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The British School in The Netherlands

Internationally Fluent

Our students are brilliant, open-minded individuals who embrace the importance of languages.

Children start by learning Dutch from the age of 4, developing both their language skills and an appreciation of their host country.  As they move through the school and gain confidence, additional foreign and mother tongue languages are also introduced, enabling students to further develop their linguistic abilities.

We provide tailored support for non-English speakers of all levels and ages, helping them to successfully adopt English as their language of learning.

Mother Tongue Languages

As an internationally British school, we value the diversity of our community and understand the importance of continuing the instruction of our families' native language. The BSN Mother Tongue Programme offers a way of further progressing your child's language development alongside their daily English instruction.

The programme consists of a range of Mother Tongue Classes held after school - in various languages and the programme is open to native or near-native speakers from Year 1 to 6 from all BSN Junior School campuses.  Mother Tongue classes are for children who have already had a substantial amount of exposure to a language - this could be through attending school in another country or using it daily with family members.

Mother Tongue Language Programme

At Senior School, if your mother tongue is French, German or Spanish, then your son or daughter will be offered a range of support, according to their age and ability.

Early Years Languages     Junior Languages     Senior Languages

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Junior Learning English

With around 80 nationalities making up our school community our classes are rich with multi-cultural diversity. We celebrate this diversity at the same time as realising that some students will need extra support with their English language when they join us.

Many of our pupils already speak enough English to access our curriculum, but for those who cannot we provide support both within the mainstream classroom and in separate specialist classes as necessary. Our staff are extremely experienced in welcoming children and parents from all around the world for whom English is not their mother tongue. We deal with children of all levels, from those who do not speak or understand a word, to those who simply need a little extra support with spelling or grammar. We are very practised in assessing children coming from different educational backgrounds and systems and being aware of how that can initially impact on their learning in the classroom.

An individual approach

We appreciate that moving to a new country can be a difficult time for parents and children alike and that the challenge of learning a new language can cause extra concerns - we are here to listen to those concerns and to help you and your child settle into school as quickly and smoothly as possible. That process starts from the very first time that you contact the admissions department. We treat all children as individuals and work hard to ensure that we fully understand the specific situation and needs of all our students.

Senior Learning English

An Individual Approach

There are about 80 nationalities at The BSN - this makes our classes rich with multi-cultural diversity which we love to celebrate and use in our curriculum. Many of our pupils already speak enough English to access our curriculum, but for those who cannot we provide support both within the mainstream classroom and in separate specialist classes as necessary.

We appreciate that moving to a new country can be a difficult time for parents and children alike and that the challenge of learning a new language can cause extra concerns. We want to assure you that we are here to listen to those concerns and to help you and your child settle into school as quickly and smoothly as possible. That process starts from the very first time that you contact the admissions department. We treat all children as individuals and work hard to ensure that we fully understand the specific situation and needs of all our students.

 

Dutch

The level of Dutch spoken by our student ranges from nil to completely fluent - and just about everything in between! As a result we customize our Dutch programme each year, and in each school, to ensure that it best meets the needs of the students in our care. We are careful to ensure that everyone is supported and developed in their language ability - children are sometimes pooled in vertical classes by level rather than year groups to allow for more interaction and opportunity for extension work for more fluent teachers. Alternatively, classes may be taught by year group, but still streamed within that structure. Essentially we structure the lessons to differentiate in a way which best matches the children's needs. Full classes are split to keep group sizes small and manageable. The younger children do more hands-on in-context lessons - with art, cooking and drama to help to understand. Dutch culture and traditions are also covered within all groups to help children properly integrate into the local Dutch community.

Native/fluent speakers

During these language lessons, native speakers are provided with individual assignments to complete which are reviewed and assessed by the teacher. During the term, students are asked to produce a minimum of two pieces of written work in different styles (for example a letter and a diary entry). These pieces of work are used to help establish the level of the student’s written language and hence determine how to approach the Mother Tongue Enrichment when the student arrives at the Senior School.

Learning the Value of Language

In our multi-cultural, international environment, instilling a respect for different languages and cultures is paramount to much of what we do. Learning new languages helps to create understanding and encourage a respect for others. Young children engage naturally with language in a way that we as adults often envy - they see languages as natural and fun and it is our job to nurture this enthusiasm and further develop our student's linguistic skills.

Regular events in the junior schools provide an opportunity for children to listen and to and experience other languages and cultures - The European Day of Languages, BSN International Days, mother tongue Storytime, the BSN International Festival and International Student Representatives all go together to form a multilingual culture.

Mother Tongue Programme

As an Internationally British school, we value the diversity of our community and understand the importance of supporting language learning both inside and outside the curriculum. The BSN Mother Tongue Programme offers a way of further progressing your child’s language development.

The programme consists of a range of Mother Tongue Classes held after school - the programme is open to native or near-native speakers from Year 1 to 6 from all BSN Junior School campuses. Mother Tongue classes are for children who have already had a substantial amount of exposure to a language, this could be through attending school in another country or using it daily with family members.