The British School in The Netherlands: Leading the future

The British School in The Netherlands: Leading the future


In our complex and changing world, helping children and young people develop leadership skills is not just about preparing them to thrive in the future; it’s about giving them the tools to shape it. At The British School in The Netherlands (BSN), students are encouraged and empowered to make positive changes, engage with different perspectives and innovate.

Today, the concept of leadership extends far beyond formal authority. It encompasses a range of essential skills with broad applications. For example, the ability to think independently, creatively and critically; to express and communicate ideas confidently; to listen actively; and to build relationships with diverse groups of people.

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The British School in The Netherlands

The British School in The Netherlands, a British and international school with over 90 different nationalities represented among its staff and student body, aims to prepare its students for the next phases of their lives and equip them with these essential skills. To help ensure its 2.100 students aged between 3 and 18 thrive, the BSN facilitates the holistic development and practice of leadership skills across its Junior and Senior campuses.


Little leaders

Student leadership is embedded in the culture of The British School. Starting in the Foundation Stage, students look forward to their turn as “Special Helper” for the day. This role allows each child to take on some extra responsibility and support their peers. They gain confidence through seeing their positive contribution to their classroom.

In Junior Schools, children can apply to be Student Leaders, International-, Sports- and Wellbeing-Ambassadors, Play Pals, Library Helpers, Digital Leaders and Eco Warriors. These are important and supported roles - students can share their opinions on school matters, make decisions and have a tangible impact.

"I've always really enjoyed computing lessons in school, so at first, I wanted to be a Digital Leader because I thought it would be fun and help me learn more about coding. It is fun, but I also really like using my skills to help my school. This year, we've been focusing on learning more about the Hour of Code, which is an introduction to computer science, so that we can introduce it to the rest of the school and help the younger years learn to code.”- Year 6 Junior School student

Personal growth

Essential to developing leadership capacity is learning the ability to face challenges. Students taking part in a Co-Curricular Activity, trip or service learning project step outside of their comfort zones, challenge themselves to become more independent, and develop civic awareness.

In October, students from the Senior School Voorschoten from The British School went on a marine conservation and diving expedition to Malta. In addition to becoming qualified divers, students contributed to the research and conservation projects of a local NGO.


“The journey was truly a personal one for our students. For some, it was about collaboration and learning to manage their own budget and cook for a group. For others, the trip was about overcoming challenges and showing resilience to achieve their diving qualification. For others, the highlight was the opportunity to be part of a marine conservation project and demonstrate environmental integrity.” - Sarah Rothenburg, Assistant Headteacher at Senior School Voorschoten

Student representation matters

In Senior School, Student Leaders, Council Members and Ambassadors are important role models who receive training and guidance from the Senior Leadership team.

“The roles are an important part of the school experience and have been designed to have the students' voices at the heart of decisions made and experiences implemented." - Lea Adkins, Head of Sixth Form at Senior School Leidschenveen


For instance, the Student Ambassadors from the newest of the Senior Schools at The British School, Senior School Leidschenveen, helped develop presentations and activities to raise awareness and inform students about the impact of bullying during Anti-Bullying Week.

“Our school is against bullying all of the time; however, our Anti-Bullying Week has been designed for all students to "make a noise’" whilst highlighting our intolerance towards bullying and refusing to be quiet when we see someone being bullied, no matter who they are.” - Mental Health and Cultural and Diversity Ambassadors in the Sixth Form at Senior School Leidschenveen

Making a difference

Stepping into these roles provides the opportunity for hands-on learning and personal growth, furthering students’ holistic development. For the school community, the impact is equally profound; issues that matter to the students gain attention, encouraging discussion and reflection about affecting change - and the benefits are felt within and beyond the BSN campuses.


"It's hard not to feel optimistic for the future when I think about the skills and mindsets that my children are developing at the BSN. They each have made progress as individuals, but leadership comes back to helping others, and I see that in them. Their awareness of their community and the wider world is especially notable. By seeing the impact they can have in school, at home and in our community, they are beginning to think about how large-scale change happens." - BSN Junior School parent

Empower your child to shape the future at The British School in The Netherlands

The Admissions Team understands the importance of finding the right school for your child or children. They are there to make this decision an easy and positive experience. The team is excited to share what the school has to offer you and your child.


Book a tour!

Book a tour or take a virtual tour of the schools and the facilities; call the Admissions Team at +31 (0)70 315 4077 or email [email protected].

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