Welcome – Circular 2

Every new school year comes with a new opportunity to ensure that we deliver our promise to you as families and your children. We achieve this through the unique and varied experiences that we offer our students and our passion to fully prepare your children for a future in which they can go out in to the wider world and shape their future. And at the core of everything: our values. This is the key to delivering our promise. 2017/2018 is going to see us focus on four key values:

  • Belonging – the whole school community to feel proud of our school;
  • Ownership – to care and to accept responsibility;
  • Rigour – to be clear about the horizons we are opening and where we are heading;
  • Joy – it is so important for us all to enjoy the journey!

We have created a new leadership structure with two new Deputy positions. Ms Sharon Duggan will take on the role of ‘Deputy for Academic Programmes and Institutional Services’ whilst Ms Icíar García will be ‘Deputy for Infants and Primary’. As Ms Icíar will soon be going on maternity leave, Mr Mattia Pratissoli will be the Middle School Coordinator with Ms Paloma Malavé Coordinator for Lower Primary and Ms Cristina Molina Coordinator for Lower Infants. Mr Nick Bellisario continues as Secondary Coordinator and Mr José Luis Bonachera re-joins the School Directive Board as High School Coordinator.

To enable the greatest flexibility and the most effective impact of our teachers throughout the Primary section, we shall have two tutor groups, except in Year 4, where there will be three. This will allow us to deliver the International Baccalaureate PYP investigations in a more personalised way. We shall share more details during the Parent Information Meetings on 20th September.

As a school, we continue to evolve and improve the quality of what we do, whether this is through the passion that our staff demonstrate during the school’s continuing ‘professional development programme’ or via our commitment to ensure the well-being of our students. As a result of the work and initiative of the Ítaca Foundation’, we shall be introducing a new ‘Firewall’ for the school’s internet. This initiative, along with the school’s continued commitment to its disciplinary procedures will ensure even better online safety for our students.

KiVa

As a further part of our ongoing commitment for the well-being and safety of our students, we are extending the internationally recognised ‘KiVa’ program in to Secondary and High School. KiVa is a research-based anti-bullying program which has been developed at the University of Turku in Finland and focuses on the prevention of all forms of bullying by addressing the school community as a whole. We have been successfully running the programme in our Primary School for two years, being the first school in Spain to introduce it in 2015.

British Authorisation

Following our successful inspection in June 2016 by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS), the British Council certified our continuation as a British School in Lower Infant, Lower Primary and Middle School (from Nursery to Year 7). We shall receive our next NABSS inspection during the 2017/2018 academic year.

Eclass

We will maintain the use of the ‘Notice Board’ (‘Tablón de anuncios’) as a tool for communicating general information about the school to families (events, parties etc). We will continue to send more important or specific news by email.

The class calendar will be used to communicate information relevant to each child´s tutor group (excursion reminders, projects, tests, homework, research to be completed at home)

Families will also continue to use the e-class to inform the school of late arrival to school or early pick up at the times established. In this way, we reduce the number of interruptions to classes during the school day.

Learning landscapes

Space as a place of life and learning is an essential element for the well-being of a human being and, consequently, of our students. It is for this reason that we will continue to research and improve the different spaces that our students’ have at their disposal to learn and live together in the best possible way. Therefore, we have improved the dining room as an essential part of social, educational and personal experience. We will also continue working to improve the library and common spaces and incorporate changes in the different classrooms of Primary (in terms of organisation and decorative elements).

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and inquiry based learning

After two years of implementing of the PYP along with an approach based on inquiry, we start a year where we will receive the IB educational inspection for the PYP program in order to obtain our authorisation as a PYP school. Therefore, the teachers have received all the necessary training for this stage (with different training courses, the last one during the month of June) and we will continue to work hard to consolidate project in Lower and Middle (from Nursery to Year 7).

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP)

This year we are applying for candidacy for the MYP in Secondary school which will allow for continuity between the PYP and the Diploma Programme in High School. As we have already been working through projects and investigation, this is a natural progression for us as a school.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP)

In November 2016 we had a very successful evaluation visit for the DP programme and we were authorised for another five years. This ensures our continuity as one of the 5000 IB World Schools of which 1000 are in Europe.

Global Junior MBA

We move in to our third year of this programme which covers the five traditional areas of the Master MBA programmes: Globalisation, Leadership, Communication and Marketing, Management, and Professional Experience or Practices. Our programme is integrated in turn into different subjects or themes.

These themes are developed over the six years covered by the programme, transversely integrated into the regular curricular subject matter, with additional reinforcement activities, materials and seminars provided by other institutions. The programme incorporates, classifies and recognises the content and experiences that already form part of our educational project such as, for example, ‘Speech & Debate’, the Óptimo Project, and Volunteering.

The resulting merits from these experiences, some of which are accredited by various prestigious educational institutions, are documented in each student’s ‘Personal Portfolio’ and will form part of the documentation that each student will receive when they complete their studies at the school, along with their corresponding additional Baccalaureate credentials.

Dining Room

September sees a new company, ‘Scholarest’, part of the ‘Compass Group’, taking over responsibility for our Dining Room. This change was made based on the four values mentioned earlier: we want our students to feel proud of their school dining room; they were involved in choosing the new company, so therefore have ownership of the decision; there was rigour behind the decision made by the School Directive Board, of which the Student Council forms a part; and we all want to enjoy eating at school every day.

We look forward to the start of the new academic year and to discussing all of the above in greater detail during the Parent Information Meetings on 20th September, as outlined below.

Warm regards,

David Jones
Principal
Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada

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