Archaeological Dig

Grade 5 began their new Unit of Inquiry, digging around for clues of the past.

During the next six weeks, these students will be taking on the role of archaeologists as they investigate the beliefs and products of past civilizations, that have influenced the development of modern culture.

Before embarking on their first excavation, students learned about how archaeologists use grids to record the exact location of artifacts. The class then discussed the importance of making observations and taking detailed notes, in order to make inferences about what past civilizations were like.

After brainstorming questions they might ask themselves while uncovering treasures from the past, students divided their inquiries into each of the key concept questions – i.e. form, function, connection, change causation, perspective, responsibility, reflection.

Finally, it was time to prepare their bags for their adventure into the past. Students made a list of items we would need to take with us on the excavation and were headed out.


The first task our archaeologists had to tackle was laying down the grid. Using geometric skills, students measured out the x and y-axes, divided the increments evenly, and made sure that all necessary gridlines were parallel and perpendicular. Then it was time for digging…    

Once the artifacts were uncovered, students brought them back to our facility, where they recorded their findings in great detail.


These Grade 5 students are learning first-hand, how primary sources are used to tell us more about the past and how we got were we are today.


text & photos: FW


Needs And Wants

Grade 1 just finished their unit “Needs and Wants”. The students showed their knowledge and understanding of the unit topic by creating commercials. They advertised old products that were used on a daily basis and compared those to the new version of these products. Enjoy the creative energy of the Grade 1 students and watch their presentations on the H.I.S. Facebook page.

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!

On Your Marks, Get Set, Serve!

Service as Action 2018-19

Grade 6 were the first of the MYP classes to be introduced to Service as Action (SA) this school year.  SA is part of the curriculum for all MYP students as stipulated by the IB. It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to be involved in making positive change for others. At H.I.S., SA can form part of a unit of learning.

It is also a part of the Homeroom Programme, and each class will be supported by their Homeroom teacher to complete at least one Service activity during the school year, either as a class or in small groups.

In these introductory sessions, students focus on the who, what, where, when, but most importantly, the why of Service based learning. Over the next few weeks, the rest of the MYP will also hear about the key aspects as well as become familiar with the seven learning outcomes for service.

The Waldpiraten Run will be the first chance for students to get involved in an action to support a local charity, and Grade 6 students were asked to set themselves targets as well as identify the learning outcomes they hope to achieve. For the non-runners, “undertaking new challenges” was identified as a likely outcome. For those setting goals to run more than 20 laps, “persevering in action” will be a necessary skill.

Over the school year, we look forward to celebrating student successes in the area of service and seeing the many great causes and communities we can support.

text & photos: HP


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

Journey Back in Time

Grade 1 Field Trip to Heimatmuseum Seckenheim

What a sensational day Grade 1 had last Friday! We went to the Heimatmuseum in Seckenheim; it was our first Field Trip and it was fabulous. We took the tram from the school and we walked a little until we stepped into an old house.It was filled with lots of old tools, which we had never seen before. We had to guess what those had been used for. But luckily our guides were very helpful and prompt to answer to all our questions (which were a lot). During our tour we stopped in a big room. Prepared for us with tablecloths and drinks for a snack. Furthermore, it was wonderful having the chance to make our own butter directly from fresh cream, really like in the past. Then we had to cut the vegetables and spread the butter on bread and ate it. It was so yummy!We took a picture of the whole class sitting on an old cart. It was so good to go there, and now we want to return even with our families!

text: LG

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


Let’s Play!

Climbing, balancing, jumping, tumbling, smiling … and quite a lot of posing for the camera! At morning break today, the students were able to explore and enjoy the new playground equipment. Our patience and hard work over the last month were finally rewarded. Thanks to all the members of our community and the Naturspur Team for contributing to this exciting project.