This section highlights some of the in-class activities and special projects in the primary years (Flex-6) in school year 2016-2017.

These reports are in mixed English and German.

Just something the P23 Flex have been doing this year ... (2017)

Dear All,
I would just like to take a moment of your time in order to tell you about something the P23 Flex children, families and staff have been doing this year.

Every month there is a Homeless Veggie Dinner in Kreuzberg, and every month this year the Flex classes have been donating food to this cause, so that more and more homeless people can be given a three course meal. It has been a joy to see the children bringing in food for those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and for their understanding that by working together we can make a small part of this world a better place....

For this weekend's dinner, the Flex children brought in all this food:

...and for more information about the Homeless Veggie Dinner, in case you feel like you would like to help out in the future, please just visit Facebook and type in ‘Homeless Veggie Dinner Berlin’ in the search bar and the page should appear near the top (the next one will be in the middle of August).

Thank you also to the P23 Flex class teams for supporting and promoting this in their classrooms every month too!

The Nelson Mandela Schule Community is a large and blessed one, and to be able to help others is something we all have the option to do, and we look forward to helping more people in the future...

Have a wonderful Summer!
Myke Stevens, July 2017

Critical use of media: 5C’s cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin (2017)

We live in a post-truth world where alternative facts and fake news have become the norm. So how can our students use media critically to become effective researchers who can have confidence in the information they find? Those issues were the background to the first of two workshops at the Freie Universität. Under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Petra Anders (FB Erziehungswissenschaft und Psychologie: Grundschulpädagogik/Deutsch/DaZ) and her team of trainee teachers, children in 5C were set to develop their skills of Medienkritikfähigkeit, or critical use of media. The workshops were based on 5C’s current research topic for a presentation in history: the afterlife in ancient Egypt.

The two-hour workshop was divided into three stations: (1) finding and evaluating information on ideas about death in ancient Egypt (2) how to handle pictures found online (3) recognizing fake news.This workshop coincides with the implementation of the Basiscurriculum Medienbildung. As it is quite challenging for schools to teach the competencies of ‘analysis’ and ‘reflection’, this cooperation with an external partner like the FU is a wonderful opportunity for students at the Nelson Mandela School.

So what did the children report on what they had learnt?

“Awesome workshop! If you know how to photoshop, it’s easier to spot pictures that have been photoshopped.” (Manuel)

“How you know if websites are real or fake – look at the author and contact details, and the date to see if you are looking at old or new information. There should be no advertising, or at least meaningful advertising.” (Tara)

“Check the author – it’s good if you can find a professor or something. It’s good if you can compare with something that you trust, or information from more than one website.” (Ruby)

“It’s good if you can compare one video or website with another website or another video about the same topic, or books.” (Lydia)

“If you find a picture and you want it for a presentation, you can’t take it and pretend it’s yours, you have to write who you took it from.” (Nora)

“You can trust a video that you watch if a professor, scientist or archaeologist is talking.” (Ben)

“If you go to a website and you see a commercial for really dumb things like games, you shouldn’t really trust it. Don’t trust a website with lots of mistakes.” (Emma)

“If you know the information you read on a website doesn’t make sense, don’t trust it.” (Niamh)

“It’s helpful if you know something about the topic before you research, so you have a better idea of what makes sense.” (Yaje)

“You always need to be able to contact someone so you can check that a real person has written something. Copyright is important.” (Lia)

From these comments, the workshop at the FU has clearly helped children in 5C to develop their skills in critically assessing what they read and watch, especially online. They are using these skills to build up a personal list of trusted media sources to rely on for their own research. They also know they have to be academically honest researchers. Watch this space for a report on our second workshop!

Sandra Pyne 21.6.17

Dr Suess Week at B24 (2017)

B24 took part in Dr Suess week. Children got incredibly creative throughout the week, reading Dr Seuss books, writing imaginative poems and stories, making colourful costumes and painting Sr Seuss characters such as the Lorax, the Wump, Thing 1 and Thing 2. See the pictures below!

Hour of Code (2016)

The Hour of Code is a grassroots campaign, supported by over 200,000 educators worldwide, to introduce the basics of coding/programming to everyone who is interested, from 4 to 104. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week, which was 5-11 December 2016. More information can be found here:

Computing has such an impact on our lives, that students should learn its basics from an early age on. NMS also took part, among them class 6B as well as the Computing WUV/workshop with students from grade 6-10 and Flex A. One 6-year old: “I know what the problem was. I did walk, jump, but I should have done 3 walks, then jump, then the same thing. I can use a repeater.” These are not just games; students really learn the basics of algorithmic thinking, in a most engaging way. When you want to take it one step further, connect the code (created in Scratch for example) to the real world, using Arduino and Makey Makey. The latter is a kind of micro controller that, when connected to a device, is able to create a circuit which makes any conductive object (or person!) interactive. We've been using a banana for a controller and worked on an imteractive maze through the computer room. It doesn’t feel like learning. But it is :)

Annemieke Akkermans
Teacher / Head of IT NMS

Photos by Melanie Schindler & Annemieke Akkermans



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