Winford Bilingual Haarlem

Winford Bilingual Haarlem

Winford Bilingual Primary Schools are the only total immersion, dual language primary schools in the Netherlands.  We teach Dutch and English equally, which means 50% Dutch and 50% English.  We offer our own unique curriculum which follows the Dutch National Curriculum, the U.K. National Curriculum and the International Primary Curriculum. For children aged 4 to 12.  

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I am pleased and excited to welcome you to Winford Bilingual Primary School. Our bilingual program allows children to learn critical thinking skills, application of knowledge, analysis of information, comprehension of new ideas, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and decision making in two languages. We teach to more than the core subjects, we teach to the whole child. We want your child’s education to be immersive and interactive in both Dutch and English. 

Do you need more information? I am happy to meet with you individually to help you navigate the best path forward for your family. 

Warmest regards,

Alessi Haan
Director Winford Bilingual Haarlem 

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 goal is to provide the highest quality dual language education within a global setting, which prepares your child for life beyond the primary classroom.

Our classrooms are designed to encourage all our students to be independent and to move at their own pace as much as possible. In our approach to teaching and learning, we incorporate the Montessori philosophy. In this way we try to encourage a love of learning in each child and a curiosity about the world around them that we hope will last for the rest of their lives.

Our classrooms are a reflection of the global environment that exists within the Amsterdam community. We feel 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.

Winford Bilingual is within walking distance from Haarlem bus and train station. The school is situated in a quiet area designed for schools. Haarlem is part of the Amsterdam metropolitan area and is very popular with the expat community.  It is only 17 kilometers from Amsterdam, which is a 15-minute train ride.  It is the capital city of the North Holland Provence.

Kleine Klassen

The tutors of: Winford Bilingual Haarlem

Alesi Rooster
Joy Otto Resized
Jenni Iyoyo Resized

Practical information

Why Bilingual Education?

Winford Bilingual Primary School is a unique bilingual school in the Netherlands because we teach 100% of our lessons in both Dutch and English. This makes us different from other Dutch and international primary schools.

To understand how we are different, it is important to understand what bilingual education means in other Dutch primary schools. Most primary schools in the Netherlands offer some form of English language education. There are different types of education available:

Official ‘tweetalig’ (bilingual) schools offer between 30% and 50% of their classes in English. Often this is done by teaching core Dutch curriculum subjects (like mathematics, reading, writing, and language) in Dutch and other subjects (for example, music, art, or history) in English.

In other ‘regular’ Dutch primary schools, children will spend no more than 15% of their time (around 3 hours per week) learning English.

Winford Bilingual Primary School is different

When we say ‘bilingual education’ we mean that children will have all of their lessons in both Dutch and English. Throughout the school day, the children will be completely immersed in both languages, and learn to switch easily between Dutch and English with their teachers and their friends.

We call this approach ‘dual immersion’. The aim of our dual immersion education is to teach children to be fluent in two languages, rather than simply competent.

What is the difference between ‘Competency’ and ‘Fluency’?

Competency means speaking a language well but with more formality and less familiarity than a native or fluent speaker. Competent speakers have to work harder to speak in this language rather than their native language. They can also find it more difficult to switch between languages.

Fluency means speaking a language other than your first or native language with almost equal ease and accuracy. A fluent speaker finds it almost as easy to speak in a second language as easily as their native language. Fluent speakers can switch easily between the learned language and their native language.

An example of what this actually means

‘Gezellig’ – A commonly used Dutch word that is famously untranslatable into English. It can be literally translated as ‘cozy’ but this is only a fragment of its meaning. It is used to express feelings far more complex than ‘cozy’.

Language competency is knowing what ‘gezellig’ means.

Language fluency is knowing how ‘gezellig’ feels and when to use it appropriately in any situation.

Why do we think bilingual education is important?

Academic Benefits
Learning a second language helps your child academically by improving, connecting, and expanding the neural pathways associated with reading and writing, and with their ability to express themselves.

Language skills are more important than ever and English is one of the more widely spoken languages so it makes sense that a high level of fluency will be a valuable skill. Although not so widely spoken, Dutch shares its roots with several other European languages (the Germanic languages). Not only does this mean that learning Dutch will make it easier to learn another Germanic language, the fact that your child is already bilingual means that they will find it easier to learn any other language.

Social and emotional benefits
Beyond the academic advantages, there are also many social and emotional benefits to being bilingual. Research shows that young children who are raised as bilingual speakers are better at reading social cues, overcoming social shyness, and have strong active listening skills. All of these will help with making friends, understanding diversity, and help with integrating into new environments.

Advantages of Dutch bilingual education for international families in the Netherlands
Families who intend to make the Netherlands their home for more than a year will find themselves more culturally connected to the country if they speak Dutch. Although most Dutch people speak some English, you will find that you will feel more welcome if you can speak Dutch. For children, this means the ability to make local friends and join in Dutch life, giving them the chance to be fully involved in a different culture and tradition.

Ask us questions!

To find out more about our curriculum, our classrooms, and how our school will suit your child, please feel free to contact us.

How are children assessed and why do we use CITO tests?  
We are a Dutch Inspected Private B-3 School and are required to administer the Dutch CITO tests to all children over age 5. In addition, we do formal assessments in English based on the UK National requirements for students over the age of 6, twice a year, based on the Oxford program. 
How do Winford Bilingual Amsterdam children perform on the CITO tests compared to other schools with  Dutch only programs?  
90% of children who have been with our program continuously since the age of  4 have scored at above level in comparison to similarly aged children in Dutch only  programs.   
75% of children who have not been in our program from age 4 test at level when compared to similarly aged children in Dutch only programs.
Summary of our assessments:
CITO from groups 2 to 8 (ages 5-11)
English testing from groups 3 to 8 (ages 3-11) 

Children that are with Winford Bilingual from the age of 4 or 5 will be able to choose:

 - any level of Dutch Secondary School, for example, HAVO, VWO, Gymnasium, Atheneum

-  any International School or schools that teach in English 

In group 5 we ask parents and students to start thinking about which Secondary School direction they would like to move into.  In group 6, the family and the teacher has a chat and makes a decision for Dutch or International/English Secondary education.  In group 7 and 8, children that wish to go into Dutch education will receive 65% Dutch and 35% English education at Winford Bilingual.  Children that wish to go into English education will continue to receive 50% Dutch and 50% English education.

If your child joins us later than aged 5, we will assess your child in group 6 and give you advice as to whether Dutch or English education would be most suitable.

We are proud to announce that from our last graduating class, all children got into one of their top three school choices.

Haarlem is part of the Amsterdam metropolitan area and is very popular with the expat community.  It is only 17 kilometers from Amsterdam, which is a 15-minute train ride.  It is the capital city of the North Holland Provence.  This city is known for its quaint streets and houses, and of course beautiful canals. Haarlem also includes the areas Bloemendaal, Heemstede and the western part of Spaarndam.   However, if you long for the beach, then Zandvoort Beach is only 10 kilometers away. 

Winford Bilingual is within walking distance from Haarlem bus and train station.  The school is situated in a quiet area for schools and daycare. 

Our school is a vibrant and productive place. Our aim is to create a stimulating environment where children’s innate curiosity and their enthusiasm for learning are nurtured and encouraged.

Our school day starts at 08:30 each day and we finish at 15:00.  Fridays are half day, when we end at 12:30.

At Winford Bilingual Primary School we use the Positive Discipline method. Positive Discipline approaches children in a way that is respectful, kind, and firm. We treat the children with respect and expect to be treated with respect in return. We teach the children how to communicate with those around them in a way that is effective and positive. Children are encouraged to be independent and to understand that there are logical consequences to their actions. We believe that our approach helps to create children who are happy, capable, and kind.

These are the main component of Positive Discipline.


1. Is Kind and Firm at the same time.

2. Helps children feel a sense of Belonging and Significance.

3. Is Effective Long-Term.

4. Teaches valuable Social and Life Skills for good character.

5. Invites children to discover how Capable they are and to use their personal power in constructive ways.

The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline include:

• Mutual respect. Adults model firmness by respecting themselves and the needs of the situation, and kindness by respecting the needs of the child.

• Identifying the belief behind the behaviour. Effective discipline recognizes the reasons kids do what they do and works to change those beliefs, rather than merely attempting to change behaviour.

• Effective communication and problem-solving skills. • Discipline that teaches • Focusing on solutions instead of punishment.

• Encouragement (instead of praise). Encouragement notices effort and improvement, not just success, and builds long-term self-esteem and empowerment.

Regarding this, we often let the children have "thinking time" outside the classroom. This is place where children can go to collect themselves or to think about their actions if they need the time and space to do so. It is normal for children to have outbursts and to challenge rules at times. If this happens, we give gentle reminders/warnings about our rules or expectations, after the third reminder we then ask the child to take a break outside the classroom to reflect on their behaviour. We feel that this gives the child some breathing space and time to collect and reflect on their feelings without the prying eyes of their classmates. Sometimes, their minds and bodies need some time to readjust without the censure of their friends.

Winford Bilingual Primary School is very much a family school, and we work hard to create positive relationships between all staff, children, and parents. We are proud of the calibre of our teachers and the level of care they provide to each child. Our small class sizes and two teachers per class mean that we can provide a high level of individual care and attention to each child.

The classroom teachers provide the first point of contact for children, and because the children spend two years in each class, teachers come to know each child very well.

Parents or carers have an opportunity to speak to teachers at the end of each school day, or for more detailed discussions, an appointment can be booked with the teachers or the Director.

Three times per year there are formal Parent and Teacher meetings to discuss each child’s progress.

At Winford Bilingual Primary School, we are looking out for the best interest and health of your child. If he or she has had any of the following illnesses or symptoms, please let their teachers know as soon as possible.

General Illnesses

Please keep your child at home if he or she has any of the following illnesses/symptoms:

• Fever (38°c. or higher)

• Diarrhoea

• Vomiting

• Contagious childhood illnesses (chickenpox, rubella, 5th disease, etc.)

If your child has a fever or is vomiting at school, they will be sent home right away. In the case of diarrhoea, children who have it 2 or more times will be sent home. If your child is sent home during the school day due to a contagious illness, they may not return to school the next day. Children may only return to school if they have been completely symptom-free for 24 hours.


Please keep your child at home and see a doctor if your child has the following symptoms:

• Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid

• Increased amount of tears

• Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep

• Green or white discharge from the eye

• Itchy eyes This may be a form of conjunctivitis. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly among children. Because of this, your child will need to see the doctor for a special eye medicine that must be given for at least 24 hours before the child can return to school. If no medicine is administered, the child cannot return to school until he or she is completely symptom-free for 24 hours. Again, if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms at school, they will be sent home for the health of other children.


Please check your child’s hair frequently for lice. If your child has any trace of lice, including adults and/or eggs (also called nits), they cannot return to school until their hair has been treated with a special cream and combed through with a louse (small metal tooth) comb. If your child has lice and you want further information on how best to treat it, please refer to the following document:

Our fees at Winford Bilingual are all inclusive. They cover testing fees in both languages, special exhibits, field trips, snacks and warm meals for each child.

The annual tuition for school year 2022-2023 is €15,900.

Payment Options:
The above school fees apply to payment in one installment, before 1 August 2022.
Payment in three installments is possible, but you pay 3% additional administration and interest costs. The terms expire on August 1, November 15 and February 1. For this option we ask you to issue a direct debit.

Enrollment after 1 August
It is very possible to enroll your child during the school year. The school fees are prorated depending when your child begins. Depending on when you start, payment in two installments may be possible (with additional administration and interest costs).

Family discount
If you have more than one son or daughter at our school, you will receive a 10% family discount on the school fees of the youngest child.

Withdrawal policy
To withdraw from the school parents must give two months’ notice in writing. In the absence of written notice, two months’ tuition fees will be charged in lieu. Any overdue fees or other charges will be payable on notice of withdrawal.

30% Tax Ruling
We are pleased to announce that Winford Bilingual Primary School in the process of becoming eligible for the 30% tax reimbursement. If you are eligible for the 30% tax facility, you can also receive a free reimbursement from your employer for extraterritorial costs for school fees.