“Silent Spring”

Happy Earth Day 2021

The students in grade 8 have been studying interactions between populations, communities and ecosystems as part of their Unit “Silent Spring”.

This unit takes its name from an environmental science book published in 1962 by Rachel Carson. This book helped everyday people see the dramatic ways our impact on the environment, through the use of pesticides, could ripple through ecosystems, worsening over time, and helped ignite a movement for greater conservation efforts.

Grade 8 took a break from their screens last week to observe their local environment and document examples of​​ interdependence and interactions within populations communities and ecosystems.

One student observed:

“The largest green tree is an apple tree, the tree with the white blossom is cherry, the smaller plants with the yellow flowers are wolfbane and the leafy green bush is a pink and wite rose.

There are many plants in the small space which leaves them all competing for space. Even though the plants are struggling for room, they each bring something to the garden.

The wolfsbane sap burns flesh so it stops any cats or people walking through the roses have thorns which stops people from accessing the apples which means they can drop their seeds easily.

The trees and plants give out O2 and breathe in CO2, and the blossoms have a beautiful smell which attracts many bees and butterflies in summer.”

“There is a pine tree, a second cherry tree and a wild pear tree. These three trees each take up a rather big space.

Pine is incredibly tall, cherry’s branches spread out and lastly wild pear has stayed slightly small because it is benign blocked by the two other trees.

The pine casts a huge shadow down on the ground and makes the soil slightly more acidic when the pine cones rot down. Which is the perfect easy for many plants to grow such as; clover, rose, and dandelions.

All three trees give out O2 and take in significant amounts of CO2.”



Wishing everyone time to enjoy the final arrival of spring this weekend!

“We are all in this together”

Grade 11 Action

As part of the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme, Grade 11 students are designing posters to motivate the H.I.S. community to stay strong together and to continue doing, what we have been so good at: Supporting each other. Every week two posters will be published on the blog. A huge thank you to the Grade 11 students for their creative energy and strong sense of community.

poster: Aleksandra, Grade 11


Wellness Break & Staycation Ideas

MYP Students, still in distance learning, spent this past Wednesday afternoon, seeking to unplug and Take a Break.

We are proud of our students, teachers and parents who have endured over 3 months of distance learning and are looking forward to a much deserved rest. The activities listed are a good reminder and promote balance and wellness for each of us.  We trust that new healthy habits and experiences will blossom as you each practice some self-care in the weeks ahead.  Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Grade 7 Science Project

Special Guest: Richard Thornley

The most recent Grade 7 online Science lessons were spent researching the chemical elements of the periodic table and their compounds.

Grade 7 scientists had to prepare a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and letter of motivation for their favourite element, explaining why the chosen element deserves to be in the periodic table.

When the students were celebrating the end of the project, zoom “intruder” Richard Thornley joined the class, as a fun surprise. Well known among IB Chemistry students, Mr. Thornley, currently residing in Prague, shared his knowledge of the chemical elements with the students.

Mr. Thornley and the students enjoyed this fun finish of a Science Teaching Unit.


H.I.S. Can You…Challenge

Congratulations to the champions and all participants

Over the February break, many students and their families participated in our first ever school wide challenge over Seesaw. The PYP staff collaborated, and asked the students, “Can you…” complete 12 tasks?

The tasks required the students to get outside, find various things in their surroundings, and take a picture, just like a scavenger hunt. For example, Fr. Staeves asked, “Can you point to a house number that shows how old you are?” and Ms. Fudge asked, “Can you find a shelter?” Thank you to all those who took place in the challenge.

A total of 22 students were able to complete all 12 tasks, and can now call themselves champions of the “H.I.S. Can You… Challenge.”

Congratulations to the following students:

  • From EP: Greta, Hector and Masahiro
  • From Grade 1: Lea and Sophie
  • From Grade 2: Dani, Sissi, and Yui
  • From Grade 3: Aariv, Aras, Giuseppe, Lionel, and Emilie
  • From Grade 4: Daniel, Lilou, and Nashwa
  • From Grade 5: Aiden, Asmi, Chaitrail, Ella, Marta and Sanpi

A Scientific Journey Back in Time

Grade 7 Science Project

During the long lockdown, Grade 7 students worked on a creative task. They had to go back in time to the 19th century and take on the role of Dimitri Mendeleev. He had to convince The National Science Foundation (NSF) in a letter that his periodic table was correct and made sense.

All letters were very creative and had a lot of evidence in support of his genius predictions. Enjoy the example below by Luna:

Dear NSF,

I have been informed that you think my work is not accurate and it does not make much sense, I am writing you this letter to try and convince you that my theory is correct and you should take another look at my periodic table.

For many years, scientists have been trying to find a way to sort the elements, and maybe that has not been possible because they have been looking at it from the wrong perspective. I believe more elements will be discovered and that is why I have blank spaces in the periodic table. 200 years ago, people believed that all the elements that had been discovered but  now we know that was not true. That is the reason they were not able to design a good periodic table. I have ordered the elements in a certain way, so there are gaps in between the elements, thinking that’s where the ones that have not been discovered will go. Our theories always change, because we discover more and more every day.

I have organized the elements by atomic mass. Atomic mass is the weight of an atom in an element. With the way, I organized these elements I can predict the atomic mass of an element, what it looks like, its melting point, and how much a cubic centimeter of it will weigh. And that is all just from where it is located in the periodic table. I have grouped elements, by their physical properties. I found a way to group both atomic masses and physical traits. If you look horizontally at this table, you can see elements that increase by atomic mass. If you look vertically, you can see how elements with similar physical properties are grouped. If you look horizontally, the elements are organized periodically, that is why I am naming this the periodic table.

I started grouping the elements with similar physical traits. With this, I have made 8 groups. After I separated them into groups, I looked at their atomic masses. In the groups, I found elements with similar atomic masses. I then organized the elements by atomic mass horizontally and I saw that the distance of atomic masses between two elements was too big, so I left a space for an element to be added. When I organized them by atomic mass, I kept in mind I wanted them to be grouped with similar physical traits. This where I saw how I was able to organize them so that both of those things were possible. I simply organized them by atomic mass horizontally and I grouped them by physical similarities vertically. These were my results.

In my periodic table, I have left a gap for an element that I have named Eka -aluminium. I have named it that because it is located under Aluminium. Just from where it is located in the periodic table I can tell you all about it. Its atomic mass will be 68. One cubic centimeter of it will weigh about 6 grams. It will be a shiny metal at room temperature and it will be able to conduct heat quite well. The melting point is very low, it is at approximately 30 degrees Celsius. It can be flattened and stretched.

In a couple of years, we will discover a new element and I will have a space left for the element in my periodic table. For many years we have been trying to find a good system and we have not been able to do that, because we thought we had discovered all of them, but I assure you there are more. Mathematically, there must be more. No scientist has ever given you this much detail and is so sure about what he knows, what he is doing, and what he is predicting.

Please give me a chance and in a few years, when more elements will be discovered, you will be glad that you trusted me.


Dmitri Mendeleev