What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
American International School of Rotterdam
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-K 1 to 12
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilitaties are very good. The building could probably host twice as many students.
Large gym, 2 music rooms, very spacious classrooms, cafeteria, football pitch...
There are a many extra-curricular activities, some of them being organised and managed by the school (Sports is organised around 3 trimesters with a different sport in each trimester), and others with external teachers.
The list is long.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
The school offers Mother tongue Classes in many different languages. So my 3 kids have been able to study French 45 mins every day, with a French teacher, following the French Curriculum.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
One of the unique aspects of the school is the Family atmosphere. The school is fairly small and very quickly everyone knows everybody. Students know each other pretty much across all grades, parents know the children and the teachers as well as the admin staff. Kids are welcome to stay at school and play after 3pm and when the sun shines (which does not happen every day) the courtyard is just a great social place... Coming from France, I had never seen anything like this. Students and parents alike are happy to be at school!
There is also a PTA association who organises a number of events throughout the year. It is difficult to give a judgement as it is voluntary work and probably depends on the pool of parents for any particular year. But if anyone wants to get involved, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
We consciously left the French Educational System to experience something less exclusively academic, where self-development was as important as academic development. The children benefit from a great level of attention from the teachers because of the small class size and they are continuously encouraged to come out of their shell. From an academic performance level, it is difficult to compare; my kids are now perfectly fluent in English and I had my eldest son (Grade 8) take a French Maths test for comparison purposes and he did very well. He was a good student before and still is!
If you are looking for a school that pushes your kids to the max on a performance basis, probably you might find better suited schools, but if you want your kids to come out of their shell, gain self-confidence and a sense of belonging, I would strongly recommend AISR.