Dear EEBI Parents
Welcome to the Summer 2022 Edition of the APEEE NewsFlash.
In this edition, we open with a close-up on the European Baccalaureate “exam season”. We could finally experience a real “back to business” after two years of COVID times and we could successfully hold BAC oral exams and graduation celebrations in situ at our school!
We will look then at the most important recent APEEE activities both at school and system level, from the never ending discussion on the end-of-year schedule and 180 Days, to the reflection on the Future of Brussels European Schools, from the report commissioned by the European Parliament on the European Schools System to more school-related issues, but still important, such as the discussion on the Opstal gate opening and closing of Vert Chasseur entrance to pedestrians and bicycles.
We also take a look at some of the work coming out of the Primary and Secondary Education Councils and some activities taking place around campus.
Finally, you can learn more about the results of our recent call for projects and look at the recent activities of our fantastic working groups. I hope all our parents, students and the entire school community have a well-earned rest and wonderful vacations!
We look forward to seeing you soon...but not too soon!
This year our S7 students could have a normal BAC experience in situ and they achieved outstanding results! 11% of students scored above 90 and 46% scored above 80. The BAC written exams took place from 30 May to 10 June. There were some subjects that caused concerns, in particular Chemistry, Economics, Maths5 and Biology. As last year, these concerns seem related at least in part to the change to a competence-based system. The BAC oral exams took place from 20 June. There was confusion this year at our school around the practice of “mock orals”, which many teachers give during the so-called “white” study period between the written and oral BAC exams. Due to unclear instructions from the management, in the end some teachers cancelled or did not go through with the practice sessions, while many did. This violated the rules in place which state that the Director should “assure fair and equivalent treatment of pupils”. Hopefully, this will not be an issue next year. Despite the outstanding results of most pupils, 27 complaints were launched in our school, more than in any other European School (16 in EEBIV; 11 in Karlsruhe; 7 in Munich and in EEBIII; 5 in EEBII; 4 in Frankfurt; 3 in LUX I, LUXII, Varese and Alicante). Most of the complaints concerned the Biology, Chemistry and Maths exams.
It was wonderful that events, that usually take place around the BAC and that were not possible during the pandemic, could be organised once again. From BAC DAY (18 May), which marks the last day of class for S7 students before the study period for the exams and is the opportunity for them to be a bit silly and wild, the BAL du BAC (29 June), which is organised by some S7 students and parents, but independent from the school, the APEEE or Student Commitee (CdE), to the BAC Proclamation (1 July), which is the official graduation ceremony, which took place in front of the Château.
Many thanks to all those who have already settled their APEEE membership fee for the next school year 2022-2023! Paying the APEEE membership fee is a pre-condition to have access to the different services (canteen in Uccle, transport, afterschool activities…) provided by the APEEE Services, our sister organisation.
But of course, being a member of the APEEE goes far beyond this! The APEEE is a voluntary organisation in which elected parents work hard on behalf of all families attending the EEBI school (both sites, Uccle and Berkendael). The APEEE Board meets monthly and its Working Groups meet regularly to provide this support and to act as the interface between families and the school in a variety of forums.
The APEEE Membership Fee (50 EUR per family per year) finances the APEEE Secretariat, who provide the back-office support for the APEEE, run our parent communication channels (website, Facebook page) and stand ready to help parents with any question or concern. Being a APEEE member means you not only benefit from this general support, but also are part of our members mailing list (e.g. the NewsFlash and other news and announcements) as well as the possibility to take part in APEEE elections – to guide our work more closely.
You should have received by now the payment request for the APEEE Membership fee in your mailbox. If you are a new parent, you will receive it as soon as your registration is completed. We encourage you to make the bank transfer if not done yet, it takes only a few minutes! For any questions or issues with the payment, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (N.B. – please rest assured that for any reimbursements due for wrong payments, these are detected by the system and the APEEE Secretariat will initiate all reimbursements still due at the rentrée). This will not block you from proceeding with orders for services, but please ensure that your APEEE membership fee is paid before the payments to the services, as it is a pre-condition for their access.
See also: APEEE Membership and Fees
Overcrowding is a serious problem of the European School in Brussels. The Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) Study for the year 2021 outlined that all four Brussels schools are seriously overcrowded and provides numbers on the “real capacity” of each school. For example, in our school the current total number of pupils at the Uccle site is 3396 pupils, while the real maximum capacity is 3100 pupils and in the Berkendael site the current number is 840, while the real maximum capacity is 977 pupils. The overcrowding is particularly worrying in the Secondary cycle, where pupils are struggling to find free labs, gymnasium and even find places to be during free time between lessons. Read the PWC report here.
In November 2021, the Steering Committee Brussels of the European Schools has started discussions on “reflections of the future structure of the Brussels European Schools”. The discussions aim at making the system of the Brussels schools more efficient and reduce the overall overcrowding. The Belgian Council of Ministers has approved the decision to grant a fifth school to the European Schools (ES) System by September 2028. It also decided that Berkendael and Evere sites will be considered as permanent sites of the ES system. The new school will have a capacity of about 3000 pupils according to the Secretary General of the ES.
On 29 March the Secretary General organised a workshop on the future of the Brussels schools that gathered stakeholders, including School Directors, teacher representatives, the Presidents of the APEEEs of the four schools as well as students. This session was a brainstorming where stakeholders were asked to participate in working groups to look at possible solutions for a better use of resources and reducing overcrowding. Following this first workshop, the Secretary General organised two Steering Committee Brussels on 31 May (where a first version of the document was discussed) and on 30 June (where a second version of the document was discussed).
This second version of the document presents two options: a more ‘traditional’ model (MODEL A) that foresees the fifth School as a fully-fledged school (with Nursery, Primary and Secondary cycles) in September 2028 and considers different options in order to redistribute language sections among the five schools, phasing in and out sections between sites and schools. The second Model (MODEL B) is a ‘Campus approach’, where the new school would be only a Secondary campus. This envisions a significant reorganisation of the cycles across the sites that would be available in 2028: each cycle (Nursery and Primary (N1-P4), Lower Secondary (P5-S3) and Higher Secondary (S4-S7)) would be concentrated in two or three sites.
During the first two meetings of the Steering Committee, the APEEE raised concerns on both models (concerns that were discussed during two APEEE Board meeting on 30 May (extra-ordinary) and 23 June), pointing out that both models seem disproportionate considering the impact that they would have on pupils and families, while not clearly achieving the goal of reducing overcrowding. Parents representing linguistic sections from all Brussels schools and even parents coming from different sections have raised their concerns and positions also via letters directly to the Secretary General. Yet, many questions and concerns raised by parents remain unanswered.
We are, at the moment, waiting for the third version of the document (by the end of July) to be discussed in another Steering Committee meeting in early September. The Secretary general would like to continue the discussion with stakeholders in order to arrive to a final proposal in September 2022. The Secretary General will then prepare a final revised proposal to be submitted to the Board of Governors, that would adopt it in an extra-ordinary meeting in October 2022. This decision would be then used to update the enrolment policy adopted by the Central Enrolment Authority in November 2022, ahead of the final approval by Board of Governors in December 2022, so that the reform could have effect starting from the 2023-2024 academic year.
We have asked that the Secretary General initiates urgently a broader consultation process, including all parents, before presenting the final proposal to the Board of Governors in October. Parents need to understand the concrete implications of this reform, whatever the chosen model will be. We have asked for open sessions to be organised School by School and section by section. During last meeting, the Secretary General seemed open to the organisation of such open sessions. Please contact your section representatives to follow this issue closer.
See also: Future of the Brussels Schools
This year the school decided to shorten the school calendar by 10 days for S1-S4 students and by 5 days for S5-S6 students (if they participated to work experience, otherwise 10 days for them too). The decision was also communicated to the parents very late in the school year (Friday 13 May in the afternoon), making it difficult for parents to organise alternative activities.
The APEEE believes that the decision is contrary to the European schools regulations, which state that each school must offer “180 working days (jours de cours) for pupils” each year.
In 2007 by decision of the Board of Governors, the schools were granted the possibility to suspend regular lessons in the Secondary cycle during the period of the Baccalaureate oral exams. Nevertheless, even in cases where the school management opts to suspend lessons, they are still required to organise replacement activities sufficiently far in advance as to assure their quality. The APEEE has been active on this important issue as we believe that all EEB1 students should be offered 180 school days each year, without discrimination. We requested already in previous years that the replacement activities be “pedagogical” and that they reinforce the formal curriculum.
This June, the APEEE sent a letter to the school Director, to the Secretary General and to the European Commission to express parents’ concerns about this worrisome trend by our school to cut school days based on logistic reasons, without planning any pedagogical alternative activity nor showing the will to do so. We are also working with INTERPARENTS on a letter to be addressed directly to the Board of Governors. It is important that our students receive the same school time of their peers at several other European Schools and other schools across Europe, especially after two years of disruption. It is time that the Secretary General, the Commission and the Board of Governors take a stand on the accountability of repeatedly breaching the rule of the 180 days in our school system. In the letter to the Commission, the APEEE requested that the matter is brought to the Board of Governors meeting in December 2022. We received a positive reply by the Commission and it looks like the respect of the rule on the 180 days will be discussed at the Board of Governors.
See also: 180 Working Days for Pupils
On 7 June the School started a so-called pilot project with regard to the access to School. More specifically, the Opstal gate (which was used in the past, but closed inter alia due to concerns about drugs distribution in the area) has become the main entrance for students or parents arriving at the Uccle campus on foot or on bike. For those who didn't know – that entrance is accessible via Osptalweg, which leads to the Chaussée de Waterloo at the Carrefour Market. At the same time, the Vert Chasseur entrance is to be only accessible for cars and other 'motorised vehicles', as well as by school staff and teachers on foot and bike.
The APEEE has gathered the concerns expressed by parents and wrote a letter to the school Management asking them to reconsider the decision taken and in particular the strict limitations placed on the Vert Chasseur entrance. The letter calls for putting all measures on hold to allow a proper evaluation of the pilot project. Making a specific reference to the VIAS Institute audit report the APEEE letter underlines that the report did not recommend to completely close the Vert Chasseur entrance to pedestrians and bicycles nor to open the Opstal Gate as a solution. In fact, the VIAS report did not assess the Opstal Gate as such and in particular did not assess the safety and security of its use for all pedestrian and bicycle access. Moreover, the APEEE stressed that if the Opstal Gate were to remain one of the entrances of the Uccle School, appropriate surveillance would have to be placed not only at the gate itself, but also along the street up to the Chaussée de Waterloo as well as at the drop-off point in order to ensure that the children can enter the School safely.
In his reply, Jan Beliën, Deputy Director Finance and Administration at EEB1, informed that a separate study on Opstal Gate was in fact made by VIAS before starting the pilot project. The addendum to the VIAS report, however, does not recommend to close the Vert Chasseur entrance, as done by the school. In his reply, Mr Beliën underlined that VIAS will be invited to make an assessment in September and that the School will transmit to the Institute all parents' and other stakeholders' remarks concerning safety. The return to School in September will thus be done in the circumstances established by the 'pilot project', but we will continue to insist to meet with the management at the beginning of the school year, in order to engage in appropriate discussions to find alternative solutions that, while improving the safety at the Uccle entrances, would not be disproportionate and taken without a proper consultation with parents and a serious evaluation by experts. To be continued...
The European Parliament (CULT Committee) has recently presented a study on the European Schools System. The Study was presented at the EP CULT Committee meeting on Wednesday, 15 June 2022. The Study draws on the questionnaire that parents and other stakeholders have filled back in November last year and examines the progress that the European Schools System has made during the past decade and overviews its state of affairs as of 2022, identifying challenges and areas of improvement. The educational and pedagogical dimension of the study focuses on questions related to teaching and learning, while the operational one concentrates on the administrative and managerial sides of the system. This is something that as APEEE we have really pushed for. The APEEE is now working to look at the possible next steps the EP could take following the presentation of the study in the CULT Committee.
On 8 February the APEEE adopted a position paper on a Preventative Approach to Minimise the Impact of COVID. Although in the recent months all restrictions have been lifted in Belgium and in most of the EU countries, cases are still on the rise across the EU. The adopted position paper reiterates the importance for the school to have a proactive approach, applying preventive measures implementing best practice recommendations from the Belgian authorities as well as best practice from other European Schools. It is important that the school stands ready before new crises occur, as our school is particularly vulnerable to COVID outbreaks due to its overcrowding, the group mixing and the mobility of our population. The position paper underlines in particular the importance of using and monitoring ventilators as well as ensuring the pedagogical continuity in case of online teaching. On this particular issue, the APEEE has been very active in pushing for a distance learning strategy, since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In February 2022 the APEEE also adopted a position on distance learning, asking for a revision of the Distance Learning Recommendations produced by the Central Office in September 2020, in order to ensure pedagogical continuity also for vulnerable children and for children in quarantine.
The Brussels APEEEs, Brussels Schools managements and the Secretary General’s Office are negotiating on the APEEEs-School Safety & Security Agreement. The issue has a several year history with many changing versions of the document submitted for the consideration of the APEEEs. The four Brussels APEEEs agreed to negotiate with the Office of the Secretary General, together as a team, so to have a stronger common APEEE position. The four Brussels APEEEs have also worked closely with INTERPARENTS in developing and communicating our position, including at the April 2022 Board of Governors. Two meetings with the Office of the Secretary General, the four school Directors of the European Schools in Brussels as well as the four Presidents of the APEEEs of the Brussels Schools (for EEBI also the President of the APEEE Services) took place on 2 May and 18 May 2022. During those meetings a template of a Safety & Security Agreement was discussed. One of the issues raised by parents is related to access of parents to school premises. The Secretary General has adopted a general framework policy on access, on the basis of which each school should draw its specific access policy in consultation with stakeholders. It is not clear whether it will be possible to include access rights in the safety and security agreement as the Secretary General has showed reluctance during both meetings. They would prefer to include a general reference to the access policy adopted by the school. The issue with that, however, is that the framework policy on access has been adopted without any consultation of parents and it has not yet been made available to stakeholders. Moreover, our school has not communicated with parents on this issue and has not yet shown any will to start negotiations in order to adopt a specific access policy for our school, despite the APEEE requests on repeated occasions. Next steps are a meeting in early September to continue the negotiations on the template agreement.
Twice a year, the APEEE launches a Call for Projects, to help support projects proposed by teachers, parents or students. This year’s Spring 2022 Call had a total purse allocation of 5000 EUR and each project submitted could request up to 1500 EUR maximum. In total, 28 project proposals were submitted for a total of 27,535 EUR. It was a competitive process and the selection proved difficult.
The Award Panel, consisting of representatives from the school, the APEEE Board, the Student Committee and teachers selected five projects, based also on the opinions of the relevant APEEE Working Groups and the Financial Advisor. The selected projects are:
- Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body
- Francis Pirotta Creative Arts Prize (5th edition)
- Robotic in Primary School at Uccle and Berkendael
- Emotional Intelligence Berkendael pupils P4 & P5
- Mental Health for Teens
The 5 projects proposed came to a total of 4474 EUR. Of the 5 projects, 1 involves Nursery classes, 3 involve Primary classes and1 involves Secondary classes. More details on the projects will soon be published on the APEEE website.
See also: Projects Funded in 2021-2022
The 4th Francis Pirotta Arts competition started on 14 February 2022 with a great poster by Mrs Portanier, the school’s art coordinator, who drew the poster on the theme of “Sports and Movement”. The students shared ideas on the theme and together with the art-teacher decided what their contribution should be.
The walls of the Erasmus building were cowered with very artistic, creative and beautiful artwork. You will see drawings with great details, different kinds of techniques and even some art in 3D.
All the classes and representatives from the school and the APEEE came with their votes and finally awarded two winning classes.
The Winners of the Prize for the two categories:
CATEGORY MAT-P2: MAT IT, class of Adriano Bettini
CATEGORY P3-P5: P5 ENB, class of Sharon Corkill
The words for the students from the committee and the rep of APEEE was: “Great work with not only many different sports, colours and even a 3D effect”. “When we do art, we like people to see it and to be drawn to it is very important for the artist. WOW you made me look closer and to explore your work more. Great job”.
What a nice prize for the winners: a gym bag in a bright yellow colour.
We are looking forward to hearing about the next year theme and can`t wait to see more great art from the students next year.
14 July 2022 was the anniversary of the death of our EEBI student Rosa Reichel, who was taken from us at the young age of 15 in the flash floods in eastern Belgium on 14 July 2021.
Rosa is dearly missed by her family, her friends, and by the whole school community. To commemorate this poignant moment, the parents and students of EEBI have worked together with Rosa’s family to create a living memory “inmemori" website. We continue to celebrate Rosa’s life, her spirit and the impact she made even after she left us. We invite all members of the community to help us mark this day by leaving a memory, a thought, a wish…to build together a tribute to Rosa. Contributions will be welcome through Friday, 14 October 2022.
The APEEE and Student Committee (CdE) are also planning a memorial for Rosa and dedication ceremony at the school campus after school hours on Friday, 16 September 2022.
In collaboration with the EEB1 Student Committee, the APEEE organised an online Hoodies sale. After two years of suspension of the school's Hoodie sale, we were happy to resume it this year! The aim of these sales is to raise funds to support projects in our EEB1 community. To show solidarity with Ukraine, we have also produced a special hoodie with the colours of Ukraine in order to donate part of the proceeds to the Association “Promote Ukraine” for their humanitarian aid for Ukrainians. We would like to thank all parents who participated to the sale and for their understanding, as the revival of the Hoodies sale was not without challenges! Unfortunately, we have been delayed in our deliveries. Thanks to parent volunteers of the Community Building working group, a pick-up point was organised at Schuman in the Breydel building, which allowed many parents to collect their orders. By the beginning of the next school year, we should have received all the pre-orders and all parents and pupils will be able to collect their Hoodies at school. More information will be sent in due time.
See also: Community Building Working Group
For an overview of activities on the Berkendael campus, take a look at the Summer edition of the Berkendael Newsletter, produced by and for Berkendael parents.
The students in the Danish section, P4 and P5 did a Runathon for Ukraine on 6 April 2022. They had done banners, were cheering and motivating their classmates during the run. The students ran rounds in the schoolyard. Every round was 825 meter long. The students had sponsors within their family and friends, and they donated an amount per number of rounds that the students ran during 45 min.
The P5DA class had 13 runners that day and they ran 94 rounds! Well done!
They day was full of fun and physical activities, but also with reflections on the war in Ukraine.
The students reflections on the day:
“I am proud to run for Ukraine”
“I think it was a really good idea because we ran to support the kids in Ukraine”
“I am so proud that I could run so many rounds”
“I think it was hard work – but it was worth it”
”Everyone did a really good job”
The students of P4 and P5 did a great work at the Math week in April 2022. The project became a group project where the students worked together creating a carpet of paper mosaic.
During the project they developed skills like:
- breaking complex tasks into parts and steps
- planning and managing time
- refining understanding through discussion and explanation
- giving and receive feedback on performance
- challenging assumptions
- developing stronger communication skills
Skills that they can use in other contexts in life.
In Project Weeks like these, the students enjoy to tackle more complex problems than they could on their own, to delegate roles and responsibilities and to share diverse perspectives.
On Friday, 19 November 2021, EEB1 students joined the Traditional Slovenian Breakfast initiative where their breakfast and/or snack consisted with some of the following locally produced food, namely: bread, butter, milk, honey, apples.
At the primary level, students with Mr Jan, Slovenian language teacher, prepared posters and short presentations in Slovene language as well as in German, English and French, languages of sections that Slovenian students attend as SWALS (Students Without A Language Section).
It was a nice way to share the tradition and experience with their non-Slovenian classmates in 21 classes. At the secondary level, the event was part of the Slovene language lessons with teachers Ms Čampelj-Jurečič and Ms Kramberger-Tomšič. At both levels, students were sweetened with gingerbread donated by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia.
Parents also actively joined the initiative: they made sure that on Friday, November 19th, 2021, children had some of the ingredients of a traditional breakfast (bread, butter, milk, honey, or apple) for their snack.
The initiative goes beyond only quality food, as it includes the educational aspect, the environmental aspect and raises awareness and educates about elements such as “local”, “sustainable”, “healthy diet and lifestyle”, “waste management”, “the importance of exercise and sports”, and the importance of “bees”.
Traditional Slovenian breakfast is a governmental project, which, at the initiative of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, has been celebrated in Slovenia every third Friday in November since 2011, on the day of Slovenian food. Participants include kindergartens and primary schools in Slovenia, as well as other institutions.
This year again, second-hand textbooks and reading books for Secondary levels are sold and bought in the EN, FR, ES and IT sections by means of an interactive Google document communicated through the APEEE (please contact the Secretariat if you wish to receive the link).
Parents and students interested in selling second-hand textbooks and reading books fill out a list with the details of the books to be sold, enabling parents and students interested in buying the books to contact the seller directly. They arrange payment and details of handover of the books with each other directly. Some sections also include reading books that are not set books on the School’s Book List.
Do you have textbooks that are no longer needed but are still on the 2022-2023 booklist? Or maybe you are looking for an out-of-print book required by your teacher, or have had enough of supporting Amazon this year? Check out the dedicated booksale webpages created for each section:
The online lists will remain open over the summer for the use of parents and volunteers will be available again at the beginning of September to help manage any issues that arise.
If you would be interested in volunteering to work on one of the existing teams or you would like to organise a sale for your section, please contact the APEEE Secretariat: email@example.com.
The EEB1 Art Department organised their yearly exhibition of students’ art works to introduce them to the school’s community.
Art works created by S1-S7 students throughout the 2021-2022 academic year were showcased in the Michelangelo building. Parents with preliminary registration could enter the campus and see the exhibition on 12 May after school.
Exhibited were art works made by all students of EEB1 Secondary of all the art teachers. One could see a big variety of techniques, themes and styles. There were ink and pencil drawings, papiers mâchés, oil paintings, aquarelles, statues made of clay, video creations and many more.
“All around us are the results of the great work that our students, together with their teachers, invested into the art classes throughout the academic year” – pointed out Anne Müller-Dorn, teacher of the Art Department, at the venue. – “Each of us art teachers have our own style, something that we personally represent and try to plant into our students, be it an artistic genre, certain perspective or technique. To recognise all these in here I find really touching” – she added.
The Michelangelo building, where the exhibition was held, proved to be a great venue given its large, round-shaped central hall, the so-called Polyvalent Room, and the art classrooms right next to it. Each room has its large, wide windows to let the light come through.
The walls, parts of the floors, many stands created especially for the exhibition, as well as the windowsills were covered with the many exhibits. Some of them were hanging from the ceiling if their shape or texture allowed them to be better observed that way.
It was lovely to see some students at the venue, wandering around, whispering to each other or to their parents. They were visibly enthusiastic about being able to show their artistic talent to the school community.
See also: Photos of the Secondary Arts Exhibition
For the first time since the pandemic, EEB1’s Secondary music department, together with the APEEE Services’ Césame, organised their traditional Spring Concert in the Brussels Royal Conservatory on Sunday, 8 May, early afternoon.
Their programme included performances by the European Hours Primary as well as the Secondary Choirs, solo and chamber music players, the Césame Primary Chamber choir, and the EEB1 Symphony Orchestra provided the closing act.
The great hall of the Brussels Royal Conservatory, built in 19th century Napoleon III style, with its fine grandeur, proved to be an atmospheric venue, adding a charming contrast to the presence of the youngsters on stage. It was a real joy to experience first-hand this great variety of possibilities that the EEB1 provides to their students in the field of music, and in such a high level.
The 80-member European Hours Primary Choir gave a cheerful and lively performance at the very beginning. These P3-P5 students sang the gospel “I’ve got peace like a river”, among others, with such an honest joy; and the sorrowful “I am the Earth” by G. Lehmann with such open hearts! They used simple percussion instruments, as well as their own hands and bodies, to make their singing more expressive. Their wonderful teacher-conductor Pablo García could not have been a more devoted companion for these children.
The Secondary Choir showed a most elegant performance in the middle of the concert, both vocally and visually, right after the middle-break. This mixed choir, whose members are pupils S1-S7 and EEB1 teachers, shone the entire range of their voices presenting five sacred and secular contemporary compositions. Two of them were performed with a string quartet and one with the traditional hurdy-gurdy instrument. The performance flew our parents’ thoughts straight back to their spectacular Concert for Peace a week before that, where they presented their full repertoire. We cannot be more thankful to their teacher-conductor and vocal coach Dr. Joanna Muśko who helps them not only understand music but appreciate and enjoy it at the same time.
Between the two choirs, and the Symphony Orchestra at the end of the concert, there came some solo and chamber performances. Louise Lempereur de Morfontaine on piano debuted bravely in front of such a big audience, Ethan Baude on piano showed his natural genius, Henry Chantraine on piano proved that a Philip Glass etude could be absorbed by such a diverse audience if it was played with feeling, and Irina Baudewyns on violin, laureate of the Stringendo competition, shone her impressive technical skills playing Bruch’s concerto. The Césame Primary Choir of nine P1-P2 students sang very sweetly French songs. We could also hear the first movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto for 4 violins and cello played by 11 year old talents Erik (laureat of the Vlamo competition), Labros, Niya, Valéry and Zoltán, and the first movement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by the Chamber Orchestra.
The concert ended with the performance of EEB1’s Symphonic Orchestra conducted by the excellent Arman Simonyan, violin teacher and the orchestra’s permanent teacher-conductor. They completed the musical journey with pieces by Händel of the late baroque, and Haydn of the early classical era, adding J. Williams’ popular theme piece of the Indiana Jones film to conclude a bit more lightly. It was wonderful to see these young musicians of ages from the youngest of Primary up until graduates play together in such harmony. The EEB1 indeed has an orchestra of high standard. No wonder there are students who take the trouble of joining their Friday end-of-school weekly practices even from other Brussels European Schools if they do not have their own ensembles.
EEB1 Director Brian Goggins at the end praised the superb performances of the children of all ages, as well as the music teachers who helped prepare and put on stage this heart-warming concert – Agnieszka Zywert, Maria Martiova and Buket Kartal piano teachers and accompanists, and Dominique Leroy choir conductor, in addition to the above mentioned. Last but not least the Director thanked the technical team who assisted in the background.
It fills us parents with great satisfaction to see how greatly EEB1 provides the possibilities for our children to be introduced into this wonderful music and to develop year by year.
See also: All photos of the EEB1 Spring Concert
EEB1 Secondary Choir gave a wonderful “Concert for Peace” on 30 April 2022, Saturday late afternoon, in the Church of Saint Adrien, Ixelles.
The concert was dedicated to the victims of the war in Ukraine, those grieving lost loved ones, and families displaced and divided.
The choir sang their full programme of 14 songs including well-known traditional spirituals and folk songs, sacred music representing different periods of the history of music (renaissance, romantic or Gregorian-inspired modern), as well as pieces by contemporary composers of various traditions and genres from all over the world (Swedish, Norwegian, American, Polish or Philippine).
The mid-twentieth century Saint Adrien Church in Ixelles provided a truly atmospheric venue, with its wide acoustic and colourful abstract-patterned neo-gothic windows in the background.
The concert was prepared and conducted by Dr Joanna Muśko, music teacher and permanent conductor of EEB1 Secondary Choir since 2015.
It was truly moving to hear at the beginning of the concert “Everybody Sing Freedom”, a spiritual originally sung by enslaved African-American people, this time by these 90-strong innocent and hopeful teenage voices, right after settling down on our seats, having come from the outside world where the terrible news constantly emerge about the situation in Ukraine.
It could equally not be more touching to listen to “Tebe Poyem/To Thee We Sing”, a sacred piece by early 20th century Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, in its original language. It reminded us parents of the time when it was learnt by the choir two years ago, when they were preparing to take part in the International Choir Festival in Saint Petersburg, that never took place because of the outbreak of the pandemic.
The majority of the pieces was performed by the full mixed choir and accompanied by Agnieszka Zywert, renown pianist and music teacher of EEB1. For “Ecce Novum” and “The Rose” by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo the choir was joined by a string quartet with Monika Tomasik-Kowalczyk and Pablo García on violin, Martin O’Sullivan on viola and Gabrielle Arnett-de Burbure on cello. “The Gallant Knight” by US composer Mark Patterson was sung by a male choir. S7 student Mikołaj Muśko also contributed by playing the electric guitar and the traditional medieval instrument, the hurdy-gurdy.
Between the songs students read aloud the connecting texts using their various mother tongues thus representing the cultural diversity of our school as a beautiful way to show human solidarity. Thus we heard words in French, Slovenian, Hungarian, Polish, Italian, Spanish and German – apart from the English as the common language. It was very special to hear the presentation in Ukrainian by Olha Kniazhnytska, a guest singer, who also performed some solo parts – for example in “Misericordias Domini” by Henryk Jan Botor contemporary Polish composer.
It was with pride and joy that we parents saw our children sing together enthusiastically, at the same time with great seriousness, immersing themselves to this wonderful artistic discipline, music, and sharing it all with us. For all this we thank to this wonderful conductor-pedagogue, Dr Joanna Muśko, who although seemingly effortlessly, but nevertheless investing a lot of time and energy, coached our children during school time as well as at study weekends the choir spend in Monschau, Germany, regularly.
No wonder “Circle of Life”, the melodical theme song of the Lion King musical by Philippine composer Fidel Calalang Jr., presented with such a joy and grace by the choir at the end, was asked to be sung as an “encore”.
The concert ended by the concluding words of EEB1 Director Brian Goggins who said he was amazed by the performance and emphasised the importance of bringing together the EEB1 community, students, parents and teachers, keeping in mind what was happening in the world.
For us parents it was wonderful to forget for an hour or so of the difficulties of the world around us and just embrace our children’s talent and feel part of this community.
This year’s edition of Eurosport – a sport competition among all European Schools that occurs every two years – was hosted by the European School in Mol, Belgium, and included students from 17 European and Accredited Schools. The competition took place from Wednesday, 24 March to Saturday, 26 March. EEB1 was represented by a team comprising 15 girls and 15 boys, each competing in one or more of three disciplines: football, basketball and badminton as well as in a team Aquathon (running and swimming) event.
- Aquathlon: 5th place
- Badminton boys-mixed-girls: 1st place
- Football girls: 1st place
- Football boys: 4th place
- Basketball girls: 4th place
- Basketball boys: 12th place
Overall ranking: Bronze medal, 3rd place!
Congratulations to our students on this outstanding performance. They can be proud of their accomplishments. They have shown great skills, great behaviour, sportsmanship, responsibility and commitment. Everyone contributed to making a great success altogether.
The APEEE firmly believes that learning outside a traditional classroom environment contributes significantly to the development of students’ key competences and strengthens the EEB1 community, as the activities connect and reinforce the bonds between students, teachers, school management, staff and parents.
A big achievement for the Uccle Europe Basketball Club, in which many students from our school practice basket regularly.
Three of the club’s teams (U12, U14, U16) have reached the finals of the AWBB Belgium basket federation. One of them (U16) won the cup for the first time in the history of the club in March 2022. The name of Europe is now in the history of this championship!
There was echo of this performance in several Belgian magazines, for example in La Dernière Heure/Les Sports.
Also, some of the teams participated in the International Tournament in Bourbourg in April, along with teams from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Lebanon, among others. For 2022-20223, for the first time there will be two girls’ teams: U12 and U14.
It is an historic achievement for such a young club and a testimony of the great work they do with Brussels youth. These teams have to train in several different venues (including the EEB1 site) due to lack of a centralised structure, but the passion and competence is certainly there.
These achievements are also consequence of the excellent collaboration between the school and the club in the framework or the current Convention which we hope will be renewed. The APEEE will continue supporting this collaboration in order to develop a positive spirit in our community.
There were 50 pupils participating in 31 projects. (Last year it was 29 students in 23 projects!) After the in-situ Science Festival on 20 January, we had an entire week when all the Science/Physics/Biology/Chemistry teachers had the opportunity to watch the projects online with their students and vote.
Because of COVID regulations, we had only 450 students in the audience in the whole day, and we had 49 different classes who watched 162 videos. Total number of students was 2644
The jury (from different languages sections and scientific field) announced the final winners of the competition in the Senior and the Junior categories:
- 1st prize: Gabriel Nero and Nicolas Fourestié: L'hydrogène le gaz du futur? (S2 FR-B)
- 2nd prize: Maciek Kuik: Renewable energy from rain (S3 PL-B)
- 3rd prize: Przemysław Kędra: What will you remember? (S2 PL-B)
- 1st prize: Helena Domańska: How clean are your teeth? Toothpaste analysis (S4 PL-A)
- 2nd prize: Gabriel Guitart Stamatopol and Irene Moya Stamate: Study up: personalised study plans based on research and student experience (S7 ES-A)
- 3rd prize: Julian Máthé and Marin de Vanssay de Blavous: RoomSafe - How physics can curb epidemics (S6 EN-A)
The audience voted for the best projects. The audience points were so close to each other, that exceptionally two audience prizes were awarded this year.
The audience awards in Junior category went to Maciek Kuik with Renewable energy from rain (S3 PL-B) and the second prize went to Emmanuel Vlad with Possibilités du Cerveau - les mystères des Rêves Lucides (S3 FR-B).
The audience award in Senior category went to Julian Máthé and Marin de Vanssay de Blavous for the project RoomSafe , and the second prize went to Anteja Puš with the project When and how will humans go extinct? (S4 ENA)
Winners received valuable prizes: telescope, walkie-talkie, solar charger, magnetic hour glass, "casse-tetes".
The Jury decided to send Gabriel Nero and Nicolas Fourestié, Helena Domańska, Julian Máthé and Marin de Vanssay de Blavous and Lisa Banti to the European Schools Science Symposium (ESSS) held between Strasbourg and Karlsruhe on 8-11 May 2022.
We all think that the Festival was successful, and we are happy that this year group had the chance to participate and work on their projects like they had done it in previous years.
Five S7 students of our school participated at this year’s “Juvenes Translatores”, the European Commission’s annual translation contest. The event took place on 25 November 2021 online. This was the first time the EEB1 applied and participated at the event.
It is our great pleasure that Marco Depierreux, S7 Student in the Spanish section won a special mention. He translated from French to Spanish. Other four participants from the EEB1 were Lilla Keresztesy who translated from Hungarian into English, Sara Love from English to Spanish, Ignacio Nadal from German into Spanish and Fabijan Schauer from German to English. Teachers Ms Estrella Gancedo, Mr Martin O´Sullivan and Mr Martin Nieva coordinated the selection process at our school.
The topic of this year’s texts that young students translated was “Let’s get on track – towards a greener future”. It was in line with one of the EU’s recent most important political priorities, the European Green Deal, which is of particular interest to young people.
There were 2940 participating students this year from 689 schools across Europe who could translate between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. Of the 552 language combinations available, students used 153.
“Juvenes Translatores” is the European Commission’s contest for Secondary school students with the aim to promote language learning and translation. It was created in 2007 by the Directorate-General for Translation and is open to 17-year-old Secondary school students throughout the EU.
The aim of the contest is to promote language learning, with a special focus to inspire young people to get interested in a career as translators. It also helps teachers and pupils get motivated, inspires participants to study languages at university and also provides an opportunity to showcase the EU’s rich linguistic diversity.
The application process of the competition happened in two stages. First Secondary schools in all EU countries enrolled, the online registration lasted from the beginning of the school year until the 20th of October.
Then the Commission invited 705 schools to the next stage (the number of schools taking part in each country is equal to the number of seats the country has in the European Parliament), with schools selected randomly by computer. There were 21 places for Belgium. This year the EEB1 was the only European School that was selected in Belgium. The chosen schools could then nominate up to five students to participate in the contest, they could be of any nationality but all participants must have been born in 2004.
“The aim of the competition is to bring together young people from different countries with a love for languages, to encourage them and help them overcome barriers between people and cultures,” points out Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, on the introductory page of “Juvenes Translatores. “The ability to communicate with and understand one another, regardless of differences, is essential for the EU to flourish,” he adds, which we at the EEB1 community cannot agree more.
The APEEE Pedagogical Working Group was very active in raising awareness and promoting the “Juvenes Translatores” after its 2021 mapping and analysis of secondary school trips and projects showed, that there is a category of initiatives in which EEB1 does not take part, including those initiated by the EU institutions. “We are very happy to see that the EEB1 teachers took up this challenge and inscribed EEB1 for the competition,” said Monika Velikonja, Vice-President of APEEE in charge of Pedagogy & Uccle Secondary, “and we hope this will continue in the future.”
Do you like swimming? Are you between 5 to 18 years old? Would you like to swim competitions in a league with swimmers of all levels and of many nationalities? Would you like to be part of a team representing all the European Schools in Brussels? Then join the team ESB OCTOPUS, the swimming team of all European Schools in Brussels and with both a family and a competition spirit.
Please look at the ESB OCTOPUS website to understand how the team and the competitions work, and/or talk to the ESB OCTOPUS swimmers at the school.
The CdE IT working group proudly presents the new version of our school app (MyEEB1) - for both students and parents!
The new update allows students to check the absence list, make notes and more. App users will be also able to find useful information regarding the food facilities, as well as explanations on our schools and the European School system. The app also houses links to all the bodies of the European school stakeholders, past BAC papers, a glossary of abbreviations used within the school and easy access to the CdE's events! There is also a school map with the description of all buildings and room codes, so you won't get lost on campus again!
You can access the app by downloading it on Google Play Store
or just by visiting the website - https://myeeb1.13stars.eu/
We recommend using the latest versions of Google Chrome (v94.0+) or Safari (v.15+). We can't guarantee a full compatibility for older versions or other browsers.
In case of problems with downloading the app, please consult the steps below:
- On your Android device, open Google Chrome.
- Go to a website you want to install à myeeb1.13stars.eu
- Tap "Add to home screen."
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- Go to a website you want to install à myeeb1.13stars.eu
- At the top right of the address bar, click Install Add.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install the PWA.
For iPhone - IOS (SAFARI):
You can add a website icon to your iPhone Home Screen for quick access to that site. From the website (myeeb1.13stars.eu), tap the share button, then tap "Add to Home Screen".
The icon appears only on the device where you add it.