As part of the #ASHexperience, at the beginning of each school year, the entire middle school embarks on Project Week to four different locations across the Netherlands: Apeldoorn, Oldebroek, Ameland, and Soest. The purpose of Project is to provide safe, fun and engaging experiences designed to facilitate personal and interpersonal development. A range of community building and adventure-style activities creates opportunities for students to overcome personal and physical challenges, develop independence and resilience while strengthening established relationships and developing new ones.
In addition to getting to know our host country better, Middle School students also reinforce their commitment to the ASH Core Values, make new friends, tackle team building activities, prepare for performances, and enjoy each other’s company through play, reflection, and socials. Immersive learning promotes learning through direct experience – often, but not necessarily, outside the classroom, and at times not directly related to academic learning. Project Week is an obvious example of experiential education and is an important part of the #ASHexperience.
Here are some of their first-hand accounts of the beginning of this week's trips:
Grade 5 in Apeldoorn
“We had a good bus ride, very happy to see no rain as we arrived in Apeldoorn and the hostel! After arriving at the hostel and unloading buses, we settled into our rooms and then gathered to eat lunch on the hostel steps before going swimming. We spent 3 hours at the pool and this was a lot of fun, with the slides being a particular favorite. After swimming, we had free time to play badminton, ride scooters, do crafts, make giant bubbles and all sorts of other fun activities at the hostel.”
"We had a great visit to the Kröller-Müller museum. The kids found the Van Gogh section and did a brief scavenger hunt, then settled down to sketch their favorite of his paintings. After dinner, further activities included choices of capture the flag, crafts, mindful coloring, cup-stack challenge, solve the murder mystery, etc. Lights out and bedtime finished off a full day!”
Grade 6 in Oldebroek
“The first stop saw a big splash of activity at the Aqua Mundo water park; water slides, wave pool, lazy river and lots of smiling faces and wild laughter. Afternoon activities saw kids challenging themselves in all sorts of ways. The Escape Room was a big hit as students had to sharpen their communication skills to emerge safely from the collapsed mine."
"We know that we can achieve more as a community than we can as individuals but we don't often get opportunities to show it. During these activities, we saw great communication via walkie talkie to find hidden markers and then great support and encouragement to help classmates struggling with elements on the ropes course. We saw creativity and collaboration to make bamboo structures, then care and compassion to support friends in need in all sorts of circumstances. It is impressive to see how well our youngsters can apply these community living principles in Project 6 activities.”
Grade 7 in Ameland"It’s been a busy first couple of days for our grade 7 students in Ameland, with highlights including our beach day learning how to kayak and surf. Check out these amazing videos for more on what the students have been up to!"
Grade 8 in Soest
“What a great first day in Soest for grade 8! Blue skies and a whole forest to explore… from up high! The high ropes course was the clear favorite for many of the students. They challenged themselves to some pretty tough courses and were gleeful as they finished each course. After dinner, Mr. Truby, our choir teacher, led the students in some rousing campfire songs.”
"On our second day, Bubble Ball soccer and Archery Attack was fantastic fun. Students learned true teamwork, all while having a great time and bonding with old and new friends."