ITAKA Zuidrand language school is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual ‘open door’ event on September 12th and 13th in Edegem. We will offer various activities throughout the day in the garden of the music academy. Visit our Facebook page or website for more information.
Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year)
GSM: 04 86 53 09 15
Registrations are ongoing. Please rest assured that, in accordance with the government advice, all COVID-19 protective measures have been put into place. Please see the website for course offerings. The 2020-21 school year begins in the last week of September.
The school caters to adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. Courses include English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Art History, Music History. The school has a no stress philosophy, which means no exams. ITAKA Zuidrand has four campuses in and around Antwerp.
If your child is currently enrolled in Grade 6 in a local primary school – het 6e leerjaar – then it’s time to choose a school for secondary education, or secundair onderwijs. If you have not yet registered your child, you may have received a letter in the mail reminding you that this process should be completed before 5 PM on April 3rd, 2020, which is this Friday.
NB: Corona virus regulations have not affected the timeline of the registration process.
Should you miss the 3 April 2020 deadline, you will still be able to register with individual schools from 11 May 2020 onwards, but keep in mind that places will be full in some schools by this point. This late registration process closes 3 June 2020.
I found signing up on the website straightforward. You will need your child’s rijksregisternummer (national registration number) which can be found on their ISI+ health insurance card (or on the pink stickers used for doctors), or on the back of their ID card (see pic below).
If your child does not have an ID card yet, it is probably best to contact your local city council, or districtshuis.
Once signed up, you can select the schools you are interested in by typing the names into a search bar and selecting the schools you want. I’ve been recommended to list at least five schools by a representative of Meldjeaan. Then rank your schools by dragging a small arrow next to each selected school’s name up or down. This is an important step; the order counts. You are now ready to complete the process, though you can revisit the site any time and make changes, up until April 3rd.
Note about 1A and 1B streams
Most children who complete primary school will need to sign up for the 1A stream in secondary school. Children who are unable to successfully complete their primary education will most likely need to choose 1B. However, if you are unsure, it is always best to ask your child’s teacher for advice.
If you are unable to access the website or don’t understand a step in the process, you can call the Meldjeaan team or email them for help (see below.
Results and registration
Results will be sent to parents on 6 May 2020, after which you should register your child at the school you have been allocated. This should be done by appointment and by contacting the school directly.
If the allocated school is not your number 1 choice, you will automatically be put on a waiting list for the schools higher up your list.
Waiting list and follow-up process
This is where things may get a little complicated. It is possible to move up your waiting list, even into the start of the academic year. Please keep the following points in mind:
Always register your child with the highest ranked school on your list you’ve been allocated
By doing so, the schools lower down on your list automatically fall away; this frees new spaces for other applicants
You will automatically be put on a waiting list for schools higher up on your list
If a space higher up is freed up, you will be notified and can now register with that school; the previous registration is annulled
You cannot register with multiple schools
It is perfectly acceptable to annul registrations in favour of a school higher up your list, should they become free
If you want to see high up on the waiting list for a particular school you are after 6 May, log back into the meldjeaan.antwerpen.be website
Waiting list positions are valid until 7 October 2020 (note: this is after the start of the school year!). After that, it’s best to contact the school in question directly for information.
Overall, this seems like a fair system to me. It certainly beats parents having to camp out in front of schools, which I’ve heard so much about.
I have not included details about special education, or early selection for children who have older siblings already enrolled in a school, or whose parents work in Flemish education. Please contact the organisation for more information on that.
You can find a list of secondary schools in Antwerp here. You can find information about schools and subject choices here. You can find a current list of available places in schools here. From 10 AM 8 May on, the Meldjeaan website will publish a list of remaining free places for those who have missed online registration. You can also contact them by email or phone: 0800 62 185
Disclaimer: I am just a parent who has recently gone through and learned about the school registration process over a period of two years, by asking many people lots of questions (and taking lots of notes). I am not an authority on the subject, but I am sharing what I learned here. It is therefore always best to consult the helpdesk above for information.
As you can imagine, a blog which is usually devoted to sharing information about events, is not going to be very busy right now, so I though I would just do a general post about life in Antwerp and Belgium under the new restrictions, and share some useful links. I will keep editing this, so if you think there is a link I have missed, do get in touch.
The government website with information about Covid 19 is here and available in French, Dutch, German and English. You can also follow the Federal Health Department on Twitter.
(translation of text in image above: Stay home; do not gather with others; keep a distance of 1.5m; outdoor exercise is OK, with max 2 people; look after yourself and each other)
The Stad Antwerpen page is mainly in Dutch, but if you go here and scroll down, you will find .PDFs in a variety of languages.
Last week I published this blog post with information in English about organisations and help lines, if being at home is not safe for you or your children (or if you are anxious that someone you know is not safe).
Lessons are suspended and children are learning from home. Only those who work in essential services (and who cannot find childcare) may take their children into school. Colleges and universities are delivering classes and assignments online.
Lots of people want to help at this time. Others needs help. Stad Antwerpen has this page (in Dutch) for those either requiring help, or wanting to volunteer their help. In both cases you need to fill in a form:
These are slips to download and deliver if you want to offer help to your neighbours who may be in a vulnerable group. NB: you need to do this while observing social distancing as much as is possible. Other forms of volunteer work can be found here
At 8pm many people are taking to their balconies and windows every evening to applaud the frontline workers who are keeping essential services -especially health services – open and functioning.
It’s important to make time to Skype/ Zoom/ WhatsApp/ Facetime with friends and family. If your family is in an other country, you may have extra anxieties and feel home-sick. That’s very understandable – so if you are on Facebook you are very welcome in our group Expats in Antwerp. Not just for Covid 19 info- we have a daily chat thread each day, for general conversation, sharing news, recipes and -of course – pet pics!
Financial support and assistance for incomes and businesses affected by Covid 19
If you would like to help keep Nessascityblog going by writing a blog post for me, then now is the time! I welcome posts about how you are managing your time; the challenges and achievements of our changed circumstances; creative writing; how you are working and how your Antwerp business has been affected. Feel free to get in touch if you have an idea!
After extensive restoration work, Ruben’s self portrait returns to the Rubens House on Wapper. From 10 am -8pm you can go and have a look for free. Look out for the appropriately costumed figures on stilts around Meir to point you in the right direction. The Rubenshuis is a real treasure, and worth seeing, including the gardens which are very pretty. When you are done there, come out and turn left to go shopping at the market … or right to go shopping on Meir.
It’s Record Store Day, vinyl lovers! I found three Antwerp vinyl stores which are marking this annual international event with special offers and live music in store: Tune Up on Melkmarkt, Fat Kat on Vleminckstraat, and Coffee & Vinyl on Volkstraat.
If you know someone who is interested in studying in Antwerp, The University of Antwerp and it university colleges (Artesis Plantijn, Karel de Grote) are holding an open day today (you need to register in advance) and you can see the different campus locations and subjects here, so you know where to go. Open Day takes place from 9.30am -4.30.
Head to Chiro Lore youth group (left) for their “Wereld Keuken” (World Kitchen) from 4pm. A great way to try dishes from around the world for very low prices (a euro per dish!) and you can pick up a free recipe book.
Chiro Lore is a youth group for young people aged 6-18 who organise and enjoy a variety of activities in Antwerp, and who meet each Sunday.
It’s Erfgoeddag (Heritage Day) all over Flanders meaning that various sites and insututions are making a special effort to open their doors. Many of Antwerp’s museums (e.g. MUHKA and The Red Star Line) have special activities or guided tours. Use this search to find out what is going on in an area near you -be aware that some activities require you to register beforehand. There is also an Erfgoed App.
Antwerp 10 Miles takes place today. The 19th (Thursday) is the last chance to register if you want to run. If you are a supporter and want to watch the runners here is a map of the route that the run will take, including information about entertainment along the way. Today is also the Antwerp Marathon which starts on Linkeroever, and finishes on The Grote Markt, so expect a lot of runners around town!
It feels good to be moving in to March, with a few signs of spring to lift the spirits. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend’s locations and venues.
You could start your weekend at one of two free-entry food and drink events: there’s this Warehouse Edition of Flying Pig at pop-up Contrair, which promises the usual fair of drinks, fingerfood and DJs from 5pm, or StrEAT (not far away) at Felix Pakhuis from 6pm.
It’s Retro Day from 10am -6pm in the eight Kringwinkels (thrift shops) of Antwerp. The Kringwinkel most central to Antwerp is at Jorispoort 29. It doesn’t look very eye catching from the outside but it has three floors of second hand household items, toys, books, furniture and clothes. On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram you could win a 25 euro voucher by sharing a picture of your own retro treasure(s) with the hashtags #retrodag and #dekringwinkelantwerpen
In a similar vein there is the regular, big secondhand and flea market on Sint Jansplein, starting at 9am.
Between 11- 5pm there’s a closet sale at Plein Publiek, held by Revive Collective.
For film fans, there is a festival of short films –Ciné Public)-at Cinema Zuid (that’s in the Photography Museum). It’s a fiver for a ‘block’ of short films (each block consists of about 7 films and last approximately 2 hours).
There’s a Breakdancing event on Saturday evening at Waagnatie. It doesn’t cost but you need to get your free ticket here beforehand. Doors open at 6.
It’s the 5th Antwerp Urban Trail, which leaves from Park Spoor Noord in ‘waves’ every 20 minutes from 9am. This year the route will run via the new Port of Antwerp harbour building.
Round off the weekend with this vernissage (“Life Will Be Great Soon”) at the Praetoria Gallery in Berchem, from 2-6pm. Until 22nd April.
The weather looks reasonably mild and bright (12- 13 degrees) but there could be some showers around.
And I’d like to make a special mention of Freddy, an Antwerp student, who has launched this fundraiser for orphans in Thailand where she used to live. Do click and donate if you have some spare euros for a good cause.
Finally – would you like to write a guest post for Nessascityblog? As you are probably aware, I post on Thursdays, weekly. I’d like to include a guest post for after the weekend is over, but before the new post is out (so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday). I’d like posts in English which tell personal Antwerp stories -yours. Where are you from? What are you doing in Antwerp? Why? And what are your experiences of living and/ or working in Antwerp? What are the pleasures and challenges of adapting to life here? You don’t need to be Shakespeare and you don’t need to have English as your first language. I will proof-read and edit posts if necessary. Please get in touch via the About page if you would like to contribute. If you have a different idea for an Antwerp-related post I’d also love to hear it.
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on:
How about a Picnic lunch on Theaterplein? If you didn’t order a lunch, you can just turn up with your own. There will be hot and cold drinks and musical performances -starts at midday. Proceeds to Studio Globo, Oxfam and Broederlijk Delen.
‘Curtis’ -a Joy Division tribute evening at 8pm at De Kleine Hedonist should get your weekend off to a cheery start.
Summer bar Bar Paniek opens tonight on the Kattendijkdok, Oostkaai 21B.
There is the 2018 festival on the Konijnenwei park, starting at 10am with a fleamarket, but also including musical performances from local bands, and entertainment for kids, throughout the day.
A festival of a different sort is on at ‘t Werkhuys in Borgerhout -for 3 euros fans of comics and cartoons can enjoy talks, expos and events at Klaxon Festival, starting at midday and continuing until 11.oo pm.
It’s the great big Antwerp Spring Clean! Enjoy – if you and your neighbours have registered for that. Don’t forget to take beer breaks.
More music -from the lovely and talented Down to Earth Diva who is fundraising for Urban Renewal at Café de Lijnstok at midday. Your donation will contribute to a good cause, and enable you to hear Nicola singing a variety of songs. There will also be a brunch.
At 3pm there is a folk jam in Den Hopsack which is a friendly little music bar tucked away on Grote Pieter Potstraat in the old town.
Sunday is Heritage Day across Brussels and Flanders. There’s lots going on in the Antwerp area. There are many events (readings, film, walking tours, dance performances) celebrating rituals and traditions of different types. Many activities are free but check the details carefully in case reservation is required.
The project Coming World Remember Me has started and will continue until the 8th May. At workshops at Steen, you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag. It is free to take part but you need to register by calling 03 292 36 51 or mailing email@example.com
… And not far away at Chatleroi there’s a record sale.
Swan Market comes to Antwerp. Previously having taken place at Grote Markt (and where it will be again, on 22nd May), but -NB- this time it’s at Park Loods, in Park Spoor Noord, from midday until 6pm. Food trucks, drinks and snacks, and lots of stands selling gifts, jewellery, accessories, antique and vintage items. It has a nice vibe and won’t break the banks. Always handy if you are looking for a special present (or want to treat the kids or yourself to a yummy homemade cupcake or two)….
The weather is due to be mild and cloudy with a fair chance of showers on Sunday.
Fashion fiends and label addicts might want to check out Belmodo Fashion Days 2016 which take place until the 24th April and promise to supply designer pieces at below their usual prices at various locations around Antwerp. Check this link for times and locations.
The 23rd of April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death. I couldn’t find a great deal going on around Antwerp except in the bookshop De Groene Waterman where there will be a reading and talk (in Dutch) analysing why Shakespeare’s themes and plays continue to endure to this day. This is free and starts at 4pm.
Sporting A is offering free basketball coaching for kids aged 6- 14 years of age every Wednesday from 20th April until 25th May. It’s on in various locations from 2pm -4pm (except Sint-Jansplein where it’s 3-5pm). No need to register, just show up if you are interested. My seven year old really enjoyed it this week.
There are a couple of events which start on Friday and continue over the weekend. Over Tijd is a music and arts festival comprising of new electronic music, art, installations and readings. Check the link to see what is on over five Antwerp locations.
Another is Calamartes (opening on Thursday) which is a cultural festival run in conjunction with the University of Antwerp and also coincides with Open Campus Day (see Saturday)
For younger, curious minds there is a Time Workshop for kids at Het Steen at 2pm.
Music in the evening in Den Beulebak (which is a folk venue, but this performer combines electronic sounds with traditional ones) and also in Kiebooms (Polly Goes Psycho) on De Coninckplein, and at Sound Design Festival(The Royal Academy) where 10 students will be exhibiting their musical and audiovisual work for free.
For something entirely different there is the Antwerp Ghost Walk departing from Steenplein at 6.30pm and costing 7,50.
A couple of things for kids -firstly at Permeke Library a story-telling show for kids aged 6+ at 11am -tickets are only 4 euros if you get them in advance or you could get lucky and win free tickets on their Facebook Page.
And if you can afford/ cope with a hangover on Friday this week, don’t forget that it is Saint Patrick’s Day on Thursday. An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times being Antwerp’s best known Irish Bars, and no doubt all worthy venues for a St Paddy’s Day party.
The weather this weekend is looking pretty chilly and sometimes bright, with fairly low chances of rain (20-30%) on both days.
A talented Grade 12 student of mine is singing in this concert at Elzenveld -it promises a mixture of choral pieces, modern Flemish folk pieces and some acapella numbers!