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Primary Newsletter | Issue 06| 16 November 2012

In this issue

2 The International School of The Hague P. O. Box 52047 2505 CA The Hague Wijndaelerduin 1 2554 BX The Hague


Dear ISH News Readers,


Mother Tongue News


Primary News


Dates for your Diary


Primary News

10-11 Parent Info

Primary School Telephone +31 (0)70 338 4567 Fax +31 (0)70 328 2049 Email This Issue is made by Verona Schroder Please contact for Newsletter items * Cover photograph has been taken by Christel van Meeuwen

Dear ISH News Readers, Dear Parents I had a new experience this week when I joined some Year 4 children in their ‘Street Dance Workshop’. Our street dancing expert visited school on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to work with all our Year 4 and Year 5 children. I can’t speak for the children, but I certainly learned some new moves! Last week a number of parents from the lower school attended an excellent Mathematics workshop led by Matt Greenwood supported by Jen Taylor, Michelle Ostiguy, Lee Fairhead and Sue Tee. We will be holding a number of workshops throughout the year so that you can be better informed about what we do at the ISH. If there are any areas you would like to learn more about please let me know, if we have enough support to make it viable we will try to arrange a workshop. On Tuesday and Thursday we held our first parent teacher consultation meetings of the year. It was fantastic to see that nearly all parents were able to attend and I enjoyed meeting many of you and receiving such positive feedback about our wonderful children and talented teachers. If you were unable to make either of the evenings and have not had an opportunity to meet with your child’s class teacher to discuss their progress, can I please encourage you to do so. On behalf of everyone I would like to welcome Lindsey Banks who will be working in Year 4 covering Dianna Bradley’s maternity leave until the end of this academic year. Lindsey has experience of working in a number of international schools around the world and has recently been taking part in a voluntary project in Costa Rica. There will be an opportunity for parents of 4B to meet with Lindsey before the holidays in December. As a part of my role as an IPC accreditor I will be attending an annual training course in London on November 30th, therefore, I will not be in school on that day. New staff have been attending briefing meetings about the Sinterklaas celebrations that will soon be upon us. In anticipation of us receiving a special visit on the morning of Wednesday, December 5th I would like to give advance warning that the school will be a car free zone on that morning. Please make use of the carpark located across from the school on this day. Have an enjoyable weekend and enjoy the arrival of Sinterklaas tomorrow.


Primary Newsletter | Issue 06| 16 November 2012

Mother Tongue News Kevin Rae - Primary Principal


SAFETY FIRST Dear Parents, winter is fast approaching and with it comes darkness. Please make sure that your child’s bicycle has working lights and convey the importance of turning lights on

Dear Parents, Knowledge to Share: “The Power of Reading” I researched language acquisition and read about Stephen Krashen splitting a class into 2 groups, It was explained how one group received an extra hour of grammar per week and the other group had an hour of FREE reading. At the end of one year all children took the regular language tests. Results showed that the children that had the Free reading session scored the same as the other group in the grammar results, but scored higher in all language related areas such as reading, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling etc.This demonstrates the power of reading. The lesson for us and our mother tongue development is that when there is no opportunity for our children to have regular lessons in their Mother Tongue children can still develop all their language skills by reading regularly. Krashen also stressed that any reading is good (Comics, reading on internet, nonfiction). The importance is to have the reading at the correct level, high enough to be motivating, not too difficult to discourage. When a child is struggling it is good to give them the choice to read easier books for a while. Once they gain in confidence they will be more willing to move to a higher reading level by themselves. Mother Tongue within school All the children are now participating in the Mother Tongue session on Tuesday. We have more than 150 students from secondary joining to support the children in their Mother Tongue. In the next newsletter I will list the languages we would like to receive more help with. Mother Tongue after school -Make up lesson for both Dutch groups on 13 February and 14 February. German Upper School on 14 February. -Reminder: *Due to Sinterklaas celebrations there will be no Mother Tongue lessons for Lower School on 5 December. *Please make sure you pick up your child on time at the end of Mother Tongue sessions: Wednesdays lessons end at 13:50 and Thursdays lessons at 16:15 Kind regards, Pascale Hertay, Deputy Head

Primary News Concerts and Workshops at the ISH The ISH Primary choir have started to rehearse and we are all looking forward to the performance together with the Viotta Youth Ensemble (over 70 children age 7 – 11). The date of the concert has been shifted and will now take place on Saturday, December 1st. On the day children are expected to be in school at 13:15 – parents do not need to stay for the rehearsal. At 13:30 we will start the rehearsal of Winter Wonderland with the orchestra followed by a brief choir rehearsal (in the Music Room). The concert starts at 16:00 and we should be finished by 17:00. Please come and enjoy! The children really appreciate the opportunity to perform for parents. The dress code for the performance is black and white. As a follow up: on the Saturday, 8 December, the Viotta Symphonic Youth Orchestra (children from age 12 to 18) are also coming to perform at our school. The concert will start at 18:30 in our Theatre. The Youth Orchestra are a renowned and prestigious orchestra, many of their musicians are already part of the Conservatory School for young talents, quite a few of our ISH talented young musicians are part of this orchestra. My main goal in bringing the orchestra to our school is to create an environment that celebrates music, talents, diligence and the dedication of our students as well as offering the ISH primary children a great opportunity to be exposed to classical music and to a wide range of instruments. It can be an eye opener and very inspiring for the younger students to see teenagers excelling in music. Also, this week the children in year 4 and 5 have been given the opportunity to join in a Streetdance workshop. Here are some pictures they speak more than words can. Many thanks to Anoushka for her great lessons.

Next week Monday, November 19th , the children in year 2 and year 3 will be listening to a Woodwind quartet playing the story and sound track of the film Anastacia about a Russian Princess. They will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon). If students are interested they will have the opportunity to get in contact with the instrumentalists for trial lessons. The last music activity of this calendar year will be the Winter Concert during an assembly on December 14th. On that day the assembly will be dedicated to music. Choir, String Ensemble and chosen soloists will perform. Dina Titan


Primary Newsletter | Issue 06| 16 November 2012

Primary News Amazing buildings In Mother Tongue we have been learning about cool buildings/gave gebouwen and we were amazed about the size, shape, dimensions and style of amazing buildings all around the world. We discussed what made them so special and chose our favourite building. Using scrap material, we tried to create a copy of the building. Here are some photographs!


Please view our most excellent Podcasts:

Green Club The Recycled Art and Technology After School Activity’s main objective is to stimulate creativity and resourcefulness. Junk from a wide range of materials - for example cardboard, polystyrene, string, plastic - is ‘modelled’ into something new. This can be a useful object, or a beautiful piece of art work to be admired. Careful thought is given about how best to use the recycled materials in order to minimise wastage and maximise the potential of the ‘junk’ . The practical nature of this club lends itself to developing skills and knowledge in various ways. With the guidance and support of Mr. Frick and Ms Peck, the children are encouraged to build on their existing accomplishments, whilst acquiring new expertise in the purposes of basic craft and technology equipment and the techniques required whilst using them. Integral to this process is the ability to problem-solve, to adapt and to improvise, using only the materials at hand.

Dates for your Diary November



Dutch reading out loud competition


Sinterklaas visits ISH


Primary Concert


Flexi start - Students must be in by 9:15

CT Days 19 - 23

Ms Taylor

19 - 20

Mr Fairhead

23 19

Ms. Fallenius AM Mr Frick PM

End of term - Students back on 08 January

26 - 30

Mr Frick

26 - 27

Mr Gray

29 29 - 30

Ms Ana Ms Cowings

Please check our website for a complete calendar. CT Days are Compensation Days that Teaching Staff are allowed to make use of during the school year, this in accordance with Dutch Labour Laws as stipulated by the CAO


Primary Newsletter | Issue 06| 16 November 2012

Primary News Dutch News


Have you noticed our Secondary students that are outside everyday helping our primary children get to school safely? They are out every morning proudly wearing their high visibility vests in all weather and all temperatures, they greet your children with friendly smiling faces. Please feel free to let them know you appreciate their efforts. Thank you, Ms Verona and Ms Lira

Celebration of Sinterklaas/St Nicholas During the period leading up to December 5 there is no escape possible; The Netherlands, our host country is preparing on the grandest scale for St. Nicholas’s birthday. On Saturday, November 17 the steamer will arrive from Spain, carrying the Saint and his entourage, to the Hague where tens of thousands of children will be ready to receive him. The Saint’s arrival will be broadcast live on television. Shop windows are dressed for the occasion, with Sinterklaas candy and presents. Children compose rhymes, put out their shoes by the hearth, and sing songs to Sinterklaas. Also here at the ISH we are preparing for Sinterklaas. The school will be decorated, children will learn about the Sinterklaas tradition, practise songs and do other activities, such as baking pepernoten. Sinterklaas will pay a visit to our school on December 5. He will arrive around 8.45 am. WHO IS SINTERKLAAS? Sinterklaas is the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was a bishop who lived and worked in Asia Minor. He was born in Mira (Turkey) in 271 AD and died in the year 343 AD. In the year 2011 he would have been 1741 years old. According to the legend he saved his town from starvation, revived three dead children and he offered dowries to very poor girls. Sailors started believing in St. Nicholas because three sailors swore that he had calmed a very rough sea when they were at sea and in trouble because of bad weather conditions. Slowly people all over Europe started honouring and respecting St. Nicholas. Children, bakers, sailors, scholars, prisoners, merchants etc. started to believe in him. In Holland people believe that St. Nicholas comes from Spain. The reason for this is that in the 17th century, Holland was famous for its navigation. So the Dutch sailors had plenty of contact with the Spanish sailors. Holland was ruled by Spain in the 16th century. The Spanish sailors believed in St. Nicholas as their guardian Saint. They must have told the Dutch sailors about this and the Dutch sailors must have taken that back to Holland. In Holland the name given to St. Nicholas is “Sinterklaas”.

Primary News Legend goes that Sinterklaas travels on his horse over the roofs of the Dutch houses at night with his helper Zwarte Piet. The Dutch children put their shoes (used to be wooden shoes) in front of the fire place. They sing songs and provide a carrot or hay for the horse. When the children are asleep, Zwarte Piet comes down the chimney (this is the reason why he is black) and puts presents and candy in the shoes. Sinterklaas’ birthday is celebrated on St. Nicholas’ Eve, December 5. Originally, until the early years of the twentieth century, this was a children’s festival, but it grew into a festivity for the whole family, with everyone giving each other presents. Traditional treats are served throughout the evening. Surprise gifts. When grown-ups get together to celebrate Sinterklaas, they follow some traditions of their own. Well in advance, they draw each others’ names, and they buy gifts for the person they have drawn. The identity of the giver is not disclosed. Small gifts are hidden in elaborate wrappings, symbolizing something with special meaning for the recipient. The gifts are accompanied by poems which are full of puns making fun of the recipient. People get together with relatives and/or friends, eat Sinterklaas candy, open their presents one by one (the identity of the giver remains a secret) and read the poems aloud. We hope you and your children will enjoy this Dutch tradition, in and outside school. Please note that you can find the special children songs on the ISH-website. Choose Pri-Moodle, log-in, click year 1,2,3 or 4, and choose Music or go to this website: The Dutch teachers, Els Buesink, Monique Gerretzen, Rosalie van Mierlo and Kina Stellema.


Primary Newsletter | Issue 06| 16 November 2012

Parent Info Parent Partnership Have you been told that there is a problem with your child? Has your child has been assessed or been given a diagnosis, and you still have lots of questions? Who can you talk to? The Parent Partnership group can help to share some information around the process of diagnosis, what support and advice is available, how parents can access reliable medical information and what to you can do if you are concerned about their child’s development. We will be meeting: in the primary school staffroom on Thursday 22nd November at 19:30. The subject will be: How do we cope?


If you would like to know more contact:

Parent Info Invitation to attend

Playball , the mini-sports and movement programme is starting lessons in Statenkwartier from November!! We offer separate age-appropriate lessons for 3yrs, 4yrs and 5-7yrs of age. It is action packed and loads of fun. What Sports Skills does Playball coach? We teach the building blocks for Tennis, Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball & Volleyball. Playball activities also develop agility, stability and muscle tone. See more info on or contact Maggie on 0627214349. What’s good about Playball? 1. Children are active and participating in physical exercise (indoors in winter/outdoors in summer) 2. Dramatic improvement in ball-skills, fitness and body co-ordination 3. Age-appropriate, updated curriculum designed by sports & movement experts 4. English first-language coaches delivering the lessons 5. Individual attention possible through small class sizes – maximum 8 kids per lesson 6. Correct technique is taught for hitting, catching, striking, trapping, kicking, throwing (over/underarm) etc. Why else is Playball valuable for little kids? 7. We emphasise persistence and a “never give up” attitude until they have a success experience as they learn new tricky skills. Example: catching small ball with one hand/ tennis forehand. Not easy at first. 8. Rotating “Star of the Week” teaches kids to say CONGRATULATIONS, and good sportsmanship at an early age. 9. We hope to translate “success experiences” into “mastery experiences” and into “self-efficacy” and confidence: “I can do this!”. 10. Acquiring the skills to participate in not one but SIX sports at 7 years old!


Primary Newsletter, The International School of The Hague  

Primary Newsletter, The International School of The Hague

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