Before you read the FAQs there are a few points that are
Important to know
Our focus is on Quality for All and All for Quality.
We expect our parents to be familiar with and in agreement with our philosophy and mission.
We are an IB World School, authorised for the Primary Years Programme since 2000.
Placement is never automatic. We have clear acceptance criteria for all students that have to be met.
We are a primary school offering education to ages 4 to 12. We have a year 7 class, our Group 8, specialising in preparation for the transition to secondary education.
We have high expectations of our staff and of our students.
The quality of our education is continually being monitored at three levels.
Locally – there are internal quality audits organised every three years by our school Board.
Nationally – the Dutch ministry of education inspects the school every three years.
Internationally – every five years, the IB carries out a three day programme evaluation visit.
Summaries of the last three resulting reports are available to our parents.
Good to know
Hilversum is less than half an hour away from the centre of Amsterdam? The town has three train stations but from Hilversum Central it is only 21 minutes to Amsterdam Central, 22 minutes to Amsterdam Zuid and 30 minutes to Schiphol airport. For more information on public transport throughout the Netherlands via: https://9292.nl/en . From Hilversum, intercity trains run twice hourly and there are also two stop trains totaling four per hour to Amsterdam and Schiphol airport.
We have over 30 years experience of international education.
We are a founder member of the foundation for Dutch International Primary Schools: 1986.
We currently have 30 classes accommodating 500 students cared for by 80 members of staff.
As an international school we are proud that our students represent 50 different countries. Some 70-80% of the students have English as a second language although many of them are fluent in more than one language.
The annual tuition fee for 2019-2020 is € 3 800 (£ 3 365*) per child. There is no discount for siblings. This includes lunch supervision, excursions and all teaching materials. * Exchange rate September 2019
IPS Hilversum FAQs
- Does IPS Hilversum have a waiting list? All year groups have places available. However, a few year groups do have limited places.
- Are pupils accepted to start mid-term and, if so, is there a risk they could lose a year? Students join us throughout the year. Placement is made with the intention of moving up a year at the end of the academic year a student joins. There is no deadline for applications but conditions remain the same for all applications regardless of month.
- When a place is confirmed for do students have to apply for re-enrolment the following academic school year(s). Enrolment is continuous UNLESS we feel we can not need specific needs for a child or a family has not fulfilled all tuition fee payment requirements.
- Curriculum: is admission made based on a certain level reached in the subjects, or is it based on age? There is no streaming in any of our year groups. The cut off date is 1 November BUT every child is unique and circumstances can affect this. Placement is always made in the BEST interest of the child and in full co-operation with the parents.
- Is admission to state the schools based on the postcode of residence? Place of residence plays no role in admission. Our current families live in a wide area ranging from Amsterdam to Utrecht.
- Is the Dutch newcomer class available for state schools, bilingual state schools? See Route guide for expats.
- How this could impact on academic performance and likelihood to lose a school year? Learning a second language at an academic level is, certainly initially, bound to impact academic performance. Providing the transition is made young enough the significance is minimal. Almost half of our current students have English as an additional language but it is an exception if this prevents them from successfully completing the IB Diploma Programme for university entrance.
- Would it be possible to have the final exam pass rate and average grade obtained by pupils? As an IB World School implementing the Primary Years Programme there are no final exams but an Exhibition (see info in the Curriculum Guide). We do administer external standardised assessments. At the end of the final year of primary, the level of secondary education is reflected in the secondary school advice. Our graduates, aged 12, have averaged 90-95% acceptance to A level equivalent over the past 10 years.
- What is the teacher and pupil turnover rate in your school? Does it disrupt the teaching? Average length of service amongst staff is currently 7 years. Children average 3-5 years with exceptions of a few months and the full 8 years. IPS Hilversum is designed to cater for transient families and we have chosen the IB PYP curriculum framework as it was purposely written to facilitate this. It can sometimes be seen as a challenge but it is not regarded as disruptive.
- Where do your pupils commute from? What are the travel arrangements/travel times if they come from a long distance? Are there early-late additional coach services to allow attending extra before/after-school activities? Does it work well in your view? Can you indicate what the school offers in terms of before/after-school care, if anything? Our fees are very competitive so do not include transportation. Before and after school care, including holidays is organised in cooperation with a partner organisation and is available for all our students. https://binkkinderopvang.nl/en This works well but it does have a price. After school activities are in abundance but mainly organised by local clubs and organisations SEE Newcomers’ booklet. However, we do offer mother tongue groups for Dutch, German, French and Italian. (this does vary annually)
- What is the average/maximum pupil number per class? Current average is 17 students, we aim at a maximum of 20 with an absolute maximum of 22.
- What support/pastoral care is available in case of emotional/additional support needs? School contact person, local authorities provide, mostly free of charge, all services that Dutch primary schools receive.
- What are the provisions, admission requirements and support for children with special needs (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, speech and language delay, autism spectrum)? Will assessments done in, for example, the UK need to be repeated in the Netherlands? Can you provide a contact point to discuss these aspects? We have a learning support department with two coordinators and a number of remedial teachers. Support is given both in the class and out depending upon a child’s specific needs. SEE Learning support policy. Contact is made by us with the parents during the admissions procedure.
- Is it possible to contact the parents association in case of questions? A new email address of for parents’ support group is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What are your school sibling policies, if any? No specific policy as it has never been necessary. No waiting lists so priority places no part. All applications are considered separately.
- Integration into the Dutch culture. Are there any activities offered out of schools’ term to support pupils learning of language and culture in advance of entering academic work See Newcomers’ booklet. The local school Board and other external partners offer a number of possibilities.
- Are the schools supporting their students transitioning to Dutch state system (e.g. secondary bilingual or Dutch only education)? If yes how/ in which ways/ which tools and activities are available. See Route guide for expats.
- Apart from teaching Dutch as a foreign language are there any other activities and support offered to their students in order to learn or improve their Dutch? Would principals consider providing additional Dutch language/cultural integration support over and above their current provisions if there were to be sufficient demand. We already offer a number of after-school Dutch lessons for our students. Extra support is possible but the financial aspect would be between parents and the responsible organisation. The principal is always open to new initiatives.
- Is moving to IPS Hilversum similar to moving to another primary school in, for example, the UK? Yes
- What else do I need to know? The above questions will be removed, adapted or added to as we develop or receive comments from parents. All comments are welcome and can be submitted directly to the principal via contact.
Overview of documents referred to in the text above
- IPS Hilversum School Plan-2016-2020
- IPS Hilversum School Guide 2019-2020
- IPS Hilversum Route guide for expats
- IPS Hilversum Newcomers’ booklet
- IPS Hilversum learning support policy