The moments between the summer and fall breaks required all of us to find a renewed source of resilience. Our students display this daily; following the guidelines that help safeguard each other and keep our community well. Over the next month in our weekly newsletter, I will speak to the 10 R’s listed here to help us all stay well during a time that tries our patience and keeps us distant from those we love.
The first R asks that we reaffirm our actions. These actions have kept us safe over the past 8 months and will see us through the rest of this pandemic. Actions matter and a mask on our faces, emphasis on hygiene and keeping distant are known to keep this virus in check. Let’s reaffirm these actions and trust that in time, our vigilance will make a difference when this pandemic is no more.
I invite all of you to send me an email to email@example.com with strategies or methods you have used to achieve any of the R’s on this list. I would love to generally speak to what works for all of you as I share about these R’s in the weeks to come.
Stay well and strong everyone!
Whole School Counsellor
Students from Grade 11 and 12 took part in in the Virtual CIS University Fair, which proved to be a success.
The students attended live sessions with universities from Europe, USA and other parts of the world and benefitted from the unique chance to speak with Admissions Representatives of the universities they are interested in.
On 16th October 2020 students from Grade 10 and Grade 11 had the great pleasure to virtually meet with Khelan, a student admitted to Yale University.
Khelan elaborated on insightful tips about how to shortlist universities, the timeline of the successful application process, guidance about when and how to prepare for the SAT and/or ACT tests and last but not least – how to plan and successfully write the College essays.
At the end of the virtual chat, future University students from Grade 10 and Grade 11 felt inspired and hopeful that with proper and careful planning, they will be able to tackle college applications.
Grade 11 and Grade 10 students along with their H.I.S. Career Counsellor express their deep gratitude to Khelan for taking the time to give advice and wish him every success in his future studies of Physics at Yale University next year. And viel Spass during his stay in Germany.
Science Teacher and Career Counsellor
On Tuesday 29 September, H.I.S. Student Support Services hosted a parent workshop entitled, “How to help your children cope with difficult situations.”
Dr. Preeti Purohit, from the Psychologische Beratungsstelle, Caritas in Heidelberg, shared with all of us about her work and the methods and strategies around supporting children to be resilient in these challenging times.
Here are a couple of reflections from parents in our community who attended:
“In times of uncertainty and rapid change RESILIENCE is a very important topic. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk of Dr Preeti Purohit, a mother and a professional counselor at Caritas, on the topic of resilience this morning at H.I.S. In sharing her knowledge and work-experience, she helped in getting a better understanding of children’s basic needs in times of stress: A safe base, structure, focus on positive encouragement and honest conversations.
In her down-to-earth, lighthearted and engaging way she was able to alleviate feelings of overwhelm that often come with this topic and replaced them with clear guidelines and simple exercises that empower children and parents alike.”
“Thanks Lance, for arranging such a useful Parent Workshop with Preeti Purohit,on “How to help your child cope with difficult situations”. With all the changes the last few months have brought, it was great to get some new strategies and ideas to approach different situations.
Our kids (and us!) have had to adapt to lots of new rules and things they can’t do, so there were lots of good ideas such as helping focus on what their alternatives are for things they CAN do and ways to help them identify what they might be feeling so we can support them in a gentle way. “
Konnie has been attending a weekly puppy group and has done so well that he has been moved into the young dog group. During these sessions, we both learn important commands and he gets to socialise with other dogs.
At the weekend, Konnie passed the suitability test to be entered into the year-long Therapy Dog Training course. He did extremely well on most elements of the test, but along with the other dogs on the course, he will need to learn new commands and skills. The first module starts this coming weekend.
Staff members and some Grade 12 students continue to take Konnie for short walks during the day. He loves his trips outside and all the dog walkers try hard to ensure there is consistency in what they do with Konnie. For example, he always walks on the left-hand side.
Konnie still has a lot to learn. He is not yet 5 months old, but we are already extremely pleased with his progress.
Konnie travelled to Scotland on the ferry over the Winter Break. He loved his time on the beach in Amsterdam on our way home!
Over 30 parents and educators attended our workshop on November 13th. Our guest, Susie March, guided us through helpful ways to engage our children in a deeper understanding of body autonomy and sexuality. Susie also taught 2 lessons during the day and provided professional development for our primary teachers.
Susie has a website (1.) where you can gather some insight on items she shared with us. These resources point to the importance of having an open dialogue with your children about their bodies, about what makes a healthy relationship and about learning regarding our sexuality. In addition, you can review important guidelines supported by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and what is developmentally normal for your child at various ages (2). This site also supports the PANTS lessons that were introduced while Susie met with 2 of our primary classes.
Konnie had a lovely autumn break, visiting family and meeting new people. Although he did not like the lead at first, he is getting used to it and enjoys short walks around our neighbourhood.
Konnie had a visit to the school during the autumn break. He enjoyed walking through the empty hallways and trying out his bed in the Learning Support Room.
Today was his first official day at H.I.S. He was very excited and is gradually getting used to the busy sights and sounds in school. At this time, I will ask students to refrain from petting him. He is still learning and although he is very friendly, he does like chewing on things!
Before he interacts with our students, parental permission will be required. More information on this will follow soon.
Konnie is not yet trained as a Therapy dog, but he already seems to have a calming effect on our students. As they move to the German class, next door, students have been very quiet and respectful. There have been a lot of smiles too!
text: KvG; photos: KvG & AS
We took Konnie home on Sunday evening. He was sad at times as he was separated from his parents and his siblings. Absolutely everything is new for him. He was really brave on the car ride home. Here he is having a break at the halfway point.
Once he arrived home, he immediately explored his surroundings and seemed very relaxed. He is becoming familiar with our routines.
He loves exploring our garden and playing with his toys.
He is only 9 weeks old so he still needs to sleep a lot.
Training has already begun and we are optimistic that he is a fast learner.
We have instantly become very popular in our village. Everyone we meet wants to stroke and speak to Konnie (short for Konrad).
Konnie will join us in school after the autumn break.
Many thanks to the whole H.I.S. community, especially the PTG, for making this possible.
text & photos KvG
Today, the 22 students in our class of 2019 joined over 169,000 students across the world to celebrate receiving their International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme results.
These students will join a community of over 1.85 million graduates, in 153 countries, who have all demonstrated the knowledge, skills and determination to address our greatest challenges.
Dr Siva Kumari, the IB Director General, extended her heartfelt congratulations to students worldwide receiving their results. She said “They have shown a thirst for knowledge, a determination to succeed and a conviction in their ability to take on their next best step equipped with high quality preparation.”
“Higher Education institutions and employers alike are telling us we need young people who can collaborate, communicate and think critically while creating new knowledge. Research suggests that an IB diploma prepares students with these skills. Our alumni are addressing the challenges humanity face with open-minds and creativity. I wish this year’s graduates all the best for the future and for making our world better”, Dr Kumari added.
I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to all our students celebrating their achievements. For the fifth year running, H.I.S. has achieved a 100% pass rate. I thank our teachers and staff who ensure that every student at Heidelberg International School receives a high quality education and thorough preparation for the IB exams.
Secondary Principal & Diploma Coordinator
I regularly speak with students about social media because it is the primary way that many of us connect with each other. With all forms of communication, there are responsibilities that help people of all ages understand the necessary boundaries. Because social media communication is not face-to-face, a person may feel emboldened to write something that they normally would not say to someone’s face. The article (see link below) speaks about the ways one can deal with those who cross that boundary. I empower all our parents to discuss these options with their children in order to foster resilience and knowledge of the options that exist for those mistreated on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Lance Fortner, H.I.S. Whole School Counsellor