Newsletter - 5 October 2018

Director's Message

Meet the Director

The next ‘Meet the Director’ morning is scheduled for Friday, 12 October, from 08:45 – 09:30, in the Secondary Aula. The purpose of this meeting is to address any school related questions you might have and Director Murphy will be there to provide the answers.


Dear VIS Community, we are proud to introduce to you the new VIS Intranet. The purpose of this platform is to offer you a place where you could easily find all information needed about school. This interface will come to replace the Moodle platform that we are currently using.

How to get to the new VIS Intranet? Simply go to the VIS website, then you can find the Intranet icon in the upper right side of the screen. Here you can find a direct link to it. After you click and enter the Intranet, you will be required the registration details. Please use your user name and password from ManageBac

What will you find in the Intranet? Information about the school, general information, contacts, information about the school's curriculum, extra currricular activities, additional services that school is offering and many other needed information. Please find here a map of the structure of the VIS Intranet, for your information. We hope you will find the new Intranet easy to navigate, friendly to use and useful in finding the specific information you will need.

Learn to navigate. Please find here a guide that will show you how to navigate easily through this new Intranet platform. Additionally, our Development Office (room B5, near Reception) will be offering you help sessions in the next two weeks, daily between 13:00 and 15:00, whether you would need any help in finding your way around the Intranet. You can also feel free to email us at marketing(at) 

Thank you for your collaboration and enjoy navigating through the new VIS Intranet!

Primary School

Morning Routines and Supervision

In order to support effective supervision at school, please be reminded that while the school is open to Primary School students from 07:45, staff supervision does not start until 08:10.  Parents or caregivers must be with their child before 08:10. In addition:

  • Students arriving by bus will be escorted to the playground and supervised by the bus chaperone until 08:10 unless the weather is too cold or inclimate.
  • At 08:10, the Lower Primary School Playground opens for all ELC to G1 students while the Upper Primary School Playground will open for all G2 to G5 students.  
  • All students are expected to go outside to their respective playground with their bags.  Students will not stay in the Dining Room unless they are sitting with a parent or caregiver.  
  • In the event of inclement weather, students can stay in the Dining Room until the Sportshalle (formerly the Red Court) is complete.  
  • Teachers will pick up students at assembly points in both playgrounds and escort them to class starting at 08:25.
  • Signage indicating areas to place bags have been posted for students in the Upper Primary Playground.  

Dressing Appropriately for Colder Weather and Labelling Clothing

For many of our students, especially for those who have moved here from warmer countries and are experiencing fall - and soon winter - for the first time, the colder temperatures have and will continue to come as a bit of a surprise. As the weather does get colder, we’d like to remind parents and students to start dressing appropriately.  Further, please make sure your child’s belongings are labelled with their name in the event it’s lost.

SeeSaw and Sharing Learning with Parents

As a reminder from last week’s notice about the SeeSaw digital portfolios, we are thoroughly checking this system along with others to ensure compliance with new Data Protection Regulations. As SeeSaw is a cloud-based system based in the US, our Chief Digital Information Office (CDIO) is working to ensure there is an adequate level of protection to the data that are shared in this platform as data crosses borders to a third country. That being the case, we are not able to use Seesaw until we ensure that Seesaw complies with GDPR restrictions. Once this is confirmed, we will re-launch Seesaw for our Primary School users (teachers, students, parents). We are actively working on this as a matter of priority to develop suitable alternatives to sharing your child’s work with you in ways that are secure, sustainable, in-line with our Eco-School agenda, and that show growth over time across multiple subject areas beyond a single grade year.  We will update the community as developments become available.  In the meantime, we remind parents that they are always welcome to contact class and/or specialist teachers with any questions about their child’s progress.  In addition, we will publish information next week about the upcoming Parent Teacher Student Conferences coming up 8 and 14 November.

Lifelong Learning at VIS 

Thank you to the 40 parents who attended our recent parent curriculum morning which focused on strategies to support young children learn to read. The session was excellently led by Sam Porter, Kay Gulledge and Vanessa Reid. We also recently hosted an IB PYP workshop titled ‘Making the PYP Happen’ with 60 colleagues joining us from schools around Europe and Africa. It is great to see so many people supporting our mission of being inquiring, involved and inspired lifelong learners. Thanks to colleagues and parents supporting these initiatives. 

Photo Purchase

Here you can find the information about the ways and options to buy the photographs taken a few weeks ago. The pictures of ELC & Grade Primary, Grade 1Grade 2 , Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 are now online for your consideration.


Primary Grade Websites



Secondary School

by Elisabeth Stanners

On Thursday evening, together with Mr. Murphy, our Director, Mrs. Lang, our Primary School Principal and some colleagues from across the school, I was privileged to attend the opening of the 50th Anniversary IB Conference, which is being held at the Austria Centre until Saturday afternoon. As is the tradition with such conferences, students from local schools performed at the start of opening plenary. This year, together with the Amadeus International School, we were privileged to be one of those school. The performances were truly splendid and we received many compliments, not just on the music, but on the quality of our students presence on stage.

One of our Grade 12 students was chosen to be the students speaker at the event. Rayouf al Humedhi spoke about her success in persuading developers to add an emoji that represents women who wear the hijab. She made a powerful appeal for us all to actually talk to one another and understand our differences. At the end of her speech she introduced the major speaker of the evening, Lord David Putnam.

David Putnam is a famous film maker, who has received many awards for his work. He is also very involved in education. The particular message that I took from his speech is that he believes that there is much that is wrong with education today and that it needs to be rethought if it is to best prepare students for their future world of work. However, he told us that he believes that the IB programmes are currently superior to others in this regard. His speech was notable for its plea for education to keep up with technology, if our students are to be prepared for an uncertain future. This is an important message for us as we continue to work with our students to support them in using technology as the powerful tool for learning and creativity it can be and avoid the destructiveness it can facilitate in human well-being. You can read more about his work here.

On this note we would ask you to continue to keep supporting us by respecting the phone-free zones in the school, where none of us, not just our students, should be using our phones.

Lost property

Over the past week we have had a quite a number of students coming to the Secondary Office to tell us that an item has been ‘stolen’. When we talk to the students we find that they have, for example,  left an item, such as their pencil case, in one of the classrooms and it is no longer there. This item has not actually been stolen, it has been misplaced. More often than not, when the students goes to look carefully they find what they are missing. Our students leave many items around the building and many, especially articles of clothing, are never claimed but are donated to charity. Please talk to your child about taking responsibility for their belongings, especially if they are small items and can be easy misplaced.

A note about future dates

The Autumn holiday for students begins on Thursday, 25 October (a Staff Work Day). School will open again on Monday, 5 November. Please note that during this period Friday, 26 October and Monday, 1 November  are public holidays here in Austria.  

Please mark your calendars for our first Grade 6 - 12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences of the year, which will be held on 8 and 14 November. Conferences will begin from 14:00 on both days. You will be receiving more information in the next two weeks on how to booking your appointments with your child’s teachers using our online system. These days are a half day of lessons. Students are expected to attend the conferences with their parents or otherwise leave school as there is no supervision on these afternoons.

Photo Purchase

Here you will find the information regarding the school photos that have been taken a few weeks ago.

VIS MYP Writers Circle

by Holly Duxbury

Weekly workshops in Creative Writing to tailor your craft. The writers circle will follow a workshop format, focusing on different aspects of writing each week.  Covering skills as varied as slam poetry, song writing and short stories, students will have the opportunity to master new writing forms and develop those they are already passionate about.  For this activity, that takes place in the first semester of school year 2018-2019, you will be invoiced € 50 by the VIS Finance Office. Sign in by filling in this form. The workshop will start on 16 October.

University Counselling 

by Jeremy Handcock

1. CIS (Council of International Schools) University Fair

The CIS University Fair is a prestigious event with 120 universities from the UK, USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Europe and Asia. It is addressed to students in Grade 10, 11 and 12. Parents are welcome to attend. Date: 7 November, 09:00-12:00, in the Gym.

2. St. Andrews University Presentation

Information on St. Andrews academic programmes and  the  special joint programme with The College of William and Mary in Virginia. The presenters are Kyle Blain, responsible for Admissions, and Dr. Dave Evans – the University’s Pro-Dean from the Arts Curriculum. Parents are welcome to attend. Date: 8 November, 13:10-14:00, Rooms 123/124.

Connected Learning

by Ioanna Karariga

Thank you for joining the Amazing Brain seminar held today by author and educator Tim Burns, whose background includes over thirty years of experience as high school teacher, counselor, university instructor, and professional development specialist. We hope that both our students and parents will find the information Tim provided as relevant and useful to improve academic, athletic and creative performance. 


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.


50 musicians for the 50th

by Elisabeth Bottoms and Michael Burrows

50 VIS choir and orchestra students from Primary and Secondary represented the school at the opening ceremony of the IBO Global Conference held at the Austria Center on Thursday, October 8th. They joined forces with Amadeus International School to wow the 1,800 educators from around the world. The audience was treated to Lamma Badda, an arabic song based on a 9th century Andalusien poem. The haunting melody mixed beautifully with the orchestral accompaniment. This was followed by a performance by the Grade 4 members of the Primary Choir, who entertained the audience with a ‘clap-a-long’ traditional Austrian song “Waldhansl”, from the region of Styria. We were all impressed how quickly our students adapted to the enormous stage and performing together with the students of Amadeus International school.  The Secondary Chamber Choir and Pitch Blue performed “Million Dreams”, bringing down the house with their confidence on stage and tight harmonies. This song contained the inspiring message that “We can live in a world we design”. All students involved should be proud of how they represented themselves, the music department, and the school both on and off the stage!

Sport & Afterschool

by Jason Bowie

Best of luck to our Grade 10, 11 and 12 students traveling today to Zurich International School for an invitational 7’s Rugby tournament with four other International Schools. 


We are looking forward to hosting the CEESA Middle School Boys Soccer tournament, from 8 November to 11 November. 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!

VIS Holiday Camps

Great news! We are happy to announce, that we will organize holiday camps during all the breaks. We do have a child supervision from 08:00 until 17:00. During the day we will offer various sports and different activities. Here you can find an itinerary, how a day would look like. Please find here all other information. We do have limited space so be quick to register. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: sportbox.vis(at)


Sport Pictures Gallery


Project Centipede

by Marlene Mittringer-Sturm

Dear Parents of VIS, With the help of the VIS community, we have collected an amazing number of banana boxes, colourful boxes and a great amount of school supplies, which will be delivered to Romania by Project Centipede before the October break. Ms. Mittringer and four VIS students will travel to Romania with them to help hand over the donations to the children and foster-care families we have been supporting for 28 years now. We are extremely grateful to anyone who has made contributions to this worthwhile whole-school project. Thank you very much for your continued support!


Eco-School News 

With the ending of another week we've accomplished again a lot at the Eco School!

Grade 1 have selected materials and made an insect hotel in the Eco Centre. Grade 2 have created a system for collecting and sorting rubbish in the school grounds. They are properly equipped with gloves and collecting bags.

They have also begun creating bees for the Global Action Day (16 November), an event, we look forward to. Grade 3 are making short films to inform others about their environmental concerns. Grade 4 and 5 are researching different forms of energy and energy conservation.


New PTA Executive Committee 

The PTA had its Annual General Meeting this week, to talk about the projects developed in the last school year, elect the New Executive Committee for this school year and look briefly into the projects of this school year.Thank you to the parents and teachers who served the Committee in the last school year and a big welcome to the PTA Executive Committee for this school year: Krista White, Caterina Veronese, Regine Ahner, Madeleine Peltier, Dora Quadranti, Victoria Porter de Boer, Debbie Cecchini, Katarzyna Kotyrba, Supparat Nualsuwan, Miralem Hasanagic, Maria Dragan, Nadia Di Paola, Patience Misodi, Vivian Verhaegen, Rocelyn Kielnhofer, Elizabeth de Oliveira, Ben Hacking, Serena Bonato, Stephanie Jepsen, Uki Gaidoschik, Lanna O'Reilly, Kerry McGregor, Anna Maria Finta, Renata Wojtovicz.

Please find here a letter of welcome from the new PTA Chair team (Krista White, Caterina Veronese and Regine Ahner). Feel free to write to them at ptachair(at)

Please find here the Annual Report for the school year 2017-2018.

Parenting workshop

This Monday 8 October 8:30-11:00 in the Secondary Aula will be the second parenting workshop. The focus for this workshop is Engaging Co-operation.

Participants will learn practical strategies for ways to encourage children to do all of those things children need to do but perhaps are not so enthusiastic about such as teeth brushing, showering, eating vegetables, homework etc. All without yelling, threats, warnings, sarcasm etc which will leave parents and kids feeling better about each other and themselves. If you have missed the first session you are welcome to join the second.  Know that the more of these sessions you attend the easier it will be to use these new strategies in everyday life. Questions or queries contact: Rachelle Leslie by writing her an email at writetorachelle(at) or call here under the number 0677 6263 6226.

Weekend Ideas

1. Austria's largest traditional customs and folk music festival is happening the coming days at the Wiener Prater. Take your kids to see the kids program for free during the day or buy tickets for the evening festivities. Click here to read more about it!

2. Take the opportunity to see a couple of museums on one reduced fare at the "Lange Nacht der Museen" . Well over a hundred museums are participating and a shuttle bus (fare included in the ticket price) will bring you from one museum to the next. A lot of the museums are offering special children's programs as well. Click here to find out more!

3. Find out more about small animals this weekend at the Blumengärten Hirschstetten. A lovely place to spend a day with the family. Click here to read more about it! 

4. Do you want to volunteer for a worthy cause? Find out who needs your help at the 7th Viennese volunteers fair. For more information, click here

5. A charity fun run hosted in part by VIS parents is taking place on Sunday 7 October, from 11:00-13:00, in the Donaupark (close to the Korea house). The run is organised to raise money for the victims of the floods in Kerala. A kids run will be happening as well. Click here for more information.

6. For a swell time out dress up "Mad men" style and dance the night away. If you are interested, please click here to read more about it.


Here is the menu for the upcoming week!


  • PTA Parenting Workshop “Engaging Co-operation” (08:30 – 11:00, Secondary Aula)


  • Sports: MSB, MSG Soccer & JVG Volleyball tournament at AISV
  • ELC trip to Hirschtetten Garten (08:45-11:00)


  • Meet the Director(08:45-09:30, Secondary Aula)


  • Sports: JVB Soccer DVAC Tournament



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