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Integrating Children into Dutch Primary Schools (A (Amsterdam)


Does anyone have any experience of the Dutch Primary School integration system, the "nieuwkomers groep" where your child, if not a speaker of Dutch, and aged between 6 and 12 years, attends a special school for 4 school terms, learning Dutch and Dutch culture?

Our children are turning 6 and 9 in the summer, and it is then that we will be considering a move back to Amsterdam. Our only concern is the schooling, and having to put them into what seems initially to be a slightly segregated system. I understand they would spend 1 day a week in what would eventually be their regular primary school, but I'm not sure about the year at this special "nieuwkomers groep" school.

We lived in Amsterdam last year and did go and check out a "nieuwkomers groep" school in the Oud West. At the time neither my husband and I were drawn to the atmosphere of the place, and even the teachers themselves were not particularly encouraging about my then 7 year old attending the school. I think this may have been because we did not know how long we would be in the Netherlands at the time.

Does anyone have any experience of this system? Also, if so, would my children, in particular my 8 (to be 9!) year old, fall behind in other subjects such as Maths?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you!

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