CAE and IB certificates handed out

On Friday 12th October 2018 last year’s 4V CAE students and 6V IB English Language and Literature students were invited to come (back) to school in the late afternoon in order to receive their diplomas. At the CAE level 15 (41%) of our students managed to reach the B-grade (CERF level C1 higher end) and 16 (43%) of them achieved the lower end of that range with a C-grade. Six students (16%) did not achieve the level appropriate for the exam but were awarded a CERF B2 certificate (the one below the CAE proper levels).

Of the 11 IB-students who sat their International Baccalaureate English Language & Literature exam only one did unfortunately not pass the grade.

Ms Lucy van Rooij, Mr Jeffrey Groeneveld and Yours Truly took it upon themselves to hand out the official documents, with receiving students being applauded by (former) classmates, families and friends.

In addition to all those students we also had a small number of our TTO-teachers take part in the CAE exam. Of those (5) two managed to get a Grade A (one even so high that she also qualified for the CPE exam), two a grade B and one a Grade C. This is their first step towards a fully-recognised English proficiency level as required for our TTO-teachers.

Then it was time for the group pictures to be taken and apart from the odd camera battery going flat right there and then nothing untoward happened and the happy few were granted their moment of fame as shown below.

Afterwards there was still time to have a drink and a snack while exchanging the latest bits of news and gossip. All in all a nice way to start the weekend.

Well-done all, congratulations and for those 5-ath students who continue their bilingual training within our school with the IB course –
the best of luck there too.

England trip to Grittleton 2018 -1tto ath

A spooky TTO trip to Grittleton House

In the early morning of September 17th parents and pupils from Da Vinci College said their goodbyes in front of two busses leaving for England. The Atheneum pupils got to ride in a double-decker bus with the amazing Frans-Jozef as their driver. After some mix-ups with bags and kids in the wrong bus we left for the UK. Everyone was very excited for this adventure during only the third week of school!

At the ferry the pupils finally awoke and roamed around the shops and Starbucks. Mr. Roosingh got some presents from his wonderful 1T pupils, because he loves Star Wars so much. We arrived at Grittleton House a bit later than planned because we missed the ferry, but luckily Mr. Steve saved us some delicious pasta.

Grittleton House looked quite spooky in the dark… Even some of the teachers weren’t really sure about their bedrooms… (Did someone mark off days on this wall?! Was this a prison?! There’s a ghost in my room for sure!) We decided to meet at the campfire, where we played a game called ‘Black Stories’. The stories weren’t too scary or else no one would’ve gone to sleep. We had lots of fun, but everyone was tired soon after the long bus ride.

Tuesday we started with a great breakfast of toast and cornflakes. The pupils got dropped off at two different locations. One group took bicycles from Bath towards Bristol over an old railway which was used during the second world war. The bikes took some getting used to, but the route was great. On the way we checked out the Avon canal and narrowboats in Bath and the old railway station in Bristol. The other group went to Bristol Zoo where they took part in a workshop about climate change and they got to hold some animals! Big ol’ cockroaches were my favorite to touch! At night we played games and sang songs in the game room of Grittleton House.

The next morning four British PE teachers came to teach us about typical British sports; rugby, cricket, golf and ultimate frisbee. The weather was good this morning so everyone had a great time. During the afternoon we went to Berkeley Castle by bus where the pupils got a tour and an art assignment. After the barbecue dinner everyone practiced for the ‘Bonte Avond’.

During our last day in England we went on a visit to Bath. In this beautiful town we went on a tour around the city and the Roman Baths, a wonderful place to see and learn about history. Everyone got their own audio-guide and at the end of the tour we also got to drink the water from the hot spring. In Roman times they believed the water was healing!

The highlight of this trip was the ‘Bonte Avond’ for sure. All the pupils performed or were otherwise involved. There were many jokes, some stand-up comedy, a couple of fantastic dances, songs and plays. A truly amazing ending of the first TTO trip!

After a long day of traveling on Friday all the pupils were collected by their families, and they probably slept all Saturday… I know I did!

Last year’s Anglia certificates handed out

On Tuesday 18th September 2018 last year’s 3tto students (both havo and atheneum) were given their Anglia exam certificates. Because of the very tight timetable that day and hardly any short-term possibilities for handing out these documents the certificates were handed out just before the DiMi-sessions of that day.

At the havo level 8 (40%) of the 20 TTO students managed to achieve a ‘distinction’ score on all parts of the written Advanced (two but highest levels within the Anglia organisation) exam. (‘Distinction’ means you scored 80% or more correct.)

At the atheneum level 25 (48%) of the 52 TTO students managed to achieve a ‘distinction’ score on all parts of the written AcCEPT Proficiency (one but highest level within the Anglia organisation) exam.

BUT … all the other students were given a ‘merit’ level – which score means you fall within the 65-79% range of correct answers. AND … that means we had no ‘ pass’ or ‘ refer’ levels at all.

Well-done all and congratulations and for those who continue their bilingual training within our school, either at havo level with Cambridge Business English (BEC) or at atheneum level with Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) – the best of luck there too.

 

 

Visiting Fulbright scholar Maneesha Bhugwansing

Today, Friday May 25th 2018, we were visited by American Fulbright scholar Maneesha Bhugwansing. Maneesha comes from New York City. She completed her bachelor’s degree in International Business at Baruch College, then worked as a program specialist for a fellowship program for students going to graduate school in the US.

She is currently at Maastricht University, working on her Master’s Degree in Economics and hopes to find a job once she has done her final exams. Coming from an immigrant community in New York, and studying abroad and travelling throughout college, she learned a lot about different cultures (Surinam, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and now Dutch), and she came to give a talk about aspects of American lifestyle or living and studying in a new country.

She talked to a number of our 3rd- and 4th-year bilingual and Business English groups and started off each talk by focussing on the diversity of the USA. Being the internationally-oriented student she is, she was able to highlight quite a number of aspects of living in different cultures one has to be aware of when travelling, working and living abroad.

Once her talk got under way, students were encouraged to come up with questions and many of our students did. Some focussed on asking Maneesha about life in New York, others wanted to know more about (American-style) food, TV, and even politics was touched upon.

For or 4th-year students Maneesha explained one or two things about the Fulbright Scholarship programme (that enables foreign students to study in America and vice versa) clearly raising in interest in some students’ minds. So who knows …

We thank Maneesha (light-blue blouse, long white sleeves in the middle below) for having been with us today and all our students for being such an attentive audience and hope to welcome another Fulbright visitor again next year. 

(Regional) Junior Speaking Contest 2018

After a number of school rounds at Da Vinci College we ended up with a number 1 and a runner-up to represent our school at the Regional Junior Speaking Contest held yesterday (Tuesday 22nd May 2018) in Alkmaar.

With so many candidates in our own school (our own contest was held in all 2 tto and 3 tto classes) it wasn’t always easy to decide who were better than others. Fortunately, a highly skilled and experienced jury helped us out and in the end it was decided that Angelina Nassif (3S) would be the lucky student who was to take it upon her to snatch the regional trophy away from the competitors. (With Marit Kuyper as a very good second.)

These competitors were the winners of the tto-schools that are part of the regional tto network of schools and this year’s final took us to the Willem Blaeu College in Alkmaar.

The theme throughout was Living your fantasy and maybe in a way that’s exactly what some of the candidates did – giving a speech on that topic itself could already be considered as fulfilling a dream.

Anyroad – we’ll keep you in suspense no longer – this year’s winner was one of the other candidates – Celine from the Jac P. Thijsse College in Castricum (2nd left, below) , BUT we can proudly announce right here and now that our Angelina (2nd right, below) did very well indeed and came in second place! Well done, Angelina. 

The outgoing exchange to Cerdanyola (Sp) – 4Vib

 

Having received our Spanish guests in our school (and country) in the week of Monday 19th March 2018, most of our 4Vib students (and a few others) were now up for the trip to Catalunya.

So, last Monday, 16th April 2018, they all gathered at the school for the bus trip to the airport and the mood can definitely be called a festive one before they embarked at Zestienhoven Airport in Rotterdam (see picture on the left).

 

On their first (full) day in Catalunya they visited the nearby town of Terrassa and were guided round the Museum of Science and Industry there and spent the rest of the day exploring the old town itself by means of a treasure hunt.

Today, the Wednesday, was their first of two days in Barcelona itself and the day included a guided tour of the old centre of town, the Barri Gòtic, with our guide Aleksandra on the left in the picture.

Judging by the last picture the weather is no disappointment either so we can expect more pictures with smiling faces. We hope they all have a good time in Spain and wish them a safe journey back home too.

The outgoing exchange to Arras (Fr) – 3tto ath Update!

Having received our French guests in our school (and country) in the week of Monday 12th March 2018, our 3tto ath students were now up for the trip to France.

So, last Monday, 16th April 2018, they all gathered at the school for the bus trip there. Their first day there was already a kind of highlight of the trip judging by the group photograph taken at the steps of the famous Eiffel Tower.

And, although a busy programme is awaiting them, judging by the pictures they have sent in so far they are also enjoying themselves in the sunshine a lot …

… in spite of the sometimes hazardous problem-solving situations they have to face, such as crossing the road while eating an icecream.

 

 

 

 

Hope they enjoy their stay as much as they seem to be doing in these pictures and wish them a safe journey back. 

 

 

Update:

Some comments of our students about the trip:

This is my first exchange, so I was quite nervous about sleeping in an unknown environment on my own. Luckily my host family was really nice and I felt at home quickly, even though it did bother me that they didn’t speak English very well. The activities were in my opinion much fun to do and to participate in. The weather was amazing and I loved the fact that we were taught about the history about World War one, because I find it a very interesting subject. Overall we had a fantastic week and I’d love to do such a thing again.

 

 

 

 

L’échange est un succès. Mardi nous sommes allés à Paris et c’était une belle ville avec de beaux bâtiment s. Mercredi nous sommes allés à Lille, une ville française typique. Il a fait beau. Jeudi était un jour varié. Nous avons eu du temps libre à Arras et nous sommes allés au Musée de la Mine. Maintenant c’est vendredi et j’ai eu une bonne semaine avec de beaux souvenirs. Nous pensons que l’échange avec la France à Arras c’est très bien passé. Nous pensons que la diversité des différentes villes c’est très beau. Ce que nous avons préféré c’est la ville d’Ypres parce que la ville a une Histoire importante.

 

De uitwisselingsweek in Frankrijk was erg leuk en vooral heel gezellig. Het slapen bij de Franse gezinnen zorgde ervoor dat je duidelijk het verschil kon zien met hoe het thuis in Nederland is. Het hoogtepunt van de week was natuurlijk Parijs. Er was zoveel te zien en te doen, we hebben er allemaal van genoten. Lille was na Parijs het leukste, het is een hele mooie stad en het was lekker weer. Iedereen heeft een super leuke week gehad en we gaan het zeker missen.

Wij vonden het een hele leuke week ! Het is leuk om kinderen van ongeveer jouw leeftijd te ontmoeten en om zo te zien wat verschillend tussen ons is. De activiteiten die we deden waren ook mega leuk, met natuurlijk als hoogtepunt Parijs!

Ik vond het een hele leuke herinnering om met mensen uit te wisselen maar ik weet niet of ik het uit mezelf nog een keer zou doen, misschien wel. Ik vond het heel interessant om in het leven van iemand mee te doen al is het soms wel apart omdat verschillende landen en mensen hele andere levens en regels hebben. Ook vond ik het heeeeeel leuk om naar Parijs te gaan. En in Noord Frankrijk hebben ze hele leuke winkels heb ik ontdekt.

 

 

French visitors 3ttoath

And while our 3ttohavo students are enjoying Copenhagen we have French visitors staying with our 3rd-year ttoath students. They have already enjoyed the usual highlights of any trip to our market town of Purmerend, guided by our own students; a visit to the Zaanse Schans was a bit wet and windy; they have taken part in a sports session run by our PE Department and they have had a ‘pizza party’ meal in school. Yesterday, they went to see Edam and Hoorn, where they were taken onto a tour of the past in the Westfrisian Museum and on a tour of the city. Today they are exploring Amsterdam and tomorrow they will be returning home already. We hope they will have enjoyed their stay here and our students are looking forward to visiting them later this year.

3ttohavo in Copenhagen

Judging by the messages we get from Copenhagen, Denmark, our 3rd-year tto havo-students are having a good time there. Equipped with their orange T-shirts they flew all the way there, to enjoy a city tour on their first day. Europe’s biggest Aquarium was visited (wonderful picture) and it snowed when they went to see the famous Little Mermaid statue. More activities are part of the programme this week – an update may follow (or not!).

English teacher trainees

This year we had two teacher trainees from Durham University in England in our school,

Lisa Peacock for Geography and Alex Corps for History. The aim of their stay here was twofold: first of all, they had to continue their teacher training here; and, secondly, we could make use of them, to put it bluntly, in our Bilingual (TTO) Department by involving them in as many events as possible, including observing and commenting on our bilingual teachers’ (English) language skills.

Both were guided in the teaching process by their respective departments and we thank those colleagues involved in doing so. Quite a strenuous task, judging by the picture of one of them, below. Outside their subject lessons they filled empty slots in their timetable to visit other classes and lessons. 

At school they had to get used to the way we have all kinds of breaks (for tea, coffee, lunch, snacks). They had to get used to the every-day-changing timetables we seem to have all year round. And they had to get used to the slightly different relationship between students and teachers here as compared with the probably more hierarchical and authoritarian way of providing education in their home country.

Apart from that, both students had ample opportunity to get stuck into the Dutch way of life. To start with, they were accommodated in and with some of colleagues’ homes and families (for which many thanks again) and in their spare time they explored as much of our culture as possible, sometimes even including nightly adventures!

We wish both Lisa and Alex all the best, first of all in finishing their courses but also as wonderful, young people with a passion for teaching.