Advent Calendar # 18

Tell me a story

Quiberon Peninsula, Golf de Morbihan, Brittany, France


In their recent unit, “Tell Me a Story,” Grade 2 has been exploring different authors and their books. They looked at Mo Willems’s Pigeon and Gerald and Piggie; ​how he uses speech bubbles, and the type of illustration techniques he uses for each series. These are some of the Grade 2’s artwork, using Mo Willem’s style of writing and drawing to make a short story page.

text: CT; artwork: Grade 2

Heute in der Zeitung…..

Student article published in Rhein-Neckar Zeitung

Congratulations to Anton and Gregor from Grade 10.

After conducting interviews with students, staff and a representative from the Waldpiraten Camp, the students wrote an article for the local Rhein-Neckar Zeitung supported by their German teacher, Birgit Kress.

The article describes the fundraiser project and the delivery of  a supersized cheque, displaying the total amount of money collected for the Waldpiraten Camp by the H.I.S. Community.

War, Weimar and Bauhaus

Interdisciplinary Work in Grade 10

Grade 10 students have been working on the interdisciplinary unit War, Weimar and Bauhaus for most of the autumn.  This interdisciplinary unit was a collaboration between Design and Individuals & Societies.

As it is currently not possible to organise an interdisciplinary evening like last year, the students produced posters and essays on cultural figures of the Weimar Republic.

The unit covered the First World War and political and cultural changes in Germany during the 1920s’ and early 1930’s.  There was particular emphasis on Bauhaus architecture and design. The posters the students produced this year are visually very striking (see excerpts below).

We hope to have an opportunity to share more student work with you at a later date. H.I.S. values interdisciplinary work and the teachers involved are particularly pleased with the hard work  the Grade 10 class put into  the project this year. As it was not possible to do any field trips this year because of the Covid-19 situation in Heidelberg, the students watched documentary material on the development of Bauhaus before starting work on the project. Imagination helped the students to create visually very interesting work. The interest and commitment of the students was greatly appreciated by their teachers.


Governance Unit Grade 9

Grade 9 students have been working on a I & S (Individuals & Societies) unit called Governance in collaboration with the library. As part of this unit, the students have explored different forms of government, discussed the pros and cons of various electoral systems, practiced formal essay-writing and  worked on source analysis.

The essay topic the class explored, focused on the life and achievements of Oliver Cromwell, one of the most controversial of British rulers.  The portrait project gave students a chance to analyse original paintings of both contemporary and historic figures.  The students analysed the origin, purpose,  value and limitations of various portraits. The work was also presented in class.  The students noted how portraits often not only revealed a great deal about the ruler in question but also gave the young researches a lot of information on the relevant time period.

We will continue to work on source analysis and  on developing writing and research skills in the months to come.

The I&S department received additional help from our school librarian who as part of the MYP program gave the class information literacy sessions that helped the students to achieve better results in their project work. Some of the topics covered included information on how to cite material  correctly in MLA style, academic honesty and help in using library databases for research.

As you can see from the pictures, the students chose interesting material to research and approached the projects with great dedication.  Their I&S teacher also noted with satisfaction, how the portraits chosen  for analysis often reflected the cultural diversity of the school.  The class also explored the life of ordinary people during the Early Modern era.

As it was not possible to do a big field trip that related to the unit under the current circumstances, the students enjoyed watching a very detailed documentary on the palace of Versailles as part of this unit.


Butterfly of Peace

The past month, Grade 10 students have been busy learning about radiation – its uses in society from surprising things such as checking the thickness of paper and even in smoke alarms, to the more widely known uses in nuclear power plants and as nuclear weapons.

They staged a debate about nuclear power and nuclear weapons using MS teams as a platform for debating online.

At the end of the unit, students were exposed to poems written about the Chernobyl disaster and were then asked to develop their own peace symbol and write their own poem in remembrance for those that lost their lives in the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

text: SAB

Happy Diwali

Festival of Lights

On the weekend, millions of Indians started celebrating Diwali. It is a festival of lights. During this festival, people light up their houses and shops. They worship Lord Ganesha for good welfare and prosperity and Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and wisdom.

The celebration of Diwali ties in beautifully with our current unit in grade 4, Cultural Identity. So we asked our three Indian students if they would like to make a presentation about Diwali. Nashwa, Tanish and Paulo came to school beautifully dressed in traditional Indian costumes. They showed grade 4 their presentation and passed out individually wrapped Diwali treats.

Thank you Nashwa, Tanish and Paulo and also a big thank you to their parents for helping to organise this.

The Grade 4 Team

Waldpiraten Fundraiser

Last week students from EP all the way up to Grade 10 completed their fundraising physical activities during PE lessons.

If you remember, Grade 11’s had produced several excellent videos demonstrating and explaining the activities for each class. Early Primary students did running, Grade 1 to Grade 3 students did jumping jacks, crab walks, line jumps, relays and frog jumps.

Grade 3 and Grade 5 did star jumps, frog jumps and mini rabbit runs. Grade 4 did swimming because they had a Swimming lesson.

Finally Grades 6-10 did basketball shooting and throwing a ball into a box. Some students also threw a hula hoop over a cone instead. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic our students were in all of the grades during their PE lessons. One student in the MYP made 560 baskets in one lesson!

Well done everybody!  Don’t forget to keep fundraising.

text & photos: JK

Where in the World

Grade 2 students have become explorers

Grade 2 is finishing the unit “Where in the World” this week, and the students along with their teachers and classroom assistant made origami boats as a final task for the unit.

When asked why they are making boats, some of the students said, “because we can travel the world with boats.” That was a nice answer to hear as they are getting a sense of what the unit was about.

text & photo: CT


A Good Weed for The Day!

Thank you to Grade 8 students who have helped to remove some of the weeds growing around school.

Within no time the class had filled two large buckets, removing weeds from the steps up to the gym roof, weeds from the playground and also weeds growing through the Multi Sports Court fence.

A great effort and a small Service as Action activity completed.

Weedy Well Done!

Mr Knowles

Corona Lockdown Eyewitness Reports

Students receive rewards for their diaries

Last school year, during their remote lessons, German students from the advanced language acquisition course produced their own “eyewitness reports” about their experiences during the Corona lockdown days.

The students wrote texts and diary entries, drew comics and recorded interviews in German about their daily routines and challenges during this time.

Annika, Lilly, Marie, Molly, Sára und Vivi sent in their reports to a competition of the Universities Gießen and Köln in collaboration with the Koerber Institut in Hamburg to build a German national archive about the Corona times ( Their works have been saved there for posteriority and the students have now been awarded with a Certificate from the Koerber Foundation for their reports.

From Autumn this year, all entries will be displayed in the “Coronarchiv” (