Did you know that bilingual students who use two languages at the same time, develop skills for functions such as inhibition, switching attention, and working memory? Not only that, students who are taught bilingually also perform better on tasks that require multi-tasking, decision-making and problem-solving, even though they have nothing to do with words.
Realizing such importance, we, at The Knowledge Review, feel privileged to bring forth a dual language primary school that combines Dutch National Curriculum, UK National Curriculum, and International Primary Curriculum to bring global opportunities to students.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation between Winford Bilingual Primary School and The Knowledge Review.
Please brief us about the School, dual language curriculum, and your opinion on children’s education.
Winford Bilingual Primary School is the only total immersion, dual language primary school in the Netherlands. We have created our own unique curriculum using the Dutch national curriculum and the UK national curriculum, both of which are linked closely with the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). This well-rounded approach, along with a Dutch and English teacher in each classroom, means that the children are completely immersed in English and Dutch throughout every school day.
Our classrooms are designed to be a reflection of the global environment that exists within the Amsterdam community. We believe that children learn best when they are given opportunities for success through interaction with their peers and the adults around them. We strive to promote a sense of community through mixed-age groups in each classroom, where children work, play and eat meals together. We serve both international and Dutch students to make our school not only bilingual in language but culturally immersive.
We believe that children should be respected as individuals and allowed to cultivate their innate desire to learn. Our goal is to provide the highest quality dual-language education within a global setting, which prepares children for life beyond the primary classroom.
Kindly tell us about the key personality that the school attributes its success to. We would like to feature their contributions as part of the success story.
Our director, Joy Otto has over 20 years of experience as an educator, classroom teacher, language therapist, and education consultant. As the school director, Joy developed the WBPS curriculum through thoughtful alignment of the national standards in both Dutch and English.
Help us in understanding why parents and students should prefer your institute as their school?
Parents choose us due to:
- Small class sizes – With an average of 18 children per classroom, we are able to focus on each individual child.
- Two teachers per classroom – One native Dutch speaker and one native English speaker.
- Unique Bilingual Curriculum – All subjects are taught in both languages throughout the school day. This helps children develop their communication and comprehension abilities in both Dutch and English.
- Multi-Age Classrooms – Children love to learn from other children and this provides great mentoring opportunities for students. This also allows us to teach to ability so that we can focus on the best education for each child.
- Dutch and International Students – Our school reflects the unique population of Amsterdam.
- Positive Discipline – Being kind and consistent is key to our program. We model firmness by respecting ourselves and the needs of the situation, and kindness by respecting the needs of the child.
- Lunch and Snacks – All lunches and snacks are provided every day and already included in the school fee!
- Flexible Vacation – In addition to the four-week summer break and two-week winter break, parents can schedule 40 flexible days of vacation throughout the school year!
- Centrally Located –Winford Bilingual is just one block from Museumplein! We are incredibly lucky to be located in the cultural epicenter of our wonderful city
Brief us about your curriculum. What co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are provided to ensure students’ overall development.
Winford Bilingual Primary School is a Dutch school and the Dutch curriculum sits at the base of all that we do. Building on this solid foundation we teach a comprehensive curriculum in which the UK curriculum runs alongside the Dutch curriculum. We then use the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) to link the Dutch and UK curricula together using thematic units. As a result of our approach, our pupils are completely immersed in English and Dutch throughout every school day and can switch easily between the two languages. This approach aims to ensure that children who have been with us from the age of 4 can move into any Dutch or International school at any level.
In addition to our normal classroom teachers, Winford also offers two gym classes, one art class and one music appreciation class per week.
What are the exposure programs conducted by the school in order to enhance the practical knowledge of the students?
Each Winford classroom participates in monthly excursions based on our IPC themes. These excursions are closely linked to our theme and help our students make real-world connections to their classroom lessons.
Kindly highlight the future prospects of the School.
Winford is looking towards the future with hopes of building more bilingual programs in other cities throughout the Netherlands.
Visit www.winford-bilingual.nl to learn more.