Newsletter // December 2022

Dear Families and Friends, 

I am so proud of the work our students have done this semester, and even in the midst of final assessments, I have just had the great pleasure of watching the 6th grade play: Romeo and Juliet.  It was also wonderful that many middle school parents were able to attend the plays throughout the last few days. I know you will enjoy seeing the photographs within this newsletter. 

Please remember you can access your child's grade report in the usual way, through Sycamore.

Now it is time to appreciate everything you have achieved, relax with family and friends and enjoy the various festive celebrations. I look forward to seeing you all in the new year - refreshed and excited for 2023. May the new year bring you all good health and great happiness!

All the best,

Mel Rose
Head of School

Upcoming Events:

JAN 09
Back to School

FEB 16
IB PYP Unit of Inquiry Review

FEB 17 - 20
Elected School Holiday
Tennis training available

MAR 10
Official PSAT Exam
9th and 10th grades

MAR 11
Official SAT Exam
11th and 12th grades

9th Graders Reflect About VALMUN
From the 2nd to the 4th of December, delegates from 7th - 9th grades represented our school at the Model United Nations Conference at the American School of Valencia (VALMUN). Here is what they have to say about their experience:
What did you learn from this experience?

"I learned that there’s so much more to research than clicking on the first link. I also learned that public speaking is extremely different than presenting in class, because no matter how much we practiced in class I still found it hard to talk during the meeting. Also, thinking on the spot to create resolutions was a fun way to keep your mind on the spot, and whether you like it or not you have to speak during the event."

-Raqeem V.

"This experience was fun because I learned a lot of new vocabulary that now lets me express myself more clearly and elegantly. It also taught me not to be frightened of speaking in front of the other delegates during the speeches since everyone feels the same way you do, the anxiety and all, but in general, they are all extremely kind and you don't have to feel scared."

-Michelle A.

Why do you think Model UN is relevant to your life?

"Model UN is relevant because it gives you an interesting perspective on how the world works and how all these resolutions you hear about in the UN are passed."

- Naysha N.

"I think that participating in the model un is relevant to my life as it helps me keep up with global and political matters that are happening in the modern world."

- Zayan K.

What was the most rewarding part of this experience?

"After doing all that research and hard work, finally getting to Valencia, and getting to speak and debate confidently."

- Kendra A.

"The most rewarding part of the experience was that I learnt so many new skills and made a lot of new friends from all over the world that were very fun to interact with. Also, I found it pleasing when the teachers were genuinely happy about our performances and always supporting us when we were nervous."

- Raqeem V.

Elementary Shares Their Learning

On Friday, December 16, Elementary students welcomed their sibling and parents and the leadership team to the Unit 2 ‘’How We Express Ourselves’’ Showcase. To share their learning, lower elementary students staged three performances. They began with a theater piece – the Bremen Town Musicians. Each student then had the chance to show off their puppet-show skills, with simultaneous performances of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. To conclude their part of the showcase, they performed a local Catalan Christmas song to request turrons from the Caga Tio.

Upper Elementary students then took over, inviting parents to explore different cultures’ values through food, flags, art, and music. They also showcased their research portfolios, their math projects reflecting how they budgeted for a trip to their chosen location, and a friendly letter they wrote to explain their trip in the form of a narrative. The sushi, arepas, and homemade borscht were the culinary hits, while the most popular craft coloring traditional German clothing to make puppets. We are looking forward to starting Unit 3 – 'Where We are in Place and Time' – in January.
A Variety of Assessment Styles
At the end of any unit or semester, students in all grade levels are asked to reflect on, share or demonstrate their learning. Assessment is an integral part of education as it determines whether or not learning goals are being met, but not all assessments need to be the same. 
Traditionally, assessments are thought to be exams that test a student's knowledge.  "Especially in high school, exams are useful because students need be prepare for what's to come, because in college they will take exams regularly," explained Mr. Rios. 
For demonstrating different kinds of learning such as skills, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the topic, a single exam doesn't fit the purpose. Teachers might choose to give an alternative style assessment that allows our students to show their learning in different ways. Sometimes
an assessment can even come in two parts. In Dr. Boerkamps' Science class, 8th graders did a musical instrument project. "Since it is a STEM project, it included a hands-on engineering and technology part," described Dr. Boerkamps. "The students also took a test about sound waves before the presentation of their instruments."
Click to see more photos from the musical instrument project
Giving an project presentation in a language class is an excellent way for teachers to assess students' written and oral speaking skills. In Ms. Rodriguez's Spanish Social Sciences class, they presented about different regions of Spain. 
In Mr. Gaudin's middle school English classes, students prepared play about novels they read this semester. The 6th grade class did the play Romeo and Juliet, the 7th graders did The Three Musketeers, and the 8th graders did Alice in Wonderland. 
Each class prepared scripts, set design and costumes.  Parents were invited to be in the audience for the presenation of the plays. "I am so grateful to have seen so many parents at the performances," said Mr. Gaudin. "Parent support for these activities is so appreciated."
"In all, it was a wonderful experience for all the students, and a great opportunity for us to gel as a team and express ourselves the beauty of drama," continued Mr. Gaudin. 
This kind of assessment let's students of all language levels demonstrate their creativity, writing and speaking skills to the best of their ability. They can show how well they understood the literature they read.
Click to see more photos from the middle school plays
Gathering Learning Evidence

Assessment in Elementary school has been in development this year, and teachers are focusing on gathering evidence of learning to work toward the goal of becoming an assessment-capable learning community.

This year, the team decided to focus on two activities to help lead to this outcome: highlighting the process of learning over the product of learning and increasing student use of the language of assessment.

To address the importance of process over product, the team chose three aspects that are included in each unit of inquiry – learning portfolios, wall displays, and the student showcase.

They then developed a rubric to determine how each of these aspects can be used to highlight the learning process. This rubric will be used to self-assess and reflect at the end of each unit of inquiry before creating goals for the following unit.

The team followed a similar process when considering student use of the language of assessment. For the upcoming semester, some of their goals include explicitly linking student work in learning portfolios to the inquiry cycle and continuing to model effective ‘’feedback’’ to help students gain confidence using this skill in formal and informal feedback settings.

- Ms. Hopkins
IB PYP Coordinator
National Online Safety
Learning Moments at a Glance


Students in Dr. Boerkamps' Health class created collages about their personality types.

Students in Mr. Collins' Human Geography did final presentations on the origin, importance and significance of fairy tales.

11th graders in Honors English did an analysis of the novel Passing by Nell Larsen on identity, privilege, and explicit vs. implicit bias. 

9th graders in Mr. Collins' English class did a Vignette writing project - or a short writing that uses imagery to describe a subject in greater detail.

Thank you to all the students for bringing food to share for the middle school plays. A special mention goes to Nika for her amazing gingerbread house!

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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