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The MYP4/5 English Language and Literature class had a successful online learning experience with their last unit. All 43 students collaborated in groups to reinterpret an act of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, completely online and in collaboration.
The results of each group’s creativity within confinement have been better than we could have imagined. Despite not being able to work in the same room together, these students rose to the challenge, stretched their creative thinking, and applied multiple skill areas to produce ten unique dramatic reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s timeless tragic teenage love story.
While we would have loved to share each video project in its entirety, we have asked each group to compile their “best of” highlights into these short trailers instead. They will give you a taste of the thinking, communicating, risk-taking and collaborating that developed within these ‘family-like groups’ over the last three months. We had a very good idea of how each video was coming along in our weekly online meetings with all ten groups. However, we did not expect to be so impressed. We now share these highlights with the school community, and hope you enjoy them too!
We are also grateful for the additional support from volunteer colleagues who also met the groups on a weekly basis. Special thanks to Mr. Tom Triller, Ms. Julia Campbell, Ms. Sarah Schneider, Ms. Albana Bertin, Mr. Stuart Taines, Ms. Rosi Koleva and Ms. Vany Shim.
Ms. Lynn Bilbrey and Ms. Yvonne Slough-Kuss
By Jennifer Brandsberg-Engelmann
Strothoff International School teachers Jennifer Brandsberg-Engelmann, Rosi Koleva and Julia Campbell are leading a team to develop a new curriculum for Youth Mayors, an innovative programme that has been developed from the idea that the world’s mayors are best positioned to drive change in communities. The students acquire the skills a mayor needs to take action and responsibilities in their community. These skills can then be applied on a larger scale in global projects.
The school received an Erasmus+ grant last year to develop the curriculum, in collaboration with United World College Maastricht, United World College Red Cross Nordic, UWC Robert Bosch College and the International School of Brussels. Our teachers have taken the lead in the project, having developed the overall concept for the curriculum, which will involve blended, project-based learning. They have also taken the lead in writing the materials for the website and tools used by the students to execute their Youth Mayors activities.
The curriculum incorporates systems thinking and user-centered design thinking to help students develop empathetic solutions to problems that really work for the people involved. By guiding the students through a social design process with an extensive research phase, the curriculum helps students understand communities, patterns of behaviour, complex systems, and mental models. It then helps them plan a solution by being clear about their findings and framing a narrative around them. Students use strategies to brainstorm, pilot, reiterate and execute their social interventions. In the end, they learn how to share their projects and results with a wider community and how to scale up successful social designs.
We will be implementing this new curriculum in the Sustainability Action Lab (SAL) next year and students in the MYP Service Action programme will also use the modules. We are very excited to experiment with taking project-based learning to the next level!
Flushing away poverty, one toilet at a time!
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ – What does this mean to you?
That was the ‘unit of inquiry’ given to PYP 2 in February 2019. Caity was 7 years old, loves school and wanted to do the best she can. We had seen a toilet twinning certificate at our church, so we checked out the toilettwinning.org website and watched a short video about Bawili’s daughter. For most of us, it’s hard to comprehend the terrible ordeal, but Caity immediately related to the injustice that a girl would miss school because she didn’t have a safe place to go to the toilet (https://vimeo.com/182987574). Caity decided that toilet twinning would make a difference; but how many?
Twinning a toilet is brilliant and it’s rather like planting a tree – everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime! It’s incredibly rewarding for the giver and completely life changing for the receiver. And with more than 2.3 billion people not having somewhere safe to go to the toilet, there is plenty of opportunity for everyone. Caity thought that she could twin a toilet each week and to a 7-year-old, 100 seemed a pretty big number so that became the target and it should take about 2 years to get there. So, on March 1st, 2019, Caity twinned the 3 toilets in her home and the journey began.
This journey was really fun and the challenge was to find toilets to twin! First Caity twinned some at a local company and this brought 14 toilets to the total from three departments but still far away from 100. So Caity ran for election to become a Class Representative on the student council at school and this gave her a platform to ask the council for some school toilets. This brought another 22 toilets and the total rose to 39; suddenly it all seemed entirely possible.
The progress was sometimes challenging with a few bumps along the road. A family friend in Mexico City agreed to twin two toilets for his sons Juan Pablo and Santiago. The certificates were sent to Mexico but were detained by the country customs with a demand for USD 350 to release them. Caity didn’t get too disappointed and took the opportunity to twin two more toilets for the boys sending the certificates with a friend who was travelling to Mexico. The new certificates arrived safely in Mexico and the Mexican customs also have two certificates which we hope are displayed in their toilets.
Opportunities continued to present themselves and then came Christmas… instead of wine or chocolates, the Christmas gifts for teachers, friends and neighbours became toilets for twinning. The final push came from the family with grandma and grandpa getting their toilets twinned and Caity’s toilets at home getting twinned for a second time so Caity now has number 1 and number 100.
The twinning went much faster than anyone imagined and toilet 100 was twinned in January 2020 a little under a year since Caity began. Now, 100 toilets later, there are 100 families and communities that have a safe place to go to the toilet and the girls can go to their schools to have the education they deserve so that they too can ‘be the difference they want to see in the world’.
Dear Students and Colleagues,
Dear Parents and Members of the School Community,
We hope you have spent a nice, sunny and above all healthy Easter holiday!
After the federal and state governments announced first steps to relax measures against the spread of the coronavirus this week, we would like to inform you briefly about what this means for our school....
[Please click the image to read on.]
From an empty school to our online learners and families at home, we wish you all well as we make the best out of the current situation. We miss you and hope to see you soon! In the meantime, check out this video from a few staff members in a quiet school.... youtu.be/ljDCMPJUFgg
By Lenka Wolf
Stagecoach Performing Arts School Dreieich
Every Wednesday afternoon at Strothoff International School on the 3rd floor, you can find singing, dancing and acting classes for children! A two week trial* costs 36 euros for Early Stages (4-6 year olds) and 72 euros for Main Stages (7-18 year olds). If you wish to continue with Stagecoach after the trial is over, simply talk to your local Stagecoach Performing Arts School Principal. *Free Places are available for the Early (aged 4-6) and Main Stages (aged 7-18) for the Summer Term starting March 18th. Find more information at www.stagecoach.de/dreieich.
Receive information and individual guidance from Lenka Wolf Peleteiro at +49 69 40153326 or +49 157 73296501.
By Michael Höfig
Visiting Jennifer Klein in her couture house in Frankfurt …
… "I had the pleasure of visiting the personal project fair of your Grade 10 Students, as my younger sister, Mary Jane Klein, visits your school and presented her project. I also came to visit as one of her fellow students created a fashion project and interviewed me on the topics of fast fashion and pattern cutting. After this experience and having accompanied the two girls through their projects, I realized the importance of hands on projects for children and teenagers in today's ever accelerating tech world…“ Jennifer Klein.
Together with Rosica Koleva and Jennifer Brandsberg we discussed with Jennifer Klein possibilities to integrate her creative approach into the activities of our Sustainability Action Lab >> sustainability-action-lab.de
By Rosica Koleva
"Designing for inclusion" is an initiative that started in 2019 as part of the MYP5 Design curriculum, with students creating design solutions that meet the needs of people with disabilities. The case studies came from "In my shoes" - a macedonian project co-authored by Ms Rosica Koleva that aims to explore the difficulties people with disabilities face in finding, choosing and putting on clothes and footwear. This year, the participation in the initiative was extended to Water House VHR students, MYP4 3D-design enthusiasts and MYP5 students whose Personal Project was linked to the initiative. The students explored how to describe a garment to a person who is blind so that it can be converted it into an audio QR label, replaced classic buttons with magnetic ones, in order to make shirts more accessible to someone with fine motor difficulties and created 3D printed cardigan buttons with descriptions in Braille. Their solutions were displayed at an exhibition in the UN building in Vienna, as part of the Zero Project Conference 2020 on Inclusive Education.
By Adela Yepes Rodriguez
Do you prefer sweet or salty popcorn? Can you imagine going to the cinema and being able to choose salty, sweet and chilli popcorn? Our students from the Spanish Home Language group showed us yesterday the way they eat their popcorn in Mexico: chili and lemon! They were very yummy...would you be a risk taker and try them?
Things got a bit hot on the playground when students cooked up this thermite science experiment. After it was cooled down with water, the iron was magnetic and peppered with sand. Never a dull moment in science... or on the playground!
By Vany Shim
Congratulations to MYP 5: Saranya Menon and Kayla Westcott and MYP 4: Sthuthi Shandilya who have successfully passed the audition and have been rehearsing for the 2020 Western Europe Regional Honor Band and Choir (WERHBC) festival, which took place on 5-8 February at the International School of Düsseldorf (ISD), Düsseldorf.
They have met new musicians from 12 different international schools (Madrid, Amsterdam, Doha, Tunis, Stuttgart, Paris, Luxembourg, Wiesbaden, Zurich, Hague, Dusseldorf).
Some choir parts are in different languages, including Latin, Xhosa (Nguni Bantu language with click consonants and is one of the official languages of South Africa), Czech, and more. The choir girls have no experience in these languages, but have enjoyed learning them through music!
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to an information event about careers and university counselling with Mr. Matthias Trüper, the founder of Campusmondi Study Advisory Service, on Friday, 13th March, at 16.00 in our Grand Meeting Room.
In 1991, Mr. Trüper founded the Berlin International School and was the director until 1998. In 2000 he established Campusmondi and has carried out many successful consultancy processes ever since. His aim is to find out and promote the abilities of graduates, to develop perspectives, to consider various options and to devise a convincing strategy to discover one's passion.
Mr. Trüper will also be available for individual talks (1 hour) on Saturday, 14th March, from 11:00 in the Fish Bowl. If you are interested in booking an individual appointment with him, please contact Mr. Trüper directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would appreciate it if you informed us about your attendance of the events.
Thank you to the MYP5 students for organizing a great Fasching celebration yesterday! Students enjoyed playing different games and visiting different stations while showing off their costumes. Thanks to our wonderful PTA as well for serving all the delicious treats!
Video by Sarah Schneider
Check out some cool moves from the PYP annual ice skating trip at youtu.be/FjGRbndB3UM!
By Melissa Yerli
The focus of my project about Cappadocia is to shed new light onto Turkey. Many students have a limited and prejudiced mindset towards Turkey, as they are only exposed to the political aspect of Turkey. However, I wanted to create a visual representation of one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey. I created a book and painting, focusing on the visual presentation without any political, touristic or promotional influence to make sure students have an opportunity to see past the stereotypes and create a new and fresh mindset towards Turkey.
My initial goal was to extend my personal knowledge by pursuing a learning-based project that explored the historical and cultural aspects of Capadocia. Another major goal I hope to achieve is to optimize the prejudiced opinion many adolescents have of Turkey and its culture. I want my project to grant them a new and neutral insight into the country without any influence of political or personal opinions. My aim is to use prior knowledge and newly acquired information and skills to create a book that will provide any information regarding the city of Cappadocia and its importance. For me personally, it is very important to expand my knowledge on the country I am from. Turkey and its culture is a huge part of my identity and of my life, in multiple aspects. The Turkish culture has always largely impacted the way I spoke, ate, celebrated, thought, understood and shared. It has helped me become the person I am today and is why it is so important for me. During the past few years I have frequently experienced how negative thoughts and opinions have established a general opinion about the whole country, without giving it any chance or consideration. Not only did it affect me personally, but I believe it is unfair in many different ways as it does not do justice to the many beautiful experiences this country and culture has to offer. The challenging part of this project is presenting Turkey and its culture in a non-biased manner, allowing adolescents to form their individual opinion. This will be challenging as I not only want to change their mindset, I want to reset their attitude towards this country without letting my personal connection influence this. I don’t want to convince people to see it exactly the way I see it but allow them to create their own opinion, by allowing them insight to one of the many places and experiences Turkey has to offer.
Last week in KG1, the students started their new unit of inquiry - Community Helpers. We discussed many different helpers in our city and how they help us everyday. The students had a chance to dress up as their favourite community helper and use their imagination to act out what that person does. Firefighters, doctors, pilots, farmers and police officers were just some of the people who were chosen. Over the next 7 weeks we will discuss the roles people play within our own school, how people in our community help us, and how different communities come together to help each other. There are lots of exciting new things to learn in KG1 and the students (as well as the teachers) are looking forward to it!
Students did a fantastic job setting up the room and serving food and drinks at the New Year's reception of the Bunte Kirche and Raum der Begegnung. The pastor, social workers, guests and even the mayor of Dreieich complimented them on their impressive service. The community there was very international and the kids interacted with them in both English and German. They really enjoyed engaging with them. Our students were mentioned in the speeches by the mayor and all others involved, and they felt quite proud as they didn't expect so much recognition. It was a very nice evening and the students represented our school really well. They said they felt the community service spirit and that they loved the experience.
In the spirit of the slogan “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” the First Aid team started its “Happy and Healthy Monday”. Last week and the week before they tested this campaign and decided to go ahead with it just in time for the start of the Mock exams. DP2 students can now pick a piece of fruit from the basket in between their examination period. With this campaign, the First Aid team wants to contribute to a healthier school life and the wellbeing of the school community. The students of the First Aid team try to buy organic and/or fair trade fruits to support sustainability and fairness in trade. Thanks to the members of the First Aid team for being excellent examples of the IB Learner Profile trait, caring!
The IBDP 2 Visual Arts class of 2020 is proud to invite you to their final Art Exhibition on Thursday, 19th March 2020. One of the components of the DP Visual Arts course is for the students to curate their own exhibition of studio works. The students have spent two years building up a portfolio of work based around their own chosen themes. Check out a sneak preview of some of the artworks!
The First Aid Club is once again active this weekend as the first part of their First Aid Training will take place on Saturday, 25th January 2020. First Aid members will attend the training that is offered to us by the German Red Cross (GRC). On completion of the course, all active members will receive a DRK First Aid Certificate at the end of the school year that can be an advantage when making university applications, as well as when applying for their driver's license. This is just one of many actions taken by our First Aid Club to make our school safer and healthier. Other recent initiatives included placing toothpaste and toothbrushes in bathrooms for people to use and keep, and offering free fruit, as advertised on this poster!
By Jennifer Brandsberg, DP Business Management, Head of Individuals & Societies
Strothoff International School has officially launched its exciting new Sustainability Action Lab! Before the programme begins in August, staff members Ms. Brandsberg and Ms. Koleva will run a number of kick-off events, including a Sustainable Cities Workshop for students ages 14-17 in Frankfurt from Tuesday, April 14 to Friday, April 17, 2020. Spread the word! Registration can be found at sustainability-action-lab.de.
Enjoy a brief reflection of this year's Winter Market at www.youtube.com/watch! Thank you to our entire community for helping to make this event a great success!
Well done to our Early Years and PYP students today for putting on a fantastic Cultural Celebration Singalong concert! From Jingle Bells to In der Weihnachtsbäckerei, the Aula echoed with happy voices of students, parents and staff. Thank you Mrs. Rettig for putting on another memorable holiday concert!
This weekend our Swim Team participated in the BIS swim competition in Munich. The Wolves were extremely brave and focused, and they swam their personal best times in every event! Big thanks to every member of our Swim Team!
By Helena Schneider
The PYP 5 class is on the road again to help out at the Langener Tafel! That means 22 students are helping to hand out food, attending meetings with staff and conducting interviews with the visitors. But there are also other areas where the Langener Tafel needs help. Here we need you! This time we want to support the Tafel in its purchase of the new refrigerated vehicle - with a collection of 10,000 Euro!!! Can we do that? Our ideas to raise funds include a bake sale, stuffed animal and toy bazaar, collecting money in the neighbourhood, and selling homemade cookies. Please support us by contacting us with any other ideas you may have at email@example.com. We will come to the Winter Market with a great idea and look forward to your support, because 10,000 Euro is a lot of money!
Last weekend we hosted our Gymnastic Workshop and welcomed gymnasts from Bavarian International School as guests. After a morning of training and an afternoon at a trampoline park, our Strothoff Gymnastics team went on to achieve the "Gerätturnabzeichen"! Well done team, and thank you for your visit BIS!
By Walina Kamal
Climate change is currently a big topic all over the world. Are you someone who believes in climate change and wants to make a difference? If yes, would you ride your bike to school? I , Walina Kamal in MYP1, tested it for you.
It was a Sunday morning as I rode my bike to school. On Google maps, it said that the ride would take 27 minutes. Well, guess how long it actually took? About 1 hour and 20 minutes! Already, if I would ride my bike to school, I would have to wake up 1 hour and 20 minutes earlier, which would be at 5:10 am! But anyways, let's carry on. As I kept riding my bike, I noticed that I could ride my bike on bike paths partly, but more through the middle of the forest. It was muddy and slippery on that day, and I had to cross over busy streets, which was dangerous. Then, as we were about to reach the school, according to Google maps, I had to ride my bike on the main road itself. Luckily, there was a lady that explained to us another but more complicated way. On the way to school it was fine, but on the ride back we saw wild boars!
The experience was a very interesting one, however now I know it is challenging to live sustainably. The way took longer than the expected 27 minutes - 1 hour and 20 minutes in reality. It was complicated at the end, and doing this could be dangerous… just saying… wild boars. As you can see, living sustainably is hard, and sometimes it takes longer than expected. Throughout my experience, I’d say that the whole “living sustainably” thing would be easier if the government would take action towards this. For example, making sure that there are actually “safe” bike paths that you can ride your bike on is a good thing to start with.
Okay, this is what I reported from my experience, but what do you think about the topic? Perhaps you have personal experience with this as well? Write your comments and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re looking forward to reading them!
November 5, 2019