A good start to education at The British School in The Netherlands

A good start to education at The British School in The Netherlands


So the time has finally arrived for your child to start school - whether it’s your first, second, or third child, this is always a momentous occasion for a family.

A new adventure

The British School in The Netherlands (BSN) and its specialist early years teaching staff are vastly experienced in making the first steps of your child’s school adventure as smooth and positive as possible.

For some children, this will be their first time without their parents, others will be transitioning from day care. Some may be fluent in English, others may not speak a word.

Every child is a special individual, so teachers and assistants at the BSN ensure that all children are cared for and welcomed into the school, working together with parents to ensure children get the very best start to their education.

Starting school: easy does it

Starting school is an exciting, but sometimes stressful time, for both parents and children. The teachers at the BSN help each child settle in as quickly as possible. There is an induction period where children are gradually introduced to the class and to each other, to ensure the first few school weeks run smoothly and happily.

Strong learning foundation

The first two years of school within the British system are known as the Foundation Stage comprising of Foundation 1 for 3 to 4 year olds and Foundation 2 for children aged 4 to 5.

Both years within the Foundation Stage are based around a specialist early years curriculum made up of the 7 areas below:
 Personal, Social and Emotional Development
 Communication and Language
 Physical Development
 Understanding the World
 Expressive Arts and Design

 Personal, social and emotional development

During the Foundation Stage, the BSN spends considerable time working on each child’s personal, social and emotional development.

This helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; form positive relationships; learn how to respect others; develop social skills; manage their own feelings; understand appropriate group behaviour and develop confidence in their own abilities.

 Communcation and language

Throughout Foundation Stages 1 and 2, teachers regularly create time for children to develop their communication skills. They are encouraged to develop their language abilities and skills by listening to each other, taking turns in speaking and becoming confident when working in a social group situation.

 Physical development

A young child’s physical development is very important, so staff provide all sorts of exciting opportunities to be active, interactive and energetic.

With plenty of planned learning experiences that help them develop co-ordination, balance, control and movement, they are taught to understand the importance of physical activity as part of their all-round wellbeing, along with making healthy eating choices.


This area of the curriculum encourages children to link sounds and letters together, helping them take the first steps towards reading and writing. All children develop at their own pace, so staff ensure that those who are ready early for reading and writing are given the chance to develop these important skills.

Children who need more time to grasp the foundations of reading are given time, support and lots of encouragement to succeed.


Children enjoy solving problems and the school provides all sorts of activities to develop thinking and reasoning skills via counting, using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, identifying shapes and calculating spaces and measurements.

 Understanding the world

A key aspect of young children’s learning is to make sense of the physical world and their community through exploring, observation and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment. Staff plan the curriculum to include a range of exciting topics that expand children’s natural curiosity, interest and imagination.

 Expressive art and design

Exploring and playing with a range of media and materials is a wonderful way for young children to discover their artistic flair. This area of the curriculum provides the children with opportunities to share their own ideas, thoughts and feelings, through exciting activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.

Developing language skills

The BSN hosts children from all over the world, who contribute to its "Internationally British" school ethos. As such, staff are very experienced in supporting and settling children with a wide range of fluency in English. English as an Additional Language (or EAL), is a phrase used by teachers to refer to children who use a language other than English.

The BSN encourages parents to explain to their children that they will hear all sorts of different languages at school. Classroom teachers and assistants are skilled in helping non-English speakers of all levels to develop their English by providing them with a range of engaging activities.

The extent of EAL support ranges from small groups or individual tuition, through to general support in the classroom via specialist teachers. As the children’s ability and confidence in English increases, the level of EAL support is adapted accordingly.

Supporting languages at home

The BSN strongly encourages parents to continue speaking in their mother tongue to children at home, and to encourage them to use this language to ask questions, tell stories, describe things, count and solve problems.

At the BSN, children will be exposed to spoken and written English all day. Discussing things at home in your mother tongue can help your child to learn that same concept in English and can have a very positive effect on their linguistic development.

Under 5's Open Morning: January 22

On Thursday, January 22, 2015 the BSN will be holding an Open Morning for parents with children under 5 years old, looking to investigate schooling options for their child.

Find out more and register at the Under 5's Open Morning webpage.

Contact information

For more please explore the BSN's website or:
 Call: +31 (0)70 315 4077
 Email: [email protected]

You can also visit one of the BSN's three junior schools:
 Junior School Diamanthorst
Diamanthorst 16 2592 GH, The Hague

 Junior School Vlaskamp
Vlaskamp 19, 2592 AA, The Hague

 Junior School Leidschenveen
Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 WZ The Hague



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