Parent Newsletter 13 February

Dear parents,

I hope you are all safe and well. Across the whole college a buzz can be felt (and not from Covid…).

Trial examination results
Years 11 and 13 have received their trial examination results.  Some of the pupils passing my window were very happy, others less so.  All of them have been made aware of the next steps! Well done to all pupils in Year 11 and Year 13.

Saying Goodbye
Sadly we say goodbye to Mr Welsh, Secondary Maths teacher. We thank him for all his hard work and his dedication to the children, and we wish him every success in his new venture.

We also say goodbye to Miss Foody in the Primary School – her love of the children and excellent teaching are going to be sorely missed.

Internet Safety Week
Some fantastic work is going on in both sections of the college regarding this.  We have tried to raise awareness of the advantages of social media but also of its dangers, if we are not careful and aware.  Please reinforce this at home with your children.

Even though I work alongside Mr Escobar I, like you, always enjoy his weekly reflection in his newsletter, which is discussed by Secondary pupils the following week.

I have an amazing fact for you – did you know that only 60% of you open or read our weekly news bulletin? 

Dia de Andalucia in school – Friday 19 February
This year we are unable to follow our annual tradition of enjoying a typical Andalusian breakfast together, and offering to you the parents the chance to taste a variety of oils from a local producer.  However, we do invite all pupils and staff to leave their uniform at home that day and come to school wearing green and white, the colours of the Andalucian flag. We like to support this festivity, so please talk with your children about it.

My weekly Covid letter highlighted the importance of your children being provided with a clean mask daily.  It is becoming evident that this is not always happening, so I would ask for your support in this matter, as we certainly do not want to cause any child embarrassment. 

Fran the Guard

I have talked about Fran before and the importance of his role in our community.

Some parents have expressed their wonderment at the fact that a school security guard knows the names of 800 pupils, recognises their parents, and is aware of what car they drive!  Some of the younger children describe him as a “Super Hero”, and so do I.

Do you think that the difficulties of drop-off and collection would be as smooth as we can make them, without Fran?

Like us, most of you adore and respect him, but a few people do not show him consideration. Lack of respect to any staff member would never be accepted and that includes Fran. So please, always value his efforts.

Thank you to you all for your support.

I wish you a lovely party-free, sleepover-free, social gathering-free weekend. Stay safe!


I must honestly share with you all that the happiest moments of my week have been the time spent with your children.

Year 3 classes have been amazing!! We had an internal competition of who was the best-behaved class in a lesson, judged by me! And which class had the best IT skills, judged by Mr Mulligan. The classes were also praised online by two visiting teachers from other prestigious international schools. The competition was very close.

Miss Jacquie, Miss Liz and Miss Emily have eagerly awaited the results!!! Here they are:

  • Miss Jacquie’s class – 1st place
  • Miss Liz’s class – 1st place
  • Miss Emily’s class – 1st place

As you can see it was impossible to decide – well done Year 3, I was very proud of you all.

My online Monday’s assembly reinforced this week’s Aloha Value of CARE. Whilst the children were disappointed not to see my two dogs, Vinnie and Barney, they did enjoy being shown how to make “bird cakes” and talking about caring for the birds and caring for each other. Ask them to tell you all about this experience.


Following that, Hugo from Year 6WA overwhelmed me with his care of rabbits. Enjoy what he shared with me: “Recently in PSHE we were learning about different problems around the world and what we can do to help. So when I got home I decided to search for a charity helping rabbits. Why? Because I have two pet rabbits myself, called Mr. Sniffles & Mr. Snowy. I found one charity dedicated to helping rabbits called “The Rabbit Welfare Association And Fund.” I then asked my relatives to sponsor me <3 Hugo.”

Adriana from the Secondary School 8SWE even brought me my breakfast and lunch! 5 beautiful freshly-laid eggs from the chickens that she looks after in her garden. It doesn’t get better than that!!! Thank you Adriana. She is animal-mad. She also has rabbits, so is meeting Hugo next week to compare notes on animal welfare.

Some of the children said I looked “pretty” this week as I wore a beautiful butterfly brooch which I have attached to one of my blue jackets. It was made for me by Pearl Eddison in 3ARS. Thank you children for your kindness and care.

Parents, can I please ask you to ensure that the bag or trolley that your child brings to school is not too big or heavy. I often watch children struggling up the stairs with heavy or awkward bags that are so big I think they are fit for a round-the-world cruise, but when they show me what’s inside, they often only contain a reading book. I appreciate your children love certain bags but for school purposes, only a small, light bag is necessary. I say this only in the interests of your children’s safety.

Thank you for some very personal messages received by email this week, thanking the school for the care we take of your children, particularly during these difficult times. Your kind words are much appreciated by myself and all Primary staff.

We are going to repeat our concentration on the Aloha Value CARE once again next week, so let’s see it in action everywhere in our whole community.

I wish you a lovely weekend with your families (not mixing with other people’s!).

Stay safe

Aloha Value – CARE
Personal Learning Goal February – TO BE INQUISITIVE

If you really want to grow in your lifetime, learn to be inquisitive as a child.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

“Sir, I feel a bit sad”, a student said to me on Thursday. My reply was: “Great. Do you always expect to be happy?” You are probably thinking that Mr Escobar has lost his mind! How can the Head of Secondary respond like that to a child who is feeling down? 

Let me start with a metaphor. We all know that cow dung is a natural fertiliser. Despite its unappealing look, it brings plenty of benefits to the environment. It can even be used to produce biogas to generate electricity. It is incredible that such an ugly looking thing can be transformed into something so useful. 

I see a clear connection between sadness and dung. Sadness is a negative emotion that, if managed appropriately, can also turn into something positive that can help us grow and develop as human beings. The same happens with anger or fear. The key is knowing how to respond to them when they come our way.

We have all experienced sadness in many situations throughout our lives. Be it because we have lost contact with someone we love, over the death of a relative, having achieved a grade we were not expecting or any other reason that might make us feel a bit gloomy. It is sometimes difficult to know what to do with such a feeling. We are so used to instant gratification, so obsessed with finding happiness, that when we experience sadness, we want a solution NOW! We start wondering if we should see someone about it, read a self-help book or even download a mobile app.

I recently read in a newspaper article that numerous studies have shown that our obsession with happiness may be making us less content with our lives. Furthermore, researchers have found that accepting and embracing temporary sadness helps improve attention to detail, increases perseverance, promotes generosity and makes us grateful for what we have. 

We will perhaps be happier when we stop focusing on becoming happy. They say that the secret to happiness is to get better at feeling sad.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Francisco Escobar
Head of Secondary