Newsletter - 21 September 2018

Director’s Message

by Peter Murphy

Keeping your children safe

Over the next few days we will see a change in the intensity of pedestrian traffic moving along Strasse der Menschenrechte as the car park is completely closed off. If your children arrive at school using public transport, please talk to them about the need to change their journey from the UBahn to keep them safe. 

If you drop children off by car, please make sure that you only stop to allow them to quickly jump out of the car then keep your vehicle moving. We will continue to try to keep the junction from Siebeckstrasse into Strasse der Menschenrechte as safe as possible – parking in this area creates potential hazards that we need to avoid. 

Start of the School day

As a reminder, the school gates are only open for primary school children to arrive from 08.00.  Supervision of students does not start until 08.10, so students arriving between 08.00 and 08.10 must be accompanied by an adult. This is particularly important when we have building contractors moving heavy equipment around the site at this time.

Secondary school students are permitted to arrive after 07.30 and can use their ID card to gain entry to the premises.

At 08.30 the school gates are closed. It is expected that by this time students are already in their classrooms ready to start the school day. Arrival after 08.30 will result in the student being marked late in the attendance register – a situation that will have consequences for them.

Evacuation Drill

In the coming weeks we will practice our emergency evacuation procedures. The first drill is announced followed by at least one unannounced drill. If you are onsite during an evacuation drill, please follow the instructions given to you by the school personnel. For the Primary School we will no longer evacuate onto Strasse der Menschenrechte but into the safe and protected area of the new ‘Dome’ sports hall.

When we have conducted an evacuation you will receive an SMS notification within 30 minutes informing you of what has happened.  If the evacuation is as a result of a real emergency the children will be moved to a second ‘safe-house’ location and you will be given details of what we expect you to do.

VIS-Association News

Dear Parents and Guardians, dear VIS-Association members!

Please take the time to read these two letters from the Electoral Committee containing very important information on the upcoming elections to the Board of Governors on December 3rd and a deadline for submitting a Declaration of Candidature by close of business on October 3rd.

Primary School

Parent Curriculum Session #2: Learning to Read

This hands-on workshop will consider how children learn to read and explore how young readers can be supported at home and at school. (Target Audience: Grade Primary and Grade 1 Parents)
Thursday, 27 September 2018, 8:40 - 10:00 in the Secondary Aula

Student ID's (Grade 1 - Grade 5) - Ready for Pick-Up from the Primary Office

All ID’s are ready for pick-up. Parents who requested a student ID card, which you need if you take public transport and want to get the Jugendticket/Top Jugendticket, should please pick it up from the Primary Office. For those in Grade 1 - 5 who still need this, please come to the Office with a passport-sized photo and fill out the application form. If your child already has an ID, please come by the office so we can update it with a stamp and the current class.

Photo Week

Dear Parents, as you know this week we had our students’ pictures taken, please find here the information about the ways and options to buy the photographs.

The pictures of ELC, Grade 1 and Grade 2 are online, Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 will be seen on October 1st


Primary Grade Websites



Secondary School

by Elisabeth Stanners

We have now completed two sessions of information for parents with students in the IBMYP years. We were very pleased to welcome a good number of parents to the sessions and hope that those of you who joined us felt that you had a better understanding of the Grades 6 to 10 curriculum programme as a result.

The second of our two information sessions for parents of students in the IB Diploma years will be held this Wednesday, 26 September at 8:30 - 9:30 in the Secondary Aula.

As part of our recent whole school Language Curriculum Review we have chosen to change the naming of the programmes we have in place for students who need support with the development of their English language. What was, in the past, called English as a Second Language (ESL) is now English as an Acquisition Language (ELA). The name better reflects the fact that for many of our students in this programme, English is not just their second language; they may have a number of languages. Additionally, for the majority of our students, English will become a language that is on a par with their mother tongue (or even stronger as an academic language). Parents of students who are part of this programme have been invited to an information meeting on Monday September 24 at 17:00 in room 142.

I hope that all those families who have either arrived at VIS over the summer, or who have moved in recent months have now settled into their new homes. We are very conscious that some of the contact details we have are incorrect. Please let us know you new address as soon as possible. If we are issuing official documentation it is important that this is accurate. Please also check that your email addresses are correct and, particularly, your phone contacts. If there is an emergency we must have telephone numbers that give us access to you as quickly as possible. If you are unsure what details we have in our system, please check ManageBac. All changes in these details should be sent to change(at) The details need to be changed for each child, so please also make this clear.

Next Friday, 28 September, is a school holiday. We will have a normal school day on Thursday and classes will resume on monday October 1st.

I believe that the summer will finally leave us this weekend; it has been long and hot. The positive is that it is easier to teach and learn in cooler temperatures!

Enjoy your weekend.

Photo week

This week the pictures of Secondary students have been taken. If you are interested, click here to find out more about formats and prices. In the following week you will recieve information regarding the next steps.

Activity Week

Here you will find lovely landscapes of Austria captured by our students during their Activity Week.

Maths Extra-Curricular Activities

by John Acford

The VIS mathematics department will be offering the following opportunities during this academic year.

Maths Competition Clubs:

  • Middle School (Grades 6, 7 and 8) Mondays Lesson 6 (weeks A and B) with Ms Vuckovic. Room 223
  • Junior (Grades 9 and 10) Wednesdays Lesson 7 (weeks A and B) with Ms Malagari. Room 244
  • Senior (Grades 11 and 12) Thursdays Lesson 7 with Mr Harcet. Room 224

Maths support club:

Please note this is to address specific problems students have had, it is not a class.

  • MYP (Grades 6 to 10) Wednesday 15:15 to 16:00 (weeks A and B) With Mr Acford. Room 226
  • Diploma (Grades 11 and 12) Monday Lesson 7 (weeks A and B) With Ms Seiler. Room 221

MYP Information Sessions

by Joe O’Rourke

Many thanks to the more than 40 parents who attended the MYP information sessions held at the school in September. We had some very thought provoking and interesting discussions from two lively parent audiences, as well as a healthy injection of fun and good humour. The presentation itself can be found as a PDF in the Parent section of Moodle in the folder 'Communications' or by following the link included here.

Connected Learning

by Ioanna Karariga

Save the date!

We are excited to host Tim Burns at VIS on October the 5th. Tim will deliver this workshop to our Grade 6-9 students and will present also to the VIS  parents during a 2 hour session in the morning (9-11 am). If you are interested, book your seat, by completing this form.

This week’s useful reading

From TV to smartphones to social media, our lives are dominated by 24/7 media exposure. Despite this, many children and teens have rules around their media use.

Here are a few rules by the American Academy of Pediatrics and a tool in order to create your own Family Media Plan.

Photo Consent

Please follow this link to give your consent if you haven't already. Unless you mark your clear option, we are not able to share documents reflecting life in VIS (performances videos, camps pictures, exhibitions, e.g.). Thank you to those who already filled in this important form.



Primary students in Grade 2,3,4, and 5 were lucky enough to watch the Wesley College choir and orchestra in the theatre on Tuesday September 18th. The choir and orchestra sang a varied repertoire of songs ranging from classical music to rock and roll, and had the audience clapping and tapping throughout the concert. 

They were joined by the VIS Primary Choir for their finale piece “Waltzing Matilda” in what was a wonderful collaboration between the two groups.


by Bettina Schwarz, Henrike Schauer and Tamsin Roberts

Mother Tongue Programme

Studies show that continued learning in your child's home language has a positive impact on their school learning. Across the school, the Mother Tongue programme has students from Grade 1 - Grade 12 learning in around 30 different languages! There will be new some teachers this year and a selection of new Mother Tongue books, suitable for our younger readers will be in the library soon!
For information about the programme and contact details for the Mother Tongue teachers, please use the following pathway on Moodle (user: visparent/ pass: viewsite): Home / ▶Courses / ▶Parents / ▶Extra Curricular Activities

Mother Tongue lessons in Primary School:
Tamsin Roberts: pypmothertongue(at)

Mother Tongue lessons in Secondary School:
G6-G10 Bettina Schwarz: mypmothertongue(at)
G11-12: Henrike Schauer: ibmothertongue(at)

Don't forget, if your child has just moved up to 6th Grade and the MYP programme, Bettina will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


by Jason Bowie

Battle of the Danube – all sports competition

This weekend on Saturday, 22 September, we will organise “The Battle of the Danube”. Our school will compete against AIS Vienna and AIS Budapest. 

  • Middle School Boys and Girls Soccer games will play from 09:00 to 14:15 at the DonauCity Sports Centre.
  • Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer games will play from 09:00 to 16:00 at the Unicredit Sports Centre. 
  • Varsity and Junior Varsity Volleyball teams will play from 10:00 to 15:00 here at VIS. 

You are more than welcome to come and support our Panthers!


We are looking forward to hosting the CEESA Middle School Boys Soccer tournament, from November 8 to November 11. Six teams from other international schools will come to Vienna to compete against our two Middle School Boys Soccer teams. We are looking for VIS families that are willing to host two or more guest students for this tournament. Can you host? Or do you want to know more about it? Please let us know at activities(at) Thank you very much!

Ski Team

If you are interested in signing up for the ski team, please check out the poster below. Our deadline is in two weeks, October 1st. If you are interested in signing up please click here.


Formula 1 in Schools

Congratulations to the VIS students for successfully representing our school in the "Formula 1 in Schools" world final STEM competition in Singapore! Formula 1 in schools is the biggest STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematis) challenge in the world. There are thousands of students involved around the world. VIS has joined this worldwide competition since the 2016 season. Check out more details about the programme F1 in schools on the official website.



Yearbook Team

The Yearbook Team is a part time after school CAS activity and looks forward to being back in action in mid-November to begin work on extra special 40th Birthday 2018-2019 edition of the VIS Yearbook. If you are a student wishing to join the Yearbook Team, then stay tuned to your emails for more details about how to become a member in the weeks of late September/October. We usually begin training in late November and then meet regularly on Mondays after school and also work on several Saturdays in February and March. If you are a VIS Community Member wishing to collect a previously ordered Yearbook that has not yet been collected, or to purchase a copy from a previous year, please contact us in mid-November and we will be happy to help you then. Until then, if you have any queries or suggestions for this year’s special edition, please email the Yearbook Team on visyearbook(at)  

Duke of Edinburgh

This week the students who have joined the Duke of Edinburgh's Silver team have gone out to the Reichenau and der Rax area for a 2-day training in the mountains. We have covered topics from camp-craft, nutrition, navigation, route planning to team-building. All of this in addition of traveling through elevated terrain, whilst having to navigate. It was a test of our students' abilities and they managed it successfully.


Project Centipede

by Marlene Mittringer-Sturm

VIS will endeavour to donate hundreds of consumable items, sanitary products and stationery items for Romanian orphans and foster-care families from 19 September to 3 October. This is a whole-school project, and we are asking families to assist in the donation of food, sanitary products and stationery items within their Homeroom/Advisor groups. A team of Grade 11 and 12 CAS students are coordinating and leading the collection as their 'Service' charitable project. 

This time, we also have a collection point in the Octagon for little ‘colourful treat boxes’ with some sweets and biscuits (please see detailed list of items below) as well as stationery supplies for the orphans to use in school (pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks…). Please wrap your colourful box so that the contents can’t fall out of the box and it looks like a present ready to give to the orphans.

This should be around the size of a shoe box and should contain:

  • 1 bar of chocolate
  • 1 small notebook
  • 1 bar of soap
  • 1 large bag of gummi bears
  • 1 colouring book
  • 1 child’s tooth brush
  • 1 packet of Manner Schnitten
  • 3 coloured pencils
  • 1 tube of child’s toothpaste

The collection will be taken to Romania in October and VIS will send four student members of the Project Centipede team to help distribute the collected items to the orphans. The collection takes place bi-annually in October and March and the graduating Grade 12 students had the experience of hand-delivering the donations to the very appreciative families and children on the last trip.

We have been supporting this charity since 1990 and we thank all VIS families and teachers who can make contributions to this worthy cause.

Please visit the 'Projekt Tausendfüssler' website for further information about the project.

Eco-School News

The new Eco year is off to a good start. There are Green Teams in all grade levels in the Primary School and they meet every Wednesday in the lunchtime break. Staff members and a parent have volunteered to work with the children. The students have all contributed their ideas regarding ways in which we can help to care for the environment and are keen to be involved. Students have already enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate correct recycling at the Welcome Picnic and helped with tidying up. All of the groups have a responsibility including looking after the pond area, compost and wormery. The Secondary student group are in charge of carrying out Eco measurements and projects in the outdoor areas. In addition the groups have identified ways in which they will contribute to our Global Action Day on 16th November in school.

We would like to collect ideas for simple ways to care for the environment. They could be small examples such as this week’s suggestion to buy yoghurt in glass jars that can be recycled as opposed to plastic containers. So please take pictures of any eco products that you see/use and send them together with  any ideas or suggestions to ecoschool(at)


This is a new initiative by the PTA Committee. The aim of the PTA Grants is to fund projects and activities to enhance educational programs and to help the development of the school facilities/activities that benefit our students and school community. Please find here all details.

Rachelle Leslie will be starting parenting workshops based on the book "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish starting next Monday 24th September 8:30-11am in the Secondary Aula Room.

Last year as part of a trial Rachelle ran 2 of the set of 6 and they were popular with parents. This year she will be running all 6 workshops on various Mondays: 24.09, 08.10, 05.11, 12.11, 19.11 and 26.11.

The workshops are suitable for Mums and Dads and for parents of children of all ages. The workshops are hands on with roleplay, real life examples, audio to listen to, exercises to try and time for to talk.  You are are then encouraged to try the new strategies at home with your family and we have time to fine tune what worked and what did not work so well and why. It is recommended that you commit to attending all 6 workshops.

Please email Rachelle at if you are interested!

The VIS Secondary Parents’ Social Network is an initiative supported by the PTA. Each grade has volunteer parent representatives. The aim of the grade reps is to assist in and promote opportunities for secondary parents and caregivers to offer support and connect socially.

Events such a night out, lunch, a game of weekend footy for Dads, band night, or simply a coffee after school drop off are just some of the possibilities. It will also provide an opportunity to welcome new families, as it can be a challenge to meet secondary parents. If you have an idea for a get together or you are interested in starting a group (i.e. book club, yoga classes, tennis, wine appreciation, a round of golf....) why not contact your friendly grade level reps to get it started?

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for your grade level to receive information about up and coming events, please respond directly to your parent grade rep by using the email links below.

If you have any general questions or suggestions, then please email Debbie Cecchinion We are looking forward to supporting you and this PTA initiative for the SY2018-19.

The lists are to be used for social/school related activities only, not business purposes and must not be shared with anybody outside the school parent community.

Volunteer Secondary Grade Reps SY2018‐19

Join us here and visit the Imperial Treasury Vienna, Kaiserliche Schatzkammer.

Wednesday September 26 that 11.00 am, until 13.00 pm.

Every week in the morning for 1 1/2 hours.

Price per person: 10 Euros (10 sessions block payment)

Please confirm your participation at ptachair(at)

The PTA also offers the Buddy Family Programme: An accomodation programme to orientate in Vienna and at VIS for new families.  If you are interested, just fill out the following forms:

Weekend Ideas

  • The "Schlosspark Laxenburg" is a beautiful place to visit and is hosting a knights festival this weekend. Enjoy some medieval fun in the beautiful setting of the castle gardens. Click here for more information.


  • Learn about new types of sports, watch and join at the "day of sports" on Saturday the 22nd of September. Click here for more information.


Here is the menu for the upcoming week!

Coming Up


Student Council Election Assembly

PTA Seminar on “Parenting – Acknowledging feelings” – 8.30-11.00 (Secondary Aula)

ELA Information Session – 17:00-18:00 (Room 142)


Grade 3 Camp Tuesday until Thursday, 27th of September


IB Diploma (Grade 11 and 12) – 8.30-9.30 (Secondary Aula)

PTA Culture Club – 11-13:00 (Registration needed)


Grade 10 Geography Urban Data Collection

Parent Curriculum Session #2: Learning to Read 8.40-10.00 (Secondary Aula)


No School! Enjoy your free day.


Grade 11 IBDP Drama Trip to London Saturday until Wednesday, 3rd of October

DVAC Xcountry sport team Trip to St. Gilgen



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