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Integrating Children into Dutch Primary Schools (Amsterdam)

5474 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jraderj

Does anyone have any experience of the Dutch Primary School integration system, the "nieuwkomers groep" where your child, if not a speaker of Dutch, and aged between 6 and 12 years, attends a special school for 4 school terms, learning Dutch and Dutch culture?

Our children are turning 6 and 9 in the summer, and it is then that we will be considering a move back to Amsterdam. Our only concern is the schooling, and having to put them into what seems initially to be a slightly segregated system. I understand they would spend 1 day a week in what would eventually be their regular primary school, but I'm not sure about the year at this special "nieuwkomers groep" school.

We lived in Amsterdam last year and did go and check out a "nieuwkomers groep" school in the Oud West. At the time neither my husband and I were drawn to the atmosphere of the place, and even the teachers themselves were not particularly encouraging about my then 7 year old attending the school. I think this may have been because we did not know how long we would be in the Netherlands at the time.

Does anyone have any experience of this system? Also, if so, would my children, in particular my 8 (to be 9!) year old, fall behind in other subjects such as Maths?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you :)
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Our experience

We moved to Holland in 1990. Our kids were 8, 4 and 4 (twins). We lived in Caspelle aan den IJssel. We sent the kids to school with hardly a word of Dutch between them. We spoke English at home even though my wife is Dutch. Within no time, the kids were speaking Dutch. They are now adults and have their own kids. We speak English to the grandkids. I've also bought them a junior cricket bat (got to civilise the savages, you know).

I lived in Australia during the "10 pound Pom" immigration scheme (I was one). We had Italian and Greek and German kids roll up to school with, at best, rudimentary English. Within no time, they were speaking English and often functioning as translaters for their parents.

May I ask, how well do you speak Dutch?
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