Learning without boundaries in the capital of the Netherlands TEXT: DEBBY GROOTEMAN | PHOTOS: ESPRIT SCHOOLS
Esprit Schools is a unique community of 14 primary and secondary schools in Amsterdam. Amongst them, is the Amsterdam International Community School (AICS), for students aged between four and 18, which is the only public international school in the capital of the Netherlands. At AICS, teaching is done in English and students can start at any time of the year. “We focus on expats and people new to Amsterdam,” begins Ruth Kervezee, chairman of the executive board of Esprit Schools. “Since expats can move to another country at any time of the year, new 36 | Issue 69 | September 2019
students are always welcome. Often, they will join us for a specific period of time.” However, Kervezee adds that because of Amsterdam becoming increasingly international, a tendency has been noticed that more (semi) expats are staying for a longer time. “Since Esprit Schools consists of different schools, to those children who are staying in Amsterdam for a long period, we also offer the possibility to change from the international school to a regular school – for example, with the change from preschool to middle school. Of course, this can only be done when their Dutch is at a sufficient level.”
Teaching methods at the 14 Esprit Schools are continually designed to ensure learning is fun, and project education is key to this. In the group of schools, another lead school is DENISE, which stands for The New International School Esprit. The school’s programme is similar to AICS, with the difference being that students can enjoy classes in both Dutch and English.
A fitting education for all students The primary and middle school are open to both Dutch and international students, who want to profit from the Dual Language Programme. When finishing