In southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon, Dutchman and owner of Château Canet Floris Lemstra is currently welcoming schoolchildren to teach them about winemaking, albeit without actually tasting any alcohol – they use soft drinks, sugar, salt and water to get the idea.
Wine museum Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France is promoting wine education at smaller French wineries with free passes through the end of August to children under 18, and Lemstra thought it would be great for schoolchildren to learn all about viticulture.
Lemstra takes several groups of kids on an educational tour, teaching them about vineyard maintenance, harvesting and bottling, with plenty of time set aside to poke around in the vines and check out cool stuff like the stainless steel vats in the cellar.
“Teaching children about wine and alcohol is a little abstract at their age. However, we believe that demystifying wine and its consumption is important,” Lemstra said. He further added that although wine can be pleasant, it’s also an alcoholic beverage with its drawbacks.
Floris built up his wine career back in the early 1990s working for Boisset, one of the biggest wine companies in France. Buying Château Canet was quite difficult, as local government would have rather it was owned by card-carrying French people. Lemstra and his New Zealand wife Victoria whom he met in the Bourgogne region now run the place. Having read about it myself, I want to visit it as well.
(Link: , Photo: Château Canet)
Tags: Bordeaux, children, France, New Zealand, school, wine
During an economics lesson, secondary school children in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant discovered a calculation error in the Dutch tax office’s plan for 2019.
While learning about the plan, which apparently can be found online and lets people know what’s coming tax-wise, a girl noticed a mistake. After discussing it and checking with the rest of the class, they sent an e-mail to the Dutch government, telling them about it, but didn’t immediately get a response. The next day, the error had not been corrected.
The economics class did some recalculations the next day and to them it still was wrong, as well as still being wrong online. They sent another message, and at some point, a cake was delivered to the school during their class. The cake had a QR code on it, which made them all laugh, with a personal message from Secretary of State Menno Snel thanking them for having found the mistake.
Tags: children, school, tax, tax office, Tilburg
A school in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, together with the parent-teach association (PTA), voted and agreed on letting children drink only water at school, but are now complaining about it. No energy drinks, no lemonade, no fizzy drinks: water. And if school staff feel children are eating sugary foods, they’ll send them home with a note about it for the parents. One kid had brought apple juice and a piece of butter cake to school and got such a note.
Parents are upset for various reasons. They feel their kids eat well at home, one kid’s parents says their kid doesn’t like water and came home crying, and there’s the parent that said “water is for dogs”. I’d say the first two comments are socially acceptable, but the last one is silly and ignorant.
The picture I used for this story is one we used a previous story entitled ‘Badly chosen picture with health article’, showing a teenager eating ontbijtkoek (gingerbread full of sugar and fat) and a vending machine full of similar sugary granola bars. And the article quoted was about ‘healthy eating’.
Some of the parents feel the ‘ban’ on juice should apply to the fat kids, not theirs – ouch. In Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district, which has a lot of obese children, there was even talk of banning fast food places close to schools a few years back. Instead, schools encourage and teach drinking water and eating proper food, and apparently that’s working. Surprise: encouraging works better than shaming.
I understand parents should decide what their kids eat, that’s their job. But when a parent says “water is for dogs”, then something’s wrong. I was brought up on juice because in 1970s we were told that was good for you, and I also hated water. Today I drink mostly water because we all know better now.
Water is not only for dogs, it’s for a healthy human existence.
Tags: junk food, school, Tilburg, water
Students at a school in Spijkenisse, South Holland got sick after their teacher gave them a lecture on street children sniffing glue in Brazil. It’s one thing to try and explain this to kids to get them to empathise, it’s another to have them sniff hazardous glue to get the point across.
After sniffing glue used to remove graffiti, which contains the same toxic substances as the glue used in Brazil, two students were sick: one had to be treated in hospital and one at a clinic, while another six were treated at the school.
The parents were informed of the incident. Why on earth did this even happen, the media doesn’t say, but it seems the teacher didn’t realise that the graffiti remover was toxic. I think the teacher was stupid and irresponsible to say the least.
(Links: nos.nl, www.rtlnieuws.nl)
Tags: Brazil, children, glue, school
A new school building in South Amsterdam, the Kindercampus Zuidas completed in October 2014, was pushed 30 metres further before the holidays to its proper place next to the first part of the same building in order to become one, as originally planned.
The first part of the Kindercampus was built at the right place behind a sports hall, so that children could have their urgently needed school and day care. Once the sports hall was destroyed, the second building was pushed into place 30 metres further, a tough task that required a specialist. It took 20 hours to move the one million kilo building 30 metres. The move was delayed due to high winds at one point. Depending on the sources below the fastest speed was either 2 or 3 metres an hour.
Nothing was removed from the school when they pushed it. The kids (click and scroll until you see them) were given a complete explanation by the director of the operation and were able to watch some of it from a higher nearby building. I like how the Dutch called him the ‘school-pushing director’.
Why didn’t the city destroy the sports hall earlier to avoid all these extra costs? Because the temporary sports hall, the ‘bubble hall’ where coincidentally I trained at for a few months, was only ready in September 2014 and the Kindercampus had to be delivered by October 2014.
Here’s a time lapse video of the unusual operation:
verschuiven KinderCampus from EmielBakker.nl on Vimeo.
(Links: at5, amsterdam.nl, Image and design: Hund Falk Architecten)
Tags: Amsterdam, construction, school, Zuidas
In Utrecht a girl wanted to help out her sister pass her French exam by switching places with her during the exam and signing her name on the test. Since the older sister had been held back once before, both sisters were able to take the exam at the same time. However, the teacher noticed that the names on the test didn’t match the handwriting on the exam and eventually failed both pupils.
The mother of the two tried to appeal the decision, but the decision stands, and so far there’s no indication of either pupil being able to take the test again now. The youngest daughter had been selected to study medicine, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon. C’est la vie.
Tags: exam, French, school, Utrecht
High school students in Zaltbommel got a fright when dozens of spiders came crawling under the doors of the sports facility in which they were having their written graduation tests.
The exams continued uninterrupted, but afterwards at least one student wrote a complaint to LAKS (the union for secondary education students), which is how we found out. LAKS received a record number of complaints (140,000) from the 200,000 students taking exams this year. The complaints ranged from smelly teachers to difficult exam questions.
Why the spiders wanted to be in the hall is unknown. Trouw doesn’t tell.
Tags: exams, high school, school, spiders
Four out of five teachers at schools witnessed sexual violence in 2012, which according to researchers, is not translating into preventive measures, so students have no idea what is OK and what is not. Some 12% of students have been a victim of sexual violence, which includes unwanted gestures or comments (harassment), being touched, groped, assaulted and raped. If I were a bad student, my boundaries would be what I can get away with without being caught. How can schools make a big deal out of teaching children about sexuality and even homosexuality, but not deal with preventing sexual violence? Or we’ve missed something.
Sexuality research institute Rutgers WPF has said that all secondary schools should draw up rules to make it clear that some forms of sexual behaviour are unacceptable. I am surprised this doesn’t already exist, and if it does, it should make the papers as well.
Forcibly putting one’s tongue into someone else’s mouth is now no longer be classified as rape, according to Dutch courts this week. Imagine, French kissing (in Dutch, ‘tongzoenen’, or ‘tongue kissing’) was considered rape, but all of the above is still taking place in school.
I remember a boy who was taller and more developed than the rest of us in my first year of secondary school had poked me very hard in the ‘breast’. I was wearing overalls and he basically pushed really hard on the button part several times. I waited until he walked off and kicked him in the balls from behind, forcing him to the ground. I was dead scared he would beat me up, but because his friends saw it, I was OK. Not defending myself would have made it worse, à la Freaks and Geeks.
(Links: Dutch News, www.nrc.nl)
Tags: assault, rape, school, sex, students
Copies of this year’s Cito exam for final year Dutch primary school pupils were found for sale on Dutch online auction site Marktplaats.nl. The Cito exam is usually held in February before children move on to secondary school and it also plays a major role in deciding what level of schooling they will receive as teenagers as well as their chances of going to university.
The education authorities are not sure whether or not they will pull the exam. Some 75% of 165,000 pupils should be taking the leaked Cito exam, while the rest will take one at a lower level that was not leaked, the first time ever a lower level Cito exam is being given. The higher level exam was being sold for € 450.
The authorities have also tried to play down this leak by trying to convince parents that getting a better score won’t help their kids in the long run. Considering the rampant discrimination against students of ethnic minorities, usually urging them to follow a lower level of education than the Dutch even when they have similar Cito exam results, I figure the authorities can take their superior morals and shove it. At least that’s what I would say if I was one of those parents. Oh, and take responsibility for your leaks seriously instead of passing the buck.
(Links: www.nrc.nl, amsterdamherald.com)
Tags: cito, education, school
Following Laura Dekker’s voyage as we have been, we left off recently with “still no word on if she has ever touched her homework.”. A report on her birthday today says that she just doesn’t have time to study. She had started to study at the beginning of her one-year sail around the world, but gave that up quickly enough.
One of the legal conditions on which she would be allowed to sail solo was that she do homework. She doesn’t plan to stop studying altogether, but I can totally imagine that repairing and replenishing her boat comes first.
The Dutch authorities can only wave their finger Dutch uncle style about her not studying, as her studies are her parents’ responsibility. And after the whole mess of a legal situation Laura got into with the authorities and her parents, she gave up being Dutch and relied on her dual citizenship with her country of birth, New Zealand.
Mark my words, if and when she completes this amazing feat, we’ll be playing ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (’Find the Dutch person’) soon enough. In Laura’s case it will be a game that consists of constantly dissing a Dutch person in the media and then ignoring all the bad things and claim her victory as a Dutch one.
Follow Laura’s tweets on @laura_and_Guppy (Guppy is the name of her sailboat)
See also all our stories about Laura Dekker .
(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy)
Tags: Laura Dekker, New Zealand, sailing, school