Sinterklaas at ISD

As the days get shorter and colder, Dutch children anxiously await the visit of the country’s most popular international: Sinterklaas. At ISD we celebrated this age-old popular Dutch event this week as the ‘Goedheiligman’ could of course not miss a visit to the children at the International School Delft.

On Wednesday 2 December, Sinterklaas made a surprise online visit to the students of ISD! He is working from home this season, but that didn’t keep him from reading some really beautiful poems to the classes. He always gathers his information from his ‘big book’, in which the Piets write everything they know about all children in the Netherlands. 
Mr. Sander was the host of this meeting and the students could sing along with the Sinterklaas songs and asked questions to Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas told us he likes to give presents on his birthday and likes French cheese!

After every class had their moment ‘in the spotlights’ by performing a Sinterklaas song, the Piets brought a present and ‘kruidnoten’ to the classes. The students did a range of activities like arts and crafts, dancing, Pietengym and pepernoten-eating games.

In Secondary school the Sinterklaas celebration started of with a visit to the “Pakjeskasteel” (Gifts castle) of Sinterklaas in Delft. A group of MYP 2 students visited the “castle” on the Oude Delft and posted their Sinterklaas wishlist in the mailbox.

On Friday 4 December, the MYP students celebrated Sinterklaas in style. A few weeks ago, all students drew a small piece of paper with the name, wishlist and hobbies of one of the other students. They then had to create a ‘surprise’ for the person who was on their paper. A ‘surprise’ is a disguised present usually depicting a characteristic or hobby from the person you are creating it for. Like a cardboard computer for someone who is really into gaming, or a giant cardboard sushi roll for someone who loves sushi. Inside the ‘surprise’ a small present is hidden. The students also made a poem to go with the surprise. They were able to write the poem in English or Dutch. For most students, it was the first time to participate in this tradition of Sinterklaas surprise making. It was great to see how creative the students were with their surprises. For some, it was easier than others, but everyone put in the effort and we spent a great afternoon unpacking surprises and gifts, listening to poems and enjoying some Dutch Sinterklaas treats.
We would like to give a big thanks to everyone who made this Sinterklaas celebration happen!