Small steps to Independence
The time has come for you as a parent to make a decision about your child’s next step to independence. Should he or she stay home for longer, remain at daycare or attend an international school?
Of course, we realise that this is a very personal decision and all children are different. But we know that children develop more rapidly during their first five years – the Foundation Years – than at any other time. As each child develops at a different pace, you might think school is not an option yet, but maybe your child is ready to start ‘big school’ after their third birthday.
In this blog, we will share 11 reasons why it would be beneficial for your child to begin their educational journey at the British School in The Netherlands at an early age.
Why is school the right option for your child?
1. Role models and routines
Being in a nurturing school environment and following a regular routine and structure to their day helps children transition seamlessly into their life of learning at a ‘big’ school. Younger children greatly benefit from being surrounded by older children as role models.
2. Creating a special bond with every child
At the British School, we work closely in partnership with our parents to develop strong, positive relationships that ensure we support every child to the best of their abilities. Each child is unique, and the connection we build with parents enables us to understand each child’s needs and wants. We continually learn and communicate what is currently sparking each child’s interests, their likes and dislikes, and their ups and downs. Smooth transitions into school are built on the foundations of secure relationships with caring, nurturing adults.
3. Sense of belonging
Your child will flourish within our school. Through creating a sense of belonging and letting children explore, take risks, try out new activities and interact positively with others, our Foundation Stage programme will significantly contribute to your child’s wellbeing, identity and security.
4. Internationally-recognised British curriculum
Your child will confidently develop through the active learning, play and exploration of the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Learning through play is a central principle. Children are given the freedom to explore the world around them in our safe and stimulating setting. As a parent, this gives you the confidence to know that your child is in a quality educational environment.
Our outdoor exploration zone is the perfect environment for children to take risks, explore the natural world, innovate, laugh and connect with other children. A key element of our Foundation Stage is that the children drive their own play and fun. Our large open facilities allow children to roam outdoors. They can play with any equipment they choose. Whether they want to study wildlife in the trees or set up their own shop in the play area, we are on hand to help facilitate their ideas. You know that they are always supervised and in a safe environment.
5. Safety comes first
We carefully plan every element of your child’s day to ensure that their environment is as safe and reassuring as possible. We have a school nursing team on all of our campuses, so there is always a friendly face nearby to help or support. We regularly talk to the children about the importance of washing their hands and how to keep clean.
6. Whole child development
As well as helping the child with his or her first steps towards reading, writing and maths, mental and social development is also important. In the Early Years or Foundation Stage, there is a strong emphasis on the development of the whole child. Together with staff, children explore resources and opportunities that allow them to lead their own learning. They will develop communication, language, physical, personal, social and emotional skills.
7. Introducing Literacy and Mathematics
Children will explore, enjoy, learn, practise, and talk about numbers and shapes at an early age. This support and engagement encourage them to understand and respond to the symbols representing numbers and what this means in real contexts. Children are encouraged to link sounds and letters to begin to read and write. It is important that these early skills and concepts are well established to form the foundations for all later learning.
8. The very best staff
As part of one of the leading international schools in Europe, our Early Years staff have access to top-class professional training and development both day-to-day and through the BSN’s professional learning and development arm, the International Leadership Academy (ILA). We invest in the continual development of our highly talented teachers and teaching assistants. We know that it is truly great teaching that improves children’s development, progress and positive experiences at school. This means that your child always benefits from the latest educational learning and expertise.
9. Learning Mindfulness and Wellbeing
Mindfulness and wellbeing form a vital part of the curriculum at The British School in The Netherlands. Quiet, calm areas are provided where children can relax and practise ‘Hot Chocolate Breathing’. How does this work? When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, pretend to hold a cup of hot chocolate. Breathe in through your nose and blow out through your mouth as if you are trying to cool the chocolate.
One of our staff members, Rhiannon Phillips-Bianco, is the Mental Health and Wellbeing lead at Junior School Leidschenveen. She writes extensively about how to promote wellbeing in our students, in school, and at home.
10. Beyond the classroom experience through relaxation, music and exercise
Exercise is essential for young children. At the BSN, they spend regular time in the outdoor learning areas. With the large playgrounds and outdoor spaces, that is quite easy to do. The old saying, ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothing’ does apply here!
11. Financial reasons
School might be more financially reasonable than you think. Surprisingly, entering your child into Foundation Stage can also work out cheaper than you may expect.
But most of all … it is fun for your child!
The BSN ensures that every child develops the skills to become happy, healthy, independent and curious lifelong learners. They will thoroughly enjoy their time at the BSN. The youngest children get to enjoy the large facilities the BSN has on-site. These include an indoor gym and playroom, outdoor play areas, secret gardens, forest walkways, mud pits – the only limit is their imagination!
When can your child start the Foundation Programme?
Your child can start school the term after they have turned three years old. However, you can apply for a place for Foundation Stage at any time.
The British School in The Netherlands offers the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum at its Central Den Haag (Junior School Diamanthorst and Junior School Vlaskamp) en Leidschenveen (Junior School Leidschenveen) campuses. We have places available.
Contact our friendly Admissions team via Admissions@britishschool.nl or call + 31 (0) 70 315 4077.
The team will gladly schedule virtual familiarisation appointments for you to discuss any questions you may have about the school or the Admissions process.