Einschulung / First day of school

GRÜSSE Vom schulleiter

Liebe Mitglieder der Schulgemeinde,

das neue Schuljahr hat begonnen und unser Campus ist wieder lebendig geworden. Unsere bisherigen Schülerinnen und Schüler freuen sich, ihre Freunde wieder täglich zu sehen, und wir alle freuen uns über insgesamt 72 neue Schülerinnen, Schüler und Preschool-Kinder, die jetzt Teil unserer Schulgemeinschaft werden. Unsere Schülerzahl insgesamt ist auf 413 gestiegen, das ist ein neuer Rekord für die Deutsche Internationale Schule Sydney! Wir freuen uns sehr über das kontinuierliche Wachstum in den letzten Jahren, denn es ist Ausdruck der guten Arbeit, die hier geleistet wird, und es eröffnet uns als Schule neue Möglichkeiten, uns weiterzuentwickeln. Schauen Sie doch mal in den Artikel ‚Strategic Planning‘ in dieser Gutenberg Post.

Die neuen und die alten Schülerinnen und Schüler aller höheren Jahrgangsstufen trafen in unserer „Assembly“ zum Schuljahresanfang zusammen. Welch ein schöner Anblick in unserer prall gefüllten Sporthalle! Die ganz Kleinen tauchen jetzt in die Welt der Preschool ein, wo sie herzlich aufgenommen wurden. Die Kindergarten-Kinder, die unsere erste Grundschulklasse besuchen, wurden an ihrem ersten Schultag in einer eigenen Feier von allen Grundschulkindern aufgenommen und konnten dicke Schultüten nach Hause tragen. 

Und während all das hier an der GISS passiert, sind unsere ehemaligen IB-Schülerinnen und Schüler aus dem Jahrgang 2023 auf dem Weg in ihre neue Zukunft. Alle haben ihr Examen bestanden und alle, die an australischen Universitäten studieren wollen, haben ihre Studienplätze schon gesichert. Das ist eine tolle Leistung für sie, aber auch ein Erfolg für die Schule und ihren sehr individualisierten Ansatz.

Auch über neue Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter freuen wir uns: Claudine Inog und Lia Spanner in der Verwaltung, Adrian Adam und Janine Corbin-Hine in der Grundschule, Ruth Eyre, Melinda Jordi und Sebastian Percival in der Sekundarstufe, sowie unsere Praktikantin Kim Brückmann und unsere neue Vertretungslehrkraft Corrina von Flotow.

Nun wünsche ich uns allen einen guten Start ins Schuljahr 2024!

Herzliche Grüße

Lorenz Metzger
Schulleiter











gREETINGS fROM the principal

Dear Members of the GISS Community,

The beginning of the new school year has brought our campus back to life once again. Former students are happy to see their friends again daily, while we extend a warm welcome to 72 new students and Preschoolers who have now joined our GISS community. The total number of students has reached a new high of 413, marking a further milestone for the German International School Sydney. The consistent growth over recent years reflects the consistent hard work invested in our school, providing us with new avenues for further development.  For detailed insights into our strategic planning, please refer to the article 'Strategic Planning' in this edition of the Gutenberg Post.

On the first day of school, students from all higher levels came together for an assembly.  It was wonderful to experience the vibrant atmosphere in the sports hall and it was a testament to the unity and spirit within the GISS community and our youngest students are now fully immersed in their new Preschool environment, where they received a heartfelt welcome. Our Kindergarten students who joined Primary School enjoyed their own celebration, and proudly carried their fat Schultüten home at the end of an exciting day. 

And while all these events were going on, our former IB students from the class of 2023 are embarking on their new exiting journeys. All of them passed their exams and those pursuing studies at Australian universities have already secured their places. This is a great achievement for them  and reflects not only their hard work but also the school's successful and personalised approach.

We are also very happy to extend a warm welcome to new staff members: Claudine Inog and Lia Spanner in Administration, Adrian Adam and Janine Corbin-Hine in Primary School, Ruth Eyre, Melinda Jordi, and Sebastian Percival in Secondary School, as well as our intern Kim Brückmann and new casual teacher Corrina von Flotow.

As we embark on the 2024 school year, I wish everyone a successful and fulfilling start!

Best wishes

Lorenz Metzger
Principal

Term motto: Building respectful relationships and connections 

Das neue Schuljahr begann mit einer Versammlung der gesamten Schule, bei der 72 neue SchülerInnen und neun MitarbeiterInnen vorgestellt und in der GISS-Gemeinschaft willkommen geheißen wurden.

Die GISS ist inzwischen auf 413 SchülerInnen angewachsen, die 38 Nationalitäten repräsentieren, und wir sprechen zusammen 42 Sprachen, was die grosse Vielfalt der verschiedenen Kulturen an unserer Schule darstellt.  

Auf ein fantastisches Jahr, gefüllt mit Vielsprachigkeit, Lernen, Wachstum und dem Schaffen von tollen Erinnerungen.

The new school year kicked off with a school assembly  where 72 new students and nine staff members were introduced and welcomed to the GISS community.

GISS has now grown to 413 students, representing an incredible diversity of 38 nationalities and we collectively speak 42 languages, showcasing the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our school. 

Here's to a fantastic year ahead filled with multi-lingualism, learning, growth, and the creation of great memories.

welcome back to school! - willkommen  zurück in der schule!

strategic planning 

As many of you may know, I have been engaged by the School Board as a transformation advisor to support our school through a period of change. Some aspects of my role are strategic, while others are more operational, especially during the recent absence of the principal. Change often arises from a specific event, and for us, this event has been the planning for the arrival of the next Principal in July. This has prompted us to pause, reflect, and set new goals.

One way we are approaching this is by establishing a new strategic plan and direction. Schools cannot stand still, as society and educational requirements are constantly evolving. For GISS, our community is also changing, partly due to a gradual reduction in German-speaking expatriates in Sydney.

The school board has been very active in developing a new strategic plan. The first step in this process was to conduct focus groups to gauge community opinion. This occurred in Term 4 2023 and the strengths and challenges of the school were clearly identified, and common to all groups. These strengths were:    

  • Bilingual, multi-lingual, language teaching
  • IBDP - international
  • Small & local community
  • ‘Non-conformity’ (in comparison to other Australian independent schools), examples of this are no uniform, co-ed, secular, more individualism
  • Staff
  • Diversity

While of course for German families there is the connection to Germany.

Through this process, we have identified several challenges and areas for improvement, including consistency, communication, and organizational leadership. As a result, we have adjusted the mission, vision, and values of the school to more clearly reflect who we are, what we stand for, and where we are headed. The adjusted mission vision and values are now: 

Vision: To ignite a passion for lifelong learning, empowering our students to reach their full potential and succeed in our fast-changing global society.

Mission: By fusing German, European and Australian excellence, we provide top tier multilingual secular co-education. We are committed to unlocking each student’s potential, to inspire and challenge them to become responsible, reliable and confident bilingual adults.

The changes made were small yet powerful. By incorporating words like "passion," "empowering," and "confident bilingual adults," and by emphasising our core values, we have highlighted the great strengths of the school. Additionally, these adjustments acknowledge that our clientele is changing and recognise our Australian location. It is crucial to note that these changes do not indicate any intention to move away from the school's German curriculum.

More powerfully the values have been adjusted to the following: 


which can be summarised as saying I AM K...ind.

The application and implication of each of these values will be explored in future articles in the Gutenberg Post.

The School Board then developed three strategic goals:

1. Educational Excellence
Deliver high quality teaching, especially language teaching through highly skilled, continuously-improving teachers who are both individually and collectively effective, in an environment that fosters innovation and ambition; student wellbeing and safety; resulting in strong academic results.  


2. Student Growth
Grow our school to be 500+ students over the next 5-10 years
;
(this number is flexible depending on demand while the timescale allows for well-planned and managed growth).

3. Financial Sustainability
Generating sufficient surplus income to achieve the above two goals, in an economic environment where German and Australian Government funding may not be able to be taken for grante
d.

Having done this, measurable priorities, targets and tasks that flow from the strategic goals can be developed. For example, campus and facility development is clearly a major component of goals 2 and 3.

This is ongoing although already several significant 'macro changes' have now occurred, including:

Reviewing all aspects of the school budget to reduce or eliminate losses where possible, create a surplus for future development and all, while keeping fee increases to manageable levels.

Reviewing all aspects of the school to ensure the school is fully compliant, particularly in terms of health and safety, and rectifying concerns.

Restructuring the school from four sections to two.

Appointing the next principal.

Meanwhile at an organisational level, the following are underway:

  • A reorganisation of the AGs so that they now complement the curriculum and enable the school to offer a more targeted range of skill development and experiences
  • The replacement of the current school management system to improve communication and ease of use;
  • Investigating becoming an IB school for the primary (the PYP program);
  • Reviewing curriculum outcomes for the two academic pathways (DaF and DaM). As part of this, a ‘peer review’ (where experts in their fields from other German international schools visit the school) is being organised for second semester;
  • A review of the behaviour management policy and procedures to ensure they are applied consistently across the whole school;
  • Many campus development and renewal projects including finally finishing the sports hall roof/canteen area;
  • Development of an appraisal system which includes self and student feedback;
  • Resetting the student representative council
  • Ongoing professional development for staff.

There is much going on behind the scenes. In the meantime, our staff are focused on ensuring high quality teaching and learning. We are fortunate to have many highly skilled staff who are genuinely interested in our students and support in achieving their best. GISS excels in helping students take ownership of their learning, and many students have likely been involved in goal setting exercises this month.

A busy and exciting year lies ahead, and the school looks forward to working with all its families to ensure an excellent year for the students. It is lovely to see how the students are already so engaged.

GISS has many strengths, and it is a pleasure to support the school in its development. If parents have any questions, I can be contacted via email at roderick.crouch@giss.nsw.edu.au

Roderick Crouch

Outdoor & Activity Spaces:
We are thrilled to announce the transformation of several outdoor spaces with the introduction of synthetic lawns, enhancing both the aesthetics and functionality of our campus, particularly in areas where natural turf growth is impractical. Additionally, two sandstone seating blocks and a new outdoor table tennis table have been installed. The outdoor sports field has undergone a thorough rejuvenation, and  the addition of new stairs across the campus serves to improve safety and accessibility.

Looking ahead, the Junior Secondary climbing structure is scheduled for installation in March, and the completion of the new Primary School shade sail is anticipated in the coming weeks. A new outdoor seating area, complete with shading, has been provided for our staff, and four additional basketball hoops have been installed in the sports hall.

Improvements to the Kiss & Drop zone include re-grading and the addition of three tonnes of gravel to ensure a smoother ride.

Bathrooms:
Significant refurbishments have been implemented in our primary school and junior secondary bathrooms, focusing on long-term cleanliness and hygiene. Features such as tamper-proof soap dispensers and automatic hand dryers have been incorporated. Plans are in place to refurbish the remaining bathrooms and student change rooms over the next 12 months to improve the standard of all bathroom facilities.

campus update

Welcome back to a new school year! We trust that you and your families had a relaxing break. We are delighted to share some notable updates regarding the enhancements made to our campus. The approval of numerous campus improvement projects in our budget has paved the way for a series of exciting developments, and our dedicated team has been working very hard to complete these improvements.

To commence the year, a deep cleanwas done by our new cleaning team, ensuring that all classrooms looked impeccable on the first day of school.

Classrooms:
Upgrades to the Junior Secondary classrooms in the Clara Schumann House and the upper level of Grimm House are now complete. These spaces are now more welcoming with new flooring, fresh paint, sound baffles, and new pin boards. Furthermore, the installation of new lockers is scheduled during the autumn holidays. In response to feedback, plans for additional air conditioning units in our new primary classrooms are being finalised.

The ongoing work on the sports hall roof is progressing well, with the aim of concluding the project before the end of Term 1. Meanwhile, alternative table settings have been arranged to ensure sufficient seating for our students.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming, functional, and vibrant environment for our students and staff. Your feedback and suggestions have been instrumental in this ongoing process, and we eagerly anticipate continuing this collaborative effort.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment. Here's to a fantastic and fruitful year ahead!

The bus fleet with drivers

Our private GISS-operated bus system is a unique benefit for the school community
and offers a convenient and comprehensive network of buses.  It is an affordable and safe service that allows your children to travel to and from school independently. To further improve our service to all GISS families, the school has implemented the bus booking app ‘RollCall’, which is an online bus service portal. 

Benefits include:

Modern bus fleet: All routes are operated by modern, air-conditioned Mitsubishi Fuso buses, with 24 comfortable, seat-belted seats. Please note that children must wear their seatbelt at all times when travelling on the bus.
Efficient and convenient routes:  All buses run to a fixed timetable and the routes have been streamlined to ensure that no journey exceeds one hour. This means less time spent on the road. We understand the importance of minimising travel time, and these new routes have been designed to make your child's daily commute more efficient.
Affordable pricing: Not only are bus trips cheaper, we also offer the flexibility of changing bookings if necessary, making planning the school run easy. Casual trips or changes to booked trips can be changed the day before for the morning run, or by 12 pm for the afternoon run.
Easy booking process via the RollCall app:  This app bundles all bus services into one app. Parents can book and change services online, track GISS-operated school buses to make the pick-up more convenient as well as receive real-time alerts and notifications. 

Our private GISS-operated bus system is a unique benefit for the school community
and offers a convenient and comprehensive network of buses.  It is an affordable and safe service that allows your children to travel to and from school independently. To further improve our service to all GISS families, the school has implemented the bus booking app ‘RollCall’, which is an online bus service portal. 

Benefits include:

Modern bus fleet: All routes are operated by modern, air-conditioned Mitsubishi Fuso buses, with 24 comfortable, seat-belted seats. Please note that children must wear their seatbelt at all times when travelling on the bus.
Efficient and convenient routes:  All buses run to a fixed timetable and the routes have been streamlined to ensure that no journey exceeds one hour. This means less time spent on the road. We understand the importance of minimising travel time, and these new routes have been designed to make your child's daily commute more efficient.
Affordable pricing: Not only are bus trips cheaper, we also offer the flexibility of changing bookings if necessary, making planning the school run easy. Casual trips or changes to booked trips can be changed the day before for the morning run, or by 12 pm for the afternoon run.
Easy booking process via the RollCall app:  This app bundles all bus services into one app. Parents can book and change services online, track GISS-operated school buses to make the pick-up more convenient as well as receive real-time alerts and notifications. 
Peace of mind:  RollCall allows you to track your child's journey while on the bus, letting you know when they will arrive at their stop. 
Environmental considerations: Our buses provide a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to driving yourself, contributing to a cleaner and greener community.

Further information about the service and how to set up an account on the Rollcall app can be found on our website. Please send any questions, concerns, or feedback via email to bus@giss.nsw.edu.au.

 GISS BUS SERVICE

Environmental considerations: Our buses provide a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to driving yourself, contributing to a cleaner and greener community.


Peace of mind: RollCall allows you to track your child's journey while on the bus, letting you know when they will arrive at their stop. 

Further information about the service and how to set up an account on the Rollcall app can be found on our website. Please send any questions, concerns, or feedback via email to bus@giss.nsw.edu.au.

staff matters

We welcome the following new staff members

Adrian Adam

Melinda Jordi

Janine Corbin-Hine

Sebastian Percival

Ruth Eyre

Lia Spanner
Finance Manager

Claudine Inog
HR Administration

teaching staff

admin team

intern

Kim Brückmann

casual

Corrina von Flotow 

Wir begrüßen unsere neuen Kolleginnen und Kollegen

Die australische Regierung empfiehlt dringend, dass alle SchülerInnen und MitarbeiterInnen für die Gesundheit einen Hut tragen, wann immer sie sich draußen befinden.

Alle SchülerInnen von Preschool bis zu Klasse 6 müssen  in Term 1 und Term 4 einen Hut tragen.  Für SchülerInnen der Klassen 7 bis 12 ist es nicht obligatorisch einen Hut zu tragen, aber sie werden dringendst ermutigt, dies trotzdem zu tun.

Bitte sorgen Sie dafür, dass Ihr Kind immer einen Hut bei sich hat, und vielleicht sogar einen in Reserve hat, falls es vergisst, den Hut zur Schule zu tragen. Ihre Kinder können sich weiter vor den schädlichen Auswirkungen der UV-Strahlung schützen, indem sie jeden Morgen vor der Schule Sonnencreme auftragen.



hüte an der giss - wir sind sunsmart

hüte an der giss -
wir sind sunsmart

Vielen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung, um die Gesundheit unserer SchülerInnen zu gewährleisten.

Senior Secondary
(IB)

Senior Secondary (IB)

Junior Secondary

Junior Secondary

Primary

Primary

Preschool

Preschool

WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING AT GISS? | was WAR los an der giss?

WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING AT GISS? 
was WAR los an der giss?

sukkulenten garten an der giss

Unser toller Sekundarschul- und IB-Lehrer, Alex Christ, hat die letzten Monate damit verbracht, einen atemberaubenden Buschgarten mit wunderschönen Sukkulenten auf unserem Schulgelände zu entwerfen und zu gestalten.

Er ist nicht nur eine Augenweide, sondern hat auch einigen unserer SchülerInnen die Möglichkeit gegeben, einen Beitrag zu leisten, indem sie beim letzten Schliff geholfen haben, wie z.B. beim Schaufeln von Mulch auf das Gartenbeet.

Ein großes Dankeschön an Alex und seine HelferInnen, darunter natürlich auch Michael Abicht, für ihr Engagement bei der Verbesserung unseres Schulgeländes.








succulent garden at giss

Our amazing Secondary School & IB teacher, Alex Christ, has dedicated the past few months to design and create a stunning bush garden filled with beautiful succulents on our school grounds.

It is not only a feast for the eyes but has also provided the opportunity for some of our students to contribute by lending a helping had with the finishing touches  such as shovelling loads of mulch onto the garden bed.

A big thank you to Alex and his helpers, including Michael Abicht of course, for their dedication in enhancing our school environment.







wellbeing

Ulrike Miehle/School Counsellor

the power of respectful relationships

As an additional component to our wellbeing framework, we've this year integrated Term Mottos, and this term's emphasis is on

Building and maintaining respectful relationships and connections

Digital connectivity often takes priority nowadays and the true meaning of genuine human connections is more significant than ever.

Current psychological, sociological, and neurological research shed light on the profound impact that cultivating and sustaining respectful relationships can have on our overall wellbeing.

Emotional wellbeing has a strong link to positive social support networks. Studies have shown that individuals with strong connections are better equipped to navigate life's challenges. Such relationships act as a buffer against stress, anxiety, and depression, increasing emotional resilience. Furthermore, cultivating emotional intelligence fosters effective conflict resolution, resulting in healthier and more fulfilling connections.

Studies in neuroscience also reveal the complex connection between social interactions and our brain chemistry. Positive social engagement triggers the release of oxytocin which not only reduces stress but also fosters feelings of trust and connection. Therefore, individuals who invest in respectful relationships experience lower stress levels and heightened emotional resilience.

Additionally, collaborative, and respectful relationships contribute to positive work and learning environments. These environments, in turn, nurture creativity, problem-solving abilities, and overall cognitive performance.

Let's all make an effort to build and keep respectful relationships in our school community. This way, we not only make our daily interactions better but also create an environment where we can learn, work together, and have an overall better wellbeing.

 

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