International Schools in The Hague: an Overview and a Guidelining Questionnaire

By: Ute Limacher-Riebold

Globally moving expatriates with school children often opt for international schools as they are designed to ease the educational transition from one country to another. Still, it is important to know the local education system as some international schools are linked to it.

General information about the Dutch education system

In the Netherlands primary education is not compulsory until the age of 5, but usually children start to attend the basisschool at the age of 4 (until the age of 11 or 12). The Dutch international primary schools and the privat regular international schools use either the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP).

Secondary international education

The secondery education starts at the age of 12 in the Netherlands and continues until the age of 18. Dutch international secondary schools and private international schools prepare their students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP). Those students who complete successfully the IBMYP are admitted to the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB-DP). The IB diploma provides a well-balanced pre-university education and is an accepted entrance qualification for top universities around the world.
Private schools can have different curricula for both junior and senior secondary school, but the American School of The Hague, the International School in The Hague and the British School in the Netherlands provide students the opportunity to follow either the national curriculum or the IB-DP in the final two years of high school.

The Hague has the biggest variety of International Schools in the Netherlands. Here is an actualized list of them in alphabetical order (partly taken from informative official internetsites):

American School of The Hague (ASH)

The American School of The Hague welcomes international students aged from 3 to 18 years who are actually coming from 65 countries (some 40% of the students has U.S. citizenship). The curriculum is based on a U.S. educational philosophy and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are available at all levels. The school offers U.S. style international high school curriculum, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, Advanced Placement (AP) courses (which may provide credits at US universities) or mix of IB and AP courses, ASH High School Diploma.

Rijksstraatweg 200
2241 BX Wassenaar
Telephone: (070) 512 10 60
Email: [email protected]

British School in the Netherlands (BSN)

The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) is a British international school with multiple sites based in and around The Hague. It provides a high quality British style education in an international context for children from over 80 different nationalities. Specialist teachers provide support for English as an Additional Language and for students with Special Educational Needs.

There are three Junior School sites (for ages 3 – 11 years):

BSN Junior School Diamanthorst
Diamanthorst 16
2592 GH The Hague

BSN Junior School Vlaskamp
Vlaskamp 19
2592 AA The Hague

BSN Junior School Leidschenveen
Vrouw Avenweg 640
2493 WZ The Hague

BSN enquiries and admissions
Telephone: (070) 315 40 40
Email: [email protected]

BSN Senior School
The BSN Senior School is situated in the residential area of Voorschoten, a suburb of The Hague. The school provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for about 1,100 students aged 11-18, from all over the world. The school has excellent facilities including its own sports fields and offers both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

Jan van Hooflaan 3
2252 BG Voorschoten
Telephone: (071) 560 22 22
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 11-18 years

Deutsche Internationale Schule (German International School)

The German International School of The Hague is located in the Statenkwartier of The Hague and educates students from Kindergarten to secondary school level/university entrance level. It is the leading German international school and the oldest international school in the Netherlands. The school is recognised and subsidised by the German government and provides internationally accepted quality education. Its German high school diploma (Reifeprüfung, Abitur and Realschulabschluss) provides the students the possibility of studying a wide range of subjects in Germany, the Netherlands or other countries. The school is recognised by the German government (Kultusministerkonferenz). It offers English, French and Dutch as foreign languages.

Van Bleiswijkstraat 125
2582 LB The Hague
Telephone: (070) 354 94 54
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 3-10 years
Curriculum: German Grundschule

European School of The Hague

The European School of The Hague Rijnlands Lyceum started in 2012 with the first two years of nursery education (age 4 and 5) and the first two primary school grades (age 6 and 7). Other primary school grades will be added in subsequent years. The school's secondary school programme starts in 2014. European schools were founded in 1953 for the children of members and officials of European institutions, bodies and agencies. The European School of The Hague actually provides three language sections: Dutch, English and Spanish. Daily mother tongue lessons are available in many european languages.

Houtrustweg 2
2566 HA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 700 16 00
Email: [email protected]

Haagsche Schoolvereniging (HSV), International Department

The International Department operates from three locations in The Hague. In the Nassaulaan school, the International Department works alongside the Dutch Primary Department. The international department educates 400 pupils from more than 50 different countries across the three locations. The curriculum follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the UK National Numeracy and Literacy Strategies.

Nassaulaan 26
2514 JT The Hague
Telephone: (070) 318 49 65
Email: [email protected]

Nassaulaan (NSL)

Nassaulaan 26
2514 JT Den Haag
The Netherlands
+31 (0) 70 318 49 50 (general)
+31 (0) 70 318 49 69
(NSL absences only)
Email: [email protected]

Koningin Sophiestraat (KSS)

Koningin Sophiestraat 24a
2595 TG Den Haag
The Netherlands
+31 (0)70 324 34 53
Email: [email protected]

Van Nijenrodestraat (VNS)
Van Nijenrodestraat 16
2597 RM Den Haag
The Netherlands
+31 (0)70 328 14 41
Email: [email protected]

International School of The Hague (ISH)

The International School of The Hague is an international primary and secondary school with more than 1,000 students aged 4-18. The school is subsidised by the Dutch Ministry of Education. The school offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (IB) of the International Baccalaureate Organisation. The International School of The Hague is member of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and has gained the status of a Council of International Schools (CIS) Accredited School. The ISH Secondary is member of the ten Dutch International Secondary Schools (DISS) in The Netherlands, linked with the Dutch national schools and is thus government subsidised. The curriculum is internationa. Years 7-11 offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and Years 12-13 offer the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP).

Wijndaelerduin 1
2554 BX The Hague
Telephone: (070) 338 45 67
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 4-19 years

Lighthouse Special Education

The Lighthouse Special Education has been established in 1998 to serve members of the international community in the Netherlands whose children have special educational needs. Lighthouse Special Education is the International Department of the Instituut Voor Individueel Onderwijs (Institute for Individual Education), a Dutch school for Primary Special Education, member of the Haagsche Schoolvereniging. Lighthouse Special Education uses a special educational programme conducted in English and offers a new chance for children with complex behavioural and/or developmental problems to be part of the community.
Amalia van Solmstraat 155
2595 TA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 335 56 98
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 4-12 years

Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh

Founded in 1947 by parents of French, Belgian and Swiss origin, the Lycée Vincent van Gogh de La Haye-Amsterdam is a primary and secondary school with students aged from 3 to 18 years. The school has an official status within the French educational system and is part of the French educational network which consists of at least 470 schools all around the world (AEFE : Agence pour l'Enseignement Français à l'Etranger). The curriculum follows the French educational system from "maternelle" to "lycée" (baccalauréat ES, L, S).
Scheveningseweg 237
2584 AA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 306 69 20
Email: [email protected]

Sekolah Kedutaan Republik Indonesia di Wassenaar / Indonesian School in the Netherlands (SIN)

This is a private institution funded by the Representative of the Republic of Indonesia in the Netherlands and offers an Indonesian and International curriculum.
Rijksstraatweg 679
2245 CB Wassenaar
Telephone: (070) 517 88 75
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 6-12 years

Szkola Polska / Polish School in The Hague

Hofstad Lyceum
Colijnplain 9
2555 HA The Hague
Telephone: (040) 213 52 89
Email: [email protected]
Age range: 6-12 years

Every school has its own "personality" and it is always recommended to visit the school in order to get a first personal impression about the atmosphere and ask questions and get documentation about the school. Several lists can are available on the internet; here are a few questions that can be asked at these first visits, just to get started:

1) To make your child(ren) feel comfortable:

• Does the school have planned activities to assist your child in a positive start to school?
• Do the students seem happy at school?
• Do the students look actively engaged in learning?
• Does the school assign "buddies" to new students?
• How big are the classes, how is the student-teacher ratio?
• Does the school allow parents to volunteer in the classroom?
• If your child has 'special learning needs', how will the school meet these?
• Is the approach child-centered and challenging enough to develop each child's strenghts and love of learning?
• Are the course offerings extensive enough to meet your child's needs?
• At what age are students offered modern languages?
• How many co-curricular activities (arts, sports, clubs etc.) are offered? Are they included in the school fees?
• To what extent can you be a partner in your child's learning?

For children in Secondary school:
• What student-support services are available for individual student counselling and university placement?
• What programs are in place for drug and alcohol prevention?

2) General questions about the school

• How many years has the school existed?
• Is the school board run by parents who are elected?
• What is the reputation of the accrediting institution(s)?
• What is the duration for the current school accreditation?
• Was the annual report with budgets available for you to inspect?

• How long will it take for your child to get to school?
• Is there a bus service available for this school? What kind of bus service (door to door or other)? Is your company going to contribute in the expenses of the bus service?
• What security precautions are forseen by the school? Is the campus a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment?

• Are all the teachers certified, including ESL, SEN, PE etc. teachers?
• What are the expectations for staff about students of high ability, special needs, ESL and other areas?
• How long on average does the school retain its teachers?
• What percentage of teachers has earned advanced degrees?
• Does the school support professional development, so teacher learn and apply "best practices"?
• Is time dedicated for teachers to meet as teams to jointly plan curriculum and assess each child's needs?
• Does the staff seem happy?
• During your visit, are teachers avavilable and friendly?
• What is the "feeling" or "tone" of the staff? Are they friendly and professional?
• How frequently will you receive information concerning your child's progress?
• Are all the facilities like playgrounds, libraries, IT etc. state-of-the-art and well maintained?
• Does the school provide different facilities, such as libraries, cafeterias and sport areas for different grade levels?
• Does the school provide warm meals/catering service?

• What facilities are open to family members?
• What is the quality of air, water and noise around the school?
• Is the community surrounding the school residential, commercial or inner-city?
• What types of field trips are available for students? Which are compulsory?
• What types of standardized tests are offered, and how do the students perform?
• Is the curriculum broadened with "best practices" around the world, so students can be well prepared for their next school?
• Were all questions answered in a straight-forward manner with documentation readily offered?

About the author

Expat Blog ListingUte Limacher-Riebold is an Italian expat living in Netherlands. Blog description: This is a blog by an expat-since-birth multilingual mum living in the Netherlands with my Swissgerman husband, son and twin daughters about expat life, multilingualism, Third Culture Kids (and Adults), parenting and much more.
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Contest Comments » There are 14 comments

Olga Mecking wrote 11 years ago:

This is a very useful post, giving a great overview of all International schools in the Hague. Well done, Ute and thank you for this post!

Lynn wrote 11 years ago:

What an informative and well-written post! There are a lot of websites that provide a list of local schools, but none have this quality of detail. The accompanying suggested questions is something I haven't seen anyone else use. Readers of this page will be in a good position to make an informed choice about schools in the Hague.

Z-ta wrote 11 years ago:

Thank you for the post, it's just in time, I'm scouting for a new school for my kids, although I'm not looking in The Hague, the general info is very useful.

Madrexilio wrote 11 years ago:

Great Job! Too bad I don´t live there. I will have to do all this research on my own here in Budapest sooner or later. Maybe I will just move to the Hague :)

Kate wrote 11 years ago:

Nice. I wish I'd had this last summer when we spent 3 months in Den Haag. Good lists of questions too. I teach teachers and these are all areas that need to be looked at. Thanks

Mari Tuten wrote 11 years ago:

Very informative article especially for anyone who is looking to move in that area with kids in school. A must keep resource! Thx

Stephen Greene wrote 11 years ago:

I think you have just about covered every possible angle with this very informative post. It is useful even for people living outside The Hague as it gives relevant questions and makes pepole think about what the priorities should be.

Beatrice wrote 11 years ago:

Simple, clear, informative: the best starting point to know the way to follow in the "search" of the right school!

Lisa O'Sullivan wrote 11 years ago:

Wonderful post , I particularly liked the list of questions , very useful for first time parents and expats :)

Rolf wrote 11 years ago:

This post addresses one of the most important issues of expat parents in a straightforward and extremely helpful way. It encompasses not only a specific overview over schools in a representative city with one of the largest expat communities in the world, but it also provides a general guidance to help all expat parents to help themselves in taking important decisions which can't be delegated.

Catherine Giudici wrote 11 years ago:

Excellent informative article, written in excellent English

Claudia Radczuweit wrote 11 years ago:

Very good, complete and the lists are really good, useful even for other countries. Many greetings to The Hague!

Willi wrote 11 years ago:

Eine äußerst nützliche und detaillierte Übersicht über die erstaunliche Anzahl von internationalen Schulen und ihre jeweiligen Charakteristika im Raum Den Haag: Sie liefert eine für ausländische - aber auch einheimische - Eltern sehr informative und hilfreiche Darstellung, um die für ihre Kinder - entsprechend eigener Vorstellungen und Wünsche - am besten geeignete Schule nach Ausbildungs-Inhalt und -Ziel zu identifizieren und zu wählen. Eine vorbildliche Initiative, die für alle Orte Europas - aber auch welteit - mit Niederlassungen mehrerer internationaler Organisationen zu begrüßen wäre.

Lessonup wrote 10 years ago:

Great Post! Thanks for sharing this article. Korea Private Tutoring Services

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