Erasmus trip to the Neatherlands
In the early morning of October 30th, a group of two teachers and five pupils headed off to Rotterdam by train. We departed from Bielefeld train station at 9.12 am, and after a pleasant train ride, with only one broken down-train (which lead to a delay of one hour – a peak performance for the Deutsche Bundesbahn), we arrived safely in Rotterdam and were greated by our Dutch hosts.
While the students were taken to their host families, the teachers had time to check in to the hotel and meet briefly to review plans for the following week.
On Monday morning pupils and teachers travelled to the Yuverta Klaaswaal school in the town of Klaaswaal. After a short meeting at school, the pupils went on a scavenger hunt and the teachers were led around and informed about the school.
The uniqueness of the school is based on the school theme. Next to regular lessons like English, maths or history, the generously-dimensioned school ground has been transfered into a minature farm landscape with rabbits, guinea pigs, gheckos, ducks, goats, a school cat and even donkeys and horses. The food for the animals is stored in surrounding sheds and the mini farm even has its own workshop filled with tools needed for maintenance and repair. There is even a tractor which is used for work on the fruit orchard and for the daily farm work.
Next to its own greenhouse, where many different types of flowers, plants and herbs can be found, the school has its own flowery, which is best supplied by the local flower companies. The buildings also grant room for a flower shop, where pupils learn how to bind flowers, a technical studies room, equipt, inter alia, with a laser printer and a large screen connected to tablets used for programming and rooms, where the teachers can leave their dogs during school time.
After their tour through school the students had lunch and then were allowed to create art objects using the laser cutter before accompanying their hosts to regular lessons. The rest of the afternoon was at free disposal.
On Tuesday the students spent the morning creating art objects within the framework of the recycling project, using old bicycle tires and flowers. In the afternoon a trip to the beautiful UNESCO world heritage Kinderdijk was on the agenda. Kinderdijk is a unique windmill complex which has been in use for centuries in the constant struggle to prevent flooding and keep the soil dry.
Wednesday was dedicated to a day-trip to Amsterdam. Teachers and students left early in the morning and, after a visit to the Wondr Museum, a dazzling interactive adventure playground suitable for all ages, we were able to experience the magnificant view over Amsterdam from the 100 metre-high Amsterdam Lookout tower. Thrillseakers free of vertigo were able to ride on the OverTheEdge swing, the highest swing in Europe.
Thursday morning started with a city tour of Rotterdam on foot, which lead us to the Euromast, one of the highest towers in Rotterdam, to Oude Haven and to the famous cubic houses of Blaack.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that several teachers had come down with flu by Thursday evening and the risk of a covid infection was too high, the planned Dutch evening at school had to be cancelled and, with a heavy heart, a joint decision was made to leave one day earlier to avoid the risk of teachers and students becoming too ill to travel back.
So the German group left after the staff meeting on Friday and arrived safely and even on time (!) in Bielefeld where the parents were waiting to pick up their children.
Our thanks go to the Yuverta Klaaswaal team, the host families and the German parents for their support and cooperation.