ISMTF Mathematics Competitions

A group of H.I.S. MYP students travelled to Middle School and Junior mathematics competitions in Munich and Vienna. This year was the first time the competitions were in person since the spring of 2020. Events like these offer students the opportunity to test their skills against students from other international schools in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Each competition hosted approximately 150 students from 25 different schools. Here are some reflections from the H.I.S. students:

From Bennet…

On the 24th February, I flew to Vienna for an international junior math competition called ISMTF, which would take place the following day. I would first of all like to say that it was an incredible experience staying in a hostel with fellow competitors from different countries all over the world, and going on a ‘holiday trip’ without my family members, which was a first for me. We did various things over the unique weekend, including sightseeing, eating at various restaurants, shopping, learning new things and just having fun with friends.

In the competitions, I felt like I could have done better, because it was very slight margins which separated the pack in the middle, with some places being ties between up to 7 people. It felt like every guess that I made was wrong. It was frustrating that I finished 84th out of 149 students, especially because I always try to be the best or to get the best grade/score in everything I do whether it be in sports, school, or other things. I was sad about it at the beginning, however, it was definitely still an unforgettable experience for me. It has taught me to stay humble, and made me hungry to improve. I cannot wait for the competition next year to hopefully do much better.

From Martin…

Meeting new people from around the world and exploring the city was amazing. I would definitely go again.

From Claudia…

This trip was a new space to not only put our math skills to the test but also branch out and meet new people since they had come from IB schools all over Europe. We also had the opportunity to see what the city of Vienna had to offer, as well as get to know our schoolmates better, and I just really enjoyed the experience overall.

From Filiz…

The competition was an opportunity for all of us to grow not only in terms of our mathematical skills and experience, but also socially. We got to meet lots of new people from all over the world, creating a network of IB students that we might run into later on in our lives. We also had the opportunity to bond with the members of our own team and explore the city of Vienna. I found the trip very enjoyable and I’m glad I decided to take a risk and go.

From Liam…

From my experience, attending the ISMTF competitions in Vienna was very fun and provided me with a unique learning experience. It was thrilling to solve challenging math problems alongside students from different parts of the world. Moreover, I was able to explore Vienna and its rich culture, making my trip even more memorable. What made the experience truly unforgettable were the friendships that I formed. I met so many interesting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and we bonded over our shared love for mathematics. Even though the competition is over, I still keep in touch with many of the friends I made during my time in Vienna.

From Jouri…

I had a lot of fun on the math competition throughout the weekend. I enjoyed the strategic games and finding out the winning tricks. I also enjoyed the competition even though we didn’t win. It was fun to solve new problems. I also enjoyed playing Exploding Kittens with the group. I would go again if I had a chance.

From Maddy…

The math competition was a lot of fun. I met a lot of interesting people and did a lot of fun math, including learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. When we were not doing math, we were having fun and playing games as the H.I.S. team. 10/10 experience, would recommend.

From Warren…

This math competition is an unforgettable experience and has given me so many wonderful memories that I will always cherish. The competition made me both nervous and excited and I’m not sure I have ever done anything like it. I would recommend people to train to participate and I am grateful I was allowed to take part in this competition.

From Maahi…

This was a fun and intellectually challenging weekend. The first day when we travelled was tiring; to be honest, all the days were. The main competition was hard as we had to do a lot of questions in sitting. Overall, it was a fun trip with lots of games and puzzles, and meeting famous people. It was also nice meeting students from other schools and getting to know them a bit.

From Oscar…

During the math competition, I had a lot of fun. We had problem solving, logical thinking and learning how to use a Rubrik’s Cube event. My favorite part of the whole thing was the Sunday Chase event. My team got third place, so I am proud of that. Right now, I am sitting on a train next to Warren on an ICE back to Heidelberg, and Warren is still talking about beating up doors (inside joke from the trip).

From Dunsin…

The maths competition was a fun competition that challenged my thinking. I enjoyed working with my teammates and teammates from other schools.  Another exciting part was the class with James Grimes and getting his and Tanish’s signatures. I enjoyed seeing Munich again and getting to know the Grade 7s while playing Exploding Kittens (even though they ganged up on me).

From the teachers…

We are incredibly proud of all the students. All our results were solidly in the middle of the pack, showing that our little school can compete with much bigger schools. One highlight was Oscar’s team in the mixed-school event on Sunday morning placing 3rd, which was recognised in the awards ceremony. Congratulations to Oscar for fantastic team work with new contacts he had just met that morning. We noticed how much the students appreciated going on a trip together. They were all lovely to travel with and both trips went very smoothly in spite of transport strikes and delays.



Slam Dunk!

Grade 8-10 H.I.S. students participated in the Heidelberg Stadtmeisterschaft for Basketball held at the SNP Dome in the city.

The “H.I.S Nuggets”, as they call themselves, performed fantastically well.  Helped on by coach Ben from Grade 12 the “Nuggets” managed to win one of their group games before unfortunately being eliminated from the tournament in overtime due to a technical foul.  The 10 students representing the school really tried hard in all of the games and can be proud of themselves.

A big Thank You to all of the students, Ben and also LF who helped coach the team.


Theatre Visit

The German B HL students enjoyed an inspiring performance of „Der Besuch der alten Dame“ at the Heidelberg Theatre, a play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt that they have studied in class.

The production was original and thought-provoking, interweaving quotes from the autobiography of Annie Ernaux, the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, into the drama and thus connecting the play to the #metoo debate.

Everybody enjoyed the performance, and also the discussion afterwards over a (non-alcoholic!) drink at Café Extrablatt.


Exploring Stadtbücherei Heidelberg

Happy reading with Gr 6 and 7

G6 and G7 students went on a field trip to the local library “Stadtbücherei”. They had an introduction to the library section for students and learned how to check out and return books.

The students, whose parents had filled in a membership application form in advance, received their free library cards and were able to check out their first books right on the spot.

They enjoyed exploring the different sections of German books, English books and even books in their own mother tongue.

The colorful and comfy reading spaces invited them to immerse in their chosen books. The afternoon has definitely been a fun step towards developing literacy and the pleasure of reading!


Behind The Scenes of The Weihnachtsmarkt

A Taste of Journalism for H.I.S. Students

On Monday, four of our grade 9 students (Martin, Mattia, Miquel and Leon) had the opportunity to join Jonas Labrenz, local reporter at the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Heidelberg Christmas market.

The students met and interviewed stallholders and the organiser of the market. They will write about their experience as part of our „Schüler machen Zeitung“ project.


Visiting Cube SRH Restaurant

Who makes the H.I.S. hot lunch?

This week a group of students visited the “Cube” restaurant and more specifically their kitchen!

The students visiting our caterer got an insight into how their food is made, the products that are used to make it and the staff who are dedicated to making it. It was a visit of many surprises, such as the “biggest dishwasher the students we have ever seen”, “the endless rice cooker” and the large refrigerators where the products are kept fresh.

It was also very interesting to see where the food waste goes and it made an impact on the students, so much so that during lunch, the students made comments on trying not to waste food. It was a complete closure to our World Food Day “week”, and I say closure, but as we discussed with the students, it is something that we will continue to support not just on one day, or just one week, but throughout the year!


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Practice Expedition #1

This month 11 Grade 10 students undertook their first practice expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

They started out at Mosbach Station where they were given their tents and Trangias to pack into their rucksacks along with their sleeping bags, mats and food.  Then they went off following their planned routes.

The weather was exceptional and the students challenged themselves walking to the lunch spot to pick up some water and have a have a short break.  They continued onto the campsite  where they collected firewood to make a campfire, set up their tents and cooked themselves their dinner with the Trangias (for which we give thanks to the PTG for purchasing).

After a nights rest, the next morning they woke up early to cook themselves a good hearty breakfast, packed up their gear and set off on completing the reminder of their planned walk back to Mosbach and catch the train home.

The students reflected on the positive experiences that they had and how they are looking forward to the next practice expedition which will be over two nights in early June with the final expedition at the end of June just before the end of the school year.



Equality, Inclusion & Relationships Workshop

Guest Speaker: Susie March

At the Heidelberg Tankturm, our Grade 11 students participated in a social-emotional counselling workshop facilitated by Susie March. The workshop allowed the large class to explore equality for persons; over a spectrum of gender, sexual orientation, race and with a disability.

They explored what can negatively affect inclusion by defining stereotypes and their origins coupled with the kinds of damage prejudices can cause across culture and experience. With this foundation, the class worked together to construct a healthy, trusting relationship between two persons. Then the groups discussed principles that sustain intimate relationships and allow deeper connections to thrive. This gave us a strong, useful foundation in order to better see some of the unhealthy signs that can lead to discord, abuse and imbalance.

So what truly make our current and future relationships healthy?

Trust, communication, mutual appreciation and a loving awareness of the needs of our partners and friends.

Thank you future H.I.S. Class of 2023 for a lovely morning of discussion.



A Journey Through Time

Grade 5 learned about their ancestors

Grade 5 experienced a journey through time during their guided tour at the Kurpfälzisches Museum in Heidelberg!

We started 600,000 years ago with the lower jaw of Homo Heidelbergensis, went on to the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age (Celts), “climbed” the Heiligenberg to learn even more about the Celts and ended with the Romans and Mithras.

Our Grade 5 students knew very well how to wear a Roman tunic with dignity and pride and were able to take home a lot of new information from their trip.


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

H.I.S. is proud to introduce a new and exciting experience for students in Grade 10.

The Duke of Edingburgh Award offers students the chance to learn new skills and to build on prior knowledge. It takes them out of their comfort zone and into a place where they’ll push themselves and have amazing new experiences.  The students will have the chance to build confidence, resilience, develop skills for work and forge friendships.

The DofE Award is regarded highly by Colleges, universities and employers world wide.

There are three awards bronze, silver and gold. They each consist of 4 elements (Service, Skill, Physical recreation & an adventurous journey) with an additional residential element in the gold award.  The students set their goals and work with an assessor to achieve them.

On Sunday October 10th, Grade 10 students took part in a practise hike in order to assess their map reading skills. They will need these skills for planning their adventurous journey sometime next year.

The sun shone as the students led the way with maps, but soon discovered that they needed more detailed maps of the area; they had not hiked as far as they had thought and had taken a wrong turn somewhere! Some local dog walkers helped them out to find their back the starting point, via a windy path through the forest.

There will be more practise hikes to come for the students as well as sessions on developing map reading skills and working with compasses!