Ex Cultur Robur – ‘Through culture comes strength’. The Amsterdam trip provided an opportunity for 6B to embrace the ideal of the school motto and they certainly took it. They couldn’t help but be impressed by the majesty of Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’; the delicacy of Vermeer’s ‘Milkmaid’ and the beauty of the Rijksmuseum building itself.
They also demonstrated great understanding and empathy when visiting the secret annexe where Anne Frank wrote her diary whilst in hiding for over 2 years and showed an independent inquisitiveness through the various interactive exhibits at the science museums: NEMO and Micropia.
Culture continued to bombard them in all of its guises wherever they went, be it through visits to the quaint waterside towns of Volendam and Marken, the bustling market of Waterlooplein or the Maritime museum where they learnt about the history of whaling.
Back at the campsite, their musical experiences were also extended, where they were ‘treated’ to the dubious pleasure of some German heavy metal and something that can only be described as techno reggae! Thankfully, the latter two cultural experiences were neither too loud, too late nor too long!
However, for me, what summed up the ethos of the school and the benefit of the trip most was a football match. One evening after having a pizza in the Turkish quarter of Amsterdam, members of 6B took on some local children at a game on a 5 a-side pitch in a small city square. The two sides came from very different backgrounds, culturally, religiously and economically, and yet they bonded through this experience and all were more the richer for it.