Sankt Nikolaus war da!

December 6th is St. Nicolas Day in Germany. In remembrance of Saint Nicolas children in Germany get little gifts on that day hidden in their boots.

When the PYP students arrived this morning at school they found their self-made Nikolaus boot with a little surprise in it. 

Who was walking through the hallway with his dirty boots? We might have an idea who the red piece of fabric belongs to, you too? 

text & photos SST, VZ

How to Write A Newspaper Article…

Schüler machen Zeitung!

On Tuesday the 20th of November an expert from the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung came to visit the excited grade 9/10 German Language and Literature class. He was doing his “Volontariat” for the RNZ, which is a type of payed training to become a full-time “Redakteur” or editorial journalist.

He spoke to us for more than an hour, and explained, in depth, how the life of a journalist working for a newspaper is like. Describing the exciting experiences as well as the challenges and difficulties of taking that career path. Afterwards he told us a little about how writing articles for the newspaper is done best and gave us a few insider tips and tricks. After answering the many questions that the class had prepared beforehand he gave us some personal advice for our own projects.

A few weeks ago we have started a so called “Schüler machen Zeitung Projekt” which entails daily RNZ subscription and a newspaper article writing competition where every student is to write an article about something that fascinates the and the best ones will be printed and published in the newspaper! There is also a money- prize for the best three articles from all students taking part in this project.

We were very happy to get such a behind the scenes and in depth overview of journalism and writing articles so a great thanks to Herr Jonas Labrenz.

 text: Ishikaa

Education Is About Asking Questions

Dr. Chirojit Mukherjee visits Grade 7

This week Students from the Grade 7 Science class had the pleasure to receive answers to their questions about the human heart and heart conditions from an expert:

Dr. Chirojit Mukherjee, chairman at the Heart Center Karlsruhe, was their distinguished guest speaker.

Grade 7 students had the chance to increase their knowledge of cardiology and to prepare for the task ahead.

The students plan to create a book suitable to inform Primary School students  about the processes in the heart and heart diseases. 

Many thanks to Dr. Mukherjee for his visit to H.I.S.


photo: KM




Saving Lives

Grade 7 students have been learning about the Respiratory system in Science lessons. As part of this unit they have completed some First Aid training to supplement their knowledge and understanding.  Specifically, students have learned the procedure and techniques on how to perform CPR and resuscitate people.  This is a really important skill that more people should have.  The students of Grade 7 will repeat the training later in the school year.  They were very motivated and keen to learn during the session.  Well Done!

text & photos JK

Schüler Machen Zeitung

Currently the German Language and Literature students of Grade 9 and 10 are working on a newspaper project called “Schüler machen Zeitung.”

This has been a project that has taken place for the past 10 years, supported by the Rhein Neckar Zeitung.  It lasts until the winter break and in this time, we learn about the structure of a newspaper as well as the process behind the articles that are published.

The RNZ send daily newspapers for the entire class to help encourage the study. They are also hosting a competition in which 23 classes will be participating to win first place with the prize of 300 euros. During this project the students not only learn about the world around them, but also learn about the effort that goes behind each article and the overall creation of a newspaper.

Something that we found interesting was that Frau Himmelheber, a member of the Stolpersteine Initiative, Heidelberg talked to the students of Grade 10 on Thursday last week. The next day, as we were reading through the newspaper, a student realized that there was an article based on the Stolpersteine, which was quite interesting as they had just learnt about it the previous day. 

The picture above shows the first day of the project as we looked through the newspaper, and talked about our first impressions. We also read the winning article of last year’s project, written by a student of the English Institut, Heidelberg. Looking at this gave us a general idea of how we would write our articles this year for our final project.The final goal of this project is for us to be able to write our own articles which then will be sent to the RNZ for the competition, with the possibility of being published as well as winning the prize.  

 Eshal & Carolin, Grade 9


Stumbling Blocks – Stolpersteine

Have you noticed the small “stumbling blocks” in the pavements around Heidelberg? Do you know much about them?

These blocks, or “Stolpersteine” as they are called in German, are part of a German (and beyond) art project launched by Gunter Demnig in the early 90s to commemorate the victims of National Socialism.  These blocks are placed in front of houses from which people were deported in the 1930s and 40s.

On Thursday, Frau Himmelheber, a Heidelberg resident and member of the Stolpersteine initiative in Heidelberg visited the Grade 10 I&S class to share more information. She gave us an informative and interesting presentation about the history and purpose of these blocks.

We learned about the victims these blocks serve to remember as well as the reason they were first conceived as an idea. The blocks are an example of “land art” and aim to allow all people to access them out in the world rather than in a museum. Further, she shared with us that each block costs around 120 Euros to make and that Mr. Demnig still travels to the sites and is present for the laying of the blocks.

This visit relates to the grade ten I&S unit International Relations. As part of this unit, the class will cover the Nazi period and the Second World War. The unit will also put emphasis on the role of the international community and efforts to maintain peace.

Now that they are more informed about the stumbling blocks, the idea is to engage with this local initiative by taking part in some cleaning of the stones. As the initiative is entirely voluntary in Heidelberg, this service project will be a great extension of classroom learning as well as a valuable help to the local community.

You can find out more about the Heidelberg initiative at

Frau Himmelheber kindly gave us a book about the stones in Heidelberg, which we will make available in the library. Frau Himmelheber was assisted in her presentation by Frau Kress and her Grade 12 German class who served as excellent translators. Next time you are out and about, keep your eyes open for these pieces of art and gentle reminder of the history around us.

text: HP & KG


Life Hacks

Friday activities have seen some of the MYP students have the chance to learn some ‘life hacks’. The most recent lesson saw students learn some workplace skills including how to tie a tie and how to iron a shirt, along with creating some tasty Halloween treats. Students rose to the challenge and were excited to learn some new skills.


text & photos RS


Service Programmes at H.I.S.

At Wednesday’s PTG coffee morning, we were very happy to present to a large number of parents about Service Programmes at H.I.S. We took you on a short trip with us to Mayana, Namibia, to hear a personal tale about the impact of service on the individual, and we brought you closer to home to see that when the community pulls together, we can run to raise money and even build a new playground.

In each IB programme, Action and Service are key terms. In the PYP, students are encouraged to find their agency; that is, to realise they, even at a young age, have the power to change things. They might change their diet after learning about healthy lifestyles or encourage their family to visit a local museum to learn more about their current unit. In MYP, students develop these skills further and are supported to undertake service projects. This service-based learning has the advantage that students are addressing the seven learning outcomes stipulated by the IB as well as addressing a real need in the community. In the DP programme, Service is the ‘S’ in the compulsory CAS programme, the completion of which is required in order to receive a diploma.


It was a pleasure to be able to share with parents some information about these programmes as well as briefly share and celebrate the many service projects the H.I.S. community has contributed to over the years. We hope to keep service firmly on the agenda this school year, building off the success of the Waldpiraten run and playground project. We are always looking for and welcome contacts and support in this, so please do get in touch if you have ideas of projects or groups that we might develop links with in the coming years.

 Helen Parsons and Birgit Kress

Sports Leaders

Grade 10 students have nearly completed their Sports Leadership unit. For their assessment they had to work in pairs and plan and then lead a sports activity session of their choice with their peers.

Many different activities were chosen including Volleyball, Badminton, Ballet, Hip Hop Dancing, Soccer and Hockey. Leading a sports session can be quite challenging and many of the students found out they had to really work hard in planning their session.

The students responded really well to this assessment and taught their teacher how to do ballet dancing.

Who knows, maybe some of them could become future sports coaches. Well Done!

text & photos JK