Bonn International School Magazine Winter 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey soul sister, don’t ya know we’ll miss ya In the Booster Club, Waves Magazine And all the places in between, Hey soul sister, We are gonna miss ya Ev’ry thing you do, with us. (lyrics taken from the song "Soul Sister" slightly altered and as sung on the occasion of Robyn’s going-away) The above lyrics shows just a little of the sadness the members of the Waves and other groups at our school feel as Robyn Thomas and her family return to Australia after 3½ years at BIS. We are thankful for her enthusiasm, energy and insight and wish the entire family all the best "Down Under".
Bonn International School e.V., Martin-Luther-King-Strasse 14, 53175 Bonn
A special thank you to our ever cheery, ever helpful, ever selfless and ever full of energy friend, Terri Dhu who has given much of herself to make our community a better place.
Extracurricular athletics and activities
English Theatre in Bonn
Digital Technology at BIS
United Nations Day
Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
What's new in the BIS media center?
BHS reunion at International Day
Little Shop of Horrors
Layout and Design:
A Mouse for your Mascara?
St Martin's Day Parade
Agora Opening Celebration
Parenting Gifted Children
Growing up with my School
Janet Hannah Leanne Jonsson Cathy Lesh
Who is always the first to... volunteer for a school project help a friend in need make you smile share a mug of glühwine at the Christmas Market tell a "garbage sortation" story be part of the team make a road trip with friends welcome new BIS parents teach herself to use new software to help with Waves cook a meal for a family with flu pick up a friend without a car drop off other kids after practice buy a special (raspberry) cake for a friend’s birthday make a sad or worried friend laugh, in fact to make anyone laugh!
Richard Balch Maureen O'Brien Adams
Thank you for 3 years of service to Waves Magazine. Meg Ramirez and Waves Team members past and present.
U14 Boys football Our competitive Athletics teams serve to encourage students to participate and reach their full potential within a variety of sports. A well-organized, diverse and quality Athletics program allows students to learn important values of commitment, teamwork and sportsmanship. Our Athletics program greatly helps in the academic, physical, emotional and social growth of our student-athletes. Another goal of the Athletics Program is to foster unity within the wider BIS community. It would be fantastic for more parents, fellow students and teachers to get involved with our Athletics program or simply attend home games. Our athletes want to play in front of supportive crowds that create a fun atmosphere. Schedules for all the teams are available on the website and a weekly game schedule is published and displayed each week in school. Getting involved in any capacity with our Athletic teams is a great way for families to meet new people and get connected within our fantastic BIS community.
U12 boys football 2
U12 and U14 GIRLS VOLLEYball 3
Parents can also get involved with our growing Extracurricular (EC) Activities program. Participation in activities is a great way to foster creativity, discover new challenges and make new friends. BIS would like to offer more Great Day Out events where parents help take a group to enjoy the beautiful countryside around Bonn. Let’s take advantage of the hiking, biking, archery, kayaking, sailing and other countless opportunities that the local area offers.
English Theater in Bonn
Parents are also encouraged to offer their unique skills (like so many already do) by leading or helping out with an EC Activity after-school. Please contact Gil Grant if you are interested in volunteering. email@example.com Lastly, thanks to all those people who support the EC Athletics and Activities program in countless ways. Please know that it is always appreciated. Gil Grant
I had always wanted to join a theater group, but work and family life had taken precedence. As an expat wife, however, I found myself with extra time on my hands and a limited number of possible diversions. An internet search led me to The Bonn Players website. I contacted them enthusiastically. Margot Nisita, the contact for the group and a member for 30 years, realized she had a 'live one' on her hands. She quickly signed me up to work backstage on the fall 2008 production of “Arsenic and Old Lace”. Everything about the play was elaborate – from the period costumes, to the large and diverse cast and the big laughs drawn every night. I never tired of the comic timing of Margot, who played the lead as Abby. Since then I’ve participated in several productions and been in the audience for many more. The Bonn Players repertoire tends toward comedies, but they also produce compelling dramas. Recent titles have included: “God of Carnage”, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers”, and “Shadowlands”.
non sports activities Robotics club Origami club Irish dancing
Margot Nisita (left) in “Arsenic and Old Lace”
Orthodontist Dr. MED. Dent. ASTRID WELLER-BERGMANN
Once I’d been bitten by the theater bug, I ventured out to see another English theater group, The Bonn University Shakespeare Company (BUSC). In 2010, Janine Lockwood, BIS Drama teacher and fellow Bonn Players member, landed a role in the production of Richard III. I had seen Shakespeare before, but in a very traditional setting. The BUSC performed a modern interpretation of Richard III using current fashion and set in a prison. I had a front row seat in an intimate venue called the Brotfabrik. It was an exciting, shocking, and entertaining performance. The BUSC was founded in 1992 by the Bonn University English Department, and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Their next performance, on January 16-20, 2013, is Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”, relocated from Vienna to the Wild West. I am looking forward to that interpretation! Both the BUSC and the Bonn Players also participate in the Bonner Theaternacht, an annual festival where every theatre
BIS Drama teacher Janine Lockwood as Lady Anne in Richard III (photo: Eva-Lotte Hill)
The Bonn Players began life in 1980 as the British Embassy Players. The group performed with support from the British Embassy, their audiences mainly composed of diplomats. When the British Embassy moved to Berlin in 1998, the theater group continued independently as The Bonn Players. Today, they draw audiences from the international community as well as many Germans who enjoy watching plays in English. They have won numerous awards at FEATS (Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies), including first prize for best production in 2008 for “Curtain Calls” (Margie Cross) and in 2011 for “Virtual Reality”. Each year the group produces two plays, one in the fall at the Wohnstift Augustinum Theater in Bonn and one in the spring at The Brotfabrik in Bonn-Beuel. Tickets are reasonably priced at 12 euro for adults and 8 euro for students.
The Bonn Players' curtain call for the cast of the “Cemetery Club” includes BIS community members Devon Putnam (far left) and Cathy Lesh (far right).
venue in Bonn presents half hour shows, enabling audience members to experience a range of international productions all in one night. Janine Lockwood premiered her original play “Shattered” with the BUSC in Bonner Theaternacht 2011; a film of the live show is also accessible on the BUSC website. Bonn is a small town. The international community is an even smaller one. One of the perks of living in Bonn is the almost daily occurrence of running into friends and acquaintances (that is unless you haven’t done your hair that morning). At the supermarket, the doctor, at Galeria Kaufhof, you are likely to run into someone you know. At the BUSC and Bonn Players performances, you may even find a familiar face on the stage as well. Autographs, anyone? Cathy Lesh The Bonn Players www.bonnplayers.de Bonn University Shakespeare Company www.busc.de
Digital Technology at BIS Digital Technology at Bonn International School, where do we start? How about taking a journey together? Let’s follow a hypothetical BIS family with children in EL5, Grade 3 and Grade 8.
is learning about website design and has now started to create her own website which is designed to inform new students and parents about the sports and outdoor activities they can get involved in, in Bonn. Since Alex is very enthusiastic about digital design, she is part of the Yearbook team and uses her skills to assist in the development of the upcoming BIS Yearbook. At different times during the year, her subject area teachers bring her classes down to the computer lab or use a laptop trolley in class for activities where digital use integrates with the curriculum. The school has adopted the learning platform “Edu2.0”, http://bonnbis.edu20.org/ and each evening Alex logs in to see if she has remembered the due dates for her upcoming assignments, she uses resources such as web links, handouts, or videos that teachers have placed there for her learning, and she also checks her news and messages.
iPads, laptops, computers, S MART Boards aside , it’s all about our students!
So what about our children’s parents? Well, Dad attended one of the “Parenting in the Digital Age” workshops at the BIS Parent Tech Academy. He was a bit concerned about how much As Emily enters her EL5 classroom, she knows to go to the interactive white board and enter herself as present for the day, by writing her name in the correct column on the board. Children interact with the board during the day as they learn about the calendar, access websites for learning mathematics, look at cultures in other countries, and much more. Emily also enjoys her time listening to stories or practicing her letters on one of the 2 iPads in her classroom. The technology is blended into a
screen time his children were getting and was also interested to learn about home resources that are available. Mom and Dad both check into the wikis for EL5 and Grade 3 each week to find information about upcoming events, homework, curriculum information, and they especially like the photos and videos placed there. They appreciated the digital sign-up to the recent Secondary Parent Conferences, as it was efficient for them to make a booking for a time which suited them.
classroom routine that makes it just another learning modality that joins all the other activities that take place during the day. Our family knows that BIS is currently looking at planning the implementation of a 1-1 Digital Device program for Secondary students. A committee is meeting to explore this exciting initiative and more information will be coming out to the community in the near future.
Meanwhile, Emily’s brother, Jacob, in Grade 3 is busy creating a “Common Craft” style video showing his
So, we’ve had a glimpse into technology at BIS. We couldn’t look at everything, but we’ve
understanding of rights and responsibilities, which is
gotten a snippet of some common types of digital use. We didn’t mention our Media Centre
the current Unit of Inquiry. He has chosen the topic
which is growing in its offering of digital subscriptions and instruction of
of ‘children’s rights in school’ and is busy creating
information resources, or that our Advisory classes will be teaching
the script and cutouts for his video. While he is
some sessions on digital citizenship, or highlight any of the
concentrating on the content of his video and getting his message across to his audience, he has also been learning techniques to make an effective video. After his video is created, it will be uploaded to his blog so that he can share it with his parents. This week Jacob uses the math website “IXL” http://www.ixl.com at home for practice, as well as the site “Typing Master Online” http://www.typingmaster.com to develop good keyboarding skills.
integrated digital activities taking place throughout the So what is Emily and Jacob’s sister, Alexandra, doing? Well, let’s start with her Music class. Just recently the music department has started using a website titled ‘Noteflight’, http://www.noteflight.com. This site enables her to create, view, print and hear her own music notation, and allows her teacher and peers to give her feedback. She is also finding the ‘Garageband’ software pretty amazing to create her own
curriculum, or talk about the upgrades to our digital infrastructure. Stay tuned for the next issue! To close, we want our community to know that in all use of technology our focus is always directed to student learning. So iPads, laptops, computers, SMART Boards aside, it’s all
musical compositions. As she moves to her elective class,
about our students!
Media Arts, the teacher has a Trolley of laptop computers
ready for the class. Alex really enjoys learning about ‘Photoshop’ and all the cool ways to manipulate images. She is beginning to understand design concepts and now looks at visual images with a more critical eye and more understanding of how they are put together. In her Technology class, Alex
United Nations Day. BONN
Tag der Vereinten Nationen. BONN
On Saturday, 20 October 2012, the City of Bonn celebrated United Nations Day. The event signified the international, globally-minded vibe of the city. It was fitting that the event was held in the heart of the city at Bonn Marktplatz. Bonn International School was happy to be part of this important day together with various development initiatives within the municipality.
Divya Bilolikar, Shivani Rajhansa, Kate Schlichte, Valeria Kukushkina, Rahnya Taghi, and Hannah Wiedemann represented BIS and became the driving force behind extending their ideas, action and experiences related to TEDxYouth@BIS and the PYP Exhibition to the greater Bonn community.
BIS presented along with organizations
developments with the actions that the
Lea Kuron, one of the TEDxYouth@BIS
Last year, the TEDxYouth@BIS organizers,
support the students as they developed
Tosca and Jeff have already developed
such as: The German Foreign Ministry,
students have taken, such as Hannah
youth organizers, spent the day sharing
the skills and aptitudes needed to
resources for educators and individuals
Wiedemann’s Exhibition group having
her knowledge and passion for TEDx
approached the structure of the second
take action. The students within the
around the world to organize their own
their ‘School in a Box’ delivered to the
with the entire Bonn community. Her
annual event in a different way. They
PYP Exhibition identified needs within
students in Nairobi.
passion helped influence Martin Frick,
chose the theme of ‘Sustainable Action’
their community and worked to create
action highlights the importance of
the U.N. Ambassador, to speak at
and recognized that the event was
sustainable solutions and then action
teachers leading by example and taking
the TEDxYouth@BIS 2013 event. This
an excellent platform for students to
those ideas into reality. They created
is exciting because Martin Frick is
share the action they had taken through
an Action Hub of websites1 devoted
influential within the global community,
their PYP Exhibition with the entire
to kid-created solutions to help other
is devoted to the ethos of BIS, has
world. Teachers at BIS, such as Jillian
learning communities around the globe
previously spoken at a TEDx event in
Priestly and Ann Martin, worked to
German Ministry for Cooperation and Development.
It was a special day for the students, as
The UN at its core is about people
they had opportunities to teach, share,
taking action to make changes to and
answer questions and network with
in the world, which links closely to the
people from all over the world, as well
IB philosophy. As such, United Nations
as native Bonners. This networking
Day in Bonn was an opportunity for
resulted in further sustaining their action,
the greater community to see how
such as Kate Schlichte being invited by
the students had taken their learning
the United Nations Women’s Committee
and created sustainable solutions for
to perform her song about women’s
problems they had identified.
rights at one of their functions.
It was good to see the students present
in supporting these students to share their action and represent what it means to be a learner at Bonn International School. There have been some amazing
implement their ideas. As they moved from the culminating event of the PYP
in organizing a TEDxBonn event. He
Exhibition to the extension event of
has asked BIS teachers Jeff Hoffart and
TEDxYouth@BIS, they embodied the
Tosca Killoran for support with this and
Learner Profiles of being principled and
they will be providing their expertise to help make this a reality.
their Grade 5 PYP Exhibition, and how action. Ms. Priestley played a big role
New York, and furthermore is interested
the action that they had started in they were continuing to sustain that
What can you do to make a difference to and in the world?
What action can you take today to make a change within your community?
risk-takers as they devoted hours of extra non-curricular time to the creation
They hope that their
UN Day also gave the opportunity for BIS students to lead by example and engage the greater community with questions such as: • What can you do to make a difference to and in the world? • What action can you take today to make a change within your community? Julia Fehl
of their talks. 1
Scan this with your QR reader to go to the kid created Actionhub website. 2
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/get-ted-ucated/id569973251?ls=1 Scan this with your QR reader to go to iTunes for the free download of the Get TED-ucated guide to organizing a TEDx event.
Sprechen ? h c s t u e Sie D
On the other hand, the students on the proficient level approached their language acquisition through fiction. They embarked into the skills of writing a reader’s journal and started analysing methods of expressing emotions. They are reading "Emil und die Detektive", a book that was written in 1929 by the famous author Erich Kästner but is still popular to this date. (see right)
A Glimpse Into Grade 4’s German Curriculum Our inquiry based programme does not only involve methods of learning German by applying new vocabulary and sentence structures in speech but also reading books and indulging into the world of characters. The students on the developing level started this school year with their "Settling in" unit. They learned basic structures of their target language by comparing them with their own language and inquired into ways of expressing themselves in every day situations.
"Emil und die Detektive" is a very interesting book to read. It is the story of the twelve-year old boy Emil, who travels to Berlin all by himself to see his grandmother and cousin. On the train, his money is stolen by a mysterious man. Emil starts chasing this man and gets off the train in a different part of Berlin. Luckily, he meets Gustav and his friends and an adventurous chase through Berlin begins.
Grade 4 students with the book Emil und die Detektive
Grade 4 students on the proficient level will continue writing about their findings in the next edition of the Waves Magazine. Grade 4 students and the German Teachers
Here is an example of their shopping dialogue:
E in ka uf e n in De ut sc hl an d
A = customer B = the shop assistant
A: Geben Sie mir bitte 4 Brötchen, 1 Croissant und Äpfel. A: Guten Tag!
A: 3 Stück bitte.
B: Hier, bitte sehr. Wie viele Äpfel sollen es sein?
B: Guten Tag!
B: Bitte schön. Noch etwas?
graders who Hi, we are nine 6th hat we do want to show you w es. in our German class After two months of German classes in Secondary
A: 7 Euro 48??? So viel? Wie teuer ist das Croissant?
school we can write and speak about ourselves and
for example; for ich, du, sie and ihr, the verb endings are
like the Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher or the
different. Another skill that is
singer Nena. Or maybe you have heard about the
hard is finding the right sentence
famous poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? We put
structure. For example the direct translation of I am fine is: ich
interesting information about them on posters. Have a
bin gut. However that is not correct, the correct translation is:
look at the pictures above!
Mir geht es gut.
We also wrote down what we find easy or difficult about
What are tips for learning German?
German and want to give you some advice on how to
Tips that I recommend for kids that want to learn German are;
learn German easily.
speak German outside school, go to restaurants and get your
B: Das Croissant kostet 1 Euro 50.
We find that in German it is easy to learn the colors A: Ach so. Hier bitte sehr, 7 Euro 48. B: Vielen Dank. Einen schönen Tag noch. Auf Wiedersehen!
In German one skill that is hard are the verb conjugations. So
about our family. We also learnt about famous Germans
What is easy to learn in German? A: Ja, bitte. Ich nehme noch die Gurken hier. 2 Stück bitte. B: Bitte sehr. Darf es noch etwas sein? A: Nein, danke. Was macht das zusammen?
What is hard?
kids to order, or join a German club. It may also help a lot if your child watches German TV
because some colors are almost the same as in English.
Another example of our work:
Hallo, ich heiße Braxton und ich komme aus den USA. Ich wohne
rot ...................... red
in Siegburg. Ich bin 11 Jahre alt. Ich habe zwei Brüder und eine
Schwester. Mein älterer Bruder ist 16 Jahre alt und mein jüngerer
schwarz ............. black
Bruder ist 4 Jahre alt. Meine Schwester ist auch jünger als ich.
To start off the new school year, the library received a facelift. In the Primary section the carpet and chairs were replaced, and the pillars throughout the library were repainted “Agora Green”. The Parent Collection was moved near the circulation desk, and additional titles were ordered for it. A computer lab space for instruction was created in the Secondary section by rearranging shelves and moving computers. While moving books, the collection was updated and fiction books were reshelved by genre, creating a “bookstore” feel to that area. Non-fiction and Dewey books can now be found on the south side of the library. Moving the computers allowed for the AVI room to be arranged into a quiet reading space. Collaborating students are often noisy students, even while hard at work, so having a designated quiet place is proving quite popular among our readers. New this year is a Secondary Book Club sponsored by the Library Media Centre. Students meet at lunch on Wednesdays and discuss their favorite books.
For the first time in school history, International School Library Week was celebrated at BIS with the IASL theme School
Rosy, Cindy, Alicia and Birgitt
Libraries: A Key to the Past, Present, & Future. Primary students submitted “keys” for every book they read, while Secondary students wrote online book reviews in the library catalog. Keychains with the IASL logo were given away and contest winners received t-shirts. A Book Character/ Historical Figure dress-up day was the culminating event of the week.
Secondary Book Club
Meet our staff: Alicia Denning is the Operations Director
from Germany, she moved to BIS
Library Media Specialist. She moved
for the Media Center. With a background
from Laos where she also worked in a
to BIS after working as a librarian at
in management, Alicia is adept at
library. Her favorite part of the job is the
a K-12 IB school in Texas. She has
handling library paperwork and she
worked at Primary and Secondary
oversees the circulation of technology
School libraries, and before earning her
equipment. Alicia moved to Bonn from
master’s degree in Library Science, was
Australia via Scotland.
equally enjoys reading picture books to Primary students as well as teaching older students to navigate databases for research.
We had special activities for the younger children, which the Morocco World Challenge students managed superbly. Children had their faces painted, bounced on the bouncy castle and tried to stay upright on the mechanical bull. The parents and students were all catered for; we just had to hope for good weather. With a total of 21,753 tickets sold and not a drop of rain, I think we can call it a success, again...
Cindy Rogers is the new certified
a grade 5 and 6 classroom teacher. She
In addition to all the food and drink, guests were entertained by music and dance. Many groups performed, including the International Voices Choir, children’s jazz dance, zumba, Irish dancers, and the 5th grade band.
Rosy Ottavi is the afternoon library clerk. She comes to BIS from Italy. Her drive and passion keep the
Birgitt Vollmer-Kerlin is the library clerk
library organized and tidy. Rosy has
in the morning. Known for her passion
recently replaced all of the signage in
for children’s books and dedication to
the Secondary section of the library,
the library, Birgit has been with BIS the
ensuring students are able to find the
longest of the library team. Originally
resources they need.
What's new in
Bonn International School celebrated its grand International day on Saturday the 9th June 2012. This year we enjoyed even more splendour with a total of 16 stalls, run by either individual or combined countries. These delightful tables, piled high with food and drink and all wonderfully decorated, allowed us to reflect and really see (and taste) the magnificent diversity of this school.
. . . International Day June 2012
By Mike Smith, BIS Secondary Math teacher and former BHS teacher
Thoughts on the British High School 1987-1994
International Day started in the mid-1980s and is an event that holds fond memories for all the former students and staff of the British High School; this is why the weekend of 2012’s International Day was chosen for the first BHS reunion event – it offered a bridge between the past and the present.
When I joined the British High School in 1987, the school was located in spare rooms at what was then the Heinrich Herz Gymnasium (now the Nicolaus-Cusanus Gymnasium) on Gotenstrasse. The staff room and office were in the Hausmeister’s bungalow and space was limited. There were only a few staff and between 100 and 150 students in the school. Each year group was only big enough for one class, so the teaching was very mixed ability. Although it was small, it was a very happy atmosphere.
Many former students had expressed their interest in attending but, unfortunately, work and family commitments prevented some from travelling. In the end, about a dozen former BHS staff and students enjoyed a weekend of reminiscing. We had two meals together on Friday and Saturday, as well as time together at International Day. All agreed that the reunion had
been an enjoyable success and one worth repeating for those unable to attend this year, and particularly as our calculations strongly indicate that 2013 will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of the British High School. From a teacher’s point of view it is always interesting to discover what former students have made of their lives. We heard (and saw) about piloting a light aircraft; life on an oil rig; being a bouncer at a music venue; and, how an international education has been an excellent preparation for life. We were left with a feeling that the former BHS students had made real successes of their lives and had retained positive memories of their school days in Bonn.
Alumni quotes - life after BHS:
At the age of 19, I started working on an oil rig in the North Sea. Due to both the free time and the good wages, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on my hobbies, which are outdoor life and activities. Over the years I have had different jobs in connection to my husband’s companies. Then in 2006, I realized I wanted to become a teacher, which is a four-year long study in Norway. When I finished the teacher education, I chose to take a master’s degree about the pedagogical use of ICT in schools. When the master’s is completed, I will start working in a Primary school.
Living locally, I have followed with interest further developments at the school. As BIS has a long association with the Shangilia project, I was very pleased to be able to experience at BIS both the football tournament between BIS and Shangilia students, and the evening entertainment consisting of a performance of dance and acrobatics given by the youths from Nairobi, and musical contributions from school musicians. 11th grade students played a major role in organising both events. It is gratifying to see that the school is continuing its commitment to this project.
Liv Saebo Stava, student BHS 1991
The reunion with students who left BHS 20 years ago brought back memories of a very different establishment. When I arrived on the scene there were a mere 57 students spread across three year groups. Everyone knew everyone. Facilities had to be shared with two German state schools as we did not have a building of our own. Equipment was basic but still adequate.
I am a freelance graphic designer, concert organizer and bartender now. Yes, all of the above! Jannick Mikkelsen, student BHS 1990-1993
I graduated from BHS in 1993. Two years later I got the draft letter from the army so I joined up, and enjoyed that so much that I underwent basic officer’s training. I stayed in the army for four years, two in Norway and two in Bosnia. The period in Bosnia was a very interesting learning experience. I went back to Norway and studied computer engineering, which I finished in 2008. Now I work at a private funded research institute, The Norwegian Computing Center. Jorn Stava, student BHS 1989-1993
I was delighted to see how successful all of the former students who attended the reunion are today. Frances Knobloch-Bale 24 years at the school BHS 1985 -1997, BIS 1997 – 2009
As the school grew, it became necessary to move to larger premises and the empty German school in Friesdorfer Strasse was chosen. At that time we had access to a gym, but no playing field. I remember spending many happy hours there, either in the music studio in the cellar, outside playing volleyball (this seemed an almost permanent activity at BHS), exchanging CDs with some students, and of course, teaching maths. At this time we also arranged excursions abroad. For example, in 1991 Chemistry teacher Jane Redman organized a trip to Moscow and what was then Leningrad. I was fortunate enough to be the male teacher on this trip. In 1992 I organized a coach tour visiting Prague, Budapest and Vienna; Marguerite Byrne accompanied us on this trip. Another enjoyable experience was the Year 10 camping weekend to Maria Laach in 1992. Clive Frank and myself were both Year 10 form tutors and we accompanied most of the students for a great weekend under canvas. A German club on the next site added to the adventure!
Mr. Smith and his BHS students
BHS students in Moscow, 1991
Camping trip to Maria Laach, 1991
British High School Reunion at BIS, June 2012
BHS students in Heldenplatz, Vienna, 1992
At 22, I was one of the youngest councilors in the U.K., it’s a bit more common these days, but back then it was very unusual. In 2004, I founded dreamcarevents. com, which is what I have been doing ever since. Corin Graeff, student BHS 1989-1993
I’m back here in Bonn now for my second stint in international education. There have been many changes, mainly brought about by the growth of the school. Essentially, however, the teaching experience here is still a very positive one. The students are generally very interested in their own education and future, and staff are very professional in the way they carry out their duties; importantly, there still remains at BIS that element of fun we had back at BHS, but that is sadly lacking in many national educational systems. If staff and students are happy then educational progress will follow. Mike Smith
At the Millenium Monument, Budapest, 1992
Questions and answers from alu
What surprised you most about the
school in 2012? • How many longstanding teac hers are still here. Jannick Mikkelson • The size of the school today and how good the facilities are. Jorn Stava What was the most important less on you took with you from your time here? • The ability to accept other peo ple’s differences. Jorn Stava
Homework! The real issue has many facets. Here are some things we need to consider when entering the debate:
As with everything in life, it is a matter of striking the right balance. It is a balance that cannot be standardized for all children, and it requires intervention if the balance is tilted too far in one direction. Little homework may be a sign of an efficient learner – that is something to be celebrated. Too
The homework debate is one that
homework’s proponents and detractors
will always be controversial, and that
often turns personal and acrimonious.
requires us to put aside our own value
Many children today — along with
judgments in the best interests of every
their parents — complain that teachers
student. It is a passionate debate in
are assigning too much homework,
Time spent on homework is not a
which many people reflect on their
producing sleep deprivation, increased
measure of its worth
own past to develop an opinion on the
stress and a generation of kids on
Every child is different and time
At BIS, we have clear homework guidelines in both Primary
issue. In fact, many people try to judge
the verge of being burned out before
taken on homework varies
and Secondary. These are broad guidelines that need to be
much homework may indicate a need for time management skills. Then again, little homework may indicate a superficial and careless attitude, whereas excessive homework may purely be an indication of a desire to be thorough and perfect. Where does your child fit in?
the effectiveness of a school by the
they reach college. Some educators
Homework for homework’s sake is
adapted to each child. A child with limited knowledge of
presence or the amount of homework.
blame heavier homework loads on the
counterproductive – it needs to be
English may require longer. A highly efficient child may take
BIS is no different. We have the same
education reform movement – in the
less time. A child that leaves assignments to the last minute
divergent views – some say that there
U.S. for example, much blame is placed
Children need balance in their lives,
may have to spend much more than the suggested time on
is too little homework, and others that
on the focus on standardized testing.
which means they need time to play,
particular days. Our BIS guidelines range from 20 minutes in
there is too much. Research results
But homework proponents say students
the lower grades up to several hours in the IB Diploma years.
are equally divergent – opinions on the
spending less time on homework spend
Homework should be an opportunity
topic range from “homework is all pain
more time watching television, talking
for the child to learn independently,
and no gain”, to “homework teaches
on the phone or socializing. Few issues
without adult interference
in education affect as many families as
Time spent on homework should
management and other
homework. Its near-universal place in
align with the student’s age
non-academic life skills.”
formal schooling leaves few students
Parents should be available to
and parents untouched. Yet the history
facilitate homework, but should not
of homework is characterized by debate
teach content or do the work for the
about both its effectiveness and its
No matter how old the child, parents need to monitor time spent on homework. If the life/work balance is wrong, then parents and school together need to look at the cause. Is the student working appropriately? Is the homework assigned for quality rather than quantity? Where does a child’s learning style fit on the spectrum of learners (this has nothing to do with intelligence or ability)? What are the expectations of the parent and the teacher? What pressure is the child reacting to? What plan can be put in place to bring about balance? If your child
is spending an inordinate amount of time on homework, then something is wrong. Help the teacher(s) get to the bottom of
What do students say about hom
I mean we have "Homework is not that valuable, ld be enough" 7 hours of school a day, that shou not too "It is valuable to education if it's Homework should not be daily"
is pretty valuable because it helps you develop your education"
"Homework is quite good and fun
on a personal level. Wherever the homework debate goes next, be it on the front pages or the back burner, it's worth taking a moment to examine if our children are living balanced lives, and whether
't turn it in, "Homework is valuable, if you don affects the not only does it affect you, but it rest of your future" "I think only summative tasks are
the problem. In this process, focus on your child — it is your child that is facing the problem and it needs to be dealt with
we're asking the right questions about their education. Chris Müller
What do parents say abou
"Homework is VERY valuab
le - it reinforces what was learned during the school day" "It should be productive" "It should depend on the nee
"Homework should not inv olve the parent, the teachers do not need to know what I know!"
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
In spring of 2012, during the new musical theater elective class at BIS, students were excited about the opportunity to study singing for the stage. The class performed a short series of scenes from the musical Wicked in the Variety Show and afterwards were enthusiastic about performing on a larger scale. Students and teachers alike wanted to take the next step for BIS and put on a school musical. Mr. Joseph Szalay brought the idea to the EC director and the administration. All were immediately supportive. Weeks later, the Brotfabrik was booked for the fall of 2012 and the musical went from idea to reality. Much of the ground work for the musical was started at the end of last school year including negotiations with a production company near London who provided the set and puppets for the show. A generous donation from DHL allowed the set to be transported from London to Bonn. The Brotfabrik Theater would provide the technical assistance for the show ensuring a high level of quality - Little Shop of Horrors began to take shape! When school resumed in August, over 40 students auditioned, with a final cast of 34. Rehearsals began and there was a buzz of excitement about the project. The students rehearsed for over 70 hours for Little Shop of Horrors. In addition to rehearsal time, they also spent time on their own learning lines and music at home. Most impressively, all of these hours were given only because of their passion for theatre and desire to perform. Important student leadership roles were also created during the rehearsal process. More senior students were in charge of leading warm-ups, ushering at performances, managing the back stage props and organizing awards to be given at the cast party. Alisa Bokhanova (although not in the cast), supported the musical greatly by using her artistic talent to create the plant graphic that was used on the cast t-shirts, programs, posters and tickets.
Though the students put in a great deal of work, the musical could not have happened without the hard work of several key people; including Gil Grant for his administrative support, Jo Tilton for her artistic assistance on and off stage, Stefan Ille and Bob Gallacher for assisting with the set, and Peter Dawson for seeing the value in all the MYP students attending the performances. The parents were also instrumental in helping with programs, costumes, set-building, and organizing the props for the show. The BIS community’s commitment to Little Shop of Horrors culminated in four great performances. Upbeat, addictive music and unusual but lovable characters, Little Shop of Horrors reflects the Faust story of selling your soul for power and riches. The creators, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman emphasize that while achieving dreams is a worthy aspiration it is not okay to lose ethics and only serve your own desires. In a florist shop on Skid Row in New York City, proprietor Mr. Mushnik is ready to close for lack of business. His young assistant Seymour Krelborn brings in a mysterious little plant he found after a total eclipse. The other shop worker, beautiful, kind, but insecure Audrey, encourages Mr. Mushnik to use the unusual plant to attract business. A passerby spots the plant through the shop window, admires its strangeness, and buys $100 worth of roses. The novelty of the plant rapidly turns Mushnik’s shop into a financial bonanza. Seymour discovers that the plant survives on blood, with Seymour initially as the only donor. He keeps this a secret and the shop, as well as his romantic relationship with Audrey, begins to flourish. Soon, the plant demands more than a few drops of blood and Seymour is forced to find other ways of keeping it fed. One by one the people around him are fed to the plant and finally, the plant itself attacks Audrey and kills her. Seymour realizes too late that serving his own desires has caused the death of his life’s love. Didn’t get a chance to see Little Shop of Horrors? Don’t miss next year’s production, which is planned for fall of 2013. The announcement of next year’s musical will take place at the Creative Waves Festival on April 27, 2013. Joseph Szalay
ASLearning C& CService S at BIS Literature abounds on the benefits of service learning in any child’s education. In an international school context it is critical in the development of empathy with the human condition on a global scale. Service learning has been defined as an academic program based on:
engagement with underserved groups or organizations and projects focused on the issues of common good; structured reflections on service-related and discipline specific concerns; and respect for the needs and interests of the community partner. (Zlotowski, 2001, p. 36)
Recently, eight BIS High School students (and two teachers)
Irene Lopez, Ola Malec, Ally Hewitt, Aiden Tansey and Meghan
Fox really enjoyed learning new skills, which they have brought
beautiful Linz, Austria. This conference is held annually, and is
Wa l s w o r t h
back to the rest of the Yearbook team. They were amazing
sponsored b y W a l s w o r t h p u b l i s h i n g (the company who
representatives of BIS, and came away from the conference
prints our Yearbook). Top technical and creative presenters
with skills they can use for years to come.
come from around the world, and students can learn about design skills, photography, editorial skills and much more. We traveled by train (which was an adventure in its own right!), and spent three days in beautiful surroundings learning skills to help build a better Yearbook.
The BIS Yearbook is 160-ish pages of pure student creation (student led and student made) – where the team of approximately 20 High School students do everything from collect information, attend events to take photos, design page templates, lay up pages, and proof read documents (with many
The conference offers a fabulous opportunity for students to
smaller tasks in between). The Yearbook is a huge task for
learn about photography, Adobe Illustrator, creative design
this group of student volunteers, and they really enjoy learning
skills, InDesign, Photoshop and other elements of publishing.
about the task of publishing (and making it happen!) – right
Yearbook teams from around Europe get together to develop
from blank pages to a fully finished 160 page hardcover book.
skills that can help strengthen their Yearbook process. The team of Harsha Pillai, Krupha Vetriselvan, Zoe Shorter,
Keep an eye out for this year’s publication – it’s going to have a bit of bite!
Service learning gives flesh to critical thinking and analysis. The student who is introduced to human and institutional complexities will not so readily leap to conclusions from abstract data or be so quick to match with easy slogans on placard boards. Service learning addresses issues that lead to open dialogue and inquiry, toward an objective outcome. It encourages participants not to be restricted by particular goals in mind, but rather to allow situations to determine the most suitable solution. Most of all however, it allows for empathy with the “bigger picture” - the human condition, the environment, development, community. In the traditional model of community service, the emphasis is on service – contribution to the host community, the creation of a consciousness of the civil society through participation, and strengthening the interaction between academia and the world outside. Service learning is an academic approach to the concept based on engagement with underserved groups or organizations and projects focused on the issues of common good; structured reflections on service-related and discipline-specific concerns; Grade
6 7 8 9 10
The MYP C & S (Community and Service) Program Educating Children in Indonesia and Vietnam Mongolian, Chinese and Rwandan Orphanages Zambian Hospital Project
Bonn Picobello SOS Villages in Partnership with DHL
and respect for the needs and interests of the community partner. The object of service learning in an international school context should not be to do good (although good may be done), but to satisfy key academic objectives that, internationally, have to relate to enhancing understanding of other cultures and the human condition through a combination of theory and practice. Only in this way will it contribute to the broad objectives of global competence, cross-cultural communication, enhancing mutual understanding, personal growth, etc. – qualities so readily espoused by international schools. At BIS, we have a core of dedicated and determined students, encouraged by adults who recognize the value and importance of service, who are engaged and actively working towards improving the plight of others. This year there have been tremendous efforts to consolidate projects and find causes that can be continued over years. In particular, the Secondary School has focused on projects that reflect the millennium goals of the United Nations. In the Primary School the topic of Action has been prevalent in many discussions. One of the issues we often face is the temporary nature of commitment – let’s do something good and then it is all over. No, we need to make commitments, and if we build some form of reliance, then we must make sure it is sustained over a period. On the other hand, we also want to make sure we do not promote hand-outs. We want real support that will build better and self-sustaining communities. Most importantly, right now the students are mobilizing, and many projects are already well under way. As we progress, service will become a cornerstone of the education process at BIS, because as an international school, this is how we help students understand the plight of greater humanity. Without this perspective, they run the risk of seeing themselves in unrealistic isolation. Chris Müller
Goal (see right)
2 1 4 8 7 1 2
For questions relating to C & S contact firstname.lastname@example.org and for CAS contact email@example.com
the future is theirs! at Bonn International School! As part of their CAS, (Creativity, Action and Service) project at BIS, Grade 11 and 12 students raise funds to support the Shangilia project in Nairobi.
What do John-Paul, Kim, Jack, Odile, Benjamin, Tirus and Kate
points at the end of these 8 years, he or she is admitted to the
have in common? They all have the chance to go to school and
Secondary School. Yet, there is one particularity at Shangilia
enjoy a good education as the basis for their academic or work
School: the students not only learn according to the standard
careers. Some of them go to Bonn International School, whereas
curriculum but they also learn acrobatics, dance, music, sports
the others spend their school time at Shangilia Secondary
and acting. This is their most creative part and they learn how
School in Nairobi. What exactly is Shangilia? Shangilia is the
to make Shangilia more and more known to the Kenyan public,
name of a project for street children in Nairobi, the capital city
how to build up their confidence and also fundraise for their
of Kenya in East Africa. The project is situated in Kangemi, a
home with their shows in Nairobi and Europe.
suburb and slum area at the same time.
The students of Shangilia enjoy a good education, and can
The project was founded in 1994. It began when the Kenyan
obtain a normal university entrance diploma. Some of them
actress Anne Wanjugu starred in a movie named “Usiliemtotowa
study at Kenya University and want to become teachers or
Africa” (Don’t cry, African child) about street children in Nairobi.
social workers – maybe also to follow in the footsteps of those
She was fascinated by what good actors the children were and
who cared for them at Shangilia.
how they expressed their miserable situation in the movie. She decided to quit her job and founded the Shangilia project. Anne Wanjugu died in 2002 in a terrorist attack in Nairobi. By that time,
In February 2012, a group of grade 11 students were given the task of organising
enjoyed and we made a lot of money
In addition to BIS support more and more Kenyans commit
a fundraising event for the “Shangilia” school. This school takes children off the
from the food alone. The Shangilia
themselves to this children’s home and raise funds for it.
street and gives them food, education and a home. Some of the students and
correspondents, who we had been in
Recently, a golf tournament took place and every participant
teachers were coming to visit us here at BIS. A date was set for the event to take
touch with in the few months leading
paid 25 Euro to take part. Kenyan companies also donate daily
place, the 15th of June, and we set about gathering ideas of how to make this
up to the event, brought with them
Today, Shangilia is a non-governmental organisation giving
items like detergents and other practical things to this institution
event as successful and fun as possible. After much discussion and brainstorming,
some wooden carvings and other
children a proper home and an education. Approx. 200 children
With this help and that of Shangalia’s European friends like BIS,
we decided on a football tournament during the afternoon and an evening event,
Kenyan artefacts, which we auctioned
live there permanently; another 86 come from the slum and
they recently opened a new school building with more class
consisting of an acrobatics performance done by the kids from the Shangilia School.
off. They proved to be very popular and
don’t live in Shangilia. The project consists of a nursery school,
rooms and learning facilities. Of course, there was an acrobatics
a pre school, a Primary and a Secondary School, a kitchen, and
and dance show on the occasion of this opening.
The children arrived at BIS at 3:30pm on the 15th of June. The football tournament
If you want to know more about Shangilia, have a look at their
We had a total of eight teams and in the end the team made up of some of the guys
Overall, organising the event was very
website which is available in English.
from Kenya won. Each player from our school willingly donated a couple of Euros
stressful, but it was worth it in the end.
to be able to play and food was on sale, which members of our group had provided.
We raised a good amount of money that
Later, the headmaster of the school, Ken, informed us that the children had really
will go towards the Shangilia School.
enjoyed the football tournament, as it was something they could take part in and
Personally, I would like BIS to continue
her project had already grown and become more influential.
dormitories. 28 Kenyans are employed at Shangilia as teachers, nurses, and social workers, as well as in the administration. Their school system is a bit different from ours here at BIS: Primary School lasts 8 years. If a student receives 250 of 500
began soon after, with people from BIS playing against the people from Shangilia.
using these objects.
enjoy themselves. Although they enjoy performing, they were happy to be able to
to be involved in helping Shangilia, as I
relax before showing off their acrobatics routines.
feel it was a very rewarding experience.
In the evening a show was put on in the sports hall. We had performances from some students from BIS, as well as numerous different acrobatic performances from the Shangilia School. It was fascinating to see how they would climb on each other, creating human towers. We had a barbeque, which everyone really
we were able to raise even more money
The children were lovely and were so thankful for what we were doing for them. Alexandra Hewitt, Grade 12
a mouse for your mascara?
Who is protecting animals?
Making an ethical choice...
In the UK the leading international animal protection
Today there are so many products bearing the 'Leaping Bunny'
organisation is 'Cruelty International.' In Europe it is the
symbol that making an ethical choice won't cost you more
'European Coalition to End Animal Experiments' and in the
or limit your choice of cosmetics. In fact, there are so many
USA and Canada the leading animal protection organisation is
products thanks to the 'Humane Retailers Act' that you may
the 'Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics.'
already buy ethical products without realising it. The next time
Public pressure and advances in the science of testing have led to many global companies stopping animal testing within product development. MaxFactor and L’Oreal continue to test By Zoe Shorter
A recent survey of Grade 10 revealed that 50% of students never check cosmetic products for the leaping bunny logo and a further 85% do not recognize the symbol and/or know its meaning. Over 60% believe that animal testing for cosmetic purposes is unacceptable, yet the majority of the students asked had very little knowledge of what was involved. Do you?
on animals but Avon and The Body Shop have eliminated all testing from their product processes and contents.
were established in the 1990’s and ensure that consumers can identify and purchase cosmetic
products that haven't been tested on animals. Many companies use • The ‘Lethal Dosage 50 Percent Test' tests the time it takes
to animal experimentation was held in the Netherlands. In
for 50% of the animals who have been force-fed a product
February 2003, the EU banned cosmetic testing on animals
to die determining how poisonous a product is.
constructed in many stages to continue supporting the cosmetic market whilst making it ethical. Firstly, in 2009 the cosmetic industry began a gradual movement towards nonanimal tested ingredients and processes. Although a complete ban will come into effect in 2013 in the European Union, animal testing continues in many other parts of the world. The change came not a moment too soon as undercover operations had revealed the full horrors of animal testing. In fact the three most common tests were particularly gruesome.
• The 'Draize Eye test' sees drops of cosmetic liquid placed in animal's eyes for a week while scientists measure the reactions, such as swelling and colour change. Animals will often scream and move violently with pain. • The 'Skin Irritancy Test' means shaven animals have a product applied to their skin. Many products made outside of the European Union continue to be manufactured using animal testing.
continue in order to make your favorite shampoo and lip-gloss
Animals used in experimentation include:
ethical and worthy of your purchase. Some gruesome tests
Dogs, rabbits, guinea-pigs, fish, pigs and birds
The move to rid the cosmetic industry of animal testing must
you know the facts you can make a real difference to animal welfare and increase the number of cruelty free products on
buy your favorite shade of red lipstick under many different brands. So next time, consider buying that same red lipstick with one tiny, but significant difference - the 'Leaping Bunny.' Discover which of your favourite cosmetics are free of animal testing, in product development and in ingredients via www.gocrueltyfree.org
misleading language to make the buyer think that their product
It wasn’t until 1996 that the first world congress on alternatives
throughout all European countries. However this ban was
you shocked about how many are ethical or unethical? Now
Today’s advances in the cosmetic industry mean that you can
Read on to discover the progress of the anti-animal testing movement and how YOU can make ethical choices at the cosmetic
A Little History...
Bunny' symbol. How many ethical products do you own? Are
The Leaping Bunny… The
you pick up cosmetic products have a look for the 'Leaping
is cruelty free. Only if the leaping bunny symbol is present can you be sure that the product you are using is safe from animal testing. The leaping bunny is internationally recognised and the standards that accompany the leaping bunny symbol are very specific and rigorous.
GIFT FOR YO
I have design
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d a wallet ca rd with tify products with the leap bunny symbo ing l and remind you of import ant points rais by animal wel ed fare charities . This wallet ca rd is 100% free of charge and delivery. If you would like further information or a wallet card please contac t me at: zshort firstname.lastname@example.org om information to
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Testing on animals is not required by law and if a company wishes to market a product as ethically approved they must use alternatives to animals in testing and ingredients. Over
10,000 ingredients are already proven safe and provide the Out of the millions of anima ls killed cosmetic industry with a great source of ethical ingredients. each due to testing by cosmetic year compa nies, 1 million feel intense pain d at lea uring t st he ex perim ent.
Saint Martin's Day Parade This was the first time that Secondary-students have done the band for the St. Martins-parade. The small children all enjoyed that secondaries were playing for them. It is also very good for the school spirit. For most of the musicians, it was a new and good experience. It is very good to learn how to walk and play at the same time, but also the idea of St. Martin had a new meaning; St. Martin gave half of his cape to a beggar and therefore cared for a stranger risking his own life whilst working in the army. Sharing a piece of cloth with a beggar was a big "sin". Here all students belong to the same community, but it still shows that even though we all come from different nations and have different cultural backgrounds, we all care for one another, even if it is just shown by such little things as a St. Martins-parade. In the past we have always had small bands from outside of school coming in, now the band was made of 13 Secondary students in grade 7 and 8, most of them are doing this as a C&S project. There were many saxophones and some flutes, clarinets and trumpets. It is an unique feeling to play and give joy to other people. We would all be happy to do it again next year!
Morocco World Challenge 2012
It all started at the beginning of the year, when 13 motivated teenagers decided to go on the World Challenge 2012 for one of the most exciting adventures. To get ready for this challenging expedition, we had to get fit and also get all the material and the money for the trip. To get fit, we had many training walks in the Siebengebirge and we even had the opportunity to do a more realistic training by having a two days training which included camping. As a team we tried to raise the money through fund raising events that included: a community run, babysitting during the Indian dinner and holding a Primary sleepover in the sports hall. The real adventure began on the 20th of June when we met our guide for the first time, Rick, and had to say good-bye to our friends. We then had to say bye to our parents, and once everyone left the hard work started. We built-up the tent in a garden, weighted our bags, took out anything that wasn’t necessary and checked all safety rules. Once Rick and Ms. Box had everything sorted and all teenagers were ready to explore the new country, we went to the airport to wait 8h before our plane came, now we can all agree on the fact that the seats of the airport aren’t comfortable. After long hours in the planes and airport, we finally arrived in Marrakech, we were all very excited about this journey, but the first challenge began; the temperature. As soon as we got out of the airport, it began to be very hot so we all had to acclimate as fast as we could because we didn’t have any spare time to waste. But we soon forgot about it and just looked at where we just arrived because in Marrakech there were a lot of interesting things going on. We could see motorbikes everywhere, monkeys trying to go on all the tourist’s shoulders while snakes were dancing to the rhythm of the drums. The big square was so fascinating that a night wasn’t enough. But we had to leave to go to a four days trekking in the Todra gorge where we could see valley after valley of barren landscape over and over until we saw our small camp. Our camp where everyone was friendly, everyone enjoyed the emptiness around us. Right after that we had the opportunity to go into the biggest
desert where we could look at the horizon and see only sand dunes everywhere. The sand was orange, the sky was blue and we were red. But we all had fun on the camels and enjoyed the view as much as we could. Right after came even more work, for 5 days, we helped a village by cleaning the irrigation system, building new gardens, cooking meals and playing football with the kids of the village. This game showed us that, 10 year old kids with no shoes on could beat 15 years old guys with sports shoes and all other equipment.
Once the project phase was done, we went to the mountains to achieve our biggest goal; climbing the Mount Tobkal. During 3 days, we walked up the highest mountain of the north of Africa, 4200 meters high. We felt the difference of temperature fairly quickly but we were mainly focused on climbing without tripping. Once we were at the top, we had time to take a break talk to the other groups of people who achieved their goal and it was already time to go back to the starting point. All this adventure has taught us a lot, it showed us that we aren’t the poorest, it showed us how other communities live and function and enabled us to have the opportunity to learn all together in an environment that was different from what we have experienced in the past. These three weeks have taught us more than these 15 years in college, at least socially talking. World Challenge group 2012 will never forget this journey, trek and adventure. Nele Hantsch, Juliette Deletain, Tim Molich and Rene Kramer.
Lea Kuron & Malte Schabram, Organizers
Opening the Agora Saturday, 22 September 2012
ag·o·ra [ag-er-uh] noun, plural ag·o·rae [-uh-ree] (in ancient Greece) 1. a popular political assembly. 2. the place where such an assembly met, originally a marketplace or public square. 3. the Agora, the chief marketplace of Athens, center of the city's civic life.
1000 ribbons, 900 guests, 800 hamburgers, 750 pieces of cake,
students and teachers with the best possible environment to
100 balloons, 50 choir members, 10 reasons to love the Agora,
do their “jobs” in, whether teaching or learning.
10 circus artists, 4 rock bands, 2 speakers, 1 community celebrating 1 exceptional building project.
Dr. Müller also invited Student Council representatives, 2 teachers and a parent to also share their ideas about why the
On Saturday, 22 September, the BIS Agora was exactly
Agora is special and what their peers love about it. Student
what an “agora” in ancient Greece would have been: the
Council had posted on Facebook to get student input. The
central meeting place of a community, the heart of its social
top responses were: sofas, kiosk, green, lockers, study room
and educational life. 900+ guests - parents, students, staff,
neighbors and simply friends of the school - had a lovely late summer afternoon to both celebrate the opening of this new facility and enjoy spending time with friends.
Martin Weller, Chair of the BIS Board of Trustees, then spoke about and thanked those most directly responsible for the success of this project, both recently and in the past. Mr.
Just as the Agora building has its signature sofas, the
Weller then called Student Council back up to the stage for the
community opening ceremony had its own signature touches.
official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Instead of one ribbon, there
The BIS Community Choir began the event with some newly
were rolls of individual ribbons rolled into the audience so that
recruited volunteers and an updated version of Handel’s
every one present could be a part of the ribbon-cutting and
take home their souvenir of the day.
School of Schools
Agora, Agora, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Three more floors
Agora, Agora, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Phew! Once the official opening was over, guests scattered
School of Schools
Agora, Agora, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
and the buffet was opened. Guests had the chance to walk
Agora, Agora, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
through the Agora, get a bite to eat, visit the circus school
Agora, Agora, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
or listen to one of the bands playing in the Agora. Fantastic
Double Sports Hall, School of schools with Room for all It shall stand forever and ever The BIS Community Choir set the light-hearted, warm-hearted
rock and pop music was provided by the Cobalt Blues Band (students), BIS Blues Band (mix of students and teachers), The OF (parents) and KISS’D (students).
tone for the rest of the afternoon. Director Chris Müller followed
The Agora proved to be much more than an elegant, functional
them by introducing the official part of the ceremony and
new school building. It is also a wonderful place to celebrate,
reminded guests of the remarkable community and project
with great acoustics, a fantastic ambience, and a magnet
they are lucky enough to be a part of. He also spoke about the
for the BIS community. Just as the ancient Greeks probably
Agora as being more than beautiful architecture – it provides
would have wanted it to be …
Parenting gifted children Finding balance between enrichment opportunities, daily responsibilities, and silly family fun.
As parents, we spend hours watching our children discover the world around them with amazement. The emergence of a new skill or ability to solve a problem sometimes seems to occur out of the blue while you are driving to the grocery store. It is those moments when your child independently puts a sentence together, solves a puzzle, or makes a mental connection between two life events. They can surprise us with skills we never thought were possible for their age. These are the moments when we sit back and ask, “How did they do that?” Parents of gifted and talented children ask these questions more often than not. They begin to make comparisons of other children the same age, wondering about the observable differences between creative, high achieving and gifted problem solving. Although, both gifted learners and high achievers can appear to be very similar, their learning styles and approach to world can be remarkably different.1 In objects in unique ways and at a faster rate than their age-related peers.2 Although, there is a spirited debate among academics, parents, and it involves a demonstrated high level of aptitude and/or achievement arts, or sports.3 The World Council for Gifted and Talented website www.world-gifted.org gifted and talented educational programs and criteria. child has the potential to excel in all academic, social, and personal experiences. This expectation creates an incredible amount of internal and external pressure. In actuality, many gifted children demonstrate asynchronous development, meaning that they often have extraordinary talent in one area, while having high, average or even below average ability in others.4 This makes them appear to be many ages at once. Linda Kreger Silverman describes asynchronous development as, “…advanced cognition (that) often makes gifted children aware of information that they are not yet emotionally (or physically) ready to handle”. Simply put, “an 8 year old mind trying to create things with 5 year old hands”.5 Parents of gifted children often describe them as “intense”. Their children challenge them to respond with varying parenting styles to cope with their advanced intellectual curiosities, intense emotional reactions, and sometimes social immaturity.6
Enrichment Regardless of where we call home, as parents we want the opportunity to provide our children with enriching environments to help them develop their talents, interests, and skills. Enrichment involves learning
ready to switch to something new. This leaves many of us overloaded and running from activity to activity. Seasoned parents and educators In an effort to create balance, incorporate your children’s interest into family activities and travel. There are many ways to bridge your child’s interest into daily activities and family vacations, even when you do not speak the language. Rather than trying to overload yourself and your children by seeing every site in the guide book, take one or two topics and revisit them throughout your trips and home life. kids. Then make a small list of must-see places rather than trying to rush through museums to see every piece of art. Once inside, sit back and enjoy one piece rather than many. When you take time to study a painting, it becomes a tool for learning about a historical event, and a comparison of cultures. Sometimes this will even lead conversations about science or the logistics of acquiring the materials needed to places to explore. A trip to the Rheinbach Glass Museum, can lead to discussions on social migration, history, physics, geology and artistic expression. They even offer art classes on the weekends. When we think of enrichment, we also want to challenge our child’s development in areas where they are not as accomplished or their abilities are not as strong. Recognizing areas of asynchronous development assists us with selecting activities that will help our children grow. Blending your child’s interest into family activities creates a platform for your child to become the teacher. Providing them with the opportunity to teach others not only allows them to integrate the material, but also develop stronger interpersonal skills. Activities that allow for creative expression or hands-on science experiments can For more informatio n regarding gifted and talented enrichment programs in the area, check out: www.rheinland-hochbegabt.de/angebote.html www3.uni-bonn.de/studium/junge-uni
Daily Responsibilities Although the IB program provides excellent opportunities to explore and investigate many topics, enrichment needs to extend beyond our child’s school program. Parents often ask, “Are we providing our child/ren with enough opportunities to develop their potential?” Relocating to a new city or country can make this task overwhelming. In addition, we can overload our children with too much information and exciting extracurricular activities. Luckily, our children will often help direct us to what activity to choose or what topic to explore. The gifted child will often seek out all the details and reference material available on the topic, becoming
Teaching responsibility and learning to be responsible are two things that are not always compatible. Usually, it is the parent who is trying to “teach responsibility” through games, activities, reward charts and restrictions. Children, on the other hand, have a different vision of what learning responsibility means. This often includes learning a lesson involving something meaningful to them. Parents of gifted children often report character traits such as having a strong sense of social justice, intense emotional feelings, excellent problem solving and memory.7 However, these parents will also report that the same child is unable to complete daily routines or tasks compared to their age related peers. The dichotomous level of maturity
1 2 (NAGC, 2008, www.nagc.org/WhatisGiftedness.aspx) (NAGC, 2008, www.nagc.org/WhatisGiftedness.aspx) 4 (Sliverman, 1992 www.gifteddevelopment.com/Articles/parenting/p30.pdf) www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=33313 5 nagc.org/index.aspx?id=121
leaves parents scratching their heads, wondering why their child cannot remember to do a simple task. Part of the problem relates back to how
mindfulness, the awareness and appreciation for the present. Deepening our connection to the present, (our emotions, relationships, and environment) strengthens our ability to cope with reality. It helps us
Gifted children will often start projects at home such as building pressure and unrealistic expectations. This will help the gifted child structures, inventing things, or campaigning for social injustice or become more aware of their emotional responses to situations, selfenvironmental conservation. They will proceed to work on these projects with great intensity to completion and other times simply stop Learning to let go of the pressure and guilt of “to do” lists is a talent in the middle. Parents often struggle to redirect this intensity towards that needs to be developed in all of us. Sometimes that means taking a homework assignments, normally with limited success as their child break from afterschool activities and weekend road trips. Sometimes continues to write a play or build a space station on the dining room it means letting your table. Attempting to break them away from the current project can children play on the lead to intense battles of will. Rosemary Cathcart explains that this is steps outside the due to the child’s perceptions of the tasks importance, tasks that are museum and never uninteresting will be viewed as a waste of time.8 This leaves parents actually making it frustrated, and homework assignments incomplete. in. Believe it or not, In order to be successful with improving personal responsibility, assisting our child (and homework completion), there needs to be internal motivation to complete daily responsibilities. The trick is discovering the key to in “free time” is an motivating them to meeting expectations.9 Gifted children tend to be enriching activity for overly critical of themselves, as with all children, they will internalize the entire family. this feedback as a sign of failure. They are often acutely aware of how Agnes Lyden. MA, Clinical Psychology. different they seem compared to their siblings and peers, especially when it comes to failure. This sense of failure then adds to their already Below is a list of websites & resources that I have found to be helpful. This feeling disconnected from others, increasing their struggle in managing is a good place to get started with exploring the topic of gifted and talented, relationships. parenting gifted children, understanding asynchronous development and twice Utilizing the character traits of social justice and fairness, along exceptional children. with their knack for problem solving, to teach personal Gifted Learners responsibility and respect for themselves can facilitate their Bright Learners Knows the answers Asks the questions making daily responsibilities as a routine rather than chore. By Is interested Is highly curious relating their efforts back to respecting other family members Is attentive Is mentally and physically involved and the home environment, they can develop greater social Has good ideas Has wild, silly ideas awareness. Building strong social awareness and understanding Works hard Plays around, yet tests well Discusses in detail, elaborates relationships at home will also help them with their peer Answers the questions Top group Beyond the group interactions, and their participation in group projects at school. Listens with interest Shows strong feelings and opinions Reading a book about a character that is gifted may also Learns with ease Already knows provide them with insight into their own behavior. There is a 6-8 repetitions 1-2 repetitions for mastery Constructs abstractions great list of books at the following website, www.hoagiesgifted. Understands ideas Enjoys peers Prefers adults org/featuring_gifted.htm
Finding time for silly fun Between enriching activities, children need time to play and unwind. Learning to relax and enjoy the moment is a task that to remember to make sure our children have time to play. The gifted child is often aware that they are different from their agesocial activities. This can lead them to withdraw from social 10
Through play our children develop a sense of wonder, humor, and self-expression.11 Finding time to interact with peers in unstructured activities continues to build social relationships, gifted child to relax and re-energize is equally as important as mastering a musical instrument or mathematical equation. As parents, we can model the importance of letting go, relaxing and enjoying a lazy afternoon. Taking time to build play time into the family schedule sounds counterproductive to creating an enriching and stimulating life for our children. However, it is a skill that needs to be developed just like their tennis swing. We need to learn the importance of practicing
Grasps the meaning Draws inferences Completes assignments Initiates projects Is receptive Is intense Copies accurately Creates a new design Enjoys school Enjoys learning Absorbs information Manipulates information Technician Inventor Good memorizer Good guesser Enjoys straightforward, Thrives on complexity sequential presentation Is alert Is keenly observant Is pleased with own learning Is highly self-critical Szabos, J. (1989). Bright child, gifted learner. Challenge, 34.z
Websites www.world-gifted.org/Resources GiftedAssociations#top www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content. asp?pid=31758 www3.bc.sympatico.ca/giftedcanada/ develop.html www.eurotalent.org/en/ www.bildung-und-begabung.de www.mest.go.kr/main.do www.nagcbritain.org.uk/ www.nagc.org/
uniquelygifted.org/ www.hoagiesgifted.org timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/ stoi/Baby-Einsteins-have-needs-too/ articleshow/3480841.cms? www.davidsongifted.org/ www.stephanietolan.com/gt_as_asynch.htm www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/ teacher-blog/2012/may/09/teachinggifted-and-talented-pupils www.dghk.de/regionalvereine/bonn
7 www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=31757, 2009 (NAGC, 2008 www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=351) Englebright Fox, Jill, Back to the Basics: Play in Early childhood. (2008) www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=240 9 (Robbins, S., www.parentinggiftedkids.com/search/label/Social%20and%20Emotional)
Going east Consider spending a couple of days in Dresden. It is 5.5 hours away from Bonn. From there you can check out several different cities. Dresden has a lovely old downtown (Altstadt) with the Frauenkirche in the center of the Neumarkt where the Weihnachtsmarkt is located. Take a break and try some Dresdener Christstollen. Their Christmas Market dates back to 1434! Open 30th November until 24th December.
It’s my favorite time of the year in Germany! The Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) are here! Gingerbread, roasted almonds, fried fish, Reibekuchen (potato pancake), Bratwurst and Glühwein (mulled wine). A heart attack with a wine chaser! Yummy!
From Dresden, take a day trip to Leipzig. It is 1.5 hours away. Their market claims to be one of the most beautiful in Germany. There are over 250 chalets. 27th November until 23rd December, 11:00-21:00. The highlight includes the world’s biggest Advent calendar!
Almost every city in Germany has a Weihnachtsmarkt in their ‘Platz’ or main market square. Bonn, for example, has three decked out with chalets: Münsterplatz, Bottlerplatz and Friedensplatz. Köln has six markets. The four biggest are located at the Dom, Alter Markt, Neumarkt and Rudolfplatz. Generally ‘Weihnachtsmarkts’
From Dresden, take another day trip to Seiffen. It’s about an hour There are so many that are worth seeing but will take you hours to reach. Here is a list of Weihnachtsmärkte that I’ve tried to bundle together as mini-vacations. Going up North! Consider spending a couple of days in Hannover. On your way there, stop in Dortmund. Get a snack and walk around their Weihnachtsmarkt. Dortmund is only 1.5 hours away from Bonn and will break up the three hour drive to Hannover. There are 300 market chalets in Dortmund!!
Christmas (but are closed for Totensonntag, 25th November). They are usually open from 11:00-21:00 There is a wonderful website you can use to double check dates and times for each city. www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk
Needless to say, the markets are more crowded at night and weekends. Godesberg and take the U-bahn into Bonn or the train into Köln BEWARE!! Although I love Christmas Markets and highly recommend them, beware of pick-pockets! Christmas Markets make great day trips. Why not meet your friends at the school at morning drop off, have a coffee, pile into a car and head take your family back at night. www.santatelevision.com/world/index.html also has videos of Christmas
Markets in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Russia, etc.
Here are a few Weihnachtsmarkts you can visit while the kids are at school: Bonn's Weihnachtsmarkts add a fun and festive atmosphere to the city. Open daily from 23rd November until 23rd December, 11:00 to 21:00. Stroll amongst the market chalets decorated for the season selling all sorts of items. Köln’s Weihnachtsmarkts 26th November until 23rd December, 11:00-21:00. It is absolutely lovely walking around the market at the base of the Dom while it is snowing. Oberhausen has a Weihnachtsmarkt at Europe’s biggest indoor mall, CentrO. The mall is beautifully decorated for the season on the inside, and the market is on the outside. There are several covered car parks and parking is free. Starts 16th November until 23rd December. Centroallee 46047 Oberhausen. www.centro.de
Aachen’s Weihnachtsmarkt 23rd November until 23rd December, 11:00-21:00, Sunday 25th November 18:00-21:00 and Sunday 23rd December, 11:00-20:00. This market offers red and white Glühwein and Aachener Printen, a local speciality that resembles gingerbread. While there, go inside the gorgeous cathedral and see the shrine of Charlemagne. Siegburg hosts a medieval Weihnachtsmarkt in the Marktplatz, 1st December until 23rd December, 11:00-20:00. Everything is modeled after the late middle ages from the stalls to the people that work them and the food served! Ahrweiler is only open Fridays to Sundays. It’s about 30 minutes away. Opens 30th November until 23rd December. November 30th 17:00-20:00. Opens all the other days 14:00-20:00.
Hannover has four markets, one of which is medieval. If you start at the Hauptbahnhof you can easily stroll to all the markets. Look for the gigantic Christmas pyramid on top of a two story wooden Glühwein bar. 26th November until 22nd December, 11:00-21:00. While you are in Hannover, take a 41 minute drive to Celle. Their Weihnachtsmarkt is nestled amongst beautiful half-timbered houses. 29th November until 27th December (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Monday-Friday & Sunday 11:00-20:00, Saturday 10:30-21:00.
located in the Erzgebirge Mountains where handcrafted wooden candle pyramids, nutcrackers, angels, etc. have been traditionally made. Over 100 small workshops work all year round to make them. It is absolutely beautiful. Check them out at www.santatelevision.com/world/en0235/ en0235.html
Also not far from Dresden is Prague in the Czech Republic. It is about 2 hours away. There is a lot of shopping and sightseeing to be had here. course there is the gorgeous Prague Castle! www.prague.cz/ Last but not least Bolesławiec, Poland, is not far from Dresden. It is a little over 1.5 hours. This is the home of Polish Pottery. For more details check out the “Travel and Weekend Tips” in the Parent Volunteer section of the BIS website. program your Navi to the city center. Once close, watch for the parking garage sign for “Centrum”. Enjoy! Kim Meyer
Just past Celle (30 minutes) is Bergen-Belsen. This is a stop for those of you who like history. There was a concentration camp located here in WWII. www.bergenbelsen.de/en/ Anne Frank and her sister, Margot, were transferred here. They both died of typhus in March 1945 at this camp. There is a memorial located here. Head back to Hannover. The next day drive south to Hildesheim. Its backdrop is the impressive façade of the Knochenhaueramtshaus, a former butchers’ guild house which is reputed to be the most beautiful half-timbered house in the world. 29th November until December 27th, 11:00-20:00, closed December 24 & 25). Head home now, or if you have the time, drive further north to Hamburg. It is 1.5 hours away from Hannover. There are six Weihnachtsmärkte there. 26th November until 31st December 10:0021:00. If you want to get out of the cold, check out the Miniatur Wunderland. Here you will see the world’s largest model railway! It has 890 trains and 12,000 Meters of track!! www.miniatur-wunderland. com/exhibit/video/4-minutes-wunderland/. On your way home stop in Bremen’s Weihnachtsmarkt. 29th the famous statue of the Bremen Town Musicians, which portrays the donkey, dog, cat and rooster from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale. It’s in the Marktplatz across from the statue of Roland and next to the impressive Town Hall.
"The athletes produced such paroxysms of tears and joy on the sofas of Britain that they probably not only inspired a generation but helped to create one as well." Sophie (top, right)
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
celebrating, and during the games (right)
This Summer’s Olympic Games in London were an incredible exhibition of athletic brilliance, emotional outpouring and British pride. I spent a week in London for the Olympics and another week at the Paralympics, during which time I got to see some of the amazing games and venues, supplemented with a pathological commitment to watching it all on the TV. I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about sport until I suffered a total personality transplant and became addicted to everything from omnium cycling to wheelchair basketball. It’s been an endless programme of bizarre sports and obscure heroes. I went from knowing nothing about anything, to having to watch the Dressage from behind the sofa because it was JUST SO TENSE. I’ve been whipped into a frenzied excitement about the Olympics since my son William was born on 'Olympic Day', 20.12.04. Babies born on this day were going to have 'a significant role in the London Olympics' if the bid was successful. Even in my post-natal fog, I realised this was a cynical marketing ploy to garner enthusiasm for an Olympic Bid which no Londoner thought there was any chance of winning. But as the journalist came through the door of our hospital room, visions swirled through my head of William lighting the Olympic torch then going on to win gold for his country in the 100m, despite being only seven. As soon as I got back to work (I’m a teacher), we embarked upon an Olympic project, and I dragged my class of 9-yearolds down to Trafalgar Square for the announcement that would tell us whether London had been awarded the games. Even little Sophie who had a twisted leg from birth and could only walk with a leg brace and sticks, was hoisted onto the Number 24 bus and marched down to the square. Fortunately, the sun shone, London won and we returned to school in ecstatic euphoria. The next day, we got back onto the 24 bus to go swimming. While at the pool, the police arrived to escort us home. Four devastating bombs had gone off on the transport system and it wasn’t safe for us to be out on the streets.
I think that first day was the last time anyone was optimistic about the London Olympics. If you read the British newspapers, you know that it’s been 6 years of cynicism culminating in the last three months in which practically everything really did go wrong… the rain, the collapse of the security firm and transport system, clogged roads, no tickets, ‘secret’ missile locations on top of residential buildings. It was, as everyone predicted, going to be a disaster.
Saturday’ dancing round the TV, clapping, screaming, crying, cheering and howling out the National Anthem every time we won gold (which was a lot on that day). I don’t know whether you watched the rowers, but when John Inverdale started crying in his interview I practically leapt through the TV to console them. And don’t even get me started on Jessica Ennis (so brave, lovely, brilliant modest, OK I have to stop now).
Then, for the first time in three months, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the games started, everything worked, nothing went wrong. Londoners dedicated themselves to being friendly and helpful to anyone who looked foreign. You couldn’t look perplexed at a map without fifteen people offering to direct you. On one journey, the entire tube carriage was involved in identifying a hotel from just its name and postcode. The two foreigners clutching their paper looked terrified at everyone's enthusiastic attempts to work out exactly where they should go and how they could get there. It was a display of Londoners’ pride in their city, efficient organisation of large-scale events and a convenient, working transport system. Before this Summer, that last sentence was unthinkable.
William’s Olympic Baby moment was not quite as I had imagined, but he did a gold-winning wave for the cameras in the Paralympic opening ceremony and the whole family got tickets to see the para-athletics in the stadium the following Saturday. Even the Olympic Park, decked out in Union Jacks and giant pictures of our sporting heroes, was like nothing Britain had ever seen – shiny, clean, everyone smiling, no shelter for rainy weather (how optimistic is that?), tracksuits only worn by people who have clearly done exercise, no queues, endless toilets and guarded by the efficient, polite, terrifying army who could identify someone carrying a banned object as they boarded the tube from the other side of London. They didn’t need the scanner to find my water, they read my mind. It was like trying to get past a clone army of Jade without your BIS ID.
I went to see the Beach Volleyball with Piki who had secured tickets from the Kiwi website and I embarrassed her children by singing and dancing so enthusiastically that under normal circumstances I would have been arrested. After this, I watched the other sports in the privacy of my own home so that I couldn’t injure anyone. I spent ‘Super
By the time I’d high-fived 38 games-makers, posed with the torch in the Booth Of Fame and approached the giant donut that is the Olympic stadium, I was weeping with pride and screamingly overexcited. Inside the stadium, the atmosphere was electric, and still, contagiously happy. Everyone was talking, laughing, sharing jokes, joining in
with the hyperactive compere who urged us to sing, dance, move, play bongos, slow-mo the Mexican wave, clap, cheer and generally have a great time. Then the action starts. Athletes throw invisible objects into the sky and we know they land only when the announcer cries 'One hundred and eeeeeeiiiiiighty'. Somewhere else someone bounces and hops to a long jump and we all boo the nasty man with the red flag who declares it illegal. Then the women’s 200m race is announced and everyone starts cheering for the British entries. And I look at the screen to see a 16-year-old Sophie waving at the crowd looking astonished to hear the roar at her name. No wheelchair, leg brace or sticks now, but a single, shining blade where her twisted right leg used to be. The gun goes and the runners are off. And I can’t tell who is in front because everyone is a blur. Maybe this is because they’re so fast, so far away, or, more likely, because now I’m howling in tears. But she qualifies (and in the final the next day goes on to be the fastest British female racer). We all settle back into our seats to resume our bongo-playing, we-will-rock-you claps or dad-dancing. And everyone politely listens to me announcing that I KNOW HER! Nor was my humour dampened by the hike back home. No! I burned with the contagious enthusiasm and sportsmanship of the Olympic spirit. I marvelled at the speed of the Javelin train and spent the journey imagining myself taking up various sports. Of course, since we’ve returned, I’ve done nothing except for hover around the TV hoping that there’s a documentary on Oscar Pretorius or another One Hundred Best Olympic Moments programme. But my kids are now enrolled in football, cricket, tennis and swimming. I just need to find the local athletics park too. Tanya Talbot
Growing Up with My School By Kareena Welsh When I began at BIS, I was in Grade 2. Now, I am in Grade 5, my last year of PYP. As I have grown older, stronger, and bigger, so has BIS and the PYP. This is my first Waves article in a series called “Spotlight on PYP”. So how have things changed?
David and Alma Burton
James Wex and Natalie Wrighton
Here are some things that I have seen change:
Peter Owen and Lizzie Johnston-Owen
During the summer break teachers David Burton and Alma Colloran were married in London, England, and Peter Owen and
First of all, the teachers have changed. All of my teachers from BIS have moved away - Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Woodcock, and Miss. Mitchell. I think it’s cool that all my teachers have moved because then I can email them and they all have cool replies. I also am sad that they have all moved away because now I can’t just walk down the hall and pop in and say “Hi” to my old teacher. Next the school leaders have changed for example Ms. Apanna took over for Ms. Pender and Mr. Mueller has taken over for Mr. Middlebrook who took over for Mr. Murphy.
There have been other changes too - both big and small. I have seen friends move away and new friends come, so you will never be alone. Last year BIS paid a company to take school photos that you could take home. I found that great, except I didn’t take a good picture! Now the M.P.R, where I used to take dance class and have P.E classes, has been separated into two classrooms. And last but not least, the buildings have changed - now there is the Agora building for Secondary!
When you walk in the library and don’t see Mr.Whitman, isn’t it sort of weird? He was there for so many years but now he is in Thailand. Of course, the library is still a favorite place and we all like Ms. Cindy Rogers, who took over for him. Extra Curricular Activities As my school has grown, it seems like we have many more interesting activities to do at BIS. There is an activity called TEDx. The TEDx team picks a category for the year and they select presenters. Then they do some very cool presentations at the end of the year. Their presentations are then posted on the Ted website, so anyone can see it all around the world. Ms.McKenzie no longer teaches dance, instead we have Irish dance and a dance sampler by Ere. I used to take dance with Ms. Mckenzie It was fun. There are also more sports for the PYP like basketball and soccer.
Lizzie Johnston in Florida, USA. James Wex and Natalie Wrighton, who left BIS in 2011, were married in Devon, England.
Teachers, Staff and Leaders
It is great to hear what teachers who recently moved away from the area are up to!
Even though things have changed, I am glad that there are some things at BIS that stayed the same: • Bonn International School’s close,caring, and friendly community has stayed the same. • Bonn International School’s kindness for new people has stayed the same. • Bonn International School’s festivals have stayed the same. • Bonn International School’s love for new interests have stayed the same. As a famous actress (Marilyn Monroe) once said:
gs fall apart, so that better things can fall together.
Greetings from the Island!
why we chose the UK to get married when we live in Barbados? At first, this
It has been a very exciting year for us.
does seem a rather apt question. With
We moved from Bonn to Barbados in
miles of secluded beaches, water clear
August 2011, which was a bit of a shock
as crystal and still as a millpond, golden
to the system to say the least. We left
sand, beautiful wildlife, 32 degrees all
the leaves that were soon to fall, the temperatures
day, every day ... Barbados really is
the epitome of paradise. But if there is
begin to drop, and the community that
something we have realised whilst being
we still greatly appreciate and miss.
away, it is that paradise is completely
Barbados is an interesting place. It is a lovely concoction of 1920's inspired
England (pleases and thank-you's are
Sea Turtle Project between May and
always expected in conversation, and
November, as this is the nesting season
hats are worn on Sundays when most
for Hawksbill sea turtles. My work
of the island is attending Church) and
includes patrolling beaches, tagging sea
turtles, recording and analysing nesting
lining the streets, potholes in the roads
large enough to lose a cat in, and green
through talks and presentations, and
(mostly) playing with hatchlings. I am
people). We absolutely love it. James has now begun his second year working as the Grade 4 teacher at the Codrington School - the only IB school in Barbados. It is a small school in comparison to Bonn International School; only around 150 students from the ages of 5-18. But it is a wonderfully
delighted to be doing something that is directly related to my university
subjective. It was a perfect few days with stunning weather - it would seem that we chose the only rainless week in the middle of the wettest summer the UK experienced for 100 years. But despite our fortuitous choice of dates, it made no difference. We were surrounded by those we care about from all over the world and had a wonderful time. And to us, that's paradise. Natalie Wrighton
studies and passions - marine biology and conservation. I am also working within the property management sector - something I didn't exactly foresee or seek, but a new challenge is always a welcome challenge!
diverse and positive place. This year,
We got married in July this year, in a small
James has also taken on the role of PYP
hotel in the middle of Dartmoor, Devon,
Co-ordinator, which he is loving.
England. Many people have asked us