Amsterdam International Community School: Accepting new enrolments

Date : 30/01/2019

Established in 2003, the Amsterdam International Community School on Prinses Irenestraat in Zuidas is a popular Dutch International Primary and Secondary School offering international education in English. With Amsterdam’s international community continuing to grow, so is demand for education in English. To cater for this growth, the AICS – with a Main location on Prinses Irenestraat in Zuidas and a Primary School Satellite location on A.J. Ernststraat 130 in Zuidas- has just opened a third location: AICS South East (SE). Now temporarily housed in Amsterdam Oost, in September 2019 the AICS SE location, and in September 2021 the AICS Main location, will be housed in brand-new school buildings in Darlingstraat and A.J. Ernstraat 1179 respectively. We talked to Veronica Kleipool, project leader for the new AICS location.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

Having joined the AICS 15 years ago, Veronica recalls, ‘We worked with 30 students and grew exponentially over those 15 years. In that time, we’ve also learned a great deal about international education, expats, diversity and of course the IB curriculum that we teach,
and we’re also accredited by the Council of International Schools
in 2012. We’re a part of the worldwide International Baccalaureate organisation, which means expat kids can transfer between any of the member schools without risk of falling behind. This organization also holds conferences where we can all exchange information, get updated and improve our curricula. To ensure compatibility, we work with universal topics, concepts like temperature, nature and peace.’

GOOGLE

Looking back, Veronica says times have changed dramatically. ‘Kids these days use Google to look everything up, so we have to key into that and make the difference. We teach them how to be internet-savvy and how to figure out whether or not information is reliable. And right from the start, in year 1, we encourage them to ask lots of questions.’

SECOND AICS LOCATION IN
RESPONSE TO LONG WAITING LISTS
The AICS is a popular school. To respond to the large number of applications, a third location has now opened in Amsterdam Oost. ‘For expats seeking an international school for their children’, Veronica explains, ‘we’re the answer. We have classes for all age levels from 4 – 18 years old. To be accepted to our school, children have to be internationally mobile. In the case of parents working abroad, it’s good to prepare a child for the transfer ahead of time. Being government subsided, our school fees are lower than at other international schools. We teach the same IB curriculum and have the same IB exams, so kids qualify for entry to any university worldwide. At the moment we’re still in Amsterdam Oost, but we’re looking forward to the completion of an brand new building that’s under construction for us in Amsterdam Zuidoost.’

MANY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND CULTURES

Walking through the school’s hallways, you hear students speaking a wide mix of languages, says Veronica. ‘From Hindustani to Afrikaans, from French to English: it’s fantastic to hear! Officially, the school’s language is English, of course; for teachers, too. Some kids arrive fresh from Schiphol into a world that’s completely different from what they’re used to, but their peers immediately make them feel at home – they know how it feels like, after all. For us, it’s important that our students feel safe and that school is something that’s always familiar to them, a constant in their lives, wherever in the world they are.’