Subject Area Leader: Elisabeth Chute

Subjects: Drama, Music, Visual Arts

Arts play an important role in a holistic educational concept and are therefore mandatory for all students in Years 7 - 11. All students study Drama, Music and Visual Arts in Years 7, 8 and 9. In Years 10 and 11 students must take at least one of the Arts subject. In the IB Diploma Programme of Years 12 and 13, Arts are part of the electives group. ISH students go on to study Art and Design or Performing Arts at colleges all over the world in order to pursue a career in interior, graphic, web, or industrial design. Advertising, fine art, publishing, fashion, photography, architecture, film, television, as well as many other related professions are pursued.

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Subject Area Leader: Teun Veken


Dutch in MYP and DP

The Dutch department feels it is extremely important that ISH students are able to communicate in the language of the host country. The government feels the same way and therefore Dutch is a compulsory subject for all students in the Middle Years Programme (MYP), Years 7 - 11. Of course, we offer Dutch at various levels, to accommodate the various abilities and demands of our student population.

Students will study either Dutch Language & Literature or Dutch Language Acquisition. All native or near-native speakers are placed in the Language & Literature course. For these students the aim is to develop and improve their Dutch language skills and knowledge of the Dutch culture through various literary and non-literary texts, videos, and music etcetera. All other students who are either emergent or capable communicators are placed in the appropriate level (or ‘phase’) of the Language Acquisition course. For these students, the primary aim is to be able to communicate well in Dutch, and to get familiar with the Dutch culture and society as a whole. Placement in the varying phases is based upon the results of a placement test and throughout the years, students will move up through the phases.

At the end of MYP, in Year 11, students may decide to choose Dutch as a part of their Diploma Programme (DP) package. Depending on their proficiency, they have the option to choose Dutch A Language & Literature, Dutch A Literature or Dutch B. All subjects are offered at higher level and standard level.

More specific details of these courses can be found in the DP and MYP handbooks.



Subject Area Leader: Tim Kidd



The English Department at ISH provides for the broad spectrum of English language needs of our students. English is our school’s language of instruction and therefore its role is fundamental to students’ academic success.
English is a compulsory subject in the Middle Years Programme (MYP), in Years 7-11. Students will study either English Language and Literature (ELL) or English Language Acquisition (ELA).

All native English speakers and those with near-native speaker proficiency are placed on the ELL course. ELL covers a balance of language and literature allowing students to respond to and create an increasing range and sophistication of literary and non-literary texts and works of literature extending across genres, cultures and historical periods.

In ELA students develop appropriate and effective communication in a range of social, cultural and academic contexts, and for a variety of audiences and purposes. ELA is offered at four different levels or “phases”, which address the complexity and range of language profiles that students bring to ISH. Placement in the varying phases is based on a student’s level of English as determined by knowledge of the student’s language profile and the results of the placement test.

Based on individual progress, students may be moved from one phase to the next. Students may go on to study ELL after they develop sufficient language proficiency.

Both MYP courses are academically rigorous and challenging, and encourage students to relate their learning to broader global contexts and intellectual concepts, enabling them to make connections across the curriculum.

In the Diploma Programme (DP), in Years 12 and 13, students study English A (Language and Literature, or Literature) or English B depending on previous experience and achievement.

Additional English Language support is available via the English Language Resource Centre (ELRC). The ELRC provides lessons for students in the lower phases in the form of the Academic Language Programme for students in Years 7-9 and the Individual Learning Programme for students in Years 10-13. There are further opportunities for additional support depending on student need and availability.

Through each of these facets of the department we provide an excellent spectrum of support for students throughout ISH Secondary.

Individuals and Societies

Individuals and Societies

Subject Area Leader: Jane Austin

Subjects: Business and Management, Economics (IBDP), Economics & Business (IBMYP), Geography, History, Integrated Humanities, ITGS (IBDP), ESS, ToK

Individuals and Societies traditionally encompasses a broad range of subjects. Here at the ISH all students study MYP History and Geography in Years 7 – 9 with Business and Economics introduced as an option for Years 10 and 11. In the Diploma Programme four separate subjects are offered – History, Geography, Business & Management, and Economics. Students can choose whether to study these subjects at Higher Level or Standard Level. Although each of the Humanities’ courses has very distinct content, they involve common skills. Each subject is designed to foster in students the capacity to critically analyse and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.



Subject Area Leader: Robin Hare

Subjects: Digital Design, Product Design

Design is all about learning how to solve everyday problems using materials, tools, computers and software. They work according to the design cycle that outlines how to manage and complete a project, whether the solution is physical or digital. Students learn principles, techniques and tools for creating solutions to problems.

The MYP Design Cycle

Aims of Design

  • To develop their understanding in tackling real-life problems.
  • Encourage them to be independent when using materials and computers.
  • Encourage students to use ICT skills in all subjects and at home as well.
  • Provide opportunities for students to use the design cycle, to investigate, plan, create and evaluate their work.
  • Help students understand the ways in which Design is used in practical and work related situations.

In Years 7-9 students take Digital Design as a separate subject, where they investigate and create in topics involving web design, graphic design, movie making, spreadsheet, databases and programming.

In Years 8 and 9 students also take Product Design. The syllabus concentrates on learning basic skills. The work is designed to be fun, but challenging at the same time. The students are exposed to a number of practical techniques and design challenges.

We run a combined Product Design and Digital Design course in Years 10 and 11. Students study the Design Cycle from the point of view of two different disciplines, but are expected to approach solving problems in the same way. Projects become more open and students have the opportunity to create digital or physical solutions; for example in learning games and advertisements.


The department has 2 Computer Labs that consists of networked Apple iMac computers. In addition, the DT room has 12 additional iMacs and a colour printer. We fully integrate iPads into the lessons, to give students insights as to what can be achieved on a range of platforms.

To support the Product Design lessons, the department will have new, modern tools to explore what can be made using CAD (Computer Aided Design) techniques. These machines are a laser cutting, a 3D printer and a vacuum former.

IB Diploma Programme

The Design department is launching 2 new DP subjects for Years 12 and 13 in 2015. These will be DP Design Technology and DP Computer Science.

In Design Technology students will explore classic design, innovation, materials, human factors and modelling using CAD. In Computer Science students will learn about computer fundamentals, networks, computational thinking, programming and modelling and simulation. These subjects will open up paths in a large variety and University courses and careers.



Subject Area Leader: Daniel Trembirth



Professor Markus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, stated in the September 2014 edition of the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Magazine:

“Mathematics is the most important language”

Mathematics is essential for enabling young people to acquire a solid basis for the understanding and development of logical reasoning and the operations with numerical and nominal data. Mathematical skills are useful for everyday life beyond school.

At the secondary school of the International School of The Hague we follow the Mathematics curriculum of the IB: Middle Years Programme (MYP) for our Years 7 to 11 and the Diploma Programme (DP) for our Years 12 and 13. In the MYP, we offer in Years 7, 8, 9 the Mathematics Standard and in Years 10 and 11 Mathematics Standard and Mathematics Extended. In the DP, we offer Mathematical Studies, Mathematics Standard Level and Mathematics Higher Level. Both curricula are offered in levels that suit our students’ abilities and future career plans.

Maths lessons take place in classrooms equipped with smart boards and with access to mathematical software such as TI smart view, MyiMaths, Autograph and electronic versions of the books that are written based on the IB curriculum by experienced MYP and DP practitioners. The Mathematics department meets on a regular basis and discusses implementation of the curriculum and strategies to support all students at the ISH for this important subject. Maths teachers at the ISH pursue professional development opportunities by participating in training provided by the school and the IB.

The Maths Department offer students the opportunity to participate in national and international competitions. In preparation for these challenging events the department also has Maths clubs where challenging problems are introduced and tackled by interested students.

Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Subject Area Leader: Gabriele Frederiksen

Subjects: French, German, Spanish

At ISH all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 choose to study German, French or Spanish as a foreign language in the MYP Language Acquisition course. In Years 10 and 11 they may choose to continue the study of this language.

The primary aim of this course is to teach students to communicate in the target language. For this communication to be effective, students must learn to express themselves with reasonable accuracy.

The secondary aim of the course is to immerse students in an authentic cultural context. Students get to know and appreciate the culture of the countries where the target language is spoken, firstly through the varied teaching materials and secondly during a study trip to France, Germany or Spain.

The Modern Languages Department also offers German, French or Spanish to first language students in the MYP Language and Literature course (LL), which covers a balance of language and literature allowing students to demonstrate their understanding of six skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting.

Students are encouraged to apply their acquired knowledge and skills creatively through story writing, devising advertising campaigns, writing poetry, etc. This provides the students with an opportunity for self-assessment and peer assessment, which will help them to measure their progress.

Although the three Modern Languages are not compulsory subjects, students must have studied at least one language at Language and Literature level and one at Language Acquisition level to be allowed into the IB Diploma Program.

Depending on their results in Year 11, native students may continue their study of the IB DP Language and Literature course in Years 12 and 13. Language Acquisition students may choose the IB DP Language B course provided they have reached the required level of proficiency in Year 11.

More specific details of these courses can be found in the DP and MYP handbooks.

Physical and Health Education (PHE)

Physical and Health Education

Subject Area Leader: Kim Adam

We believe in ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ , a Latin aphorism, usually translated as "A sound mind in a sound body."

The ISH is an ideal setting with excellent facilities for teaching students how to adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Research shows that well-designed, well-implemented school programs can effectively promote physical activity and healthy eating and academic performance.

Therefore all students at the ISH follow the Physical and Health Education (PHE) Middle Years Programme in Y7-Y11 and during the IB program in Y12-Y13, the ISH offers students a wide variety of CAS related physical experiences in order to acquire knowledge and understanding of movement and to show how these correlate to a healthy lifestyle. As well as to prepare the students to for participation in sports, both now and in the future.


The aims of the teaching and study of Physical and Health Education are to encourage and enable the student to develop:

  • an appreciation and understanding of the value of Physical and Health Education and its relationship to a healthy, balanced lifestyle;
  • an interest in the promotion of health and wellness;
  • the motivation to participate fully in all aspects of Physical and Health Education to their optimal level of physical fitness;
  • effective communication strategies, verbal, non-verbal and written;
  • the skills and understanding necessary to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities, for example, learning, practicing, refining, adapting, thinking, interacting;
  • the ability to reflect critically on all aspects of Physical and health Education, including being a critical performer;
  • an understanding of international perspectives on physical activity, sport and health education;
  • a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of physical activities as a participant.

Annual (interdisciplinary) Physical & Health Education (related) events/activities include:

  • Sports day (Y7-Y11)
  • Y12 students help at sports day and learn how to organise and lead a big (sports) event as part of their CAS
  • Year 7 Olympics
  • Y8 survival
  • Sports breaks for all year groups
  • Inter house activities for all year groups (Hockey, Flag football, basketball, general knowledge quiz, CPC, Badminton)

After school sports activities are all detailed on the sports page.



Subject Area Leader: Ioana Howland

Subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science, ESS

The science department at ISH places a strong focus on concept-based learning that enables students to develop transferable skills, which can be applied to a broad range of scientific situations. Class activities and unit projects promote student led enquiry and require students to draw on a number of skills that aim to challenge, inspire and engage students. By forming firm foundations in conceptual skills, students can apply their knowledge and understanding to evaluate ideas, design experiments and solve problems in science.

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