Friday, 30 September 2016

5: Friday 30th September 2016

From the Director

It was good to see many of you at the Coffee Morning with Mrs. Portillo and myself and thank you for attending. I explained our AIP report at the meeting and will be following up on issues discussed. It was also nice to see many parents at the Grade 6 parent meeting last night.

I would like to inform you about some of our morning traffic issues. We have noticed a significant increase in traffic this week especially in the Admin Car Park. We are concerned there will be an accident unless we simplify the traffic flows at our busiest times. We are grateful to those of you who arrive before 6.45 and help reduce the later congestion when the French School parents also start arriving. Most mornings, prior to 6.50 am, there is generally a free flow of traffic towards the Panamericana from the exit to the Admin Car Park. However as we get nearer to 7 am the traffic generally becomes congested. We have consulted with various traffic experts and we have been advised that at times when access to the Panamericana is congested, we should not allow traffic to turn left which is often across two lanes of traffic and with drivers who are often agitated as they try to get to school or work on time. Consequently in the interests of safety we have authorised our traffic personnel to insist that cars turn right out of the Admin Car Park towards Plaza Merliot. We ask that all parents and drivers respect this if it happens. I would like to repeat that this is only at peak times and at the discretion of our traffic staff. If you arrive before 6.50 am you should not be affected. We hope you understand that it is our priority to ensure the safety of our community arriving at school safely. We are also looking at some other changes in the morning to make our car pooling drop off easier. I would like to point out that we would be very grateful if you could find someone to share with in a carpool. If you have three or more children to drop off you can enter by the gate before the Admin Entrance, which is also used by staff. This is an easier and quicker drop off. If you can carpool please do so and if you have 3 or more children to drop off please use this entrance.

We have been celebrating theatre week and I know many students have found the events stimulating! Many thanks to everyone involved in arranging this week and helping us mark the ABC value of Creative. We are continuing with a focus on being Creative next week, which I am sure you know is one of our CORE Values. There is a link to one of our seniors, Carmen Córdova being creative on a summer programme on the ABC newsblog. Congratulations Carmen. While I am congratulating students I would like to congratulate Andrés Figueroa, María Celeste Ayala, Rafael Mendoza and Daniela Castillo from the Class of 2018 who were awarded the ABC Millennium Scholarship in recognition of their high academic standards and their contribution to school life. They join Daniela Duran who was also awarded the scholarship for being our top IGCSE student in the recent Cambridge examinations.

We have an IPC Visitor in school looking at our IPC programme and how we are implementing it. We are looking forward to showing her our practices and she will also be doing some training. 

I would like to wish you and your children a Happy Children’s Day for tomorrow. Our children are our future and it is important we invest as much time in them as we can! Enjoy tomorrow with them!

I would like to congratulate Andrés Carranza from the Class of 2015 who has recently completed his first year at Bates College. On graduating from the ABC he received a full scholarship and was recently named a Dana Scholar by the university, which is the highest honour they bestow on a first year student. 

I would like to finish by reminding you that October traditionally marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as usual we will be participating in the month with information and fund raising activities. We know the future for cancer sufferers improves year by year and we want to play our part in ensuring this continues.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

The IPC is based on learning research and when our students are studying we are encouraging them to think about how they learn. We ask them to have a growth mindset; not saying ‘I can’t do this’ but adding “yet” to change their attitude. Saying ‘I can’t do this yet” is very different. 2nd Tutty’s assembly this week told us about some of the very famous people in history and the world today who have successfully overcome challenges to have enormous success. They also encouraged us all to have a Growth Mindset and when we have a challenge to adopt the power of ‘yet.’ It really is a good tip. We should not be afraid of failure it is part of learning. They finished the assembly with this quote from Albert Einstein. Well done 2nd Tutty - students and teachers.

On Monday the Salvadorean Independence assembly was very exciting... and noisy! It was thrilling to see all of the Primary school together celebrating this important time for El Salvador. The students looked great in their blue and white hats or sashes. We sang the National Anthem to start and everyone joined in very well. We had songs from the choirs, two dances from the Primary dance squad, speeches and the parade of the flags. Our students also made up a batucada group which played for all of our 800 students to come in and out, as well as for a song. They could be heard all over the campus. They must have been exhausted! We rounded off the assembly with a small group of teachers leading a popular traditional song and the students joining in with the chorus. It was a lovely cultural experience for us all. Thank you to all the staff who worked with the students to make the event a success. Please see the ABC Facebook page for photos.

On Tuesday we were delighted to welcome the local police to school. They were providing a very important service for us. As you know we have been promoting car safety for many years but at times with little impact. The police were here to check that everyone was using a seatbelt and to check that drivers were not using their phones or texting while driving - a very dangerous practice and responsible for many deaths worldwide. They did speak to quite a few people. They will be visiting to carry out the same checks from time to time so please put your phones away while driving or have the correct ‘hands free’ equipment and make sure every member of your family is correctly in a seatbelt or car seat.

Thank you to all those students who took part in the McLay fun run this week and remembered to bring your dollar. You can all run much further than me! All the money will go to a good cause and everyone benefitted from the exercise in school. Well Done! Grade 5 will be running at the Bicentennial Park next week.

Important reminder. Primary students are not allowed smart phones or tablets from home in school. We cannot monitor what they are accessing on these devices. Students may bring a standard phone which must be handed in to the secretary on arrival in school and collected at the end of the day. Smart phones and Ipads are confiscated and parents have to come and collect them.

Please note we will be carrying out Children’s Day activities later in the week next week after our IPC pre-accreditation visit. The LP will be having an entertainer on Thursday and UP will be having a non-uniform (mufti) day on Friday.

Best wishes,

Sharon Short,
Head of Primary.

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
October
Thursday 6th: Children’s day
Friday 7th: 1st. Gray assembly - 7:30am - PAC
Friday 7th: End of 1st Extracurricular session
Monday 10th: Start 2nd Extracurricular session
Friday 14th: 1st. Padilla assembly - 7:30am - PAC
Tuesday 18th: 1st grade Curriculum Night - 6:00pm - PAC
Friday 21st: 1st. Henríquez assembly - 7:30am - PAC
Tuesday 25th: Kinder Curriculim night - 6:00pm - PAC
Friday 28th: Prepa Ware assembly - 7:30am - PAC
November
Monday 31st - Friday 4th: Half term Holiday

Upper Primary
October
Wednesday 5th: 5th Spanish Assembly 9:20 - 10:05 and 12:15 - 1:15 PAC
Friday 7th: UP Mufti Day (Children's Day)
Friday 7th: Exit Point 2nd grade:Brainwave
Friday 7th: End of 1st Extracurricular Term - PRIMARY
Monday 10th - Friday 21st: UP Parent Conferences 
Monday 10th: Entry Point 2nd grade:Active Planet
Wednesday 12th: 5th Navas Assembly 9:20 - 10:05 and 12:15 - 1:15 PAC
Wednesday 19th: 4th García Prieto Assembly 9:20 - 10:05 and 12:15 - 1:15 PAC
Wednesday 26th: 3rd Brenes Assembly 9:20 - 10:05 and 12:15 - 1:15 PAC
November
Monday 31st-Friday 4th: Half term Holiday

Secondary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

Theatre Week
This has been an exciting week in the Secondary with some wonderful performances from both students and professional companies in the school. Our students have been very lucky to have the opportunity to see performances which engage with issues affecting our school community in El Salvador and globally. Professional companies have performed two dramatic plays Los Mas Solos by Teatro Del Azoro and Natan El Sabio by Teatro Luis Poma. Please take time to follow the links to find out more about these two thought provoking pieces.

During break and lunch times there were also musical performances and opportunities to see our drama students presenting scenes from Raisin in The Sun and Death of a Maiden among many others. We have all enjoyed this creative week coordinated by the Performing Arts department, many thanks to Mr Joel Olwande and Ms Dee Leong for all their hard work. 



Peace One Day Celebration
Last week we celebrated Peace One Day on Wednesday, 21st September in assemblies and through activities organised by our senior students. In our assemblies we focussed on what peace means for us in everyday lives and how we can all take individual actions to avoid conflict in our interactions with others. We hope that our students will reflect on the message that actions which can lead to someone else being humiliated or unhappy lead to conflict and we should all be involved in creating a community where this does not happen, either in school or through social media.

At lunchtime many students helped to create this year’s Peace One Day mural with their hand prints. Thank you to Diego Arevalo for creating and drawing the design for the mural and the rest of the team for doing such a good job in organising this and the teacher/student football match in the auditorium. 



Student Health & Safety in Physical education
During PE lessons and after school training the students have opportunities to take part in contact sports such hockey and rugby. The PE teachers take every precaution in lessons by using soft balls, appropriate equipment and safety instructions to prevent injury. The school is investing in protective eye wear for the students to use during hockey lessons and we will ask students to bring gum shields if they wish to take part in practice games in addition to the drills and training exercises performed in lessons. Gum shields cannot be shared by students for health & safety reasons and must be an individual purchase. You can find gum shields in any Sport stores in town.

Thank you for your support in this matter.

School and PE uniform and socks
Please encourage your son/daughter to check his/her timetable the day before each day and make sure he/she comes dressed in his/her P.E. kit on the correct days. 

For PE kit all students need to wear white ankle socks, proper trainers and a sport cap.

Chinese Mandarin Lesson Opportunity
Please contact the Secondary Office to sign up.


Secondary dates for your diary
October
Thursday 6th: Grades 9 & 11 Know your school parent & teacher meeting
Tuesday 11th: Grades 7 & 8 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

Friday, 23 September 2016

4: Friday 23rd September 2016

From the Director 

We are celebrating the ABC value of being creative and it is one of our CORE values. I would like to explain how we see our CORE values fitting together to hep our students understand our expectations and guide them. Creative is important because it reinforces the importance of thinking about different ways to do things and of being original. Open minded in educational terms means that you are open to new ideas and possibilities. If you are open minded you are able to see opportunities and new ways of doing things in a changing world. It fits well with being creative. Meanwhile open minded also fits with being respectful, respectful of different cultural attitudes and beliefs as well as being respectful towards each other, the environment and our shared world. The final core values are Ethical and Enthusiastic. Ethical fits well with respectful in terms of doing the right thing and being honest and reliable and Enthusiastic to me is the most important personal trait I can think of. I think as parents we would all hope our children grow up with enthusiasm! Overall our CORE values show how we want our young people to grow up and view their world, full of possibilities, where their creativity will shine but where they show respect, are ethical and always enthusiastic. 

Earlier this week we posted the review of our AIP review for the last school year. You can find the review on the Parent Portal section of the ABC school website. Please go to (www.abc.edu.sv), then go to the Community tab and choose Parent Portal. I have added the direct link here Parent Portal. The AIP is a report on our progress on the first year of our three year Strategic plan. Please read it. I will be doing a short presentation about it on Tuesday 27 September at 7 am when you are invited to Coffee with the Chair of the Board and myself. 

On the parent portal you will also find information to many school policies and a link to all our teaching staff contact details. The link contains a picture as well as an email address. It is on the link marked: Staff Directory and Contact Details.

I hope everyone enjoyed celebrating the spirit of Peace One Day this week and the message of peace in our lives is one all of us can endorse. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you enjoyed the Independence weekend break with your children. On Monday we had whole staff training and planning time. In Primary we discussed the IPC ‘Knowledge Harvest’. 

The ‘Knowledge Harvest’ is what the class teachers carry out to find out what the students already know about the theme of the next unit. It could take the form of a quiz with older students or a range of activities for the students to try and see what they can already do. Our teachers are very creative and have many formats and ideas for this part of the learning process. We need to know exactly what the students know already so we can tailor the learning opportunities to consolidate this prior knowledge and then extend their learning in knowledge, skills and understanding with new material. The ‘Knowledge Harvest’ is also a chance to find out where the students interests lie and to find out what questions they have. We can use this information to keep the students interest going as we work through the unit. It also gives the students some ownership of their own learning, which is very important.

In case you haven’t heard already our school features in the charity single ‘Light up the Flame’. You can see some of our students performing in the trailer on the following link. 
Please support the charity movement by downloading the single in full. A big congratulations to the music teachers and ICT team for getting this recorded, filmed and sent off as well of course to all the Primary Students who participated. 

As part of our extensive PE programme our students do take part in contact sports but at a much reduced level. The PE teachers use soft balls and age appropriate equipment. They supervise the activities closely and have rules in place to prevent injury, but occasionally an accident can occur. We would like to invite parents to invest in gum shields for the students to ensure their teeth are protected in sporting activities. They can usually be purchased at a reasonable cost but should not be shared or loaned to others. If you can name them that would probably be a good idea too.

On Monday 26th September Primary will be holding their Salvadoran Independence assembly in the auditorium. It is organised by our Spanish team and is the culmination of several weeks work on El Salvador’s history, traditions and culture. Many of our students will be taking part either singing, playing batucada, performing dances or reading or reciting pieces. Please ask your children what they thought of the event.

3rd Mena Assembly was this week the students spoke in English very well and told us about Peace One Day, the country of Singapore and of course our school values.

On the 30th September it will be the McLay fun run for Pre-Kinder to 4th Grade. The students are asked to bring in a dollar to take part. The run was initiated by a former primary head teacher and the money raised is used to buy sports equipment for a local state school. A very worthwhile event in which we benefit from the exercise and we help our wider community. Grade 5 will be running the following week at the Bicentennial Park, which has been a huge success in previous years.

Please note that key school documents can be found on our website, through the parent portal. Nearly all are in Spanish and English so please take a look from time to time.

I am going to the beach this weekend, weather permitting. I hope you all have a relaxing break too.

Best wishes,

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
September
Friday 23rd: Spanish assembly - Prepa Taylor - 7:30 am - PAC
Friday 30th: 1st Pineda assembly - 7:30 am - PAC
Friday 30th: McLay Fun Run

Upper Primary
September
Wednesday 28th: 2nd Lourdes Hernández Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Friday 30th: McLay Fun Run

Secondary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

Secondary students celebrated Independence Day on Wednesday with a moving ceremony in the auditorium. The ceremony included speeches and musical performances from the students. The flag was paraded by an honour guard of our senior students and this year Mr Amos Van Die, teacher of English, introduced a new note by piping the flag and the honour guard from the hall at the end of the ceremony.


We would also like to congratulate Ximena Truscott (1st), Juan Marco Ramírez (2nd), Alejandra Rivera (3rd), Alessandra Casanovas and Sebastián Ortíz (Runner-Ups) for their participation in the Independence Day poster competition.

This year we added the TribalFest activities to the traditional games and foods that followed the ceremony in the afternoon. The new Tribal Banners that use the logos designed by the winners of Tribal Logos competition were unfurled in the auditorium for the announcements of the winners of the various competitions organised by Mr Murgatroyd’s Business students. These banners will remain as the Tribal Logos for the remainder of this year. Well done to all the students who entered, the standard was very high and made the judging very difficult and congratulations to the winners, Ximena Martínez and Gabriela Rodriguez. Unfortunately the weather was against us this year but we hope that will not become a tradition in future!

The overall points won by students for their Tribe during the afternoon were: 
Pipiles: 166 points
Incas: 152 points
Mayas: 150 points
Aztecs: 106 points

Congratulations to the Pipiles! There will be plenty of opportunities for the other Tribes to continue this competition this term and take over the lead.

This week on Tuesday 20th September we hosted the CIS University Fair in the afternoon where 33 universities from the United States of America were present to talk to our students about the courses and experiences they can offer our students. We were very pleased to see students from all Grades, but especially those from Grade 9 and above who are now thinking seriously about their academic futures attending. They were well prepared and asked interesting and insightful questions of the representatives. The Fair was also attended by students from six other schools in the area who were able to take advantage of this opportunity provided by ABC. 


Thank you to all the parents who attended the Parent Teacher Evening on Tuesday for Grade 10 & 12 students. It was very well attended and a valuable opportunity for parents, teachers and students to discuss progress so far at the start of a new academic year. 

Next Thursday 29th September is Grade 6 Parent Teacher meeting. The evening will start at 4.30 pm and continue until 7 pm. We would like students, in uniform, to accompany parents so that learning conversations can take place between student, parent and teacher. Please encourage your child to make appointments with all their teachers in good time.

The LRC is running its initial Secondary Scholastic book order of school year,16/17. Students have been informed in tutor time, and encouraged to share this infomation with their parents. Please do take a moment to visit our Scholastic Book Club online at http://world-schools.scholastic.co.uk/academia-britanica-cuscatleca, and look over the collection of books that are on offer. There are hundreds of fantastic children’s books, for all ages, to choose from. 

For every $1 you spend on this month’s Book Club the school will earn 20¢ for our in Scholastic Rewards for future book purchases. All orders are placed, and paid for online, by parents. Books will be delivered directly to the school and given out to students through the LRC. Please place your order online by September 25th, 2016. if you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Secondary dates for your diary
September
Thursday 29th: Grade 6 Know your school parent & teacher meeting, 4.30 - 7pm, students should accompany parents and be in full school uniform
October
Thursday 6th: Grades 9 & 11 Know your school parent & teacher meeting
Tuesday 11th: Grades 7 & 8 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

Friday, 9 September 2016

3: Friday 9th September 2016

From the Director 

ABC Parent Charter and Building Good Relationships

This week it has been brilliant to see so many parents in school helping to establish those crucial bonds between school and home. It has been encouraging to see the PAC full of parents who have come to school to hear about the coming year and are ready to play their role in the school based education of our children. The success of our ABC education is built on the partnership between school and home and we have recently published our Building Good Relationships document and our ABC Parent Charter. Both of these documents are on the parent portal and there is also an article on our ABC Newsblog about them. Building Good Relationships explains how we view our school community working together in harmony and the principles behind our actions and procedures. The Parent Charter explains what we expect from you, what you can expect from us at school and explains the fundamentals of our partnership. Let me give an example: One of the areas we expect support from parents is in ensuring children arrive at school on time and ready to learn. One of the things you expect from us is that children are safe at school. I wrote to Secondary parents earlier this week asking for their support with punctuality in the morning and you can find details of our Safeguarding Policies on the parent portal of our website. These are obvious examples of the importance of parents and school working together in the very best interests of our children but this partnership covers many areas of interaction between school and home. Please have a look at the newsblog article and these documents. 

We have been celebrating our ABC value of independent in school this week and will continue to do so next week. Independent is about self reliance and developing confidence in your own abilities. It is about realising your talents and taking responsibility for your own progress. It does not mean you do not ask for help or that you carry on making the same mistakes! Please think about independence in your own children’s lives and how you can help them to value it.

Next week we will not be sending a newsletter as we will be closed for the Independence Day celebration and a school training day. You can see the information on our school calendar but the ABC will be closed for children on Thursday 15th, Friday 16th and Monday 19th September. Whether you are a temporary visitor or a permanent resident in El Salvador I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the 195 years of independence with your families, as we start of course to look forward to the bicentenary!

Primary News

Dear Parents and carers,

Thank you very much to those of you who attended the final back to school nights this week. We hope you found the presentations interesting and helpful. If we have any follow up material we will send it out to you.

As mentioned last week the IPC has a focus on skills, knowledge and understanding and the learning goals of the students are linked to these categories. For example, the learning goal in the unit Toys “to be able to use simple tools and materials to make products’ refers to skills based learning. ‘Comparing what happened with what they thought would happen’ relates to understanding and ‘to be able to use key words and phrases relating to the passing of time’ relates to knowledge.

We really appreciate parental contributions to the IPC entry points, whether they be time, materials or support and interest. The purpose of the entry points is to get the students interested and switch on their brains so that they can make connections and want to learn more. An entry point can be quite elaborate and take a few days or be simple and only last a short time, the important thing is to get the students engaged. When your child has had an entry point please ask them what they liked, what interested them and what aspect they want to know more about. You could encourage them to share this with the class teacher or write an email to the teacher yourself giving the feedback.

Please remember that all school shoes should have a fastening to keep them on i.e. a buckle or velcro and children should only have laces if they can tie them themselves. 
September is an exciting month for all our students both local and international. Our Spanish team work very hard to ensure everyone knows aspects of the Salvadoran history and culture, such as how to cook some local food or to know traditional songs. We round off the month with a celebration assembly which the children attend. This year there will be food on sale on the 14th September and Upper Primary students may bring in money in a named container to buy some of it for their lunch. Please see the poster.

Our school values are being presented in a slightly different way this year but at the moment we are considering ‘Independent’. In the UK we take quite a lot of pride in being able to do things for ourselves and not rely on others. It is really useful for students to have the skills to care for themselves independently such as washing, cleaning their teeth, getting dressed and as they grow to understanding finances, to be able to look after, spend and save money as well as being able to learn in an independent manner. Being independent doesn’t mean doing everything alone it means being able to think for yourself, make decisions for yourself and having the confidence to stand by those decisions when put under pressure by your peers. It also means knowing when to ask for help and it doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process. Please encourage your children to be independent at an appropriate level for their age. 

Have a great weekend. See you all next week.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
September
Thursday 15th: School Closed
Friday 16th: School Closed
Monday 19th: School closed - Staff Inset day
Wednesday 21st: Peace One Day
Friday 30th: 1st Pineda assembly - 7:30 am - PAC
Friday 30th: McLay Fun Run

Upper Primary
September
Wednesday 14th: 4th Linares Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Thursday 15th - Friday 16th: School Closed. El Salvador Independence Day 
Monday 19th: School Closed. Teacher’s Inset day
Wednesday 21st: Peace One Day
Wednesday 21st: 3rd Mena Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Wednesday 28th: 2nd Lourdes Hernández Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Friday 30th: McLay Fun Run

Secondary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you very much for your support with our drive to meet the highest standards of punctuality and attendance for our students. There is a wealth of educational research that shows the importance of these issue to student learning. For example, there are high correlations between attendance and attainment. Research suggests that an attendance rate of 90% over five years is equal to a difference of one whole grade across the board at IGCSE. We also understand the importance of good punctuality, not only as an essential part of good study habits, but also for the future when applying for college and university places and employment opportunities.

We will be introducing competitions and rewards in school to encourage these important attributes.

Tribal Fest
This year we are looking forward to a bigger and better Tribal Fest event run by our Business Studies students. It will take place on Wednesday afternoon following the Independence celebrations. We intend to encourage more opportunities for inter-Tribal competition this year and this will be a great way to launch that ambition. 

Know Your School - Parent Teacher meetings
Please do not miss our Parent Teacher meeting sessions coming up. This is the perfect opportunity to speak to all your son or daughter's teachers and discuss how they have settled into this year and their development in all subjects. 

Students will have a meeting schedule where they will be able to set up appointments with their different teachers. We ask that you bring that sheet with you to ensure you speak to all teachers at the allocated time. In grades 9 to 12, we ask that students accompany their parents to the meeting.

All meetings will be held in the Auditorium from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

Dates:
Tuesday 20th Sept- Grade 10 and 12
Thursday 29th Sept- Grade 6
Thursday 6th Oct- Grade 9 and 11
Tuesday 11th Oct- Grade 7 and 8

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Secondary dates for your diary
September
Thursday 15th - Friday 16th: School Closed. El Salvador Independence Day 
Monday 19th: School Closed. Teacher’s Inset day
Tuesday 20th: Grades 10 & 12 Know your school parent & teacher meeting
Thursday 29th: Grade 6 Know your school parent & teacher meeting
October
Thursday 6th: Grades 9 & 11 Know your school parent & teacher meeting
Tuesday 11th: Grades 7 & 8 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

Friday, 2 September 2016

2: Friday 2nd September 2016

From the Director 


We have had a very pleasing start to the school year and as always at this time of year our community is enhanced with new students and new staff coming into the school. We are introducing the new staff to you gradually through the ABC Weekly but you will also meet many of them at the Back to School meetings taking place in Primary and Secondary school this week and next week. You can also see all members of our staff, including new staff on the ABC website, through Community Access/Parent Portal/Whole School/Staff Directory

There are clear safeguarding reasons why we need you to know and recognise the members of the ABC team who are working with your children.

New Upper Primary Staff (left to right): Simon Rumsey (Grade 4), Irene Angulo (Grade 5 Learning Assistant), Piers Hunday (ESL), Debbie Lawrence (Grade 2), Cristina Figueroa (Grade 2 Learning Assistant).

New Secondary Maths Staff: Nicholas Gale and Sallie Chedburn

I know as parents you are busy people but I do ask that you come to the meetings arranged next week for the following meetings. We have very important news and information to share with you about the year ahead and it is in your children’s best interests for you to attend. Further details are in the individual sections:

Monday: Grade 6 to 8

Tuesday Grade 4 and 5
Wednesday: Grade 9 to 12
Thursday: Prepa and Grade 1

We have set a couple of dates for whole school events. Please note we will be closed on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 September to celebrate the 195 years of the country’s independence. We are combining the build up to this celebration with a focus on being independent as one of our ABC Values. Independent does not mean that we leave our students to fend for themselves, but that we give them the confidence to take responsibility for their actions and ask for their views and opinions. It implies a resilience and a willingness to keep on trying to master something for yourself. We do hope you will share with us in encouraging this trait in our children especially at this time.

I would also like to invite you to a coffee morning with the Chair of the Board, Lic. Ana Maria Portillo and myself on Tuesday 27th September at 7 am. 

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

This year is going to be a very important year for the Primary School. We have decided that we would like to become an International Primary Curriculum accredited school. This will involve a year long process of gathering evidence and meeting with visitors to show that we really understand the IPC and implement it in the best possible way for the benefit of all our students. We have no doubt that we will be successful but it will be a lot of hard work for all of our teachers and our community. From time to time I will share a little bit about the IPC with you so that you too are as fully informed as possible.

This week I would like to talk about Knowledge, Skills and Understanding. In the children’s classes from Prepa to 5th Grade the students have been talking about whether they are learning a skill, whether they are learning new knowledge or whether they are learning to understand something. These are the IPC comments about them.

Knowledge refers to factual information. Knowledge is relatively straightforward to teach and assess (through quizzes, tests, multiple choice, etc.), even if it is not always that easy to recall. Knowledge is continually changing and expanding – this is a challenge for schools that have to choose what knowledge children should know and learn in a restricted period of time.

Skills refer to things children are able to do. Skills have to be learned practically and need time to be practiced. Skills are also transferable and tend to be more stable than knowledge – this is true for almost all school subjects. The IPC's Assessment for Learning Programme is based around the assessment of children's skills.

Understanding refers to the development or 'grasping' of conceptual ideas, the 'lightbulb' moment that we all strive for. Understanding is always developing. None of us ever 'gets there', so you can't teach or control understanding, but what the IPC units do allow us to do is provide a whole range of different experiences through which children's understandings can develop.

We believe knowledge, skills and understanding act as a 'wholearchy', rather than a hierarchy, with each different type of learning including and transcending the other. However, each does have its own distinct characteristics and it can be very powerful 'to signpost' to children what kind of learning they are experiencing and what the implications of this are in the classroom.

Please see if your child has got the idea when you are talking together at home and if they know which symbol represents each aspect in their class.

We have already had many entry points in school to start off the new units that the children are studying. Please see the class blogs for photographs.

Thank you to those parents who attended our evening ‘welcome or welcome back to school’ events. We hope you found them helpful. The Pre-Kinder and Kinder evening is on our school news blog. Please take a look. http://abcnews-blog.blogspot.com/ We have more parent evenings coming up and they are listed on the school calendar or in the dates for your diary below.

Please make sure your children are on time for the start of lessons. Pre-Kinder and Kinder in the classroom by 7.30 am Prepa to 5th Grade in the classroom by 7.15. 

Best wishes for the weekend and the week ahead.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary
September
Thursday 8th: Prepa and 1st grade Welcome Back to School
Thursday 15th September School Closed
Friday 16th September School Closed
Monday 19th September School closed - Staff Inset day.
Wednesday 21st September Peace One Day
Friday 30th: 1st Pineda assembly - 7:30am - PAC
Friday 30th September McLay Fun Run

Upper Primary
September
Tuesday 6th: Back to School Night 4th & 5th Grade 6:00 pm PAC
Wednesday 7th: 5th Cáceres Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Wednesday 14th: 4th Linares Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Thursday 15th - Friday 16th: School Closed. El Salvador Independence Day 
Monday 19th: School Closed. Teacher’s Inset day
Wednesday 21st: Peace One Day
Wednesday 21st: 3rd Mena Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Wednesday 28th: 2nd Lourdes Hernández Assembly 9:20 am - 10:05 am & 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PAC
Friday 30th: McLay Fun Run

Secondary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have been delighted with the way the majority of students in the secondary section have started the new academic year. They look very smart in their uniforms and are fully engaged in their learning. I have received a warm welcome from students, parents and the wider community and know I am going to enjoy my time at the ABC and in El Salvador.

We are lucky to have a very talented and dedicated team of teachers in the school and I would like to share with you the work done by our head of art during the summer holidays. Ms Lucila Gonzalez took part in a significant event in Argentina, the Tercer Congreso y Encuentro Simultáneo de Arte Público de los Pueblos Libres, in which muralists from all over Latin America came together to produce murals around Argentina and also participated in panels regarding the history of muralism. The event garnered siginificant support from Argentinian government authorities and included only a select number of participants from each country.
Please see our blog for further information and pictures.

I would also like to congratulate Gladys Alejandra Rivera and Rodrigo Salome who both won first place in the U12 competition for LV Juegos Estudiantiles Cycling. 

I would like to request the cooperation of all our secondary families in respecting our guidelines regarding private celebrations for students in school. We do not allow students to hold individual parties at break times or receive deliveries of food into school. One reason for this is that we are concerned to protect the health and safety of our students by ensuring that no adults enter the school compound during the school day unless they have been invited or made an appointment in advance. Another important reason is that we wish to protect students and parents from the peer pressure that can arise through students competing to provide treats for large groups of students.

Finally, a reminder of the meetings we are holding next week for parents. This will be an important opportunity to meet with the senior team of the school and discuss how we can all work together to support your child’s successful journey through secondary school. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your comments.

Virginia Catlin
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
September
Monday 5th, 6.00 -7.00 pm
Grades 6 - 8: Information Evening Making the most of your child’s opportunities in preparation for IGCSE. This is a meeting for all parents in Grade 6 to 8 to explain how we will work together with you in the best interests of your son or daughter this year. We want to help you and your son or daughter understand how to make the most of these years in preparation for the international examination courses which follow. We would like all Grade 6-8 parents to attend this meeting

Wednesday 7th, 6.00 -7.00 pm
Grades 9-12 Information Evening: Making a Success of the School Year opening Pathways to College. This is a meeting for all parents in Grade 9 to 12 to explain how we will work together with you in the best interests of your son or daughter this year. We will explain what you can expect from school this year and what school expects from you. We want to help you and your son or daughter understand how you can improve your child's all round progress thereby contributing to their university prospects. We would like all Grade 9-12 parents to attend this meeting

Thursday 15th - Friday 16th: 
School Closed. El Salvador Independence Day 

Monday 19th: 
School Closed. Teacher’s Inset day

Tuesday 20th:
Grades 10 & 12 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

Thursday 29th:
Grade 6 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

October
Thursday 6th:
Grades 9 & 11 Know your school parent & teacher meeting

Tuesday 11th:
Grades 7 & 8 Know your school parent & teacher meeting