Let us tell you all about a typical day at International School Utrecht. ‘Join’ our early years, primary and secondary students as they go through the day, are out on an excursion, or celebrate together.
The school day at ISUtrecht starts at 8:20 when the doors at both the primary and secondary campus open and the students make their way in. Younger students are being brought in by their parents, using either the back entrance to the primary campus, or the external doors in the kindergarten classrooms. The children hang up their jackets, put their lunch boxes and water bottles away and change their outdoor for their indoor shoes.
Older primary students make their way over to their classrooms where they settle themselves in, ready for their first lesson, which starts at 8:30. Secondary students (MYP and DP) wait in the main hall at the secondary campus, ready for the register to be taken at 8:30, before they make their way over to their first class of the day.
Early years and primary students will spend most of their day with their classroom teacher, either inside the classroom, or on the playground for a bit of outside learning. Teachers will also regularly take their students on an excursion to for example a museum, factory or exhibition, either in Utrecht, or a bit further a field. These excursions tie in with the Unit of Inquiry that students are working on. For more information, please read the Field Trip Protocol. Grade 5 students go on a three day overnight trip in the Netherlands at the start of the school year. In previous years the students visited Arnhem and The Hague.
Early years and primary students have a shorter break in the morning, where they go outside onto either the early years adventure playground or the large playground to the side of the school. The students in kindergarten – grade 5 all eat their packed lunch inside the classroom, before they go out again for a longer break just after lunch. A typical day for this age group might also involve going to the on site gym hall for a PHE lesson. These students will also meet regularly with specialist teachers for music, Dutch, or English Language Acquisition lessons and, from grade 3 upwards, visual arts and drama lessons. All the primary students also regularly visit the media centre.
Secondary students are being taught at the secondary campus at the Grebbeberglaan. During the school day, they move around the building to attend various lessons such as Spanish Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Design, Maths or Science. A typical day for these students might also involve self study time during ‘study hall’, assemblies hosted by either one of the secondary teachers, or a variety of guest speakers, lessons geared towards Approaches To Learning, or time spend working on their Service as Action project. The secondary campus has its own lunch room and kitchen, providing students with access to a microwave to heat up their food. If the weather is nice the students can play football or basketball outside on their own playground, or eat their lunch at the outside picnic tables.
Travelling to school
Primary students are generally dropped off by their parents in the morning, traveling either by car, bus, or bike. Free on street parking can be found around the school. Most secondary students travel to school independently, either by bike, train, tram, or bus.
Every school year the secondary students go on an excursion abroad. In recent years they visited Berlin, Prague, London, Paris, Rome, South Africa, the Belgium Ardennes and Terschelling, one of the Dutch isles. These trips not only provide the students with the opportunity to learn in a different context, but also give them the chance to bond and spend time with each other outside of school. For more information please read the Field Trip Protocol.
At ISUtrecht we like to celebrate together, involving the whole school community. The ISUtrecht Artburst for instance showcases visual arts as well as performances by various members of the school community (students, teacher and staff). Typical Dutch festivals like King’s Day and Sinterklaas are celebrated every year with a host of different activities. Other highlights in the ISUtrecht school year are the traditional Christmas pantomimes and the primary winter dinner in the classrooms.