Reading, poetry and book promotion
We organise sessions where parents and scholars read to children. Book promotions in the classes are common. The students visit the library annually to inspire them to read more. We organise contests (where parents are welcome also) on reading and reciting poetry. Every year we participate in the national Children's Book Week (Kinderboekenweek). During this week we come together in our communal area for all sorts of reading activities.
De Optimist is a school fond of sports. We collaborate with Sportservice Haarlemmermeer for special lessons during our lessons physical education which we combine with for example skiing, skating and judo. We use sports equipment and games during our breaks outside from the JOGG Box, which is a programme of the Dutch government to help young people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy life. During the year our school is involved in several sports and game activities in Haarlemmermeer like: soccer, athletics, basketball, hockey, swimming and so on. Teams are usually mixed with different age groups. There are two special events during the year. First of all we have Koningsspelen: in the Netherlands we celebrate the kings birthday (Kingsday) and around that day we organize Kings games. Besides that we participate in the yearly four evening walk in Floriande, the Avondvierdaagse.
Mad Science, Spanish, Music, singing & dancing
The main educational domains of music are making music, writing music, reading music, speaking about music and listening to music. We collaborate with an organisation which provides music, singing and dance teachers. A couple of times a year we organise gatherings of several groups together, where children give each other small performances or presentations, which can be singing, dancing, drama or showing other skills. Once a year we organise Optimist got talent, an exciting evening including parents of participating students. Mainly because we feel it's not only important that children can demonstrate their skills and talents, it's also fun!
We collaborate with external teachers for Spanish and Mad Science (technology and science) who teach these lessons on a weekly basis.
Cultural excursions, outings, school camp
In connection with the curriculum, groups regularly visit a location to extend their knowledge and experience, for example a museum, a water treatment facility, a theatre or music performance, the zoo or a petting zoo. As a school we also participate in activities related to sustainability, like tree planting day and picking up waste, because children should be involved in solving important issues, such as the environment. We also invite speakers or experts at our school, instructors from health care organisations to teach children about the risks of fireworks, smoking and so on. The oldest students (group 8 Dutch school) have a 4 day/3 night school camp. All other groups have an organised outing for a whole day once a year.
Celebrations: Christmas, Sinterklaas and Easter
Being a public school we welcome people from every nationality and ethnic background. Nevertheless we don't celebrate all cultural or religious festivities. We do celebrate Christmas by having a gathering with the whole school with music and singing activities. At night we have a Christmas dinner in the classrooms, which is prepared by the children and their parents. At Easter we have breakfast together. The typical Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas is celebrated around 5 december, when Sinterklaas also visits our school.
We use laptops and chromebooks to support our curriculum and in order to teach children media literacy.