Start of the 2014/2015 school year
“GO, GO, GO, FASTER!!!”... the impatient fans cheered as the pupils, parents and teachers made their art, and the classroom teachers, dressed in stylish cycling jerseys, passed through the gate of the new school year on their bicycles.
The 2014/2015 Tour de Zahrada has begun.
As is our tradition, the cyclist-teachers and their team of pupils entered the gate, earning an energy drink and protein bar. As is the custom for cyclists, the first stop was a stop at the Under the Plane Tree Restaurant, where everyone got refreshments and could chase away their hunger with pickled cheese and sausages.
As we look at the map of the race course we face over the coming school year, we see that we can look forward to a mostly flat terrain. Some stages will be a bit more hilly with some minor ups and downs (report cards ), but there will always be plenty of time to recharge our batteries so that we can all cross the finish line in June with smiles on our faces.
The organizing team (our two directors) wish you a pleasant journey!
This year, dedicated to our wonderful volunteers
And thus is came to be,
A garden party with ice cream,
an exquisite cake.
And lots of children.
This year we invited the volunteers who help us with joy and ease.
We were joined by students from UJAK, children from the Catholic Parish of St. Procopius,
and volunteers from the Covidien company.
We sent their goodwill into the world on red balloons with a light feather.
Maybe help and simple kindness spread through the world.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you again.
A trip to a pumpkin farm
On Wednesday 22 October, the weather suddenly turned cold, but we had a trip planned to go to the pumpkin farm in Nová Ves near Leština! Now what? We can’t cancel our trip! So we dressed warm – even wearing gloves, wool caps and footmuffs – got on our bus and went off on our adventure! After a friendly welcome, we toured the entire farm. We liked the pyramids made of pumpkins, the labyrinth in the cornfield, the jungle gums, the pumpkin maze in the garden and the straw castle. The pumpkin soup really warmed us up, we got a boost of energy from the snacks made by our mothers, and we even met the local bunnies. Every child go a little pumpkin to take home, and each classroom got an even larger one for carving. We got back to school tired but happy. We will definitely have some pleasant memories for the long autumn evenings!
FISH CATCH 6. 10. 2014 (autumn event from the autism class)
It may be hard to believe, but there was a surprise waiting for us in our little pond after the summer holidays. Two catfish had come to visit, and so we had to look after them and make them feel right at home. Our main water bailiff Honza took up his fish-related duties, culminating in a ceremonial fish catch, which we approached in a grand manner befitting Czech fishermen. We decorated the garden with fishing needs (rods, nets, landing nets, floats, stylish clothes), we listened to fishing-related music, heard the 10 commandments of fishing, and tested our knowledge by answering a fishing quiz (examples: how many whiskers does a catfish have, how big was the biggest catfish ever caught in the Czech Republic, and does the male catfish guard the eggs after the female has laid them). In the end, out tummies were warmed by soup made of Czech carp.
But most of all, we watched the fish catch with a sense of excitement and anticipation…
… and then we marveled at the beauty of those catfish. We wish you well, dear catfish, on your journey. May you find a good life at the reservoir that will be your new home…
The 10 commandments of fishing:
Do not torment fish.
Do not urinate in the water.
Do not leave litter behind.
You must not lie about the size of a fish.
You can have only one for your meal.
When catching fish, you can drink only a little alcohol.
You must tie your boat securely.
You must bring fish for your friends.
You must laugh by the water.
And above all, you must honor St. Peter.
St. Nicholas Day giftsThis year we were visited by St. Nicholas and his entourage at the Akropolis Palace. The devils tried to get as many children under their spell as possible, but it all turned out well in the end. The scales of justice were fair, and showed whether our lives consist of more good deeds or bad ones. The angels helped us all get on stage, where we enjoyed the heavenly gifts.
5. 12. 2014
If you came, you didn’t regret it. Our Christmas get-together stimulated all the senses with a truly diverse program.
To name just a few things: lovely Christmas pastries, tasty sushi, Christmas punch, cookies and cakes, a fun and entertaining theater performance about the hard work done by angels, and a screening of a short film on life at our school and at the integration center.
We were visited by Jaroslav Šturma, who helped found our facility in 1991 and who “christened” the film with our directors Dagmar Rosecká and Jiří Drahota.
Our get-together ended with us sending a bunch of white balloons into the skies in order to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015.
From 29 December 2014 to 2 January 2015, Prague hosted Taizé 2014: Young Adult European Meeting. Together with the Zahrada Integration Center, we decided to host several dozen foreign attendees.
A trip into prehistoryOn Friday 16 January, our whole school traveled into prehistory – to a time 3 million years ago. The Little Dragon class got to try out prehistory with all the things that go with it. A group of prehistoric people welcomed us to their cave, where we feasted on mammoth goulash from a large cauldron, along with bones and rainwater. We also got to check out some cave paintings, listened to the sounds of prehistoric animals, and dressed in prehistoric costumes while making a collage of a mammoth that is now decorating one of our school’s hallways. Although it was a fun and successful event, we are happy that our time machine didn’t fail and returned us back to the present day.
Today was a day of remembrance – not only of the last semester, but also of the days when our teachers got their report cards.
The report cards were handed out to each class one by one, with entertainment in-between. We got to hear the musical hits from the past (ancient history?) when the adults got their report cards. We also read the teachers’ comments that our teachers got when they were students, and had to guess who got which comments. I think everyone had a great time. :-)
The classroom teachers toasted with fresh juice from fruits that they chose themselves.
Then the juicing team went to all the classrooms and squeezed juice for anyone who wanted it. We enjoyed the juice for lunch and nary a drop went to waste. It all tasted great!
Such a healthy, tasty and juicy report-card day. :-)!
Thanks go to Ondřej, Katka and Terezka for preparing the event.
Easter arts and crafts
On Tuesday 17 March 2015, we held our traditional Easter art-making workshop.
Weaving (but also confused) hands created rattan baskets and cages, decorated with grass, beads and ribbons. Using special needles on fleece, we made little colorful birds, yellow chicks, and hairbands. The sun shone on our work and the strawberry buns by Paulina’s mom, Mrs. Hanušová, tickled our taste buds. Klárka Šimková provided the musical accompaniment.
Many thanks go to our pupils’ mothers, Mrs. Valentová and Mrs. Šimková, for being so patient with us and for again teaching us something new. I am really amazed at our creative little minds.
Looking forward to next time.Liduška
A trip into prehistory
On Thursday 21 May 2015, the stage at Žižkov’s Akropolis Palace transported audiences back in time to when people lived in caves and the forests were filled with giant horsetail and dangerous predators.
And those amazing prehistoric people was us from Zahrádka and Zahrada. When no food came from on high and not even a dance around fire helped, we had to set out on a dangerous journey, hot on the heels of a giant mammoth… With much encouragement from the audience and accompanied by the sound of drums, we eventually hunted down and killed the mammoth in a dangerous melee. Then we cooked it for lunch – here’s a mammoth goulash recipe.
- 1 mammoth
Bon appetite from the entire UR-ENSEMBLE, Liduška.
Our teachers came up with a very creative answer to the astronomical event of the year – the partial solar eclipse. On the morning of 20 March, when this rare occurrence could be seen, we all gathered on our school’s terrace. Of course, those who were the most curious watched the eclipse directly in the sky, but those who couldn’t look up could watch the performance in front of them. It was a joyful and dynamic illustration of the eclipse, and as always it was very funny. Thanks go to our sun, Terezka, and our Moon, Honza!
20. 3. 2015
Witches’ Night, 30 April 2015
In the late morning hours, long before the witches’ fires lit up the sky, we gathered on the school’s terrace to enjoy some yummy roasted sausages! Believe us or not, but it was quite a task! And you have to admit that the witches’ hat suited everyone perfectly!
Field trips and outings
Field trips and outings in 2014/15
Because our multi-day outdoor education trip takes place only once every two years, during this school year, outings were organized by each classroom separately. Some people like to try out new places, others like to know what they’re getting into. And so our pupils and their teachers visited the following places during the 2014/15 school year: Bělá pod Bezdězem, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Hojava, Strměchy u Pelhřimova, Pustá Rybná u Poličky, Líchovy u Sedlčan, Střelské Hoštice, and Borovnička. Although the weather is very unpredictable in the Czech lands during the months of September, October, May, and June, on our trips we are always 100% in a good mood
Final report cards
26 June 2015 – Our final “Tour de Garden”, or: Hurray for the holidays!
Another year has gone by and the Tour de Garden is coming to an end. Our nine-month cycling tour has been a success. Although the route was full of surprises and planned and unplanned encounters, we managed to stay on course. Most importantly, nobody got lost for even a moment. We had a lot of fun while learning and racing, and we managed to overcome any and all pitfalls and difficulties.
Admit it – it was really worth it for the golden wreaths and medals! As the representatives of the racing teams, our teachers traded in their bikes for a riksha and their racing jerseys for festive dress, but believe me: the bore enormous responsibility all year long, and each of them put in some real hard work. They succeeded in motivating their teams to give a better performance, supported the racers when they grew tired, and taught them knew skills including the much-needed ability to work together.
During the entire second semester, we were joined by music therapist Matteo Maienza, thanks to whom we arrived at the finish line in a great mood and to the sounds of Italian songs. Besides Matteo, on this June day we also said good-bye to little Alex, who is leaving for a different school, and big Karolína, who will start attending our partner social services center in September.
Matteo, we thank you with all our heart for all the work you have done. May you be successful in your personal and professional life. Alex and Karolínka, may you quickly adapt to your new surroundings and find many great friends and excellent teachers.