Sint Paulus
Sint Paulus is a relatively small school for primary education in the City of Heerlen, Netherlands. Small though only in number of students, very rich in terms of it's multicultural setting and 21st-style education. The school is part of one of the largest school-group in the Netherlands with 60 others.

Flight for Knowledge Construction

Winter 2015 all grades of the school worked in OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge on the theme 'Construction' in the course of the development of on-going learning-lines throughout the school and towards secondary education. Through this way of Inquiry- and Problem Based Learning the schools also opens up the use of various sources of knowledge in the schools' community/region.

In Flight for Knowledge students work in small groups in an ever more independant way. Formulating their owns research, they together take up challenges - seeking answers for example through visiting a construction site (guided by a teachers) but also by ways of practice, experiencing real construction-work themselves.

For this Flight for Knowledge the schools' especially thank "SWV Construction" in Nuth where the students could, under professional guidance, learn what construction is all about.

Dutch Inspectorate highly appreciates St. Paulus' achievements

The Dutch Inspectorate reported in her yearly review 2014 her appreciation wording the excellent quality of education.

The report highlights that the students' interests are central and the school effectively responds to the individual students' learning needs and talents.

The full report is available for download.

download Inspectorate report

Flight for Knowledge Food
Partner in Knowledge "Benzeraderhof"

January 2014

Grades 3 and 4 (age 6-7) wanted to find out, on the spot at a real farm, what animals are born from an egg, whether a chicken can really fly or not and how daily operations on a farm look like.
The large variety of animals at the farm formed a rich well of fascinating learning elements. Although this group going out for their Flight for Knowledge are rather young, they picked up and understood aspects of real life that go far beyond their textbooks. A fine example of that could be found when the students addressed the customary dress of the farmer, first focussing on the rubber boots. Quite special boots actually that appeared to be worn not only not to get dirty feet, but more than that in order to prevent the cows being infected by bacteria that can be found on every day shoes people wear.
Indeed, they found chickens can fly, but no all too high and just a few meters. Along the way they found out how a rooster can hear since they noticed no ears on the proud animal. No real ears that is, for they sure have an earlobe but next to that only tiny holes each side of their head.
In the range of facts and figures learned, the students noted down that a cow produces ap. 30 litres of milk a day. Where formally the farmer did the milking-job using his hands, these days a milking-machine appeared to be in place. After cleaning the udders with a small cloth he attaches them to the machine after which the milking can begin. The milk being collected in a large tank being emptied every three days to be delivered to the factory for the production of cheese, yogurt and pudding.
The visit ended by drinking a real, fresh and warm from the cow, glass of milk and a walk to the pound where at this time of the year numerous toads find a place to live. A walk presenting another discovery when the group found that precisely here, at this farm, is the well of one of the region's most prominent rivers. No need to explain the students their Flight for Knowledge on Food can soon run into their Flight for Knowledge on Water.

Greetings, Soumia en Rachell
(12 years old)
Students Group 8 Sint Paulus

The Rotary Club Heerlen in the course of their 60th anniversary supported our school with a nice cheque, providing us with a budget to buy ourselves tools, seeds and plants we need for our school garden. Mr. Jos Eussen from the RCE Rhine-Meuse made sure the Rotary Board noticed and visited our school; well, for us as students and our teachers the task to show what we are capable of!

Our Vegetable Garden

By: Shalina Snijders en Mariska Brouns

At Sint Paulus from the 1st class on, age 4, we enjoy environmental education, in all aspects, from bees to all that lives in our soil, from germination on covering the whole cycle of the live of plants. We all believe that in order to understand the world we live in and secure its sustainability, we have to start out with understanding the world we live in.

Already in 2013 we started out with the construction of our own vegetable garden, by ways of special huge containers made of wood. We put those on our playground, each class having its own container in which the students bury the seeds. We learned a lot, quite a lot, learning to handle our gardens, take care of it, wonder about all the things that grew, astounded by the rich variety of vegetables and fruits we produced through our own work. We did this! So we now for example understand how much space each kind of plant needs to grow, that their water consumption varies and a lot more. It was now also more pleasure to understand what food actual is and how it works for our bodies.

When autumn came we covered the containers with a canvas in orde to prevent the soil would get too wet (we live in the Netherlands!). Things like this, doing something, we all found great - the whole work in our own gardens using our hands for many of us students is actually a relief from sitting in the classroom. Also being able now to see our vegetables, fruits and even flowers grow, is for most of us quite special for we don’t have a garden like this at our homes. What we otherwise just learn to read the words, we now we literally know what we are talking about. Actually no need to learn the names anymore, we simple know it for we touch and taste it. And we found that vegetables and much more too us then those things found on a plate of food we didn’t like.

"The students are enthusiast , they even produced soup, jam and chutney themselves. Like the strawberries and tomatos all was divided amongst them to eat during the breaks".

Marlene Willems

Head Teacher

OPEDUCA Reporters

Sint Paulus is one of the first schools that has its own "OPEDUCA Reporters". Their report on the various activities of their fellow students outside the school and have first access to the Partners in Education in their OPEDUCA Region with spans a city- and countryside region of 10 square miles and 300.000 inhabitants.