Winford Bilingual primary school in Haarlem offers a totally immersive, dual language education in Dutch and English.
I am pleased and excited to welcome you to Winford Bilingual Primary School. Our bilingual programme 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.
Director Winford Bilingual Haarlem
Winford Bilingual primary schools are the only total immersion, dual language primary schools 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). We are a private B3 Dutch school and our programme is recognised by the Dutch schools inspectorate.
Our well-rounded approach, along with a Dutch and English teacher in each classroom, means that the children are completely immersed in Dutch and English 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 Dutch and international students, making our school not only bilingual in language but culturally immersive.
Winford Bilingual Haarlem 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.
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?
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.
Two Teachers Per Classroom
Each classroom has a fully qualified English and Dutch speaking teacher. Each teacher speaks their native language to our students, and all subjects are taught in both languages.
With no more than 20 children per classroom, we are able to focus on each individual child. Our teachers meticulously craft every lesson to ensure the progress and development of their students.
Comprehensive Bilingual Curriculum
All subjects are taught in Dutch and English throughout the school day. Children complete the Dutch national curriculum, coupled with the UK national curriculum, and the International Primary Curriculum to become fluent in both languages.
All subjects are taught in Dutch and English throughout the school day. Children complete the Dutch, UK, and IPC curriculum and become fluent in both languages.
Winford Bilingual primary schools are Dutch schools, 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 Dutch and English 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.
Multi Age Classrooms
Children love to learn from other children and this provides great mentoring opportunities for students. Although we are not a traditional Montessori school, we do follow the philosophy of Maria Montessori by teaching to each child’s ability rather than age. This also allows us to focus on the best education for each child. We also incorporate Montessori ideals with mixed age level classes and small group lessons.
As a global school, we know how important world travel and exploring is for all learners. Winford Bilingual offers the advantage of a flexible holiday schedule.
Lunch and Snacks
All lunches and morning snacks are provided every day and are included in the school fee.
We believe having the opportunity to sit down together with a warm meal and share a conversation is an important part of the development of the whole child. A warm healthy vegetarian lunch is made by our in-house cook.
Dutch and International Students
Our school community reflects the multicultural population of Amsterdam. It provides a warm and supportive environment throughout primary schooling.
Winford Bilingual schools are centrally location in Amsterdam and Haarlem.
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.
Part of the Winford group of schools
We are proud to be a part of Winford, the premiere provider of private Dutch Primary and Secondary Schools in the Netherlands.
To formally apply for a place at Winford Bilingual Primary School please:
Contact us for an application form. We will email you the application form along with further information. You can return the application with the necessary supporting documentation. Please return it as a Word document or a PDF only.
Once we have received your application, you will receive an invoice for the non- refundable application fee of €550*. Please note that we will only process your application after your fee has been paid.
Step 2: Confirmation
After reviewing and processing your application along with the paid application fee, we will then send you an Acceptance offer.
Step 3: Acceptance
You will have 2 weeks (10 business days) from the date of any offer to accept or decline the offer. To accept the offer, you will need to sign and return the acceptance forms. Once the forms are submitted, your child will be added to his/her class's admissions list thus ensuring their spot within the classroom.
Step 4: Assessment
The moment your child starts at our school we will start the assessment procedure. Our school instructional coaches, together with the classroom teachers, will observe your child in order to assess the educational needs of your child and to make a personal development plan. If necessary, a formal plan will be presented to you and discussed with you after the assessment. In the case of extra support or testing, we will meet with you and discuss the cost of further evaluations and or support.
*When you pay the €550 registration fee, you will receive a formal offer of a place from us. When you accept this offer, your place with us will be reserved. This fee is not a guarantee of enrolment. Enrolment is only guaranteed once the first term’s fees have been paid. If you stop the application process before any offer is made and wish to reapply at a later date, you will need to pay this registration fee again.
Director & IPC Coordinator
I grew up in Essex, England and moved to The Netherlands to be with my Dutch partner. I have a Bachelor's degree in Education and Childhood studies. During my degree, I worked at a local primary school in a number of classes, including special educational needs support classes. I have worked with a range of ages and enjoyed putting my knowledge into practice. I am extremely passionate about working with children and have developed my own knowledge in order to best support their development. Following my degree, I completed a TESOL qualification, to teach and understand how children and adults learn English as a foreign language. I enjoy working with children and ensuring they have a safe, stimulating, and creative learning setting to support their growth and development. Previously, I was the English teacher in the Zebra class in Amsterdam. I am excited to be a part of a great learning environment for children and to be part of the great teaching team at WBPS. In my spare time I enjoy reading, swimming, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
Willani Janse van Rensburg
I was born in Brits, South Africa and lived there all my life. I moved to the Netherlands, together with my husband, in the winter of 2019. From a young age, I wanted to follow in my mum’s footsteps and become a teacher. I was passionate about hockey and softball and represented my province at provincial level.
After completing a degree in Education at the University of Pretoria in 2015, I gained experience educating a diverse range of students from different age groups and backgrounds. I am an advocate for children learning through play and most enjoy guiding them in their first steps of academics.
I was born in Amsterdam, in the heart of The Netherlands. I was raised in a multicultural environment where I was exposed to all different types of people, cultures and languages; therefore, Winford Bilingual is my ideal workplace. During my studies I have worked for different schools including public, international and private institutions. I also had the opportunity to work as a teacher in an international school located in Spain. These experiences have allowed me to develop a versatile teaching style that can be adapted to suit the needs of any classroom environment. Furthermore, having worked with students from a range of backgrounds and ages, I have learned to tailor my teaching methods to meet the unique needs and learning styles of each individual student. Outside of the classroom, I am an enthusiastic traveler and traveling the world is my biggest passion. I am always eager to discover new places and experiences and believe that there's always something new to discover. I am thrilled to be part of such a diverse and inclusive community of educators and families!
I was born and raised in Barcelona, where I studied to become a primary school teacher. My parents and sister are also teachers. However, no one ever asked me to become a teacher. I guess I always had such a great respect for the profession from everything I was taught at home. So if you are wondering why I left the Mediterranean, the good weather, my friends and even my mother's food to come to the Netherlands, it was because I was accepted at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam to study my second bachelor's degree: Jazz Clarinet. After finishing my second degree, I decided that it was time to focus fully on teaching, which is one of my two passions. My goal is to give back as much as the international community offered me, when I was a student in this country. I hope we can all enjoy our journey together, learn from each other, and grow together.
I am the director of the Winford Bilingual Primary School Program. I earned my undergraduate degrees in Primary School Education and Special Education (k-18). I have completed post graduate work in Montessori education, Orton-Gillingham Language Speech/Language Therapy, Montessori Teacher Training, Brain Gym Kinesiology and I am a certified PADI dive master. I have over 22 years of classroom experience as a teacher, therapist and education specialist. I was working at the Smithsonian Institution as a lead docent educator for divergent learners and Primary schools when I realized that I loved the Dutch culture and environment. So I decided to move to the Netherlands to work and live. When I am not working or walking on the beach, you can find me cycling on my Dutch fiets (bike) or scuba diving anywhere where the water is clear and the sun is shining.
Marketing and Admissions Manager
I have worked for 23 years in international schools taking care of admissions, public relations and marketing. I love working in a school environment and connecting with new people. I am delighted to be part of Winford Bilingual and their exciting journey. In my spare time I go to yoga and circuit training classes, volunteer in two committees, and sing in a gospel choir.
I look forward to seeing you at Winford Bilingual.
Our fees at Winford Bilingual are all inclusive. They cover testing fees in both languages, special exhibits, field trips, morning snacks and warm lunches for each child.
Amsterdam Bilingual: The annual tuition for school year 2023-2024 is €21,300.
Haarlem Bilingual: The annual tuition for school year 2023-2024 is €16,900.
The above school fees 2023/24 apply to payment in one installment, before 1 August 2023.
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
Enrolment after 1 August
It is possible to enrol your child during the school year. The school fees are prorated depending when your child begins. Depending on when you start, payment in instalments may be possible (with additional administration and interest costs).
If you have more than one child at our school, you will receive a 10% family discount on the school fees of the youngest child for Amsterdam, and 5% for Haarlem.
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 fee reimbursement from your employer for extraterritorial costs for school fees.
For more information on the 30% tax ruling click below:
Belastingdienst 30% Tax Rule Information
With two teachers in each classroom and no more than 20 children per class, we focus closely on each individual child.
Our classrooms are:
Panda Class for children from 4 to 6 years old
The Panda classroom is a place where children take their first steps in formal education. We believe that school should be an enjoyable and supportive experience. Our students come from a variety of diverse backgrounds, and it is in this group that we see the widest variety of levels. The Panda classroom is the best fit for lower elementary-aged children who want to start in a Dutch/English bilingual environment. This provides a smooth transition before moving up to the next class.
Zebra Class for children from 5.5 to 8 years old
The Zebras begin their academic journey in both languages with Montessori materials that put into practice the concepts of Maths, Writing, Reading, Geography, History, World Cultures, Practical Life, Peace Education, and Science. Students further explore each subject through excursions outside the classroom to community resources such as libraries, the Nemo Science Museum, and other museums. These trips are connected to our IPC themes to help deepen their understanding of each topic and how it relates to the world around them.
Giraffe Class for children from 7 to 10 years old
The Giraffe Classroom is designed to meet the needs of our evolving students; a need to question, a need to explore justice, and a need to go out into the world and understand their place within it. The pedagogical approach consists of individualized and small group lessons in both languages. Students participate in weekly homework assignments as well as project-based presentations that coordinate with their IPC themes. In this collaborative learning environment, children establish a deeper sense of community and increase their awareness of their place within it.
Eagle Class for children from 10 to 12 years old
The academic program in the Eagle class is structured in five-week terms completed with an enrichment/review in week six. The core curriculum areas, in both Dutch and English, are Language Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, History, Geography and Technology. In addition to this comprehensive curriculum, arts education, personal development, and life skills education are emphasized. The sixth week is a time for self-evaluation, critique, reflection and review. The combination of all these key components prepares our students for their next endeavours, be it a Dutch secondary school or International secondary school. Like most Dutch primary schools, our Eagle class takes part in a schooltuin (school garden) where they learn how to grow their own plants and vegetables. This is one of the many ways our children are immersed in Dutch culture and society.
Our flexible holiday schedule allows our families to take up to 40 days holidays throughout the academic year. In addition to these flexible days, the school is also closed for four weeks in August, two weeks in December and for any national public holidays. This means that your vacation and travel schedule is not bound exclusively to the Dutch holiday schedule. Our families can choose the holiday travel dates that work best for them.
Parents submit vacation requests every six weeks to correspond with the classrooms' work periods. Children may take up to 40 days spread out throughout per school year, in addition to the fixed days that the school is closed.
We advise a minimum of ten days per half-year: ten days between September and the end of February and ten days between March and the end of the school year.
For requests of more than 10 days at one time, permission must be requested from the classroom teachers.
These holidays do not come out of your flexible holiday entitlement.
School year begins
30 August 2023
Christmas holiday begins
21 December 2023
21 December to 3 January 2024
4 January 2024
29 March 2024
1 April 2024
Sports Day (early dismissal 12:30)
26 April 2024
9 & 10 May 2024
20 May 2024
Last day of school/Summer holiday begins
26 July 2024
29 July to 23 August
School year 2024/25 begins
26 August 2024
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.
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 with two teachers per class, means 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.
Children who join Winford Bilingual from the age of 4 or 5 will be able to choose:
- Dutch secondary school options. Group 8 students will be part of the same process as children in all other Dutch primary schools.
- 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 pursue. In group 6, in discussion with the teachers, the family makes a decision for Dutch or International/English secondary education. In group 7 and 8, children who will go into Dutch education will receive 65% of lessons in Dutch and 35% in English. 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 age 5, we will assess your child in group 6 and give you advice as to whether we think Dutch or English education would be most suitable.
We are proud to announce that from our last graduating class, all children got into their top school choice.
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 components of Positive Discipline.
1. Being Kind and Firm at the same time.
2. This helps children feel a sense of Belonging and Significance.
3. This is effective Long-Term.
4. This teaches valuable Social and Life Skills for good character.
5. This 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.
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. Sometimes, their minds and bodies need some time to readjust without the censure of their friends.
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.
Please keep your child at home if any of the following illnesses/symptoms occur:
• Fever (38°c. or higher)
• 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. 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: http://www.prioderm.nl/hoofdluis-behandelen
Haarlem is part of the Amsterdam metropolitan area and is very popular with the expat community. It is only 17 kilometres 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 kilometres away.
Winford Bilingual is within walking distance from Haarlem bus and train station. The school is situated in a quiet area for schools and daycares.