Author Archives: Vorstand Account

Native Speaker News 2019

Crazy Tracey:

The month of January& February was very nice. (in spite of the strike) Mr. Campbell’s class is currently reading Charles Dickins books. I find the book very interesting to read as well. The waveboarding activity is always a smash.


 In Lesson time I have been doing a lot of individual reading with the children getting the slower ones up to speed and the more advanced reading with more intonation. When the weather is not so good we have been playing games inside, but when ok we’ve been getting outing playing some football and Frisbeeeeeeeeee ! Storytime during snack is ever popular ending with a vote on the book like/ Ok / bad !
1 eu A
Again lots and lots of reading!
The 2nd 3rd and 4th class slots are very popular with an overcrowded gym every Monday. All welcome.
With the 5th and 6th class a very disappointing ending to the Drumbo Cup. After qualifying for the area final half the team was not allowed to go as they had a film trip . ( Wrong priorities!!??) I hope those left still had a good day! Our next tournament is one for non club players….so If you’re interested, come and see me !!
Michael G:
The newspaper is going very well! We had 6 articles in the paper, the kids are loving being in charge of the English part.  As always, cooking is king! We made homemade pizzas and also baguettes.
3euA reading is going great! The improvement is very exciting. In Topic we worked on our magnet projects. Art had a Winter theme. 3euB is also doing out loud reading. We did painting projects in Art. In Topic we had a variety of themes. We also made a gingerbread house.
In 4A I assist with English class and during the past two months, we have been studying Scotland. The teacher is a joy to work with and the children in her class are rapidly excelling in their English. In 3A I have been working with children individually that are having a hard time keeping up in their English lessons. With  4euA I have enjoyed getting to know all the children through their reading and typing class, and soon will begin gardening with them as well! Dance Club is up and running with kids from the classes I assist! They’ve been teaching me as many cool moves as I have been teaching them!
We’ve had a busy and fun time in the Travel Club the past few months. The students have gotten very creative, and some are even making small booklets with travel themes. I really enjoy the great conversations and getting to know so many students!



Candy Cane shaped Pizza was on the menu this month and was a huge success! So much so, the kids want to repeat it for January. We also made beautiful tree decorations with Mrs. Bailey. Tiny winter hats, which are very cute and colorful. Magnet experiments were led by Mrs. Bryne with surprising results! The highlight of our month was the Holiday party for each class and their parents. For 3euA and 3euB, I think both party’s were well received and a wonderful time was had by all.


December was pretty short and sweet. Waveboarding is getting more and more popular.

Working with Herr. Cambell is really awesome. The students have really gotten into their poems this month.
It was a nice short month. BANG!!! BANG!!!!!



December’s “Crazy for Christmas Project” lived up to its name! We broke out the glitter and Santa Stickers and cranked out a ton of traditional ornaments. There was a paper roll Santa and Rudolph, the ever popular Japanese box Santa and of course, the old favorite sparkly little Christmas trees. Our new additions were slightly non-traditional. Okay, they were nuts. I created a Mr. Poop Santa based on the wildly popular poop emoji. This morphed into a poop elf and poop Rudolph. Stop rolling your eyes, your kids thought it was FANTASTIC! Merry Christmas to all, and a happy healthy 2019! See you next year!



December was a fun month for Travel Club! I got to hear about upcoming vacation plans, and the colder weather inspired quite a few students to create postcards featuring tropical destinations!

See you in January!



Pasta month was a huge success, with more and more students wanting to sign up each week. We tried 4 different types of pasta and 3 different sauces each week. Freshly baked bread was also included.

3euA has been very active in Reading out loud and improving nicely. We have also mastered the wash technique with the paintings in Art. Magnets are on the agenda for topic lessons!

4euA is busy with the Christmas play rehearsals so our typing has taken a temporary back seat.

3euB is almost finished with the Advents Tree calendars, should be very exciting as we kick off on December 3rd! We also had our Butterfly test to round off the topic lesson.


2euA : In English Lessons …..Reading Reading Reading! With Mrs. Mayer we have been with both the German and English sides taking individuals and groups out to read. Not only with the slower readers but ‘Fine tuning’ the more competent.  In Freetime weather permitting I have been outside with the boys playing football. We have now started on Christmas Craftwork…
1Eu B I’m now joining Ms. Reid’s class for a couple of lessons a week to help with the English lesson.
Football: The two lunchtime football sessions are very popular! So much so the school so the school needs a bigger Gym !!! To help with the crush I have been trying to get outside with the 2nd class in free time as the Monday session for 2/3/4 years was too crowded and too big an age difference.
The 6th class has been taking part in the Berlin Schools Felde Runde and have managed to qualify for the next round thanks to a super last-minute goal from William!
November Magic 2018  was one of our best projects ever! I am officially declaring a yearly November Magic Project from now until the end of time!! We made super fancy magic wands, and learned how to cast spells with them!! We colored posters from the new Harry Potter movie! We made dragons and unicorns and flying horses!! Golden snitches and lovely white owls!  It was a huge sparkly wonderful mess! Thank heavens I brought the plastic table clothes! I also think we set some kind of record for glue sticks used up in one day! Who knew Charles Dickens had so many serious  Potterheads!! EXPECTO PATRONUS!!!

November was a blast. It felt good being back in Mr.Cambell class. Class 6euA is a very cool group of students. Very smart and inquisitive. Same for 6euB.

Wakeboarding was a lot of fun this month. Students of all ages come. Mostly girls but, they most certainly enjoying the time.
I had a great time doing the Travel Club this month! I really enjoy hearing about all of the interesting places the students have been and where they want to go next!

October Native Speaker Update


Halloween in the Origami Club was the usual really big deal- I broke out my witch costume and we made big spooky mountains of skulls and bats and ghosts and pumpkins! And a new batch of the first year made friends with Handy the severed arm, who teaches them Halloween high fives, and explains that the scary things you see on Halloween AREN’T REAL!


Michael G.:

Pizza baguettes and garden salads were the hit of October cooking. Everyone was very happy, and some teachers too!

The newspaper went very well. The 3euA wrote stories about our Butterfly project with photographs. They also penned a story about the Irish trip, it was quite the adventure, also with photographs.

Reading out loud has really improved, everyone is doing very well. Typing with 4euA is taking off, many are extremely good with few or no mistakes.


The Travel Club got off to a great start in October! Don’t be surprised if your kids come home with postcards they made showing far-off places!


October was a short quick month with only one school week for me due to the school holidays and being away working on the Berlitz School Holiday Camps. It was great to work closely with Mrs Rollys 4euA English Class, Lunch Club in the Garden whilst we still had the amazing weather and Science with 5euB finalising the folders before submitting them.

Native Speaker September Update



The month of September was a great way to begin the new school year. This year I’m helping Mr.Cambell in his English classes (5euA and B). Pretty good kids.

Wave boarding was attended by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th class the whole month. A very good month!! BANG!! !!!!
This summer my son and I took our dream vacation in Japan where, for me,  there was only one thing missing – all my little folders!! So in September, I took the origami club on a trip to Japan! We made beautiful hina (Japanese for a doll) with fancy hair and beautifully patterned kimonos- the boys were so impressed we started making samurai lords! We also made fighting Sumo wrestlers and posed Sumo figures- I brought my big program from the grand tournament I attended in Nagoya!  I brought a video and pictures of the matches, as well as pictures from the Hiroshima Children’s Peace Memorial, the Pokemon Center and Tokyo Cat Cafe! And everything was covered in the puffy stickers I hauled back from Daiso, the Japanese euro store!!  Coming back to school was so much 楽しい!
In 3euA and 3euB we have been working on our Butterfly project. We studied the Butterfly life cycle and took our caterpillars through the cycle to Butterflies.
Cooking has been going well Pizza Baguettes and Garden Salad were on the menu this month.



Really happy to be apart of the Native English Speaker Program. For the month of September, each Friday I have been helping with Mrs Hagmanns 6euC class where the students completed a power point presentation about the different systems of the body. Following this lesson, I am with Mrs. Rollys 4euA English class and assisted with the reading program and helped with the sports day. Lunch club in the garden is a lot of fun despite the cool weather coming through, it’s still lovely being outside with the kids. Topic Class with 5euB is fun learning all about our eyes and ears plus a class trip to a science workshop. Looking forward to returning to school after the Berlitz Camps.


Good to be back with my class from last year, the  2 Eu A . With the weather being so good we have been getting outside whenever possible. I was happy to go with the class trip to Kühlungsborn where we spent 5 days working hard on the beach…
Great start to lunchtime football with lots of boys coming. Looking forward to our first tournament of the year the Drumbo Cup.
I just started working as a Native Speaker in September. I’m working with 4EUB and they’re a great group! I’m excited to continue working with everyone as we move into October!
The Tuesday Travel Club will be kicking off in October! We’ll be making travel brochures and postcards and the kids can bring in photos and things they want to share from their own travels. Everyone is welcome!
I’ve had lots of new children join the younger choir this year and we are having a lot of fun playing English musical games and learning some music from the Jungle Book! Looking forward to the rest of the year.

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Native Speaker June Update


Free-time by the 3eub and Science with the 6th class was business as usual this month. Additionally, I was lucky enough to be apart of the 6eub’s overnight camping class trip with Ms. Maclean.

FOOTBALL! The boys participated in the European Schools Tournament and finished well with all our teams doing well and the 5th & 6th class getting 3rd place!



June was quite warm and busy. The weather caused some classes to let out early but, people still came to the activities. Basketball and wave boarding went really well. Kids came, enjoyed the time and me! 😜 I helped Mr. Campbell with his class (5a) performance for next week. It’s coming along nicely. 1a continues to have fun learning English with games.


The end of the school year is also the end of my four wonderful years working as a native speaker at the Charles Dickens School. So I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude: To the Förderkreis and the parents, for giving me this opportunity and for their support; to all the teachers and erzieher, from whom I have learned so much more about working with kids than I have from my university classes; to all the kids, who may well have contributed to my first grey hair appearing, but who have ultimately reaffirmed my conviction that teaching and working with children is what I want to do with my life; and to all my dear colleagues and fellow native speakers, for all the shared sweat, the shared laughter and the shared tears. In all, it has been a valuable and fun experience and I wish the program all the best for the future.



We’ve been very busy in choir this year learning lots of different music. Highlights have been singing in the school play “The Selfish Giant” and taking part in the Grand Prix – a performance day from all the different European schools in Berlin. We’ll be finishing off the year with a small presentation of all the English songs we’ve been working on.
Michael G:
As always cooking was the highlight of the month. We did different plates of pasta with different sauces.4euA and 4euB loved their lunch! Art was great and English went well also.
Topic with Ms. Matheson was very successful.
In 5euC we finished all of our Science projects for the year.
See you next term!

Native Speaker May Update


1 EuA

With the weather changing from warm to hot!! we have been doing a lot of less active stuff. In the classroom we have been doing Art and crafts. Also  have been taking the chance to get some 1 on 1 reading time. In the afternoon we have been getting outside for some needed fresh Air.


We have been carrying on with the gardening… Weeding ! not the most popular of tasks was balanced with the planting of mixed seeds  to see what will appear.

Football .

We are in the process of picking teams for the big end of year Euro tournament so lunchtime participation is huge !



In the origami club, whatever the weather we have fun! So this eild and crazy May when it rained we made chinese finger puzzles, butterflies and teddy bears, and when the sun came out we started our giant soap bubble summer fun! For those of you who asked me about my bubble recipe here is the link for a great website where I got my basic formula. Look at the guar recipe section at the top left. It is also where I learned to make the big bubble sticks.

A couple of important points:
A) Guar gum is Guarkern Mehl in German. It is a sauce thickener you can get at the the Reform Haus for about 4.75. It is the secret ingredient for giant bubbles. Really.
B) You disslove the guar in isopropyl alchohol. That is it’s German name as well. I hadn’t heard of it either. You can get a biggish bottle at the apotheke for 5.95.
C) Sometimes the wikia says detergent instead of dish soap. No clue why. And just any dish soap will not work. It has to be a Proctor and Gamble product, and in Europe, that is Fairy. Original formula Fairy!! Nothing else will make the giant bubbles.
D) The Guar formulas are mind-bendingly kid friendly. You can use the bubble mixture right after making it, the kids can mix it around and get tons of dirt in it and it keeps making huge bubbles right to the slimey end. It also stores for about a week, dirt and all.
Please feel free to ask me questions. Have fun!
It is great to be back!!! Of course, Cooking is still the hit. We have been making Plates of pasta with three different Pesto sauces. 4euA and 4euB were in great form cooking!  We decided to continue in June but there may be an ice cream coming soon. Art and Topic are going extremely well with Ms. Bryne and Ms Matheson.

During the month of May, I’ve enjoyed helping teach 6euA and 6euB the scientific method. The kids have learned the process of designing and conducting experiments, and have even been challenged to conduct their own.  The 3euB class are enjoying board games, and (of course) FOOTBALL during Friday’s Freetime.

brought to you by shane

With our tournaments all done, we have finally been able to use the girls football training to focus on the basics again: dribbling, passing, ball control and shooting. We have also been having fun playing friendly games.

Aside from that I have also become involved with Ms. Rolly’s gardening project in the 3euA, where the kids have, among other things, been busy digging irrigation channels through the butterfly garden (and then racing little paper boats down the channels).

Native Speakers April 2018


The month of April saw the culmination of a year’s hard work and training, as our girls competed in no fewer than 6 football tournaments. From the year 2s to the year 6s, all our girls got a chance to play and show what they have learned. Most importantly for us, this shows the ever growing interest in our football programme and tells us that the girls are enjoying it, but also that they feel that they can learn greater life lessons and build their confidence by playing football. Having concluded our competitive season, we now look forward to having a fun kick-about for the rest of the school year.



“In April the weather did everything possible and so did we! When the sun was shining we made paper airplanes , when it rained we came inside and made mindbendingly adorable teddy bears and woodland animals. And then of course my son James and I made buckets of soap bubbles for the international fair!”
I hope you are doing okay, and progressing at a rate you are satisfied with. I talked to Sheriden Thursday morning and he asked me when you were coming back. I told him possibly mid may but it was up in the air. He seemed very distracted and when I asked him about Jamie he was vague and said he was swamped atm and someone else was handling it. I suggested that Jamie get six hours a week to do afternoon soap bubbles and I do paper planes and flying things. He said he would bring is up. I get the impression he is not the go to person atm.
For the month of April I work Wednesday and Friday, between 4a and 3a with Frau Köne. I also have Chess Club every Wednesday for one hour between 11:30-12:30, and on Friday between 11:30-12:30 I have computer club.

1 Eu A

As everyone knows spring flowers are a dominant theme at this time of year and no less for the first class as we have taken up the challenge of learning how to paint them in Art. In Topic we have moved onto Continents and Oceans.

Apart from story time reading, in Free time between the April showers, we are making use of the weather and getting outside.
3Eu B
With Mrs. Rolly together I have been working with the class Gardening! As winter ended the class planted the bulbs along the walkway into school, resulting recently in the fabulous display which we have all enjoyed! We have since been sowing seed so hopefully, we will get a summer display later!
For the butterfly and nature gardening, we turned to woodwork to make raised flower beds. This meant that the children had to saw wood and hammer nails. For many, this was the first experience of using tools and luckily there were no casualties as they went at the task with enthusiasm.
Boys football has been continuing with a steady turnout in both age groups. We will start to prepare teams for the Summer Euro Tournament.
Michael G:
As everyone knows I have been out due to hip and femur surgery. Looking forward to getting back!

Native Speaker Update March 2018

Crazy Tracey: March was an awesome month.  Waveboarding has been picking up week by week. Basketball was pretty full this month. Class 2a enjoyed learning English with different games and exercises.

Class 5eua/b were preparing for the reading competition. They were pretty good.  BANG!!! BANG!!!!!
The Origami Club Star Wars saga spilled over into March, but as the springtime sun came out Easter replaced light sabers-Easter bunnies, carrots,lilies baskets, tulips, and a cool new blow up egg I found that mostly works! Have a great Easter break everyone!
Science class with the 6euA and 6euB has been filled with magnets and electricity! The kids have learned how to make compasses, while learning some differences between metals. We will continue to explore electricity in the following month. The 3euB class are enjoying cooking, games, and FOOTBALL during Friday’s Freetime.
The long drought in football tournaments is slowly coming to a close, as our year 5 girls attended the opening ceremony for this year’s Integration durch Sport World Cup. After drawing two African countries last year, the luck of the draw gave us two European nations this year: Our girls will be representing Ireland and Poland. In between the lottery and the speeches, the opening ceremony also featured a number of performances, including a stunning dance performance by the Charles-Dickens-School’s very own Afrika AG, which was received with thundering applause. We are now looking forward to a busy April, where we have no fewer than 4(!) football tournaments scheduled.
Michael G:
Cooking 2A had finished out with their Pizza Baguettes and salads this month.  The Thursday club also had Baguettes.
4euA and 4euB did popcorn two types sweet and salty as always a hit. Typing has been going very well for both classes. 4euB Art classes were very creative. English and homework lessons were also good this month.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter Holiday!

Native Speakers December


December is always an Origami Club favorite! This year we got to participate in the school Christmas Basar, with a crazy new Japanese Santa pattern, and our old friend, the squash fold Christmas tree!  Over the holiday month, we added beautiful ornaments to our festive potpourri, decorated with glittering jewels and tons and tons of holiday stickers! See you all next year!

Crazy Tracey:

This has been a pretty cool month. Class 2a are really cool kids that enjoy learning English with games and having fun. Class 5eua love playing basketball and my handmade Bangnopoly game. Basketball is getting better and better. Wave boarding will have more kids after the holidays! BANG!! BANG!!!!! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

Michael G:

Great fun and times have been had by all especially cooking! 4euA and 4euB loved the pancakes and Holiday cookies, as did many Teachers! 5euC did a lot of work in Science class and we worked on Earth issues including Volcanos. Electricity topic lesson in 4euB was astounding as was the computer class.


Our brand new year 2 girls football team had their first tournament in December. A first tournament is always a bit of a disorienting experience, and given that we have only been training these girls for a few months, it was clear that we could not expect too much. This was especially evident in our first game, which we lost 2:1 due to giving away a late and avoidable hand-ball penalty. However, the girls showed excellent team spirit, they never showed any signs of giving up, and they steadily improved from game to game. In the end, we got a good 4th place, tied with third on points and only just behind them on goal difference. Furthermore, one of our girls, Johanna, got the special honour of being awarded the best player of the tournament. Congratulations!

This was the first time ever that the Dickens School has sent a year 2 girls team to a tournament, and we are confident that by getting the girls involved with football earlier, we will be able to better boost their confidence and that they will be more competitive in the years to come. This is also a continuation of our trend of setting new firsts, following our first ever win of a tournament last year and our first home tournament at our school earlier this year, and a testament to the growing strength of the girls football program.