dinsdag 30 juni 2009

G is for Groep 8 - de binnendijk

Its the last day of the school year this week, and for Jolanda it is the last week of her time at De Binnendijk. Next school year she moves to Damstede and continues her education in voorgezet onderwijs (senior school to the brits amonst us)
Its been an eventful year, and she has done well academically - her NIO toets scores got her into a HAVO / VVO class at Damstede!
But so much more has happened to her and her class mates. She began going on shopping trips with her friends on the bus, and the girls went on cinema outings without parents. They have organised sleepovers and film nights, school discos and discos at the homes of various friends. She went to School Camp in April, and as a final weekend everyone cycled to a special camp in Edam and bivouacked in army tents on the coldest night ever recorded in june.

As a group they won the interschool speed skating competition held on natural ice when the canal froze in January; they came second in a national television program for schools which promoted sport and healthy living; and they won the interschool competition run by the local council looking for ideas to use a local recreation area. Their idea was voted the best by a panel including the local police and youth organisations, and their idea was granted EUR10,000 to help bring it to reality.

The end of the school year was marked by a musical performed by Group 8 which was excellent (and in fact the best production I have seen since Jolanda went to the school!). At the end of the show the teacher called each child up and presented them with a going away present and made a short speach about their talents, it was great - but the tears were flowing freely both that night and as the school closed on Thursday.

She has had a great time at this school - and although she will miss everyone she is ready to move onto her next school after the holiday!

woensdag 10 juni 2009

F is for field friendships

There is enough grass now for the horses and ponies to stay out day and night in the field, and we are seeing the way they relate to each other, and how the pecking order begins to develop.

Ulo is the protector of two year old Starlight.

Melissa is the head of the herd, because Unique, who was the most dominant of the group, is injured and being treated in a horse clinic in Utrecht.

Busters been having trouble with Lester so is happy Lester is not there at the moment.

Ulo is easy to catch but her sidekick Starlight does literally side kick if we try to take her away from the field - so getting our horse in can be an exciting experience!

maandag 8 juni 2009

E is for Equestrian

I'm finding a conflict between blogging and daily trips to the stables; Its not easy to find time to write, but the relationship between Ulo and Jolanda is getting stronger every day.
We've now got the confidence to go on easy hacks, which are fun, as there are other kids with new ponies too, and we are all more or less at the same level.
Sunday was our second outing, and I took the camera to try and get some nice shots. The interesting out of focus effect is a thumb print on the lens!

Ice cream stop at the organic farm "zorg borderij ons verlangen" on our route. They make their own ice cream, as well as selling organic fruit and vegetables, and very high quality meat.

Swan families are a real hazard at this time of the year, as the fathers are aggressively protective, and will attack cars - so ponies need to be very careful! They still look lovely though!
After our sedate hack, Ulo and Jolanda cantered once we got back home! Next week, we mothers may have enough courage to allow them to do this outside!