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

From The Student Support Team…

Child Protection Workshop

Many thanks to all the mothers and fathers who attended our Child Protection Workshop and participated in the round table discussions. It was great to share information with so many members of the H.I.S. community.

We covered what German law requires of schools in Germany and the options and training the Student Support Team members have had to address student disclosures. Furthermore we spent time on defining and discussing child safety.

The new Child Protection Handbook is available on the school website. A great deal of work went into creating this handbook, which also ensures we comply with the German State laws and with the requirements of the those organisations that accredit us as an International IB World School.

Feel free to address any questions you have to Lance Fortner or Atashi Mukherjee and the Learning Support Team.




World War I Evening

One hundred years ago, the Great War ended on 11th November 1918. This year also marks the centenary of the November Revolution in Germany. On the Thursday, 15th November, members of the school community gathered for the H.I.S. World War One evening. As part of a major collaborative unit in I&S, Science, English and the Arts, students explored the First World War from various different aspects and parents and students had a chance to experience the work of the grade nine and ten classes during the evening. 

Student work in Grade ten showcased major personalities of the Great War, including politicians, writers and scientists such as Ted Hughes, Bertrand Russell and Marie Curie, as well as work on scientific inventions made at the time and their latter developments. There was a beautiful display of student art work that related to the theme of the evening. The drawings made in art class related to the effects of the First World War.Periodically during the evening, Grade 10 students read out war poetry and Grade 9 students their short stories. Their creative writing work was also on display.  While many of the poems were written by the students themselves, among the better-known pieces of classic war poetry read out loud during the evening was Wilfred Owen´s Dulce et Decorum Est.  Special thanks to the PTG for providing the snacks for the evening and also to the Grade 12 students who helped produce the advertising posters and who organized the catering during the evening. 

As the sky turned blue and then almost black, students, parents and staff members lit candles for a minute of silence for peace and remembrance. This quiet peace demonstration was one of the enduring memories of the evening. 

Text by KG and SAB.

Laterne, Laterne

St. Martin's Day Celebration At H.I.S.

After learning about the legend of Saint Martin, students created their own lanterns during German and ES lessons. On Friday Early Primary students celebrated St. Martin’s Day. We went on a lantern parade led by our “Saint Martin” through the school and EP students were proudly showing their lanterns to the older students while singing “Laterne, Laterne, Sonne , Mond und Sterne”. 

Afterwards the students shared some delicious St. Martin’s Men made out of dough. German children call this special treat Martinsmann, Stutenkerl or Weckmann, depending on which Region of Germany they are from.

text & photos SST

Opening Ceremony

"Hedgehog Hall" open for the first time

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon as the whole H.I.S. Community met outside to celebrate the opening of the new playground equipment and school extension.

Student and staff ideas had been translated by experts into plans … the plans were followed and fulfilled by H.I.S. volunteers and specialists in construction, garden landscaping, plumbing, decorating and joinery.

These projects have truly involved an international workforce, and serve as a reminder that as people come together from across the globe, great things can be achieved. We all benefit from the results as well as having fun and strengthening our friendships during the projects!

To cut the ribbon we had Anu representing parents, Hina as our youngest student, Nathalie representing the staff and Thomas our Student Council President.

 My thanks to everyone for their hard work, flexibility, creativity and compromise during the period of construction.

text: KM

PYP Halloween Party

A huge thank you to all parents for organising the PYP Halloween Party and to all student helpers for supporting this event. The “horrible” snacks brought in were fantastic and all PYP monsters, witches, princesses, superheroes, dragons and skeletons….. were enjoying the games, the parade and the food very much.

photos: AS



A Day of Service

The IB Programmes at H.I.S. facilitate a holistic approach to education. As well as academic lessons, the students have opportunities to develop their creativity, physical health, their social and emotional skills – as well as have fun.

Service is one aspect of the curriculum that is common to PYP, MYP and DP. Of course, it looks a little different depending on the age of the student, but the idea of giving our time for the good of others, is the same throughout.

To be able to identify with the experiences of our students and in turn to be able to support them effectively, the H.I.S. staff took Monday 1st October as a day of service to the Heidelberg community. We were involved in three projects; helping to sort and sell second hand clothes at the German Red Cross (DRK) store in Epplelheim, clearing weeds from the carpark at the Hoffnungskirche and supporting the keepers in various areas of the Heidelberg Zoo.

Back in school on Tuesday 2nd October, we reflected on our experiences and presented our reflections to one another.

There was an awareness of being part of a bigger picture – our small sorting or weeding contributions did not necessarily finish a job, but definitely helped!

The development of a team within a task led to increased efficiency and learning to anticipate one another’s needs – how quickly sand can be distributed!

It was rewarding to receive feedback whether verbally from those instructing us or from watching the pigs roll around excitedly in their new bed of woodchips!

We gave our day for the agenda of another, we persevered through the heat and the smells, we challenged ourselves physically… and we look forward to the next time!

Waldpiraten Run 2018

Students, staff and parents ran and walked to support the Waldpiraten Camp on Friday last week. The annual charity run is a fun event and we are very grateful for the effort all supporters put into organising the event, special thanks to Grade 11 students. Congratulations to all participants for the fantastic effort. Watch a little clip on our Facebook page to see more photos of the run!

photos: KG, FL  – film clip: FL

Citizen Science – Group 4 Project 2018

Grade 12 students welcomed visiting students from Phorms School Munich

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

Collaboration between schools in different regions is encouraged and this year we had 2 biology students from Phorms school in Munich joining our group. 

The theme this year was Citizen Science –  Grade 12 students took part in a variety of projects which are described.

Students were split into 6 groups of 4 students and each group took on a different citizen science project. Their aim was to take part in the project and then produce a poster about the project they took part in with the aim of increasing awareness of citizen science in the local school community and ultimately that everyone can be a scientist!

Group 1: Ornithio – birdwatching

Initially, before the group 4 project begun, I honestly anticipated myself hating every minute of it. Considering we are grade 12, I thought we had far too much work to “waste” an entire  Friday afternoon on something that “bears no significance to our learning”, or so I thought. Once the group 4 project started, I realised very quickly how important Citizen Sciences are in our world. The scientific understandings of many different subjects practically depends on Citizen Sciences. Naturally, we decided to take part in one!

Our group picked bird watching, something which I have not ever done or have any understanding of. We went down to the river and spotted 57 birds across 17 species! Best of all, I actually enjoyed the entire process and got to learn a lot during the group 4 project. It touched upon the importance of collaborative skills that are vital for every IB student.

At the end, I realised how much I actually enjoyed the group four project, and what it really is all about. The group 4 project, from my experience, is not solely about learning new things in an academic environment, it is about working together, collaborating with different people, and trying out new things that you would not otherwise have the opportunity for.

By Parth

For the group 4 project the group which I was in helped an organization by uploading data on its website called allows people all around Germany to upload data they have collected from bird watching to their website. This was a fun experience as I had never been bird watching. The feeling of being a small part of this huge project was also rewarding. BIIIRDZ

Group 2: EyeWire

For the Group 4 Project, my group was doing a citizen science project called EyeWire. We were playing a game, and by playing this game we helped scientists discover new types of neurons. In general, playing the game was fun but became a little boring over time. We didn’t know too much about the science behind EyeWire so we just decided to find out what citizen science is and how people contribute to it.

 Group 3: EyesOnALZ: Stall Catchers

For my group 4 project, I worked on a Citizen Science project to do with Alzheimer’s. In this project, my group had to play a game called Stall Catchers. In this game there are multiple scans of the brain of mice and we had to recognise if the blood vessels are flowing or stalled. Scientists have collected multiple scans of the brain of mice and need help to go through all of them.

 Group 4: EarthEcho Team 1

My group collected data about the Neckar River, such as the temperature, oxygen levels, pH and turbidity (how cloudy, or dusty the water is). After conducting the experiments to get the required data, we submitted it to the website. This data is now part of a large bank of information which allows scientists to understand and work towards healthier global water bodies.

Group 4: EarthEcho Team 2

My group decided to do EarthEcho as our group 4 project because out of all the other options this one we could do a bit of work inside, go outside and collect data, and create a poster. We had to collect water and measure the temperature and the pH of the water. This data helps scientists to figure out how to get a healthier bodies of global water.

Group 5: Notes from Nature

My group worked on Notes from Nature, which is a project dedicated to digitising labels of insects and plant samples. The database that this information goes into can be used by scientists and researchers to find patterns in the distribution of species around the world, which can lead to better policies for conservation. Together we managed to make 70 transcriptions, this included different insects (including arctic butterflies) and pressed plants.  Each transcription does not take very long or require many instructions, so it is very easy for anyone to get involved in this project.

 photos: SAB