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BSB private school versus Dutch publik schools


Hi, I am looking for an advice before I decide on whether the BSB private school system offers a standard of education as competent as that of a Dutch public school in Belgium.

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In my experience, BSB gives a much more rounded education than the Dutch, for example there is a lot of importance given to the Arts and drama, stage productions and public speaking are very much encouraged. This is something which creates a lot of confidence which is obviously useful in further education and beyond. Additionally the campus is probably one of the best equipped in Belgium. BSB follows the UK curriculum, leading to GCSEs and A Levels (which is wise to follow if you are planning to move back to UK or to another part of the world, then your kids fit straight into another British School). Plus BSB also gives the option to take International Bacculareat. The teachers are approachable and in my experience very friendly, particularly if there are ever any issues which need to be tackled. Compare this to the Dutch system, where you will most certainly have to fluently speak the language with teaching staff and with the other parents. We considered the Dutch system for our two sons when we first arrived, but the more we got talking to expats with children in the Dutch system, the more we were put off the idea. They were basically there because they did not get the opportunity of having school fees paid, and all have told me they would move their kids out of the system in a heartbeat, if they could and felt they had burdened their offspring by sending them there. Sadly the Dutch system has a reputation of being 'all work and no play', repetitive learning and very much focusing on the negative not positive elements of the students work, and if a student can't keep up or is struggling with a topic, then 'too bad'... Also, watch out for bullying which is almost never addressed in the Dutch system.

Sep 2, 2011 09:07