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The goal of friends of siss is to support the international school community at the Schuldorf Bergstrasse. One of the most visible is the climbing web for the Primary Branch playground, for which 12,000 Euro in funding was provided to supplement funds from the Landkreis, parent fundraisers and a donation organized by one of our members from BB Bank of 1500 Euro.

Through memberships, direct donations and your support of the online fundraisers, here are some of the more behind the scenes events and resources the friends of siss has supported along the way.

(updated April 2024)


Books, books, books!

New books arrived in winter 2023 and spring 2024 to both the German Year 5/6 classrooms and the library respectively. 


Supervision - New Relaxation Room and new items for the Playgarden

Just in time for Christmas 2023, two new rugs and some storage cabinets for blankets and pillows were set up in the new Supervision room where children will be able to read or just relax.  

Keep an eye out in the Playgarden as well. With spring 2024 around the corner, some new sand will be delivered and eventually a retro style water pump will be installed. 


New Couches for Each Group! 

As an early 2023 Christmas present, the Sun Bears, Star Bears and Moon Bears groups each received a new couch in their classrooms. Now, the children can cuddle up with a book or other activity together! 

Preschool Couch 1 - Dec2023


Time for New Microphones

Many of us have enjoyed watching our children sing, dance, recite poems, play music or act on stage throughout their student career. In 2023, it was time to upgrade the microphones used at the Aula. Both the Schuldorf FÖV and the friends of siss were happy to contribute towards this request so that the memory making events could continue!



Green Classroom “Rent-a-Chicken” 

Chickens are full of surprises; they are funny and far more complex than many people think. The friends of siss was happy to cover half of the costs so that Primary pupils could have the chance to witness this first hand for four weeks in 2023. They had experiences that children often do not often have nowadays and also learned how to gently handle chickens, thus- fostering social skills.


Since chickens are flight animals and react with fear to hectic movements or loud noises, children have to behave calmly. Only those who are empathetic and relaxed will have a chicken in their arms that does not clamour and flap, but cuddles up closely and softly. Through the incentive of also wanting to hold a chicken in their arms, even lively children become calm and concentrate on one thing. Moreover, since the animals react like a mirror, the children get immediate feedback on how they appear to the chickens. This helps develop better self- perception and understand why other children react to them in a certain way. The children also get a sense of the power of their movements and practice mindfulness. For example, if a child grabs a chicken too tightly, it clucks in fright or flaps its wings. The next time, the chicken will approach more cautiously. The child will try to pick up the chicken more gently because he or she has noticed the animal's reaction.

Eggs do not grow in the supermarket!
  • How does a chicken live, what does it eat and where do the eggs come from?

  • What does an egg look like inside?

  • Why do chickens lay eggs at all and how do the eggs you can buy differ?

  • What are the different types of farming?

  • What is the nutritional value of an egg?


The pupils studied all these questions in the project.

Hard working chickens!

Each hen laid one egg a day. At the end, everyone enjoyed boiled eggs with green sauce and potatoes. Yummy!



IB Training

With the Covid restrictions removed, in 2023, IB teachers were once again able to attend training courses and/or an IB conference. The friends of siss were happy to cover the transportation and accommodation.



2022 Talent Show 

The Talent Show returned live on stage and friends of siss provided financial support to the technical and sound crew at this great event.


Antolin Reading Program

Since 2022, we have sponsored the license needed to grant students access to this fun and interactive online reading program that helps them improve not only their comprehension skills but also their German!


On the Trail of Thistle Butterflies

In 2022, the Green Classroom of the primary branch  hosted a project that focused on the life cycle and metamorphosis of butterflies.

The Green Classroom is about integrating nature and the environment into the classroom. For this butterfly project, the friends of siss financed a thistle breeding set which included about 25 caterpillars, food and two aviaries for the butterflies. The set also contained posters and small models which helped the students  understand the life cycle from egg to caterpillar and pupation to butterfly.


In class, the children learned how to handle the caterpillars carefully and were able to get a close-up look at these insects. Other tasks and content in class deepened their knowledge regarding the thistle butterflies: For example, central characteristics were recorded in a fact sheet, after which the children were able to draw the animals and their life cycle. In addition, the students were able to go outside in search of butterflies as part of the lesson and thus view the insects in their natural environment. In a video, the teachers also showed the children the path from egg to butterfly again in fast motion.


After the caterpillars finally pupated in the classroom, the students were able to watch and help hang the pupae in the aviaries so that the butterflies could later hatch from them. While viewing the caterpillars and cocoons, the classes worked together to collect descriptions of the insects' appearance and impressions, which the children then integrated into poems they wrote themselves and later presented.


At the end of the project, the classes were able to watch the butterflies hatch from the cocoons and release the animals together in the Playgarden.

Story contributed by Mr Fabian Barth, Supervision Team

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Timetables were provided to the students at the beginning of the year to help them keep an overview of their lessons. An editable version is also available in the download section of our website.


Frames for artwork

In 2022, ArtsLab students contributed artwork centred on the theme “Home” for the Bensheim Hospiz. The frames were supplied by friends of siss.

2022 Hospice Art Exhibition Home 20220219_171735.jpg


Chess Tournament – Hessen

In April 2022, four students from the Secondary Branch participated in the Hessischer Schulschach Mannschaftswettbewerb in Karben. The students joining the Group III .competition (14 years old or younger) were: Alexander Merz, Divyam Chaajed, Rares Munteanu and Martin de Boer.

The students were very motivated because in the previous years they ranked 4th in this competition. Unfortunately, this year the team scored 2 ½ points out of a maximum 5, ending with a ranking of 8th position out of 16. The Oberhörsel School remained undefeated through the competition and won the trophy.

Thanks to the friends of siss for covering the students' transportation expenses to the tournament.

We carry on supporting our Team and wish them success in the future!

Story contributed by Mr Cristian Munteanu, Physics Teacher, Secondary Branch


Jugend forscht Competition

Three Secondary Branch students from the MINT Centre received a special award in 2022: Prize for Research work in the field of chemical Nanotechnology​, given by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie im Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V., at the National Finals of the Jugend Forscht competition.

Myla Hardman, Marta Lean and Anna Schwarz spent almost two years researching at the MINT
Centre on their project: Graphene-like super materials - can it be more environmentally friendly?
Dietmar Scherr, who supervised the project together with Laín Mencía Martínez, describes what the project was all about:


"In this work it was shown that the so-called wet chemical route via the oxidation of graphite and
subsequent reduction does not lead to graphene, but to more or less multilayered amorphous
carbon with many defects. This is shown by RAMAN and electron micrographs (SEM), which were
made for the students by the company Merck, Darmstadt and the TU Darmstadt. Many publications,
even in high-ranking journals, claim that this is a way to produce graphene. But single-layer
graphene, for example, can only be produced using the CVD process (CVD= Chemical Vapour
Deposition). However, such partially oxidised graphene oxides can be used as composite materials
with conductive polymers in photovoltaics as whole conductors. Such application possibilities were
pointed out by the students."

After the three young researchers were honoured as Hessian state winners in the Chemistry
category, they presented their work to the expert jury in the National Finals of the Jugend Forscht competition held from 26-29 May in Lübeck. Myla Hardmann, one of the three national finalists, describes her impressions as follows:

"On Thursday, May 29th, we travelled by train from Frankfurt to Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, where the
57th Jugend Forscht National Competition was taking place. When we arrived after several hours, we
were immediately allowed into the Music and Congress Hall to set up our stand among the more
than 100 others. From above, we could look down on all the rows of stands, which were sorted by
subject, and at that moment it really became clear to us how lucky we were to have made it this far.

The following day were the important jury discussions. We presented our project "Graphene-like
super materials - can it be more environmentally friendly?"
to the chemistry jury, who then asked us
lots of tricky questions about our experiments. In our free time, we had the chance to look at the
many other projects, learn a lot of new things and exchange ideas with young people from all over

The award ceremonies took place over the weekend. There was great live music, very tasty food and
many funny moments."

Thanks to the friends of siss, Mr Lencia was able to join and support the students along the final trek of their two year experiment.

Story contributed by Mr Laín Mencía Martínez

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In 2022, we purchased new bookcases for classroom reading books.



Art supplies

In 2021, Art supplies were provided to make repairs to the Secondary Atrium steps as well as to decorate the Library windows.

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Conrad Challenge Finals

One of our 2021-22 Year 8 students, Aarav Garg, qualified to the finals of the Conrad Challenge, a purpose-driven innovation competition for students across the world aged 13-18. Participants consisted of groups of 2-5 students who had to come up with an original business idea covering 1 out of 5 categories. There were approximately 1000 teams from across the world presenting the case. The run up to the top was through 3 rounds, namely the investor pitch, the business plan and the innovation summit.

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The journey started in October 2021, with 5 members in Aarav’s team that prepared a proposal under the “Aerospace and Aviation” category. They proposed a space telecommunication system, which they called ‘SSLAIT’ for Solar System Locations and Interplanetary Telecommunication.

The first round was responding to the request for a business plan by answering a detailed questionnaire sent by the Conrad organization. After the idea was accepted, they wrote an in-depth technical concept report, a business prospectus and recorded a presentation of their idea. For the second round, their technical concept and business plan was rated among the top 10 and the team was invited to the virtual finals. The registration fee was supported by the friends of siss and Aarav is grateful towards the faculty for their support.

Story contributed by Mr Ankur Garg


IB Graduate Plaques

Each year the friends of siss is a happy to submit the names of each graduating class to be engraved onto a new glass plaque. Take a quick left at the main entrance of the Secondary building to see the growing number of IB diploma graduates! 



New Roofing for the Playgarden

In 2021, funds raised from the Green Classroom online fundraiser which friends of siss opened via, was allocated towards some much needed repair in the outdoor kitchen area of the Playgarden.



Student planner

Since 2021, Primary have received a student planner which was subsidised by friends of siss. The planner is not just to note homework but offers a link between the school, primary students and parents.


The hidden extras

As a German state school, some of the IB and IGCSE resources are not 100% covered and this is where friends of siss lends its support. Since 2021, costs covered thanks to your annual membership fees,  included digital recorders for IB oral examinations, shipping costs for the textbooks that come from abroad, subscriptions to IGCSE Maths and Science teacher resource databases, GDC calculators for the Maths Department and the accompanying smartboard software.


IB certificate folders, graduate gowns and medals

Since 2016 the IB graduation gowns as well as the diploma folders have been provided by the friends of siss. 


As of 2023 graduates also receive an IB medal as a momento of their dedicated work in completing the IB programme. 

Additional support for past IB ceremonies has ranged from the reception drinks, to graduation caps, to the framed graduating class photo presented as a farewell gift to each student.



CD/USB Players

Story times on demand! The friends of siss provided the Preschool with 3 CD/USB players in 2021

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Art Supplies

In 2021, Secondary students decided to add some color to the building and created artwork to decorate the classroom doors. The art supplies were paid for by friends of siss.


Hygiene and First Aid Supplies

Throughout the Corona pandemicfriends of siss provided the paper towels and plastic bags that were necessary for the hygienic disposal of the used test kits at both branches.

Separately, ice packs and disinfectant wipes were provided to the Primary branch as basic first aid supplies.


Mud Kitchen

In 2020, preschool students gained a new outdoor play station so they could engage in pretend and messy play by cooking with mud, sand and water. 


Craft Supplies

Art and craft supplies were given to Primary for a variety of projects in 2020.

Crafts Activity
Image by DNK.PHOTO



The 2020 “Read to Breathe” Read-a-Thon – student initiative to raise funds for oxygen equipment for Covid patients – supported by printing flyers and coordinating donations to GiveIndia.


Reading wallets

friends of siss provided welcome “reading wallets” for new pupils starting at Primary in 2020.




Until 2023, emails and reminders of upcoming events sent to Secondary branch families were summarised in the online pinboard. The project began as a parent volunteer initiative, but in 2020 the friends of siss converted this to an online CAS project.




Spurred by the need to provide online CAS project options during the pandemic, since 2020 we have supported the SISS Secondary and Primary branch planners. This is an IB CAS project for students in year 11 and 12.


SISS Alumni

Since 2021 friends of siss is supporting The Alumni Association which is a CAS project for IB students in years 11 and 12. Along with allowing SISS graduates to stay in touch, one goal is to create a space where current and past students can share information.

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In 2020, Letterland teaching resources were refreshed to replace the well loved set used by previous years of little hands. Letterland publishes award-winning Early Years and Key Stage 1 resources for teaching foundational literacy skills, phonics, spelling and grammar.


Playground Equipment

Since 2020, we have supported each class in their order of either indoor activity equipment during the pandemic, or outdoor equipment once the lockdown was over. 



The friends of siss online presence is being updated and improved all the time. This is a parent initiative and is supported by friends of siss.

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