Friday, 19 June 2015

39: Friday 19th June 2015

From the Director 

As this year ends I want to look forward to next year as well as congratulate the Class of 2015 for all its achievements. We have students going to top universities around the world with excellent scholarships. Please see the entry about the Class of 2015 on the ABC news blog

I know some students will be attending the ABC Summer camp and it offers excellent opportunities to improve Mathematics and English skills as well as sports and fun activities but many students will be away for the summer. We are already looking forward to seeing everyone back safely in August and school opens for students on Thursday 20th August. 

On a personal note I would like to thank so many parents, exabrits and past students who I have met during the graduation period and have wished the school well. I do feel we are together as a community with a clear understanding of our values and priorities. See you in August! 

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

I cannot believe my first year at ABC is almost over. What a wonderful year it has been! What a magnificent group of dedicated teachers and what great children! What a great team! I have had a most rewarding year. I hope you feel the same.

This week we handed out the awards for Upper Primary students. Awards were given for high achievement or most improvement and to our ROCs of honour. As mentioned at the assemblies we felt that all of us contributed to the success of the individuals and we should all feel proud. The final assembly was the ‘Moving On’ assembly for 5th Grade where we celebrated their achievements, shared some memories and wished them well for Secondary. They celebrated that evening with an exciting party, including a breakdance and hip hop demonstration and the opportunity to learn some moves in a workshop afterwards. They are a lovely year group and I am sure they will do well in their new stage of schooling. 

In our assemblies we said goodbye to the handful of students who are moving to other locations. We are also sad to be losing Ms Carolina Vasquez and Mr Will Fastiggi from 1st Grade who are both moving to different locations. Ms Vasquez to the USA and Mr Fastiggi to Brazil. We are thankful for all they have given to the school and wish them well in their new posts.

We have issued specific invitations to summer school for those students who could do with a little extra practice over the holiday. Although of course everyone is welcome to attend. Please do make sure your children read a few times a week in both Spanish and English and have a go at some online activities, watch films in english etc. These two months are a long time for students and it can take a few weeks to get back up to speed if the children have done nothing at all over the holidays. It is all about balance. A little bit of work and a lot of fun!

The Jubilee library will be open at the same times as the school summer camp. Please make sure all library books are returned as you will be charged for the full cost of the book if it is not back in August.

Our extra curricular activities will start on the first Monday back. The list of activities will be published shortly and you are asked to sign up over the holidays in order to ensure everything is organised for that first Monday.

I keep on reminding people, but please ensure all long hair is tied back securely. I have been speaking to girls and boys around school that I find with their hair down. An Alice band is not enough, the hair should be tied up properly. Please also note all school shoes should have an adjustable fastening to keep them on, such as velcro, a buckle or laces. We do not want slip-on shoes in school.They simply are not safe. If your child has laces they must be able to do them up themselves. It is not a good use of teacher time doing up twenty pairs of laces!

Thank you to all staff and parents for your hard work and support this year. Thank you too for the gifts of appreciation that the staff and I have received. It is very kind and generous of you. I look forward to working with you all again in August. Have a wonderful break.

Best wishes,

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Friday 19th June: Last day of school
Thursday 20th August: 1st day of new term
Monday 24th August: Extras begin

Upper Primary
Friday 19th June: Last day of school
Thursday 20th August: 1st day of new term
Monday 24th August: Extras begin

Secondary News

It is hard to believe that this is the end of the school year! Time has gone so quickly.

So many things have been accomplished this year. Coming together to recognise and celebrate accomplishment is an important part of living and working in the ABC community. Congratulations again to all the students that received awards in the various awards ceremonies that have been held this week. However, it is not just about awards, there are many ways and many times this academic year that each student has shone brightly and done something to be proud of. Collectively, inside and out of the classrooms, the accomplishments of all the Secondary School students has made the 2014/2015 academic year a truly great year. 

Sadly at the end of this school year we are saying goodbye to a number of Secondary School staff: 
  • Miss Rebecca Baker, Mathematics Teacher
  • Mr Edward Dafnis, Head of Grade 12
  • Mr Andrew Hennigan, Chemistry Teacher
  • Mr Kenneth Horrocks, Biology Teacher
  • Ms Carla James, Head of Geography
  • Mr Craig Kilkie, Mathematics Teacher
  • Mr Stuart Gray, IB Coordinator
We wish them all the best for the future, and would like to thank them for all that they have done here at the Academia Británica Cuscatleca. They will be missed by all of us and I know that they will be a considerable asset to the new schools that they are going to. Good luck to all of you. 

We also have some students that are also leaving us at the end of this academic year. These students were acknowledged by the Heads of Year in the Awards Ceremonies this week. We wish you all every success in your new schools and we hope you will look back fondly at your time at the ABC.

Finally, I would like to thank you the parents for all for your help, support and interest this year. We have had a very busy and successful year, and you as partners in the education of your children deserve much of the credit for that.

On behalf of all the Secondary School staff, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe, happy and relaxing holiday.

All the best,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary 

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 19th June: Cal 3 Reports go home with students in Grades 6, 7, 8, 9 & 11. Last day of school.
Thursday 20th August: First day of school

Friday, 12 June 2015

38: Friday 12th June 2015

From the Director 


The Class of 2015 Graduation Ceremony took place yesterday and was a huge celebration of what it means to be a responsible outstanding citizen. I want to congratulate all students, staff and parents for the achievements of this grade and I know they are an inspiration to the Classes to come! I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we are closed on Wednesday for a national holiday and that school closes next Friday at 11 am for Lower Primary and 11.30 am for the rest of the school. Please ensure your child attends next week as we are working through to the end of term.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

The penultimate week of school has been another busy one. The talent shows this week were a delight and we certainly have some very talented students in school. The videos will be available very shortly.

The science fair today was very exciting with each class proudly displaying the experiments and activities they have been participating in over the last two weeks. Medals were awarded to those students who had completed the best scientific practice.

Please note that Upper Primary staff do not come on duty in the mornings until 6.45 am. Therefore if you drop your children off before that, they are monitored by security or support staff. Any teachers who are in school will take an interest in what is going on but no-one has official responsibility until 6.45 am. This gives half an hour before lessons start generally in primary and 45 mins before the foundation stage lessons start.

Today the end of year reports will be emailed out to parents. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact class teachers on Monday.

On Monday morning we will be having a ‘lap of honour’ for those students who have represented the school in competitions or other events. Those children who have been on school sports teams and the children who participated in the Mexico choir festival need to be in school by 6.50 am on Monday so that they can participate in the ‘lap of honour’.

Wednesday is Father's Day and the school is closed.

Next Friday will be our last day in school. This is a half-day and students in Lower Primary should be collected at 11.00 am. Siblings in Upper Primary will be brought down to join them so that parents can collect their primary children at the same time. The rest of Upper Primary should be collected at 11.30 am. Please note that we take a very poor view of families who fail to collect their children at the correct time on these days. Make sure you have a made arrangements well in advance and have highlighted the day in your diary. If other adults are collecting your children for you please make sure they understand the importance of being on time on Friday. it is very frustrating, boring and embarrassing for your children when they are collected hours later than everyone else. Thank you for your co-operation with this.

Don’t forget to go along and see the school performance of Grease today or tomorrow. This afternoons performance at 3.00pm is an ideal time to take the primary children.

Very best wishes,

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Friday 12th June: Reports go home
Monday 15th June: Trip to Maya Country Club - Kinder Rampone & Kinder Francés
Monday 15th June: Trip to Galaxy Bowling - Prepa Taylor & Prepa Ware
Tuesday 16th June: Trip to Maya Country Club - Kinder Quintanilla & Kinder Suárez
Tuesday 16th June: Trip to Galaxy Bowling - Prepa Watt & Prepa Gray
Wednesday 17th June: Father’s day - school closed
Thursday 18th June: Team Sports finish for the year
Friday 19th June: Last day of school

Upper Primary
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

The Graduation Ceremony on Thursday night (11th June) was a perfect way of celebrating the Class of 2015’s time at the ABC. It will be a day, that I am certain, that will last in the memories of all those who attended. Tonight (Friday 12th June) the celebrations continue with the Graduation Ball


Everyone is excited about the Grease production. Ticket sales have been strong, but there are still tickets available on the door if you have not yet purchased yours.


Next week (see schedule below) we have our Awards Assemblies in which we will be recognising student achievements from the 2014/15 academic year, as well as highlighting the years’ many positive activities and events. This year we invite all parents to come along and help us celebrate.

Tuesday 16th of June:
 7.00 am - 7th Grade
11.35 am - 6th Grade (followed by Family Day Picnic) 

Thursday 18th of June:
10.00 am - 9th Grade
12.15 pm - 8th Grade
1.00 pm - 10th Grade

Friday 19th of June:
7.20 am - 11th Grade

Please be reminded that next Friday (19th June) is the last day of term and that the Secondary School students will be finishing early at 11.30am. School is closed on Wednesday 17th of June due to the National Holiday. During the remainder of the week we have school as usual so full attendance is expected.

I have had plenty of positive feedback about our Grade 9 students that have been on Work Experience this week. A big thank you to all the businesses that have supported the ABC with this programme.

The Grade 10 students returned this week to the IB Preparation Programme and the IB Taster Sessions. It was great to have the students back in school, after completing their IGCSE examination, and so excited about the start of their IB studies.

As you know, the IGCA works with VIVAZUL for the turtle preservation from our coast, but they also help communities in need located by the coast in La Libertad. These communities were affected by the recent high tides and they lost many of their belongings.

Lost and found items unclaimed by the end of this term will be donated to support this worthy cause. Students that have lost items should therefore check for their belonging in the lost and found cage before the end of term. 

We are confident that these items will be very gratefully received. 

Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
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.

Friday, 5 June 2015

37: Friday 5th June 2015

From the Director 


I would like to start by congratulating so many of our sports teams who have been playing this year but especially over these last few weeks. We had a wonderful morning at the German School last weekend celebrating European Union and our ABC teams performed brilliantly as well as showing all the positive sporting attitudes we always expect. Thank you to all the parents who also attended and created such a supporting atmosphere. Yesterday the boys Under 18 team lost a very close Bilingual League final to Josue. Congratulations to Josue of course but also well done to our boys for a magnificent campaign which showed how important teamwork is. We are proud of their effort and their achievement. This month we are thinking about the ABC trait of resilience and I know it plays a crucial part in sport where determination, looking for different ways to succeed and not giving up are vital. It has particularly delighted me to see the resilience and subsequent progress of our Secondary girls volleyball team this year! They can really play! Congratulations to all our sports teams for showing this spirit and showing us the way forward in all areas of our lives. 

Thank you to so many parents who attended the Class 2015 Ring Ceremony this week and we are all looking forward to their graduation next Thursday. We also have performances of Grease coming up and I hope to see many of you there!! Please buy your tickets early

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been good to be back after my trip to the UK and the exciting Mexico Choir Festival. The festival went extremely well with the choir giving a wonderful performances that received enthusiastic applause from everybody watching. the final item of the final concert was all 9 choirs present singing together 3 pieces they had only rehearsed together twice. this performance was stunning as well, receiving a standing ovation and calls for an encore. A very worthwhile experience for all the students who went.

This morning the children went and met their new teachers and classes for an hour or so and had the chance to find their classroom for next year and ask any questions. this was particularly important this year as the classes have been re-mixed. The teachers are delighted with their new classes and the students seemed very happy too. 

The Grade 5 transition meeting took place on Thursday evening. Thank you to those Grade 5 parents who were able to make it. It gave us all a chance to reflect back on the journey our students have made so far and reassure everyone about the new journey they are about to embark on. The Grade 5s also spent two days in secondary finding their feet.

Next Friday 12th June the first performance of Grease takes place at 3.00 pm. This is an ideal time for primary students to come and watch the performance and be inspired. Please get your tickets from Claudia in the primary office. Souvenirs of the show are also on sale with Claudia.

The closing dates for the grade 4 and 5 trips has now passed and the numbers are being checked to see which trips will go ahead. Thank you to everyone who has paid a $100 deposit to confirm their interest.

Best wishes,

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Friday 5th June: Moving up morning
Friday 5th June: Extra-curricular activities finish for the year
Monday 8th June: Prepa Gray Spanish assembly - 7:30am - PAC
Friday 12th June: Reports go home
Monday 15th June: Trip to Maya Country Club = Kinder Rampone & Kinder Francés
Monday 15th June: Trip to Galaxy Bowling= Prepa Taylor & Prepa Ware
Tuesday 16th June: Trip to Maya Country Club = Kinder Quintanilla & Kinder Suárez
Tuesday 16th June: Trip to Galaxy Bowling= Prepa Watt & Prepa Gray
Wednesday 17th June: Father’s day - school closed
Thursday 18th June: Team Sports finish for the year
Friday 19th June: Last day of school

Upper Primary
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
Friday 19th June: Last day of school

Secondary News

This week we have had the Grade 5 Transition Days. Grade 5 students (soon to be Grade 6 students!) have enjoyed empowerment activities and attended a range of classes. Thank you to all those involved, particularly Ms Chavez and Ms Ale. 

Wednesday night was the Grade 12 Ring Ceremony. Parents, students and teachers were brought together to celebrate this milestone in our students’ lives. 

To the relief of our Grade 10 and Grade 12 students the external exams (IGCSE and IB) are now all over. Time for a well-earned rest. We look forward to welcoming back Grade 10 next week for their IB preparation programme. 

On Thursday and Friday the Grade 11 Art students displayed some amazing pieces of work in the Grade 11 Art Exhibition. We invite you to come in and take a look!

Next week is Grade 9 Work Experience. Thank you to Mr Quijano for all his hard work liaising with local businesses and placing students. Thank you also to the many businesses that have supported our work experience programme by giving our students the opportunity to visit them.

Grease
Rehearsals for Grease are going well and everyone is looking forward to the performances next week. Staff and students that have been working tirelessly to prepare for this. 

Students are being encouraged to support the show by purchasing a Grease souvenir (from only $1) from the Secondary School Office. 

Students, or staff, wearing a Grease pin are eligible for daily prizes.

55 minute lessons and a two week timetable
Next academic year we are moving to a 6 period day, with 55 minutes lessons. The timings of the school day will be as follows:
  • Registration 7.00am - 7.20am
  • Period 1 7.20am - 8.15am
  • Period 2 8.15am - 9.10am
  • Period 3 9.10am - 10.05am
  • Break 10.05am - 10.30am
  • Period 4 10.30am - 11.25am
  • Period 5 11.25am - 12.20pm
  • Lunch 12.20pm - 1.05pm
  • Period 6 1.05pm - 2.00pm
We feel that longer lessons (45 minutes to 55 minutes) have a number of benefits: 
  • the most productive part of the learning time -the middle of the lesson- is extended;
  • with fewer lessons each day the amount of time spent changing from one lesson to another is reduced giving us more contact time with students;
  • students have greater time to consolidate what they have learnt;
  • students can participate in a wider range of activities such as project work and practical activities;
  • teachers can deploy a wider variety of teaching styles in a longer period, which can ensure that all students are taught more effectively; and,
  • better learning experiences lead to better performances and achievement.
In order to accommodate the new 55 minutes lessons we have made some small adjustments to the amount of time spent on each subject within our curriculum. Furthermore, to give us enough flexibility to timetable the longer lessons, from August we will also operate a two-week timetable, made up of Week A and Week B. We will help students to be clear about which week is which. Many of us have had positive experiences of two-week timetables and any confusion is usually short-lived and easily overcome.

Warm regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 5th June: Headmaster's Reception
Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th June: Bronze Final Expedition to the region of Apaneca, on the Ruta de las Flores
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 8, 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.