Newsletter // February 2022

Dear Families and Friends, 

As you know, we enjoy learning about a variety of festivals celebrated within the fantastically diverse range of cultures we have represented within our international student body. 

As we reach the end of February the excitement of Carnival is upon us! Also known as Mardi Gras, this week of festivities start on Tuesday 1 March. 

Mardi Gras (literally translated as Fat Tuesday in French) is celebrated by using up all of the fat and sweet things from the larder before the 40 days of Lent begin. This means many tasty treats are traditionally eaten and is why in some countries Mardi Gras is also known as Pancake Day! 

As with many religious festivals, Mardi Gras or Carnival (from the Latin to remove meat) has become a tradition celebrated by everyone.

We hope many of you will be able to experience the colorful parades, spectacular costumes and special events that will take place during this first week of March here in Barcelona. 

Upcoming Events

MAR 04
Talent Show

MAR 10
Official PSAT 9/10 Exam
9th and 10th grade students

MAR 12
Official SAT Test
11th and 12th grade students
07:45 - 12:30

MAR 18
AP Spanish Mock Exam

MAR 21
BISA Talent Show
(To Be Confirmed)

MAR 25
IB PYP Unit of Inquiry Review
No Classes
Elementary Students ONLY

APR 09 - 18
Spring Break


Celebrating Carnaval in Elementary

On Wednesday, February 23rd, Elementary Spanish and Catalan teachers Ms. Jimenez and Mr. Curia organized a fun day for their students to celebrate Carnaval. The theme of this year's party was based on the topics they were studying. 

Students dressed up like Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, and they played games, ate snacks, and listened to stories together. All in all, it was a fantastic way for students to assimilate their learning in an exciting way that connects to local traditions. 

How the World Works
Elementary has begun their fourth Unit of Inquiry – How the World Works. Upper Elementary used student questions and inspiration from several other PYP schools to develop our Central Idea: Scientific inquiry allows us to investigate, understand, and improve the world. Lower Elementary students have expressed an interest in animals and are studying mini beasts, whereas upper elementary students are interested in solving problems using science.
In whole-group Inquiry and Literacy classes, they are exploring what scientists do, how they work, and what happens when scientists inquire. This has led to several fun activities so far, including a paleontological dig activity where students became archaeologists and unearthed fossils in the community garden. Over the coming weeks, they will be developing their ideas to help share our learning from Unit 4 with others in our school.
Model United Nations

On February 10th and 11th, several of our 10th and 12th grade honors students attended the Model UN Conference at the Oak House School in Barcelona. They spent the weeks before the conference preparing for the event. "We did some research about problems and solutions that were done by the UN before, and then we wrote our speeches and looked for solutions," explained Oscar. 

"The conference itself worked like a very professional board meeting," said Daniel. "Everyone sat in a circle and everything was decided by the delegates through 'motions'."  Each student represented a different country and presented the opinions of that country about important global topics. "I represented Vietnam, who's desperately trying to maintain trade relations with China for economic development, yet seeks the development of disputed territory," detailed Vittorio.  Other countries our students represented ranged from the Philippines to Belgium. 

"The first day of the conference was very individualistic, as each country was portraying their position on a topic. However, the rest of the time was full of collaboration and debate in an attempt to form allies in order to meet as much of each country's needs as possible," said Alessandra.  

Overall, our students viewed their experience at the Model UN conference as a positive one. "I learned how speak well under pressure," shared Lucas. Alessandra described that she learned that confidence is key to convincing, and that there is no reason to not let your voice be heard. Not only did our students learn more about public speaking, presentation skills and research skills, but they also found this experience relevant to their lives. "I think the skills I practiced will help me, because I want to be a lawyer," said Zachary. These are some amazing insights from the future leaders of this world!


A Reflection on the Model UN
By Zachary M., 10th grade

Right now, in 2022, we are all part of an important historical moment. Not only are we the generation of Covid-19, but the events that have unfolded in the past few weeks culminating in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have catapulted us into a serious moment of geopolitical instability that has not been witnessed since World War II. With technological advances that continue to connect all ends of the world together and the current global conflicts, political education has never been more important. This morning, I woke up to the headline: Russia Vetoes UN Security Council resolution. 

Two weeks ago, before the world had reached a critical point in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ms. Wynne’s 10th and 12th grade History classes participated in a Model United Nations Conference. For two consecutive days, students from diverse nationalities and sociopolitical backgrounds engaged in debates, with the idea to simulate a real United Nations meeting.

Even though we were teenagers dressed up in suits, we followed all the regulations and procedural formalities of the real UN, and we discussed topics that could bring the world together, or tear us apart. At every end of the room, sat students of different nationalities, each

representing a country different to their own, something which was made possible only through the hard work and research that went into familiarizing ourselves with our respective countries and topics in the weeks preceding the event. 

As an experience, not only did the event give us the opportunity to learn about different countries and current political topics, but it also gave us the opportunity to harvest skills that will inevitably be useful for our futures: listening, researching, debating, writing, negotiating, reasoning, critical thinking, and public speaking. These are skills that will make us all better citizens and humanitarians, regardless of whether we pursue diplomacy or politics as careers.  

As we watch the news unfold and the fight for democracy in Ukraine live, we now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexity of the process behind the geopolitical decisions that affect our lives. At the closing ceremony of the Model UN, we were reminded: we are the future. That is precisely why it is imperative that in the fast-paced and heated political atmosphere in which we find ourselves, we are educated on how the governments and diplomatic organizations which hold so much power truly function. 

Click to see more photos from the Model UN conference
A Message From the President
By Andreas C., Student Council President
Valentine's Day is something very special in our community every year. It is a great opportunity for people to show their love and care for others. This year, Student Council came up with an idea to have secret Valentines. Everyone had to pick a name from a box, and that was be the person you should buy or make a present for. Also, to get spirit points, we decided that people needed to wear pink or red t-shirts on that
specific day.  Elementary kids came to find their 'Valentine' in different classes throughout the school. Spreading love by giving gifts to everyone doesn’t hurt, rather it does the opposite. It makes everyone happy feel closer to each other.

Now we are looking forward towards our next event: a mixed doubles tournament. This will be another great opportunity for team work.
Learning Moments at a Glance

Students in Mr. Lopez's 8th grade American History class are working on a 'flipped classroom' project about America as a world power. We look forward to seeing their presentations in the near future!

Students in Ms. Wynne's 9th grade History class took an exam about Ancient Rome. They are all very focused!

Students in Mr. Collins' Human Geography class enjoyed a field trip to the Frida Kahlo exhibit at IDEAL Barcelona, the Centre for Digital Arts. 

Students in Mr. Martí's Spanish class practiced ordering food in restaurants, booking hotel rooms and planning a European holiday.

11th graders in Honors American Literature class read Nella Larsen's Passing outdoors on a beautiful sunny day!

6th graders held a mini Science Fair to teach the Elementary students about laboratory instruments and safety.

7th graders in Dr. Boerkamp's science class did a hands-on physics activity measuring velocity as compared to ramp height.
Message From Our Alumna
Aina March from the graduating class of 2018 returned to campus to share about her university eperience so far. It was great to see you again, Aina!
We do so much more than can fit in a newsletter!

The mission of ES American School is to be an exemplary learning and athletic community. We challenge ourselves to be better through an emphasis on critical thinking, and intellectual and social awareness. Students develop a passion for learning through individualized support in a nurturing environment. Our success is founded on effective communication and an engaging academic curriculum. 
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ES American School · Autovia Castelldefels C-31 km 191 · El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona 08820 · Spain

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