Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School

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Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Parent & Student

    Primary School
    2018/ 2019
Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School

Who we are                                                                  5
Teaching & Learning                                                         7
Our BMS Community Values                                                    18
Daily Routines & Procedures at BMS                                          21
Home & School Communications                                                26
Health, Safety & Security                                                   27
Student Life                                                                29
School Life & Community                                                     39
Parental Involvement                                                        41

Parent Handbook, Primary School, 2018/2019 | © BERLIN METROPOLITAN SCHOOL        3
Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Berlin Metropolitan School (BMS) consists of an Early Learning Center, a Primary School, and a Secondary
School. BMS currently has 1000 students representing over 52 nationalities. The students are instructed and
supported by over 200 members of staff with diverse international backgrounds, comprised of 32 different

BMS is a recognized IBO World School, following both the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Diploma
Programme (DP). BMS is also an accredited member school from CIS (Council of International Schools) and
NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). In addition, the Berlin Metropolitan School is
an authorized Cambridge University exam center offering the International General Certificate of Education
(IGCSE) in Grade 10. BMS holds the status of a state-recognized substitute school by the Berlin Senate up
until the 10th grade, awarding students the Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA).

BMS is a member of AGIS (Association of German International Schools) and ECIS (European Council of
International Schools), where faculty and staff regularly present and attend workshops for international educa-
tors. Berlin Metropolitan School was founded in the former eastern part of Berlin in 2004 as a private school
initiative. Since its inception, BMS has grown to be a leading international school in Berlin.

Our Mission Statement
Berlin Metropolitan School consistently aims to build an inclusive culture of learning that inspires and challenges
every individual to develop to their full potential and be active and responsible participants in our global society.

»inspire each other – grow together«

Our Community Values
BMS Community Values are the values we hold important as an institution and serve our school members
with a constructive approach in our daily collaboration.

As community members of BMS, we seek to establish strong ties within our school community by ensuring
that the actions we model reflect our school character. In doing so, we commit to actions which reinforce
safety for all our members, fairness in our collaboration, and a respectful and positive attitude in all our

Our Address
Berlin Metropolitan School
Linienstr. 122
10115 Berlin

Tel.   +49 30 8872 739 0
Fax. +49 30 8872 739 20
Email: info@metropolitanschool.com

Advisory board
The Advisory Board is made up of parent representatives, a teacher representative, a student representative
and representatives of the school leadership team who work together to advise on strategic topics for school
development. The Advisory Board meets six times a year. The members of the Advisory Board are trained to
synchronize their strategic work with the goals, processes, and quality standards of the international school

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Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Leadership and Primary School Staff
Principal, Primary School                               Jenny O´Fee, jenny.ofee@metropolitanschool.com
Vice Principal Lower Primary School                     Justine Otte, justine.otte@metropolitanschool.com
Vice Principal Upper Primary School                     Tim Stroh, tim.stroh@metropolitanschool.com

Student Support Services Coordinator                    Elly Haerting, elly.haerting@metropolitanschool.com
Primary School Assistant                                Sónia Pires, sonia.pires@metropolitanschool.com

Grade 1
                                                        Grade 4
Lauren Finno
                                                        Lynne Hope
Lauren de Cort (Team Leader)
                                                        David Pitts
Bianca Cheshire
                                                        Liz Collyer
Lara Hoekstra
                                                        Franziska Liebelt
Grade 2
                                                        Grade 5
Fabiane Mariano
                                                        Bradley Minne (Team Leader)
Michelle Cormier (K – 2 Mathematics Coordinator)
                                                        Melissa Lake (G3-6 Mathematics Coordinator)
Miles Madison
                                                        Will Fewell
Andrew Turner (Team Leader)
                                                        Heather Dolman (G3 – 6 English Coordinator)
Grade 3
                                                        Grade 6
Megan Hartshorn
                                                        Malane Cooper
Ben Rollman
                                                        Alicia de Courcy
Talia Post
                                                        Rachel Hall (K – G2 English Coordinator)
Katarina Petrikova/Demetrius Stewart
                                                        Stephanie Nelson

Primary German Teaching Team
                                                        Visual & Fine Art
Katharina Apel
                                                        Katharina Apel
Anna Brooks
                                                        Miriam Christof
Maike Brauer
                                                        Natalie Fellhauer
Miriam Christof
Martina Cierpinsky                                      Drama
Nora Hammermüller                                       Karen El Falaki
Lea Hofmann
Sofia Kaiser
                                                        Allison Eichvalds
Marta Niedzielska
                                                        Caitlin Roseum
Karolina Smoczynski
Astrid Stallkamp                                        Physical Education & Movement
Carina Stark (G3-6 German Coordinator)                  David van Deynse (Sports Director)
Melanie van Staalduinen                                 Ivana Grujicic
Caterina Woodall (K – G2 German Coordinator)            Lucy Phair
                                                        Anke Voigt
                                                        Amy Young
Rana Douglas
Anja Hertzberg                                          GAL (German as an Additional Language)
                                                        Annika Lenz (GAL Team Leader)
                                                        Kathrin Taubert
Laura Beckman
                                                        Melanie van Staalduinen
Student Support Services
                                                        Substitute Teachers
Learning Support
                                                        Roberta Klose
Colleen Doyle
                                                        Michael Stockton
April Graziano
Melanie Rice                                            Counselor
Jane Sayner                                             Hannah MacRae
                                                        Anna Vierling
Early Support Teacher
Kirsten Bjork                                           School Nurse
                                                        Felicity Langhans
EAL (English as an Additional Language)
Julietta Cavalli
Ruby Eadon (Home Language Coordinator)
Angela Gürtler
Jyoti Hüttlinger (Home Language Coordinator)

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Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School

Our Educational Philosophy
Our School philosophy, “Inspire each other - grow together”, represents the fact that BMS sees itself as a
partner for our students and their families, in a setting where we learn from one another in an atmosphere of
trust and respect, and motivate one another with the common goal of further development. Our philosophy
is based upon the principles of a sharing of common values, setting ourselves a high level of ambition and
aspiration, the merging of different cultures, and the collective concern for the welfare of our students.

Our vision of education focuses on attaining the best academic results and on fostering the development of
dynamic, considerate and responsible characters through our instructional programmes. These programmes
are delivered in both English and German and through progression from K – 12 lead to both nationally and
internationally recognized qualifications.

Our approach is best described through our Mission Statement:
“Berlin Metropolitan School consistently aims to build an inclusive culture of learning that inspires and
challenges every individual to develop to their full potential and be active and responsible participants in our
global society.”

The Mission Statement embodies a clear commitment to a strong school ethos where every student is seen
as an individual and is taught with a differentiated and holistic approach. At BMS we aim to strike a good
balance between supporting and challenging our students, as well as between academic excellence and
social emotional development.

Our approach is further outlined through our Educational Philosophy Statements which stem from our Mis-
sion Statement, and highlight and describe 3 fundamental elements that guide our educational practice and
methodology at all levels in the school. These elements are International Mindedness and Global Engage-
ment, our Approaches to Teaching and Learning based upon the IB Principles as well as Character Building.

ONE School – aligned and inspired by one common vision focusing on these three elements

International Mindedness and Global Engagement
International mindedness and global engagement at BMS are reflected in our respect and appreciation of
diverse cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, and languages and our acceptance of the complexities that these
present. We challenge one another to consider and negotiate our understandings of other views and ways of
thinking as we develop as individuals and enrich our community. Openness to other perspectives is fostered
at BMS through learning experiences, which inspire curiosity and empathy, and educators who role-model
reflective thinking and debate. Our curriculum presents all learners with opportunities to engage in positive
action based upon their knowledge of and compassion for our global society.

Approaches to Teaching and Learning based on the IB Principles
At BMS, teaching and learning challenges students to become engaged learners who are curious about
the world around them, knowledgeable and skillful in pursuing their own inquiries and who take actions to
bring about positive change. At the heart of our pedagogical approach is the process of inquiry (thinking,
questioning, formulating, reflecting and taking action) which is inspired by teachers through meaningful
provocations. Learning experiences are scaffolded to ensure that all students achieve ambitious learning
outcomes. We believe that teaching and learning is a collaborative process in which all members of the BMS
community are involved and is enriched by the diverse experiences of students and educators. Learning is
driven by each person‘s desire to grow and succeed both in and out of the classroom.

Character Building
At BMS we recognize that character building is an ongoing process of individual growth. Character building
is embedded in our school culture through the IB Learner Profile with all members of the BMS community
seeking to exemplify attributes associated with strength of character. Growth happens as students learn to
face challenges and adversity with resilience, strive to become mindful and self-aware, and develop those
values that we promote as a school. This process involves being aware of and respecting differences bet-
ween oneself and others. We believe that character building is encouraged and developed by presenting all
members of our community with meaningful challenges, choices, opportunities, and explorations with an
emphasis on reflection and revision of one’s thinking or approach.

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Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Educational Program
At the heart of the Berlin Metropolitan Primary School’s curriculum for grade 1 through to grade 6 is a com-
mitment to structured, purposeful inquiry as the leading vehicle for learning. Through the framework of the
Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the IBO, students are engaged in inquiry-based learning experiences in
which they ask questions, make connections to prior knowledge, explore new ideas and investigate ways to
solve problems. Our school curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child; through creative prob-
lem solving, working in cooperative learning groups and collaborating to create shared understandings on a
topic, children also develop their social skills and emotional competence in addition to their academic growth.

Our curriculum is organized around six transdisciplinary themes: who we are, where we are in place and time,
how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves, and how we share the planet.
These themes, revisited each year at a deeper level, are designed around areas of knowledge which are of
global significance for all students. They offer students the opportunity to explore knowledge of genuine
importance in the understanding of the human condition. Students study six units of inquiry, which balance
subject-specific knowledge with concepts and skills. We see learning as a developmental process, where
every step should be set up in a strong and sustainable manner. The BMS Programme of Inquiry (POI) con-
textualizes the transdisciplinary themes, providing a coherent and well-articulated program of study.

Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The PYP is transdisciplinary in nature, meaning that it focuses on meaningful and relevant issues that trans-
cend subject areas. The learning experiences in our school are organized into six transdisciplinary themes of
global significance. These six themes create a framework that allows students to think and make connections
beyond the confines of traditional subject areas. These themes help teachers to develop a series of inquiry
driven investigations – units of inquiry. These units of inquiry are substantial, in-depth and usually last for
around six weeks. Students will inquire into each of the six themes once over the course of the year. The
exception is the very youngest students, who inquire into four of the themes. All of these inquiries together
form our Programme of Inquiry, which you will find as an insert to this publication as well as on our website.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transformative programme that
invigorates teaching and learning through engaging, relevant, challenging and significant learning opportuni-
ties. The IB PYP focuses on the development of the whole child, paying attention to their social and emotional
development as well as their academic progress. At the heart of the programme‘s philosophy is a commitment
to developing internationally-minded young people, who can go on to make a difference in the world. This
idea of international mindedness is developed in our students through the Learner Profile attributes, which is
central to all we do in school.

Five essential elements of PYP
The five essential elements – concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, action – are incorporated into the PYP
framework, so that over the school year, all students are given the opportunity to:
-- Gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance. This takes place through traditional disciplinary
    subject areas (language, mathematics, science, ICT, social studies, arts and PSPE) taught, where possible
    using a transdisciplinary approach.
-- Develop an understanding of important concepts, which allows them to make connections and transfer
    their learning.
-- Acquire transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills which they apply within and outside of the classroom.
-- Develop attitudes that will contribute to the development of international-mindedness and well-being for
    the self and others.
-- Take action as a consequence of their learning.

Concepts are also used to develop the questions that drive student-led inquiries. For example:
Form: (What is it like?) Example concept questions: What are the components of an ecosystem? What makes
this language unique?
Function: (How does it work?) Example concept questions: How does the scale on a graph work? What hap-
pens to waste?
Causation: (Why is it like it is?) Example concept questions: Why did the author write the story in this way?
Why do we need rules for this game?
Change: (How is it changing?) Example concept questions: What could you change in your lifestyle to make
it more balanced? How has new media influenced artistic practices?
Connection: (How is it connected to other things?) Example concept questions: How is area connected to
perimeter? How have natural disasters affected the lives of people?

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Handbook Parent & Student Primary School 2018/2019 - Berlin Metropolitan School
Perspective: (What are the points of view?) Example concept questions: Why do people have different points
of view about preserving the environment? How does this music make you feel?
Responsibility: (What is our responsibility?) Example concept questions: What can we do to help or support?
What factors do we need to consider to make choices?
Reflection: (How do we know?) Example concept questions: How best can you share your understanding?
Have you made informed decisions with your learning?

Berliner Rahmenlehrplan
The IB guides us in how we teach and the kinds of issues that make great units of inquiry for our students.
This means we can easily meet the requirements of Berlin’s education system, while maintaining the integrity
of our approach and our philosophy. Our curriculum has been mapped with the Berlin state requirements to
ensure we cover the scope and the requirements of the Berliner Rahmenlehrplan.
For more information please visit our website www.metropolitanschool.com or contact the school and arran-
ge to join us for one of our parent information sessions.

Communication and feedback related to individual student progress and learning is a crucial part of equipping
our students to be informed, and take responsibility for their own individual learning.
Assessment at BMS:
-- is an essential and integral part of teaching and learning.
-- reflects a belief that all students can improve.
-- involves setting learning goals with students.
-- helps students know and recognize the standards they are aiming for.
-- provides feedback that helps students understand the next steps in learning and plan how to achieve
    them through both formative and summative assessment.
-- involves teachers, students and parents in reflecting on assessment data.

Our Annual Reporting Calendar
October/November             Parent-Teacher conferences
February                     Written Semester 1 report issued
March                        Primary Learning Celebration
May                          Student Led Conferences
July                         Written Semester 2 report issued

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Formal Parent-Teacher conferences take place once a year In the lower primary school grades, the Parent-
Teacher conferences provide parents with the opportunity to discuss how their child is adjusting to the new
school year and gain feedback on social emotional development as well as academic learning progress. As
students move through the Primary School the Parent-Teacher conferences place more emphasis upon aca-
demic assessment both formative and summative. This Parent-Teacher conference is also an opportunity to
review and discuss the most recent Grade Level Assessment pieces. Every conference is focused upon ways
in which parents and teachers can support students in the next steps in their individual learning journey.

Written Reports
Written reports are published twice a year at the end of each Semester. Primary students receive detailed
reports which outline their progress in all areas of their learning and developmental growth and also include
narrative comments from each teacher. Student learning is reported on using the BMS marking criteria of, Not
yet introduced, Emerging, Developing, Proficient and Independent.

Primary Learning Celebration
The Primary Learning Celebration day provides the opportunity for our students to share their learning through
parent visits to open classrooms and conferencing in the format of a ‘Three-way conference’. This conferen-
cing format encourages engagement and supports collaboration between student, parent and teacher as
students identify future goals and discuss their achievements during the school year so far. On this day, the
school is closed for regular lessons, with students and parents visiting together to participate in a range of
learning experiences and opportunities for student sharing. This day enables students to develop confidence
in talking about their learning, engaging in reflection, and is an important part of our approach in ensuring our
students develop independence as learners.

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Student-led Conferences
Once a year the students independently guide their parents through their learning progress and achievements.
Student-led conferences involve the student and the parents/guardians celebrating learning development
together. The students are responsible for independently leading their conference, and also take responsibility
for their learning by sharing the process with their parents. These Student-led conferences involve students
demonstrating their understanding through a variety of different learning situations and reflecting on the
learning goals that were identified earlier in the school year. This enables parents to gain a clear insight into
the kind of work their child is doing and offers an opportunity for them to discuss it with their child. Teachers
spend time preparing the students to select the best work samples and to explain their thinking. This is a key
opportunity for students to grow in independence and responsibility.

Digital Portfolios
A Portfolio is a purposeful ongoing collection of a student´s work that exhibits their effort, progress and achieve-
ments. During the process of collecting pieces for their portfolios, students make decisions about what pieces
to select and the reasoning behind the selection. Teachers will work with students throughout the school year
to reflect on their learning and progress and share items in their portfolios that show achievements and also
challenges in their learning, or, reflect skill development. Students are encouraged to select pieces of work
that reflect various stages of their learning, development of skills, social interactions, attitudes and disposi-
tions towards learning. The student portfolio is designed to reflect both the individual learning process as
well as providing an opportunity to share final pieces. Portfolios are active participants in a student´s learning
experience, and are therefore readily available for students to look at and reflect upon as part of this process.

Portfolios are a record and a celebration of every student’s process of learning which shares what they have
learned and how this learning has developed. Most importantly, a student portfolio focuses on the positive
aspects and development of every individual. At BMS we use Seesaw, a digital tool, as a platform through which
students can reflect upon their learning and share experiences in an ongoing way throughout the school year.

Grade Level Assessment Folders
Each student in the Primary School is given a blue Grade Level Assessment folder at the start of the school
year. The Primary School have developed a framework within which students and parents receive a piece
of English learning, German learning and Mathematics learning via this student assessment folder every six
weeks. This will correspond with the end of a Unit of Inquiry Cycle. The purpose of sending these assessment
pieces home is to celebrate learning progress, provide student and parents with clear feedback about what
the next learning steps are, and to ensure a grade level standardized approach to assessing student progress
and growth.

The Grade Level Assessment Framework is balanced to ensure there is a broad and varied range of assess-
ment types being employed and that students are receiving feedback about their learning progress in diffe-
rent ways. The assessment you may receive will vary from the more traditional written assessment pieces to
student written reflections, responses to reading, pre and post unit assessments or work assessed using a
rubric. The Grade Level Assessments are very much part of the current learning process and will reflect the
broad and varied approach we take to assessing student progress and learning.

Students bring these folders home to share and discuss with parents and then the folder must be returned to
the class teacher with the signed assessment piece.

International Schools Assessment (ISA)
The International Schools Assessment (ISA) are a set of assessments distributed worldwide to measure
and compare growth in Literacy and Mathematical Literacy. All of the participating schools are international
schools and this is widely used within the IB international School community. The assessments are based
upon core competencies in the given areas and are not driven by any particular curriculum. We have been
using this tool at BMS for the last four years as a way of gathering data to inform the development and impro-
vement of our school curriculum and program.

We recognize and value that a key important aspect of any assessment is providing feedback and information
to students about what the next steps in their learning might be, therefore we send home the individual stu-
dent results of these assessments to all families. Please keep in mind that these assessments are a snapshot
of learning from the two-day period in which students sit these. They are not directly linked to our POI and
learning outcomes and so results must be viewed within this context.

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Students in Grade 3 – 6 sit these assessments over two mornings with breaks between each assessment
piece (three on one day and two on the second day). The assessments are between 30 – 50 minutes long.
Students who are new to English or for whom these assessments are not appropriate will not be asked to sit
some, or all of the assessments, and parents will be notified of this in advance.

Vergleichsarbeiten (VERA)
For our Grade 3 students we participate in the German VERA assessment https://www.iqb.hu-berlin.de/vera.
Grade 3 students who are at German proficiency level for their age group participate in this assessment,
which is a standardized assessment that schools both locally across Berlin and indeed nationwide participate
in. Therefore, any students who are new to German and are in our GAL program will not take part in this
assessment. Each year, two literacy-based skills are assessed such as reading, listening or spelling. Following
the assessment, results are shared with Grade 3 parents and we use these results to evaluate and inform the
development of our own German program. These assessments take place during Semester 2.

Grade 6 Exhibition
In the final year of the IB PYP, students participate in a culminating project known as the Exhibition. The Ex-
hibition is a celebration of all the knowledge, skills and attitudes that Grade 6 students have acquired during
their time in the Primary School. It is a great opportunity for the students to collaborate with students across
the grade level and inquire into something that they are deeply curious and passionate about. Students are
required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, inve-
stigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The students must develop their own central
idea which must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students.

Students are guided throughout the process by the Grade 6 teaching team and work within their designated
exhibition group through the various stages of the inquiry cycle. Each exhibition group is also assigned a Men-
tor; a member of staff from our school community who volunteers to meet with students each week to support
them in this inquiry process, facilitate discussion and guide them in their collaboration and weekly planning.
The Exhibition inquiry process lasts approximately 6 weeks and at the end of this time the students put on an
Exhibition event where they showcase their learning and present their findings and action to the whole school
community. The Exhibition process is truly an engaging learning experience for everyone involved and is a
wonderful celebration of our collaborative inquiry driven approach to learning.

Home Learning Policy
As an IB PYP school we value the development of the whole child by utilizing an interdisciplinary inquiry ap-
proach to teaching and learning. We aim to give students choice and ownership of their learning experiences
and this includes the independent learning they do at home.

Our Primary School Home Learning Policy has been established to reflect our school mission and values, to
provide students with developmentally appropriate learning opportunities outside of school, to engage and
support all learners as individuals, to respect and honor the value and importance of free time and play for
children, to place emphasis on independence, curiosity and creativity as well as to prepare students for lear-
ning pathways to come. Research informs us that for Primary age students, the act of reading for pleasure
on a daily basis has the most positive impact on overall student academic achievement and growth. Based
on this research, emphasis will be placed on reading daily at home whether that be in English, German or in
the student’s home language.

Students in Grades 1-4 are encouraged to read for pleasure every day. No additional logs, tasks or written
work are assigned or required of students to complete at home. Each grade level team provides students and
their families with a digital ‘Home Learning Toolkit’ that offers ideas and opportunities for practice and lear-
ning extension if the student and their care takers wish to engage further with at-home inquiries and practice.
All home learning inquiries are optional. Students are free to explore their own ideas and resources related to
in-school learning as they wish. Students are welcome to share home learning projects and experiences with
their teachers and classmates but are never required to do so.

Students in Grades 5 & 6 are encouraged to read for pleasure every day. Additionally, the Grade 5 & 6
students are assigned one or two at home tasks or assignments per week. One assignment is selected and
assigned by the teacher and one assignment will be a self-selected task. Grade 5 & 6 students are issued with
a personal planner to record their weekly assignments, note upcoming events such as field trips and personal
commitments and begin to develop time management and forward planning strategies.

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The Grade 5 & 6 teams provide students and their families with a digital ‘Home Learning Toolkit’ that offers ideas
and opportunities for practice and learning extension if the student and their care takers wish to engage further
with at-home inquiries and practice. All additional home learning inquiries are optional. Students are free to ex-
plore their own ideas and resources related to in-school learning as they wish. Students are welcome to share
additional home learning projects and experiences with their teachers and classmates if they chose to do so.

Information Technology & Digital Learning
BMS strives to equip students with the necessary skills to be active and responsible digital citizens in the 21st
century. The latter includes offering IT tools that are both inspiring and educational for our Primary School
students. Appropriate specialist IT tools are embedded within the curriculum and used to enhance both over-
all learning and confidence in IT tools.

The Primary School classrooms are equipped with smartboards, screens or projectors and we have Apple
laptops and iPads available on a sign-out basis. Grade 1 - 6 classrooms, as well as our Student Support Ser-
vices Team, have sets of 6 iPads that are stored in classrooms and therefore are easily accessible to be used
in a flexible way to enrich learning in the classroom.

BMS Primary students also benefit from a Digital Workshop program that is aligned with our Primary School
Curriculum. At different points during the school year classes go with their teacher to the Digital Werkstatt,
which is located next door to school on Linienstraße, and have a weekly lesson led by digital learning specia-
lists in collaboration with our classroom teachers for a period of 6 weeks. This digital learning space allows our
students to explore, create and develop digital skills that are integral to learning today. Teachers and specialist
trainers work together to plan and engage students in utilizing technology tools to enrich and develop their
learning linked to a specific Unit of Inquiry.

BMS has an IT Acceptable Use Policy and an E-Safety Policy. These policies are the foundation of a creating
a safe and secure learning environment and are binding for all students. Key aspects of the Acceptable Use
Policy are as follows:

Acceptable Use Policy
Philosophy and Beliefs
The purpose of the ICT resources at BMS is to educate students. At BMS we endeavor to provide a safe and
secure electronic environment for everyone at our school. It is, however, impossible to censor and control all
content. Therefore, we believe that it is important for all members of the BMS community to learn the use of
technology in a way that is both safe and effective.

Technology is to be used as part of the learning process and to fulfill educational objectives.
Accessing the Internet in school may not carry the same rights as access from outside school.
Internet use will be monitored.
BMS reserves the right to monitor all activity on the Internet.
BMS reserves the right to block any material on the Internet.
BMS employs the use of content filters to protect students.
BMS reserves the right to deny access to ICT resources to any individual.

The following behaviors are considered irresponsible and should be avoided:
Leaving ICT equipment unattended.
Leaving an account open or unattended.
Postings to social media that are contradictory to the BMS Code of Conduct

The following behaviors are forbidden:
-- Logging in to an ICT system using another user‘s account or password.
-- The downloading or sharing/posting of inappropriate materials.
-- Sending, receiving, displaying, or accessing defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually
   oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or harassing materials.
-- Revealing your personal information or that of others such as home address, location, phone number, or
   contact information.
-- Attempting to bypass or otherwise circumvent school content filters.
-- Viewing or distributing content created by other individuals without their consent.
-- Encouraging the use of or promoting the sale of controlled substances.
-- Capturing photographs, video or audio recording without their express permission.

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The following behaviors are forbidden and in certain instances illegal and as such will not be tolerated:
-- Capturing photographs, video or audio recording in a learning environment without the express permis-
   sion of the teacher.
-- Attempting to access resources using “Hacking” tools or other illegal software.
-- Downloading, and/or distributing copyrighted material without the owner’s consent.
-- Attempting to harm or destroy data of another user, the network, any technology equipment. This inclu-
   des, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses.

Disciplinary measures
Violation of the above rules shall be subject to disciplinary consequences. In the case of illegal behavior BMS
reserves the right to report the event to the appropriate authorities.

Primary and ELC Student Acceptable Use Policy
I will only use ICT in school for school purposes
I will only use my school provided e-mail address for educational purposes
I will only open e-mail attachments from people I know, or who my teacher has approved
I will not tell other people my ICT passwords
I will only open/delete my own files
I will make sure that all ICT contact with other children and adults is responsible, polite and sensible
I will not write or post any material that could bully, upset, or otherwise harm another person
I will not deliberately look for, save or send anything that could be unpleasant or nasty. If I accidentally find
anything like this, I will tell my teacher immediately
I will not give out my own/others details such as name, phone number or home address. I will not arrange
to meet someone or send my image unless this is part of a school project approved by my teacher and a
responsible adult comes with me
I will support the school approach to online safety and not deliberately upload or add any images, video,
sounds or text that could upset any member of the school community
I know that my use of ICT can be checked and my parent/caregiver contacted if a member of school staff is
concerned about my safety
I will not sign up for any online service unless this is an agreed part of a school project approved by my teacher.
I will not access age restricted sites where I am not old enough to have an account
I will be responsible for my behavior when using ICT because I know that these rules are to keep me safe.

Primary and ELC Personal Device Policy
I am responsible for my personal digital devices and understand that the school will not be held responsible
if they are damaged or stolen.
I understand that personal devices are not allowed in the classroom and cannot be used during the school
day (8:30am – 6pm) without permission from a member of the school staff.
I will contact a member of the school staff if a situation arises where I need to use my personal device during
the school day.
All of the rules and guidelines in the ICT Acceptable Use Policy apply to student personal devices while the
student is under the supervision of BMS.

The main IT programs used to facilitate the operation of the school by staff include:
iSams is a new student information system (SIS) installed at BMS during the spring/summer of 2016. The
iSams system contains information about the student’s schedule, history, discipline, attendance, and events
that effect their education. It also has a communication system where BMS can contact parents and students.

ManageBac is an online learning platform used by BMS to manage curriculum and the IB program.

The main IT programs used to facilitate teaching and learning include:
All students in Grade 3 to 6 are issued with a school Office 365 email address. This will be a unique username
and password and is created using the student’s first name and surname. firstname.surname@bmsstudent.
com This individual email account will stay with each student during the course of their education at BMS.

The purpose of this personal email account is to give students access to a range of applications including
internal school email and the Microsoft Office Suite of tools which includes, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Students will be using the Office suite of tools to work both collaboratively as well as independently. Through

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use of this platform, students can easily collaborate with others on projects, and also share their work with
teachers and receive feedback about their learning.

Each student email account is set up with limitations. The school email account only allows students to email
within the School’s domain (metropolitanschool.com). Students cannot send emails to any external email
address nor can they receive any emails from external sources.

In the instance that a class project involves communicating via email with another group of students in a diffe-
rent school, then a written request is submitted to the IT department by the teacher. Parents will be informed
of any such email projects. This access is set up by our IT Department and means that email communication
is only possible from our school email to another verified school email.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an essential agreement for email use?
There are guidelines in the schools’ Acceptable Use Policy which sets out how school email addresses can
and should be used. This can be found here in our handbook. In individual classrooms teachers and students
will prepare essential agreements for using technology and discuss these with the proper e-safety rules,
which should be reviewed frequently throughout the school year.

What is the policy on privacy?
Berlin Metropolitan School follows a Data Protection Policy aligned with the German state regulations.

Who can share email accounts?
Students are expected to keep their username and password safe and secure, and taught not share this infor-
mation with anyone. Anyone who knows a student‘s email address can pass it on to whomever they like. How-
ever, only messages coming from a metropolitanschool.com address are delivered to the students. Students
can only send messages and share content within the BMS organization. The IT department can white-list
(permit communication) between certain external domains such as partner schools or organizations. This is
only done so following an internal request process.

Is someone moderating what students do on their Office 365 accounts?
In the Primary School, email accounts are an educational tool for the purpose and practice of engaging stu-
dents in learning appropriate email use and enabling them to develop this in a safe and secure environment.
Just as teachers monitor and moderate what students write in notebooks the same would apply to email
accounts. Teachers would not however be able to log in and view all of the emails students are engaged in
sending and receiving. Just as teachers ask a student to share their writing from a student notebook, the same
practice would apply of asking a student to look at their emails to support and develop learning.

Under what circumstances would the school access a student email account?
Should teachers or parents become concerned about inappropriate internal email use then we would inform
that specific student and parent and reset the account so email information could be viewed or ask the stu-
dent to show us their email history. It is important to note that these email accounts are school educational
accounts and are therefore not considered a completely ‘personal account’ for student use. The IT depart-
ment will never access a student‘s account but only reset and forward login credentials to the class teacher,
EdTech Coordinator and primary leadership.

Are student emails easily searchable by student name?
Student emails are searchable by student name but only within our organisation. This means only an employee
or another student in our school community can search for another community member. No person outside of
BMS can search and find student contact information online. Students can share their email addresses with
others but only email messages from another metropolitanschool.com account can be delivered to students.

BMS Blog Site
All students in Grade 3 to 6 will be issued with a unique username and password for the school blog site. This
will enable students to log on to the blog pages they have been assigned to post and share comments, write
their own blog posts, and interact with others as part of their learning. Students are not able to post directly to
the blog, as all comments and posts will go through a moderation process with the administrator of the blog
(teachers and staff members). These usernames and passwords will be distributed by the class teacher when
the class are ready to get started blogging.

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The purpose of this tool is to educate our students about how to communicate effectively and appropriately
in a digital world using a school created public blog forum. The blog enables students to learn about how to
post and comment online safely and develop an understanding of the importance of evaluating appropriate
information to share and respond to. The blog is managed by our EdTech Coordinator and individual sites are
managed by assigned teachers.

Student first names are used only as a username and no other information is uploaded related to a student.
Students cannot post information directly to the blog as all posts must go through a moderation process.

Student Blog access Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the blog a public platform?
The blogs are a public platform for students to share their work to a wider audience and to allow for the pos-
sibility of collaboration with others beyond our school community. Being a public platform also allows for the
opportunity of receiving feedback and comments from the outside world. It provides students with a wider
audience and allows them the opportunity to experience writing for a broader audience. Through this modera-
ted platform we can educate our students to navigate and effectively communicate within a global audience.

Who can share the blogs?
Anyone with the blog URL can share the link to the blog page. This allows for parents and families to see
students work and interact with learning experiences.

What are the rules about photographs being published on the blog?
Photographs published on the school blog should never have any student‘s first name, nickname or surname
linked to the picture. There should be no reference to individual students or indicators of personal informa-
tion. Photographs should be focused on learning activities and experiences and not of individual students
themselves. Teachers must moderate all photographs that are posted on the school blog. Only photographs
of students with photograph permission may be posted.

Can student names be published on the blog site?
Only students first names are published when they make a blog post. We insist that students’ full names are
never published online and that no student is identifiable by name from a photograph.

Is there a school policy for social media use?
The School adheres to an Acceptable Use Policy, published in this handbook, and an E-Safety Policy as well
as a, Guidelines for Social Media use document for staff members.

Will videos be published on the blog site?
Videos are published on the blog sites, but will always be hosted on our school Vimeo account. This gives us
the option to password protect the videos to add an extra layer of privacy. Password protecting videos will vary
dependent upon the purpose and restrictions for each individual video.

How many blogs can be written by a student?
Students are currently only linked to their class blog and in some cases to specific blogs related to their
interest, such as the Student Council or Digital Leader blog, so can only write and publish work on that site.
Students can however comment on any of the blogs. As always all comments will be moderated before being
posted online.

Is there any ‘reward policy’ such as ‘Best Blog’ to encourage students?
No. We encourage students to produce their best work in whatever format they are working in. Each week we
highlight different blogs in our Friday email to the parent community.

What message is being given to students about a balanced attitude towards online use/ screen time?
As part of our written curriculum, and school values, we educate students to recognise the importance of ba-
lance in their lives in all respects. Students discuss various aspects of digital media, online access and screen
time across the grade levels. In some cases this is related directly to a Unit of Inquiry and in other cases this
is part of ongoing discussion during morning circle for example.

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Seesaw is a digital learning portfolio that provides your child with creative tools to help them capture and
reflect upon their learning in an ongoing way. Seesaw is a simple way for teachers and students to record
and share the learning that is happening in the classroom. Seesaw gives students a place to document their
learning, be creative and learn how to use technology.

Each student gets their own portfolio journal and will add examples of their learning to this in the form of
photographs, videos, drawings, or notes. When there are new Seesaw posts, families can be notified via app
notification, email or SMS and a dialogue between the student, parent and teacher can be facilitated with
each child’s personal portfolio. Parents are only notified about their own child’s learning, and all data is safe
and secure. At the start of each school year parents are sent the code to access their own child’s portfolio and
must sign up and download the app or access this via computer.

Information Communications Technology Safety
BMS strives to provide a safe ICT environment for our students. To this end the school uses a Cisco Meraki
security appliance to filter content and protect students against malware and other malicious software. Major
search engines and video content providers are forced into a “safe search” or “restricted” mode when available.
The school actively works with the entire BMS community to increase the awareness of safe practices when
using the internet. BMS has an e-Safety policy.

Student Support Services
Berlin Metropolitan School aims to support all students to reach their full potential. All of our teachers are
highly skilled, therefore they are able to differentiate for a range of needs in the classroom setting. At times,
specific students may require specialized support and so BMS provides expert trained professionals, who are
able to supplement and enrich the specific areas of:
-- German as an Additional Language (GAL)
-- English as an Additional Language (EAL)
-- Counseling
-- Health Services
-- Learning Support (LS)

Such student support is available to our youngest learners in the Kindergarten right through to our oldest
learners in Grade 6. The Student Support Services Team uses methods that are engaging, research-based,
and target specific skill development. Along with BMS as a whole, the Student Support Services Team (SSST)
strives to increase student independence by increasing each student’s overall development both socially and
academically. To access these services, students will be referred by teachers, often in collaboration with pa-
rents or external specialists. When a student is supported by the Student Support Services Team on a regular
basis their parents or guardians will be informed. Confidentiality surrounding issues affecting students will be

Language Support
The EAL and GAL teams provide survival language lessons to students who are learning German or English
for the first time. Initially, these lessons are focused on building the vocabulary of basic nouns and common
phrases that allow language learners to communicate in the new language. After the initial support phase, the
EAL/GAL team continues to monitor and support student progress through collaboration with the homeroom
or German teachers. At BMS, we look at each child as a whole; therefore, our language lessons focus on skill
development to help students access the curriculum, as well as strengthening the confidence of each student
by providing ample opportunity to use their newly learned language skills to interact socially.

Counseling Support
The counseling team supports the BMS community with specific social, emotional, and mental health con-
cerns. We provide support in a variety of forms depending on the situation, from informal drop-in sessions
and monitoring to short-term individual and group counseling. Furthermore, we refer to external service provi-
ders, such as mental health professionals, for issues that require more targeted or long-term support than we
can provide within the school counseling setting. If you have a social or emotional concern about your child,
please speak to the class teacher or request a meeting with either of the primary school counselors. We are
legally bound by medical confidentiality.

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Health Services
Our school nurse here at BMS is a registered professional nurse located on the ground floor next to the recep-
tion. The Nurse’s office will be offering nursing services for all BMS students daily from 8:30am- 4:30pm. The
role of the school nurse is to strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting
the health status of children within the school setting. The major focus of the school nursing services is the
prevention of illness and disability, and the early detection and correction of health problems. The school
nurse is uniquely qualified in preventive health, health assessment, and adequate referral procedures. BMS
offers free first-aid training and child protection training to faculty and staff, throughout the year.

Learning Support
The Learning Support (LS) team are trained professionals that are experts in supporting students who have
additional learning needs. At BMS, we aim to provide a flexible spectrum of support that encompasses a range
of additional learning needs as well as addressing the needs of students who require additional challenge in
their learning. Such diagnosed additional learning needs that we are able to support are: dyslexia, dyspraxia,
and/or dyscalculia. For students with exceptional needs, the Learning Support team works with parents and
teachers to provide comprehensive support and individualized learning plans. If you have concerns regarding
your child’s development, in the first instance, please contact your child’s class teacher who will liaise with
the Student Support Services team.

If further support or advice is required in relation to any of these areas of student support, please contact the
Student Support Services Coordinator, Elly Haerting, elly.haerting@metropolitanschool.com
Room: A.2.06
Phone: +49 172 3274551

Berlin Metropolitan School values school-wide policies to align the academic program and school operations
across the school. The most important policies are:

Academic Program: Academic Honesty Policy, Assessment Policy, Language Policy
IT: Acceptable Use Policy, E-Safety Policy
Health and Safety: Fire and Evacuation Policy, Health and Safety Policy
Operational: Attendance Policy

Primary School Library
The Primary School Library is a well-resourced, active hub of learning at BMS. It is located on the 2nd floor
and is used on both a class and individual basis. Students visit the Library with their class once every two
weeks, however this space is also available for students after school and during breaks. Students are able to
check books out regularly and enjoy the many print and digital resources on offer. Our Primary School Libra-
rian Ms. Rana Douglas can be contacted at rana.douglas@metropolitanschool.com

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BMS Community Values the values that we hold important as an institution and provide our school members
a constructive approach in our daily collaboration. As a community, we developed the following reflective
statement to guide us in all that we do.
In all of our actions as BMS community members we ask ourselves:

Is   it   safe?
Is   it   fair?
Is   it   respectful?
Is   it   positive?

These core values provide a foundation to guide us all in making decisions about how we behave and inter-
act with one another and places responsibility on us all to consider the impact our actions may have. These
Community Values can be used in a variety of flexible ways dependent upon the age and context of any given
situation. They can be used:
-- as a question to encourage to self-reflection
-- as a question to initiate a conversation
-- a statement to reaffirm when an action is not aligned with our Community Values
-- as a decision-making tool for students to use to inwardly reflect on the impact their actions may have.

We encourage you to discuss these Community Values at home with your child(ren) to support them in deve-
loping a deeper understanding of their importance as a foundation for all of our interactions with one another.
As a school community, we believe:
-- Relationships are the foundation for a positive community culture, and as such, all stake-holders must
    support the BMS mission and values including those of the IBO Learner Profile and attitudes.
-- All community members have rights and responsibilities that should be honoured.
-- Each individual must be treated with respect and equity within a safe, positive environment.
-- Each student must be supported to nurture a positive self-image and develop self-regulation skills and
-- Each student has rights and responsibilities with regards to their behaviour.
-- Each community member is committed to inspiring others and focused upon positive growth.
-- That all stakeholders will incorporate a restorative approach into everyday teaching and learning.

BMS promotes a positive approach to behaviour management which is based around the ideas of Restorative
Practice. The intention is to create a positive school culture in which we encourage and develop working
relationships school-wide with all members of our school community, thereby promoting student wellbeing
and a safe environment in all aspects of school life.

This policy is consistent and complementary with IB philosophy surrounding the Learner Profile and Attitudes
where learners strive to be: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded,
caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. It is the IB Learner Profile attributes and attitudes that should be
reflected in the behavioral choices of our students.

Our Rules & Routines
As a large school community, we recognize the importance of having clear rules, routines and expectations
as well as responses to these. We share a lot of spaces throughout every school day and therefore we have
focused on different shared areas to align our expectations and responses.

Our Hallway Rules                   Our Cafeteria Rules                         Our Playground Rules
1. Walk on the right-hand side of   1. Line up calmly to collect your           1. Respect playground facilities – do
the hallway/stairwell.              lunch, everyone must try some-              not stand on tables or flowerbeds.
2. Use quiet voices as the hallways thing!                                      2. Tidy up equipment at the end of
are learning spaces.                2. Show kindness and friendship             playtime.
3. Stand back and wait to let peo- to others, offer a seat to someone.          3. When the bell rings line up to
ple pass through a door.              3. Clear your table and put your          return to class.
4. Only eat outside in the play-      lunch tray away with care.                4. Eat snack in the designated areas
ground or seated at a table in the    4. Wait at your table until you are       and throw all rubbish in the bins.
hallways.                             dismissed by CCEP.

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