The community news page will be edited regularly to keep you up to date with what’s going on at International School Utrecht. This time we will tell you about the 5th year anniversary celebrations on 12 October 2017.
By Ingrid Schmoutziguer, communications advisor; photos by school parents Andrea Janes and Lila Rodrigues
We celebrated the 5th year anniversary of the International School Utrecht with our whole school community: students, parents and staff. To showcase our diversity, we started the festivities with a flag parade, in which students and parents representing the 40+ different nationalities in our school participated. It was wonderful to see our students and parents in traditional dress, or sporting their national colours proudly carrying their flag for the whole school to see. To see more pictures of the flag parade…
After the flag parade, all students, staff and guests went inside for a short ceremony. When the school opened its doors 5 years ago, apples with the International School Utrecht logo printed on them were hung on a tree to symbolize the start of a growing community. This time around we again hung apples from the tree growing in the hall of our main building and we asked student, staff, parent, board and wider community representatives to cut one off. And rather than concentrating our ceremony on the five years gone past, we asked all the participants to give us their wishes for the future of the ISUtrecht.
Flourishing into full bloom
The first to address the audience was founding head of school Jaap Mos, who lead the school from Aug 2012 until Dec 2014. He was simply amazed by the growth of the ISUtrecht over the past couple of years; he wished us well for the future. Mr Mos was followed by Alderman Jeroen Kreijkamp who emphasized how fortunate Utrecht is to be able to provide all children living in Utrecht with a fitting education. Mr Kreijkamp quoted Nelson Mandela who said: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Board member Leon de Wit reminded the audience of the right to education for every child, using the words of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She said: One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.
Judith van Abeelen, chair of the Parent Support Group wished the ISUtrecht a permanent location in the city where the school can flourish into full bloom and Brian Lynam, our newest staff member (he started teaching grade 4 in August 2017) told the students, staff and guests how impressed he was by the caring attitude of the students at the ISUtrecht. Mr Lynam also told the audience how happy he was to be part of the ISUtrecht community and wished everyone present a wonderful celebration.
Diploma student Annick (grade 11), who was amongst the first students joining the school in 2012, beautifully explained the apple ceremony: Normally, a building is opened by an important person cutting a ribbon. In our case a few students cut a ribbon that held an apple hanging on a tree. Of course, I ate the apple like all the kids that attended. But at that moment it symbolized the hard work of all the people involved in preparation, like people in the municipality and the Utrecht region.
Annick hopes that our school will cherish the sense of community amongst students and their families. As I experienced it personally, coming back from abroad and feeling a little lost, this community helps strengthen connections and boosts friendships amongst students. I feel this is important.
Last to take the microphone was Joven (grade 5) our newest student who moved from New Delhi to Utrecht only four weeks ago! He mentioned how happy he was to be at ISUtrecht, how caring the other students were and that he already made some friends. His wishes the school to have ‘a real football field’ in the future.
Of course their was cake for everyone to celebrate the school turning 5! To see more pictures from the ceremony…
International Market Day
During the afternoon we all celebrated by holding the first ever ISUtrecht International Market Day. There were twenty stalls with food from different cultures. These food stalls were manned by parents who made culture groups and cooked up some delicious food. Students could sell much loved toys and books, play their instrument or come up with a game to make some money. To see more pictures from the ISUtrecht International Market Day…
Participants were asked to donate part of their profits for De Tussenvoorziening in Utrecht. Thanks to very generous donations from students, staff and parents the school managed to raise over 1100 euros for De Tussenvoorziening, a local charity organisation working with vulnerable people in Utrecht who mostly are or have been homeless. Some of our teachers volunteer here during the week.
A short history of the ISUtrecht
Let’s take you back to August 2012 when the International School Utrecht opened its doors to 63 students, aged 4 to 13, at the Notebomenlaan on the eastern side of Utrecht. The staff, led by Jaap Mos and Kate Corder, wore multiple hats and everyone knew each other.
Now, let’s move to March 2015. This is the time of change. The school, now 153 students strong, moves to the Van Bijnkershoeklaan and Rynette de Villiers is appointed as the new head of school. We experience our first edition of ArtBurst and music is introduced to the curriculum. Our staff becomes more specialised and we become an IB world school.
In October 2017, with 580 students, 64 educators and the extensions to our main building well underway, we celebrate our success together with our community and stakeholders, who have played such an important role in realising our ambitions.