School visits #2 & #3: Visser ‘t Hooft & Joppensz

We have now completed our school visits.  Yesterday’s trip to Visser ‘t Hooft high school provided students with a glimpse into the “tracking” that takes place at this point in the Dutch educational system and they were able to compare notes with other students in small groups.


Today we spent the morning at a Christian (Protestant) elementary school.  Unlike in the United States, religious schools are common and funded as part of the public education system.  Students broke into pairs and spent time in classrooms ranging from our equivalent of kindergarten to 6th grade.  (Fun fact about the Dutch education system:  Unless they are “summer babies”, children start kindergarten on their actual birthdays.  Rather than having a whole group of new kindergarteners in September, the new students trickle in over the course of the academic year.)

IMG_0213[1] IMG_0217[1]

    (Note the green, noise-cancelling “headphones” that some of the students use.)


Translation: Learning is nice.


2 thoughts on “School visits #2 & #3: Visser ‘t Hooft & Joppensz

  1. This is so interesting. I’m curious about starting school on your birthday. What happens later? Do some children just have a shorter kindergarten year or do they wait to move to first grade on their birthday too?

    • Students who begin kindergarten before the new year move up the following fall. Students who begin after the new year often stay for another year in that kindergarten class. However, it is the second year that many students repeat. There seems to be less a sense of that you must stick with your class throughout the entire system. For instance, many high school students take an extra year to pass their “end exams” and there seems to be no stigma attached to this

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