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

International Diversity Club & Cooking Class

During Cultural Diversity Club on a Friday afternoon our MYP students were able to experience German traditions first hand.

Martinsmännchen are one of the customs used in Germany to remember and celebrate St. Martin a Roman soldier who later became bishop and who is known as a man who did many good deeds.This popular sweet treat eaten on and around November 11th and can be purchased in the majority of German bakeries or can also be made easily at home.

Grade 7,8,9 and 10 students were able to form and decorate their own pastry men and had as much fun as their younger schoolmates from EP and Grade 3 in the weeks before.

text, photos, recipe: MM, JE, JK

Grade 11 Fundraising Project

Help us to build a skyscraper

This year 13 students from grade 11 are traveling across the world to help people who are in need. Three students will go to Mayana, Namibia and the others will go to Bucharest, Romania with the non-profit organizations Make Change Possible and Habitat for Humanity.

To raise the money to finance the project costs of these trips, the class has decided to make a skyscraper that needs to be completed.

Please help us to build the Skyscraper by buying any missing item:

single window: 5€, single fancy window: 15€, line of windows: 30€, bird: 7€, tree: 10€, door: 50€, antenna: 75€, sun: 150 €.

You have the chance to buy any of the mentioned items from the 18th to the 22nd of November after school in the school foyer or you can put your order and the correct amount of money in a box placed in front of the office (box, envelopes and order forms will also be available from the 18th of November).

When the skyscraper is all finished, you will be able to see what part of the building you and the children contributed. With your help and additional individual fundraising, we hope to be able to raise our goal of 8360€. This money will pay for the building materials and experts on the building site in Romania and for the individual projects in Namibia.

In addition to this next week there will be our first Healthy Bake Sale, Wednesday, the 20th of November after school. Don’t miss it! Grade 11 deeply appreciates your help in our mission to make the world a better place.

Kira, Grade 11

Martinsmännchen schmecken echt gut!

Traditionally the week before the 11th November you can find pastries shaped like men in bakeries all around Germany.

These pastry men are called Martinsmännchen or Weckmänner and are one of the customs used in Germany to remember and celebrate St. Martin from Tours. He was a Roman soldier and later became bishop, who was well known for his lovingness and care towards others.

The most famous legend about him was that he had once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm.

In order to celebrate him and his positive attitude towards others, Grade 3 made dough and formed little man shaped buns during German lessons.

They decorated their men with raisins and chocolate drops. In order to follow St. Martin’s example of being caring, they also made a Martinsmännchen for our Grade 1 students. The students really enjoyed baking and handing out their Weckmänner to the younger students.

text & photos: SH&SST

Tea Time

Grade 3 has started a new initiative, tea time! After harvesting the herbs that she planted last year, Mrs. Esser has been brewing up some delicious fresh herbal tea.

With a bit of foresight these herbs were planted last school year with a long term plan to help students stay healthy through the early winter months. Students have the opportunity to bring in a mug and drink the tea throughout the day. So far we’ve had all types of teas, including mint!

How is the tea? ‘Good!’ said one student when asked to comment. Another gave some more description, ‘When you smell it, it smells like lemon. But when you drink it tastes like… hmmm… I don’t know the word for it. Let me try.’

Grade 3 will continue harvesting and using our locally grown herbs for as long as supplies last. We look forward to a hopefully healthier fall season!”​

text: JC & Grade 3

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

The Class of 2019

Rhein-Neckar Zeitung Special Edition

“Abiiiiiii”, which is short for the German word “Abitur”, is the name of the annual special edition of the Rhein-Neckar Zeitung published in July. It celebrates the achievements of all students that graduated in the summer of 2019. Each Heidelberg Secondary school can fill a page with a motto, stories, quotes and information about the school. Enjoy the H.I.S. page of Abiiiiiii19!

IB Results

Today, the 22 students in our class of 2019 joined over 169,000 students across the world to celebrate receiving their International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme results.

These students will join a community of over 1.85 million graduates, in 153 countries, who have all demonstrated the knowledge, skills and determination to address our greatest challenges.

Dr Siva Kumari, the IB Director General, extended her heartfelt congratulations to students worldwide receiving their results. She said “They have shown a thirst for knowledge, a determination to succeed and a conviction in their ability to take on their next best step equipped with high quality preparation.”

 “Higher Education institutions and employers alike are telling us we need young people who can collaborate, communicate and think critically while creating new knowledge. Research suggests that an IB diploma prepares students with these skills. Our alumni are addressing the challenges humanity face with open-minds and creativity. I wish this year’s graduates all the best for the future and for making our world better”, Dr Kumari added.

I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to all our students celebrating their achievements. For the fifth year running, H.I.S. has achieved a 100% pass rate. I thank our teachers and staff who ensure that every student at Heidelberg International School receives a high quality education and thorough preparation for the IB exams.

 Kevin Whitmore

 Secondary Principal & Diploma Coordinator

Habitat for Humanity – Final Post

The day started back at the site where our group split into two, one to do cleanup around the site, and the second to pull more nails out of wood. Soon after, a third group was formed to move piles of wood out of the way. The jobs that day were a lot of clean-up and preparation for the next group coming in on Saturday as sadly it was nearly time for us to leave. At this point, the roof was nearly finished and the support beams were being taken down to allow work on the next building stage.

Nearing a break, the group was called over to the Romanian school we have been building next to. It was here where we truly got to understand the reason for all of our work. With Adi to translate, we met a worker from the school who told us of the severity of the situation involving the children at school. This building taught grades 1-8, a smaller range than our own school, but at the same time, in a significantly smaller space. We counted 5 classrooms and one more classroom that was converted to a gym still with its carpets, chalkboard, and teachers desk. We learned about the olympic accomplishments of Romania in gymnastics and the children’s love for football and tennis, although they are not always able to play for lack of equipment.

The already small classes dwindle by the end of 8th grade with a 50% dropout rate, parents become less interested to keep their children in school, despite the compensation of 30 Euro a month up to 8th grade, and urge them instead to get jobs and get married. Instead of highschool, these children are starting adult lives at 13 or 15 simply because it is too expensive to continue learning. Because of this there are only two highschools in Buftea and not a single college. The first highschool teaches agriculture and industry while the second is technology based. For learning skills outside of highschool, there is the option to go to community centers where admission fees are high, the classes are too big, and the students don’t end up learning much. The result of all of this is limiting the possibilities to the generations of children.

Now, in case there was any doubt of the potential of the children here, we were introduced to a young boy who goes to kindergarten in the area and recited a 99 verse poem. Not only did he recite it word for word, but he understood it. He raised his voice and hands to express the emotions. A six year old, learned this off of YouTube alone. And we saw the potential of these children who are held back from their education.

Our mission in this building was to provide a safe and reliable place for these children to go after school, after work, or whenever they can to learn in proper classes the skills they can use to stand up for their generation and change their country run by an unjust government. The government that despite claiming democracy and freedom, still requires cameras in every classroom by law. A government that refuses to spread it’s funds equally. Adi told us of how Romania has everything anyone could want, a full four seasons, a seaside, beautiful mountains, and a common quote: “Romania is such a beautiful country, it’s too bad its populated” We want to change this through our community center, and are honored to be a part of this amazing project.

Ellison & Pritha

Habitat for Humanity – Day 5 in Romania

Today got off to a late start as we got lost in traffic leading to us being well over an hour late at the building site. We then played a game called Shaolin Master in which everyone would have to strike one of four poses and then if anyone had the same pose as the leader they would be eliminated. This ended in a tense final between Derin and Pritha in which Pritha won.

We then started working on site with everyone’s first task. For the boys, it was cleaning the worksite of small bits of wood and wires. The girls then split into two groups, one removed nails from planks and the other group cleaned.

The main challenge of the day was once more the extreme heat, which made every job much more difficult. For the boys, who were carrying wooden beams from the second floor to the ground as well as metal support beams, the heat made being on the ground floor extremely tiring. We had to take a few extra breaks to rehydrate due to the heat. By the end it was satisfying to see the work that we had done.

 Another challenge for some was a small dog named Bella who would love to play with us. We had to make sure she was not in the way whilst we were working. This is why I consider her a challenge that had to be worked around.

The girls mostly spent their day removing nails from pieces of wood from the concrete casing, which the workers were breaking throughout the day. One of the girls labeled the work as ‘therapeutic’. The work was mostly done with crowbars and hammers. At one point the boys joined in on the fun! The other group of girls mainly helped clear the site at the bottom. Overall everyone had fun and worked to the best of their abilities on this very hot day.

 By Derin and Pietro