What is the Admissions Policy for ISH?

Introduction

This Admissions Policy sets out the requirements for entry to The International School of The Hague. Our educational provision is open to all students who can successfully access and are able to benefit from our academic programmes. Students must also be able to behave safely and appropriately in a mainstream school setting. This provision is in line with the guiding principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and our Guiding Statements. Our Admissions Policy outlines the restrictions that apply to acceptance, which is determined by our academic programmes and also our legal context as a Dutch International School. In choosing the International School of The Hague for their child, families commit to uphold our school’s values as expressed in our Guiding Statements as well as to act in line with and support our policies.   

Scope

This policy applies to the Primary and Secondary schools of The International School of The Hague.

GENERAL

The purpose of entry to the International School of The Hague is to provide continuity of education to globally mobile families. Therefore, children of Dutch nationals are only eligible to apply if they are returning from overseas international education, which they have attended for at least 2 years. The children of non-Dutch nationals can only apply if they are not currently attending Dutch schools. Please note that in the case of children who wish to transfer from another international school in The Netherlands admission will only be done during the school year if there are exceptional circumstances. In the case of Pre-Early Years and Early Years, families would need to provide some form of evidence that the family is globally mobile and therefore will leave in the future. All families applying to The International School of The Hague agree to support and act in line with our Guiding Statements, policies and protocols.

Priority Levels

All applicants must meet the requirements set out in the statement above in order to be eligible to join our school. In addition, in the case that the school has limited places available, priority levels are assigned to determine placement:

Priority level 1
Siblings of students already enrolled in either section of the school, and children of new teaching staff. Please note that for students from ISH Primary transferring to ISH Secondary, this priority is only in place until April 1st of the year before the transfer would take place

Priority level 2
Children coming directly from outside The Netherlands Priority level 3 Children transferring from another international school in The Netherlands

Priority level 4
Other qualifying students (students who meet the Admissions Policy but do not fall into priority levels 1-3).

Cost of application

A fee of 325 euros is charged for making an application. This fee covers the costs of the administration required to process the application and an application will not be reviewed until the fee has been paid. In the event that an application to join the school is not successful, the application fee will not be reimbursed.

Allocation of school places

Allocation of a school place will be dependent upon meeting the requirements set out above as well as those detailed in the Primary and Secondary sections of the policy below.

The allocation of available school places for the next school year in Years 1 – 13 for priority levels 1 to 3 will be made after 15 April annually, and for priority level 4 after 31 May annually.

For applications made during the school year, children will be admitted when places are available.

Placement

Unless, there is significant evidence to suggest a student’s needs will be best met in a different year group, all students will be placed into the academic year that corresponds with their date of birth. Please refer to our website for the details relevant to the year of application.

Deferred Placements

In the event that a family applies to join the school in the coming academic year and their personal circumstances change, there is the possibility to defer for one year. If the occasion arises that the child does not start in that year, the family must reapply for a school place via the usual application process, in which case the usual application cost will apply.

Sharing information regarding additional needs

For students with any type of educational or behavioural difficulty, parents will need to provide complete documentation of their child’s academic history, psychological/educational evaluations, and details of extra academic/specialist support they have had or are currently receiving. Parents will also grant permission for ISH to contact previous schools or professionals involved with the child in order to provide details relevant to the child’s education and well-being. Once the application information is complete, the Admissions Team will evaluate the application and decide if the school can accommodate the student. This process should take no longer than 6 weeks with a possible 4 week extension in exceptional cases.

ISH PRIMARY

Admission to ISH Primary is contingent upon our school programme being suitable to meet the applicant's needs; knowledge of English as an academic language is not a requirement for admission. Our policy is to place children in classes grouped by age, when possible.

We also offer a Pre-Early Years class for children reaching the age of four (4) after 1 October of any school year, once they have had their birthday. Children in this class will then move into Early Years in the following school year. Please note that the fee level for this class is higher than for other years in the school due to a difference in the government subsidy and financial costs.

Children entering Early Years must have reached their fourth (4th) birthday before 1 October of that school year. Class level assignment will be determined through past school records and personal interviews. Some programmes are available for children with learning disabilities.

Please note that whilst we do our best to accommodate all students regardless of their level of need, there are some limitations to the service and capacity that we are able to provide. For students with particular physical or learning needs, we review each application individually to assess whether we are able to provide a placement in our school. In order to enable us to fully assess whether children are able to benefit from ISH Primary education, we require full details regarding their needs. Please refer to the section, “Sharing information regarding additional needs” at the bottom of this document for further details.

TRANSITION FROM ISH PRIMARY TO ISH SECONDARY

All students who are currently educated in ISH Primary, have priority in applying for a place in ISH Secondary. Please see the ‘General’ section above for further details. However, please note that transition from ISH Primary to ISH Secondary is not automatic. Whilst we do everything possible to offer a place within ISH Secondary, we do have certain limitations that are determined by our academic programmes and our context. Please see the details for ISH Secondary below for further information. The ISH Secondary transition team works closely with the relevant staff in ISH Primary to identify any students that may not meet the minimum requirements for transition into Year 7. In this case, the parents will be informed as early as possible so that we can work together to make arrangements that are in the best interests of the child inline with what we are able to offer at ISH.

ISH SECONDARY

ISH Secondary offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Years 7- 11, and the IB Diploma Programme (DP ) and Career-related Programme (CP) in Years 12-13. Whilst we strongly support the participation of all students in the IB Middle Years Programme, there are some criteria that students must meet in order to ensure that we are able to provide education that meets their needs. This is in line with our educational license and with the requirements for inclusive education as set out by the IB. The criteria set out below apply regardless of the level of priority of an application as detailed above.

Placement in Secondary

If a student has already completed the academic year that corresponds to their date of birth, and a high level of academic achievement during this year can be proven by school reports, the school will consider placing them no more than 1 school year ahead of the usual year group.

If a student’s placement tests or school reports or special educational needs indicate that a student is not yet ready to be entered into the academic year that corresponds to their date of birth, the school will consider placing them 1 year below the usual year group.

Placement tests are designed to be suitable for particular year groups. If a student’s placement tests indicate that they would be better placed in a lower year, the student must complete further placement tests that are designed for that year group.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) Years 7 - 11

Year groups 7 - 11 are open to students of a wide range of ability, who can indicate that they are able to follow the IB MYP curriculum, as determined by their placement tests, school reports, and details of any Special Educational Needs. Students will complete tests in English, their chosen Modern Foreign Language(s) and Mathematics. The students’ English level will determine whether they are accepted into the school as detailed below. The Modern Foreign Languages and Mathematics placement tests determine the level of the courses that the student will enter if accepted into the school. In addition, students who have previously studied Dutch, will complete a placement test to determine their level within this compulsory subject.

Years 8-10

In Years 8 and 9, the results of the English placement test must indicate that the student, as a minimum, is able to study at the required level of the Phase 2 English Language Acquisition course. Students entering year 10 must be able to study at the required level of Phase 3. Please note that there is a minimum points score requirement for progressing from one year to the next from year 9 onwards. It may be difficult for students joining any of these year groups from April onwards to achieve the required point score. As such there is an increased likelihood that a student will need to repeat if joining late in the school year. Students joining in Year 10 will be expected to complete the Personal Project.

Year 11

Year 11 is the final year of the MYP programme (MYP5). To enter Year 11, students, as a minimum, must be able to study at the required level of the Phase 3 English Language Acquisition course. Students joining Year 11 before October will be expected to complete the Personal Project. If a student joins the school, and enters the Phase 3 English Language Acquisition class, and intends to remain at the school for the DP programme, they must demonstrate evidence that they have also continued studying another language (not necessarily at their current school) close to/at the same level as a native speaker. Students cannot progress into the DP programme without a Language A (language studied to the same level as a native or near-native speaker). This language must also be available at DP level either taught in the school or available as a Self-Taught or Tutored Language A. Please note that after April, students are not able to join Year 11.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) Years 12 -13

Year 12
At ISH Secondary we only offer the full IB Diploma or the IB Career-related Programme with 12 BTEC units and 3 diploma subjects, which must include English and Mathematics. In contrast to the MYP programme, the DP and CP programmes are selective.

Year 12 in the DP is only for students with a proven academic ability and the potential to proceed to Higher Education. Acceptance depends upon successful completion of the IB MYP Programme or any other comparable curriculum. Students must also be able to demonstrate academic performance that allows them to choose a complete DP subject package.

Due to the nature of the programme, the entry requirements for the CP are more flexible than for the DP. Each application will be reviewed by the CP Coordinator who, in collaboration with other members of the CP team, will decide whether or not the programme is appropriate for the child. However, students will still have to meet the minimum requirements for the DP subjects they select as part of the CP.

As well as providing reports/transcripts from previous schools, students applying to ISH Secondary for the CP/ DP will also complete placement tests in the languages (English and other Language acquisition and/ or Studies in language and Literature subjects), mathematics and most sciences (physics, chemistry, biology). In order to study physics, chemistry and biology at higher level (HL), students must have studied the subject before. The school may request that students complete additional placement tests, evidence portfolios or interviews for other subjects, depending on the evidence available from previous schooling. For example, if students want to study design technology but have not studied product design (or an equivalent subject) before, or would like to choose an arts subject they have not studied before, they will have to attend an interview and/or submit a portfolio. For online courses and self-taught courses, students should have a very good record for behaviours for learning. Please refer to the CP/DP information booklet for full details of the requirements for entry into the CP/DP and choosing a CP/DP subject package.

Students completing the MYP at ISH Secondary also have to apply for admission into the CP/ DP via the subject choice process. Acceptance into the DP depends on successful completion of all of the following requirements: successfully completing Year 11 (MYP 5), a good record of attendance, work habits and behaviour, and meeting the specific DP entry requirements. The specific DP entry requirements at ISH include:

  • Specific minimum grades for standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) courses, respectively, which will allow students to construct a package that fulfils the IB requirements, namely six subjects, of which 3 SL subjects and 3 HL subjects, including at least 2 languages (one of which must be a Language A) etc. Usually a grade 4 is required for SL and 5 for HL. Please note, however, that the requirements in the languages will depend on the phase of the language acquisition subject, and in mathematics will depend on the level of the mathematics subject: standard or extended.
  • If students want to take on a new science among biology, chemistry and physics (SL only), design technology or an arts subject which they have not studied in years 10-11, acceptance depends on successful completion of a placement test (biology, chemistry, physics) or interview and portfolio submission (design technology, arts).
  • For online courses and self-taught courses, students should have an excellent record for attitudes to learning on their report (no “occasionally”).

Please refer to the CP/DP information booklet for full details.

All students joining Year 12 (CP/DP Year 1) will have to meet certain requirements in order to be promoted from Year 12 to Year 13 (CP/DP Year 2). The acceptance letter sent to parents of any student joining Year 12 after the October break will indicate the demands of proceeding from Year 12 to 13 in a reduced timeframe, and the possible need to repeat Year 12 or consider alternative provision if the requirements are not met.

The acceptance letter sent to parents of any student who joins Year 12 from January onwards, who has not previously studied the CP/DP, will indicate that they will most likely need to repeat Year 12 in order to meet the course requirements or consider alternative provision if the requirements are not met.

Those students who have already completed part of the CP/DP course will be required to provide evidence of all work completed so far. We must also be able to provide a subject package for the student which corresponds with the CP/DP subject package that they have already been studying, or a closely matched, suitable alternative.

Please note that students who join the CP/DP later in the academic year must be prepared to take personal responsibility for catching up with their academic work as well as in meeting the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS)/ Service Learning (SL) requirements. This requires the student to carefully follow teachers’ guidance and to work independently.

Year 13
Year 13 is the second, and final year of the CP and DP. Therefore, only students who have already successfully completed year 1 of the CP/ DP will be admitted. We must also be able to provide a subject package for the student which corresponds with the CP/DP subject package that they have studied in year 1 of the CP/DP in their previous school. To ascertain whether these criteria have/ can be met, the CP/DP Coordinator from the previous school will be required to complete our document ‘Checklist for Transfer Students into Year 13’, and to send this directly to the CP/DP Coordinator at ISH. Please note that it is not possible to join Year 13 any later than the first week of the academic year.

Please note that any student who joins the CP/DP later in the programme (e.g. at the start of Year 13), must be prepared to take personal responsibility for catching up with any necessary academic work as well as in meeting the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS)/ Service Learning (SL), Extended Essay (EE)/ Reflective Project, and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) requirements. This requires the student to carefully follow teachers’ guidance and to work independently.

Students with Additional Needs

It is vital that any student that joins ISH Secondary arrives with the potential of being successful in the academic programmes and is able to benefit from an IB education. They must also be able to behave safely and appropriately in a mainstream school context. We are not a special educational needs school, but we do offer provision for students who have additional needs. We are not able to offer an alternative curriculum other than the IB MYP, CP or DP. In order to extend the opportunity to be successful in these programmes to as wide a range of students as possible, the Learning Support (LS) and Student Wellbeing (SW) departments at ISH Secondary provide support for students with a range of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and we have a team of Health Officers who support students with certain physical conditions.

There are limitations to the support we are able to provide. These limitations can be a result of the nature of a students’ needs, meaning that we do not have the specialisation of staff in school to cater for these needs that would enable a child to safely and successfully access our school and its academic programmes. Additionally, our provision may be constrained by staffing needs. We currently employ 4 counsellors, 2 psychologists and 4 Learning Support Specialists. In addition, we have a school social worker who joins us one day a week and regularly work with interns who support the work of the department. For those students with physical needs, we have a team of health officers who are responsible for their care.

The list below provides some indication of the profiles of students, for whom we may be unable to provide appropriate education:

  • Students with certain diagnosed memory problems
  • Students with certain diagnosed learning development disorders
  • Students who endanger their safety or others
  • Students who exhibit extreme behaviours that have not responded to prior interventions
  • Students who refuse to go to school
  • Students who are not able to physically take care of themselves
  • Students who need complex medical care

We recognise that each student is unique and so each individual case will be considered carefully to determine whether or not we are able to cater for the student’s needs and therefore able to offer a place in ISH Secondary.

As is the case for all schools, we regularly review this provision to ensure that it is sufficient for the needs of our community and must balance this with responsible financial management for the organisation. Where we feel that we do not have sufficient provision to provide the standards of care necessary for a child in a given academic year, we may not be able to offer a place.

Refusing entry

Following investigation, if there is sufficient evidence that the school is unable to provide an education that will meet the academic/ behavioural/ Special Educational needs of the child, we may refuse entry.

Parents/ Guardians must be aware that failure to disclose information or providing inaccurate information will jeopardize their child’s school placement. 

 


 

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