Gratefulness Portraits

There is an increasing body of scientific research that strongly suggests that the key to real & lasting happiness is gratefulness.

Indeed the word grateful is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’ which means graciousness, gratefulness, & grace. The very act of appreciating what we have not only taps into the Mindfulness revolution but allows us to step back from ourselves & truly examine the good & the great things that abound in each of our lives.


During our final Visual Art lessons of this academic year Grade 7 & Grade 9 had the opportunity to appreciate one another & the qualities that each individual student brings to their community. Students took turns to sit in front of a whiteboard whilst their peers wrote positive words around them. They decided to photograph each other before they had seen the board & afterwards. They were Inspired by the ‘Compliments’ photographic project by Grade 9 artist Abbigale, exhibited at the Summer M.A.D. Night.

The results are a series of black & white images capturing a little something of the heart of our student community; compliments were accepted graciously & given whole-heartedly. In the context of political uncertainty in Europe, a tragic rise in race-related crime this last week in the U.K., & other sad stories in the news, we can perhaps take heart from these images. They are the evidence of a hugely diverse community of young people here at H.I.S. who are grateful for one another, celebrate this daily, & have wonderful ambitions for their future, & in turn, our world.

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text & photos: KIM

Dewey Decimal Delight

DSCI0013On Monday morning, Grades 5 and 2 met up in the library for two periods of Dewey Decimal delight!

The Dewey Decimal System is a method of arranging nonfiction books in libraries, so that information is easy to find no matter what library you walk into.

The fifth graders broke into groups back in the fall and since Exhibition finished in May, they have been preparing stations based on a certain section of the Dewey Decimal system, with a fun game to teach the Grade 2s what that section is all about!

We saw games ranging from “Pin the Monocle on Shakespeare” (800s: Literature), to “Match the Flags with the Language” (400s: Languages), “Create a Volcano” (500s: Science and Math), and “Shoot the Aliens with a ‘Miniweapons’ Rubber Band Gun” (000s: Unsolved Mysteries and General Information). 

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DSCI0021 “Our station was in the 600s and so we did a matching game. The matching cards were Legos, since in the 600s is ‘building,’ and it also has ‘machinery,’ so we included different types of vehicles (cars, trains, etc). Carlo told them about Leonardo da Vinci. The second graders liked it a lot, and the record is held by Max, who was able to match all the cards in just 29 seconds!” -Carlo and Shritan

Text and pictures by Tory

Grade 3 Students – Ambassadors for Peace

Grade 3 employed their water colour art skills in combination with their knowledge of Banksy’s particular artistic style to create various art pieces centred around the theme of peace.

They have been exploring various ways to speak out about their beliefs and values in their final unit of the year. Entries were sent to an organisation linked to the Rio 2016 olympics, who are making a Peace Quilt with the entries from students all over the world. 

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Good news for Julian Heisler who created the winning entry! His piece will be collated with other students from every corner of the globe!

 Check out the website for all of Grade 3’s entries.

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text: PB

H.I.S. Sports Day 2016

At the H.I.S. Sports Day today, everybody was involved in making the day a success. Be it by preparing and organising the event, by challenging themselves to run that bit faster, jump just a bit higher or score a goal, by helping and supporting others. Occasional rain showers seemed not to matter – PYP, MYP and DP students appeared to be unstoppable! Many thanks to the whole community for supporting the H.I.S. Sports Day.


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photos & text AS





Bringing Real World Applications into The Classroom

As part of their Unit of Inquiry, Ecosystems, students explored parts of plants, discussed what they have already learned about ecosystems, drew diagrams to show the life cycle of a plant and tried to identify trees from their leaves.

Thank you so much to Rishi’s dad, Hathi, for coming in as an expert and showing the students how to use a microscope. IMG_6865IMG_6854While working with Hathi, students learned about the different parts of a microscope, each part’s function, the structure of a leaf, as well as how he uses the concepts they have been learning about in his job. The collaboration between Hathi and the Grade 4 Classroom Teacher allowed students to develop a deeper understanding of the Unit of Inquiry through exploration, practice and application.

“I really liked that we got to look at the fruit and vegetables because we got observe what is inside the vegetables and fruits. We got to find out more about how they look on the inside and think about how each one had developed from a seed.” – Zara 

“I liked looking into the microscope because then we could see how the leaf was made and see all of the cells.” – JanoIMG_6862 (1)“I liked I went to the microscope and we looked at plants. We found a lot of interesting things. When we looked through the magnifying glass. It was so much different than what I could see under the microscope.” – Malek 

“I enjoyed trying to figure out what trees the different leaves belonged to because it was interesting to look at the different properties, like the stems, the color and the shape. Sometimes it was easy. Sometimes it was more difficult because there were a lot of different trees with the similar leaves. That’s because they grow in the same kind of weather and live in the same type of ecosystem.” Caera

IMG_6863  IMG_6864“My favorite part the microscopes because we got to see the parts, like what was in the leaves as it was instead just seeing the picture. I also learned how to use a microscope.” – JoãoIMG_2451

photos: KAM, text: Grade 4

Transition Workshop for Parents

"Happiness is not a destination - it's a way of life"

change-ahead-signOur transition workshop was full of sharing and ideas for easing the difficulties intrinsic to transitioning in any form.

We discussed ways to build a R.A.F.T. to support/carry us through rough transitions and the parents involved shared some ideas that help them in transitions. Their quotes are below.

 Pluck de dag!”

“Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life.”

“Open up yourself to others. Don’t think something is wrong with you – it’s normal.”

“Take the most important toys that belong to your child – or also the favourite pillow – with you wherever you go to.”

“If you want to be happy – BE happy. But give other feelings the right to be part of you.”

“Transitions: It’s easier than you imagine, so don’t think too much.”

“Transitions: Help in broadening the mind and in building stronger relationships inside the family.”

“It is an opportunity and really worth it. It won’t be forever.”

workshop leader: Susan Hoeck-Buehler


Former Students Visit H.I.S.

Dear Carla and John,

Thank you for dropping by today to visit H.I.S. It was great to see you and to hear about your latest accomplishments.

Good luck with starting medical studies in Prague, Carla. Best wishes to John who is waiting to start a Masters’ Programme soon.


photo: AS


Grade 5 Orientation Day

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 13.10.52Grade 5 spent the day experiencing a typical Grade 6 today and had lots of fun! After an introduction to the day in homeroom, students headed to English where they explored the question: what makes a poem? Next it was onto science to take a peek into a microscope before having the chance to get a feel for Individuals and Societies and Performing Arts.

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They switched languages in the afternoon when they headed out to the Annex for German class. They were treated to a number of activities at the end of the day as the current Grade 6 had prepared a “treasure hunt” that took the students from classroom to classroom before leading them to a “Welcome to the MYP” party. The students were all, in their on words, “very, very excited” as well as a little “scared” at the start of the day, but the adjective most heard at the end of the day was AWESOME! 


text: HP photos: AS