SCHOOL GUIDE 2023-2024
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Organization of education and instructional time

The ISE primary has two departments: the International Department and the Dutch Bilingual Department. The maximum number of students in each group is 22.  By keeping groups to a smaller size the individual attention that can be given to each student is maximised. We maintain the right to (temporarily) deviate from these numbers.

International Department

Students are eligible for the International  Department if their parents are living and working in the Netherlands for a limited number of years. Students are placed in the International Department when they will stay in the Netherlands for a limited period. The study programme for the International Department is divided into 8 age groups.


The school follows the New Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (for 3-5 year olds) and the Renewed Primary Framework for Literacy from the UK for children in groups 2 to 7.


Mathematical skills and understanding in the foundation stage are developed through practical activities in sorting, data collecting, measuring, time, space, shape and number.  This reflects the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum.

For groups 2 to 7 the school follows the Primary Framework for Mathematics from the UK which promotes an emphasis on mental calculations and interactive work. Mathematics teaching promotes an understanding of the number system. Students are taught a range of computational skills and a variety of strategies to solve problems and to investigate different methods to identify what works best for them.  They also have the opportunity to acquire a range of practical skills in measuring, weighing, using money, constructing graphs and telling the time.

International Curriculum

Themes are used to teach integrated subjects from Groups FD-7.  The subjects covered under this curriculum include History, Geography, Science, Art, Music, and Design Technology. Each unit is approximately 9 weeks long. Teachers are given the flexibility to spend additional time on subjects based on the units and learning objectives. In the lower school, subjects are experienced by the students in an integrated manner and units are flexible in length.

The learning objectives cover knowledge (facts and information), skills (practical abilities), and understanding (deeper awareness of key concepts). These three areas are developed throughout the year groups.

Curriculum Developments

We have recently fully implemented a project based learning approach. Global Mission is our homegrown  framework for teaching students within an authentic, real world context combining elements of both project-based learning and design thinking instruction.  Instruction is focused around finding a solution from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through which Geography, History, Art, Design Technology, Science and Music are incorporated.  Providing the perfect opportunity for students to develop their competencies, reflect upon their learning journey and share it with their community. Students work through a process where they are able to connect their learning and take knowledge, skills and understanding with them to the next step of their journey.

Subject area & timings International department

Minutes per week
Maths  (includes problem solving & reasoning and calculation)
Literacy  (includes core lessons on reading and writing, phonics, spelling, grammar, handwriting, and small group focus lessons)
Traffic (groups 6 & 7 only)
225 minutes a week in groups 1-2 300 minutes a week in groups 3-7
310 minutes a week in groups 1-2 320 minutes a week in groups 3-7
225-360 minutes a week 
45 minutes a week 
135 minutes a week 
90 minutes a week 
45 minutes a week 
15 minutes a week 

Dutch Bilingual Department

Students are placed in the Dutch Bilingual Department when they will be in the Netherlands long term. The school’s Dutch Bilingual Department consists of 8 age groups.

In the Dutch Bilingual Department teaching methods are used which fulfill the attainment targets. We use a theme based approach by using Alles in 1 for the groups 4-8.  In group 3,  “Veilig de Wereld in” is used, and groups 1 and 2 are working with “Kleuterplein”.

In the 2020-2021 school year, we switched to the new Getal en Ruimte Junior method for math education.

The Dutch Bilingual Department provides bilingual education in all groups. 30% of the student’s lesson time is through the medium of English. 70% is through the medium of Dutch. Gym lessons are taught in English and each class has a number of lessons taught in English by the class teacher.  Groups 3 up to 8 have three English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lessons per week.  In these lessons English grammar, spelling and vocabulary are taught.

In the table below the division of lesson time per subject is presented in minutes per week. It needs to be explained that due to our theme based approach a lot of subjects are integrated in the themes we offer

Group 1-2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Group 7
Group 8

We continuously work to improve quality, through:

  • selecting methods that meet the core learning objectives
  • the use of professional personnel
  • the use of quality assurance instruments