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Newsletter // March 2022

Dear Families and Friends, 

This month I feel compelled to highlight the very special nature of our international campus. No matter what is happening in the world around us, whatever pandemic hits or difficult political situations arise, our students are always there for each other.  With over 30 different cultures on campus, our students have gained the incredibly important skill of making friendships without judgement - of supporting each other through the great times as well as the more difficult times.  

A phrase that I use often with students is:

‘Surround yourself by people who only want to lift you higher.’

I am proud to see students lift each other higher on a daily basis. ES Academy and American School really is a very special place. 

Please remember our first day back after the holidays (Tuesday 19 April) is our special excursion to Godò, for all 5th to 12th graders. Our younger Elementary students will have school as usual, and our teachers will be taking part in a professional development day. 

Have a wonderful Spring Break everybody.

Upcoming Events

APR 01 - 08
AP Mock Exams
Varied times for each AP class

APR 09 - 18
Spring Break
NO SCHOOL

APR 19
Conde de Godó Tournament
Field trip for 5th-12th grade

APR 21
BISA Talent Show
Virtual access
17:40 - 19:00

APR 29
Catalan Field Trip
Middle School students only

MAY 06
IB PYP Unit of Inquiry Review
No Classes
Elementary only

Introducing Ms. Castaño

We are proud to introduce Ms. Laura Castaño, our new Spanish teacher to the team. She is originally from Badalona, and brings a wealth of experience and energy to her classes. She has been a language teacher for over 10 years and has worked both in Spain and abroad. She recently moved back to Barcelona from North Carolina, USA,  where she was a high school teacher for the last two years. "I am passionate about languages, and I love sharing my passion with my students," Ms. Castaño described. 
 

In her free time she likes to go on long walks with her dog. She is also learning how to rock climb. "I have been bouldering for a while now, and I just recently started outdoor climbing. It is scary but so much fun!" she explained. She thinks that climbing is a lot like learning a new language too.  "Speaking a foreign language can be scary. It makes you feel vulnerable and it takes a lot of practice," she said. "When you take risks, you learn. My goal is that my students feel safe enough in the classroom to take these risks so that they can grow and improve all while having fun!"

Elementary Celebrates Science
This month in their Unit of Inquiry, elementary students have been learning about the different types of sciences, and how scientists work with the scientific method. We have a very special article about the activities they have been doing, written by a 5th grade student!
How the World Works
By Aitana P., 5th grade

Upper Elementary students decided to do an experiment to try to solve a global problem. They defined the problem, researched, wrote a hypothesis, did the experiment, analyzed data, and drew a conclusion. They presented their information and experiment with a poster or a Power Point.

In Spanish, Upper Elementary investigated the Paralympic Games. They did an excursion to the Paralympics Museum in Barcelona. Then, they separated into groups and investigated a Paralympic sport that they wanted to explain and play with others. The groups chose goalball, seated badminton, and Paralympic table tennis.

Lower Elementary students researched and created an animal fact book about mini beasts. They told us what they look like, what they eat, what habitats they live in, and many more things. In Spanish, they learned about classifying animals and chose several to learn about and share with the community.

On March 23, all elementary students presented their work at a science fair to show what they learned in this unit. They asked parents and the leadership team to come and enjoy the science fair (and Paralympics sports) that they prepared. Everyone was very happy to see our projects and learn about 'How the World Works'.

Click to see more photos from the Elementary Science Fair
We've Got Talent!

After competitive tryouts with Ms. Rose and Mr. Rios, our multi-talented students participated in the ESAS Talent Show. We had a variety of acts, from a light show to gymnastics to singing. Ultimately, the judges chose two winners to represent our school in the BISA (Barcelona International Schools Association) Talent Show. The second place winner was one of our middle school students, Ron T., who performed a tribute to Queen by both singing and playing the piano.

In first place, we had 10th grade students Linus B., Cristina C., and Zachary M.! With Linus on the keyboard, Cristina singing, and Zach both singing and playing the guitar, the group performed Four-Five Seconds by Rihanna and Kayne West (ft. Paul McCartney). We are so excited to send these exceptional kids off to the BISA Talent Show!

Tune in virtually to the BISA Talent Show on April 21st!

Keeping the Spirit Alive!

This is the time of year when the competition between the Spirit Houses gets heated! Teachers are busy highlighting students that do exceptional work or demonstrate positive character, and students pay close attention as their team accrues points. There are only a few months left of the school year, and the most anticipated event of the year is swiftly       

approaching: Spirit Day. We all know that the scoreboard can change rapidly, so we are all paying close attention and making predictions about which team might be the 2021-2022 winners of the Spirit House competition!

The current point tally is so close! Can you predict which team might win?

Traveling to Kenya
By Alice F, 11th grade

On XXX, I went to Kenya. This was my first time traveling in Africa, and I never thought I would be able to survive for 3 weeks competing in a tennis tournament at such a high intensity so far from home. But I did it! I had been thinking a lot about whether to go or not. It is always difficult for me to make these decisions and get out of my comfort zone, but deep down I knew it would be an important experience. I finally decided to go at the last moment. I think I will never regret my choice.

The traveling part was very long, and I had never been on such a long airplane trip. When I arrived I felt very lost. I never thought I would be able to play on those courts in those conditions. The air pressure was different, there was more altitude, and the balls bounced ten times higher. The first time I stepped on the 
courts and started playing, I couldn’t put more than three

balls inside. I had to test myself and overcome difficulties. Every day I improved a little bit, and I got used to it. Things that seem obvious here were not so obvious there.

I was very surprised to see signs that you never see here in Europe. For example, I saw a sign that prohibits entering public places like restaurants or the tennis club with weapons. Now I value my security and calmness much more. 

In conclusion, traveling to Kenya has been an experience that has enriched me on many levels, not only as a tennis player but also as a person. Another thing I will never forget this trip is that I won my first Junior World title there, winning both singles and doubles. I feel very lucky to be able to combine my studies with my passion for tennis that is taking me to discover the world and so many different cultures. 

Photos taken by Alice F. on her trip to Kenya.
Preparing for AP Exams

Spring is upon us, and that means students in AP classes are getting ready for their final exams. These exams happen before our traditional exam week at the end of the school year and are very important as these students can earn college credits with their exam scores. "We recommend the students start preparing for the exam from day 1," explained Ms. Wynne, AP Leader.  "They need to develop very strong organization skills and be responsible and disciplined with deadlines for their work." These courses are equivalent to a first year college course.

Each AP class has required readings and extra knowledge that the students must keep up with throughout the year and might appear on their exam. "Students in AP English Literature must read widely and deeply from literary texts from the 16th - 21st century," described Mr. Slease. Those taking AP Comparative Politics and Government must keep up with political news from 6 world countries. "All AP classes require higher level thinking, which goes beyond the core curriculum and the traditional subjects," add Mr. Rios.

Throughout the year, AP students take mock exams which replicate the experience of the real exam as a practice. The mock exams are done under the same conditions as the real exam. "The time of the exam depends on the subject, but they range from 2.5 hours to almost 4 hours in length," said Ms. Wynne. The mock exams are graded by the AP teachers. "We are teachers who have been teaching AP for a long time, and we volunteer to grade the mock exams in our free time," detailed Mr. Lopez. The exams get a score of 1-5, with 5 being the best. A score above 3 is considered passing. Afterwards, the students get feedback on which areas they need to focus on in preparation for the real AP exams that take place in May.

"All in all, AP classes raise the academic standards of our curriculum and better prepare our students for not only further academic study, but also to be hard workers in general," concluded Ms. Wynne. The content of the AP classes we offer provide students with opportunities to become creative problem solvers, critical readers, and globally competent citizens. 

Learning Moments at a Glance





Been caught reading! Middle school student, Leon, enjoyed a beautiful day studying outside. Keep up the great work!





Ms. Rose helped the Elementary students weed their herb garden in preparation for spring planting.





Students in Mr. Collins' Human Geography did explorations of aesthetics through a project called Beauty vs. Sublime. 





Students in Mr. Lopez's 8th grade History class presented a flipped classroom project about colonialism.





Middle School students in the Catalan Sociales class went on an excursion to a workshop about waste and saving the planet.






Middle School students enjoyed a field trip to visit the Roman ruins in Tarragona in connection to their unit of study in History class. 





Students in Mr. Green's Honors Physics class built and tested landers for an egg drop challenge.






Students get some extra time to complete and prepare their school work during Study Hall with Ms. Nuñez.





In Mr. Gaudin's 2D art class, students are creating drawings with charcoal.






Students in Mr. Marti's Spanish class reviewed present tense verb conjugation actively on the board.
Encouraging Tips From Our Alumni
Diego Herrera from the graduating class of 2018 returned to campus to share about his university experience so far. It was great to see you again, Diego!
We do so much more than can fit in a newsletter!

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-OUR MISSION-
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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