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Essentials 2014 | 2015 Welcome | 1 Internationally British

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Welcome to the BSN Welcome to the BSN and – in many cases – to the Netherlands. We are really happy that you have made the choice to join us and become part of the BSN community here in The Hague.

Useful dates for your calendar School year 2014 | 2015 Autumn term Term begins  | Mon 8 Sep 2014 Half term  |  Mon 27 Oct to Mon 3 Nov 2014 End of term  |  Fri 19 Dec 2014 Christmas holidays Spring term Term begins  |  Tues 6 Jan 2014 Half term  |  Mon 23 Feb to Mon 2 Mar 2015 End of term  |  Fri 27 Mar 2015 Easter holidays Summer term Term begins  |  Tue 14 Apr 2015 Half term  |  Mon 25 May to Fri 29 May 2015 End of term  |  Wed 15 Jul 2015 Summer holidays Note: All terms end at 12:00 midday

We know that for many of you this is a time when you have many things to think about, organise and arrange. Moving to a new country, house or school can be a busy and hectic time. That is why we have done our best to gather together all of the really important things that we think you may want to know about the BSN – both before you get here and once you’ve arrived. Although much of the information here is also available on our website and on the BSN parent portal known as ‘Gateway’ we know that many still value the convenience of a small booklet to refer to. We really hope that you will be able to find all the information you are looking for either here or in the individual school campus ‘Welcome’ booklet that you will be receiving shortly. If, however, you are still unsure or have questions that need answering please do not hesitate to call either the admissions department or the school office of the relevant BSN campus – we are always happy to help.

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School contact and address details Junior School Vlaskamp Vlaskamp 19 2592 AA Den Haag Telephone: +31 (0)70 333 8111 Fax: +31 (0)70 333 8100 Email: Head Teacher  |  Sue Aspinall Vlaskamp

Junior School Diamanthorst Diamanthorst 16 2592 GH Den Haag Telephone: +31 (0)70 315 7620 Fax: +31 (0)70 315 7621 Email: Head Teacher  |  Angela Parry-Davies Diamanthorst

Junior School Leidschenveen Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 WZ Den Haag Telephone: +31 (0)70 315 4040 Fax: +31 (0)70 444 7861 Email: Head Teacher  |  David Porritt Leidschenveen

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The BSN Language Centre

Senior School Voorschoten

Leidschenveen Campus Community Services Building Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 WZ Den Haag

Jan van Hooflaan 3 2252 BG Voorschoten

Telephone: +31 (0)70 315 4080 Email:

Telephone: +31 (0)71 560 2222 Fax: +31 (0)71 560 2200 Email: Head Teacher  |  Peter Simpson

Head of Centre  |  Sandra de Bresser

Principal’s Office Boerderij Rosenburgh Rosenburgherlaan 2 2252 BA Voorschoten Telephone: +31 (0)71 560 2251 Fax: +31 (0)71 560 2290 Email: Principal and CEO  |  Dr Martin Coles Voorschoten

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Our school bus service The service operates every school day. Various options are available including a door-to-door service. The school bus service is a ‘two way’ service including the morning and afternoon... at the end of the standard school day. Students attending extra-curricular activities should be collected by parents or guardians.

How do I get to the school sites? Travelling to any of our school sites by car or public transport is straightforward. See the maps to show the location of our campuses. Google maps are available on our website and BSN Gateway.

Public transport options For train travel within The Netherlands (available in English) Please visit when planning any journey by public transport (bus, tram and/or train) within The Netherlands. Click where it says English to change the language setting. Don’t forget to visit to purchase your OV-Chipkaart. The OVChipkaart is a relatively new, easy method of payment for all public transportation. The card contains a small chip that can be linked to a balance in Euros and allows you to travel everywhere in The Netherlands with a single fare, return ticket or season ticket.

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Please note that the school bus service is not available for Foundation 1 children and the service for Foundation 2 children starts after the half term holiday in October.

Routes The school bus service currently operates from the following areas: Den Haag, Voorburg, Leidschendam, Rijswijk, Wassenaar, Voorschoten, Leiderdorp, Delft, Zoetermeer, Berkel & Rodenrijs and Rotterdam. A limited service is available from Amsterdam. If your area is currently not covered, please contact the Transport Department on 070 315 4083 to investigate the feasibility of a new bus route.

How much does it cost? The fees depend on the type of bus service available for your child – please see our website for details. The minimum registration is one term. Fees are set to cover running costs only and are charged annually. A full term’s fee will also be charged for partial use.

The Deputy Heads responsible for buses at each school site are: JSV | Christopher Bailey JSD | John Hughes JSL  |  Karren van Zoest SSV | Ian Laycock

Acceptable behaviour on the buses Students travelling on the school bus must be aware of the BSN’s Code of Conduct. This encourages them to understand the importance of safety and the consideration of other people whilst using the bus service. Students will be excluded from the school bus for irresponsible or disruptive behaviour.

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What to wear at the BSN School uniform is worn by all students from Foundation 2 until the end of Year 11. The main School Uniform Shop, located on our Leidschenveen campus, stocks all items of uniform excluding footwear. The smaller shop, located in Voorschoten, stocks Senior School items only. Payment at both shops can be made by cash, PIN or Credit Card.

What if I’m new to the BSN? These sessions are by appointment only – the times and dates are listed on the school website and on the BSN Gateway. Please email to make an appointment. A full list of uniform requirements can be found in the School Uniform booklet, on the BSN website and on Gateway.

How do I order uniform? If you do not want to come to the shop, BSN uniform can be ordered through our online store. A link to the store can be found on our website and on Gateway. All orders are then delivered via your child’s school office where you or your child can collect them. Opening times Main Uniform Shop Leidschenveen Campus Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 WZ Den Haag Tuesday  |  08:45 – 10:30 Thursday  |  08:45 – 10:30 Thursday  |  15:00 – 16:00 (first Thursday of the month) Senior School Uniform Shop Jan van Hooflaan 3 2252 BG Voorschoten Thursday  |  12:45 – 13:15 (for parents) Thursday  |  13:15 – 14:00 (for students)

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After school and holiday care The BSN is pleased to be working with Zein International Childcare to provide a high quality Out of School Care programme to the international families of the BSN. Zein International After School Care is for children aged 4 to 12 years old. Out of School Care covers both the after school period and school holiday times. All After School programmes run from Monday to Friday throughout the whole school year. The Out of School Care provision at Junior School Leidschenveen is provided on the school campus in dedicated facilities called ‘Robbies Place’. Facilities for students at Junior School Diamanthorst and Vlaskamp are situated just a few minutes from the school sites at ‘The Estate’. During term time children will be collected by the teachers and transported to The Estate in the Double Decker bus.

The programmes During term time Zein International Childcare offers a programme of activities until 18:30. During the school holidays the ‘holiday camp’ style programme provides a large range of outings and activities from 08:30 to 18:30. Holiday Camp programmes run during all BSN school holidays (except bank holidays). Children are provided with freshly prepared healthy snacks on arrival after school – during the Holiday Camps children enjoy a wide range of healthy food cooked freshly on the premises. Both programmes offer children a safe, fun, stimulating, educational and caring environment that includes a wide variety of supervised activities. For more information and prices contact: 070 326 8263 or visit

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BSN Gateway BSN Gateway is the BSN’s password protected website that has been developed for BSN parents, staff and students. It provides direct, personalised access to Notes Home, the school calendar, the family database, school news, curriculum information and much more.

What is a Note Home? A Note Home is a message that can be sent directly to you as a parent relating to things going on with events, special lessons, activities, trips etc. Of course, you are always welcome to contact the School Office or teaching staff personally, but the vast majority of written day to day communication from the school will come to you via BSN Gateway.

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If you are having any problems with accessing BSN Gateway you should contact your school office so that we can assist you. You can also email

How do I get connected to BSN Gateway? You do this by logging in with a user name and password. Every parent (mother and father) will receive their own log in during their child’s first week at school. We appreciate that internet access can be difficult for new families arriving in The Netherlands, so we have a dedicated computer terminal in each school. These PCs have printers attached so that parents without an internet connection at home can log in, respond to any notes or messages and print them out for reference.

Receiving email alerts for Notes Home

Check your Notes Home and Personal Messages

To help manage our increasingly busy lives we have also made it possible for you to sign up for an ‘email alert’ which will let you know if you have been sent a Note Home or Personal Message. To sign up for an alert, fill in your email address in the Notification Sign Up box on the Noticeboard page.

You can see how many new, unread Notes or Messages are waiting for you from the Home Page. Click to go further and see the full list on your ‘Noticeboard’.

This will provide you with an automated notification that will be delivered to an email address of your choice every evening if there is a message waiting on the site for your attention. When you click on a link in this message you will be taken directly to the Home Page of BSN Gateway.

You can tag Notes for follow up, delete them or refer back to them at any time. You can also see which Notes have an online form to be completed – these have a small paper clip symbol next to the envelope icon.

Please remember to check BSN Gateway regularly for your Notes and Messages to ensure you do not miss important information such as permission forms for school trips or dates of parent appointments. Take a look at a few BSN Gateway tips that may make your life just that little bit easier…

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Check your replies to online forms The replies to general online forms can be accessed by clicking on the link underneath your Notes & Messages overview page (called the ‘Noticeboard’). Click on the name of the relevant form to see your responses.

View the school calendar A summary of today’s events can be seen on the home page. For more detailed information click on ‘View all Events’ - this will take you to the full calendar view. If you wish, you can then filter to see only the information relevant to you or your child’s school.

Replies to forms about school trips can be found under the CO-CURRICULAR tab in the ‘TRIPS & VISITS’ section.

Check out the co-curricular activities

Practical information

For an overview of the after school activities on offer at each school go to the ‘CO-CURRICULAR’ tab. The system will recognise you and your children and show you what is available for your child.

If you are looking for general practical information on the school check out the ‘ESSENTIALS’ tab.

iPad Shop All students in Years 6 to 13 require an iPad - this is now integral to the way BSN students work across every subject. You can order the subsidised iPads as soon as you have received your temporary log-in details for Gateway from the Admissions Dept. To order your iPad look under the ‘SERVICES’ tab and select ‘iPad Shop’.

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Print out a class list

Order school uniform online BSN uniform can be ordered through our online store. All orders are then delivered via your child’s school office where you or your child can collect them. The link to the online shop is on the School Uniform page under the tab ‘SERVICES’ tab.

Find details for other BSN families

From the Family Search facility you will also be able to access a list of contact details of the families in your child’s class. Select the class you want, hit search and then click on the ‘Print Class List’ option at the top of the list.

Find a babysitter and have a night out You can search for a babysitter from a list of BSN Senior School students who have put their names forward for this service. Click on the ‘find a babysitter’ link on the Gateway homepage. or look under the ‘COMMUNITY’ tab.

Use the Quick Family Search facility on the Home Page to find contact details of other BSN families. The BSN Family Database is updated overnight from the school’s main database.

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How do I get involved at school? There are many ways for parents – both mums and dads – to get involved with school life. Showing your child(ren) that you have an active interest in their school and getting to know the staff and parents that surround them is an invaluable way of demonstrating how much you value the importance of school life and the BSN Community of which we are all a part.

Parents help with, amongst other things: art, computers, cooking, gardening, group reading, stories, special days and trips. If you have a particular skill or area of expertise to share we’d be delighted to hear about it. Whether you are interested in volunteering on an ad hoc basis or are keen to join one of the more regular committees, we are happy to welcome you into our school community.

How can I volunteer in my child’s school? Each individual school campus provides opportunities throughout the year for you to assist with special activities within the classroom; accompany school trips; help organise special events; support school productions and so on. The degree to which you get involved is completely up to you. Some requests will come to you via BSN Gateway, but in the Junior Schools many of the activities are coordinated by the Class Representative.

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What is a Class Representative? Each class – in the Junior Schools – nominates a Class Representative (also known as the ‘Class Mum/Dad’) who helps to organise volunteer rotas and liaise with the teacher. They also help the teacher to welcome new children and families to the class. This contact can be extremely helpful, particularly on arrival in The Netherlands. In the Junior Schools, your child’s class teacher will inform you who your Class Mum/Dad is, if they have not already contacted you.

In the Senior School there is a regular weekly parent’s coffee morning which provides an opportunity for parents to come together and share experiences, but there is not the same level of involvement in day to day school activities as in the Junior Schools.

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The BSN Family Association The BSN is a family of schools – each campus has its own range of special days, activities, celebrations, performances and so on and it is natural for parents to want to be connected to the school site which their child attends. We also believe that there is much to be gained from being part of the whole BSN community. We have a range of various groups and committees who organise social and informational events and activities for the BSN community.

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How can I get involved with the BSN Family Association? The BSN Family Association is the organisation that oversees the work and activities of the volunteer teams at the BSN. It is not linked to one individual school site, but aims to bring families from all the sites together. It is made up of both staff and parents of the school and works to provide support and advice to the Teams. The Chair in particular will network within the schools to raise the profile of the Family Association and the Teams – boosting recruitment and troubleshooting any problems if required. The Family Association Committee also organises a ‘Thank You’ event at the end of each school year for all members of the various teams.

Welcome Team

International Team

The Welcome Team supports new BSN families in advance of, and after enrolment into the school. Their main purpose is to ease integration into the school community and they have a member based on each school campus.

The International Team is an established group of parent volunteers which works hard to promote and support the internationalism of the school and to support families from their own cultural backgrounds. Representatives from different countries get involved in all sorts of activities and events that involve both parents and students of the BSN.

Social Team The Social Team are a group of enthusiastic, fun loving people who work together arranging social events for the BSN community. Each school has a representative and the name of yours can be found on BSN Gateway – if you have ideas for more events please feel free to contact them.

School Fairs There is a different team for each of the major school fairs – the Winter Fair and the Summer Fair. These are key social events of the school year and enjoyed by over a thousand parents and children – the secret to these teams is that many hands make light work! This is a team that is run ‘by parents for parents’ and they are always looking for more volunteers to help out.

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Learning Dutch or English The BSN has a dedicated Language Centre to help and support our international community by providing quality language courses for both adults and children living in the Hague area. The BSN Language Centre is part of the Leidschenveen Campus and features a firstclass environment for modern language learning. A dedicated large lounge area (with free Wifi) serves as an excellent meeting point for socialising with friends, both old and new! You can practise newly acquired language skills over a cup of coffee or a snack. With over 1,500 part time students every year, The Language Centre provides a vital and welcome environment for families in our community. Lessons are taught by qualified native-speaker teachers and all students receive a certificate of attendance.

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The Centre can be reached easily by car and there is ample free parking right outside the door. For those travelling by public transport, there is a free shuttle bus service from the Leidschenveen Randstad Rail station that operates for all evening courses. Full details of public transport routes are available on the BSN website

Courses for adults A variety of English and Dutch courses for adults are run throughout the year. A wide range of levels and attendance options makes it easy to find something to suit your needs. Part time morning, afternoon or evening courses are available alongside more intensive options. For details of how to register or to assess the most suitable level, please visit the Language Centre website at


• •• ••

General Courses from Beginner to Advanced Intensive Courses Dutch NT2 Exam Preparation Classes In-Company Dutch Language Training Private Tuition English

• •• •• •

General Courses from Beginner to Advanced Intensive Courses English Exam Preparation Classes for Cambridge FCE, CAE or CPE Business English Courses In-Company English Language Training Private Tuition

Summer School for Young Learners In July, The BSN Language Centre organises an English Language Summer School for non-native English speakers aged from 5 to 16 years old. The Summer School is located within BSN school premises and all language classes and activities are taught in English by experienced and qualified teachers. It is a great opportunity to learn English together with other international students. More details about the Summer School and registration can be found on the BSN Language Centre website at

CELTA Teacher Training In addition to the language courses above, the centre also offers the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) programme which provides adults with new opportunities and career possibilities.

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Working at the BSN As one of Europe’s premier British International Schools with over 400 full and part-time employees, the BSN is a wellestablished, diverse, and vibrant academic environment in which to work. We offer challenging and rewarding careers, where professional development is encouraged and we pride ourselves on looking after our staff as well as our students. We aim to ensure that employment at the BSN is rewarding, challenging and fun.

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There are many positions and ways for you to join our team and all employment opportunities are posted on our website. We recruit for a wide range of positions from student supervisors through to teaching related and managerial positions. To keep informed of opportunities that you may be interested in, visit our website and complete the ‘Job Alert’ option. You will then be informed via email informed when a vacancy is posted in one of your chosen categories. The alert system is totally confidential. We also operate a Flexible Working Register (or ‘Supply List’), which consists of a group of qualified and experienced people, who we can call upon on an as and when required basis. We may contact you at short notice and therefore being flexible in the hours you are available is a necessity. This register provides support to our staff across all roles and all school sites including the business units and is a great way of dipping your toe into the water of employment at the BSN.

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Help and advice for expats Whether you are a well-travelled expat, or a first timer on an international assignment it is likely that you will find moving to a new country an exciting, but at times challenging experience. Fortunately you have moved to somewhere that has a strong volunteer support network which can help and advise you through the initial maze of questions that you may have when you arrive.

Help and advice

a rewarding way of using your existing skills and adding to your experience during your stay in the Netherlands. Access volunteer work is flexible. They ask for a minimum commitment of six hours per week for a minimum of three months. Unfortunately candidates currently conducting a job search cannot be considered for volunteer positions. You must hold a current Dutch or EU residence permit to volunteer with Access. If you are interested in volunteering, check our their website for dates of the next Volunteer Information Morning – or email a motivational letter and CV to the volunteer resources department. Visit for more information.

The most established and wide ranging support network is ACCESS. Their international team of experienced volunteers can provide practical information, advice and support to assist with all aspects of moving to, or living in the Netherlands. So, if you find banking, utilities, TV, playgroups, schools, dentists, transport, health insurance and much more in the Netherlands all too confusing – they can help! ACCESS has a database full of records and their volunteers are constantly updating and adding new information. All the volunteers at ACCESS are going – or have been – through similar experiences and are happy to share what they have learnt.

Volunteering ACCESS relies on its Englishspeaking international and Dutch volunteers who enjoy helping others adjust to life in the Netherlands. They have approximately 120 volunteers in The Hague who contribute their time, talents, effort and skills in order to help others. Volunteering for ACCESS is 22 | BSN Essentials – A new expat service

A new online service for Expat has just been launched, aimed at helping internationals with practical day to day needs such as finding a suitable doctor who speaks your language, or choosing the right Day Care centre for your child. is a way of spending less time searching and more time finding providers that meet your expectations. Check-NL has three main features: 1. Info, 2. Search, 3. Peer reviews 1: Information Check-NL provides information on how the Dutch system works with regards to the topics mentioned. Their aim is to introduce you to things you need to know - especially those unique to the Netherlands.

2: Search The database on Check-NL only includes providers who are willing and able to service international customers. They are interested in the international customer group and have invested in meeting the specific requirements of this group in terms of language, availability, customer service concepts and more. 3: Peer reviews Check-NL aims at making (building a) life in the Netherlands easier and better for you. You can contribute improving the quality of life by providing your personal feedback on the services you made use of. With your feedback, you will help the business develop and meet more of your expectations. Check-NL shares the experiences of other internationals that have gone through what new internationals will need to go through. You will find reviews about language, availability and customer service.

Expat information desks If Access can’t help there are a number of Expat information desks run by local authorities. These desks can also help you with a number of formalities that you will need to deal with when you move to The Netherlands. The Hague Expat Desk Telephone: +31 (0)70 353 50 43 Leiden Expat Centre and Information Telephone: +31 (0)71 516 6005 ExpatDesk Rotterdam Telephone: +31 (0)10 205 37 49 Expatcentre Amsterdam

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this booklet is up to date and accurate as possible.If you spot any errors or that information has now changed please do let us know. We will update our online information and ensure that the new details are included in the next issue. Please contact us on Publication date | Aug 2014

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BSN Admissions Department Leidschenveen Campus Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 WZ, Den Haag Telephone: +31 (0)70 315 4077 Fax: +31 (0)70 315 4078 Email:

BSN Essentials 2014-2015  

BSN Essentials 2014-2015

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