As more companies make Rotterdam their centre of operations, the demand for a first-class international education in English is increasing in the city. World-renowned education provider Nord Anglia hopes to meet that need with its new Rotterdam school, the first of its kind in the Netherlands.
With 64,000 students across the globe, Nord Anglia is the largest network of international schools in the world. Now expats and Dutch nationals in the Netherlands can experience Nord Anglia’s exceptional, world-class education at their new school in Rotterdam, which welcomes children aged 3-18 of all nationalities and all levels of English.
Continuity and community
Located in a peaceful residential district in leafy Hillegersberg, and occupying the building that was once the American International School of Rotterdam (AISR), Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam (NAISR) currently has 260 students on roll but anticipates rapid expansion.
A door-to-door bus service is provided for students from as far away as Delft and The Hague, who are attracted by NAISR’s small class sizes – which average at just 15 – and its world-class reputation; while on-site day care centre Funtazia, makes wrap-around child care easier for parents. In a recent survey, 98% of parents reported that their children were happy at the school.
The school follows the International Baccalaureate programmes – the IPC, IMYC and IB – with NAISR Students scoring an impressive average of 34 points in the IB last year, ranking the school fifth of all 66 of the Nord Anglia schools. 95% of alumni took up a place at their first choice university.
The same headteacher, staff and students have remained during the transition period from the AISR to Nord Anglia, and the school, which has been based there since the 1950s, continues to be a local hub. ‘We’ve retained that warm, friendly community feel which we are known for, but we are ambitious for our future,’ says Director of Admissions and Marketing Jack Fox-Powell, who sees the switch to Nord Anglia as affording many new opportunities.
Investment and renewal
The most visible change is the investment in facilities which Nord Anglia has been able to make. Outside, there’s a lovely new playground and basketball court with well-maintained playing fields just beyond. Indoors, the Early Years classrooms have been refurbished, as has the giant sports hall which features a large, curtained stage for performing arts.
A new music room is being created in association with the Juilliard School, a performing arts conservatory in New York; while Nord Anglia’s partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is helping the school deliver a STEAM-rich curriculum (Science ,Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths).
MIT have also assisted with the design of a state-of-the-art STEAM lab which is nearing completion, and is equipped with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and – to the rear –a little film studio with its own green screen. Robotics coding will be just one of the skills taught in the lab, and is an example, along with the free MacBook computer all students receive from Grade 6, of the importance the school places on technological literacy and innovation.
In addition to this collaboration with centres of excellence around the world, NAISR also benefits from cross-school projects with other Nord Anglia schools as far away as China, India and Brazil. Content-sharing, competitions and expeditions are organised via the Global Campus. This exciting concept, which functions both online and in the classroom, connects students to other Nord Anglia student communities abroad, tapping into their expertise, extending children’s learning beyond the classroom and promoting an international outlook.
NAISR, explains director Neal Dilk, prides itself on doing things differently. ‘We are pushing through the boundaries of traditional education,’ he says, ‘to create learning opportunities that cultivate agile, nimble learners ready to address the unknown future that the fourth industrial revolution will inevitably bring.’
The size of the Nord Anglia community also enables the schools to attract the very best staff, either from within the organisation or at the popular recruitment fairs it organises each year in London. And, once in post, staff have access to excellent professional development, including a wide choice of online short courses and the option to undertake a fully-funded master’s degree in international education.
Indeed, parents are quick to point out the high quality of teaching at the school. ‘The thing that stands out the most is that the NAISR teachers push the children to think bigger and outside the box, not just looking for them to memorise information,’ says Mrs Cunha, whose son and daughter attend NAISR. ‘That really suits my children. It’s not something that you get everywhere.’
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