Thursday, 30 April 2015

32: Thursday 30th April 2015

From the Director 

As you will be aware the school has recently reviewed its mission and its values and we are launching a competition to design a new logo for our values. We are asking parents, students, friends of the ABC to try to design a logo which includes all our values. You can see an example on our school newsblog at http://abcnews-blog.blogspot.com/ and details of the competition. We hope you will be creative and design something for us. You have an extra day to do something with a three day weekend coming up due to the public holiday tomorrow when school will be closed.

I want to wish the Class of 2015 the very best of luck in their forthcoming IB Examinations as well as the Class 2017 who also start their IGCSE Examinations next week. As a community we need to do all we can to help them through these examination periods. 

Our swimming team has been competing in the Estudiantiles over the last two days and we are very proud of them and to all the parents, staff and friends who have supported them. 

Many years ago Julie and I used to work in Kathmandu and the earthquake last week was a shock to us. It reminds us of the importance of being prepared for eventualities. It is also a good time to reflect on safety in our school and our homes and to ensure we know what to do when an earthquake occurs.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

We had a quieter week in primary this week until Thursday when the Grade 12 students made their final entry into school before the exams. It was an exciting time for us all with the students, their banners and the band accompanying them.

The EYFS puppet show on Wednesday was very entertaining and the children participated well. Many of our primary students competed in the swimming competition on Wednesday and Thursday in their new caps and made the school very proud with their efforts. Many of the students won medals. Thank you to those parents who attended the trip meeting for grade 3 and 4 parents in preparation for next year. I am sure you found the presentations useful and hope that the deposits for the various trips are coming into the ‘caja’ quickly so that final bookings can be made and exact dates confirmed.

On Friday 15th May the whole of Primary begins work on the scientific topic of ‘Pushes and Pulls’. The entry point is being organised in conjunction with our PE team and the students will be looking at their own ability to push and pull, before exploring other areas. All students need to wear their PE shorts for the activities. This is happening on the same day as Teleton so if students have a Teleton shirt they can wear it with their PE shorts. If they do not have the Teleton shirt they should wear full PE uniform. Teleton shirts and other accessories can be bought from Lourdes in LP and Veronica in UP.

Once again we are selling English books in the Lower Primary office area. It is essential your children develop a love of books and reading so please encourage them to chose something to read for the summer and enjoy sharing the books with the children yourselves. Your role model as a reader is very powerful for children too.

All information regarding the LP talent show, the sign up lists, the final cast list, general information and FAQs are going to be posted on the LP music blog. Please check there for all information. 

Enjoy the long weekend and we will see you again next week.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Friday May 1st Public Holiday - School is closed
Thursday 14th May Prepa trip to Mayan Ruins
Friday 15th May IPC entry point Pushes and Pulls
Friday 15th May Teleton
Saturday 30th May Final Entrance evaluations.

Upper Primary
Friday May 1st Public Holiday - School is closed
Friday 15th May IPC entry point Pushes and Pulls
Friday 15th May Teleton
Wednesday 27th May Primary Choir leave for Mexico international Festival

Secondary News

Senior Entrance - Grade 12s last day
Today the ABC community celebrated the last day for the Grade 12 students. Family, friends, students and teachers turned out to welcome the Grade 12s as they made a spectacular entrance.


We wish them every success in their upcoming exams.

Extra-curricular activities
Students have been asked to sign up for the Summer Term (Term 3) extra-curricular activities. The list of activities have been displayed in the daily Vista.

Grade 11 University Information Evening - Tuesday 5th May
The process of applying for university starts very soon for our Grade 11 students. It is therefore very important for Grade 11 parents and students to attend next week's University Information Evening. Having attended the meeting parents will be much more able to support their child at this crucial stage.

Please see the advert below:


Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary School

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 1st May: Grade 10 and 12 study leave begins
Friday 1st May: Public holiday
Monday 4th May: start of the Grade 12 (external) IB examinations
Tuesday 5th May: University Information Evening (this is for Grade 11 students and their parents - see advert above)
Saturday 16th May to Monday 18th May: International Award expedition (Silver)
Thursday 21st of May: start of the Grade 9 (internal) examinations 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

31: Friday 24th April 2015

From the Director 

I have not been in school for the last couple of days because I have been invited to attend a conference of british style international schools in Latin America. It has been very interesting and confirms to me that as a community we are working in the right areas to further develop our school. I look forward to being back at home next week. Please check the ABC Newsblog for details of the ISTE Award to our ICT team. School is closed next Friday for Mayday.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week our classes have been looking once more at what we can do to help the planet in our Earth Week. Thank you to those of you who supported our litter and rubbish focus and helped your children to learn to dispose of rubbish responsibly. Each class has carried out activities relating to Earth Week and the students of 2nd Mena performed an assembly they had written themselves with an Earth week focus.

4th Garcia-Preto performed our last class assembly for Upper Primary on Wednesday with a very entertaining performance linked to their unit on Myths and Legends. They even managed to involve a few teachers!

Grade 2 have supported Earth week and our new value of team player and leader by dressing as bees today. They all look fabulous in their yellow, black and stripey outfits.

Our two day trips were very successful and valuable learning experiences for our students. Grade 1 went to Fusera to support their unit on Animals and plants. They were amazed by the size of the hippo’s mouths and Grade 4 had possibly a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, opportunity to visit the Cerrón Grande Dam in connection with their unit on water. 

Due to it being the bank holiday weekend we have changed the date of the introductory trip meeting to Wednesday 29th April so that people who are going away will be able to attend. This is for the parents of students who will be in grades 4 and 5 next year. Please send back the slip from the letter we sent out to let us know you are coming. We apologise for any inconvenience this change of date may cause.

Friday May the 1st is a public holiday and the school will be closed.

Lower Primary talent show auditions will be from 4th to the 8th May as part of the timetabled music lessons. 

Enjoy the weekend and have a lovely week.

Best wishes,

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Wednesday 29th April Foundation Stage Puppet Show in the PAC
Friday May 1st Public Holiday - School is closed
Friday 15th May IPC entry point Pushes and Pulls

Upper Primary
Thursday 30th April 6.00 pm in the PAC grade 3 and 4 ‘Trips’ Meeting
Friday May 1st Public Holiday - School is closed
Friday 15th May IPC entry point Pushes and Pulls

Secondary News

Video Games
I recently came across an article describing how some UK schools have reported parents to the authorities when they found out that parents had allowed their children to play adult games.

I think this is a step too far, but it does highlight the increasing concern about young people having access to video games, films etc. that have been classified as inappropriate for them given their age. 

The reasons why parents allow their children access to age-inappropriate video games, and other materials, is likely to be result of the following situations: either parents are technophobic and/or do not understand the dangers/issues; parents are aware of the issues yet choose to let their children have access to such material; or parents are ‘worn down’ by constant nagging by the child and they reluctantly, despite their better judgement, agree to let them have access to age-inappropriate material.

Parenting is about being involved with your children and part of this is being aware of what your children are doing. Whether it is going to the movies, watching TV, or playing video games. Choosing age-appropriate, safe material for your children is an extremely important step in preventing your children being exposed to strong, graphic violence and mature themes before they have the maturity to deal with such topics. 

The ‘aboutparenting’ website offers the following guidance to parents on setting effective limits on the video games that they allow their children to play:
  • Know what safety ratings mean for video games.
  • Identify the safety rating that has been assigned to a game before it is purchased
  • Research the game’s title - however be aware that some games are given different ratings for different game systems.
  • Teach your child/ren to evaluate video games - talk to your child/ren about what types of images and behaviours you don't want them to be exposed to through video games. Do note that the ratings provided are only a guide on what may or may not be suitable for a person given their age.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be clear with your expectations and share your expectations with anyone who might be purchasing video games for your child/ren as gifts. 
  • Trust in your child/ren - once you've made your expectations clear and taught your child/ren how to evaluate games for themselves, have faith in them.

Student Voice
Last week I congratulated Andres Butter on being elected the new Student Council President and Andrea Atanacio on being elected the new Student Council Vice-President and in doing so I mentioned that I wanted to explain what Student Voice is and why we at the ABC think it is so important.

Student Voice is about schools recognising the value of student input in what happens in the school. Students clearly have a unique perspective on their education, this insight warrants our attention and they should be given the opportunity to be active contributors to their own learning and to shape their education. That said, the best argument for giving students a clear voice is that it simply feels the right thing to do.

We are committed to continue to work closely with the Student Council. Hereafter, twice every term representatives of the Student Council are to meet with members of the Secondary School Leadership Team. This regular forum will provide a clear avenue for students to share their views and to influence the future direction of the school. 


University Information Evening

Warm regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary School

Secondary dates for your diary
Saturday 25th April to Sunday 26th April: International Award expedition (Bronze - final)
Tuesday 28th April: start of the Grade 10 (external) IGCSE examinations
Thursday 30th April: Last school day for Grade 12 students 
Friday 1st May: Grade 10 and 12 study leave begins
Friday 1st May: Public holiday
Monday 4th May: start of the Grade 12 (external) IB examinations
Tuesday 5th May: University Information Evening (this is for Grade 11 students and their parents - see advert above)
Saturday 16th May to Monday 18th May: International Award expedition (Silver)
Thursday 21st of May: start of the Grade 9 (internal) examinations

Friday, 17 April 2015

30: Friday 17th April 2015

From the Director 

Welcome back to the start of the final term of the year. It was great to see the students returning and meeting up with their friends again after the break! Thank you to all the parents who attended the first of the talks by Daniel Guttfreund this week and he will be talking about issues relating to teenage depression next Tuesday. Please contact Estefania Chacon if you would like to attend. 

Next week we are starting to focus on leadership and teamwork as part of our ABC Values. We at school believe firmly in teamwork in terms of the relationship we seek to establish with parents as well as with our students. We know that we can achieve so much more when we work together with the same goals and expectations.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our ICT / LRC team and especially Jennifer Garcia, for winning the prestigious ISTE online learning award and she has been invited to Philadelphia in June to present her work. We will be posting more detail on ABC News very soon. The work of the students was paramount in winning this award and it shows the ABC is at the forefront of development in learning through ICT.

As a final note I want to congratulate the Under 14 boys football team who triumphed 5-4 against Santa Cecilia this afternoon against a team who are traditionally a very strong opponent. Well done to everyone involved! 

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you had a good break with your children and that the first week back to school has allowed you to re-establish your family routines. The children were very happy to see each other and have had a good first week of term. We celebrated World Art Day on Wednesday in a quiet but meaningful way with each class doing their own activity. Today our Prepa students have been out looking at special buildings around the city. I wonder if we have inspired any future architects?

Next week is Earth Week and the big focus for Primary school is litter and rubbish. As a non-native to El Salvador it has been a disappointment to me to see such a beautiful country marred by the excess of rubbish almost everywhere you go. The fact that there is no social stigma attached to throwing litter in the street has astounded me. We are going to be emphasizing the damage that the rubbish does to the environment, to animal life, to the aesthetics and to our own quality of life. We ask ‘Why would anyone want to live like this?’ and reflect on other cultures such as Scandinavia where the total opposite is the case. Please ensure that you, and any other adult your child comes into contact with, models responsible behaviour regarding the disposal of rubbish.

In line with this please also remember not to use an excess of packaging in childrens lunch boxes. Please use containers that can be reused in order to reduce the packaging that is discarded each day. If any packaging is used please make sure your child knows to bring it home so that it can be cleaned off and put into recycling.

We are beginning to think about the traditional end of year Talent Show. Please note that the auditions for the Upper Primary Grades will be held on the 27th, 28th and 29th April, in the lecture Theatre from 2pm - 3:30pm.

This week 3rd and 4th grade families have received the general information on the range of residential educational visits that we will be offering next school year. All educational research shows that educational visits have a big impact on students development confidence and both socially and academically so Grade 3 and 4 parents please read the information carefully and discuss with your child about what you think would benefit them. The traditional Grade 5 trip to the UK will be offered at Easter and Summer next year in order to enable greater numbers of students to go. There will be an annual skiing trip at the beginning of January that will be open to grade 4s and grade 5s and an ecological, outdoor and adventurous trip to Costa Rica at Easter time, also for Grade 5s. We hope that all visits will go ahead but they are dependent on sufficient numbers to make them financially viable. Please support this latest school initiative.

This last term we have our final class assemblies, please make sure you know when they are so that you can come along and support your child. We are asking the students to have a far greater role in the design, scripting and production of our assemblies recently and the results have been most rewarding.

Have a wonderful week.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Mon - Fri April: Earth Week
Thursday 23rd April: Grade 1 visit to FURESA

Upper Primary
Wednesday 22nd April 9.20am 2nd Mena Assembly
Wednesday 22nd April 12.15pm 4th García Prieto Assembly
Thursday 30th April 6.00 pm at the PAC Trips Meeting

Secondary News

Student Council President Elections
Today (Friday 17th April) saw the students vote for the new Student Council President and Vice-President. Andres Butter and Andrea Atanacio were this year’s candidates. Both students have been on the campaign trail and have been enthusiastically presenting their plans to the Secondary School students through assemblies. 

There was a very good turnout from the students and the results were incredibly close: Andres Butter (52%) and Andrea Atanacio (48%). Andres is therefore appointed the new Student Council President and Andrea will be the new Student Council Vice-President. A very well done to both candidates, they each had a lot of support from the student body. 

In next week’s ABC Weekly I will be explaining why having a clear student voice is so important to us at the ABC. 

At this point I would like to publicly thank Steven Kawas (the outgoing Student Council President), Paola Nosthas (outgoing Student Council Vice President) and his team Natalia Gomez and Rachael Keslake for their unwavering support and energy over the past year. 

Examinations
The next few months is a very important time for our Grade 9 to 12 students.

The Grade 11 internal examinations start on Wednesday 22nd of April and continue through until Thursday 30th of April.

The IGCSE (Grade 10) examinations and the IB (Grade 12) examinations are upon us. These examinations are the externally set (and marked) examinations which mark the culmination of two years of study and provide the gateway to the IB programme (for our Grade 10 students) and university/employment (for our Grade 12 students). Earlier this week (Monday and Tuesday) the IGCSE Art students sat their Paper 1 (practical) examination. The Grade 10 and 12 students have just two weeks left until Study Leave starts on Friday 1st of May. Study Leave is at the point when the examinations are more frequent and when the examinations start that are for entire year groups. 

The Grade 9 internal examinations will run from Thursday 21st of May until Friday 29th of May.

Examination instructions and timetables have been issued to students from Grades 9 to 12. 

The Apprentice
As part of our University Guidance and Careers Programme, we organise an activity called ‘The Apprentice’, which provides an important opportunity for our students to further develop their academic vision and professional plans. The activity involves students in 9th grade, who will do a week long internship at a company/institution from June 8th through the 12th, where they will carry out tasks related to a professional field they envision as a real alternative in their future. 

We would like to know if any parents in our school community are able to facilitate an internship opportunity for any of our students; we prefer to send a minimum of two students to each location. We will place the students at their internships according to their vocational interests; and to that purpose we asked students to list three career options. We expect a full day of work to last 8 hours (including one hour for lunch), between the hours of 7am and 3pm, unless a different schedule has been previously agreed on due to the nature of the institution (i.e. 8am – 4pm). 

The students will be responsible for punctuality, performance, and results. And, we trust that parents will help them meet these expectations. Also, we want the students to reflect upon this experience, and this will be done via a survey, and a group discussion about lessons’ learned, during the week after. 

Please, let us know if you can facilitate a work experience at your places of work by contacting ericquijano@abc-net.edu.sv . Your support will be appreciated greatly.
Eric Quijano

Parent Partnership Meeting - Tuesday 14th April and Tuesday 21st April
On Tuesday 14th Dr. Guttfreund, the respected psychologist on teenage related issues, was a guest speaker at the ABC. The first session was on sexting, cyberbullying and technology. Dr. Guttfreund's message was also about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The talks are designed to reinforce what the ABC is attempting to communicate to students and parents regarding substance abuse, healthy living and making sensible choices. 

There is still time to sign up for the next talk by Dr. Guttfreund (on Tuesday 21st April). This talk will be on the subjects of depression and anxiety amongst youngsters. 

You can sign up to attend the next session through the link that has been emailed to you.

Warm regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 21st April: Parent Workshop on Teenage Anxiety. Dr. Guttfreund
Wednesday 22nd April: start of Grade 11 (internal) examinations 
Saturday 25th April to Monday 27th April: International Award expedition (Bronze - final)
Friday 1st May: Grade 10 and 12 study leave begins
Friday 1st May: Public holiday
Tuesday 5th May: University Information Evening (this is for Grade 11 students and their parents - more information to follow)
Saturday 16th April to Monday 18th April: International Award expedition (Silver)
Thursday 21st of May: start of the Grade 9 (internal) examinations