TA Proficiency Awards launched in the Netherlands

​On September 8, 2016 a group of 50 children, ranging in age from 6 to 8 years old, and four of their teachers, were awarded with certificates and badges for having completed the requirements of the TAPACY (TA Proficiency Award for Children & Young People) and TAPATE (the same award for Teachers & Educators) respectively.

This made primary school De Bonte Tol, in Pijnacker, the first school in the Netherlands to have run the TAPA scheme – joining Armenia, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey and the UK as places where TAPA has been run (and where in some places it has been extended to parents and caregivers, teaching assistants, and unemployed people.

The project at De Bonte Tol was set up by the school leader, Marina Hoos, who has been studying TA and who commented afterwards that “I am very happy about what the students and teachers achieved. This is the basis for a society in which we live together with respect for everyone’s autonomy and for each other.”

The project ran during the school year 2015-2016 and the pupils and teachers worked with TA4Kids, a curriculum set up for promoting social emotional development. The group learned about OKness, strokes, contracting, script, ego states and transactions. This creative approach used group activities and individual assignments to contribute to increased self-awareness, the ability to cooperate, and the autonomy of the students.

As is usual with a TAPA scheme, the pupils produced portfolios of evidence of what they had learned and how they had applied it in their lives. These were assessed by Gisèle Sarolea, an advanced TA student who volunteered for this and had supervision from Julie Hay TSTA OPE, who project manages the scheme internationally on behalf of the Institute of Developmental TA and makes sure that standards are consistent across different countries. Another volunteer was Alice Timmermans, another advanced TA student who also has much experience within the educational system in the Netherlands, and who served as the Ambassador and handed out the badges and certificates at the Award Ceremony.

The photos show the entire group, of children and teachers, posing happily with their certificates, and an extract from the portfolio of one of the children.