Page 1

Insight Internationally British




Closing Words from our CEO & Principal — P 30


One School, Five Campuses — P 20

BSN Staff Conference —P4

The BSN’s IB Journey —P9

BSN Character Profile —P6

P3- Dear BSN Community

P13- Forest School

P23- University Destinations

P7- Beyond the Classroom

P14- We Are BSN

P23- Alumni Connections

P8- Breaking Ground at SSL

P16- BSN Family Association

P24- Year in the Life of the BSN

P8- 40 Years at SSV

P17- BBC School Report

P26- Finance Overview

P10- Project Africa Finishes

P17- An International Welcome


P11- Spirited Sports Competition

P18- Learning Self-Expression

P28- Language Learning in Action

P12- Performing Arts Week

P19- Talking about Social Media

P29- Team Spotlight: BSN Health

P13- The House System

P22- BSN Admissions Experience

P31- A Round of Applause

Left to right: Paul Topping, Sue Aspinall and Stuart de Booij

Dear BSN Community, The BSN will be led in the next academic year by an Executive Leadership Team (ELT) comprising Sue Aspinall, Headteacher at Junior School Vlaskamp, Stuart de Booij, Chief Financial Officer and Paul Topping, Headteacher at Senior School Voorschoten. The ELT has been appointed by the Board of Governors with the full support of the OR (Works Council). “We are delighted that the Governors have placed their trust in us and look forward to continuing to work with the BSN community to provide the best possible learning experiences for our children and young people. We would like to thank Kieran Earley for his leadership and guidance during his time at the school.

“In what has been a busy year for our school, the BSN received a very positive evaluation of our work as an International Baccalaureate World School from the IBO and an affirmation from inspectors based in the UK of our full commitment to, and compliance with, the British Standards for Overseas Schools (BSO). These outcomes provide an important external verification of our school’s effectiveness and direction.

from the best schools around the world. The move into the new premises of Senior School Leidschenveen and the 3 to 18 philosophy on the Leidschenveen campus will continue to be a priority. Building on the success of our first edition in 2017, we will be hosting TEDx again on 4 November 2019. It’s going to be another exciting year at the BSN!” Have a wonderful summer.

“We are already planning for the coming year and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Headteachers and Senior Leaders. In September, we will welcome Chris Wathern as Headteacher at Junior School Diamanthorst, as well as many new colleagues who are joining us

GLOSSARY BSN - The British School in The Netherlands JSV – Junior School Vlaskamp JSD – Junior School Diamanthorst JSL – Junior School Leidschenveen SSL – Senior School Leidschenveen SSV – Senior School Voorschoten

ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE Throughout Insight you’ll find QR codes. Scan the code using the camera function on your mobile phone (check your QR settings are switched ‘on’) to see more.



Staff Conference

Excellence, Inspiration & Innovation

“The quality of a school cannot exceed the quality of its staff. At the BSN, we invest in developing our staff to ensure that we offer the very best for our younger people. The BSN Staff Conference is a biennial event that brings the best in global practice from within the BSN and across the world so we can share, learn and collaborate; excellence, inspiration and innovation in action!” Liz Free, Director, International Leadership Academy (ILA) On Tuesday 23 April 2019, over 500 BSN staff came together to share excellence in education, be inspired by best practices and evidence-based research and discuss the latest in school innovation. 15 external speakers and 70 internal speakers comprised a stellar line-up of thought-leaders from a broad range of fields, making the BSN Staff Conference a truly action-packed day. How’s your Japanese? Are you one of those people who simply cannot remember their mobile phone number? What about your passport – do you have that committed to memory for those awkward times when you need to enter it for an airline? My session at our biennial BSN Staff Conference was about how anyone, with a little practice, can become better at memorising and recalling key information. Not surprisingly, most of the audience could name the colours of the

electromagnetic spectrum in order using ROYGBIV, a mnemonic learned in school. Similarly, we recalled “collar, sleeve, sleeve”, a reminder for how to spell “necessary” and a rhyme for remembering how many days there are in each month of the year. These feats, however, pale in comparison to those of Rajveer Meena who has memorised the mathematical constant, Pi, to 70,000 decimal places. It took him almost ten hours to recite the numbers at a rate of one per second. This particular world record has improved significantly over the last 40 years – in 1974, the record stood at 1,210 decimal places and was held by a UK national. Why has the record improved so much and has this any significance for education? In order to achieve such remarkable feats, memory experts usually use one of a variety of techniques to place numbers, objects or facts to be recalled in an order

@LizAMFree that can be systematically accessed. ‘Memory Palaces’, chunking and visual association are common examples. I used my session to demonstrate the power of visual association. We established at the beginning that none of the audience knew any Japanese words. 30 minutes later everyone could count from one to ten and our CFO, Stuart de Booij, even demonstrated his newly-found linguistic skills on stage! The simple secret was to associate the Japanese numbers with images and, critically, actions. For example, one and two in Japanese are “itchi and ni”. To recall these numbers, we have to scratch our knee. Itchy knee. Five and six are “go and roco”. Recall involves doing a Travolta-esque piece of disco dancing. Number seven is “schichi”. Sneeze and make the sound! Reciting one to ten in Japanese suddenly becomes an all-action piece of theatre! The exercise is a bit of fun but its extension has fascinating possibilities. Retrieval practice, the skill of deliberately bringing information to mind, is in vogue in educational journals and the Twittersphere – and for good reason. If students can train themselves to go multiple stages further than recalling the colours of the rainbow, then in a curriculum where recall in final examinations is one of the keys to success, the sky might be the limit. If this piece has whetted your appetite, a little research and practice will enable you to remember your social security code and the phone numbers of loved ones, always. Paul Topping, Headteacher SSV @PaulTopping62


Don’t let them forget your idea! Having an audience in front of you, whatever the size, is a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact by sharing your idea. During the BSN Staff Conference, staff investigated ways to improve the listening potential of their audiences and the quality of the aural experience provided by a speaker. Key aspects covered included: how to have an impactful and memorable start (those first few seconds are the most important!), how media can be utilised to compliment instead of distract from your message, and which resources are best to use (it was agreed that personalised stories are a great option.) Finally, staff analysed the physical movements and voice control used by a confident public speaker. Working as part of a supportive team meant that all could feel confident to trial new skills when speaking publicly to ensure their ideas are focused and memorable. Martin Pratt, JSV Teacher

At the BSN we recognise the important role teaching assistants play in supporting the teaching and learning of our students. During the BSN Staff Conference, I led a workshop that examined research on how teaching assistants can have maximum impact in their roles. Staff explored how they could work with students in different ways to develop their independent learning strategies. They left the session committing to one intention they would implement back in the classroom. A favourite one was: “Allow children to show me what they can do. Step back.”■ Rebecca Van Homan, ILA Professional Development Lead and JSL Teacher

At the BSN we are committed to having the best professional learning and development for staff. We are very excited that we will be offering the full suite of CACHE Supporting Teaching and Learning qualifications from Level 1 to Level 4; the only accredited centre in Europe to do so. For more information visit bsnila.com

#BSNConf19 @BSNLearn



Eight Attributes for ‘Whole Student’ Development At the BSN we are proud that our students demonstrate well-rounded characteristics that set them up for success in all aspects of their lives. The BSN Character Profile identifies eight attributes that are important for a BSN student to develop whilst they are a student at the school. Irrespective of age or year group, the messaging of the BSN Character Profile

is woven throughout the fabric of the BSN’s curriculum. Our teachers and staff demonstrate their own creativity and perseverance through their ageappropriate integration of these key messages. The eight attributes of our BSN Character Profile set a high standard for the development of the whole student.

Throughout this magazine you will find the icons for various attributes where the school activity reflects those values. To help our youngest students understand and embrace the BSN Character Profile, the eight attributes were personified by Juan Arias, BSN Graphic Designer and Jonathan Clarke, Character Profile Project Lead, with support from the Project Team.

COURAGE • I take risks • I stand up for what I believe in • I can adapt to new ideas and situations



• I want to improve the world in which I live • I contribute to a sustainable environment • I reflect on how my actions have an impact on our planet

• I challenge myself • I want to do my best • I keep going in the face of difficulty



• I value and respect the thoughts of others • I work with others to enhance my ideas • I contribute positively

• I look for new solutions • I am a critical thinker • I am imaginative and resourceful



• I show empathy • I am a tolerant and inclusive citizen of the world • I reflect on my actions and those of others

• I am open-minded about people and cultures • I enjoy discovering new things • I ask questions to gain a deeper understanding



• I use my technology skills creatively • I balance technology within my life • I stay safe online

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM Unexpected options for co-curricular clubs & activities

The British School in the Netherlands offers a wide selection of co-curricular clubs and activities (CCAs) across our campuses to broaden learning opportunities beyond the classroom. The selection of clubs is impressive and diverse. Here are a few of the ‘unexpected’ club options from each campus. JSL

SEEDS Science Club for Y2 students, organised by Y5 students Teachers: Helen Upton and Barbara van Duijne


DJEMBE DRUMMING Teachers: Jan Willem van Swigchem (external) with support from Diana Blythe


COMMUNITY GARDENING Teachers: Marta Nowak & Emma Gatty-Saunt


TRIATHLON Coach: Paul van Brink (external), with support from Tom Archer & Donna Bolton


CODING Teacher: Hilary Porritt



Breaking Ground full-size sports hall, this new building will enable students from both the junior and senior schools to share a place in which they can work, play and learn together.

A ‘breaking ground’ event was held in February to mark the unveiling of the building work on our newest campus (Senior School Leidschenveen, or SSL). It was attended by students, parents, Headteachers, the CEO & Principal and School Governors, together with the school’s architects and building teams.

If you have visited the Leidschenveen campus recently, you will have noticed that the building is really taking shape. The construction work remains on track for us officially to take control of the first phase of SSL buildings on 15 July. When finished, SSL will generate up to 550 additional student places. It is an exciting time for the BSN, and we are looking forward to seeing our students in their new building from September.■

With designs that incorporate the latest thinking in flexible learning spaces and a

40 years of SSV “When I came to the English School (as it was then called) in 1972, the Senior Division was just six years old. There were a dozen teachers, only 150 students and we were accommodated in a single house in Scheveningen. It was, frankly, not a very impressive school. The exam results were poor, there was little in the way of extracurricular activities, the building was overcrowded, the laboratories Dickensian, the finances precarious, the inspectors’ reports worrying. And yet, paradoxically, it was an incredibly happy little school and during the 1970s it expanded rapidly and began to improve. It improved so much that 40 years ago, on May 9 1979, a fine new Senior School was opened at Voorschoten. What a success that was, what a thing to have achieved and what potential for the future!

Mike Weston, BSN Archivist and storyteller. To read more of Mike’s reflections on SSV’s beginnings, visit his news post about this historic anniversary: britsc.nl/SSV40yearsnews



A marathon, not a sprint: the BSN’s IB journey In describing the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a “marathon and not a sprint” in the Y13 IB leavers assembly, Josh Bolton and Sophia Trofimova aptly summed up the sentiments of many of our students. With their final exams ahead of them, Josh and Sophia, on behalf of the Sixth Form, took the opportunity to reflect on their academic journey over the past two years, describing it as fulfilling but requiring constant commitment, dedication and a willingness to embrace academic challenge. We offer both the internationallyrecognised IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the IB Careers-Related Programme (IBCP). These programmes aim to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people, who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”. This is quite an ambitious feat for an academic programme run over two years; however, the IB has, at its heart, a structure that encourages students to think independently and to drive their own learning.

IBDP: Spanning Disciplines For the Diploma, a range of disciplines are studied spanning Languages, Sciences, the Arts, Humanities and Mathematics. Students are required to adopt an inquirybased learning approach to these studies, which encourages them to question their academic knowledge.

IBCP: A Focused Approach The IBCP takes a more focused approach, led by a vocational business programme and supported by two diploma subjects. Central to both programmes is the unique ‘core’, where students are required to undertake Service Learning in the community, study the Theory of Knowledge and write an Extended Essay on their area of chosen academic research. This is a challenge for many students since this element of experiential learning brings a new dimension to their studies, supporting them in developing the desired attributes of the IB learner – being reflective, inquiring and risk taking.

The BSN continues to achieve excellent results in both programmes; consistently outperforming the world average point scores for both the IBDP and IBCP (BSN: 100% pass rate, world 78%). Many of our students have gone on to high performing universities across the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Duke, TU Delft, UCLA and the National Institute of Technology in India. It is always a bittersweet moment when, as teachers, we say goodbye to our graduating students. For two years, we have worked alongside them, providing challenges, encouraging debate and supporting them to be ready for the next stage in their lives. From their experience of the IB, we know that the students are ready to engage actively with people in an increasingly globalised, rapidly changing world and to face whatever marathons are presented to them with confidence, determination and a will to succeed.■ Michelle Cooke IB Coordinator


Project Africa Finishes The Ndege Primary and Secondary School in Njoro Kenya extends its heartfelt gratitude to the BSN community for the significant and lasting improvement to the education of thousands of children in their area.

A huge thank you to all of our students, parents and staff who have supported Project Africa over the years! Total amount raised:


Project duration:

10 years

Total BSN students who participated

nearly 200

School improvement projects included:

Project impact on school results:

· libraries · labs · classrooms · kitchens

With special thanks to Ben Le Heux

· water tanks · toilets · avocado orchard · breakfast programme

increased school attendance and improved grades

See Project Africa in action during the team’s visit in 2016


Dashing, dribbling and diving in Dubai: Primary World School Games For the first time ever, the BSN competed in the Primary World John Redmond, www.redmondphoto.com School Games in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Over three hot January days, 18 BSN students representing the three Junior Schools competed in Athletics, Football and Swimming against 20 other schools from around the world. Our students were excellent BSN ambassadors and strong competitors during this large, international competition. Watch the video for the results and a glimpse of our athletes in action. A special thank you goes to BSN staff members: Oliver Morgan, JSD PE teacher; Tom Johnson, JSV PE teacher; Vojin Grujic, JSV concierge; and Evelien Neuteboom, SSL PE teacher. Look out World School Games 2020‌ Here we come!

Some spirited competition

Senior School Sport

In June 2019, the BSN hosted the second edition of the BSN Summer Games, welcoming student competitors from the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Russia. The BSN Summer Games saw hundreds of students from the three different countries participating in some spirited competition in Football, Basketball and Hockey. For all participants, the tournament provided an opportunity to represent their school during an international competition. Over 100 BSN students from years 7, 8 and 9 did us proud with their performances and enthusiasm. It was a true team effort from the two Senior Schools, with many staff and student volunteers providing valuable support throughout the event.


Song, Art, Music and Dance

Performing Arts Week 2019 As part of Performing Arts Week, hundreds of Junior School students contributed a unique bird to one of two Escher-inspired collaborative artwork projects. The initiative was spearheaded by Lisa O’Connor, JSV Art Lead and implemented by many staff members. Dance and music productions also took place accross the campuses. See more from Performing Arts Week below. #BSNPerforms







2019 Charity: JSV


Good Chance Theatre, United Kingdom Total raised:

€5,648.21 Participants:



Hundreds of BSN students, parents and staff


A Cross-School Community

When a student joins the school, they are placed in one of four houses (Amsterdam, Delft, Leiden and Gouda) with students from across the BSN. Throughout the year, students earn house points for achievements in a wide range of competitions and merit-based activities. The House Cup is awarded annually to the house with the most points. The competitive aspect helps to motivate students but the true spirit is one of collaboration and cross-school community. Read more about the BSN Houses on the Voices blog:



Meeting Real Superheroes What other learning space can simultaneously be an art room, a music room, a science lab, a gym, a theatre, a botanical garden and a home for wildlife, as well as a mindfulness haven? A Forest School site can be all that and much more. It is a space where the children become self-directed, confident and happy, where they follow their interests, engage in discoveries, find time for mindfulness and can simply just be.

nectar sources and plant more beefriendly flowers in our playground. It is my goal to inspire students to respect the environment for the many things it gives us. The more our children know about the importance of the plant world for our existence, the less encouragement they need to protect it.

The school holidays are a great opportunity to get out and enjoy nature (remember that there is no bad weather, just wrong clothing!) Marta Nowak EAL Teaching Assistant and Forest School Leader, JSD @BSNEco

I run Forest School with Foundation and Key Stage 1 children (age 3-7) at JSD. I love teaching them about our real ‘superheroes’: the plants and animals that support our life. Despite JSD’s location in the city, we have over 35 different species of trees. The children learn how to identify and classify them and will continue to look after their




BSN Family Association As Lorraine Webster steps down as Chair of the Family Association (FA), she takes a look back on the achievements of the FA and highlights from her time with the BSN. How did you get involved? It all started with a coffee! Then I helped out with the ‘Bring and Buy’ sales and eventually became Team Leader. I was asked to be chairperson in September 2017, a role that involves supporting the work of the various FA teams, representing the FA in the school and externally and coordinating the planning of events. I have enjoyed every minute and am very sad to be leaving.

OUR TEAMS Welcome Team Welcomes new families and brings parents and staff together. They coordinate the campus coffee mornings and administer our Facebook pages. Welcome@BSNFA.com

“The Family Association is an integral part of the BSN, bringing together parents, students and staff.” What have been the FA’s biggest achievements during your time? So many! The fabulous events: fairs, festivals, social events and second hand uniform sales. We have also improved our involvement in the school and an engaged board of Team Leaders to make it all happen!

What will you take with you? It’s amazing what can be achieved by working together!

Do you have a favourite FA memory? The overwhelming feeling of achievement and relief at the end of my very first big event – the Winter Fair, 2017.

What piece of advice would you give your successor? Make friends! Be organised, patient, diplomatic and build your team.

How can people find out more about the Family Association? All parents and staff are members of the Family Association – come to our coffee mornings, join in events, follow us on Facebook and check out the information on our Gateway pages.■ 16

International Team Showcases the diversity of cultures at the BSN. International@BSNFA.com Social Team Organises social and educational events throughout the year. Social@BSNFA.com Second Hand Team Runs sales of books and uniform around eight times a year. Uniform@BSNFA.com Fair Team Organises the BSN Summer and Winter Fairs. Secretary@BSNFA.com Bursary Fund Provides financial support for pupils who need it to complete their GCSEs or A Levels. The fund will be renamed and relaunched in 2019. If you want to find out more or get involved, contact Bursary@BSN.com

We are looking for: • Chair • Campus Liaisons (one per campus) • Fairs Team Lead Contact: bsnfamilychair@gmail.com

A group of hardworking student reporters from SSV and SSL transformed the Boerderij into a buzzing newsroom for BBC Young Reporter News Day, 6 March 2019

https://britsc.nl/Fashion https://britsc.nl/Celebrity https://britsc.nl/SexismInLanguages https://britsc.nl/MakingADifference

Scan the QR code to read more

A Warm Welcome from the International Team The International Team is part of the Family Association and currently has 24 different nationality/language group Representatives. The team is involved in various school and Family Association events throughout the year, celebrating the amazingly diverse BSN international community. This includes our Welcome Days, International Festival and Summer and Winter Fairs, plus much more.

As parents, we understand the challenges facing families arriving and settling in a new country. Our Representatives help new families feel welcome and navigate the BSN and their new environment easily. All Representatives are volunteers and sit across our five campuses.

If you would like to join the team, contact the International Team Lead, Ren Bryden, at International@bsnfa.com

If you would like to meet other people from your home country/ community, a contact list of current Representatives can be found on Gateway under the FA pages. 17

Learning Self-Expression Natasha Devon MBE at the BSN Staff Conference 2019 “The words to describe how we feel may not exist. Creativity, art, music, dance and drama are wordless ways to express ourselves.” The keynote speaker for this year’s BSN Staff Conference was Natasha Devon MBE. She is a renowned mental health awareness campaigner who was a UK Government Adviser. She regularly tours schools and colleges to campaign for better mental health provision for children and young people. Natasha explained that one in three people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime and that one in ten 5 to 18 years olds has a diagnosable mental health illness. Importantly, she also emphasised that everybody has mental health that should be looked after as carefully as their physical health. It was fascinating to hear that the English language has a far more limited range


of emotional vocabulary than many other languages. Other languages have a much richer vocabulary to express joy, anger, disappointment – something our multilingual community will identify with, I am sure! There were many nods of agreement as Natasha pointed out: “The words to describe how we feel may not exist. Creativity, art, music, dance and drama are wordless ways to express ourselves.” This is one of the many reasons for the BSN’s focus on the arts, both curricular and extra-curricular. Her excellent speech underlined that awareness and an understanding of mental health, both within the education system and in our homes, is crucial. Her powerful words were an important reminder that we should continue to make student and staff mental health and wellbeing a priority. To learn more about Natasha Devon’s work and to access valuable tips, advice and educational resources, visit her website: www.natashadevon.com ■ Rhiannon Phillips-Bianco Year 4 Class Teacher, Wellbeing and Mental Health Curriculum Leader at JSL.

Key resources: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z Bluebird at Pan Macmillan

Fundamentals: A Guide for Parents & Teachers on Mental Health & Self-Esteem John Blake Publishing

For further reading, see Natasha’s recommended reading list on body image, mental health & self-esteem in young people: https://britsc.nl/DevonList Educating Children for Healthy Minds: https://britsc.nl/HeadTalks The Stand Up Kid – Time to Change: https://britsc.nl/TimeToChange www.time-to-change.org.uk

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA Our children are growing up in a digitally connected world. In our quest to raise children to be kind, collaborative, critical thinking and creative digital citizens, we have the following tips for talking about social media. The guided age for most social media is 13 and above. This age recommendation comes from an awareness of responsibility of the individual.

OPEN UP THE CONVERSATION Age appropriate use of social media can increase your child’s digital media literacy and mental health and wellbeing (by connecting with loved ones and linking with like-minded communities). Negatives include the risk of cyberbullying, personal information becoming public and exposure to inappropriate content. By keeping an open dialogue that focuses on wise conduct rather than strict control, you can guide them to have fun while engaging in healthy interaction.

TREAT YOUR TEEN LIKE AN EXPERT (THEY ARE) Children today are often digitally confident and skilled. Ask them for their advice on using Instagram or their opinion on what their friends share on Snapchat. By listening with care and being curious, they are more likely to be open and share their experiences with you. Make time to do this away from conflict conversations about social media.

Telling our stories through our own voices

THE INTERNET IS NOT PRIVATE Once something is shared online they’ll no longer have control of it, so they should think twice before posting. How we act online should mimic how we act offline. And, just like you would want to know where your children are, what they are doing and with whom they spend time in the offline world, it’s good to know what they’re up to online too. Be transparent about monitoring their browser history and profile. Steer away from the idea that online behaviour is permanently damaging. This attitude can make teens afraid to seek help due to fear of consequences. LEAD BY EXAMPLE It’s a good idea to have a technology - free zone or time in your house, such as the dinner table or Friday nights. Try not to always be on your device around your children. If you need to be, explain what you’re doing e.g. “I’m checking the weather report.” Explore online problems that you’ve faced, such as disagreements with friends and how you dealt with them. Share how you moved forwards, this will help to model that online challenges don’t have to be a permanent problem. The BSN is very active on a variety of social networks. We strive to tell the BSN story through the students, staff and events that make up our school.


Connect with BSN

/BSNetherlands 19



BSN Admissions Experience Making our families feel welcome every step of the way Moving to a new country can be a challenging experience for any family. The school they select will determine not just the education system their children will follow but also where they live and what their daily lives will look like. A tailormade package Having worked in the BSN Admissions Department for 18 years, I have shown thousands of families around our schools – and I do so with as much pleasure today as I did when I first started! It is so important that children and parents feel happy with their experience, so I make it my job to become their advisor and friend during that process. For me the job is about far more than just assisting with practicalities; it is about getting to know each child’s likes and dislikes, what motivates them or what they are worried about. We try to make sure we tackle those concerns and match their interests so that they can ‘see’ themselves at the BSN. A personal touch One thing I have always loved about this job is when students come up to me to 22

tell me how they remember me from their first tour and how much they love being at the school. I consider that a job well done.

Independence’, supporting the transition from Early Years to ‘big school’ or our popular ‘Beginners Open Mornings’. Of course, the BSN welcome process is about teamwork and the support that we receive from the office managers and staff who assist with tours on each campus is vital to the service we provide. The Family Association and International Representatives also have a key role to play in making families feel welcome.

As a school with 89 nationalities, we understand that every family has different needs so we work hard to offer a personalised approach. We give around 600 tours each year and aim to ensure that every family arrives feeling supported and well informed. A first class service Tours and offering places is just one of the many services we provide. We also organise welcome events to enable new families to build relationships and access practical advice. Our annual Welcome Day is attended by more than 800 people. We also run events in response to parents’ needs, such as ‘Small Steps to

A top quality educational experience I have such a strong belief in the quality of the educational experience that children receive at the BSN that it remains a joy and a privilege to show our school to future students and parents. With every new family I meet, I always hope that in a few years’ time, they’ll be the smiling faces that I see in the corridors as they go about their lifes at the BSN.■ Christine Matthews Admissions Manager Admissions@britishschool.nl


Connecting the Past to the Present and the Future The BSN Alumni Platform (bsnalumni.com) was launched in May 2018 as a home for former BSN students and staff. The platform has grown to 670 active users in one year. Nearly 90% of those users are alumni while the remainder are former staff. BSNalumni.com is an active community where alumni can share memories, reconnect with classmates, upload photos, find jobs and organise events. With more than 70% of our global network willing to help mentor members, the BSN Alumni Platform is a supportive environment that all of our alumni can make use of.

University Destinations


Number of Applications per Country 28



18 14



6 4 2


of BSN Graduates 2019


























Our main teaching focus this year was on the development of mathematics and strategies to develop the quality of writing. Our key events included the first ever Cross-Junior Engagement Evening for parents (on the BSN Character Profile), and Inspirational Person’s Day, where we presented inspiring people from the past and present to our classmates!

The opening of our sparkling new reception, entrance and refurbished classrooms, and an educational visit to the Peace Palace (the first from a junior school) were both highlights for us this year. Two of our most memorable events were King’s Day (including a fantastic Drumtastic event) and our International Week, which culminated in our famous Parade.

SSV It was another great year for performing arts at SSV with an inspiring run of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and the COBIS Music Festival, where the BSN finished in first place. The first ever BSN Raising and Giving (RAG) event, organised by Student Leaders, was a resounding success with students raising over €1,100 for charity. We also saw over 600 students debate world issues at the International Model UN Conference in Rome.




The new BSN Character Profile was a key focus of our learning this year. Our mental health awareness work, where we introduced the children to strategies for moments of anxiety, and our Bee Behavioural Blueprint, where we highlighted three expected behaviours, were both big additions to our school lives. Our STEAM event focused on plastics, resulting in our ‘It’s a Plastic World’ display.

The building work for our new school was unveiled at a ‘Breaking Ground’ event and it has been exciting to see it taking shape. We went back to 1066 for our re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings – what a way to bring history to life! Our Winter Showcase and first ever school production of Jules Verne’s classic ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ were proud moments!


Finance Overview As a not-for-profit organisation without the benefit of government subsidies, The British School in The Netherlands depends entirely on the income from our school fees. Careful planning enables us to achieve our school growth plans and allocate financial resources to the continuous development of key strategic areas, including the curriculum, staff, programme development and the expansion of our premises.

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Income from Fees (Academic Year 2017 - 2018) School Fee Income Enrolment Fee Income Capital Fee Income BSN Language Centre & ILA






8.41% 4.93%


2.67% Personnel Expenses Depreciation of Capital Assets


School Running Costs Property Expenses Interest, Bank Charges & Taxes

BSN App Download the BSN App for the fastest access to important information for students and parents. Scan the QR code or download from the App Store or Google Play.



Exploring globalisation, the environment, sustainability, technology and education. Ideas worth spreading

The BSN’s very own record label. Listen online with Spotify and iTunes

App Store 26

Google Play

GDPR: One Year On


t is difficult to believe that just over a year ago most of us had never heard of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR as it is known. Nowadays, it has become an integral part of our working lives. We know it is not always easy to make big changes to the way we operate but we all need to make sure that we follow it. We have done a lot this year to make sure that the BSN is GDPR compliant and that our students’ and staff´s data is secure.

We understand that this has made it more difficult for families to contact each other. We have therefore been exploring other solutions, such as by regularly sharing the International Representatives’ details on Gateway. For the time being, parents can also reach out to each other on Facebook through the school and year group community groups, or set up their own Whatsapp groups. Parents can also continue to contact each other through the Family Association.

Here’s a look back on the steps we’ve taken so far: Student Photo Opt Out List Regular reminders have been sent to parents to select the options that they feel are right for them in the BSN Privacy Declaration and Statement, so that we know who can be included in photos and videos (for school use). Unless students specifically opt in, they no longer appear in any photos or videos. This has been a huge exercise but we have made great progress with the majority of our parents having responded. This has ensured that we are better able to meet your personal preferences on how your child’s photo is used. Staff Photo Opt Out List Of course we need to make sure that our staff’s data is protected too. As with our students, all staff must opt in to having their photos and videos used by the BSN or they will no longer be able to appear in them. Removal of the Family Database In October, we took the decision to remove the Family Database as part of the GDPR roll-out. Instructions were sent round to schools on how to manage this removal.

In the future, we will look at further solutions, such as enabling parents and staff to choose from a range of opt out options so that, for instance, you can opt out of photos and videos appearing on website and social media but opt in to the Family Database. New and Updated Policy You can find all GDPR-related policy documents on Gateway. The Photography and Video Policy has also been updated to reflect the changes made this year. What’s Next? An updated inventory will soon be completed to clarify the types of systems, programs and databases we are using, thereby giving us a clearer overview of data processing across the BSN.

What is the OR? The Ondernemingsraad (OR) is an elected body that represents the workforce of the BSN and also takes into account the wider interests of the organisation. It is a requirement under Dutch law for an organisation with over 50 employees to have an OR to liaise with the CEO/Principal (known as the Bestuurder) when decisions are being made and to bring proposals on behalf of the workforce. The OR meets regularly with the BSN CEO/Principal to support the strategic and effective running of the organisation. The OR is asked to give advice or approve key decisions or policies within the organisation.

Who is the OR? At the BSN we have 11 elected members who represent the workforce. There is a minimum of one representative for each site.

How can you contact the OR ? You can speak confidentially to any member of the OR either at your site or from the list of members on the OR Gateway page. General enquiries can also be sent to ondernemingsraad@britishschool.nl

Thank you! We would like to thank all parents, students and staff for their understanding as we roll out GDPR policy. Without your cooperation and support we would not have been able to make such progress this year.■ Charles Broers Head of Security and Data Protection Stacey Vickers Head of Communications and Admissions 27

Language Learning In Action


s an internationally diverse school, language learning is important both inside and outside the curriculum. The BSN Language Centre has been supporting this need for 35 years, offering a wide range of programmes. Highlights are provided below. For full details visit the website: BSNLanguageCentre.nl

The BSN Mother Tongue programme supports language development for students who speak a language other than English at home. During the 2019-2020 academic year, classes will be offered in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish at JSV and JSD campuses. The BSN Language Centre offers adult language learning courses, with both English and Dutch courses for all levels. For BSN parents that are eager to further integrate into Dutch society or enjoy the challenge of a new language, Dutch courses are conveniently offered on school campuses after morning drop off or at the BSN Language Centre located in the centre of The Hague. English language courses are held at the BSN Language Centre and can be joined anytime during the year. There are also Business English and In-company courses for working professionals or those seeking employment in which English is required or desired. The CELTA course (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages) can jumpstart a new career in English language teaching. This prestigious qualification is globally recognised. The Introductory TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) one week course provides an initiation into the world of English language teaching.■


BSN viert Koningsdag! “Oranje Boven!”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 2018, students at the BSN came together to raise their voices in many of the languages of our multicultural community.

Scan the QR code to watch it or go to: https://youtu.be/A6BNKFi38IE

HAPPY 20 th TO OUR HEALTH TEAM The BSN Health Team celebrated 20 years of service to the school this year. Helen Scannell set up the School Health Service in September 1998, which has since grown to include eight nurses and four health assistants working across the BSN. This dedicated team apply countless plasters daily, support students with chronic health care needs, provide pastoral care and much more. Do you know your campus nurses? Find out who they are and their years of service below.

Helen Scannell Team Leader, School Nurse SSV: 15 years JSD: 5 years

Jay Briers School Nurse SSV: 9 years JSL/SSL: 9 months

Emily Kennedy School Nurse JSD: 2 years

Franki Whitfield School Nurse JSV: 13 years

Mandy Edwards SSV Lead Nurse SSV: 11 years

Joan Pears School Nurse JSL/SSL: 15 years

Cheryl Ward School Nurse SSV: 6 months

Mayke Tonnaer School Nurse SSV: 1.5 years

Liz Jardine Health Assistant SSV: 3 months Flex: 5 years

Hannah Harbidge Health Assistant SSV: 3 weeks Flex: 2 months

Linda Malley Flex Health Assistant Flex: 10 years

Paola Brazal Flex Health Assistant JSD and SSV: 7 months 29

Closing Words from our CEO: Dogs, Dutch and Dedication Outgoing CEO & Principal, Kieran Earley, shares a few highlights as he prepares to leave his role after four years at the BSN. What has been the highlight of your time at the BSN? Gosh, there are too many to choose from! International Festivals, TEDx event, recruiting such talented people to lead in all areas, to name but a few...

What will you miss most? The people – students, staff, international clients and connections - the sheer diversity of talent and perspectives in an international setting. Being in Europe. Can I say that?


What do you feel most proud of? SSL – watching the building springing up and the planning coming to fruition. The ILA – one of the most crucial agencies for securing and retaining talent and maintaining our commitment to excellence. It’s an exciting time to be at the BSN!

What have you enjoyed about the Netherlands? The connectivity, being so close to the rest of the world. I have also enjoyed inflicting my Dutch on the locals. Always amusing and worth the effort.

Can you tell me a funny story from your time here? My first Board of Management meeting, where I was very earnestly setting out my plans for the year ahead, was suddenly interrupted by our dog, Stitch, who somehow jumped in through the window and proceeded to cause chaos! Luckily

people eventually saw the funny side, but I’m sure they were wondering who on earth had decided to recruit this crazy CEO!

What piece of advice would you give your successor? Be ready for anything but don’t let it distract you from your course – the best possible outcomes for children and young people at the BSN.

Why is the BSN special? Top quality in everything.

Anything else you would like to add? Most of all – thank you. You are all stars. It’s been a pleasure working with you. Kieran Earley CEO & Principal 2015-2019

A round of applause Throughout the year, BSN students strive to give top quality performances in the arts, sport, academics and community service. The International Award for Young People (The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award) requires dedication to each of these areas to succeed at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, which an impressive total of 163 BSN students achieved this year (pictured above). Our BSN staff are also star performers in their areas of expertise; whether that be engaging students in the classroom, coaching sports on the field, directing performances on stage, running trips and visits, opening students’ eyes to the wonders of nature, managing school operations, maintaining safety, balancing budgets, communicating, creating, inspiring or innovating. We are proud to showcase our spectacular year at the BSN in this year’s edition of Insight. We would like to extend a special thank you to the staff and students from across our campuses whose contributions to the publication helped to bring our stories to life. Your Insight Editors & Graphic Designer, Hannah, Julianne, Stacey & Juan

Dear BSN Community Sue Aspinall Stuart de Booij Paul Topping BSN Staff Conference Liz Free Rebecca van Homan Martin Pratt Paul Topping BSN Character Profile Juan Arias Jonny Clarke Julianne Mayo Sullivan Beyond the Classroom Tom Archer Diana Blythe Paul van Brink Jonny Clarke Luke Kemmett Marta Nowak Hilary Porritt Jan Willem v Swigchem Helen Upton

SSL Breaking Ground James Oxlade Stacey Vickers SSV 40 Years Mike Weston The BSN’s IB Journey Michelle Cooke Project Africa Finishes J Casalis de Pury

Forest School Marta Nowak

Alumni Connections Pauline Krebbers

Family Association Hannah Clark Lorraine Webster

University Destinations Dawn Street

International Reps Renuka Bryden Deborah Perrin Selvei Topping Lorraine Webster

A Year in the Life Sue Aspinall Karren van Hoest James Oxlade Angela Parry-Davies Harry Stuurman Paul Topping Stacey Vickers

Spirited Sports Tom Archer Oliver Morgan John Redmond Chris Wade

BBC School Report Stacey Vickers

Performing Arts Week Lisa O’Connor

About Social Media Liz Jones Pauline Krebbers Caitlin Watson

The House System Julianne Mayo Sullivan

Self-Expression R Phillips-Blanco

Finance Update Stuart de Booij Ilka Loof

BSN OR Catherine Durrands Rebecca van Homan Language Learning Sandra de Bresser Elizabeth de Libero Our Health Team Helen Scannell BSN Health Team Closing Words Kieran Earley Petra van Helden Content Support BSN Comms Team BSN Office Staff

GDPR: One Year On Charles Broers Stacey Vickers

Admissions Christine Matthews 31

www.britishschool.nl 32

Profile for The British School in the Netherlands

BSN Insight Magazine 2019