H.I.S. Can You…Challenge

Congratulations to the champions and all participants

Over the February break, many students and their families participated in our first ever school wide challenge over Seesaw. The PYP staff collaborated, and asked the students, “Can you…” complete 12 tasks?

The tasks required the students to get outside, find various things in their surroundings, and take a picture, just like a scavenger hunt. For example, Fr. Staeves asked, “Can you point to a house number that shows how old you are?” and Ms. Fudge asked, “Can you find a shelter?” Thank you to all those who took place in the challenge.

A total of 22 students were able to complete all 12 tasks, and can now call themselves champions of the “H.I.S. Can You… Challenge.”

Congratulations to the following students:

  • From EP: Greta, Hector and Masahiro
  • From Grade 1: Lea and Sophie
  • From Grade 2: Dani, Sissi, and Yui
  • From Grade 3: Aariv, Aras, Giuseppe, Lionel, and Emilie
  • From Grade 4: Daniel, Lilou, and Nashwa
  • From Grade 5: Aiden, Asmi, Chaitrail, Ella, Marta and Sanpi

A Scientific Journey Back in Time

Grade 7 Science Project

During the long lockdown, Grade 7 students worked on a creative task. They had to go back in time to the 19th century and take on the role of Dimitri Mendeleev. He had to convince The National Science Foundation (NSF) in a letter that his periodic table was correct and made sense.

All letters were very creative and had a lot of evidence in support of his genius predictions. Enjoy the example below by Luna:

Dear NSF,

I have been informed that you think my work is not accurate and it does not make much sense, I am writing you this letter to try and convince you that my theory is correct and you should take another look at my periodic table.

For many years, scientists have been trying to find a way to sort the elements, and maybe that has not been possible because they have been looking at it from the wrong perspective. I believe more elements will be discovered and that is why I have blank spaces in the periodic table. 200 years ago, people believed that all the elements that had been discovered but  now we know that was not true. That is the reason they were not able to design a good periodic table. I have ordered the elements in a certain way, so there are gaps in between the elements, thinking that’s where the ones that have not been discovered will go. Our theories always change, because we discover more and more every day.

I have organized the elements by atomic mass. Atomic mass is the weight of an atom in an element. With the way, I organized these elements I can predict the atomic mass of an element, what it looks like, its melting point, and how much a cubic centimeter of it will weigh. And that is all just from where it is located in the periodic table. I have grouped elements, by their physical properties. I found a way to group both atomic masses and physical traits. If you look horizontally at this table, you can see elements that increase by atomic mass. If you look vertically, you can see how elements with similar physical properties are grouped. If you look horizontally, the elements are organized periodically, that is why I am naming this the periodic table.

I started grouping the elements with similar physical traits. With this, I have made 8 groups. After I separated them into groups, I looked at their atomic masses. In the groups, I found elements with similar atomic masses. I then organized the elements by atomic mass horizontally and I saw that the distance of atomic masses between two elements was too big, so I left a space for an element to be added. When I organized them by atomic mass, I kept in mind I wanted them to be grouped with similar physical traits. This where I saw how I was able to organize them so that both of those things were possible. I simply organized them by atomic mass horizontally and I grouped them by physical similarities vertically. These were my results.

In my periodic table, I have left a gap for an element that I have named Eka -aluminium. I have named it that because it is located under Aluminium. Just from where it is located in the periodic table I can tell you all about it. Its atomic mass will be 68. One cubic centimeter of it will weigh about 6 grams. It will be a shiny metal at room temperature and it will be able to conduct heat quite well. The melting point is very low, it is at approximately 30 degrees Celsius. It can be flattened and stretched.

In a couple of years, we will discover a new element and I will have a space left for the element in my periodic table. For many years we have been trying to find a good system and we have not been able to do that, because we thought we had discovered all of them, but I assure you there are more. Mathematically, there must be more. No scientist has ever given you this much detail and is so sure about what he knows, what he is doing, and what he is predicting.

Please give me a chance and in a few years, when more elements will be discovered, you will be glad that you trusted me.


Dmitri Mendeleev



Mindful Mondays

Stay in Ship Shape with Arf's sea shanty

Our primary children have been able to stay in Ship Shape with a little help from Mindful Mondays and another sing along with our friend Arf.

This week and last the children, who needed to stay home, were invited to sing a sea shanty that reminds us of skills that work; (those treasures) that make going back and forth from school to home a little better.  And we learned how to draw our own ships as we continue on this journey together. As you can see and hear, our boats are in Ship Shape as we believe better days are soon ahead.

Click for H.I.S. Shanty:



Population Growth & Environmental Challenges

Grade 10 Science Project

The world population has already reached 7 billion and is growing rapidly, as a result there are growing environmental and social crises.

Science is always at the forefront of innovation, ensuring that the earth has enough resources to continue to develop and sustain life on earth. Global citizens of this generation and the next should be taught about these issues and they will hopefully have the passion, energy and creativity to find and develop solutions to these crises.

In science, students were tasked with finding their passion, energy and creativity to create a video (no more than 60 seconds) about how the growth in population highlights one of the following global challenges: promoting environmental justice, strengthening Global health or re-imagining industrial systems. This project was inspired by the student video contest from the website www.worldof7billion.org

See one example of a clip made by students:

Using their research skills and working collaboratively (in teams) through this lockdown period students made connections between the growing population and their chosen social and environmental challenge. In small groups, they problem-solved, wrote, filmed and edited a video that highlighted their sustainable solution to their chosen global challenge.

It is hoped that through this project, they not only developed their skills in researching and working collaboratively but that they will also continue to be active and engaged as global citizens and know how they can make a difference to our world.


Helau – Alaaf!

“Sorry, there will be no Faschingsfeier this year,” this is how Sanpoorna (a Grade 5 student) launched the invitation video to a group of PYP students.

Very sad news – due to the pandemic situation, all Fasching celebrations had to be cancelled in Germany.All? No, not all! There was one school in Germany that managed to celebrate Fasching.

An awesome group of Grade 5 students pulled themselves together and in addition to their already very busy “distance learning” day took on the task of planning the 9th H.I.S. PYP Faschingsfeier, which is traditionally organized by the Grade 5 students for the rest of the PYP students.

In 5 groups they planned a dance, games and some other fun activities for each Grade level. Via Zoom the students welcomed their schoolmates by complimenting their costumes and telling them how great they looked.

The “Tschu tschu” dance was quite popular, so was the Macarena dance and the Gangnam-Style dance.We saw interesting games, which were turned into zoom compatible games and played a few kahoot quizzes, which were Fasching themed.

There was this mysterious person called “The Masked Teacher” who joined each party. We wondered who that was? Fortunately, The Fat Lady guarded the entrance to the Faschingsfeier-Zoom rooms, so that only guests could take part in the celebrations.

Thank you very much, grade five, for your time, effort and patience. You are excellent “Zoomers”, great role-models and you know how to put a nice Faschingsfeier together.



Family Time – “Service And Action”

Dear MYP and PYP parents,

Service and Action for the H.I.S. community is not so easy during the pandemic. However there are activities that can be done at home from your child, that are both beneficial and rewarding. Spending a lot of time together as a family is challenging but activities help with family bonding and in helping your child practice and learn important new skills.

Please encourage your child to complete some of the family service and action activity ideas below and take a look at the overview for some other ideas and skills that can be learned:

  • Cook a meal or a desert 
  • Read a book to a younger sibling
  • Help to tidy and clean the house
  • Do some food shopping for the family
  • Create an Exercise Workout for the family
  • Teach a Dance routine for the family of your favourite tune
  • Wash and clean the car
  • Gardening
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Plan and lead indoor game activities (e.g. indoor bowling, Simon Says, Guess the sound)
  • Make a quiz for other families and friends on zoom
  • Do an arts and crafts activity for grandparents or mum or dad

The MYP students can record and reflect on their activities in ManageBac and the PYP students perhaps can tell their teachers what they have been doing in a zoom call.

They don’t have to do this straight away but can do some of these activities over a number of weeks until Easter. Thank you and I hope that your child enjoys whatever they choose to do.


Mindful Monday

Primary students keep a cool head and sing along with Arf

Our Primary students shared in one more Mindful Monday before the holiday break. They continued to learn more about the many emotions we are feeling during distance learning by finding ways to keep a cool-head when things get hard or if we’re frustrated.

And our friend Arf joined us again to help us learn ways to feel better again. Arf also joined us to sing a new song with the kids and parents; reminding us of ways to “self-regulate” by using our feel better skills.

A reminder for all of us to take a deep breath, hum our favorite song or move around to let off some steam. Click the link to watch and hear Mr Fortner and Arf sing the song:




Snow at H.I.S.

H.I.S. ist schneeweiß

A lovely snow day at H.I.S. today – all that was missing is you! My little friend and I cannot wait to see all students, staff and parents back at school!

Keeping (ice-cold) fingers crossed that this will be sometime soon. In the meantime you can see that the first flowers are slowly fighting their way through the frosty white blanket, getting ready to welcome you back.

Anke (& Frosty)