Globally moving expatriates with school children often opt for international schools as they are designed to ease the educational transition from one country to another. Still, it is important to know the local education system as some international schools are linked to it.
I did participate (successfully) in a writing contest on expatsblog.com earlier this year and did write the following post about the International Schools in The Hague area, including also a general questionnaire about what to ask when you visit a new school for your children. I amplified this questionnaire in a separate post on my blog and won’t include this part into this post. This post is an updated version from the one submitted for the contest.
General information about the Dutch education system
In the Netherlands primary education is not compulsory until the age of 5, but usually children start to attend the basisschool at the age of 4 (until the age of 11 or 12). The Dutch international primary schools and the private regular international schools use either the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP).
Dutch international secondary schools and private international schools prepare their students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) . Those students who complete successfully the IBMYP are admitted to the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB-DP). The IB diploma provides a well-balanced pre-university education and is an accepted entrance qualification for top universities around the world.
Private schools can have different curricula for both junior and senior secondary school, but the American School of The Hague, the International School in The Hague and the British School in the Netherlands provide students the opportunity to follow either the national curriculum or the IB-DP in the final two years of high school.
The Hague has the biggest variety of International Schools in the Netherlands.
Here is an actualized list of them in alphabetical order (partly taken from informative official internetsites):
American School of The Hague (ASH)
The American School of The Hague welcomes international students aged from 3 to 18 years who are actually coming from 65 countries (some 40% of the students has U.S. citizenship). The curriculum is based on a U.S. educational philosophy and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are available at all levels. The school offers U.S. style international high school curriculum, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, Advanced Placement (AP) courses (which may provide credits at US universities) or mix of IB and AP courses, ASH High School Diploma.
2241 BX Wassenaar
Telephone: (070) 512 10 60
British School in the Netherlands (BSN)
The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) is a British international school with multiple sites based in and around The Hague. It provides a high quality British style education in an international context for children from over 80 different nationalities. Specialist teachers provide support for English as an Additional Language (EAL) and for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN).
There are three Junior School sites (for ages 3 – 11 years):
BSN Junior School Diamanthorst
2592 GH The Hague
BSN Junior School Vlaskamp
2592 AA The Hague
BSN Junior School Leidschenveen
Vrouw Avenweg 640
2493 WZ The Hague
BSN enquiries and admissions
Telephone: (070) 315 40 40
BSN Senior School
The BSN Senior School is situated in the residential area of Voorschoten, a suburb of The Hague. The school provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for about 1,100 students aged 11-18, from all over the world. The school has excellent facilities including its own sports fields and offers both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
Jan van Hooflaan 3
2252 BG Voorschoten
Telephone: (071) 560 22 22
Age range: 11-18 years
Deutsche Internationale Schule (German International School)
The German International School of The Hague is located in the Statenkwartier of The Hague and educates students from Kindergarten to secondary school level/university entrance level. It is the leading German international school and the oldest international school in the Netherlands. The school is recognised and subsidised by the German government and provides internationally accepted quality education. Its German high school diploma (Reifeprüfung, Abitur and Realschulabschluss) provides the students the possibility of studying a wide range of subjects in Germany, the Netherlands or other countries. The school is recognised by the German government (Kultusministerkonferenz). It offers English, French and Dutch as foreign languages.
Van Bleiswijkstraat 125
2582 LB The Hague
Telephone: (070) 354 94 54
Age range: 3-10 years
European School of The Hague
The European School of The Hague Rijnlands Lyceum started in 2012 with the first two years of nursery education (age 4 and 5) and the first two primary school grades (age 6 and 7) and completed the primary school grades in 2013. The first secundary school grades will be added starting from the schoolyear 2013/14. The school’s secondary school programme starts in 2014. European schools were founded in 1953 for the children of members and officials of European institutions, bodies and agencies. The European School of The Hague actually provides three language sections: Dutch, English and Spanish (others will be added in the next years). Daily mother tongue lessons are available in many european languages.
2566 HA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 700 16 00
Haagsche Schoolvereniging (HSV), International Department
The International Department operates from three locations in The Hague. In the Nassaulaan school, the International Department works alongside the Dutch Primary Department. The international department educates 400 pupils from more than 50 different countries across the three locations. The curriculum follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the UK National Numeracy and Literacy Strategies.
2514 JT The Hague
Telephone: (070) 318 49 65
2514 JT Den Haag
+31 (0) 70 318 49 50 (general)
+31 (0) 70 318 49 69
(NSL absences only)
Koningin Sophiestraat (KSS)
Koningin Sophiestraat 24a
2595 TG Den Haag
+31 (0)70 324 34 53
Van Nijenrodestraat (VNS)
Van Nijenrodestraat 16
2597 RM Den Haag
+31 (0)70 328 14 41
International School of The Hague (ISH)
The International School of The Hague is an international primary and secondary school with more than 1,000 students aged 4-18. The school is subsidised by the Dutch Ministry of Education. The school offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organisation. The International School of The Hague is member of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and has gained the status of a Council of International Schools (CIS) Accredited School. The ISH Secondary is member of the ten Dutch International Secondary Schools (DISS) in The Netherlands, linked with the Dutch national schools and is thus government subsidised. The curriculum is internationa. Years 7-11 offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and Years 12-13 offer the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP).
2554 BX The Hague
Telephone: (070) 338 45 67
Age range: 4-19 years
Lighthouse Special Education
The Lighthouse Special Education has been established in 1998 to serve members of the international community in the Netherlands whose children have special educational needs. Lighthouse Special Education is the International Department of the Instituut Voor Individueel Onderwijs (Institute for Individual Education), a Dutch school for Primary Special Education, member of the Haagsche Schoolvereniging. Lighthouse Special Education uses a special educational programme conducted in English and offers a new chance for children with complex behavioural and/or developmental problems to be part of the community.
Amalia van Solmstraat 155
2595 TA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 335 56 98
Age range: 4-12 years
Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
Founded in 1947 by parents of French, Belgian and Swiss origin, the Lycée Vincent van Gogh de La Haye-Amsterdam is a primary and secondary school with students aged from 3 to 18 years. The school has an official status within the French educational system and is part of the French educational network which consists of at least 470 schools all around the world (AEFE : Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger). The curriculum follows the French educational system from “maternelle” to “lycée” (baccalauréat ES, L, S).
2584 AA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 306 69 20
Sekolah Kedutaan Republik Indonesia di Wassenaar / Indonesian School in the Netherlands (SIN)
The Indonesian School in the Netherlands (SIN) is a private institution funded by the Representative of the Repulic of Indonesia in the Netherlands and offers an Indonesian and International curriculum. From the 1 year of Junior Highschool the children will be taught also Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian and Arabic. The Highschool follows an English study programme. It is also possible for the children to obtain the NT2 diploma.
2245 CB Wassenaar
Telephone: (070) 517 88 75
Age range: 6-19 years
Every school has its own “personality” and it is always recommended to visit the school in order to get a first personal impression about the atmosphere and ask questions and get documentation about the school. Several lists can are available on the internet; here are a few questions that can be asked at these first visits, just to get started.
For expat families who are planning a short stay in the Netherlands it is advisable to enroll their children in lessons taught in the language of their home country. The embassies can give informations about these lessons.
The Polish School in The Hague (Skola Polska) , for example, is a bijschool and offers lessons for Polish children twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays), and helps to keep up with the Polish curriculum and facilitates the re-adaptation to the Polish school system. The programme is supported by the government department.
2555 HA The Hague
Telephone: (040) 213 52 89
Age range: 6-19 years