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.

SH

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!

SAB

Grade 11 Exordium

We are a team now!

Day 1: Canoeing Trip

For our first day of the Exordium Field Trip our class went canoeing on the Neckar. As a class, we took a train to Neckargemünd in the morning, all very sleepy, and we arrived at the river around 10:00. When we arrived there, we split up into rowing groups of four and we learned some rowing techniques that would help us during our trip. We had a 12k trip starting in Neckargemünd and ending in Heidelberg. During our trip, we worked as a team, learning many new skills along the way.

Regarding the ethics of choices and actions, it already started with taking the train as a class, instead of everyone coming alone by car, so we reduced our carbon footprint and were environmentally friendly. Furthermore, being on the water and facing the risk of falling in, the respect for each other was another key to our success and will remain so during all our time together.

Jesse, Luana, Ben, Yameng, Danielle, Gregor

When we arrived under the bridge where the instructor and the canoes waited for us, we were explained how to use the canoe and what the different roles in canoeing are. The three people in the front of the boat need to make sure the speed of the canoe is maintained, and the person in the back is the one in charge of steering the boat.

The first third of the trip was a bit of a mess. Many of us were inexperienced and had some trouble getting the hang of it. Most students were challenged by communication and cooperation with others at the start, and with the never-ending river, had a lack of motivation for many at the start. After what felt like hours upon hours of paddling the canoe, but actually was just one, we arrived at our first stop.

After the long break and transporting the canoes on a metal-like canoe carriage from one side of the lock to the other, we also had to mix up a few groups to balance out the faster and slower teams. Finally, we continued our journey. Compared to the beginning, everyone was gaining confidence in their abilities, and put more effort into the venture. This part of the boat ride took the longest, lasting over an hour. At this point, our strength, and endurance were truly challenged as we crossed the other side of the river.

For many, this track was the part that set their mood for the rest of the day, as messing up and losing control of the canoe during this part of paddling really would dampen one’s mood. Nevertheless, most groups managed to work together as a unit and realised that they worked well as a team, and noted that the final part of the tour was more enjoyable, with more laughs than the first.

Everyone enjoyed the view of the Heidelberg Castle in the forest-covered hills as we rowed our boats gently down the stream. All the canoes arrived at the Neckarwiese at around the same time and now the only thing that bothered us was the long dreadful walk back to school…

Pierce, Matthys, Elli, Ali, Toni, Masha, Annika

Day 2: Kletterwald Speyer

On the second Day of the Exordium we went to the Kletterwald in Speyer. It was a great experience as it was our first-time zip lining and doing so many fun activities like climbing, passing obstacle courses. We also played games and did team-building activities, which helped us get to know each other better.

The class faced several challenges during the team-building collaborative activities. The first activity required us to find our way through an invisible maze. This forced everyone to pay attention to where you could and couldn’t go. Some people had trouble with this, while others found it quite simple. However, we finally made it through to the end and completed the challenge. The next challenge was to help each other get through a spider web made of ropes without touching it. This forced us to work together as a team and to plan who and how to bring people through various holes in the web.

The final challenge was to scale a flat wall as a team. Here we also had to plan and give people roles that they were fit for. We had to first make sure to get some stronger students over the wall and leave some on the ground to help others pass it. All of these activities strengthened our collaborative skills and knowledge of each other.

Overall, the experience was a great way of getting to know each other and learning to work together to solve problems. This skill is one that we will need to know for the next two years of our Diploma Program. Team building activities were especially helpful as there were a lot of new students.

Lily, Nándor, Anton, Kengo, Shishira, Daksh, Mark

The instructors took us to a large spider web with 15 different rectangles. At least one person had to climb through each rectangle. This was a hard activity, as some of the rectangles were 2 meters above ground and we were not allowed to touch the ropes of the web. Therefore, we had to stand on each other’s backs or be lifted up by other classmates in order to complete this challenge.

As a last part to the team-building activities we had to form pairs of two. One partner was blind folded and the other had to lead him or her through an obstacle course. During this exercise we learned to fully trust and rely on our partner when we were blind folded. When you were the one leading the blind folded person, you learned how important it is, not to give the wrong direction and be someone the other person could rely on.

For lunch, we had a lot of options that offered vegetarian and even non-vegetarian. The costs for all the food was covered by school. The pizza we had ordered was not good, there were two options available (Margarita and Salami). The french fries were good, they were served hot with a variety of different combinations like pommes wurst, pommes currywurst and pommes. The dippings available were ketchup and mayonnaise. Ice cream was available, there were a lot of flavours available for all of us. School brought the class some snacks (nuts, chips, gummy bears).

During the day, the class as a whole required to be committed and persistent. While leading our blindfolded partner through obstacles, we had to be committed to each other, so that our partner reached the destination. We were required to be committed to our team and goals. We had to be persistent in guiding our partner through tough paths and not be impatient. We also had to be persistent during climbing, as we were required to complete the activities even though they were hard and challenging. During the team building activity, where we had to manage to send everybody to the other side of the ropes, we were required to have perseverance and be committed to our goal in order to make sure all the people involved got to the other side.

The day we spent together in the Kletterwald Speyer really helped us bond as a class. Particularly the first few team-building activities required us to trust and rely on each other.

Oz, Kaya, Medha, Ethan, Vincent, Sofie

 

Exordium 2020

Day 1

The Grade 11 class went on a two-day field trip, also known as the Exordium. The Exordium is a key feature of the Diploma Programme (DP) Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program and falls under the category activity. The Exordium was organized by the school’s CAS Coordinator, Birgit Kress, and Eventure’s leader, Klaus Herrmann. On the first day of the Exordium, we participated in a six-hour-long canoeing trip along the Neckar river from Neckarelz to Zwingenberg. The second day was filled with team building activities, high rope-climbing, and trust jumps.

Meeting at the Hauptbahnhof at 8 am, we soon departed by train to Neckarelz where we met with two members of the Eventure team. In groups of three, we took on the river in our canoes, where we spent the next six hours. It was at times incredibly tiring, but we found fun in our interactions and the beautiful scenery. Shortly before our lunch break, we went through a lock which took us into the portion of the Neckar with a lower elevation. We stopped for lunch at the river bank and enjoyed the beautiful views and afternoon sun while we ate. We were very lucky to have such nice weather. Our trip drew to a close as we arrived at Zwingenberg, where after the strenuous trip we hauled our boats onto the shore and enjoyed ice cream from the truck waiting for us.

This activity was quite tiring and definitely pushed our limits, however, it was still a very progressive team-building venture. With the very small current present in the river, our teams had to work very hard in propelling our groups of three down the river. To be able to do this for such a length of time, it was dire that our groups of three learn how to synchronize our rowing to achieve the fastest and straightest route.

While it did take some time to establish the correct form for each team, we all perfected our “ways of rowing” and focused on keeping a steady rhythm of paddling and conversation with our fellow teammates. Many groups even partnered up and connected with other canoes where one group was responsible for the left-side paddling while the other was responsible for the right. This also brought along many interesting hours as we attempted to perfect our rowing form while also being able to spend time with one another in a very close environment. Furthermore, these situations always present room for reflection. As improvements, many teams could have worked harder at keeping up with the rest of the class, as in many cases, a majority of the teams had to wait for the remainder to catch up from quite a distance. Despite this small hiccup the trip was quite successful and brought forth many laughs, though, many weary arms!

CAROLIN, KALEY, ALENA, LOUIS

Day 2 

On Saturday morning at 9am we all met up in the train station and by 9:30 we were on our way. After about a 30 minute train ride we walked around the town Eberbach for a few minutes before getting on the bus to the Eventure house in Mudau. At the Eventure house after rules and instructions were given the whole class and the teachers were all put in harness and helmets that we would later need for the high rope courses. We started the day off by doing some team building where we had to work together to create a plan. The goal of the plan was to find a way from point A to B walking along steel wires that were about half a meter from the ground. The class was split into boys and girls and both groups started from different points but had the same destination. In between these steel wires there would be useful things like ropes tied to trees to help us get across. If anyone fell off the wires into the imaginary swamp everyone had to restart from the beginning so any progress was lost. This activity took us a long time at first but when we found our plan that worked the pace started to speed up.

Once we completed the team building exercise we moved locations to the high rope course where we were given cow tails and instructions on how to properly use them. Then we all picked a partner to go through the course with which made sure each other were always attached to a rope while moving in between different courses. Once we started it was very clear that it appeared much easier than it would be. A few times some of us even got stuck but Mr.Claus came to the rescue.

Once everyone was finished we all met on a tall platform where our classmate Louis helped Mr. Claus while one at a time we descended down bouncing off a wall. The last activity we did required a lot of trust with each other. The task was to climb a ladder until we reached a platform which we would later jump off attempting to hit a ball. The reason this required a lot of trust was because we were hooked to a rope while jumping off but the rate at which we reached the ground was fully in the hands of the students. The rope we were hooked to was held by 10 classmates at the bottom. Not all the students participated in this as it was very scary. All the activities left the whole class very tired but at the end of the day before we left we all got pizza and drinks so we all ate and talked which left the class having an even stronger bond than before. The trip was a lot of fun and it was nice to be able to have this opportunity.

ANSLEY,​ SARA, NOA, GIULIA

Konnie Takes Public Transport

I am trying to give Konnie a range of experiences.  At the weekend, he travelled by bus and tram for the first time.

He was very excited to have a day out in the big city of Heidelberg and behaved very well on public transport.

He was incredibly tired after his day of trying new things and slept well last night.

text & photo KvG

Field Trip to Carl Bosch Museum

Grade 7 students explore the power of magnets

When Science and Mathematics meet, electric motors can be built, using the power of magnets and metals.

The Grade 7 students have successfully proven that the scientific laws of the Universe are mathematical, while taking part in a whole day visit to Carl Bosch Museum in Heidelberg on Monday 13th January 2020.

The students built their own electric motors at Carl Bosch Museum, after learning about magnetism in class in the course of their current Science Unit.

The students have described the trip as joyful, fascinating but too short to experience all the possible fun one can have with Science and Mathematics.

 

MM

 

Swimming Competition

Stadtschulmeisterschaften - Congratulations to all H.I.S. participants!

Over the past 2 weeks students from H.I.S. have taken part in the ‘Heidelberger Stadtschulmeisterschaften Schwimmen’. This is an annual swimming competition held for the city’s schools at the Olympiastüztpunkt in Neuenheimerfeld.

As our swimming programme has developed over recent years we decided that it was time that H.I.S. students join in the fun and represent the school.

On Tuesday 3rd December it was the turn of the Primary School students (Grade 1 to Grade 4 in the German state school system). A group of 10 very excited students from Grades 3 and 4 boarded their ‘team’ bus and spent the journey asking questions like:

Where would the competition would be?

Would there be lots of children and schools present?

Would there be ‘big’ kids?

Are the other children fast?

All these questions were soon answered and the students competed in individual events in 25m front crawl and breaststroke (Lieselot of Grade 3 coming away with a bronze medal for her 3rd place in breaststroke).

Representing the Primary School were Hannah, Lieselot, Ella, Sephora, Alexa, Charlotte, James, Thijs, Philipp and Lucas.

On the following Tuesday it was the turn of our secondary school students (including Grade 5). The group was a bit more reserved, but no less excited about the event. Students swam individual 50m freestyle events (any stroke) and this time we also entered teams into the relays. Carolin of Grade 10 was the fastest girl in Heidelberg, not only for her age, but overall and came away with a gold medal. The relays brought further medals and the girls (2006-2009) placed third in their event, winning bronze medals.

Representing the Secondary School were Carolin, Elli, Zara, Grace, Caera, Claudia, Molly, Sophia, Charlotte, Maahi, Dóra, Hannah, Charlotte, Ruthie, Adrian, Cy, Trey, Dhruv, Jasper, Thijs and Kallum.

This was a fantastic experience for the participants and everyone was extremely proud of their efforts. Julia and I remember some of these students just starting to swim when they were in Grade 3 and to see them compete in a city-wide competition made us very proud.

After witnessing the development of our Grade 3 and  Grade 4 swimmers this year we would like to thank the Franziska van Almsick Foundation for the support with our swimming program. Since the beginning of the school year the students have had weekly swimming lessons and more recently we have also had the services of an additional swimming teaching assistant. The progress the students have made is clear to see. H.I.S. is committed to developing confident swimmers and we look forward to our continued partnership.

We will certainly be at next year’s competition so to any undiscovered swimmers – we will find you!

 

AR and JE

Decorate our Skyscraper!

Christmas time is here and the skyscraper is being decorated! Three new special edition Christmas items will soon be available to buy.

As you all know, the skyscraper is displayed on the window in the foyer and you can buy items to place on it. There are already so many items that have been bought to complete the building.

We would like to raise as much money as possible so that we are able to supply everything we need to help build homes for families in Romania and to realize individual projects in Namibia on our CAS trips 2020.

So far we have raised 705 € that will all go towards our CAS trips. Starting Monday the 2nd December, you can buy:

  • a string of lights for only 3€,
  • a Christmas wreath for 5€, and
  • a beautiful snowman for 10€.

These items can be purchased with the order forms that will be sent out with the newsletter and found underneath the skyscraper. There you can also place your order in the black donation box. We would like to thank anyone that has spent their money for the cause, we really appreciate it. Grade 11 encourages you to help us prepare the building for Christmas.

Come decorate the skyscraper!

Kira, grade 11

The Power of Wild Herbs

Group 4 Project Grade 12

The Group 4 project is a compulsory component of the Diploma Programme and is a collaborative activity where students from different group 4 subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics) work together on a scientific or technological topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared with the aim to encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.

This year the IBDP Grade 12 students mixed the business with pleasure and went out on a fun collaborative outdoor trip to map wild herbs. They worked with Friederike Niestroj (Naturally Heidelberg) and Marcus Seuser (Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald). Along with the science of orchards and their significance for the regional economy, they learned about wild herbs and how they could be used for medicinal purposes. In addition to science, the history of the area around Posseltslust was discussed. The trip involved practical field exercises, collecting and mapping wild herbs using digital technology (two apps were used). To celebrate the success of the trip , students and their teachers enjoyed a culinary end – the preparation of wild herbs in quark with bread.

There will be a follow up activity in two weeks’ time, when Marcus Seuser will come to the Heidelberg International School and will show the data collected.

Exordium

The annual Diploma Exordium Trip took place from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th September for all Grade 11 students and three teachers. We stayed at the “Naturfreundehaus” in Zwingenberg (Odenwald). We canoed along the Neckar on the Friday accompanied by our instructor from the outdoor pursuits company Eventure and went on a hike in Zwingenberg. Then, on the Saturday, we visited a team-building and climbing centre in Mudau. The students were responsible for taking care of the whole group’s needs by carrying out special tasks. These tasks included cooking dinner, creating a shopping list or tidying up after a meal.
Have fun reading the grade 11 comments about his successful trip:
BK

Preperation
The Exordium was an opportunity to come together as a class. And everyone was assigned specific tasks out of which we were on the shopping team and had to buy everything from the supermarket. We had to plan and communicate with the class regarding what to buy and made a list. And on the day we left, before boarding the train to Odenwald, we had to go to the nearby Kaufland. In order to minimise the shopping time we divided ourselves into groups of 2. We had to buy food for 21 people and it was so much fun to buy everything as the amount of food we bought was huge. We look forward to other trips like this.
Gowri, Adelia, Nici

Cooking
We were assigned the task of helping out with cooking dinner for everyone. To make this more exciting for everyone, we decided to grill. It started off with making the fire and setting up the grilling stand. The tedious part of it was the preparation. We had to slice vegetables, marinate meat, and garnish and dress the salad. Many people volunteered to help, which made everything easier and quicker. Although most of the people were meat-eaters, there were a few that preferred vegan food. So, to accommodate everyone, we grilled a good balance of vegetables and meat. With a lot of experimenting, we managed to understand how to work the grilling stand without burning it all.
We sat around the bonfire as the evening began to close in. Between the sound of our laughs, the smell of smoke and grill filled the air. It looked like the perfect time to share old stories, laugh at silly jokes, be grateful and get closer as a class. Ultimately, the idea of grilling was a huge success. The food turned out to be better than we anticipated and all our efforts had paid off. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences we had as a group and definitely one to remember.
Ishika, Andrew, Lennard

Tidy up
One important aspect of the trip, though, was food. During the Exordium, apart from going outside, we also ate. A lot. Which means that we also ended cleaning up stacks of plates. We thought it was an easy task, but…there were lots. And lots. And lots. Of utensils. Clearing, washing, scrubbing, drying, and organizing, it took the teams the better part of an hour to finish. By the time we were done, we were exhausted and could not look at another plate. It was a grueling task, but we tackled the job and did what needed to be done. And, well, since we were the only ones next to the fridge, well…we had a little added bonus to compensate for the hard work.
Alex, Joe, Joseph, Muhi

Canoeing On Friday we went on a six-hour canoeing drip on the Neckar. Throughout the trip, we were challenged to complete a variety of team activities. First, our guide Ralph encouraged us to form a star with the canoes. Although it was difficult, we managed to complete the task at the end. Halfway through, the students switched canoes on the water, while focusing on not falling in. Additionally, we built a pyramid with the canoes which required us to communicate and work together. Overall the experience was very enjoyable and we recommend it to others. Giacomo, Francesco, Kira, Leoni
Hiking
Hiking in Zwingenberg was amazing I loved it, but after 2 hours it started getting a little tiring… what didn’t make it feel tiring was the view in the mountain and I hiked with Frau Kress so I had company which was great. During the hike we saw a beautiful stream running into the neckar it was so beautiful the views were so pretty that I just kept on saying beautiful , amazing , pretty etc.
We walked from the Naturfreundehaus to the castle to the hike of the „Wolfsschlucht“ and back to the Naturfreundehaus all together it took around 3 to 4 hours and it was 9,9 km . I enjoyed and I thank Frau Kress for making the hike fun and enjoyable .
Shahad

In the Forest … Saturday morning we woke up, packed all our bags, cleaned our rooms and went down for breakfast. When we finished, we packed up the last things, and as soon as everything was in order, we walked to the train station where we would be getting picked up by a bus. The bus brought us to the Eventure house, where we received our harnesses and helmets for the high-rope climbing we would be doing.
Our first activity was a team-building exercise. It consisted of an arrangement of steel wires suspended between trees, half a meter above the ground. Under the wires there was “an imaginary swamp”, so if anyone fell from the wires, everybody had to go back to the beginning. Two teams started on opposite sides of the course, and as we got closer, we had to work together to get to the end without falling. We succeeded at last, after about 50 minutes, however considering that we were a group of 20, we did really well.
After this, we walked a little further in the woods, and we got additions to our gear. Carabiners and cow tail ropes. We got some further instructions, because now we would be going higher up in the trees to complete some courses that required some clever footwork. We all needed partners to check that our cow tails were secured properly on the overhead steel wires. When we had finished, we needed a way down from the tall platform we all stood on, so we abseiled down with the help of our guide, Klaus.
Our last activity was one that required a great deal of nerve, and therefore it was voluntary, not required. The task was to climb a ladder up to a platform, about 7 or 8 meters above the ground. Hanging a bit away from the platform was a football. You had to jump off the platform. If you could, you should try to hit the ball as well. You were suspended on ropes, held by 10 classmates on the ground below you. This task was really quite scary, and focusing on hitting the ball only made it a little bit better. Most of the students in the class did it, and I think that was quite amazing.
When we all finished, we went back to the main house, took off our gear, and ate some pizza that had been ordered while we were away.
Overall, a great opportunity, and we all had lots of fun.
Laura, Nora, Josefina