Thursday, March 17, 2011

Year 4 Residential Visit

Ilham shall have an overnight visit to Arnhem, the Netherlands in May. The place is about one hour drive from The Hague. The residential visit is an integral part of the Year 4 curriculum and all children are expected to participate. We shall worry about the overnight stay later, but for now let us see what the children will be doing in Arnhem. On the first day, they will go to Arnhem Openluct Museum (Openair Museum). We had been there last June, it's where they have "actual old different type of houses" from all over the Netherlands. The houses were brought over and rebuilt in the museum area as part of preserving efforts on old houses/buildings. It was quite an interesting visit. We saw many small houses and stairs that explain how the Dutch used to live in the old days and why their staircase are still very steep and small even now !!

On the second day, they will visit Burgers' Zoo where they will learn about tropical rainforest, ocean and desert biosphere. Isn't that interesting !! They learn about nature.... and I especially like it because rainforest is part of home, and I want Ilham exposed to it.

Now I know why they have rainforest decorations at the school !!!

Tigers and lions from boxes....

Aren't they cute???

When I checked on the Burgers' Zoo website (, I was pleasantly surprised !!! The Zoo have certain sections or biosphere (school term) such as The Desert, The Ocean, The Mangrove, The Bush (tropical rainforest) and The Safari. What surprised me was that they also have "The Rimba". Curious, I clicked on it at and what did I find?? It's a Malaysian rainforest !!! Here in the Netherlands !!! Isn't that wonderful !!!!

A pity though Ilham will visit The Bush and not The Rimba. How I hate all "Bushes" !!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Apa tu ??

"Next time, I want to make an invention that really works !!!"

That's what Ilham said when he got home from school on Monday. Hmm... what happens ?

"Maybe something that can move.... the only thing that works in my invention is the torchlight!"

Well... that's good, we have to improve ourselves right. We will see how you are going to do that next year, afterall your mama and abah are not science genius !!!

But... that's the spirit boy, always try to do better next time !!!

Now let us see the invention that does not work....

Apa tu ???

Totally different from the rough design !!!

Trans-O-Magic, a teleporter....


A machine that will transport human to another place, faster and hassle free, no queueing, no jams, go green and eco friendly !!!

Not a GPS, not an alien detecting machine, not a poffertje detector or feline detector for that matter.....

From the inside,

The torch is the sucker gadget supposed to turn you into mini pixels and transport you to another place !!!

Let's just hope that you will get back into normal form !!!

The solar panel, saves the planet

The reserve solar battery and the satellite signal

I wait for the day of such machine....

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Wonder What He Is Doing...

Ever since he brought home the science competition booklet last week, Ilham wanted to do this invention, "something" machine....
The term he used to describe it was unfamiliar to me.... I had to check whether such word actually exist :D
When I said he should invent something practical...
He INSISTED on the machine.
Since he had already fully recovered from the fever that made him sent home from school on Monday,
I INSISTED that he starts his invention project immediately
And this....
was what he made yesterday....

A rough design of his invention

Anybody knows what he wants to do ?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Science Day

The school shall have their Science Day on the 17th March next week. In conjuction with that, there is a Magic Science Competition held for the students. We were given out this booklet detailing the competition on the 4th March and we have 10 days to submit an invention. According to dear son Ilham we MUST do something !!! In my opinion, since it's a competition, only those who are interested shall do it right?

Anyway, now let us see what is the requirement of this competition :

Requirements :-

  • Invent a device that will solve a problem

  • Details of the problem it solves

  • A drawing of the invention

  • Labels of different parts

  • How it works

  • Make a poster and/or build the model

Very challenging and we have 10 days to complete. When I checked with Ilham what kind of inventions he learned in class, he said none. Further queries reveal that they did not even read/study about inventions in the class. That surprises me. The students do not learn anything in class and yet they are expected to come up with an invention in less than 2 weeks, with the help of parents of course. This is where Home Learning comes in I suppose.

As I understand it, on Science Day there will be displays of these inventions among other things, for the parents to see. I was looking forward to see what my child is learning or making in Science, but now I feel disillusioned. I do not want to see something that the kids do at home, I would like to see what the kids are doing in school !!! Afterall, we pay a lot of money for it, it's not free !!! Am I too demanding and not rational ?? Why am I feeling this way?

When we were at the ISA, when Ilham was in Grade 2 last year, he learned about invention in one of the unit of inquiries. It took them 7 weeks to complete their study. They learned about Leornado Da Vinci, the Wright brothers and so on. They learned how certain inventions had and are still having impacts on the world and how some of them solve our daily problems. They guided the kids in completing their inventions and at the end of it, they had a convention where parents were invited to come (see Invention here and here). Most important of all, they teached and nurtured these kids on how to think like inventors. But what does British School teaches my child about this?

Lucky for us we have the previous work at ISA to guide us, and Ilham have some ideas of what he wants to do. I wonder how other students are doing... or am I the only one complaining ???

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ik Heb Mijn B Diploma !!!!


Alhamdulillah, Ilham received his Diploma B swimming certificate on Saturday 5th March 2011. I (read this I, and not Ilham yea :D) was not nervous and worried as I was when he received his A Diploma last year. Now I know that if you are invited for the diploma, then you know that you WILL get the diploma so long as you ATTEND the test on the specified date. The test is only a formality :D

The event took place at the Driesprong Zwembad (swimming pool Driesprong), Zoetermeer. There were about 16 kids being tested. Among the test are :-

  • Jump in fully-clothed from a one meter board, float for 30 seconds, swim breast-stroke and dive under a five-foot mat (raft), resurface and continue swimming for 25 meter and swim back-stroke 25 meter.

  • Dive and swim underwater for 6 meter and go through the underwater hole, resurface, continue breast-stroke for 75 meter, in between do a "candle sink" once. A candle sink is sinking into the water with body and legs straight and your hands upright.

  • Dive and swim underwater for 6 meter and go through the underwater hole, resurface on the back, swim back-stroke for 75 meter, in between do a crocodile turn once. A crocodile turn is turning 360 degree horizontally with your body and hands straight above the head.

  • Swim free-style for 25 meter.

  • Swim back-style for 25 meter.

  • Float face down for 10 seconds, swim 3 strokes and float again for 7 seconds.

  • Float face up for 15 seconds, swim 3 strokes and float again for 10 seconds.

Here are some photos and videos at the pool. The photos are a bit blurred for some reason. I almost given up on the uploading of the videos, it took ages !!!! The other videos just had to wait until later....

Waiting for the test to begin. There were 2 groups, one on each side of the pool.

Receiving last minute instructions.

Getting ready to jump from the board for the 30 second float and swim under the mat (raft)

Counting to 30 seconds in Dutch... anybody understand? :D

It took a while for me to realise that Ilham's name was mentioned here in the video above. Even then I was not so sure whether I heard right. The whole thing was conducted in Dutch and we didn't understand a thing except the counting he...he...he...When the audience clapped their hands, we just joined in :D


Getting ready for the back-style

Swim back-style for 25 meters.

Floating face up

Dancing and going around the pool after the swim

On the other side of the pool

The last test of the diploma, treading in water for 30 seconds. Parents can join in at this stage.

In the last treading in water, parents joined their kid in the pool. Some parents even jumped in fully clothed !!! Ilham was the only child without a parent joining in he..he..he.. Well... had his father jump in, he would need saving because he couldn't swim at all !!!! Saving him and his son the embarassment, we let Ilham tread alone :D

Another view of parents joining their kids.

Waiting patiently for the certificate ceremony to begin...

Receiving a medal and a big cylinder of Smarties...

Receiving the certificate. The lady was Ilham's trainer Alianna, she is very nice...

The covetted B Diploma certificate.

Smarties and the gold medal... (ohh everybody received gold :D)

Testing the gold.... :D

With another trainer (he was not Ilham's trainer though, he is teaching C Diploma)

It was a fun and exciting day and a good experience for Ilham. He has agreed to proceed for C diploma, a wise decision because it would give him some target to achieve and a good exercise too. Hope he will be able to do it because he needs to wear a jacket when swimming for C and to swim underwater for about 12 meter.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


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