Sometimes finding what you need requires searching a little further afield. The British School in the Netherlands may be in The Hague but it’s just a bus ride away. Read on to find out why farsighted Amsterdam parents are choosing to school their children outside their city of residence.
Travel Further to Get the Best
International parents resident in Amsterdam are looking beyond the capital to secure a first class education for their children. Several coach-loads of children from Amsterdam and Amstelveen currently make the trip to the British School in the Netherlands (BSN) in The Hague each morning because their parents value quality over proximity.
The School’s ‘Internationally British’ ethos, embracing over 80 different nationalities, is popular with parents seeking to immerse their children in a vibrant and high-achieving multicultural setting.
Rated ‘excellent’ across all four campuses in their 2015 inspection, and with an average International Baccalaureate score that is 20% higher than the global average, it is unsurprising that the school enjoys such a wide catchment area.
The facilities are also state of the art. Interactive whiteboards are used throughout, and the school boasts swish computer labs, a bustling language centre with numerous outreach projects, an eco garden, and a healthy food café in the senior school. The most recent additions are two all-weather sports pitches on the senior campuses. The Dutch weather can do what it likes, but scheduled sports matches at the BSN will go on – rain or shine.
The BSN’s extra-curricular offer is extensive. They are keen to point out that theirs is a rounded education, an ‘education for life’, which compliments their excellent academic provision. Music and Drama thrive here, with regular performances and workshops. The school also organises a huge range of residential trips from dinghy sailing in the south of England (Year 9) to building a school in Kenya (Year 12).
What the Parents Say
Parents who live outside The Hague cite the following reasons for choosing the school:
- They felt it was the best international school in the region.
- They heard excellent feedback from other parents.
- The BSN is much larger than schools in their area (2300 3-18 year-olds on roll) and can therefore offer a broader curriculum and range of facilities and activities.
- It follows the British system and the International Baccalaureate programme. The British system is offered widely overseas, allowing students to continue with the same curriculum should the family need to relocate.
Based on our own experience and discussions with some friends [whose children are not at the BSN], we believe that this is probably the best education you can receive in the Netherlands. Mr. Alexander Ostapishin, Amsterdam resident whose children attend BSN.
Let the School Sort the Logistics
The BSN takes great care to ensure that students living outside The Hague can get to their classes on time and with ease. A special coach service is provided from numerous locations, including Amsterdam and Amstelveen.
And the journey needn’t be wasted time. There’s a real buzz on the bus as students relay the highs and lows of their school day and catch up on any last-minute homework and revision.
How does the BSN help with transport?
They offer a door-to-door minibus service up to 30km from school for Junior School students and a coach service with designated stops for Senior School students. Fees apply.
Where can children catch the BSN’s school bus from?
Amsterdam/Amstelveen, Berkel & Rodenrijs, Delft, Den Haag, Leiderdorp, Leidschendam, Nootdorp/Ypenburg, Rijswijk, Rotterdam, Voorburg, Voorschoten, Wassenaar and Zoetermeer. Should you live in an area that is not serviced by the coaches, there may be an option to arrange a door-to-door minibus.
What time would my child be picked up and where would the pick-up point be?
This depends on where you live. Contact the BSN’s Transport Department on +31 (0)70 315 4083 to get the best advice for your area.
Can we use a different drop-off point?
Yes, if the drop-off point is along the bus’s usual route. Students can be dropped off at a pre-approved after-school location such as your childminder’s house, your place of work, or a sports club.
We would prefer to pick up our children ourselves after school. Do we have to sign them up for the full a.m. and p.m. bus service?
No. At the junior schools, parents can choose to use the a.m.-only pickup, the p.m.-only drop-off, or the regular 2-way service. For senior school students, please contact the BSN’s Transport Department on +31 (0)70 315 4083 for guidance.
With its superb academic record, leading-edge facilities, and can-do attitude to transport, it’s no wonder that students travel far and wide to attend the BSN. Theirs is a world without limits, geographical or otherwise.
Note: The British School in the Netherlands has paid to be featured on Amsterdam Mamas because they believe that their services would be of interest and benefit to our readers, and we think so too. For more information on sponsored posts and advertising on Amsterdam Mamas, please see our Advertising and Disclosure policy.
Deborah Nicholls-Lee is a British national who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. A former French and English teacher, she now works as a freelance writer and editor while raising her two children. See her website to find out more about her work.
photo credits: The British School in the Netherlands