Field to Douaumont, Verdun

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, students of Grades 9 and 10 and the History students of Grade 11 took a trip to Douaumont near Verdun in France.

The trip was part of an interdisciplinary unit combining the subjects History, Science and English.

Interdisciplinary units aim to deepen the understanding and enrich the learning experience of students by allowing multiple points of view of concepts or topics.


Douaumont is the site of the longest-raging battle of World War I and the visit brought real life context to the class room teaching. We visited the ossuary, military cemetery and the fort. It was a worth-while experience for students and staff alike.

text & photos AK


PYP Halloween Party

A huge thank you to all parents for organising the PYP Halloween Party and to all student helpers for supporting this event. The “horrible” snacks brought in were fantastic and all PYP monsters, witches, princesses, superheroes, dragons and skeletons….. were enjoying the games, the parade and the food very much.

photos: AS



Abel & Jaro #2

As promised, Abel and Jaro have provided recent pictures. Jaro is currently in New York studying at NYU Stern. Able moved to Vancouver, Canada. He attends UBC Vancouver Sauder School of Business.

Dear Abel and Jaro,

Thank you for sharing these photos, we are thrilled to hear that you are both doing well. We wish you all the best and a successful time in New York and Vancouver.

Many thanks to Rosa, for sending on the photos!

MYP Garden Gnomes at Work

Thanks to all the MYP students who came to the help of PYP last week.

Our beautifully newly-painted PYP garden boxes required a top-up of soil before the PYP students could plant spring bulbs and winter flowers. It is always lovely to see the response from students and teachers when you ask for help!

text: NP


Abel & Jaro

If you have been at H.I.S. for a long time, you might remember these boys! Abel and his younger brother Jaro were students at H.I.S. from 2003-4 until 2011-12.

Their mother, Rosa, just got in touch to let us know how the boys are doing. Rosa’s family moved back from China to the Netherlands this year. Here is Rosa’s message:

“The boys are both in University. Abel lives in Canada, Vancouver and Jaro just moved in August to USA, New York. Abel is in UBC Vancouver Sauder School of Business and Jaro had an early acceptancy at NYU Stern. Jaro did his IB exam this year and he was predicted a 43 and he ended with a 41 score. He did 4 HL and 2 SL.  They both do really well but I do miss them. 

Warm regards, 


Archaeological Dig

Grade 5 began their new Unit of Inquiry, digging around for clues of the past.

During the next six weeks, these students will be taking on the role of archaeologists as they investigate the beliefs and products of past civilizations, that have influenced the development of modern culture.

Before embarking on their first excavation, students learned about how archaeologists use grids to record the exact location of artifacts. The class then discussed the importance of making observations and taking detailed notes, in order to make inferences about what past civilizations were like.

After brainstorming questions they might ask themselves while uncovering treasures from the past, students divided their inquiries into each of the key concept questions – i.e. form, function, connection, change causation, perspective, responsibility, reflection.

Finally, it was time to prepare their bags for their adventure into the past. Students made a list of items we would need to take with us on the excavation and were headed out.


The first task our archaeologists had to tackle was laying down the grid. Using geometric skills, students measured out the x and y-axes, divided the increments evenly, and made sure that all necessary gridlines were parallel and perpendicular. Then it was time for digging…    

Once the artifacts were uncovered, students brought them back to our facility, where they recorded their findings in great detail.


These Grade 5 students are learning first-hand, how primary sources are used to tell us more about the past and how we got were we are today.


text & photos: FW


Needs And Wants

Grade 1 just finished their unit “Needs and Wants”. The students showed their knowledge and understanding of the unit topic by creating commercials. They advertised old products that were used on a daily basis and compared those to the new version of these products. Enjoy the creative energy of the Grade 1 students and watch their presentations on the H.I.S. Facebook page.

A Day of Service

The IB Programmes at H.I.S. facilitate a holistic approach to education. As well as academic lessons, the students have opportunities to develop their creativity, physical health, their social and emotional skills – as well as have fun.

Service is one aspect of the curriculum that is common to PYP, MYP and DP. Of course, it looks a little different depending on the age of the student, but the idea of giving our time for the good of others, is the same throughout.

To be able to identify with the experiences of our students and in turn to be able to support them effectively, the H.I.S. staff took Monday 1st October as a day of service to the Heidelberg community. We were involved in three projects; helping to sort and sell second hand clothes at the German Red Cross (DRK) store in Epplelheim, clearing weeds from the carpark at the Hoffnungskirche and supporting the keepers in various areas of the Heidelberg Zoo.

Back in school on Tuesday 2nd October, we reflected on our experiences and presented our reflections to one another.

There was an awareness of being part of a bigger picture – our small sorting or weeding contributions did not necessarily finish a job, but definitely helped!

The development of a team within a task led to increased efficiency and learning to anticipate one another’s needs – how quickly sand can be distributed!

It was rewarding to receive feedback whether verbally from those instructing us or from watching the pigs roll around excitedly in their new bed of woodchips!

We gave our day for the agenda of another, we persevered through the heat and the smells, we challenged ourselves physically… and we look forward to the next time!