Usually, school starts between 8:30 and 8:45, and ends between and

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By Samyr Ahmad

Usually, school starts between 8:30 and 8:45, and ends between and

Schools may decide their own hours https://hookupdate.net/escort-index/tyler/. There is a lunch break for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, during which the children can either go home or have lunch at school (overblijven/TSO). For the children who stay at school, an additional fee (overblijfgeld) has to be paid. They have to bring their own lunch from home. Weather permitting, they play outside before or after lunch. The teachers also have a lunch break and the school asks volunteers, after-school care teachers, or parents to supervise the children.

Some schools have a continuous schedule (continurooster), where all pupils have lunch at school in the classroom with their teacher. Their lunch break is shorter and the school ends earlier than the schools that have overblijven.

On Wednesdays, most schools close at around pm for the day. Wednesday afternoons are usually filled by playdates, birthday parties, sports clubs, and music lessons. Primary schools are required to offer after-school care to their pupils. Usually, they contract an external organization (BSO). The BSO teachers will come and pick up the children from school, and then parents/ guardians can pick them up at the BSO location before closing time. During school holidays and other days that the school is closed, the BSO is open all day. Parents have to arrange and pay for the BSO separately, for which they may get a tax rebate (Kinderopvangtoeslag).

Bilingual schools in the Netherlands

By law, Dutch schools have to start teaching English as a subject by group 7 (about age 10) at the latest. More and more schools have decided to start earlier, sometimes from group 1. Such schools are VVTO schools, which refers to Early Foreign Language Education.

Seventeen schools in the Netherlands are official bilingual pilot schools. They may teach up to 50% of the time in English. The pilot is due to finish in 2023, and if the results are positive, there are likely to be more bilingual schools afterwards.

It is important to note that the bilingual schools are Dutch schools, which offer English on top of the Dutch curriculum. All the tests are still in Dutch. Some bilingual schools require at least one of the parents to be fluent in Dutch.

Student testing and monitoring

Most Dutch primary schools don’t give much homework, especially not in the early years. Twice per year, from group 2 or 3, the pupils take a test to measure their progress. They call this the pupil monitor system (leerlingvolg-systeem, LVS). With these tests, schools can spot any learning difficulties like dyslexia at an early stage. If they detect something, the child might need some additional support.

The tests are also a way to measure the quality of teaching. The pupils can’t pass or fail these tests and there are no direct consequences based on the outcome of the tests alone. The children don’t need to prepare for the tests, and younger ones (especially) are not aware that they are taking a test. Often the teachers only inform the parents of the results, and not the pupils. There is usually no competition between the children based on the test outcomes. Some schools take these tests more seriously than others, so it is always good to inquire in advance.

Student reports and grades

Most schools hand out a school report twice a year with grades that range from ‘very good’ to ‘insufficient’, and invite parents to discuss their children’s results in a 10-minute meeting. It is fairly common for a child to repeat or skip a year, and people do not usually frown upon this.

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