History and background


Internationally Oriented Education (IGO)
The Netherlands is one of a few countries in the world which offer government-funded educational facilities to meet the needs of an ever-growing expatriate community.

The Internationally Oriented Education (Internationaal Geörienteerd Onderwijs or IGO) which the government provides has three main objectives:

Provide a system of education for the children of internationally mobile families taking temporary residency in The Netherlands. The IGO facilitates the continuation of their education in a language they are familiar with and of a standard comparable to any school anywhere in the world.

Acclimatise returning Dutch nationals to the Dutch educational system and allow them to continue their education in English.
Assist in the transition to education in the English language of the children of Dutch nationals who are destined for overseas assignments.

IGO is offered at special departments affiliated with regular Dutch schools for primary education (DIPS) and for secondary education (DISS), spread throughout the Netherlands.

In Hilversum, primary education is offered at the IPS Hilversum. Secondary education at the International School of Hilversum, Alberdingk Thijm, Laar en Berg and the Groot Goylant International Stream.

In August 2000 the IGO decided to accept an internationally more appropriate name :
DIS – Dutch International Schools comprised of
DIPS – Dutch International Primary Schools and
DISS – Dutch International Secondary Schools


The decision to establish an International Department at the Violenschool was taken by the Hilversum and Dutch Government authorities in 1986.It was clear even then, that because of the increasing trend towards globalisation and the ensuing emergence of expatriate families, there was a need to provide facilities for an internationally oriented education.


Hilversum’s location was deemed ideal, not only because of its proximity to Amsterdam and Utrecht, both important university cities, where the headquarters of several international financial and industrial concerns can be found; but also because of its setting within the natural reserves and parks of Het Gooi.

Today Hilversum is the broadcast and media capital of the Netherlands, as well as the site of several international information technology and communications companies and the European head office for Nike and other global companies.

After all these years, still going and growing strong...

IPS Hilversum has undergone several changes since 1986.

In 1991, the number of international students had more than doubled the capacity of the original building in the Violenstraat. The solution came in the creation of a northern location catering to the families living in the Naarden-Bussum, Huizen, Amsterdam and Almere areas. Several classroom spaces were allotted to accommodate 8 full classes and the corresponding staff in the De Meent/Dalton school building in the De Meent neighbourhood in the north of Hilversum.

As growth continued both in the International Department and the Dutch Department of the Violenschool in the Violenstraat, it became evident that the premises could no longer house both units. The overflow meant that several groups from the International Department in the Violenstraat had to be housed in available classrooms in other schools in the vicinity.


In 1999, the Hilversum town council made the decision to renovate the Rembrandtschool, a designated national monument and make it available to the International Department.

Restoration was completed in early 2001 and the building officially opened in June.

Three institutions catering to primary education and childcare are currently housed in the Rembrandtschool building:

The Violenschool International Primary School Main Office
The “Naschoolse opvang” (after school care) “Het Rembrandtplein” of “BINK Hilversum”(Foundation for Childcare)
The International Playgroup of the “BINK Hilversum”

The Rembrandtschool building was designed by the renowned Dutch architect Willem M. Dudok, a contemporary of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The structure is an excellent example of early 20th century architecture. The Hilversum Town Hall or “Gemeentehuis” is another rather famous outstanding example.


In early 2000, the city government decided to allocate some of the land area of the Dalton school for much-needed housing and to renovate the remaining buildings in the aging school buildings. It was then decided that the three Dutch primary schools in the complex would be housed in a new 3-storey building and, a new site would have to be found for the Violenschool International Department.

The search for a fitting site took longer than expected. Due to a problem with the school relocation carousel, the initial plans had to be altered.

By the end of the 2003-2004 school year, the Violenschool International Department north location was gearing up for a move closer to the Rembrandtlaan.

The newly renovated building of the Violenschool International Primary School at the Frans Halslaan is home to Groups 1-4.

The move to the Frans Halslaan meant a repositioning in the school’s rationale for placement and more importantly for the parents of the children in the north, a logistic readjustment.

With the two buildings in such close proximity to each other, we have decided that the Frans Halslaan is the Lower School building for Groups 1 to 4 and the Rembrandtlaan is the Upper School building for Groups 5 to 8.

On the 29th of March, 2005, the Violenschool International Department at the Frans Halslaan opened its doors. From the classroom layout to the sanitation facilities, the colour scheme and furnishings of the library of the Frans Halslaan has been adjusted to meet the requirements of children from 4 to 7 years of age. More and more equipment for playing and learning which cater specially to early years education are being added.

In June 2006 to commemorate its 20 years of existence, the MR or governing body of the Violenschool officially renamed the Violenschool International Department to Violenschool International Primary School.


“I wish to approach truth as closely as is possible, and therefore I abstract everything until I arrive at the fundamental quality of objects.” Piet Mondrian, 1872-1944

After changing the school name to IPS Hilversum we recognised our two buildings as the Rembrandt and the Frans Hals locations. Now that we have a new location with six classes on the Minckelerstraat we have decided to give this a name which is more in line with the other two and we will call it the Mondrian location. Pieter Mondrian certainly earned his right to fame as an internationally known Dutch painter. His preference for the use of the three primary colours fits our school’s age range and its three locations. See http://www.theartstory.org/artist-mondrian-piet.htm