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


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

Grade 2 Forest Trip

On Wednesday, Grade 2 enjoyed a morning in the forest.  They started the adventure by gathering two objects or pieces of “treasure” from the forest.

With their hands behind their backs, the students gradually passed their object around the circle.  They had to recognise when their treasure came back to them, purely by touch.

Students explored their new surroundings and gathered nuts, cones and leaves.  Others worked as a team to build a shelter and some students made a mandela. 

Watch Grade 2 “Forest Teamwork” on the H.I.S. Facebook Page!

text & photos: KvG

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


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

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

Field to Douaumont, Verdun

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, students of Grades 9 and 10 and the History students of Grade 11 took a trip to Douaumont near Verdun in France.

The trip was part of an interdisciplinary unit combining the subjects History, Science and English.

Interdisciplinary units aim to deepen the understanding and enrich the learning experience of students by allowing multiple points of view of concepts or topics.


Douaumont is the site of the longest-raging battle of World War I and the visit brought real life context to the class room teaching. We visited the ossuary, military cemetery and the fort. It was a worth-while experience for students and staff alike.

text & photos AK