Trip to Netherlands

A few weeks ago, April 5th to be exact, some students and teachers went on a trip to the Netherlands. We interviewed two of the travellers to find out more about their trip. Here’s what they had to say……

Traveler: Rosario – 1A

SB: What was the most exciting place you visited while you were in the Netherlands?
Rosario:For me, the most exciting place we went to was Amsterdam, the city in general. I loved every part of it and I think it’s a really beautiful place that has developed as a new and modern city keeping its traditional architecture and culture.

SB: Are there any similarities between Spain and Netherlands?
Rosario: There were some similarities, but I found everything so different from Spain starting with the bike and finishing with the fact that weed is legal.

SB: What was the main language spoken and did you have trouble communicating?
Rosario: The main language spoken was Dutch, but almost everywhere you could found people with a good level of english and the students from our exchange had a really good english. Anyway, if languages aren’t your thing you can always use google or just try to use body language. I think in the end we didn’t have much trouble communicating and we even learned some Dutch!!

SB: Was there anything that is done differently there that you wish Spain will adapt? i.e the bike path.
Rosario: In the Netherlands they had a lot of things that I loved and that I wished we had here in Spain. One of them is the bikes, there where bike paths everywhere and they were well built and safe, (most of them separated from the cars) and the bikes had the priority over cars and people. Also another thing I liked was their daily routine, they had a huge breakfast then some snack at around 12am and then a huge dinner at 6pm, I think that’s healthier than here in Spain.

SB: What were your overall impressions of the Netherlands?
Rosario: For me, this exchange was just amazing, the people in the Netherlands are so polite, sometime a little bit cold or too polite, I loved the houses and the small villages as well as Amsterdam and I enjoyed every second of the week.

Traveler: Lucia 1C

SB: What was the most exciting place you visited while you were in the Netherlands?
Lucia: I honestly liked them all pretty much, but I guess Amsterdam would be the most exciting one, probably because it’s the capital and you are already looking forward to going there, it is also cheerful with all the shops, people and leisure in general

SB: Are there any similarities between Spain and Netherlands?
Lucia: I particularly didn’t find any clear similarity between both countries, both cultures are pretty different in general. Dutch people were really friendly and I think Spanish people are as well. Buildings and nature are slightly different too.

SB: What was the main language spoken and did you have trouble communicating?
Lucia: English of course since it’s not our/my main language and you always struggle with something like that but we all managed to talk between each other with no problem.

SB: Was there anything that is done differently there that you wish Spain will adapt? i.e the bike path.
Lucia: Actually there’s nothing I saw there that I missed or weren’t used in Spain. Probably their high school, which was public just like ours, seemed to be better, the teaching facilities at least from the outside. Now, I don’t know how the education is. But things liked were the public transport schedule related to their lifestyle… I prefer Spain in at least those aspects (that’s my opinion of course)

SB: What were your overall impressions of the Netherlands?
Lucia: I found it to be a pretty country with beautiful buildings facades and canals throughout the cities. Charming, nice people that follow every rule and are respectful with them. And also are healthy people in general since they have to use the bicycle for going almost everywhere. I liked it.

The 5Rs journals

The students in 2D are back at it again!! Trying to save planet earth. When they’re not busy studying, these students are preoccupied on how they can reduce their ecological footprint. Thus making not only their communities but their world a better place.

Recently, the students have been working on different ways they can contribute to our world’s over consumption problem. Here are some of their journals that outlines their plan.

¡Regresan otra vez los estudiantes de 2D! Esta vez intentan salvar a nuestro planeta. Cuando no están estudiando, los estudiantes están preocupados con reducir su huella ecológica. Así mejoraran no solo sus comunidades, pero también el mundo en que todos vivimos.

Recientemente, los estudiantes han estado pensando en diferentes formas en cuales pueden contribuir a ayudar con el problema mundial de consumo excesivo. Aquí mostramos unos de sus diarios que perfilan sus planes.

Having fun while gaining global awareness

Recently, the students in 2D have been participating in an international online learning program call Global Scholars. The program, which was started by Bloomberg philanthropies, aims to promote global awareness to middle school students age 10-13. Although, it is an online platform, the program offers activities that can be done both online and in the classroom.
Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in digital presentations, have online discussions with students across the globe and use their critical thinking skills to work on community projects.
In the classroom, we had the opportunity to play a board game that challenged the students to make some tough choices regarding resources as mayor of a city. Overall, the students were well engaged and learned that managing resources is not an easy task.
Global Scholars is great program that is fostering the young minds of today to become great leaders of tomorrow. For more information on global scholars check out their brochure here.

Recientemente, los estudiantes de 2D han estado participando en un programa internacional de aprendizaje por internet llamado Global Scholars. El programa, que fue empezado por filantropías Bloomberg, intenta promover conciencia global a estudiantes de edades 10 a 13. Aunque es una plataforma por internet, el programa ofrece actividades que pueden ser hechas en línea y en el aula.

Los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de participar en presentaciones digitales, discusiones en internet con estudiantes de todo el mundo, y usar sus habilidades de pensamiento crítico en proyectos comunitarios.

En el aula, tuvieron la oportunidad de participar en un juego de mesa donde eran ellos el alcalde de una ciudad y tuvieron que hacer decisiones difíciles sobre los recursos disponibles. Sobre todo, los estudiantes participaron muy bien y aprendieron que asignar recursos no es algo fácil.

El programa Global Scholars es increíble en su manera de ayudar a jóvenes convertirse en los líderes de mañana. Para más información sobre Global Scholars pueden ver aquí.

Excursion al parque Juan Carlos Primero

Los estudiantes de segundo de la ESO pasaron la mañana del martes 12 en el parque Juan Carlos Primero. Las actividades incluyeron un trabajo en equipo buscando ciertas estatuas por el parque y marcando sus coordenadas con una brújula. Los equipos tenían una hora para localizar las nueve estatuas y regresar al punto de inicio. Además de aprender a usar una brújula, la actividad reforzó el trabajo en equipo.

Después de un descanso para comer, los chicos se separaron en dos grupos y aprendieron un poco sobre el piragüismo antes de subirse a las canoas y kayaks. Los líderes de las actividades les mostraron cómo sostener las palas y cómo coordinar mientras en el agua. En parejas se subieron a los kayaks y después jugaron un juego todavía en el agua. La otra mitad de los chicos subieron a dos canoas y participaron en una divertida carrera contra sus compañeros.

Los dos grupos cambiaron de actividades después de un rato, para que todos disfrutaran de la experiencia. Al final, los chicos quedaron un poco mojados pero muy divertidos. Varios de ellos hasta mostraron interés en practicar piragüismo después de esta excursión! Fue un día activo y agradable para todos.

Ski Trip 2019

Santamarca students and teachers at Astun

Last week a few lucky students and teachers had the opportunity to partake in the annual ski trip to Astun. The yearly trip allows the students to learn and build up their confidence in a fun winter sport.

The trip, which commenced on a Sunday, lasted for five days. The students and teachers had to arrive to school early to take a long bus ride to Jaca. They then had to get fitted, pick-up their ski and snowboard rentals, then check into their hotels —sounds exhausting. The next few days consisted of the students waking up at the crack of dawn to have their breakfast before tackling the mountain trails. Overall, it sounds like it was a tiresome, but fun-filled week.

Skiing or snowboarding is a fun winter activity. It’s a thrilling way to keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’ve ever thought about trying out this fun winter activity with your family checkout Astun’s website here. We’re certain you’ll enjoy it.

Christmas 2018 Tales Contest winners

Our first post for the New Year!! Happy New Year everyone! Or as they say in Espana – Feliz año! Hope you all had a relaxing holiday with your family and friends. If you’re like us, you’re probably still daydreaming about all the fun times you had during the holiday season. Luckily, we have something to cure those January blues. We have selected the winners from our annual Christmas Tales contest. I’m not sure if it’s just us, but these kids seem to be getting more and more creative every year. Take a look at some of this year’s stories.

Our Christmas by Teresa Esclarin 

Aunt Petunia was very  excited to be celebrating Thanksgiving’s dinner at her home. She was at the kitchen preparing mashed potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Green Bean casserole, gravy and turkey. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the turkey…

Ever since I was just a chick I’ve heard about Christmas,, Thanksgiving Day, and all the other holidays  when people get together with their families to have dinner and fun. It sounds great, right?

But when I grew up, I began hearing  rumours about what people have for dinner on those wonderful holidays. Guess what? Us! Their plan is to feed us, make us get fat, then kill us and… eat us.

But as I’ve said, those  are just rumours, a story to make the chicks go back to their nest and go to sleep. But now that Mr. Burner, the owner of the farm where I live, has started to give us more food, I’ve began to get a bit worried.  I’ve mentioned my concerns to my friend Luc and he agrees with me; we are in trouble. We decide to tell Lara (a very beautiful and wonderful mother, for chicks and turkeys, who I don’t like) and she started to panic. I told  them it isn’t fair that turkeys can’t celebrate Christmas because we’re eaten first by humans. So then, we came up with a great idea; we were going to escape!

We waited until dark and the three of us snuck  inside Mr. Burner’s house. It was all in silence and in the dark. We started to walk silently through the corridor. There were  a few pictures on the wall and Lara felt like they were watching us. I tried to calm her being the strong turkey I was (even though I was shaking like a leaf) and we continued walking. There was a strange light at the end of the corridor. We arrived in the living room, where the farmer had put up the Christmas tree and has left on all the decorative lights. . We were all absorbed at looking at the beautiful coloured-lights when a shadow appeared  from behind.. We turned around and and found an enormous cat glaring at us with its teeth showing. My blood ran cold when I saw him and Luc screamed. The cat tried to catch him with it’s terrible claws, but I reacted swiftly and quickly took him away by the wings. I called out to Lara and she followed Luc and I. We started to climb up the Christmas tree, I let Lara go first while Luc was behind.. He was quickly getting tired while trying to escape with his fat butt. Why did he have to  to eat all of Mr.Burner’s food? The cat was chasing us and climbing faster than us. He was going to catch Luc when decided to I use the tinsel from the tree to swing down to save him like Tarzan. I caught Luc and we swung to the highest point of the tree, but the cat was still trying to get us. Lara was so afraid and Luc started to scream we are going to die, we can’t go anywhere. But then, when everything seemed lost, I got an idea. I ordered them to stay together and to grab on to the huge and shiny golden star at the top of the tree.  The cat saw that he had trapped his prey and decided s to jump and catch it once and for all, but then, the Christmas tree swung and fell against the window smashing the glass. We fell down to the floor and I made sure everyone was okay. I turned around and saw that the cat, “Mr. Whiskers” were all tangled up with the lights and the tinsel and the tree was partly hanging outside the broken window. Suddenly the lights came on and we heard Mr. Burner shouting blasphemies from his room. We decided to run away as fast as we can.

Now we are free. Now we can celebrate Christmas, and I’m so happy to be able to be with my friends, safe and alive. My name is Liam Turkyson and I’m one of the first turkeys to celebrate Thanksgiving from a pretty safe distance from the nearest kitchen, restaurant or aunt Petunia’s dining table, and I wish to all of you a Merry Christmas!

Be sure to also download the other winner’s stories. They were all well written. Congratulations again to all the winners!!

Quotes that inspire

Feeling a bit down lately? Well you’re probably not alone. Some of our students have been feeling a tad defeated after, ahem, receiving their exam results.

Do not despair readers! All is not sad and gloom. A few students from 1D have made a few posters with some inspiring quotes that are sure to put a smile on your faces.

So whether you’re feeling down from receiving bad exam results, the grey skies, the chilly days or whatever, take a deep breath, keep calm and check out the funny quotes below…..

Love, Loss and What I Wore

 NEW – For our Spanish only readers, we’ll now be adding the Spanish translation for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

This past Friday, I (Elisa – American Auxiliar)  accompanied students from 4th of ESO and bachillerato classes to watch a play. Starring students from the Saint Louis University, Love, Loss, and What I Wore was a funny, powerful, and insightful performance about the lives of women and the fashion that goes with them. Narrated by four different women playing almost twenty characters, this play told many stories all connected through the different fashion items they related to the situation.

Although the students went into this without knowing what the play would be about, they were excited and kept an open mind. Love, Loss, and What I Wore was a great opportunity for students to not only watch a story be told on stage, but to learn more about the artist’s experience. After the play, students got a chance to talk to the actresses and director and ask questions. Some students inquired about the story, asking the actresses which character or story they related to more, and others asked about the process behind putting on a theatre performance. They left the theatre with a better understanding of everything that goes into a play.

An important thing noted by one of the actresses was that even though this story focused on women, everyone could

find something in it to relate to. The students enjoyed a powerful performance and improved their language skills all in one excursion!

El viernes pasado acompañe a estudiantes de 4to de la ESO y bachillerato a ver una obra de teatro. Protagonizada por estudiantes de Saint Louis University, Love, Loss, and What I Wore es una actuación divertida, poderosa, y perspicaz sobre la vida de las mujeres y la moda que va con ellas. Narrado por cuatro mujeres actuando casi veinte personajes diferentes, esta obra nos mostró muchas historias conectadas por los diferentes accesorios de moda que relacionaban con la situación.

Aunque los estudiantes entraron a esta obra sin saber de que se trataría, estaban emocionados y con mente abierta. Love, Loss, and What I Wore fue una increíble oportunidad para que los estudiantes no solo tuvieran la experiencia de ver una historia en el escenario, pero también para aprender más sobre la experiencia de los artistas. Después de la obra, los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de hablar con las actrices y la directora y hacer preguntas. Unos estudiantes preguntaron sobre la historia de la obra, preguntando cuales personajes o historias se relacionaban con más las actrices, y otros preguntaron sobre el proceso de poner en marcha una obra de teatro. Se fueron de la obra con un mejor entendimiento sobre todo lo que se toma para poner una obra.

Una cosa importante que mencionó una de las actrices es que aunque la historia es sobre mujeres, todos pueden encontrar algo en ella con que relacionarse. Los estudiantes disfrutaron una actuación muy poderosa y practicaron su inglés en solo una excursión.

Love, Loss, and What I wore.
Pictures of the performance.


Halloween Escape Room Challenge

In the spirit of celebrating Halloween, the Auxiliares and a few student volunteers hosted another Escape Room challenge. Similar to last year’s challenge, we created a few puzzles then laid them out and around a classroom. We then invited the students from 1st Eso, in groups of 10, to try and solve the puzzles within 10 minutes. Oh, and of course, we added a little surprise for the students…Zombies! In addition to only having 10 minutes to solve some crazy puzzles, the participants also had to try to stay away from the Zombies that were trying to catch them. Sounds stressful doesn’t it?

This year’s puzzle consisted of the following. Four sets of cards was laid out on desks in the middle of the classroom. Three sets had four playing cards laid out like this……

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.21.47 AM              Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.21.58 AM

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.22.06 AM


While the fourth hand had only three playing cards like this…….Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.22.14 AM

The students had to then figure out which card was missing from the fourth set. It may seem a bit challenging but the student also had further clues written out on the blackboard.  The clues, on the board, consist of the following: (10+10+2+3=25) (8+7+8+2=25) (5+5+5+10=25) (8+9+3+?=25). 

Can you guess which card is missing?  If you guessed Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.22.24 AM (5 of spades) then you’re are correct!! Each hand had to equal 25.

Once they were able figure out the answer, the participants were given another clue. The second clue was the same as last year where we had the following cryptogram…….

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.22.35 AM

We also had the following clues written on the blackboard A= 24, B= – C= – D= 4.

Were you able to figure out the cryptogram? If you’re stumped, here’s the answer:


Lastly, the students had to guess the meaning of the cryptogram. If you guessed the answer ‘shoes’, then you’re also correct.

Sitting between the chairs in the classroom were a pair of shoes with a set of keys tied between the laces. The set of keys were for a lock that opened a suitcase which was set beside the shoe.

These puzzles may appear to be difficult, but the students had no problems solving them. One group was able to solve all of the puzzles within 6 minutes! We definitely have some brilliant minds at Santamarca.

An escape room isn’t complete without someone or something chasing you. Thanks to our very own makeup artist aka Elisa the Auxiliare, we had some gruesome Zombies. Take a look at some of the  pics below.

Overall, this was a fun and exciting activity for the students and Auxiliares. The students had a chance to use both their English and Math skills. Who would’ve ever thought that learning can be so much fun!

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