Meerhoven has a large and a growing international population. Meerhoven Internationals Platform arranged an education event to address the information needs of the global residents of Meerhoven.
Around a hundred guests attended this information session. Korein Kinderplein the daycare center, Basiss School Slingertouw and Basiss school St@rtbaan in Meerhoven, participated in the information event.
The Meerhoven Internationals Platform (MIP)
The Meerhoven Internationals Platform (MIP) is a neighbourhood team that organises events, get-togethers and Dutch classes for the internationals in Meerhoven. This dynamic team is a combination of many nationalities. Likewise, the education event attracted many internationals. Korein Kinderplein accepted to take care of the children for free while their parents attended the workshop. Many guests commented that this was thoughtful and helpful. Thanks to the MIP team and the Korein Kinderplein Staff. Congli Dong made the first presentation of the morning, shedding light on the work and activities of the MIP.
Korein Kinderplein is one of the childcare groups in Eindhoven. They take pride in being the starting point of education in a child’s life. Children start Peuterplaza or Play School at 2 years and 3 months in the Netherlands. Danielle Louwers, Nancy Hoens and Divina Stritzko from Korein Kinderplein gave presentations on many aspects concerning the playschool years of the children. They explained the various stages of settling into the playschool environment which is called the Wen-process in Dutch. The daycare group’s staff spoke briefly about easing the children into a learning routine and also about the 4 pillars of learning. Information on Korein Kinderplein can be found here.
Presentation on the Dutch education system
Sultan Solak and Hanneke Hermans from the Slingertouw and Startbaan schools respectively presented in detail about the Dutch education system. Solak mentioned that groups 1 and 2 are preparatory phases while group 3 marks the start of learning mathematics, reading and writing. In group 4 the children concentrate on reading comprehension and multiplication tables. In the same way geography, history and biology are introduced in Group 5 and 6. However, group 7 and 8 are the preparatory years for the secondary education. Hermans educated the audience about the CITO tests that happen around January and June every academic year. She also explained how international children who join late for example in group 6 could be exempted from a language test when they sit for the final exam in group 8. However, the school decides to grant language exemption or not, to the concerned student.
Sultan Solak highlighted the Slingertouw school’s motto which is raising children to be the world citizens. Slingertouw focuses on futuristic global education, so naturally, languages are important. Presently, once a week English lessons are taught which would be increased to two hours a week from the coming academic year. Programming and 3D printing are part of the school curriculum. The Slingertouw school has a technical lab which promotes technical creativity, while the on-stage performances enhance social skills. The children come together once every six weeks to perform on stage a dance or a play or sing. From group 4 all the students have access to tablets especially when they are doing math or working on their spelling. Another important feature of the Slingertouw school is that the children get to plan their own weekly academic schedule. The teacher sets the expectation for the week but the child plans the sequence of subjects or activities. The school has thirty different nationalities. More information about Slingertouw here.
Basis School St@rtbaan
Hanneke Hermans (associate director) explains that the St@rtbaan has a philosophy of finding a balance among head heart and hands. The children start their morning in a circle which enables group discussions and thereby encouraging their social skills. The St@rtban has an agreement with the CKE (centre for Art, Eindhoven) therefore, art and music lessons are part of the curriculum. Students have access to tablets from grade 5 onwards. St@rtbaan also has English classes every week. St@rtbaan has special programmes that cater to highly talented children to challenge them adequately. Another remarkable feature of St@rtbaan is the power training which addresses the fear of failure in anxious pupils. Programming is part of the curriculum at St@rtbaan as well. They run a drone project for 7th graders while the little ones have fun with Beebots. The school has about 720 students out of which 15 % are internationals. Hermans assures that the school is working towards upscaling the number of English lessons per week. And they are also working on inculcating the International Primary Curriculum. The St@rtbaan conducts Dutch classes for parents once a week. More information about st@rtbaan here.
Integrating International students into the Dutch curriculum
Both the schools take utmost care in providing additional language classes for the international students. The number of special language classes varies with the needs of the pupils. As a result, the students reach a level on par with their peers. Both schools are part of the Brainport initiative that aims to internationalise education.
For Eindhoven News: Beena Arunraj