ABC News blog. It was wonderful to see members of our whole community supporting this cause which our children feel so passionate about. They are busy fundraising to help us achieve our goal and thank you for all your support so many of you have given at a time of year when I know we do ask for a lot!

On an individual note I would like to congratulate Alejandro Apóstolo for winning the Under 15 Central American tennis championship. You can see further details of his triumph on our ROCs in Action blog. Congratulations to him and his team of supporters.

I was looking forward to seeing many of you at the Guy Fawkes party tonight but instead I hope to see you next Friday. We will have games, shopping, food and family entertainment. I am hoping that you will come along as individual families and thereby make up the wider ABC family to which we all belong. At the Guy Fawkes event we will be having students performing and I would like to remind you that many of these students have been practicing for a long period leading up to this event and they deserve our full support and attention. I would like to highlight some golden rules for being an audience at a live show which you need to observe if you are in the audience arena where the performers are performing:
  • Please be quiet and do not talk or eat while the performer is performing.
  • Please make sure your mobile phones are turned off and are stored away.
  • Please do not walk out in the middle of an item as it can be upsetting to the performer.
  • Please watch the performance, think about the delivery and try to understand the message and how the performer got to this point.
  • Please show appreciation for all the acts in the show regardless of whether you know the performer or not.
  • At the end please clap, whether or not it was very good. Your clapping is to show appreciation for the effort that has been made. If it is very good, clap loud and fast!
  • Please feel free to provide feedback. If you liked the performance you should express your appreciation, or share your opinions for improvement afterwards, it means a lot to the performers.
I hope you all have a great weekend and that we are able to celebrate Guy Fawkes with each other next Friday.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

As if school isn’t busy enough we are fast approaching the busiest and one of the most exciting times of year - Christmas. It is extremely hectic for us all; staff, students and of course parents. We hope you will be able to keep up with us all and bear in mind it is only for a few weeks! Please look at the calendar dates carefully.

We are starting our annual shoebox appeal and toy collection this week. This has been a very worthwhile activity in previous years and we know the students really enjoy selecting the toys or items to go in the boxes and making them look nice. We are combining our efforts with the secondary students of Actua and the boxes will be distributed to several worthy causes. Secondary will be starting their appeal shortly. Please do support the appeal as much as possible. It does bring such joy to so many children. We have started a little earlier this year to give more time to get the boxes prepared.

I know that none of you would be this presumptuous, but I just wanted to check that parents understood once teachers have left school they are no longer contactable by email. Their work hours are finished (We don’t pay them all night as well as all day!). Any emails sent to them in the evening are not guaranteed to be looked at until the next day. Some of our kind and diligent teachers do check their work emails from time to time but this cannot be an expectation.

I led my first Parent Partnership meeting this week on Anti-Bullying Strategies. Thank you to those parents who were able to attend. I hope you found it useful. This year we have allocated some funds from our school budget to support these events and so we will no longer be charging for parents to attend. We also have a small library of books on particular learning difficulties and/or parenting that are available for loan by the LSU. These are on display at the parent partnership events and can be booked out there too.
Please note that primary students who bring mobile phones into school should hand them into the Upper Primary office in the morning and collect them at the end of the school day. This is for all students protection and wellbeing. Students found with phones on their person, in their bags or in class during the school day will have them confiscated and parents will have to come and collect them at their convenience. Primary students should not have smart phones in school at all, only basic handsets.

Today I am asking you to ask yourself, “How much quality time do I spend with my children?” We are noticing some students with either anxiety or poor manners and this can be from a lack of attention or interaction with their parents. Please remember parents, you are your child’s main role model and it is only by spending time with you they learn to follow your example and understand acceptable boundaries for behaviour. Please make sure you are a great example to follow in line with our school values. It is important that for all of us working with children at school or at home that we do not use inappropriate language or lose our temper. Ideally we demonstrate care and tolerance to all, remembering to greet and say thank you to anyone who helps you; from the guards at the school gate and retail assistants to your maids and help at home.

I hope you have a lovely Guy Fawkes evening next week and look forward to seeing you there.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Friday 27th: Prepa Gray assembly 7:30 am PAC
Friday 27th: Guy Fawkes Night
Friday 4th: Prepa Watt assembly 7:30 am PAC
Friday 11th: Reports go home
Wednesday 16th: Christmas Shows 4:00 - 6:30 pm PAC
Friday 18th: Last day of term one - finish 11 am with older siblings - NO PLAY ROOM

Upper Primary
Wednesday 25th: 5th Molina Assembly. PAC at 9.20 and 12.15
Friday 27th: Guy Fawkes Party and 5th Grade Save the children Bake Sale
Wednesday 2nd: 4th Navas Assembly. PAC at 9.20 and 12.15
Friday 4th: 2nd grade Save the children Bake Sale
Thursday 10th: UP Christmas Concert and food fair. at 5.30
Friday 11th: 4th grade Save the Children Bake Sale
Friday 11th: UP reports go home
Wednesday 16th: Santa's Festival
Friday 18th: Last day of term one

Secondary News

Good afternoon,

Parent Partnerships and Parent Teacher Meetings
In the coming weeks we have a number of important events for parents to attend:
  • Grade 10 & 12 Parent Teacher meetings - November 26th
  • Grade 6, 7 & 8 Parent Partnership - December 3rd
  • Grade 9 & 11 Parent Partnership - December 8th (more information shortly)
As mentioned in last week’s ABC Weekly the arrangements for some of these will differ from recent meetings.

Grades 10 & 12 Parent Teacher Meetings
The parent teacher meetings will run from 3.15pm to 6.00pm and appointments will need to be made in advance with teachers by the students (students have already been provided with booking slips and should have started making appointments). The 5 minute appointment slots will need to be strictly kept to as otherwise this will cause frustration for parents waiting for their slot and meetings with subsequent teachers will not start on time. Each teacher will have a timer on their table so that appointments are kept within 5 minutes. 

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss student performance. Cal 1 grades will be issued in advance of this meeting so that parents and their children can discuss how they have performed so far this academic year in advance of the event. As always, we ask that parents request a separate meeting with a teacher(s) if there is a matter that can not be resolved within the time available. 

We expect the Grade 10 and Grade 12 students to accompany their parents on this event. At this age students should be actively involved in such meetings as they are mature enough to hear directly a summary of their current performance along with targets for improvement.

These changes have been made in response to requests from a number of parents. We are confident that the benefits will be clear to parents and that the new format will be warmly received.

Grade 6, 7 & 8 Parent Partnership
The objective of this Parent Partnership is to offer parents practical advice on online safety issues/topics through a selection of workshops and to enable parents to opt for the workshops that most interest them. We hope parents like the idea of being able to personalise the evening.

Following a brief talk on general guidelines and resources, the workshops that will be on offer are:
  1. Online Gaming - Potential Issues, Advantages and Examples
  2. Digital Footprints - GPS, Tracking, Filter Bubbles and Settings
  3. Social Networks - Potential Issues, 21st Century Skills and Benefits and Examples
  4. Cyberbullying, Sexting, Predators
  5. Cell Phones and Tablets - Setup and Restrictions, Tracking and Text and Chat
Parents can sign up for three of the five workshops, each lasting 15 minutes. A separate communication has gone out with complete details of how to sign-up. 

As mentioned in last week’s ABC Weekly, Grade 6, 7 & 8 parents will need their unique ID number to register. Please contact the ICT office ASAP if you still do not have this.

We look forward to seeing you at these events and please contact me if you have any questions. 

Grade 11 (Class 2017) Empowerment Day - Saturday 21st of November
Tomorrow we have the Grade 11 Empowerment Day. If you are not aware, under the guidance of Mr Quijano, this is a unique event in our calendar as it is run by our students (the Grade 12s) for our students (the Grade 11s). Based on the theme ‘unity’, the Grade 11 students will experience a series of challenging and fun activities. 

I look forward to helping out and I am confident all involved will have a great time. 

Shoeing Campaign - update
An amazing 1000 plus pairs of shoes were collected as part of our recent Shoeing Campaign. Well done to all the Secondary students that were involved in organising this extremely worthwhile initiative and thank you to everyone that kindly donated. 

In the words of Irene Bustamante (representing the SHOEING TEAM) “Thank you again for bringing smiles to many children in need of shoes and caring”.

I hope to see you at Guy Fawkes next Friday and that you have a great weekend.

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary 

Secondary dates for your diary
November - aka Movember
Saturday 21st November - Grade 11 (Class 2017) Empowerment Day: Theme ‘Unity’
w/c Monday 23rd November - Recycling Week
Thursday 26th November - Parent/Teacher meetings for Grades 10 & 12 
w/c Monday 30th November - AIDS/HIV Awareness Week
Friday 27th - Guy Fawkes Night
Tuesday 1st December - Grade 7 Social, 3.00pm to 4.45pm
Thursday 3rd December - Grade 6, 7 and 8 Parent Partnership
Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th December - International Award Expedition
Tuesday 8th December - Grade 10 (Class 2018) Empowerment Day: Theme ‘Perseverance’
Tuesday 8th December - Grade 9 & 11 Parent Partnership
Thursday 10th December - Grade 6 Xmas lunch, 12.20pm to 2.00pm
Friday 11th December - Art Mock Part 1
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th December - International Award Expedition
Saturday 12th December - Art Mock Part 2
Monday 15th December - Grade 11 (iGCSE) Certificate Awards Evening (6.00pm to 7.30pm)
Friday 18th December - Last day of term

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