International School Delft: First steps in our PYP journey

CaptureThe International School Delft (ISD), a new PYP candidate school in the Netherlands, opened doors on 1st March 2014. Cloudette and Anna from the IB were interested to meet with Theresa Forbes (Interim Head of School) and Eryn Wiseman (Deputy Head, coordinator and teacher) to find out how one school is starting their PYP journey.

ISD

Inspiration:

The Board of the Laurentius Foundation looked at a wide range of learning and international curricula before deciding to implement the IB PYP.  They felt that the inquiry-led approach, values, and concept based approach to learning set it apart from other models of learning and would provide the best primary education for our international community.

Authorization:

ISD began the process of becoming a PYP school as soon as the Dutch ministry granted us a licence to operate. We are currently working on our programme of inquiry and an action plan for the implementation of the programme.

Overcoming challenges:

Currently we have one group of students but this will grow to two or three in September. Multi-age classes require careful planning to ensure that students are supported in their learning in a developmental and appropriate way.

The best form of recruitment is through word of mouth. We have had good coverage in the local media and our partnership with Delft Technical University allows them to actively promote the school. A marketing and communications consultancy group are also supporting the foundation.

The children love the programme and parents are very impressed with the knowledge that their children are taking home.  70 parents turned up to a recent parents evening which included a session about the IB learner profile and the objectives of the PYP.

Collaboration:

There are five other PYP schools in the Netherlands. Together we are hoping to set up a cluster workshop to connect with other PYP schools in the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg), in order to share ideas and good practice.

Next steps:

New staff joining us in September will enable us to add another two classes and further develop our programme of inquiry and build a culture of collaborative planning. We are very excited at the prospect of moving into new facilities at Delft Technical University, where we will be able to cater for families from 0-12 years, in partnership with a local day care centre.

Into the future:

The goal is for ISD to become an important educational hub for the international community of Delft. We are working to develop a transition class between the day care programme and ISD and intend to introduce a mother tongue language programme, to support students from different language backgrounds. In the future, we are also hoping to be able to offer secondary education.

We would like to see the development of a natural partnership with Delft TU in terms of research and specialist expertise.

But, most importantly, we want our children to enjoy their journey of learning and understand that is lifelong:  through school and university and on into your adult life.

~ Theresa Forbes & Eryn Wiseman, International School Delft ~

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