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

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. 


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.


Little Victorians were here again

Yes, they were here again – the Phileas Fogg Theatre Company with their Little Victorians performance for our 1st-year tto-students.

We had three evenings of top entertainment, superbly guided by our actors Melanie and Kyle. Every night our groups were split up in two, rehearsed their side of the story and then had to bring the two parts together in a historically relevant short play about little children’s lives in Victorian times in England – a sometimes gruelling story, presented by our students in a lively and at times comic way. We do have some real talents here at Da Vinci! We thank all our students present for taking part and enthusiastically joining in and hope our future students will have as much fun as you did.

Thanks to all those turning up (students, their families, colleagues) and especially to those involved in preparing, organising, guiding, steering and cleaning up – everything went very smoothly with the exception of our fire alarm going off one evening because of the smoke machine used at the end of the play – all in a day’s fun! 


Drama for 2tto havo

Although there was no possibility this year to enter into the national Junior Drama Contest for tto students, our 2nd-year tto havo students were the first this year to work on their drama skills.

In a series of three workshops they were given some basic drama training by former and current students of our school, some of whom took part in the annual school musical in previous years.

In the course of the three DiMi-sessions students had to come up with their own ideas for short scenes and in the third and last session each group had to perform so that all the others could judge each scene on its merit.

As the props on stage were the same for every group our students had to rely on their acting skills to make a difference, and some did more so than others but at least everyone took part and had a bit of a taste of what acting can be like.
Later on in the year our 3rd-formers will go through the same routine and let’s end by saying that next year we hope to be able to join in the national junior drama contest again for tto schools in The Netherlands.

Thanks go out here to Lisa, Nitin and Joey as well as to the accompanying teachers.

PSG, Da Vinci College, English Department, bos, January 2018

High Tea & Pub Quiz 2017

High Tea & Pub Quiz 2017

Last Friday, 24th November 2017, our Bilingual Department held their annual High Tea & Pub Quiz. From five o’clock onwards our auditorium was open for our 1st-year students and their families to bring in the wonderful High Tea dishes they had prepared at home (or smuggled in from elsewhere). Not only were they wonderful to look at, they were also delicious to eat! Thanks to all concerned.As we were expecting over 250 people for this evening we were very lucky to have a number of very experienced (as well as inexperienced) colleagues present to help us set things up and carry out all the necessary activities to make the afternoon and evening possible. Just to mention a few of them (at the risk of offending those who feel left out): our caretakers for providing tea, coffee, soft drinks and cutlery; Mrs Oosterwijk for her selection of tablecloths, Mr Roosingh for being an expert hander-out of plates and a master in crowd control, various other colleagues, some of them tutors of our 1st-year students, for mental as well as physical support, Mr Lucking for shooting the piccies, Mrs Van Rooij for compiling this year’s pub quiz, and a special mention for our kitchen team: Mr Van Diepen (who, judging by the looks of the picture had a great night!) and Mr Dekker (also for technical support).

After all the food had been laid out it was time to dig in. In a totally random order (!) all five 1st-year tto classes (and their families) were called to the main table in order to get stuck in. And, once again, we are pleased we can say that at the end of the High Tea there was hardly any food left – always a good sign of appreciation! Once again, a round of applause for all the chefs involved.

And then, after everything had been cleared quickly, it was time for the renowned Pub Quiz. Nervously waiting for instructions on what to do and how to win, everyone sat down in groups of between 2 and 30, I think, and after some very tense moments the time was there and yours truly took it upon him to present the first round of questions, then alternating with Mrs van Rooij for the presentation part. This year’s themes were: General knowledge, Music & Film, Geography, and Arts and to give you some idea of the level of difficulty of the questions presented we have copied a few below, with the answers in them:

The Winners

Of course, we needed a winner again this year. But lo and behold: “and then there were three” (Bonus points if you know where these words come from.) with an equal number of points. Unfortunately, one of these had to be taken out of the competition (disqualified) by the jury afterwards because of the strictly forbidden use of the mobile phones, so this year’s winners are …

Before announcing them (this is what people do at award ceremonies – increase the tension …) we would like to say thank you to all participants and hope to see you all at school again some time this year (or the next, or the one after, and so on).

Out of the 33 answer sheets that were handed in:

10 scored 20 points and higher

8 scored between 25 and 29½

7 scored between 20 and 24½

and 8 scored below 20.

Well done all. It is, after all, more important to take part than to win – something we share with the Olympics! And the three winners were:

In equal place with 35 points each:        Team Marit and The Leonardos

In third place with 34 points:                   Girls + One Mum

PSG, Da Vinci College, English Department, bos/lckn, November 2017

PS No correspondence as to the outcome of this quiz will be taken into consideration (most certainly not any of disqualified contestants).

1TTO HAVO trip Ashburnham 2017

An unforgettable week in Ashburnham





Monday, 18th September

On Monday the 18th of September students slowly started gathering around the bus. It was quarter past six and time to leave for England. Most students had never been abroad without their parents, so there were kisses and cuddles all around. After the emotional goodbyes, we were off to Calais, which we arrived at around one o’ clock. Like always, the boat was filled with students from all over Europe waiting for the white cliffs of Dover to appear. Once we were back on the bus, we were off to Battle Abbey.
After visiting Battle Abbey, we drove onto the estate of Ashburnham Place. We were all impressed by the beautiful surroundings and we were fantasising what it would be like to spend the night in that beautiful castle-like building. Alas, we were sleeping in the building next to it, which certainly wasn’t an old castle, but nevertheless the students were excited to get into their rooms and to see if the beds were comfy.

Tuesday, 19th September
The second day we started with a real English breakfast: toast, bacon, eggs and baked beans. Luckily, there was cereal and fruit for the students who were shocked by the sizeable portions. Afterwards Mr. Plas had organised some sports activities in which the students had to work together to succeed. After getting to know each other and a delicious lunch we left for Hastings where 1G were the first to visit the Smugglers’ Cave, a cave that was formed during the ice age and shows you the history of the English smugglers – a fascinating but spooky place! Class 1H had the opportunity to walk around a sunny Hastings and after about an hour both classes swapped places, so to speak. At the end of the afternoon we drove back to Ashburnham Place and spent the evening having dinner and being together. All in all, it had been a good day!

Wednesday, 20th September
This day started as beautifully as all the others. Today we had Bodiam Castle on the programme – a castle of which only the outside walls remain. This is where the students were given an art assignment to do: sketching an overall composition as well as a detail. Some students were seated around the moat and thus had a wonderful view of the outside walls. Others tried to find a place inside the walls and were trying to get a detail onto paper.
By midday we were back at Ashburnham for lunch, which to our surprise was fish and chips, yet another example of fine English cuisine. Then we spent the afternoon doing all kinds of outdoor activities as organised by the centre there, activities in which students had to rely on mutual trust and cooperation to reach a goal.
After dinner the students got dressed up for the ‘colourful evening’ (Dutch Bonte Avond) and after a while the big moment was there! In teams, the students had to compete against one another with crazy games, varying from musical chairs to wall champs to the elephant game. Then we were off in the dark to find Mr. Snel at the campfire with hotdogs and marshmallows. Everyone sat around the campfire talking, laughing and singing along to the campfire tunes

Thursday, 15th September
And then it was our last day in Ashburnham Place. After breakfast we had another round of outdoor activities organised by staff of the centre there: such exciting activities as canoeing, mountain-biking, archery and a rope course. With only a few students falling into the water it was a success.
Not long after that it was time to pack our suitcases and tidy up our dorms. After our last meal we said goodbye to Ashburnham and headed for Dover. After the ferry crossing the lights went out in the bus and it became quiet until we arrived in Purmerend at half past seven. Everyone said a quick goodbye and couldn’t wait to get to home to do one thing – Sleep!



Some students’ comments

  • This week was very nice! The hotel/bedroom looked very pretty. The food in the hotel was very nice. It was typical English food. I like it very much. The sports games were also nice. It was funny to do them with 1H. And I really like the teachers and my class! Only, I didn’t like the boat to France. It was a very nice week!
  • Camp was nice and we did so many sports: rugby, football, running-games and mini games. Six hours in the bus wasn’t that fine – you don’t know what to do. At least all the kids had sweets. It was a good camp!
  • The first day we rode on the bus to England and then we arrived at our house. In the rest of the week we did a lot of things. It was a very nice week. I loved the English breakfast!
  • I liked walking around and breakfast. I didn’t like waking up early (07:00 am).
  • The last night was super fun, especially the campfire because we had marshmallows and hotdogs.
    KelseyPSG, Da Vinci College, English Department, lckn/bos, November 2017


1TTO ath trip Swanage 2017

A swell time in Swanage!



Monday, 18th September
This year’s fieldtrip for 1S, 1T and 1U took us to Swanage, a lovely city south of Poole, which greeted us with a fresh sea breeze.

Swanage is not around the corner, but the trick was to keep an optimistic perspective on the remaining time. Luckily, this year we had a busdriver who knew how to catch a ferry, so everything went as smooth as possible. Also, the kids seemed to have stacked up enough on candy to stay happy for this very long ride. Besides that, we had a well-deserved stop at McDonald’s to keep the spirits up.

Since we left Purmerend very early in the morning, the ferry crossing was mostly spent indoors, catching up on some sleep. A few students took photos of the cliffs of Dover and before we knew it we had to get back into the seated position again. After many a “Are we there yet?” we arived at the Swanage Centre. A lovely place, only 10 minutes from the beach, with polite and enthusiastic young staff members. After a quick warm buffet dinner and a welcome plus instructions by the Harrow House Staff everybody was eager to retreat to their room and release their energy after being stuck in the bus for so long.

Tuesday, 19th September
The students were not familiar with a buffet breakfast so what could have been a great breakfast for some, turned out to be decision stress in the early morning for others. Nonetheless, bellies were filled and each class did some ‘get to know each other’ activities on one of the centre’s sports fields. The sun was breaking through and it promised to be a lovely day. After the Getting to know one another better games, we spent some time at the beach. We held a sand castle contest and some of the students showed off by swimming in the ice cold sea!
After a warm lunch, we were dropped off at Corfe Castle. The groups were split in two for a guided tour. Although the tour guides looked quite old, one of them had the voice of David Attenborough and turned out to be a true king in keeping students’ attention. The students seemed to be fascinated by the castle and its history and had the pleasure of drawing the castle in the warmth of the autumn sun and carefully observed by the ever-attending Mr Wals (after breakfast, that is). After another round of hot food and runs to the salad bar, everybody got ready for Karaoke Night. After a group of girls kicked off with their favourite song, everybody was fighting for a spot on the karaoke machine. Frozen and Avril Lavigne were, of course, the highlights of the evening.

Wednesday, 20th September
White bread rolls and candy were packed for our trip to Dorchester. Believe it or not, we were to attend a guided tour, visit two museums and have “spare time.” Luckily, Dorchester turned out to have quite a history and a lively city centre. You could see that the Romans once took their interest in the city and it was impressive to see an old (bathing) house and the old city foundation hidden in an underground supermarket parking.
The military museum visit started off with an interactive session on old warfare clothing. One of the students was dressed up in the gown of a Roman soldier. After that, the students could see other developments in weaponry and war outfits. Yet, the crème de la crème of the museum was touching Hitler’s old desk.
After washing our hands with green soap, we went to a very small Tutankhamun museum. It felt as if they had put a full-blown pyramid treasure collection inside a tiny bookshop. However, since we were reading up on tombs and mummies anyway, it felt like a real-life tomb experience. Some kids were given the scare of their lives. It was great fun.
During “spare time” a lot of candy was bought and eaten. This was much-needed to keep up with the pace of the schedule for that day.
In the evening, it was time for the beloved and at the same time feared “Bonte Avond.” The combination of well-prepared dance acts, singers and spontaneous comedy promised to be very entertaining. There were some true choreographers and singers among this year’s students. It will be very interesting to see how their talent develops throughout the schoolyear. We ended the night with a disco and laser lights.

Thursday, 21st September
Thursday was dome day! The Swanage Centre had a huge air dome in which you could do sports. The game the kids played was called “Bulldog.” The cheating and scheming of some players did not demotivate the others to give it their best.
After the sports activity, we hiked up the hills of Swanage to see an old marine base. The kids were quite tired after their sporty morning but the enthusiasm of the Swanage crew got them to reach the ‘top’. And what a spectacular view we had!
We learned about the fossils you can find at the coast of England and the students got a taste of how old the earth really is. The path we took went through a small forest and it was good to take a last fresh breath of sea air before returning to the centre again.After the hike, it was time to pack and get back into the bus.  The bus driver was racing through England and managed to arrive home in Purmerend early. Nobody saw that coming, and parents got a wake-up call from their kids to pick them up early.

Some comments from our students

  • In the evening we did the karaoke night. It was very funny and I did very many songs.  Anoek
  • Then we had the Tutankhamun exhibition, which was fun and interesting. The military museum was super interesting.     Luca
  • We went to do sports in the so-called Dome, which really looked like an enormous bouncing cushion but with doors so you could get in.    Thijs
  • We did beachball. That was a fun game. We did a tournament and we ended 3rd.
  • We went walking to a castle on the hill. On the way back to the center we taught the English guide to speak a little Dutch.     Lisa
  • It was a very nice week and we got to know each other better!
  • My favourite thing was the karaoke night. We sang “Galway girl” and “Last Christmas”. The guided walk through Dorchester interested me most. The guide was very nice and I liked the walk.
  • I loved it! The part that interested me most was definitely the Tutankhamun Exhibition. I loved seeing all the newspaper articles, the statues and of course the Golden Mask   Dean
  • I really liked the surroundings and the nice programme.    Karsten