Kelly and Judith from De Ondernemende School Natuurtalent: ‘Many children are ready for a new form of education’

Children must have more space to develop and be themselves. With that in mind, Judith Kalb and Kelly van der Goorbergh took the initiative to start a new form of education in Vlaardingen. Entreprenørskolen’s Naturtalent will start in 2024. What will it take? “Especially many signatures,” the population of Vlaardingen said.

Kelly (41) and Judith (46) have realized that their children, like many other children in the Netherlands, are not getting their due in the existing education system. “In everyday life, which for young people largely consists of school, children often live according to a pattern that they actually have a natural resistance to,” says Judith.

Overstimulation and abdominal pain

“The number of young people who do not want to go to school, experience burnout or become overtired from an average school day has never been higher,” she continues. Kelly experiences this herself with her 11-year-old son, who has gone to school for half days for two years due to overstimulation, and her 9-year-old daughter, who has gone to school with stomach aches from an early age.

The number of young people with burnout has never been so high

Kelly: “I even considered moving to Sweden because education there is more focused on students and their development rather than performance. But then again, you don’t do the one, two, three.”

New kind of school

When Kelly came across a call from Judith, who was looking for parents to start a new kind of school together in Vlaardingen, she knew: “This is it!”. An information evening organized by De Ondernemende Skole once again confirmed this for her. “Everything fell into place,” she says. “This is a form of education where children come into their own much more, are allowed to be themselves and develop their talents and social skills in their own way. As it actually should be.”

This is a form of education where children come into their own to a much greater extent and are allowed to be themselves.

For example, Kelly and Judith decided that there should be an entrepreneurial school in Vlaardingen: Natuurtalent. “We want to create a school that reflects society and is accessible to everyone,” the Vlaardingen mothers agree.

“Many schools today are subject to certain systems which ensure that students are characterized by all possible standards that they must meet. We want to be more aware of the individual child and their surroundings. So they can stand safely in the world.”

Coach

Starting a brand new school is not something you just do. At least not when it comes to innovative education. Fortunately, Judith and Kelly get help from De Ondernemende Skole. From that organization they received assistance in the form of a coach: Koen Beurskens (51), who has been involved in education all his life. “From tutoring as a teenager to working as a physics teacher in a Waldorf school for fifteen years.”

“At the Waldorf School, I learned how important it is as a teacher to handle the student as an individual. Each child has his own talents and way of developing. You can’t squeeze them all into one system,’ says Koen.

Ideals

“Unfortunately, this way of teaching is also increasingly under pressure from above, making it increasingly difficult to hold on to the original ideals,” Koen continues.

Each child has his own talents and way of developing.

“The entrepreneurial school is a way of bringing those ideals back: by building from the bottom up again, we can now take into account the challenges where other forms of education such as the Waldorf school have stalled or are at risk of getting stuck.”

Collect signatures

It is clear that establishing a new and innovative school is not easy. “It takes a lot,” says Koen. “But Kelly and Judith, like me, are very determined. Something has to change in society, and it starts with the youth.”

Something has to change in society, and it starts with the youth.

What the passionate team of De Ondernemende School Natuurtalent now primarily needs are signatures, which can be submitted via their website www.dosnatuurtalent.nl. In order to start a new state-supported school for primary and secondary education, they must demonstrate to the ministry that enough parents support this initiative.

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Judith, Koen and Kelly do everything they can to collect signatures for an entrepreneurial school in Vlaardingen (Photo: Layla Pansier)

“We need 140 signatures by October 29. When we hear the stories of people supporting our initiative, it seems easy to achieve, but unfortunately the reality shows otherwise,” says Judith, Kelly and Koen.

We need 140 signatures before October 29

This involves several problems. “Firstly, it concerns a digital signature, where you have to log in with DigiD and enter the BSN number of your children. This is only to prove that you have school-aged children, but people still find it difficult to share personal information.”

The trio further explains: “In addition, you can only support with a signature if your child is 2, 3 or 4 years old (primary school), or 10, 11 or 12 years old (secondary education) on 1 November 2022. Grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles and aunts and other people who are enthusiastic but don’t have school-age children can’t draw.”

Call

“We would therefore like to ask everyone who agrees with us to look further in their surroundings to see if there are more people who want to sign. And also emphasizes that nothing else will be done with your personal information and that it is not a (pre-)registration, but a declaration of support for the initiative to establish De Ondernemende School Natuurtalent in Vlaardingen.”

Do you want to know more about De Ondernemende School Natuurtalent, participate in one of the information evenings or support the initiative with a signature? You can do this on the website dosnatuurtalent.nl.

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