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Vienna International School Annual Report 2016–2017



Table of contents Board‘s Report


Our mission is to empower all of our students

Director‘s Report


to be successful and responsible in a

Treasurer‘s Report


nurturing and diverse learning community,

Our Campus . Facts


so that they can achieve their potential in a

Primary School


changing world.

Secondary School


University Placements


In harmony with the ideals of the IB Learner

Eco School


Profi le, and the spirit of the Universal Decla-

Students Achievements


ration of Human Rights, we aim for students to

Faculty figures


be inquiring, inspired, and involved lifelong




Performing Arts


Community Service


India in Focus


Duke of Edinburgh Award


International Family




International Students


Get connected


Imprint © Vienna International School

VIS, Strasse der Menschenrechte 1 . 1220 Vienna . Austria . T +43 (1) 203 5595 . Editor Mag. Thomas Lammel, Development Officer Photography VIS staff & community, VIS Alumni Association & Archive, Linda Otterstedt, Monika Grilnberger Stockphoto iStockPhoto Design derZauner Werbeagentur, Vienna . Printer Boesmueller Print, Stockerau .




Board‘s Report

Ca rol ine Nicholas, Bo

ard Chair

In 2016, I was pleased to highlight, on behalf of your Board of Governors, many examples of action in the VIS community showing how our students and community refl ect the values in our mission statement on a daily basis. Writing in early 2017, it is a sobering refl ection that global events – from the ongoing refugee crisis, a rise in mercantilism, sickening terrorist attacks – require us to reaffi rm our commitment to diversity and tolerance. It is against this background that your Board of Governors is pleased to report that, with the generous support of the Federation of Austria and the international organisations based in the Vienna International Centre (the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation), the risks to the school’s fi nancial stability in 2016 have been addressed. We are immensely grateful for the dedication of all those involved, and for the support from the VIS community that contributed to this success. It is also very gratifying that this successful conclusion to years of negotiation has allowed the school to continue to nurture the values that will allow our students to achieve their potential in this increasingly challenging world. The Board of Governors is now turning to the longer-term sustainability of the school, which will bring its own challenges. We will be looking at ways to bring additional resources to the school – resources that are constantly needed in today’s fast-changing environment. In this work, we are acutely aware of the need to avoid increasing the financial burden on parents and others that provide the school’s income. The talents and devotion of my fellow members of the Board, and the tireless efforts of so many in the school who support us in our work, will be critical factors for success in our endeavours. The term of one of our members – Richard Golden – will expire at the end of the school year. Richard has been with us on the Board for 6 years, and his dedication deserves a special mention. He has been instrumental in his work as Treasurer in ensuring the school’s access to fi nance and its efficient use of resources, without which our tasks could well have been unachievable. Despite the opportunity to spend his spare time elsewhere, he has volunteered to continue working with us, and we are truly delighted that he has done so. We will also be welcoming a new member to the Board in June, following the election at the General Assembly. We are therefore convinced that your Board will continue as a top-fl ight team, working hard to provide the facilities that allow our students and community to be heard as powerful voices supporting diversity, tolerance and the pursuit of excellence.

Board‘s Report . Director‘s Report

Director‘s Report One of the fi rst things that I do every day it to stand at the front of school to welcome everyone as they arrive in the morning. Some may initially see this is an unusual commitment of time for the head of the organisation – for me, it provides a powerful daily reminder of the important responsibility that we have to create a safe learning environment where young and old alike feel valued, respected and empowered to be successful. Indeed, there’s a special kind of creative energy here at VIS that comes from more than just the natural hustle and bustle of children going to and from class; there’s an incredible spirit of community and diversity of perspectives that come from students, families, faculty and staff representing more than 100 nationalities and over 70 languages. Our faculty alone comes from 37 different nations.

Mission At VIS, we recognize that to adequately prepare students for our increasingly complex and interconnected world, we must provide them with new ways of thinking and new ways of collaborating in solving our most pressing global issues. As such, our mission goes far beyond preparing students for good universities and prosperous careers; we want to create globally-minded and critical-thinking innovators ready to re-shape the world for the better. Through the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, we develop the whole human being. A confident young person courageous in their willingness to question what they observe around them. A student able to take complex and often disparate knowledge, concepts and skills and forge these into new and unique ways of solving problems and adding value to their world. We make learning relevant and exciting for students, as we continually draw connections between what they learn in the classroom and the real world. Perhaps most importantly, we encourage our young people to refl ect on their learning—and to act on it in the service of others. As you explore the content of this Annual Report we hope that you will be left with a compelling sense of the breadth of learning opportunities that our students are experiencing in their journey to achieve their individual potential.

Peter M.J. Murphy, Directo r



Treasurer‘s Report The school year 2016/2017 started with additional financial requirements for the VIS. VISA signed a 30-year lease contract with the Republic of Austria. Therefore, the VISA is now financially responsible for site maintenance and renovation. These additional financial liabilities will be reflected in the future budgets. The annual audit of accounts was completed by SOT GmbH and is available for all VISA members.

Richa rd Golden, Tre

asu rer

The Business Manager presented (in accordance with policy) draft proposals of a budget for 2017-18 that take into account an analysis of pressing areas that require attention and recommendations from the financial audit. At the January meeting of the Board of Governors the budget for 2017-18 was approved.

2016 - 2017 Forecast Thanks to numerous cost efficiency measures we will be able to compensate the reduction of the educational amount by € 1 million and achieve a positive budget of approximately € 16k. Additional investment costs for renovation and leasehold land registry tax is estimated to be € 1.9m. This will lead into a negative Cash Flow for this year of approximately € 1m.

2017-2018 Strategic Budget Objectives Keep tuition increases at a minimum level in spite of reduction in financial support Sustain current diversity of academic programme Maintain quality; e.g. student/teacher ratio Maintain current level of extra-curricular activities Maintain an inclusive fee structure (such as IB course materials, exams and field trips) Ensure that the building remains compliant with safety standards and regulatory requirements Sustain VIS as a school of choice given its enriched learning experience

2017 - 2018 Budget Full enrolment set at 1.393 students Stabilisation of all expenditure at the level of inflation A reduction in the education amount from € 3m to € 2m from the Vienna Based Organizations Compliance & safety renovation cost of € 2,25m in 2017/2018 (estimated total of € 12,9 m over 5-7 years) Due to high investments, the budget for this and future years will be formulated to meet cash flow requirements No funds allocated to reserves A year-end accounting surplus of € 10k and a cash flow deficit of € 1.7m

Treasurer‘s Report


Budget Synopsis VIS Income Distribution

Annual Budget

School Fees Educational Amount other income 1%






1% 7%









in million €











Building & Site











Personal Costs

Student Development
















Annual Cash Flow  Year

in million € 2015/16



. Tuition

€ 24.79

€ 25.05

€ 26.78

. Educational Amount

€ 4.00

€ 3.00

€ 2.00

. ELC subssidy (Vienna)

€ 0.23

€ 0.21

€ 0.00

. Other Income

€ 0.32

€ 0.24

€ 0.21

€ 33.34

€ 28.50

€ 28.99

-€ 23.04

-€ 23.91

-€ 24.21


Total Cash Income Expenditure . Personnel . Operational Expenditure

-€ 3.89

-€ 3.81

-€ 3.88

Total Expenses

-€ 26.93

-€ 27.73

-€ 28.10

€ 2.41

€ 0.77

€ 0.89

Cash after operations

Difference to last year


Cash Flow from Investments

€ 0.13

€ 0.12

€ 0.12


-€ 1.27

-€ 1.00

-€ 0,46

Property Tax

€ 0.00

-€ 0.92

€ 0.00

Compliance Renovation

€ 0.00

€ 0.00

-€ 2.25

Net Cash Flow

€ 1.27

-€ 1.03

-€ 1.70


Primary School Learning is the principal focus of our Primary School and we recognise learning as a life-long adventure. We value meaningful and transferable learning where students construct new understanding by developing and applying knowledge, skills and attitudes. We believe that a constructivist approach to learning has the most powerful cognitive results and our recent focus in the following areas provide the best opportunities for our students to become inspired, involved and inquiring and to be empowered to reach their potential in a changing world. Chr istine Orkisz-Lang, Primary


Differentiated Learning

Our campus Facts Established




Sports teams Campus in m 2 Average IB Score

32 46,000 33,78





After-School activities Music & Art Events

76 26

Attend University




First languages spoken


Technology environment


Class outings/camps


Mother Tongue lang. supported


In recognition that our students come from a range of cultures, are at different stages of learning, have varying levels of competence in the language of instruction, have various learning preferences and may have distinct strength areas, teachers plan their lessons comprehensively and collaboratively. Drawing on a wide range of resources, we are constantly building a more complete picture of our diverse student population in order to best meet their individual needs. In each classroom and lesson, students work independently either individually or in small groups, guided by teachers in achieving their learning goals, in motivating and purposeful settings.

Experiential Learning Students in our Primary School have opportunities to plan their learning and act on it through real tasks and experiences. We have an active Student Council with representatives from Grades 1-5 who have a voice in the actions we take as a school. They work closely with the PTA, our global charity Maher, the Secondary School Student Council Representatives, as well as Primary Student Councils from other local international schools. Our current goal to achieve the prestigious award of Eco School is supported by a dedicated group of Green Team members and our resident science mentor/researcher. This and other student teamwork is fueled by regular refl ection on the needs of our community and the very real impact of student action.

Primary School

Learning Structures As part of a regular curriculum review cycle, we are currently implementing our revised Personal and Social Health Education and Science programmes. We recognise that each subject area provides opportunities for learners to develop different perspectives and sets of questions for examining the world. Even our youngest students develop an understanding of how learning and the brain works and how important it is to have personal motivation to set goals and maintain a growth-mind set. We are a Connected Learning school, which has far greater implications than simply providing our students with access to technology. Our trans- and interdisciplinary approach to learning provides opportunities for students to make meaningful connections across subjects and build upon rigorous understandings. The Grade 5 Exhibition is a showcase moment for our students to demonstrate the impact that access to powerful tools has in preparing them for future study in a changing world.

Assessment for Learning Assessment supports and encourages student learning by providing important and immediate feedback on the learning process. We believe that teaching, learning and assessment are interdependent, and that all stakeholders have a role in the assessment process. To improve our communication with parents in this process, an area of focus for the Primary School this year has been to use ManageBac and other new systems to be able to share a more complete picture of students’ learning. A Shared Learning Folder has been developed so that all students can take evaluated work home regularly throughout the year, demonstrating learning in each area of the curriculum, along with ageappropriate prompts for discussion. The Primary School semester and end-ofyear report also have a new format and now contain new areas of information including effort and the PYP Transdisciplinary Skills.

Parental Participation In recognition that significant and meaningful parent involvement is incredibly valuable in improving student growth and performance, the Primary School opens its doors to the community during our annual Open Morning and regular End-of-Unit Celebrations throughout the year in each Grade. Families are welcome to observe and participate in learning in each of the regular and specialist classrooms. A series of eight Parent Curriculum Information Sessions address current and important topics such as Reading in the 21st Century, Inquiry Mathematics, Effective Connected Learning, The Use of Social Media and Understanding Assessment.



Secondary School With over 800 students from over 100 different nations, the Secondary School is a lively, colourful place in which to work and study. Visitors to the school comment on the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. New (and old) teachers comment on how much they enjoy working with the students they teach. We feel fortunate to be able to be part of this community and to also enjoy so much support from our parent community.

Elisabeth Stanners, Secondary


The year started with Activity Week. Every Secondary grade level was off timetable and involved in a special programme focusing on learning that would be developed through the year. A further aim of the week was the development of strong social connections, especially supporting the inclusion of students new to the school and giving them the opportunity to develop new friendships and settle well in their early days at VIS. One of our fi rst tasks of this school year was to analyze our IB Diploma results from the Class of 2016. Our average results were much as past years, but the consistently interesting aspect of this exercise is looking at the stories of individual students and classes that the results represent. While the averages may not differ, these stories differ significantly from year to year. We are a school that values diversity and the learning journey of our students refl ects this diversity. We have been able to celebrate many individual students’ successes; a student may achieve 24 points, 34 points or 44 points and yet each one has achieved a similar level of personal success, which for us represents equal achievement vis á vis the expectation in our Mission Statement that each student can achieve according to their potential. We value a holistic education. We believe that students who engage in learning and challenges beyond the classroom are ultimately stronger students overall. We support many different extra-curricular programmes that we see as being extension activities for our students. We have celebrated the successes of our students in sports competitions; Model United Nations; Mathematics competitions and the Formula One for Schools competition. A highlight of this year was our musical ‘The Sound of Music’ that involved around 200 students from across all the Secondary grade levels in acting, singing, playing in the orchestra, working the lighting and sound, stage management and many other supportive roles. The production was a sell-out that was enjoyed by all who saw it!

Secondary School

Leaders We empower our students to be leaders. This year’s Student Council Officers, elected by their peers, are using student voice to effect change in areas that they see as needing intervention. They have already led an all-school assembly and have been involved in conversations about the food in the Canteen, the Advisor Programme in Grades 11 and 12 and in how to keep the school free of litter.

Responsibility We have been supporting Maher, a charitable cause, for 20 years and have, with the support of our community, raised significant funds to help develop the work that is done under the leadership of Sister Lucy. This year, for the fi rst time in the history of our association with Maher, a group of students travelled to India to learn, fi rst hand, about the work that is done there. The four students came back inspired, as did the teachers who accompanied them. One of the things that has most impressed us is the way that the vision of Maher mirrors the values of VIS: once part of the community we are all equal, whatever our background and wherever we come from. We see our students developing holistically, taking responsibility for themselves and gaining in empathy and understanding of the needs of the world and its peoples. We see our students being ambitious and setting themselves tough achievement goals. We see them doing more in their day to day lives than many adults could (or would want to) manage. We see our students as individuals, each with their own life path to tread and we celebrate the fact that we are able to offer them so many possibilities to explore this and develop at VIS.



University placements

Universities and Colleges Attended by VIS graduates 2009-2016 Australia University of Melbourne Australian National University Victoria University University of Technology Sydney Austria Technische Universität Wien Universität für Bodenkultur (BOKU) Universität für angewandte Kunst Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck Montan Universität Leoben Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien Universität Wien Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität Sigmund-Freud-Universität Wien FH Krems FH Wien FH Wiener Neustadt FH Salzburg FH Technikum Wien Modul University Webster University Belgium Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Vrije Universiteit Brussel Canada Carleton University Calgary University Concordia University McGill University McMaster University Queen’s University Seneca College Simon Fraser University Trent University University of Alberta University of British Columbia University of Guelph University of Ottawa University of Toronto University of Western Ontario Cyprus Nicosia Medical University

Czech Republic Charles University, Prague Jan Masaryk University, Brno Denmark Aarhus Universitet Copenhagen Business School Københavns Universitet Syddansk Universitet France American University Paris Paris Le Cordon Bleu Parsons Paris School of Design Institut d‘études politiques de Paris (Science Po) Germany EU Business School, München Leibniz Universität Hannover Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Technische Universität München Hungary International Business School, Budapest Semmelweis University Szeged University Pecs University Ireland The Royal College of Surgeons University College Cork Trinity College Dublin University College Dublin Italy Università Bocconi Università Cattolica di Brescia Università degli Studi di Parma Japan Keio University Kyoto University Waseda University Nagoya University Osaka University Sofia University Temple University

Korea KAIST Soul National University Yonsei University Netherlands Universiteit Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Erasmus University, Rotterdam Universiteit Leiden University College Utrecht Universiteit Maastricht Universiteit Tilburg Technische Universiteit Delft Universiteit Groningen NHTV Breda Hogeschool De Haagse Hogeschool Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Technische Universiteit Twente Dutch Filmers Academy, Amsterdam New Zealand Otaga University Auckland Norway Universitetet i Oslo Portugal Universidade do Porto Russia Moscow State Institute of International Relations Singapore National University of Singapore Slovakia Slovak Medical University Spain IE University Suffolk University Madrid EU University Barcelona Esade Business School, Barcelona Instituto Europea di Design Toulouse Business School Barcelona

University placements


Class of 2016 Sweden Chalmers Tekniska Högskola (Chalmers University Gothenburg) Lunds Universitet Uppsala Universitet Örebro Universitet Switzerland St. Gallen ETH Zurich Glion Institute Les Roches Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne Taiwan National University of Science and Technology Turkey Gazi University United Kingdom Aberdeen University Bath University Birmingham University Brighton University Brighton and Sussex Medical School Bristol University Brunel University Bournemouth University Cambridge University Cardiff University City University Durham University Edinburgh University Exeter University Glasgow University Herriot Watt University Hull University Hull York Medical School Istituto Marangoni, London Imperial College London Kent University Kings College London Leicester University Leeds University Liverpool University London School of Economics Loughborough University

Manchester University Newcastle University Nottingham University Oxford University Portsmouth University Reading University Royal Holloway Sheffield University St. Andrews University SOAS Southampton University Stirling University Strathclyde University Surrey University Sussex University University College London Warwick University Westminster University Winchester University York University Leeds College of Art University of The Arts London University of The Creative Arts Royal Northern School of Music Thames College of Dance Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance United States of America The United States Naval Academy Annapolis The American University Babson University UC Berkeley Boston College Boston University Case Western University Carnegie-Mellon University Colorado State University Cornell University Denver University Drexel University Duke University Elon University Embry Riddle University Full Sail University Georgetown University Georgia Institute of Technology George Washington University

Johns Hopkins University Lawrence University, Wisconsin Lewis and Clark University Miami University Michigan State University North Carolina State University Chapel Hill Northeastern University Northwestern University Oregon University Pennsylvania State University Princeton University Stanford University Suffolk University University of Texas Austin Tufts University University of California San Diego University of Maryland University of Michigan University of Massachusetts at Amherst University of Pennsylvania Penn State University University of Virginia Wellesley University University of Wisconsin University of Virginia Virginia State University Virginia Tech University Washington State University Webster University The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Delaware College Art Design Parson’s School of Design Pratt School of Art and Design Ringling College of Art & Design Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)


Eco School After a two-year campaign, VIS will be awarded the global Eco-School certificate in 2017. We are already well on our way, having taken significant steps by:

Scandiagade 13 2450 Copenhagen SV Denmark +45 70 22 24 27

Promoting paper and plastic bottle recycling with students and teachers Promoting more environmental awareness by through student clubs and community service Engaging into a school recycling project Recycling old IT equipment Investing in a sustainable printer option at all school levels Training students to reuse paper when possible Promoting students’ awareness of current ecological issues though our curricula at all school level students are getting in charge of this project in primary and secondary school Installing intelligent double pane doors Using natural and fl orescent lighting Installing water taps with sensors Turning off lights and computers before leaving the building Employing sustainable purchasing and green cleaning practices Promoting cycling and using public transportation to campus Composting for our grounds keeping programme by Martha Ross & Marti Hendrichs

Eco School



International School Assessment 2016 Each year, the school completes the International School Assessment (ISA) administered by ACER who are responsible for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development‘s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment ( Writing Expository 2016




The 45-minute assessment, in each of692 four areas of learning, is carried out in 665 October and draws 665 upon learning across four grade levels. The results from our 2016 assessment illustrate the progress of students VIS compared to 592 at 540 587 552 approximately 76.000 students in 355 international schools in 80 countries.




The resutls for this year continue to indicate that we have360 a very broad ISA Mathematics 2016 366 spectrum of ability in each grade level with students as young as 8 working 338 328 930 930 close to the levels of PISA average of 15 year olds in some cases.





291 180


768 669



Grade 3


Grade 5

Like schools

306Score 274 VIS Lowest


Grade 431 415



Grade 3

Grade 5





517 431 415 306 274 120


Grade 3

Grade 5





Grade 7

Grade 9

282 120





Grade 7




Grade 9








403 383







410 282







ISA Reading 2016

768 669




VIS Mean Score

ISA Mathematics 2016 930


768 735 606

Grade 7 410


VIS Highest Score






291 276


510 340 170

148 10 Grade 3

Grade 5

Grade 7

Grade 9


ISA Reading 2016 850


680 750

483 497 291 276 363 339

170 300 0 150 0

Grade 3

487 477 536 521

Grade 5

Grade 7

497 452 363 339 251



340 450

0 150

Grade 9

0 750 600

521 420



150 180 0



540 450 300 360

Grade 9

Grade 5 NarrativeGrade Writing 2016 7

510 600

575 450

393 300

Writing Expository 2016

720 600

170 300




325 393

420 293



539 522 575 571

292 148

251 10 Grade 3

644 403 383 455 452

680 750

711 737

650 556 600

510 600 340 450

Writing Narrative 2016


Writing Narrative 2016


644 665

665 600 497 528 339 363 388 399 251 291

Grade 3 Grade 3

455 452 471 479 292 338

692 536 521 552 539 420 328



720 600 575 571 592 587

540 450

393 366

300 360 150 180

Grade 5 Grade 5

Grade 7 Grade 7

Grade 9 Grade 9

0 0

Students Achievements

IB Diploma 2016 The Vienna International School is committed to helping each student achieve his or her potential in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Faculty Figures

Our 2016 results were very positive for our students. VIS students earned far a ­ bove world results for average score. Roughly a quarter of VIS graduates earned an IBDP result that would earn them entrance to competitive Ivy League and Russell Group universities. More than 77% of VIS students achieved 30 points or more, while the number of students earning fewer than 24 points declined to 5%.

174 faculty members 37 nationalities represented 7.9 Student-Teacher Ratio

Average Total 33.78 VIS World 53,0% 40,8%

29,7% 16,3%



4,6% less than 24



12,9% 7,2%












38,0% 2

9,0% 3

BONUS POINTS University courses Engineering


Computer Science












Computer Science




Hospitality Management




English Literature/Journalism





International Relations





Press The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study states: “There is a growing body of research focused on the association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance among school-aged youth.” The British newspaper Daily Mail reaffi rms the impact of team sports: “They help socialize you into being more focused on school, and may help develop time-management skills, initiative and an ability to work with others.”

Being on a sports team or partaking in an after-school activity can be a very rewarding experience in many ways. Also, the VIS Sports and Activities Programme aligns with the IB‘s goal of holistic education and studies have shown that involvement in regular physical activity improves academic performance. Here at Vienna International School we offer over 70 after school activities and team sports. We send teams all over Europe to compete against other likeminded international schools in football, basketball, rugby, swimming, tennis, golf, volleyball, softball, skiing, cross country running and track. We value the idea of a holistic education immensely and we do everything we can at VIS to support our student athletes who work so hard in school and sport. Our sports programme and sports teams all teach valuable lessons in character education. These are things that can be taught in a classroom, but they are really put to use in the midst of competition, working together as a team and trusting one another to carry out their job on the field. Trust, respect, teamwork and commitment are strong values of any sport and the VIS Sports Programme is a strong testament to this fact! So, get on out there, join a team and watch those grades improve!

2016/2017 results thus far Spring 2016 United World Games Rugby Heinrich Harrer Cup Ski Team

Champions 3rd Place

Fall Season 2016 ISST Boys Soccer ISST Girls Volleyball DVAC MS Boys Soccer SCIS JV Boys Soccer

1st Place 1st Place 3rd Place 2nd Place

Winter 2017 Munich Basketball Invitational Varsity Boys Munich Basketball Invitational Varsity Girls VIS Ski Team Hauser Kaibling Race

2nd Place 2nd Place Champions

Sport serves as good motivation to achieve athletic potential.By taking our holistic approach, VIS uses sport to unlock any other potential too. by Jason Bowie

Sports . Performing Arts


Performing Arts Our mission it to empower all of our students to be successful and responsible in a nurturing and diverse learning community, so that they can achieve their potential in a changing world. As we educate our students to be global citizens, we prepare them not just to be audience of a changing world, but pro-active actors changing the world for the better.

Creative Purpose We believe that all students should have the chance to explore the essence of sound, and to use it to their own creative purpose. All learners should have the opportunity to develop their emotional intelligence and make music together – singing or playing instruments. In addition, they should have the freedom to become discerning listeners, and experience cultural diversity through music. We value diversity and the different experiences that our learners bring to their classes, ensembles and private lessons. Creative activity is of fundamental importance to the development of a balanced or integrated individual. As has been beautifully stated by American composer Adolphe Bruce, “Creative activity in the brain is the merging of reason and intuition.” The benefits of learning a musical instrument or training the voice are many. They include the development of fi ne motor coordination, superb aural training, and the development of a sense of discrimination. In addition, the art of learning to read music and transfer the symbols on the printed page into the physical act of playing is very beneficial for the intellectual development of the student. As the student progresses, he/she will develop a greater sense of aesthetic and cultural appreciation.

World Music Music promotes spatial awareness, abstract and mathematical thinking, physical coordination and self-esteem. Furthermore, it is a way to learn about diverse cultures and historical periods, and it teaches students to cooperate with each other through group rehearsals and performance. Other benefits include the social involvement of making music with others, the development of the self-discipline required to practice, enhanced self-esteem, and appreciation of music at a far higher level than could ever be learnt or experienced just from passive listening.

“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can star t changing the world.” Paulo Coelho


All together now... The Performing Arts Department continued to amaze and impress the audience in a variety of curricular and extra-curricular events. The big theatre production Three Musketeers included an impressive number of students and stunned everybody with an incredible amount of professionalism and dedication. Theatre students attended the International Schools Theatre Association’s festivals in Eden and Terezin and participated in (TAPS) in London. The major theatre production for in December 2016 was the Musical „The Sound of Music“, which brought together students, teachers, parents and staff for a unique experience. The extra-curricular music programme continues to expand and fl ourish within the school and outside. We were invited to perform at the UNO for the UN charity awards presentation and performed in the Golden Hall at the Musikverein for the annual China Meets Austria celebration. We also performed in St. Peter’s church in the fi rst district an advent concert. Our cooperation with the State Opera Ballet school continued, culminating in a performance of The Carnival of the Animals, together with our school orchestra and choir. Our annual highlights included three major concerts (fall, winter and summer), which attract a large and appreciative audience and a huge number of performers on stage. VIS Rocks showcased our young rock and pop bands while the International Evenings presented our soloists to the school community. The Primary School choir gave their debut and participated in the choir festival in Bratislava. During the entire school year, students performed at assemblies, shared their musical and theatrical developments with other classes and performed for classes across the school’s sections, which were met with great enthusiasm. by Elisabeth Bottoms

Community Service


Community Service Through our community service, we are proud to have unlocked the potential in all our community and to actually have turned lives around for the better. The VIS community is highly supportive of a variety of philanthropy projects and realises the importance of giving back to those less fortune. While dozens of charities have been supported over the years through the students‘ community and service projects, a few have garnered significant fi nancial backing from VIS. The Community and Action Service Programme (CAS) is part of both the MYP and the IB DP curriculum and requires students to take an active part in the communities in which they live. The emphasis is on developing community awareness and concerns and acquiring the skills to make an effective contribution to society. This enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the pressures of the rest of the academic programme. A good community service programme should be both challenging, enjoyable, and a personal journey of self-discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, and for many their activities include experiences that are profound and life changing.

We generously support various grassroots initiatives by the VIS community. Just to name a few, we get involved in Austrian Refugee Crisis Support, Eco Lab, Fair Trade, Akwaaba, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos International, 200 Club, Project Centipede, Students for Students, Who I Am Children’s World Library. There are too many to describe them all in detail in our annual report. You can fi nd out more about our school community service on On the occasion of the 20 th jubilee of Maher and the 60th jubilee of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, we are focusing on two experience reports in this annual report.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia, Author

About CAS “The Community Action and Service Programme benefi ted me greatly and transformed me into a more aware, considerate, helpful, collaborative, skillful and generally more fulfi lled person. Near the end of my project, I realised that community and action service is not something you have to do but something you want to do as it created countless benefi ts to both myself and others around me. I know that it played an enormous role in shaping the person I am now and I feel incredibly grateful for the experience.“ Grade 12 student


India in Focus

12 Years of VIS Support for Maher Maher is a well-established 20-year-old organisation in India dedicated to create secure and loving homes for destitute human beings. At present, there are 860 children, over 300 women and 42 men under its care, living in Maher homes in Maharashtra, Kerala and Jharkhand. Providing children with stability, education and unconditional love is one of the Maher goals. Since 2004 the Vienna International School has been supporting Maher and is at present maintaining 3 homes for children in Maharashtra. Maher has given us plenty of opportunities to help develop our students’ international- mindedness and their sense of global responsibility. Instead of anonymous fund raising, the direct effect of our action is visible in Maher. Every other year Sr. Lucy, the founder and director of Maher, has visited VIS and reported upon the progress that has been made due to VIS donations. Twice she took along one child that has been raised in Maher.

The Potential of Dreams

Gaus reported upon the difference Maher made to his live from being an illiterate child laborer to getting a decent education and fi nally being the best student of his years at university. He taught our VIS students Indian dances and now works for Maher in return for all he received. Komal told us about her dream to become a nurse and showed her gratefulness, that VIS has made this possible. Many children’s fates like Komal’s and Gaus’s have been changed from a prospect of remaining destitute uneducated people to developing their abilities, learning a profession or studying at university and living a life in dignity. In 2016 two VIS teachers took a group of students for a trip to Maher: A learning experience that will remain forever in these students’ minds. They came back with enthusiasm about Maher and an international-minded understanding that not even the best teacher could teach them in a class. Now they give presentations about Maher to other VIS students.

Great support

The common efforts of students, staff and parents made it possible for VIS to donate more than € 30.000 in 2016 to this worthy cause. Donations at sports activities, concerts, theatre performances, monthly donations of VIS staff and parents, sales of handicrafts, coin collections, peace day collection, toy sales, book sales and bake sales, individual recitals, Maher fun runs and many more showed how much a common effort of all VIS can achieve. Thanks to the VIS community for your ongoing support for Maher! by Christine Lendorfer

India in Focus . Duke of Edinburgh Award

Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) The Duke of Edinburgh‘s International Award is the world‘s leading youth achievement award, bringing together practical experiences and skills to equip young people for life. It is a programme of cultural, practical and adventurous activities that require effort over time. The Award and IB CAS components are complementary and can be done in conjunction with each other. There are three attainment levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each presenting greater challenge and requiring more commitment. Young people design their own programme, set their own goals and record their own progress. They choose a Service, Physical Recreation, Skills activity, go on an Adventurous Journey and, to achieve a Gold Award, take part in a residential project. The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.

The challenge

As a leader of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Programme at VIS, when I learned of the DofE 60th anniversary Diamond Challenge, I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass up. To celebrate its 60 th anniversary, the DofE invited participants to take up a challenge and fundraise money for the DofE Charity to benefit young children in the UK. The Challenge should be completed by December 2016. I have completed many ultramarathon races and enjoy hiking a lot, but I have not done a multi-day alpine trekking on my own before. I am mesmerized by the alpine mountains in Austria and though it would be fitting to do a solo ultra-hiking tour on my own here. The mental and physical challenge would be interesting to undertake to test myself. I decided I would give up my Autumn Break holiday to accomplish this task and do part of the 31-stage Almenweg in Salzburg. So, I started training in August to build up more endurance and stamina.




After two months of training, I arrived in Pfarrwerfen on 28 October and started my trek on the very next day. There were many wonderful and unforgettable moments captured in my mind and on my camera. But there were many unexpected challenges, particularly with the route markings which in certain sections, were questionable; some markings were simply pulled out of the ground and left lying around randomly. An hour and a half into my journey, a blister on one of my heel developed and became an unwanted companion for the rest of the journey. As it was low season for hiking, most of the huts were closed and therefore, it was challenging to find accommodation so I had to hike up every day to the mountains and hike back down every afternoon. I met a few hikers on the fi rst day but I was alone on the trail 95% of the time this provided serenity and solitude that was greatly enjoyed. Eventually, I arrived at St. Johann im Pongau and I followed the Salzach River back to Salzburg to catch the train back to Vienna. At the end of my seven-day journey, I completed a 195km trek and I celebrated with a burger - that defi nitely squashed the appetite after many days of eating nuts and cereal bars. Much thanks to my family, friends and colleagues, for all your amazing support! Together, we did not only reach the target but we surpassed the fundraising goal. The award develops anyone‘s untapped potential! by Michelle Zheng

International Family


International Family The VIS is proud to be the most international and diverse community, represented by its unique students, parents, teachers, staff and alumni. We share values, goals and actions. According to the mission statement, we aim for students to be inquiring, inspired and involved lifelong learners. The whole VIS community is setting a good example to achieve this. Unlike other schools, we attach particular importance to the commitment of the parents. VIS has an active and vibrant Parent Teacher Association (PTA) whose aim is to promote good communication between parents and teachers and provide volunteer services to support the activities of the school community. Parents and legal guardians of a student at VIS and members of the teaching faculty are automatically members of the PTA. Gabi Popescu, PTA Chair, explains the role of the PTA and its importance to the VIS community in an interview with Thomas Lammel:

What is the overall purpose of the PTA? The basic purpose of a Parent Teacher Association is ensuring the optimum communication between the parents, teachers and school administrators for supporting the students. Here at VIS, having so many families coming from all corners of the world, we also feel responsible for their welcoming and integrating them into our community. It is important for a new family to fi rst feel settled in order to embrace the community feeling that we are spreading, so that they can later join us in supporting the school and our students.

Speaking of joining the PTA: Why should a parent join the PTA? Because it‘s fun and rewarding, you get to make a difference for your own child/ren and our school while using your personal skills and you meet lots of nice people along the way. There is also a bigger long term „bonus“: more and more statistics show that „parents‘ involvement in school lead to a better performance of the child“, and that is something to look forward to! Last but not least, every year a parent and a teacher can win (upon being nominated) „The Parent/ Teacher of the Year Award“ and become a special guest in all the next year‘s PTA events, that is our way of saying that we acknowledge and value our most active members!

Gabriela Popescu,


“We are a home away from home. An extended family.” Peter M.J. Murphy, Directo r


Parents about VIS

We like the range of educational and cultural opportunities that VIS offers and the diverse mix of ­nationalities. My daughter felt ­welcome from the beginning and, as a parent, I was quickly integrated via the great PTA programs that help with settling in and the critical task of creating community in a new country. Keri (USA), Grade 10 parent

I love the community spirit. My kids really love VIS and look forward to coming into school ever y day. Patience (British), Grade 4 & 8 parent

We enjoy the multicultural ­envi ronment, the individual ­approach to teaching, and the ­dedicated teachers. Dom inika (Pol ish), Grade Prim

ary & 5 parent

The mix of cultures is incredible and the children have a keen desire to learn. Nichola (Irish), Grade 5 & 10 parent

Why are the initiatives of the PTA important? We have a very active PTA organization. Due to the efforts of our volunteering members, this year we were able to: organize large community events for people to come together and build great community spirit and in the same time celebrate our diversity and taking pride in our very own roots. coordinate on-going activities for our members, divided on many different interests (book club, culture club, cooking club, hobby club, language clubs, running & walking groups, secondary social network, seminars, ­coffee mornings, trips). provide the community the valuable services of a Booster Club, PTA shop and a professional catering service during all major Performing Arts ­department‘s concerts

What does PTA engage in? From a financial perspective, the funds that PTA raises through all the above activities are going to school projects initiated by different school ­departments, teachers or even students. We are here to support the school with projects that our Executive Committee finds relevant and have the potential of b ­ ringing a significant positive difference for a large number of students. Every year we ­finance the Sports Department with buying training equipment and ­accessories for the many sport teams school VIS has, we support establishing the Mother Tongue library and we are proud to be a constant partner of the Performing Arts department. This year we chose to support a very special ­p roject - „the Friendship benches“, and we congratulate the Primary school for the initiative of empowering children to be kind and inclusive to each other, thus exemplifying some of the key treats of the VIS learner profile.

What ideas have been brought up by PTA that influenced the school? Every single day our parents make life in school better through their actions: in the Library, by archiving the books or escorting at class trips, by hosting a ­foreign student arrived for the sports tournament, or by serving you a tasty ­waffle at Booster Club or a PE T-Shirt in the PTA Shop. We take great pride in our PALL parents, the network of parents that were trained to assist children with their learning. At present, we are considering a new project („Rainbow ­p roject“) that will make students more aware of the implications of their actions on the environment and will stimulate them in doing even more good „Eco“ deeds. This way we are hoping to support the school in becoming the first ­Eco-school in Austria! Those activities appear to be harmonious with VIS values, the PTA pulling ­together with VIS? We are very fortunate to have in VIS a reliable partner, open and supportive to our initiatives and we work together throughout the school year for achieving our goals, which are very similar.

International Family

VIS Director Peter Murphy once said “We are a home away from home.” - How does VIS contribute to this feeling? What does make VIS unique to prove this statement? What makes VIS unique is the familiar cozy feeling one has upon arriving, the multitude of activities one has here both as a parent and as a child, the respect that one gets from other parents, teachers and directors - these are some points of difference. Personally, seeing my children running to the school bus every morning to go to school is a very good sign! But most of all, seeing them turning into lovely people who develop their own opinions and express them with confidence, while having respect and empathy for the others - that is simply priceless. I appreciate being here at VIS and I very much feel it as my home away from home!

Finally, where is the PTA journey heading? For the future, we will continue welcoming new members and share the community good spirit with them, hoping that we will build an even stronger association, that can organise, fund raise, proactively research and support meaningful projects for our students. We, the whole VIS community, pulling together, we can achieve so much and make a difference. It should not be forgotten that the parents must live VIS’ mission too as our dedicated teachers and students do: “To empower all of our students to be successful and responsible in a nurturing and diverse learning community, so that they can achieve their potential in a changing world.”


Parents about VIS

My son genuinely enjoys coming to school. He is part of a diverse and multicultural community in which people interact with respect and interest. Children are encouraged to engage actively in their groups, and to develop and express their views with confidence.

Marcel (Austrian), Grade 1 parent

We appreciate the quality of ents, education, the diversity of stud and the devotion of the sta ff. Norman (USA), Grade 11 pare


VIS has the best class teachers who use various methods to instruct my children. And of course, they have a great open minded international community! Ilona (Polish), ELC & G1 parent


Alumni The school traces its beginnings to a small school established in 1955 under the patronage of the British, US and Indian Embassies. Since then, the VIS has dedicated itself “to empowering all of our students to be successful and responsible in a nurturing and diverse learning community, so that they can achieve their full potential in a changing world.” Alumni often are among the fi rst people to recognise the potential of new graduates. Through career talks, reunions and personal communication many Alumni serve a contact point for students in order to receive study guidance, internship offers or make friends in a new town. VIS students may spend as little as one year or fi nish their IB diploma at the school. No matter which, they are all considered Alumni of the Vienna International School. We are reaching out to roughly 40.000 Alumni by hosting or participating in numerous Alumni events, such as BBQs, class receptions, charity events and the annual December Alumni reunion in Vienna. In 2017 we will continue to professionalize our international Alumni efforts by emphasizing on social media (“VIS Alumni Association” on Facebook e.g.), developing a modern Alumni networking platform and establishing local global chapters. by Thomas Lammel




International students Sweden…21 Norway…4 Iceland…1



Finl and… Estoni L atvia… Lit huani

Netherlands…18 Belgium…14 Ireland…15

Poland… 16 Bel arus…

United Kingdom…92 Germany…64



Czech Republic…3 Slovakia…11


Liechtenstein…7 Austria…187 Switzerland…6

U kraine Slovenia…14 Se rbia… Hung



G reece


C yprus…

Italy…67 Bosnia-Herzegovina…8 Montenegro…1 Macedonia…13






Mexico…5 Mali…1

Costa Rica…3


Guatemala…5 Panama…2

Venezuela…2 Colombia…3

Ghana…1 Nigeria…8 Cameroun …4

U gand Brazil…13


Rw anda

Ango la…2 Zamb Moz Bolivia…2


Nami bia…1

South Africa


International Students


Where our students come from...

Finl and…16 Estonia…3 L atvia…4 Lit huania…6


and… 16 Bel arus…7

U kraine…13 Kazakhstan…9 venia…14 Georgia…4 Se rbia…4 Uzbekistan…3 Hungary…19 Armenia…2 Romania…18 Azerbaijan…1 Kyrgyzstan…1 Bulgaria…15 Turkey…18 G reece…25

C yprus…3 Syria…3 Palestine…3 Iraq…3 Israel…28 Jordan…3 Iran…4 Kuwait…13 Egypt…17 ya…3 Pakistan…10 Qatar…1 Sudan…9

Saudi Arabia…9



Japan…36 South Korea…21


Nepal…2 Taiwan…3

Bangladesh…5 India…24 Thailand…1 Vietnam…4


eroun …4 U ganda…7 Kenya…13 Rw anda…1

Sri Lanka…4



Ango la…2 Zambia…2 Mozambique…1 Zimbabwe…6

Nami bia…1 Australia…18

South Africa…7

New Zealand…8

inquiring d inspire


Get connected

Vienna International School . Strasse der Menschenrechte 1 . 1220 Vienna, Austria +43/1/203 55 95 . +43/1/203 03 66 . .

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Annual Report 2016-2017  
Annual Report 2016-2017  

A brief insight into the past year at VIS