Dutch children begin their education in elementary schools at the age of four and end when they are twelve. With the advice from the primary school, based on results of the final exam, they move on to secondary education at the high school level which splits into the following branches:
- Pre-vocational (VMBO) – 4 years. This study route leads directly to the job market, although VMBO students can prove their motivation and move to the HAVO level for the last 2 years of high school.
- Senior general (HAVO) – 5 years. This branch grants access to higher professional education (HBO) at universities of applied sciences. HAVO students can also move up and study at the VWO level.
- Pre-university (VWO) – 6 years, preparing students for higher education (WO) at research universities.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The IB is the most popular and widely available programme of international secondary education in The Netherlands. It was designed in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland as a common university entry diploma for students who move from one country to another.
This programme allows students to fulfill the requirements of their national or state educational systems, incorporating the best elements of them without being based on any one. Students with an IB diploma are admitted to universities in more than 110 countries, including the most selective ones. The IB programme is usually offered to students aged 16 to 19 and lasts 2 years.
Types of schools, accreditation and admission
There are two types of schools in Holland which offer International programmes:
- governmental, which are established and subsidised by the Ministry of Education,
- and private schools.
All of them are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).
Admission is granted on the basis of an interview with the applicant and an evaluation of a report from the previous school. Special departments (English as a Second Language - ESL) provide intensive support for non-English speaking pupils throughout the school.
International School Eerde
International School Eerde (ISE), located in the woods near Ommen, is operating since 1934 and is housed in a magnificent castle built in 1715. This school offers its students the opportunity to gain the following diplomas:
- International Baccalaureate (IB),
- International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE),
- and International Primary Curriculum (IPC).