People of all nationalities and faiths should feel welcome and at home at SISS. We believe that a genuinely religious ethos is based on universal values which are formative for people of all faiths and is respectful of traditions other than our own. The presence of children from different/ other cultural backgrounds and denominations is seen as an enrichment of the educational experience offered by the school and as a practical expression of the commitment to inclusive education. Throughout the academic year there are opportunities for families from different cultural backgrounds and faiths to share their traditions (e.g. Diwali celebration, Ramadan, Sugar Feast). This is considered as a genuine, hands-on opportunity to learn about certain traditions from peers, parent volunteers or teachers.
We also wish to uphold the host country’s culture, traditions and “characteristic spirit” which to some extent have their roots in a religious context. Certain events are extracurricular (e.g. “Schuldorf Schulfest” ,“Halloween Spooktacular”, “Feuerfest”, “International festival”). Other festivities are part of the curriculum ( e.g. “Carnival”, “Lanternwalk” in Lower Primary, “Christmas market” / “Christmas production” for the whole Primary School,”). During the preparation period for these events some lessons, e.g. in IPC, Art, Music, Assembly, will be dedicated towards the event. Depending on the character of the event this can include practicing and rehearsing lines, poems, songs and/or dances as well as props or gift making activities (cross curricular approach). Out of respect for the sensitive areas of other faiths and cultures, our aim for our whole school production around Christmas is to present a variety of contents with a focus also on non-religious aspects. No-one will be expected to pray, say or do anything against their beliefs.
At the SISS we consider school festivities and celebrations as a valuable and enriching experience in the child’s education. The children work together to put on a production or be part of an event. They develop social and emotional skills such as teamwork, confidence and patience.
We strongly believe that involvement in festivities and celebrations benefits the whole school community. It accomplishes a community feeling and supports a cooperate identity
Uta Wetterich 2017