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!


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!


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.


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.




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