Reading, poetry and book promotion
We regularly organise sessions where parents and scholars read to children. Book promotions in the classroom are common. The students visit the library annually to inspire them to read more. We organise reading and poetry recital contests (where parents are also welcome). 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.
The Optimist International School and it’s team are fond of sports! We collaborate with Sportservice Haarlemmermeer for special lessons during our physical education lessons, like 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. Throughout the year our school is involved in several sports and game activities in Haarlemmermeer, for example: soccer (football), athletics, basketball, hockey, swimming and many more! 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 king’s birthday (Kingsday) and around that day we organize Kings games. Besides that we participate in the yearly four evenings walk in Floriande, the Avondvierdaagse.
Mad Science, Spanish, Music, Singing & Dancing
The main educational areas 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 dancing teachers. Several times a year we organise gatherings where children of different groups give each other small performances or presentations, which can be singing, dancing, performing or showing other skills. Once a year we organise Optimist’s got talent, an exciting evening including parents of participating students. We feel it's not only important that children can demonstrate their skills and talents, it should also be 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 and 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 a 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 to our school, instructors from health care organisations to teach children about the risks of fireworks, smoking and many more. All 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. We also have a Christmas lunch/dinner in the classrooms, which is prepared by the children and their parents. The typical Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas is celebrated around the 5th of December, when Sinterklaas comes to visit our school. For Easter we all have breakfast together with meals also prepared by children and their parents, which gives place to a wonderful intercultural feast where children discover new food and cultures.
We use laptops and chromebooks to support our curriculum, in order to teach children media literacy.