As of today last year’s 3tto students (both havo and atheneum) are given their Anglia exam certificates. Only one student didn’t pass but overall there is a positive shift for our school in that more students achieved a ‘Distinction’ grade (80-100% score) instead of a “Merit’ grade (65-79% score) than the year(s) before.
At the havo level 12 (36%) of the 33 TTO students managed to achieve a ‘distinction’ score on all parts of the written Advanced (the two but highest level within the Anglia organisation) exam. (‘Distinction’ means you scored 80% or more correct.) Practically all the others (61%) passed with a ‘Merit’ qualification – having scored between 65 and 79% correct) and one of our students got a ‘Refer” (scoring below 50%).
At the atheneum level 16 (26%) of the 62 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. Seven students (11%) managed a ‘Pass’ qualification, which means that the other 39 students (63%) scored a ‘Merit’ one.
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.
Although life is far back from normal after the initial
impact of the corona virus, we can at least mention one aspect of school life
that is taking place as we speak, or rather, write, or better still – type.
This year’s 3tto students, both havo and atheneum, will be
sitting their written Anglia exam soon (18th June, to be precise),
but they are already trying their best at the oral exam this week.
This takes places in twos that have to face two of our (Anglia-spoken-assessor-qualified) teachers, Mrs Verbruggen and Ms Veerman, while trying to convince them of their attained level of fluency in the course of the past three years.
Some of the lucky ones were caught on camera and we hope they
as well as all the others have done well and will continue to do so in the
written exam on the 18th June.
Our 5/6 atheneum IB students were treated to a workshop on
First World War Poetry, a 4D-experience of the trenches, on a slightly lower
budget than the 1917 film that is currently shown in the cinemas.
Real-life props were used to have our
students experience a little bit of life in the 1914-18 trenches, the
background of which was used by writers and poets to tell the world about what
happened there and then.
And, though they were very hard times
for the young men, often as old as our students taking part in this workshop,
and some had to be stretchered away seriously injured or worse, there was
occassionally time for camaraderie amongst the fighting troops, exemplified by
one famous story of a football match being played on No Man’s Land over a short
truce at Christmas, even in wartime. Much better idea to play in peacetime,
however, than in wartime, wherever, whenever.
The Phileas Fogg Theatre Company were here again, this time with a performance of Romeo and Juliet with and for our 2tto students. Three nights in a row this dramatic romance story by William Shakespeare (1564 -1616) was rehearsed and performed under the superb guidance of our actors Ivan and Jen.
Every night our students were
split into two groups, roughly the Capulets and the Montagues, the feuding
families in Shakespeare’s play. They then rehearsed their half of the play and
then had to convince Ivan and Jen, the audience and their teachers that they
could turn the whole thing into something worth watching. And did they succeed?
A ‘yes’ is in order here.
Obviously, there were
quite a few lines to be read, quite a few stage skills to be learnt (sword
fighting, lying dead, being dramatic, and the like), but on the whole our
students took it all in their stride.
Of course some had to overdo things a little but then exaggeration is one way of turning a dialogue into something worth acclaiming and remembering. And others were helped to overcome their natural shyness to shine (word pun, aha!) by means of extremely ingeniously selected disguises, making them instantly unrecogniseable.
course, Shakespeare wouldn’t be Shakespeare without a few dead bodies, so we
had a fair selection of those cleaning the floor as well. And, to cap(ulet!) it
all (word pun number 2, aha!) Radio Verona did intervene a couple of times with
the latest (?) 15th century news on the everlasting battle between
the feuding families.
after some slow motion dancing moves the party came to a dead end (Yep, numero
tres, thank you), with both Ivan and Jen earning their money in the easiest way
possible, leaving all our poor students to do the rest of the acting all on
We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and to see you
again next time.
Organisation-wise, this year’s Junior Speaking Contest for
our 2nd and 3rd-year TTO students was a bit of a
nightmare, but, thanks to a lot of keen 5ath IB students, we managed to hold
this annual contest (in a down-watered version) last Tuesday, 12th
February 2020, in the H-wing.
Students had to prepare a 1-minute
speech on this year’s topic of ‘My future is now’ (this topic is always decided
on at a national level, by the way) and make notes of other students’
performances when not speaking themselves.
That our 5ath IB students enjoyed organising and running the show
in the various classrooms may be pretty obvious judging by the picture of
Shania and Kim, who took care of one of our seven groups this afternoon.
Once the speeches had been prepared it was time to actually give them to your own class and it was up to the members of the jury in every classroom to decide on the finalists. Once all seven of those were known, everyone gathered in the central space of the H-wing for the final.
We had seven finalists this year (one for each class). First,
it was the 2TTO students’ turn and they were (in class order):
Ruben van der
Lylian Tai (2S)
Nailah van der Jagt
(2T) – and their winner was Lylian.
And in the 3TTO segment
Jaro Titsing (but he
withdrew from the contest) (3G)
Max den Broeder
Anoek van Eerde
Veròn Guizani (3T) – and
their winner was Max.
Some jury comments
– a very weird topic
but it wasn’t very bad language
– a bit shy, but the
rest was good
– good message and well
– knows what she’s
talking about, good presentation
Congratulations to both
winners and it is Max (with tunner-up Anoek) who will represent us at the
Regional JSP at the end of March in Heerhugowaard (with a 3-minute speech on
the same topic and with the use of 20 keywords only).
Once again, many thanks
to our ‘helping hand’-5ath IB students (in alphabetical order: Minke, Tom,
Serena, Femke, Suzanne, Kim, Lot, Yelana, Maria, June, Kim, Marit, Luna,
Angelina, Levi, Anna, Shania, Amber and Lotte) and my colleagues Ms Boekestijn
and Mr Groeneveld.
And, once again, we welcomed loads of prospective pupils and their parents to our school. Windows had been cleaned, floors had been vacuumed, cupboards had been dusted, lights had been put up, stalls had been placed, materials had been gathered. In short: everything and everyone was ready to go.
The first thing people must have seen when they approached the building was the collection of art work and the new tto logo behind glass on the first floor. The next step would have been the balloon-enhanced entrance to the school where a carefully handpicked selection of students and colleagues welcomed everyone and handed out the necessary folders with information. And, once inside, the art department displayed an array of wonderful products.
A leisurely stroll through the various parts of the building led from one experience to another and, we’re happy to say, in lots of classrooms people were not only just interested but also actively trying to solve some of the problems set out for them.
In order to help people on their way to the by far most intriguing parts of the building, lots of very helpful students and colleagues were posted in various areas, some disguised as historical figures, some in an after-life outfit, some in the latest fashion-wear for BSM and PE.
Once inside the H-wing, where the central space had been turned into a kind of market-style venue, various tto subjects had displayed all their trophies and teachers and students alike were more than willing to explain anything people wanted to know.
For those wanting to know even more we had Mr Roosingh explaining everything in detail in his own classroom. And for those who had to wait for him there was a continuous PowerPoint presentation on a large flatscreen with all the perks of a tto student’s career in our school.
Rests us to once again
thank one and all, hoping we shall remain the school where you are (not only heard but also) seen!
Yes, they were here again. This
year we welcomed the actors of the Phileas Fogg
Theatre Company for two shows in one day, to have our own students
perform a play about small children’s lives in the Victorian Age (second half
19th century) in England. After a short rehearsal and sort of
make-up session with our 1st-year bilingual students, both havo and vwo, a show
was staged for the audience consisting of parents, brothers, sisters and other
interested family or friends ( and colleagues).
This performance tries to make the students experience the
sort of lives their peers in the Victorian Age in England must have led – as
chimney-sweeps, as poop-scoopers, as beggars, as factory-workers – in order to
survive. Not only did they need to work just for their own sake; often whole
families had to make do on what little money these children (of whom there were
usually many in one family) earned. Often forced by their parents and by their
circumstances they often fell prey to
the lowest scum in society – the ones abusing and misusing the youngest of
How different from today’s
young, with their everything: mobile phones, clubs, clothes, holidays. Glad to be
alive today was the life lesson
to be learned from this performance, for which we, once again, thank Phileas Fogg – and all of it was IN ENGLISH!
Yes, believe it or not. We were off
again with this year’s (52) 1st-year tto atheneum students, on our
way to Grittleton House in county Wiltshire in
England. A house that is well-known locally because of the resident ghost, the
‘Grey Lady’, who is said to appear from time to time to scare the living
daylights out of anyone willing to be her victim.
Unlike during previous visits we stayed in the Old Stables this
time, although ‘old’ only refers to when thet were originally built as all the
rooms had been refurbished with proper beds (you’ll find out later on what the
old wooden ones are used for) and en-suite bathrooms/showers – an almost ideal
venue. And, boy (and girl), did these people know how to lay a table for us!
Day Two found us on our way to Bath Narrowboats, not for the boats though, but for the mountain bikes which
we were to use for a cycling tour along the Bristol & Bath Railway Path,
under the guidance of Darroch Davidson, who takes his job very seriously and
instructed all of us as if we had never seen, let alone used, a bike before!
En route several stops were made and we were told to inform
us about the history of the area and it dawned on us that England could in fact
have been Dutch if some of our royal ancestors had paid only a little more
attention! Then we would at least have cycled on the right side of the road!
After that gruelling bike ride in the 20-22 degrees sunshine
(with helmets on) we had lunch at the end of the railway path where we (1S) had
lunch and waited for the other class to switch bikes. Then we were driven to Bristol Zoo, where we could have enjoyed the animals if any of them had
been outside! The most active creatures turned out to be a fairly tall,
pig-like human (more about this later!) and a sloth (D. luiaard).
Back ‘home’ we made good use of the
old woorden bedsteads of the house in our campfire. It took a while (and
a few books and an ipad) to get it going but once the flames had started there
was no stopping the fire. Another thing that was difficult to stop was that
same tall creature we had observed in the zoo, but this time it had a field time,
standing on a log, in the dark, telling Black Stories for the audience to
unravel by means of highly intelligent questions. And we all know the Dutch
saying about one sheep having jumped across the dyke … well, it wasn’t a sheep,
it was a pig, as we shall find out later. So lots of others kept coming up with
ever more horrifying black stories until it was wel after bedtime. And was that
the Grey Lady that paid us a visit in the Stables that night? Or was it one of
the teachers sleepwalking and snoring at the same time?
Day Three started off as a truly
English day weatherwise – drizzle, the sort of tiny droplets of rain that will
actually get you soaked in no time. So … sports it was. Because of the
rain golf was cancelled but the other three sports instructors were there for
Frisbee throwing (indoors by the way), cricket and rugby.
Fortunately, the weather improved a lot and after a quick
shower and lunch we found our way to Berkeley Castle, an 11th-century
building, lived in by the same family for the last 900 years. The place is
probably most ‘famous’ for the fact (though disputed by some) that King Edward
II was murdered within its walls in 1327 (yep, the story of the red-hot poker
being shoved up the royal xxxx, excusez-le-mot).
That, however, has not prevented our Arts teachers from
allotting our students a drawing assignment. Once again, sitting
on the grass (or rather lying down as some did) the most splendid
black-and-white sketches were made, the quality of which was perfectly in line
with what one would expect from Rembrandt’s offspring.
As Mr Roosingh had managed to hire a
few of the local teachers to watch our students he had time for a quick
As we had plenty of time before we were expected to be back
‘home’ for dinner we made a short stop in the small town of Dursley, where most
shops were either closed or about to close, but where we did discover a small
swimming pool that could come in handy in the future perhaps.
Day Four was
our big Bath day. We were split up again into two
groups (easy with two classes of equal size) and one group started with the guided tour of
the city of Bath while the others were given the opportunity to visit the Roman Baths, still in use today because of the healing powers of the
spring water there, which you could (and I did) taste. The water is said to
contain over 40 different minerals beneficial to the human body (which makes me
wonder how there can still be space of water in it) but judging by the skeleton
we found inside I have my doubts!
In between those parts of the programme we all enjoyed a bit
of spare time. Needless to say, the local MacDonald’s cashed in on this visit
and were able to close for a week after as they had earned enough money serving
us. And all that in spite of the fact that a modest BBQ was waiting for us at
And then it was time for the ‘Colourful Evening’ (Bonte Avond). All kinds of acts
were performed, with singing, dancing, telling jokes and more black stories,
which made it very difficult for the jury. But the ‘douze points’ went to
everyone that did their best of course, even though some were praised by the
jury for being exceptionally good.
The ‘top act’ was probably our
afore-mentioned pig-like creature making an entrée with two co-dancers, performing
a one-time-only choreography of K3’s ‘Three Little Piglets’ (rather like a
‘witte schimmel’ in Dutch) with near-perfect footwork and extra bonus minutes
all thrown in for free.
A good time was had by all, drinks and crisps were free and
packing was delayed until it was well near 11 that evening.
But everyone had to be up bright and early again the next
morning to start the homeward-bound journey.
Let me close by saying that, on the whole, we, the teachers
all enjoyed being with you this week, in which hardly any (serious) complaints
had to be listened to, in which everyone was right on time whenever that was
called for and in which we all had many a good laugh.
To quote Mr Roosingh: “Het was
goooooooeeeeeed.” See you (all?) next year in Oxford. And here’s the group picture: one ‘before’ with the director Sebastiaan Spielberg
arranging the groups and the one with the mysterious shadow still in the
foregound (because of that horrible English sun!) and one of 1S and 1T
Da Vinci College, English Department
Last Thursday (October 17th
2019) was the day for our annual High
Tea&Pub Quiz (for 1tto students and their parents). From 5 o’clock onwards
parents and students laid out the most wonderful-looking and (as later turned
out) very tasty dishes onto the specially-decorated tables. Some had even taken
the trouble to add a little bit of Britishness to the dish maybe still hoping
to avert the impending Brexit.
After a bit of a wait everyone was
guided to this amazing treasure trove of food and as there was plenty to go
round some even managed to squeeze in a second round. If that doesn’t prove the
food was good, what will? May we thank all chefs of the day for their efforts
and those colleagues who assisted in making sure everything went very smoothly.
After all the tables had been cleared it
was time for the annual Pub Quiz, a
British cultural phenomenon of the highest standard – trying to answer (or
guess) the silliest questions possible on a variety of subjects. This year
there were five rounds, some consisting of open questions.
It was Mr Roosingh who opened with Round One, on pop
culture; then it was Ms Semler on a more European round; then our charming
student co-presenters, Babette, Kim, Kim, Minke
and Shania, took over for two rounds (one on Brexit – ORDER!!) and finally,
it was yours truly for the Shakespeare Round.
This year’s winners were The Deal, with 35 points (out of 50) and two teams with 33 points
in shared second place: The Best Parents
and The Blackies. Congrats all round
May we end by once again thanking all
those involved in organizing everything, both in front of and behind the
screens and – believe it or not – for the first time in our Pub Quiz history –
nothing was left behind! No dishes,
cutlery, etc. for Market Place for once.
PSG, Da Vinci College, English Department, bos, October
In the past fortnight we had two teacher trainees from Durham University training in our school. They had already arrived a week before but because we had a test week then it was arranged for our English visitors to have a look round in two other TTO-schools in our province.
On their return here they first observed a number of Junior TTO-classes so as to get a feel of the education these students get here. After that they were both allocated a ‘personal tutor’ for the rest of their stay. Tracey Donnelly was here for English, Jake Burdis was here for Science and Biology in particular. Special thanks go to Ms Dagmar Semler and Ms Rineke Voogt for their time and effort spent on their part.
Towards the end of their visit two of their tutors from Durham University came to see Tracey and Jake to find out how they were doing and to judge whether this experience was a worthwhile one for them.
As far as we at Da Vinci College are concerned – these training periods for English students are worth OUR while as these native speakers do not only learn and benefit from our guidance as far as teaching is concerned – they can also contribute to the increase in fluency of our TTO teachers when visiting the latter’s lessons.
Apart from lessons both Tracey and Jake enjoyed some non-curricular activities and attended our Open Nights. And that they had a good time there is proven by the pictures here.
We sincerely hope they have enjoyed their stay here in Purmerend and would like to thank everyone involved in making it a success.
And we wish both Tracey and Jake success in both their teaching careers and personal lives and hope to hear from them how they are doing in the future.