Newsletter // November 2021

Dear Families and Friends, 

There is no denying that the last couple of years have been tough on us all. However, as I write this on Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the importance of taking the time to be grateful for all the wonderful things we still do have in our lives. 

I am personally thankful for all the incredible people I am surrounded by: dedicated, passionate individuals who model on a daily basis what it takes to make the world a better place for everyone.

A special big 'Thank You' is in order for the student council, led by our President Andreas Chapides and expertly supported by Gonzalo Rios and Katie Morrison. Thank you for organizing an excellent Thanksgiving Lunch and an amazing charity raffle.  As always, our charity raffle was well supported by our wonderful head coaches, Stefan, Pep, and Angel, who volunteer every charity event to give a private session to a lucky student. Thank you to the teachers who did the same. (Don’t worry, this was a private class not a tennis session!). And, of course, to Sergi Bonillo and his amazing team, who always do us proud, delivering a feast on every special occasion. 

Finally, I would like to give a special thank you to our Media and Design wonder, Jamie Fulcher, who puts together this fabulous newsletter, that not only serves to keep you all informed of the great work going on in school, but also is creating a historical record for us all to enjoy in years to come!

Thank you for your continued support,

Head of School


Upcoming Events

DEC 02
Activ Natura Field Trip
9th and 10th graders only
13:00 - 18:00

DEC 04
Official SAT Exam
11th and 12th graders only
07:45 - 12:30

DEC 06 - DEC 08
Day of the Immaculate Conception
Long holiday weekend

DEC 06 - 13
Final Exam Revision Days
Middle and High School students

DEC 14 - 17
Final Exam Days
Middle and High School students

DEC 18
Recommended Departure Date
For students of all grades who are traveling for the winter holiday

JAN 10
Back to School
Classes resume for all grade levels

Reading to Galgos

This month, both Elementary and Middle School students were invited to spend time with some very special four legged friends. Anna Clements, director and co-founder of SOS Galgos and mother of our senior Cloe, brought some of her furry companions for a visit in order to raise awareness about her animal rescue organization and literacy skills.  

Galgos are a kind of dog that are similar to greyhounds but are not from the same lineage. In the past they were prized animals, but often today, hunters consider them as disposable tools to help them during hunting season. Because of

this, every year there are many abandoned dogs that are in need of care and a new home.

Ana Clements helped found SOS Galgos about 20 years ago, and has helped thousands of galgos find their forever homes. Nowadays, she brings these sweet animals to different schools to meet children and help them practice their reading skills. With the project 'Reading to Galgos', she hopes to not only give children the opportunity to experience the sweet nature of these dogs but to also practice reading aloud to someone who does not judge them. Building student confidence with reading and raising awareness about animals is a benefit for all of us!

Click to learn more about SOS Galgos
Nature Influences Our Expression
In Elementary, the second Unit of Inquiry has been very exciting so far this month. They are exploring the central idea 'How We Express Ourselves' and about how discoveries and ideas about nature can influence different kinds of expression. 
In PYP and Literacy classes, students practiced their written expression in the form of narratives and poetry and relating mathematical expressions and shapes to nature. They worked in stations to explore colors found in nature, investigate natural mysteries, and write concrete poems about the sun.
During Inquiry hours, they delved deeper into their questions about plants, the sun, volcanoes, the water cycle, and artistic expression in the visual and theatre arts. They combined science and art to create scientifically accurate representations of bean plants and even planted their own bean seeds. In addition, they gathered natural materials to create puppet characters to explore dramatic expression.
Connecting to our local community, students had the opportunity to visit and appreciate Montserrat, a mountain that is very special to the Catalan people. On this excursion, they explored the unique landforms there and learned about how they influence local art and culture.
For the final activity of the month, students had an in-school excursion with a company called FunBrain. They participated in a workshop where they deepened their understanding of the connection between science and art by creating their own paint by using ingredients from nature.  
In the time they have left before the winter holiday, students will choose how they want to share their learning with our community. We look forward to see what they will make next!
We Are Thankful!
What a month to give thanks! This year, our Student Council voted to support the local dog rescue organization, SOS Galgos. Not only do we support their mission of rescuing galgos in need, but we love that the founder, Anna Clements, is mother to our very own Marist-bound senior, Cloe Clements. In order to support SOS Galgos, Student Council organized a Thanksgiving Day Feast and raffle for the school and academy.

A big thanks is owed to Sergi Bonillo and all the staff of La Masía restaurant for making such a delicious turkey lunch. Students enjoyed many of the traditional Thanksgiving sides such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and more. 
After lunch, students participated in the raffle. Tickets were sold to members of our community, and we are proud to announce that we raised over 600€ in funds! Students and teachers went home with prizes such as tennis rackets, candy baskets, tennis lessons, and school supplies. We are so proud of the money our community has raised and can’t wait to see it put to use at the new SOS Galgos center. Be sure to follow them on social media to see how your donations are being used to benefit pups in need.

As we look towards 2022, we hope to have many more community building and fundraising opportunities such as a Mixed Doubles Tournament, Calcotada Lunch raffle, and more. 
Click to see more photos from Thanksgiving
A Variety of Assessments
When people hear the word assessment they often think of a test or exam. While these are useful tools for assessing student knowledge about a topic, they do not necessarily show the total understanding and the full range of skills students have learned in a class or lesson. In order to judge a learner's holistic learning, alternatives to the traditional test format are needed. 

All teachers at our school agree that using a variety of assessment methods is the best way to gauge student learning. "They give students the opportunity to develop research and critical thinking skills, the autonomy over what they choose to study, and they allow them to improve presentation and team work skills.  Most importantly,  alternative assessments give an outlet for students to demonstrate their artistic skills and public speaking skills," explained Ms. Wynne, High School History professor.
When given the opportunity to demonstrate different skills, students respond very well. "Its hard work but they produce some extraordinary work, and they appreciate and encourage each other's work, which is wonderful," described Ms. Wynne. 

Around campus, there are a wide variety of alternative assessments happening each day. In Mr. Lopez's Middle School History classes, students regularly sit in the 'Chair of Wisdom' to share their knowledge about a topic. This activity allows the teacher to gauge verbal understanding while at the same time helps students build confidence speaking in front of their peers. In Dr. Boerkamps' Middle School Science classes, students are asked to be the teacher for a day. They research and explain their findings to the class to show how well they understand what they learned. "My students feel very important when they get to be the teacher," Dr. Boerkamps shared.
Other alternatives can be found in classes such as Mr. Wager's High School Geometry class, where students were asked to make art with the shapes they were studying. Another example can be seen in our Spanish classes where students often present their research about current or personal events. 

Some of the most anticipated examples of alternative assessment at our school every year are the projects that students in Ms. Wynne's classes create. They are very complex and involve multiple facets. "This year students in the 10th grade Modern European History Honors class worked together to research and present on European 19th and 20th century revolutionary composers, architects
and painters. They worked in teams to do research on their chosen historic figures, create a poster, make a sculpture, and produce a short film as well as a powerpoint presentation which will take 40-45 minutes to present," Ms. Wynne detailed. Students are extremely proud to share their hard work and exquisite craftsmanship.

Each of Ms. Wynne's History classes participate in a project of this caliber and extent during the first semester. "Alternative assessments allow students to demonstrate different skills which I believe are also important academic and life skills," concluded Ms. Wynne. We are never disappointed by the work they have produced.
Click to see more photos from Ms. Wynne's student projects
Learning Moments at a Glance

Students in Ms. Delgado's Change Makers class learned how to make cuttings of plants to replant around campus.

Middle School students in Mr. Gaudin's class volunteered to attend a live National Geographic seminar about Global Citizenship Conference held online and their question highlighted by experts during the webinar.

Students in Mr. Domènech's Catalan class, students created relief maps to learn more about Geography.

This blended photo was created by Ayana K. in Mr. Gaudin's 2D Art class. These original photos came from their excursion to Sitges last month.

9th graders in Mr. Slease's English class made found poems which is done by taking existing poems and making changes to them in order to create something new. 

Ms. Hopkins, our IB PYP Coordinator, attended a leadership conference in Andorra in order to share her ideas as well as bring back knowledge to share with others. 
Proud of Our Students!
Cloe and Olga signed agreements to play tennis while attending university in the United States next year. All of your hard work, effort, and dedication have paid off. We are very proud of you!
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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