What is the Admissions Policy for ISH?
This policy sets out the requirements for entry into the International School of The Hague. It is aligned with the school’s Guiding Statements and compliments the aspirations described in the school’s policies on language, inclusion and diversity. This policy outlines the conditions for acceptance to the school’s educational programmes within the context of a Dutch International School.
The school actively attracts internationally mobile students from diverse backgrounds. It promotes a culture of inclusion, where all students feel welcomed and valued throughout their time at the school. The school’s educational provision is open to all students who can successfully access and benefit from the academic programmes that are offered. Student records must demonstrate consistently safe and appropriate behaviour within a mainstream school setting.
The International School of The Hague helps to provide continuity of education to globally mobile families. Therefore, children of Dutch nationals are eligible to apply if they are returning from overseas international education, which they have attended for at least 2 years. Dutch nationals who can provide evidence that they will be moving to work outside of The Netherlands are also eligible to apply.
Non-Dutch nationals who have not been attending Dutch schools for longer than 2 years, or who are intending to leave The Netherlands are also eligible to apply.
Priority Levels for Waiting Pools
Typically, admissions are processed as and when they are received. However, when places are no longer 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.
Priority level 2
Children coming directly from outside The Netherlands
Priority level 3
Children transferring from another international school in The Netherlands.
Application Costs and Tuition Fees
A non-refundable fee is charged for making an application. This fee covers the costs of the administration required to process the application. An application will not be reviewed until the fee has been received.
In addition to this application fee, a deposit is charged when a place is offered. Placement is only guaranteed when this deposit is received.
School tuition fees are then charged in accordance with the School Fee Agreement and the Standard Terms and Conditions.
If the school is unable to offer a place, then it is possible to keep the application open for one more year, without needing to pay the admissions fee again.
The school’s default position is to place children in classes grouped by age. Exceptions to this can be made if families provide evidence of sustained success in a similar educational programme.
The school also offers a pre-early years class for children who reach the age of four after the first of October. Children in this class move to Early Years in the following school year.
Typically, the school does not begin to process applications for the following year before January 1st. Once complete applications are received, decisions are usually communicated to families within 4 weeks.
While the school strives to accommodate all students regardless of their level of need, there are some limitations to the service and capacity that is provided. For students with particular physical or learning needs, applications are reviewed individually to assess whether a place can be offered. This process can take between 6 to 10 weeks from when a complete application is received. Please refer to the school’s language, inclusion and diversity policies for further information.
Transition from ISH Primary to Secondary
All students who currently attend ISH Primary are prioritised for a place in ISH Secondary. However, please note that transition from ISH Primary to ISH Secondary is not automatic. See the details for ISH Secondary below for further information. The school identifies students who may not meet the minimum requirements for transition into Year 7, and informs parents as early as possible so that suitable arrangements can be made.
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 10 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 an 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 one school year ahead of the usual year group.
If a student’s placement tests or school reports or 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 documentation of any additional educational needs. Students will complete tests in English, Dutch, 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 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.
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 point 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 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 and 13
At ISH Secondary we only offer the full IB Diploma or the IB Career-related Programme with 10 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 using English as the medium of instruction.
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 a 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 of 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 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 can only offer a place if we are 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 as described in the school’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy. 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 English as an Additional Language (EAL), 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 medical conditions.
There are limitations to the support we are able to provide. Our provision may be constrained by staffing needs. For those students with medical needs, we have a team of health officers who are responsible for their 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.
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 over the past two years or are currently receiving. Parents will also need to grant permission for ISH Secondary to contact previous schools or professionals involved with the child in order to provide details relevant to the child’s education and well-being.
Following an investigation by the admission committee, if there is sufficient evidence that the school is unable to provide an education that will meet the behaviour/academic needs of the child, we may refuse entry.
Parents/Guardians must be aware that failure to disclose information or providing inaccurate information at the time of admission will jeopardize their child’s school placement.