Friday, 18 March 2016

26: Friday 18th March 2016

From the Director

I have to begin this week with my congratulations to everyone involved with the STEAMFEST event last week. We had input from friends and ex students from MIT as well as local sponsors and participants from other schools. Our aim is to provide an opportunity for children to investigate their ideas and explore their passion. You can see some of the memories on the newsblog which can now be accessed from the Calendar & Events tab on the school website or via this link.

It has been brought to our attention that we have a parent member of our school community who has been unwell with a kidney disease for some time now and is in desperate need of a transplant. This is possible and a donor is available but the family have lost their medical insurance following his long illness and need to fund the operation. We have agreed in school to help with a campaign to raise awareness about donating organs and to show that we as a community can help a fellow member of our community. We will be organising some events and asking for donations when we return to school in April. Our main aim is to help this family but we also want to raise everyone’s awareness of the possibility of offering an organ for someone in need of a transplant. We will provide more details in due course.

Thank you to many of you who attended the Convocatoria on Tuesday where we announced plans for next year. I would also like to thank many of you who have completed our annual survey but if you have not please do so. We do need your feedback. The link to the survey is here.

We are removing canned drinks and other sweetened drinks from the school cafeteria for next term. The cafeteria will only be selling water and natural fruit juice. We are doing this because we are concerned at the level of sugar consumption in our children and would prefer that you as parents make decisions about consumption of sugary drinks when children are in your care. The school also provides free filtered water from our fountains.

I also need to inform you that we are increasingly concerned at the unprotected internet access many of our students have through their mobile phones. We believe that children should not have unsupervised access to the internet and all its dangers through these phones. As a result we are considering extending our ban on Smartphones into secondary school and only allowing phones with basic communication function while children are in school. I am informing you of this so you can join the discussion and you are aware of our thinking and concerns. We really do see this as a safeguarding issue.

It remains for me to wish you a pleasant and safe holiday. I know many of our senior students from Grade 9 through to 12 will be spending some of their holiday studying as they all have important examinations including our international IGCSE and IB examinations soon after the break. It is important you encourage them to build some time for studying into their holiday schedule while also enjoying family time together.

See you all on Monday 4th April.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers, 

The STEAMFEST and Primary Science Fair was one of the most outstanding events of the week and I felt very proud of the Primary students who were able to explain and share information about their Science projects extremely well. We had some winners on the day but we were really pleased with every student who participated and we have emphasised this to the students. Our visitors were also amazed at the things we had going on. Please see the ABC news blog for photos and more info.

The grade 1 camp last Friday night was extremely well organised by our staff and our young students had a very positive experience staying away from home, some for the first time. The children really enjoyed the activities especially the coral reef in the pool. Thank you to the Grade 1 team who gave up their own time again for the benefit of the students. I am sure all parents expressed their appreciation at the time. Please see the class blogs for photos.

On Monday Prepa had their evening activity and enjoyed the chance to visit the school campus under different circumstances and use their torches to notice all sorts of things in the dark. They made some amazing T-shirts and finished the event with a firework display. Once again thank you to the Prepa team for their time and dedication. Please also take a look at the class blogs.

We continue to have high levels of concern about students exposure to the internet, their access to material and their use of social networking sites which is dangerous and illegal. Parents please educate yourselves about internet safety and take your children offline. We are planning some very important meetings for primary parents soon to help you understand some of the pressures and dangers that are a reality of internet use today.

The Swimming Galas have been taking place all week. It is impressive to see the high standard of swimming in all age groups. Well done to all the students who took part. Swimming is a vital part of education here in El Salvador, with so much exposure to pools and the sea it is a vital skill for our students. Please make sure your children attend all the lessons throughout the year. The school will soon be supplying swimming jerseys to wear over the costumes to protect the children from sun damage. Keep an eye open for their arrival.

I wanted to let you know that Lego are catching up with the ABC ! We are not endorsing Lego but found their latest research interesting as it supports everything we try to do in Lower Primary. Please have a look at the link.


Lego identifies five types of play – physical, symbolic, with rules, with objects, and pretence – and points to the variety of skills developed through each. Even tech-driven play – that source of guilt and respite for so many parents – can fit in: not mindless screen-gawping but activities in which children can “engage with the technology”, or what Lego calls “hands-on, minds-on”. Its second definition of play is a playful state of mind in which, Rasmussen says, “you are open and try different things and are in a positive flow”.

We now have the Easter holidays. I hope you all have a lovely family time together and have the chance to relax and play. Our students are tired too and do need a break from their studies but 15 mins reading and a little bit of English each day will keep things ticking over until we get back to school.

Very best wishes for a lovely holiday.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
March
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - school closed
April
Monday 4th April: first day back to school.
Whole Primary Assembly for the Olympic Unit
Friday 8th: Pre-Kinder Caceres assembly
Monday 11th: Art week
Friday 15th: Pre- Kinder Siri assembly

Upper Primary
March
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - 
April
Monday 4th: First day of third term.
Whole Primary Assembly for the Olympic Unit
Friday 8th: 4th Garcia-Prieto Assembly from 9:20 thru 10:05 a.m. and from 12:15 p.m. thru 1:00 p.m.
Monday 11th: Art Week
Wednesday 13th: 2nd Grade Spanish Assembly from 9:20 thru 10:05 a.m. and from 12:15 p.m. thru 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 14th: 5th Grade Parent Partnership - Looking Ahead 5:30 p.m. thru 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 16th: UP Sports Morning & Family Day
Monday 18th: 3rd Quijano Assembly from 9:20 thru 10:05 a.m. and from 12:15 p.m. thru 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday 20th: 2nd Elisa Hernández Assembly from 9:20 thru 10:05 a.m. and from 12:15 p.m. thru 1:00 p.m.
Friday 29th: Primary extra-curricular classes - 4th session finish

Secondary News

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well done to all the Grade 10 IGCSE Music students that performed in the Senior Musical Recital on Friday 11th March. The audience was treated to a variety of performances, all of the highest quality.

Last weekend (Saturday 12th March) the ESEN national debate finals took place and our team took 5th place after many rounds of competition. Thirty six teams representing schools from all over El Salvador debated over issues regarding the transparency in government institutions and their officials. Well done to the students on this great achievement. 

I also have further results to relay from the Mathcounts students (after their trip to Monterrey, Mexico, last week to compete in the regional competition). Further to the results reported last week, Team A came 2nd place and Team B came 3rd place. We also had superb individual results with our students achieving 4th, 11th, 19th and 20th places in the Countdown Round. 

It has been a very busy week in the Secondary School. The week started with the Grade 6 Empowerment Afternoon (Monday 14th March). Great fun was had by all as students collaborated on tasks, and had discussions, on the themes of Friendship and Teamwork. 
On Wednesday Music Week finished (thank you to everyone that entertained us over the 5 days) and we also had the hugely successful STEAM Fest (see last week’s ABC Weekly for details). Furthermore, all this week we have been celebrating British Science Week, and students have been engaged in various exciting activities as a result.
On Wednesday (16th March) there was the Open Parent Partnership on Netiquette (see the 24 ABC Weekly for details). The feedback I have received on the event has been incredibly positive. On a related theme, I recommend you read an article I came across recently by Interactive Schools entitled Why Don’t Parents Take Time to Understand Social Media. The article encourages parents to fully understand social media and to keep themselves informed of developments in social media. 

The Grade 12 Parent Teacher Meetings on Thursday 17th March provided the opportunity for parents and students to receive feedback on progress to date and on how best to prepare for the upcoming IB examinations in May / June. It was a shame that more parents and students did not take up this opportunity to meet with the teachers (this being such a crucial stage in the education of the Grade 12s).


Finally, we ended the week with the Paraiso Down T-shirt / Jeans Day. Thank you to the students that organised this and to everybody that supported this worthy cause. 

The Geography and Business departments at the school are currently in the process of planning a field trip to Japan in February 2017 for students studying these subjects in Grade 10, 11 and 12 next year. For more information about this please carefully read this information document and register an interest using the form at this link (http://goo.gl/forms/ClFbX0YUQt) if your son/daughter would like to attend. 

Please speak to Mr Kilford (alexanderkilford@abc-net.edu.sv) or Mr Murgatroyd (andrewmurgatroyd@abc-net.edu.sv) if you have any questions about this. 
Mr Kilford
Head of Geography

This week was also Brain Awareness week as part of our STEAMFest celebrations, you can see the photos if you click on this link.

We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable Easter holiday. The Easter break is a time for rest, but for the Grade 10 and Grade 12 students it should also be a time to prepare for the upcoming examinations and to identify the topics that they are less secure with - giving them time then to seek help from their subject teachers between the start of Term 3 and the beginning of Study Leave (from Thursday 28th April).

Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 18th March: Last day of Second Term
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April: Easter holidays (school closed)
Monday 4th April: Back to school - First day of Third Term and IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 i
Tuesday 5th April: IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 ii
w/c Monday 11th April: Art Week
Friday 15th April: World Art Day
w/c Monday 18th April: Earth Week
Tuesday 19th - Friday 29th April: Grade 11 exams
Thursday 21st April: Secondary School closes at 11:30am - Grade 7 'Assertiveness and independence' empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm).
Tuesday 26th April: IGCSE exams start for Grade 10 students
Thursday 28th April: Last day for Grades 10 & 12 classes
Monday 2nd May: IB exams start for Grade 12 students

Friday, 11 March 2016

25: Friday 11th March 2016

From the Director


I would like to start this week by reminding you that we have our ABC Annual Convocatoria on Tuesday 15th March at 6pm and I hope many of you will be able to attend. I will be talking about the school’s plans for the year ahead and we will be presenting the school finances. It is important we all understand our school project and where we are going!

This week has been an amazing week for Art at the School as we opened the IB Art Festival on Tuesday which followed from the weekend of artistic performances in the Bicultural Arts festival. You can see reports of both of these events on the ABC News Blog. On Wednesday we sent you a questionnaire for your feedback on school related issues and I hope many of you will find time to reply. It is important we hear your voice. The link to the questionnaire follows: 


We have another busy weekend coming up. On Saturday our debate team will be involved in the final rounds of the ESEN Debate and our students return from their Mathcounts trip to Mexico. We look forward to seeing them in action.

I would like to remind all of us of the importance of certain aspects of our school community. One of those aspects is punctuality. It is a very important trait and something all of us must show a good example to our children or they will not grow up to respect punctuality. This includes of course the way we behave in school but it also includes you as parents ensuring you play your part. Obviously there are occasions where we are late which are beyond our control but I do ask that all parents try to ensure they are punctual in the morning so your children arrive routinely, unstressed and on time. If you know punctuality is an issue for your child or your family please make a special effort to arrive a little earlier in the morning. I would also like to ask that you are punctual collecting children at an agreed time. It is never nice to see children waiting a long time in the car parks apparently unsure of where their parents are. I do not want to be seen as critical and I am genuinely asking that we all make an effort in this respect.

On a final note. I am sure you have noticed the information screens in our car parks. If you miss the notice and would like to see it again they are also broadcast on our website. They can be accessed via the Calendar tab and the Information Screen button. The link is: https://sites.google.com/a/abc-net.edu.sv/abc-screen-information/

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

I really enjoyed the Bicultural Festival again this year. I felt very emotional and proud when our young choirs were singing together with the other schools and our teachers were conducting. I felt we reached a particularly high standard this year. I also enjoyed all the other elements of the festival including the drama and dance and I hope you were able to go along and enjoy it too. Well done to all the students who took part.

This year our Grade 5 students enjoyed their camp on the school grounds. Last Friday night they were using all parts of the campus to track down their teachers and work in teams and on the Saturday morning they had the chance to try out paintball and inflatable boxing amongst other things. Needless to say a great time was had by all, as the students just love being together in this environment. Thank you very much to all the staff who planned and participated in the event. We really appreciate them giving up their time for the students. Please have a look at the class blogs.

Today our Primary students took part in the ‘Walking for Water’. They got to experience what it is like for less fortunate families who have to go a great distance to collect water for drinking, food preparation and washing themselves and their clothing. THey understood that many children are not allowed to go to school until they have collected all the water their family will need for the day. It is very important that our students understand how privileged they are and learn to have compassion for those in more difficult circumstances. I know many of you have sponsored your children for this event and our goal is to raise $1500 for a clean water dispenser for a local school. We will let you know how we got on next week. Please see the ABC news for photos.

On Wednesday the Primary students will be showing their science projects as part of the STEAM FEST. Thank you for the support you have given from home and I am sure you have seen the students enthusiasm for this project. I have seen some very excited students around school. Students may come to school dressed as scientists if they would like to on Wednesday.

Over the last few weeks Lower Primary have been collecting stationery to redistribute to local needy causes. Now it is Upper Primary’s turn to make some donations to assist HOPAC the society that helps with mental health issues. Please could each grade bring in the following items.


GRADE
Food or hygiene supplies
2nd Grade
beans
3rd Grade
rice
4th Grade
toilet paper
5th Grade
soap (Bath Soap & Shower Gel Liquid Body Wash)

The class that brings in the most items will be treated to a pizza lunch by the CAS students who are organising this collection. The students will also be presenting to classes over the next week to explain the cause and how their donations will help.

The Madres Enlace for third grade organised a bake sale on Thursday. The students were able to enjoy some very healthy and tasty snacks. Thank you Madres.

Every Thursday morning I have a carpark duty in the administration car park. I would just like to congratulate the Primary students for making the drop-off as quick as possible this week. I was impressed with how they hopped out in seconds with their bags all ready; no need for a long conversation with the person who was driving them; just ‘bye’ and a wave and they were on their way. It really does keep the queue to a minimum when the students get out of the cars quickly like this. Well done.

Best wishes for a restful weekend.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
March
Friday 11th: 1st grade sleepover
Monday 14th: 1st grade Swimming Gala - 11:30am - Big pool
Monday 14th: Prepa night activity
Wednesday 16th: Steamfest/Science Fair
Friday 18th: Pre-Kinder Rampone assembly - PAC - 7:45am
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - school closed
April
Monday 4th April: first day back to school.

Upper Primary
March
Monday 14th: Brain Awareness Week
Tuesday 15th: Swimming Gala 2nd Grade 11:30a.m.
Wednesday 16th: Science Fair/Steamfest
Thursday 17th: 
3rd Grade Swimming Gala from 9:30a.m. thru 11:00a.m.
4th Grade Swimming Gala from 11:30a.m. thru 1:00p.m.
Friday 18th: 5th Grade Swimming Gala 11:30a.m.
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - school closed
April
Monday 4th April: first day back to school.

Secondary News

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Last weekend (Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March) was the Bicultural Festival. Both nights (Friday for Drama and Dance, and Saturday for Music) were truly excellent. Well done to all the students involved. 

Last Saturday also saw continued success for the ABC ESEN Debate Team. The ABC ESEN Debate Team are now through to Round 4 and will compete tomorrow (Saturday) against the Highland School. Rounds 5 and 6 (the final rounds) also take place tomorrow. 

Following their triumph in the nationals, the ABC Mathscounts students went to Monterrey, Mexico, this week to compete in the regionals. The ABC team came a very respectable 5th in the Maths Relay competition (with 18 teams competing). Well done.

Please be reminded that on Wednesday 16th March we have the Open Parent Partnership on Netiquette (see last week’s ABC Weekly for details) and this afternoon is the Senior Musical Recital (3.00pm to 4.15pm - see poster below).



Music Week continues next week until Wednesday (please see last week’s ABC Weekly for details).

Instagram/Snapchat
Social Media is becoming a huge part of marketing in today’s world, and the ABC considers it a valuable tool for this purpose, which is why it has recently created Instagram and Snapchat accounts. We want our students to know that these platforms CAN be used responsibly and that this is purely a marketing effort on behalf of the school, not a way to monitor their activities on these applications. Please encourage your child/ren to add their school on social media, the usernames are:

Snapchat: abcrocs
Instagram: abcrocs16

Science Fair
This week has seen the Semi-Final of the Grade 6 and Grade 7 Science Fair. The theme this year was Space as the theme was chosen to correspond with that of British Science Week and pupils have certainly reached for the stars! Pupils have been working hard in and out of school for the past fortnight to prepare for this year’s Science Fair. It was refreshing to see many different takes on the theme, with some pupils preferring to concentrate on Personal Space (looking at Psychology based themes) or environmental space (looking at how Science can help the environment). Others have taken the theme more literally and have examined how we can use our scientific skills to explore the Milky Way. 

Mr Spicer and Ms Burns were extremely impressed with the high standard of entrants and it was a very difficult task choosing ten teams to go through to the final. The final will take place next Wednesday where the grade winners will receive medals from the British Ambassador during STEAM Fest. 

Well done to everyone involved - it really was out of this world!
Miss Ravenscroft
Second in Department, Science

Grade 6 Empowerment Afternoon - Monday 14th March
On Monday from 11.30am to 5.00pm we have the Grade 6 Empowerment Afternoon on the theme ‘Friendship and Teamwork’. Lessons will continue as usual for the other grades.

The Grade 6 students will undertake a series of activities designed to emphasise the importance of Friendship and Teamwork. Team or group work teaches students the fundamental skills associated with working as a collective unit toward a common goal. Teamwork is important for developing communication, compromise and collective effort. During the afternoon the students will have to agree on how to tackle various challenges and will be drawing upon one another’s strengths to accomplish the assigned tasks. 

Students will need to wear their PE kit on Monday (as usual). 

Thank you in advance to the Madres Enlace for providing refreshments.

Parents of Grade 6 children, please make arrangements for your child to be collected at 5.00pm on Monday. 

STEAM Fest - Wednesday 16th March 
WAAM-We Are All Makers
Next week promises to be spectacular. Not only will Brain Awareness Week and Science Week come together, but this year they do so along with our community of makers, which will trigger an explosion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics initiatives. The event is STEAM Fest and it promises to captivate, compel and inspire the community through creativity and innovation.

This is the first ever STEAM Focused event to take place at the ABC, which brings together the whole school, schools from the community, as well as local educational and STEAM based organisations.

Over 240 ABC Staff and students are directly involved, as are several local schools, international organisations and businesses. 

The Fest or Faire opens on March 16th at 8:00, with a keynote delivered by the British Ambassador on the topic of British Science Week. The Ambassador will then award the prizes for the winning Primary and Secondary Science Faire projects. The event will run all day and end at 2:00pm, with the final Keynote delivered by via video, by one of our very own STEAM pioneers, Exabrit Roberto Melendez. 

During the day students, staff and visiting teams will run exhibits, creative centres and in some cases, competitions. A total of 57 exhibitions and creative centres and 34 Science Fair finalist projects, will fill the Auditorium and PAC, and spill over into the Auditorium Mezzanine and Drama Studio.

Classes from every year group will visit STEAM Fest during the course of the day and be able to engage in creative, active experimentation and learning. STEAM Fest promises to stimulate all the senses and build cognitive and community connections for everyone who involved.

Parents are invited to drop in during the day and visit the various STEAM Fest venues, which will be open all day, but close briefly at Secondary lunch and break times. Parking for the event will be on the basketball courts, which can be accessed through the Administration parking lot. 


We do hope to see you there and invite you watch our latest teaser, which will give you a good idea of the sorts of activities that are taking place, in preparation for STEAM Fest 2016.

Finally we would like to thank our wonderful STEAM Fest sponsors, who play an important role in STEAM Fest 2016.
Jennifer Garcia
Learning Resources Centre Coordinator

Grade 12 Parent Teacher Partnership - Thursday 17th March
Next Thursday, from 3.15pm to 6.00pm in the Auditorium, we have the Grade 12 Parent Teacher Meetings. The Grade 12s are at a crucial stage in their education and this event is an opportunity for parents and students to get feedback on progress to date (along with an analysis of student performance in the recent mock examinations) and subject teachers will be giving advice on how students can best prepare for the upcoming IB examinations in May / June.

As explained in previous ABC Weeklies, the Grade 12 students should be making the appointments with their teachers in advance of next Thursday.

Paraiso Down T-shirt Campaign 2016


On the last day of this term, Friday 18th March, we have a Paraiso Down T-shirt / Jeans Day. 

We encourage all students to buy a t-shirt and support this great cause. 

The t-shirts cost $5 and are on sale outside the Secondary School Office during lunch times.

Gift of Life International - “Latidos de Esperanza”
Gift of Life International is an organisation which was founded with the sole purpose of providing help and happiness to children who suffer from heart diseases in developing countries. In 2000 this organisation chose El Salvador as one of the countries in which to set their operations, and they established themselves with the name “Latidos de Esperanza”.

As a way of raising funds for heart surgery, Actúa are running a raffle (tickets available from any member of Actúa). The tickets cost $1.00 and all the money collected will go to helping these children.

The raffle is for a 2-day 1-night stay at the hotel “Royal Decameron” for 2 people. The draw will take place Thursday 17th March and the winner will be announced on Friday 18th in the VISTA (with the lucky winner being able to collect the tickets from the Secondary School Office that same day).

All the best,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
w/c Monday 14th March: Brain Awareness Week and British Science Week
Monday 14th March: Grade 6 'Friendship and teamwork' empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5.00pm).
Wednesday 16th March: STEAM Fest 2016 
Wednesday 16th March: Open Parent Partnership “Netiquette” 6pm PAC 
Thursday 17th March: Grade 12 Parent Teacher Meetings, 3.15pm Auditorium
Friday 18th March: Paraiso Down T-shirt / Jeans day 
Friday 18th March: Last day of Second Term
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April: Easter holidays (school closed)
Monday 4th April: Back to school - First day of Third Term and IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 i
Tuesday 5th April: IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 ii
w/c Monday 11th April: Art Week
Friday 15th April: World Art Day
w/c Monday 18th April: Earth Week
Tuesday 19th - Friday 29th April: Grade 11 exams
Thursday 21st April: Secondary School closes at 11:30am - Grade 7 'Assertiveness and independence' empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm).
Tuesday 26th April: IGCSE exams start for Grade 10 students
Thursday 28th April: Last day for Grades 10 & 12 classes
Monday 2nd May: IB exams start for Grade 12 students
Tuesday 10th May:Grade 6 trip
w/c Monday 16th May: Cultural Diversity Week
Wednesday 18th - Friday 27th May: Grade 9 exams 
Friday 20th May: Secondary School closes at 11:30am - Grade 8 'Ethical and moral choices' Empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm) and end of IB exams
Thursday 19th May: ABC Digital Awards, 6 pm PAC
Tuesday 24th May: Grade 9 & 11 Parent Partnership meeting
w/c Monday 30th May: Health Awareness Week
Tuesday 31st May: Thanksgiving Ceremony for Class 2016
Thursday 2nd June: 5th Grade to 6th Grade and Grade 5 Parent meeting - Secondary Induction, 6 p.m. PAC
Thursday 9th June: Class 2016 Graduation Day - Graduation Ceremony, 5 p.m. Auditorium
Friday 10th June: End of IGCSE exams
Monday 13th June: Award Assemblies for Grades 6 & 7
Thursday 16th June: Assemblies for Grades 10 & 11 and Grades 6 to 9 & 11 
Friday 17th June: Last day of School Year

Friday, 4 March 2016

24: Friday 4th March 2016

From the Director

It was a particular pleasure meeting children on the gate arriving in their costumes to celebrate the culmination of our book week. This morning the prefects and I met a lion, a crocodile, various superheroes, kings, knights, princesses and loads of other wonderful costumes. Well done to everyone involved and joining in to make this such a great event.

We have an exciting weekend coming up with the Bicultural Arts Festival celebrations at the Teatro Presidente with drama and dance tonight and music tomorrow night at 6 pm. On both evenings the art and photography exhibitions are showing. I know we will see many of you there supporting our children and their friends from the other bicultural schools who they have been working with over the last few weeks. 


On Saturday we also have our debate team competing at ESEN and we wish them well. It is always a great event to attend. The MUN team visiting New York is returning on Saturday following their competition. 

I want to thank the Parents Association for the Summer Carnival last weekend which was a great success. You can see some photos and a brief report on the ABC Newsblog. The Newsblog also contains other events which have been taking place during the past week and is a way to keep up to date with events happening at school.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week we celebrated Book Week in Primary with a variety of events designed to get your children engaged in reading. Reading is a very important skill that allows to access many forms of communication. It is also a source of pleasure for many people and we want our students to be as proficient as possible and develop a love of reading.

Firstly I would like to thank all the parents who have been in to read to the students in school. This is such a good role model for the children and shows that adults outside of school value reading as well as those in school. I have been impressed by the visual resources and dramatic flair that you have all shown as well. Thank you for your support.

Secondly I would like to thank the secondary students who came to Primary to share books with the children in paired or group reading activities. I know the primary students enjoyed it. 

Thirdly I would like to thank the teachers for arranging exciting and relevant activities for their classes to do during the week and anyone else who has been involved in making the book week a success especially Mr Pattenden our English co-ordinator who organised the week.

Our week culminated in the book character dressing up day. Please go to the ABC news link to see photos of the events and our students dressed up.

Following our time out of uniform we have noticed a few students who are not complying with the school dress code and standards for appearance. Please have a good look at your child every morning and check that:-
  • Boys hair is not longer than their collar or over their ears and that they can see easily.Make sure that their fringe does not fall in front of their eyes. 
  • Girls hair must be tied back away from their face so it does not catch on equipment or allow for the transfer of head lice. Their hair must also be off their face so they can see easily.
  • Only school cardigans, jackets, sweat shirts or jumpers should be worn. No branded or designer clothing. 
  • Proper shoes should be worn with some sort of fastening such as a buckle, velcro or laces (if they can tie them themselves.) Trainers can only be worn on PE uniform days.
All items of school uniform should be clean and in good repair to show that we take pride in our uniform. 

Last week your child should have had some slightly different homework. We asked the students to discuss the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ with you so that they could get some ideas for extended writing of their own version. We know that children cannot write about something until they can talk about it so this pre-writing discussion is vital in the development of their writing talents. Please take this homework seriously and help your child to talk around the topics when they are set. The children will be doing this in both English and Spanish on a regular basis.

On Friday 11th March the primary students are Walking for Water. You have seen the letter explaining it all and there are posters around school. All students will be participating in carrying the water but the sponsored element is voluntary. We would like to provide a clean water facility for a local school. I am sure you can imagine how you would feel if your child did not have access to clean water at school, so if you are able to support this campaign please do.

The Bicultural festival is this weekend please go along and support our students.

Please note the other events coming up in the dates below.

Very best wishes for a happy weekend. 

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
March
Book Week
Friday 11th: Walk for Water
Friday 11th: 1st grade sleepover
Monday 14th: 1st grade Swimming Gala - 11:30am - Big pool
Monday 14th: Prepa night activity
Wednesday 16th: Steamfest
Friday 18th: Pre-Kinder Rampone assembly - PAC - 7:45am
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - school closed
April
Monday 4th April: first day back to school.

Upper Primary
March
Friday 4th: 5th Grade Camping 3:30 p.m.
Saturday 5th: Bicultural Festival Teatro Presidente
Thursday 10th: Music Week
Friday11: Walk for Water
Monday 14th: Brain Awareness Week
Tuesday 15th: Swimming Gala 2nd Grade 11:30a.m.
Wednesday 16th: Science Fair
Thursday 17th: 
3rd Grade Swimming Gala from 9:30a.m. thru 11:00a.m.
4th Grade Swimming Gala from 11:30a.m. thru 1:00p.m.
Friday 18th: 5th Grade Swimming Gala 11:30a.m.
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April - Easter holidays - school closed
April
Monday 4th April: first day back to school.

Secondary News

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Lateness
This week we have introduced new procedures for monitoring lateness to school. Students, as before, are marked as late if they are not in their tutor room at 7.00am each morning. Students arriving after registration / tutor time (after 7.20am) must report to the Secondary School Office. 

Hereafter, every three lates during a CAL period will result in a Friday detention. 

Thank you in anticipation of your support in this matter.

Grade 10 IB Options Presentation / Parent Teacher Meetings - Monday 29th February 


This week we had a very positive attendance of the Grade 10 IB Options Presentation / Parent Teacher Meetings. In the presentation: we covered the key dates for the remaining months of Grade 10; we discussed CAS / MINED hours; and, we explained the structure of the IB Diploma, the options available at the ABC and the process for selecting courses from these options. 

Parents of Grade 10 students please encourage your child to seek help if they have any questions regarding the IB options or the process for selecting courses. 

ABC Book Week 2016
The ABC annual Book Week event wound up today. Book Week is a whole school event, which takes place around World book Day, and is a celebration of books, a love of reading and a love of writing. 

Many activities took place during the week, in different sections of the school. 

Secondary School students arrived on Monday to encounter a large reading tree, which had sprouted at the centre of the LRC. This tree was quickly embellish by students who prepared and hung their very own book reviews on its branches. The annual Book Week Fair took place from Wednesday to Friday and hosted a variety of local book shops and artisans. A good number of students and other members of the community seized the opportunity to visit the stalls in lessons and during break times. 

The LRC Librarians organised several visits by acclaimed local authors, who lead workshops and talks for many of the students during their Spanish and French lessons. Amongst these authors were Carlos Colindres from the American Embassy and Susana Reyes, each of whom spoke to the 11th grade students. Ligia Salguero Mediateca from the Spanish Embassy, Isabel Barrientos from the Colegio Liceo Francés, Lucia la Guacalchía, and Josué Peña, all local authors, ran reading and writing workshops for the 6th grade students. 

A book donation centre was placed at the front of the LRC for members of the community to deposit new and used books in. This will remain in place for the following week. The donations, which are destined for the Centro Escolar Católico Virgen de la Paz, Tamanique, La Libertad are greatly appreciated. 

The week’s activities culminated in the annual Character Day, in which students demonstrated their love of books by dressing up for the day as their favourite book characters. Alternatively, students had the option to show their support of school charities, by wearing charity focused t-shirts. 

This was a high energy Book Week, full of activity and special events, which focussed on the joy to be found in reading and writing. I would personally like to thank Hilda Gomez and Eugenia Rivas for their hard work in organising Book Week in the Secondary School. 
Jennifer Garcia
LRC Coordinator

Here are a few photos from the week. The entire collection can be accessed from the LRC Flickr Page.



ESEN Debate - Round 2
Our Debate Team came out victorious after an exhilarating first round match last Saturday. Their win gave them the right to pass on to Round 2 this Saturday (5th of March), when they will face Colegio Citalá at 10am at the ESEN Campus. 

Continuing with the issue of the transparency that must be present in our institutions, the topic of debate for Round 2 is about the financing of political parties and their election campaigns; is regulation enough to reduce corruption? Or should this regulation include a ban on private sources of financing for political parties? Our students and coaches are analyzing the relevant laws, drawing arguments, and writing speeches on both perspectives, as they only find out what side of the debate they will argue in favour of at the time of the match. The team that wins will go on to Round 3 on this very same day. 

We will be prepared and confident, and we wish our team the best!
Eric Quijano
National School Director
University Guidance & Careers

IB Art Exhibition Cocktail Evening - Tuesday 8th March
I am very much looking forward to attending the IB Art Exhibition next week. The IB Art students have been working hard since the start of Grade 11 and this is a great opportunity for them to showcase their work. 

I am of course mindful that this event, and the continued success of Art at the ABC, is only made possible by the talented and committed teachers in our Art Department.

Mathscounts and Mathrelay: Monterrey, Mexico - Wednesday 9th March to Saturday 12th March
Following their success in the national competition, the ABC Mathscounts students head off to Monterrey, Mexico, next week to compete in the regionals. 

Good luck students and thank you to Mr Cañas and Miss Gowman for accompanying the students.

ABC Music Week - 10th March to 16th March
In the pursuit of daily living, we tend to take for granted the things that really matter to us. We forget to tell our family how much we love them, or think about the hands that carefully prepare our meals. This week, we would like to take some time to remember the contribution of MUSIC to the enrichment of our lives.

Everyone accepts that music is important; it gives us pleasure, it enhances events, it helps us through difficult times, it connects people, it expresses our deepest feelings and ideas. However, do we take time to think about all the love and effort of the people who delivered those beautiful songs, or considered using this avenue to express our own innermost thoughts?

At the ABC, the Music Department strives to bring this understanding to our students. We aim to empower students to be erudite listeners, to develop performance skills and participate in the creative process, because everyone can be a musician, and everyone deserves to explore the gift of sound. On top of that, evidence from studies shows ever more clearly that musical training enhances all our other abilities: intellectually, emotionally, physically and creatively.


For the coming week, we have put together a programme that celebrates music throughout each school day. In particular, the Senior Music Concert on Friday is open to the ABC community, and tickets are available at the Secondary School Office, but entrance is free. This concert features the Grade 10 students who will be sitting for their examinations this May / June. You will experience solos, bands and personal compositions. Come and celebrate the gift of music together!

Dee Leong
Head of Performing Arts

Thank you to Miss Leong for all her work promoting Music at the ABC, and an advanced thank you to all the staff and students that will also be performing during Music Week. 

Here are some of the performances that will be on offer to our staff and students to enjoy at lunch time during Music Week:
  • Thursday 10th March - DJ Godiah (Mr Godiah) 
  • Monday 14th March - Trumpet & Drums Concert, Mr Argueta & Mr Hernandez 
  • Tuesday 15th March - Unplugged, Mr Brown
  • Wednesday 16th March - South American Songs, Mr Navarro & Mr Cabeza 
Open Parent Partnership “Netiquette” - Wednesday 16th March, 6pm in the PAC 
Netiquette refers to the common courtesy norms which must be observed when using online communication and social media. The fact that these immediate means of communication are so practical does not mean that the importance of good manners and good education is eliminated. It's quite the opposite as we are communicating through electronic devices and physical contact is practically non existent. Netiquette has even defined rules for each of the social media available such as Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and emails. Would you like to learn more about this very interesting topic? Don't miss the Open Partnership on Wednesday 16th March at 6 pm at the PAC.

I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Kind regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 4th March: Bicultural Arts Festival 
Saturday 5th March: Bicultural Arts Festival and Spiritual retreat for Grades 9 to 11 students (Comite Católico ABC) 
Wednesday 9th - Saturday 12th March: Mathscounts and Mathrelay - Monterrey, Mexico
Thursday 10th - Wednesday 16th March: Music Week 
Friday 11th March: Science Fair final
w/c Monday 14th March: Brain Awareness Week and British Science Week
Monday 14th March: Grade 6 'Friendship and teamwork' empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm).
Wednesday 16th March: STEAM Fest 2016 
Wednesday 16th March: Open Parent Partnership “Netiquette” 6pm PAC 
Thursday 17th March: Grade 12 Parent Teacher Meetings, 3.15pm Auditorium
Friday 18th March: Last day of Second Term
Monday 21st March - Friday 1st April: Easter holidays (school closed)
Monday 4th April: Back to school - First day of Third Term and IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 i
Tuesday 5th April: IGCSE Art exam Paper 1 ii
w/c Monday 11th April: Art Week
Friday 15th April: World Art Day
w/c Monday 18th April: Earth Week
Tuesday 19th - Friday 29th April: Grade 11 exams
Thursday 21st April: Secondary School closes at 11:30am - Grade 7 'Assertiveness and independence' empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm).
Tuesday 26th April: IGCSE exams start for Grade 10 students
Thursday 28th April: Last day for Grades 10 & 12 classes
Monday 2nd May: IB exams start for Grade 12 students
Tuesday 10th May:Grade 6 trip
w/c Monday 16th May: Cultural Diversity Week
Wednesday 18th - Friday 27th May: Grade 9 exams 
Friday 20th May: Secondary School closes at 11:30am - Grade 8 'Ethical and moral choices' Empowerment afternoon (11:30am-5pm) and end of IB exams
Thursday 19th May: ABC Digital Awards, 6 pm PAC
Tuesday 24th May: Grade 9 & 11 Parent Partnership meeting
w/c Monday 30th May: Health Awareness Week
Tuesday 31st May: Thanksgiving Ceremony for Class 2016
Thursday 2nd June: 5th Grade to 6th Grade and Grade 5 Parent meeting - Secondary Induction, 6 p.m. PAC
Thursday 9th June: Class 2016 Graduation Day - Graduation Ceremony, 5 p.m. Auditorium
Friday 10th June: End of IGCSE exams
Monday 13th June: Award Assemblies for Grades 6 & 7
Thursday 16th June: Assemblies for Grades 10 & 11 and Grades 6 to 9 & 11 Cal 3 Reports issued
Friday 17th June: Last day of School Year