Berlin Metropolitan School

Primary Update - Friday, 23 January 2015

Important Dates from the Calendar

Thursday 29th January Parent Information Session: Transition from ELC to Grade 1 - 16.00 in the cafeteria

Thursday 29th January BMS Board Meeting.

Friday 30th January Semester 1 Reports will be issued & last day of school before the Winter break.

Monday 9th February School reopens & CCEP Semester 2 Clubs &activities begin.

See Info down below.

CCEP Winter Holiday Program

Dear parents,

We are happy to inform you about our CCEP Winter Vacation Program 2015 at BMS, starting on February 2nd 2015. Every student is cordially invited to participate. Please find attached the CCEP Winter Vacation Program for further information.

Enrollment is starting on Sunday, 25.01.15 from 08.00pm until Thursday, 29.01.15/08.00pm.

Please sign up your child for our program and activities in the designated time period. Every student is allowed to sign up for two activities (Workshop, Field Trips). Students must commit to attending the entire workshop. It is not required to sign up for open offers.

Register early to avoid disappointment. Enrollment is on first come, first serve basis.

Please activate the following link (no login or password is needed), you’ll find the same link and information on our Homepage:

Thank You.

Kind regards and have a nice weekend

Martin Ecker

After School Director

Co Curricula Educational Program


ManageBac is the leading online learning platform for IB world schools.

ManageBac enables efficient curriculum planning, assessment and reporting, while eliminating paperwork and enhancing communication to parents and students.

Primary School Class Representatives Meeting - 21st January 2015

First Ms. Silke Friedrich spoke commenting on articles recently published in the Berlin newspaper regarding English-medium instrucion in the city of Berlin.

It is obvious that the Berlin Senat wants to be guaranteed that schools they officially recognise as being schools in the Berlin legal sense, adhere to the legal requirements. The Berlin Senat has found that some English-medium schools are not operating within the Berlin Educational Laws, are not following their original agreements with the Senat, or are not state recognised and, as such, can not be attended by students whose parents do not hold a diplomatic status. The Berlin Senat has informed schools like these that they either have to follow the Berlin Senat Legal Requirements or they will loose their 'licence'. Schools that have not been recognised by the Senat (so called Ergänzungsschulen) have been informed that they will only be allowed to admit diplomatic students into their schools. The Educational Laws of the Berlin Senate apply to all students from 5/6 to the age of 16 (the end of compulsory education here in Berlin).

Berlin Metropolitan School has been admitted as ('Ersatzschule) a state recognised school for its primary and secondary section (up to and including grade 10). This, again, is the end of compulsory education. Grade 11 & 12 are recognised as Ergänzungsschule) falling outside the Berlin Educational Laws, but at the same time not financially supported by the city of Berlin.

Berlin Metropolitan has a productive and positive relationship with the Berlin Senat. BMS follows all agreements that have been made with the Senat regarding its educational structure, its educational programme as well as its teaching staff. We feel therefore assured of the continued support and good cooperation with the Berlin Senat.

PYP MANAGEBAC, Reporting & Evaluation Update

During our Representatives Meeting, Ms. Karen Warner, our Primary Curriculum Coordinator talks about changes in our reporting for the first reports to be handed out in January 2015 and those at the end of the school year 2014 - 2015.

Report cards changes 2015

Minor changes:

  • More curriculum details (knowledge, skills) for units of inquiry, replacing a general comment on each unit
  • Attitude and effort for each subject area
  • Focus on learning advice and goals
  • Specialists focus on assessing specific knowledge and skills, rather than writing a comment on every student. However, if they feel it would be helpful, there is space for them to write a comment

Reports July 2015 may look a bit different but will include similar information

  • Intend to use the management system Managebac to generate these.
  • Working with the primary and secondary teams now to see how this will look
  • Intend to share info later in the year with parents

What is Managebac?

  • Whole school administration system, used by many IB schools
  • Developed by IB students
  • We are currently using it for attendance across the school
  • We started to use it for curriculum planning in primary
  • Teachers can access shared documents easily; helps collaboration
  • We are in process of uploading our written curriculum, assessments etc
  • Aim to use Managebac to generate reports in July.

PYP Evaluation Update

  • An IB team will be in school in October 2015 to evaluate the PYP – this is done every five years
  • Primary staff have been preparing for this since last year
  • Using IB standards and practices to reflect on all aspects of the PYP – from curriculum and resources to teaching and learning; gathering supporting evidence
  • Parent and student views are hugely important – and there will be a survey in the coming months.

Other agenda items discussed

IT Technology at BMS

BMS finds itself at present in a major overhaul of the technological Infrastructure of the whole school. This major task under the leadership of Mr. Dallas Becker, our IT Director, has started a few months ago and will take a few more months. This has not stopped the development of IT in our primary school: see our Primary Update, installation of more Smartboards, installation of Managebac (see above), etc. We will make sure you will be informed as and when more information becomes available.

Friday Update

Mr. Hubert Keulers inquired whether this Primary Update fullfilled the original intentions as voiced by parents at the beginning of the school year. The response was overwhelmingly positive: more and good information, reduction of email traffic from school to parents. Parents voiced the wish to have tools of communications like this also in the Early Learning Center and the Secondary School. The response of the management at both sections was very positive, so we should see more streamlined information after the Winter Break.

Homework Club

The BMS Homework Club will start on the first Monday after the Winter Break. Opening times will be from 15:15 - 16:15 every afternoon except Fridays. Next week we will request parents interested to sign their child(ren) up. Home room teachers will receive information on which students are supposed to go to this Club.

Code of Conduct

The behaviour of students on the playground was brought up. Parents were informed that the playground has been divided in supervision zones in order to guarantee high quality supervision. This also includes the CCEP activities after 15:00. CCEP will dedicate one of their Professional Development sessions on the quality of supervision, acceptable or non-acceptable behaviour by students, etc.

Parents were informed that school always reacts in the case of unacceptable behaviour. Should you be aware of any, or of a possible case of bullying, parents are advised to always see the home room teacher first.

Sex Education

Sex Education is taught throughout the whole school (primary through secondary). In the primary school it will be taught as a part of the school's units of inquiry, part will be taught stand-alone.

Small items:

  • Student Councils (primary and secondary) are looking at the BMS' Cafetaria menus. We will await their suggestions.
  • Secondary students handing out sweets to primary students will be investigated.
  • Parents are requested and reminded to dress their child(ren) appropriately for Berlin winter weather and to provide them with enough food to last them from morning to lunch and from lunch to departure.
  • The 1st Grade Team will ensure that first graders are able to have their snack indoors if it is too cold or too wet to go outside.