Friday, 22 January 2016

18: Friday 22nd January 2016

From the Director

I would like to start by congratulating the team that put together Inceptia last night. A Circus is a team effort and the parents, students, teachers, school maintenance staff and the choreographers and technicians all played their part. Thank you to everyone involved!

We have an interesting week next week. On Tuesday evening we have a meeting for prospective parents for Pre Kinder for admission in August 2016. We are keeping these pre kinder classes smaller again next year and we have already had a lot of interest. However if you are interested or have friends who may be interested they are welcome to attend the presentation on Tuesday and there will be an opportunity to visit our new classrooms. It is not too late for them to apply if they are quick as our assessment of their suitability for starting school will follow soon. On Wednesday next week, 27th January, there is an EXABRIT meeting to elect a new Board and we are hoping many EXABRITS will come along at 7 pm in the PAC to add your voice and support to the EXABRIT movement.

As you will have seen in the newspapers there is still much concern about mosquito spread infections and although we did not expect such a prolonged situation we will be continuing with non uniform for girls and children up to Grade 2 at least for the start of next week. We will be spraying our site over the weekend and seeing what the situation is like next week. Please see reminders regarding uniform in each of the sections.

As many of you may already know some of our School Management Team are leaving at the end of this year. Stephen Spicer and Sarah Harrison will both be moving to new schools in other parts of the world. We have really enjoyed their time with us and they have both played important parts in our growth for which we are very grateful. I wanted to inform you that we have appointed Virginia Catlin who is currently Head Teacher in Braeburn School, Nairobi as our new Head of Secondary and Adrian Hall from the Dubai English Speaking College as our new Deputy Head Curriculum in the Secondary School. There will be a few lines of introduction in next week’s weekly.

I hope you all have a great week working together with your children next week. Parental partnership with school is so important and we want to emphasise how important it is we communicate openly in the best interests of our children. This week I would like to make the point that at home your home should be a safe place for your children. I am sure it is physically and emotionally safe but I also mean that children are safe from exposure to inappropriate or shocking images or ideas on the internet. Please be vigilant especially with teenagers! We have had some worrying reports where parents have assumed their children are doing work in their bedrooms alone when in fact they may be surfing inappropriate sites.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are continuing to take precautions regarding mosquito bites and so children should continue to wear long trousers in school. Please note trousers should be plain and dark. We do not feel that leggings offer the appropriate protection and so students should not be wearing leggings. Jeans are acceptable. Tops should be light and plain without unnecessary frills and sparkles or slogans. No fluorescent colours. If it is a PE day the usual PE uniform should be worn with long trousers over the top. Please enforce these rules with your children as we have noticed many students wearing inappropriate items. I will be visiting each class on Monday morning to check that all students are dressed appropriately. If parents prefer the students can still come to school in the normal uniform. Grade 3 to 5 boys should continue to wear their normal school uniform.

Please encourage your children to support the Spring Fair by helping them to sell raffle tickets. The raffle is one of the big fund raiser elements of the fair and it is important that every student tries their best. There will be a small prize for the class that sells the most. If you would like more tickets please contact the primary office.

Our secondary CAS students have organised another event for our students to enjoy. Take a good look at the poster and map below and tell your friends. We hope you have an enjoyable family outing.

On Tuesday we are hosting our prospective parents night for those parents who are hoping to enroll their children in the school for next year. We will be evaluating the students for their readiness for school starting Saturday 30th January. We have a high number of applicants this year and so please make sure you have registered your child for a place in Pre-Kinder. Our Pre-Kinder experience is considered a vital part of children’s brain development and therefore we do not look favourably on applicants who wish to enter the school at the Kinder age and miss this out. 

Have a great weekend.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
Tuesday 26th: Prospective Parents Night - 6:00 pm - PAC
Friday 29th: Kinder Suárez assembly - 7:45 am - PAC
Friday 5th: Kinder Quintanilla assembly - 7:45 am - PAC
Friday 19th: Kinder Carbajal assembly - 7:45 am - PAC
Saturday 20th: Spring Fair 9:00 am - 12 pm
Friday 26th: Kinder González assembly - 7:45 am - PAC

Upper Primary
Wednesday 27th: 4th Navas Spanish Assembly at 9.20 and 12.15
Wednesday 3rd: 3rd Brenes Assembly at the PAC. 9.20 and 12.15
Wednesday 2nd March to Friday 4th March: 5th grade Camping, at the Portezuelo park
Wednesday 10th: 2nd Aviles Assembly at the PAC. 9.20 and 12.15
Wednesday 17th: 3rd grade Spanish Assembly at the PAC. 9.20 and 12.15
Wednesday 24th: 5th Caceres Assembly at the PAC. 9.20 and 12.15
Friday 26th: Extracurricular Activities Session 3 Finishes 

Secondary News

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well done to the Class of 2017 on their stunning Circus performance last night. The feedback has been tremendous and a real testament to the time and effort that the Class of 2017 has put into preparing for the Circus. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported Inceptia. I must, however, single out my colleagues and give them all a special thanks for their great performance:

Next week the uniform arrangements remain due to the continued concern about mosquito spread infections. 

Boys remain unaffected as the current uniform provides sufficient protection from mosquito bites. They are, however, allowed to wear tracksuit trousers when they have PE. Boys are not allowed to wear any non-uniform tops around school.

Mosquitoes frequently target the lower leg and foot region so girls are allowed to wear trousers instead of skirts. Given the break from school uniform (i.e. trousers not skirts) we have, as you will most likely be aware, therefore not insisted that girls wear the remainder of their usual school uniform at this time. Girls should not be wearing anything other than full length trousers (not leggings as the fabric is not thick enough to provide protection) and they should be wearing enclosed shoes (i.e. no open footwear) and socks to prevent mosquito bites to the foot/leg region. We also require girls to wear tops that provide the necessary coverage to prevent bites to their upper arms and chest/neck. The clothes worn by girls must be clean, tidy and respectable.

At this time please make sure that your child/ren are sprayed with mosquito repellant (and that this is replenished during the day).

Grade 10 & 12 boys and girls have mock examinations in the Auditorium for the next two weeks (see last week’s ABC Weekly for full details). During this time they are permitted to wear non-school sweatshirts/hoodies to keep warm. 

If not done so already, please encourage your child/ren to sign up for extracurricular activities for Term 2. A wide range of activities are on offer to our students.

The Primary Spring Fair is on February 20th and part of this event traditionally involves selling unclaimed items (lunch boxes, clothes, bags, shoes etc.) to raise money for worthy causes. 

Unless claimed by February 6th all items inside the Secondary School’s lost and found cage will be donated to the event. Therefore, if your child has lost any items please instruct them to check in the Secondary School’s lost and found cage for missing belongings before February 6th.

Cross School's Student Council Executive Team Meeting - Thursday 14th of January

Our Student Council Executive Team continues working closely with the student council teams of other bilingual schools in the area in order to raise awareness of issues of importance for youth today, while enjoying getting to know new friends and joining forces in fund raising events. The teams are working on a common logo for CEB (Consejos Estudiantiles Bilingues) and will be launching a Valentine grams activity across all the schools. We would like to extend our thanks to the Liceo Francés for hosting this second meeting and we look forward to many more! 
Natalia Cáceres, Deputy Head Pastoral

Leadership Week - w/c 18th of January
Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.” Warren Bennis

This week we celebrated Leadership Week with a special emphasis on Enthusiasm as an essential factor to propel someone into action and the pursuit of personal or team goals. One of our school’s core values is Leadership and Teamwork, thus, we revisited and discussed the interrelationship between these two factors in both of our student assemblies, as well as, displayed slides pertaining to this value on the LED screens placed around our campus. Leadership Week is an example of leadership and teamwork in itself, as all activities are planned, organized, and led by the new Head Students from Grade 11, with the support of the former Head Students and Prefects, and a bit of staff guidance. 

The week kicked off on Monday 18th with the 9th – 12th grade assembly, and a very special guest speaker from the Class of 2005 named Aida Turcios, who shared about her professional achievements, and her outstanding sports career, including her latest feat, which was to have finished an Ironman triathlon competition successfully in December of last year, and the amount of personal dedication to training and teamwork it took to prepare for it. Other speeches and presentations by students included the importance of enthusiasm in sports, the performing arts, and in academic work. Mr. Keslake’s participation on Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy on this very day when the USA celebrated his birthday was a great example of our leadership values; the students from Grade 6 – 8 had a similar assembly on Thursday, and also worked on fun teamwork activities during lunch times. 

Throughout the week on Vista, our daily newsletter that is shared with students every morning, had different activities regarding leadership and teamwork for students to reflect on, research on, and discuss with fellow students. Quotes from famous leaders, and inspirational videos served as resources to spark up discussions on the importance of personal leadership in our daily lives through the decisions we make and the actions that result from them. Leadership week brings special attention to the importance of this value on a personal student level, yet we expect students to build on this week’s experience, and continue with enthusiasm improving themselves over time. 

To end the week on a positive note, our Head Students selected a playlist of songs with powerful positive messages, which was played during lunch time at the cafeteria for all students to enjoy. If music inspires good feelings, good vibes, and good thoughts through its positivity, it can move individuals, and crowds to behave, make decisions and take action in that light. 
Eric Quijano,
National School Director,
University Guidance & Careers

Grades 9 & 11 Parent Teacher Meetings - Thursday 28th January 
Next week we have the Grade 9 and Grade 11 parent teacher meetings and these will run from 3.15pm to 6.00pm. Appointments will be made in advance with teachers by the students (the students have 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 these meeting is to discuss student performance and, as always, we ask that parents request a separate meeting with a teacher (or the Head of Year if this is more appropriate) if there is a matter that can not be resolved within the time available. 

We expect the Grade 9 and Grade 11 students to accompany their parents to the meetings. At this age students should be actively involved in such meetings, and their education, as they are mature enough to hear directly a summary of their current performance, along with targets for improvement.

Please be reminded that the Grade 6 & 7 Parent Teacher Meetings are in the following week (on Tuesday 2nd of February).

I hope you have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 22nd January: Class 2017 CIRCUS
Friday 22nd January - Friday 5th February: Grade 10 IGCSE Mocks exams 
Monday 25th January - Friday 5th February: Grade 12 IB Mocks exams 
Thursday 28th January: Grades 9 & 11 Parent Teacher Meetings, 3.15pm Auditorium
Saturday 30th January: Mathcounts competition (CA)
Monday 1st - Friday 5th February: Black History Week
Tuesday 2nd February: Grades 6 & 7 Parent Teacher Meetings, 3.15pm Auditorium
Thursday 4th February: Grade 9 IGCSE Options evening, 5.30pm PAC then Auditorium
Monday 8th - Friday 12th February: Internet Safety Week
Friday 12th February: INSET Day for teachers (school closed)
Monday 15th February: Half Term Day (school closed)
Tuesday 16th - Friday 19th February: Grade 7 & 8 exams
Tuesday 16th February: Open Parent Partnership (Dr Guttfreund and Dr Barrios "Addictions in teens"), 6pm PAC
Thursday 18th February: Secondary school closes at 11:30am 
Saturday 27th February: Summer Carnival 2016 (organised by the Asociación de Padres de Familia)
Monday 29th February: Grade 10 IB Options Meetings and Cal 2 Reports, 5:30pm PAC
Tuesday 1st March: Grade 12 Parent Partnership and Cal 2 Reports, 6pm PAC
Thursday 3rd - Friday 7th March: Book Week
Monday 10th - Friday 14th March: Music Week / Brain Week and British Science Week
Wednesday 16th March: Grade 6, 7 & 8 Parent Partnership and Cal 2 Reports, 6pm PAC 
Thursday 17th March: Grade 9 & 11 Parent Teacher Meetings and Cal 2 Reports, 3.15pm Auditorium
Friday 18th March: Last day of Second Term
Friday 21st March - Friday 1st April: Easter holidays (school closed)
Monday 4th April: Back to school - First day of Third Term 

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