Looking back and look ahead
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Looking back and look ahead

In January 2021 Marieke Folkers became our head of school. In this article she takes the time to reflect on the past six months and look ahead to the next academic year.

By Marieke Fokers, head of school

Like I said before, sometimes an opportunity comes along that you simply can’t ignore. Becoming head of school at ISUtrecht was such an opportunity for me and now at the end of this academic year, I’d like to take a moment to look back on the past six months.

The reasons for applying at the ISUtrecht were clear to me from the beginning: the ISUtrecht is a continuum school from KG-12, my vision on education that is fully reflected in the IB programmes and a I loved the challenge of securing a permanent campus for the school. From the first moment I walked through the door, I’ve felt very welcome. I know myself surrounded by a great team and brilliant students and I enjoy the contacts with the parents. Yes, even if the questions are critical!

Of course, I joined the school at a crazy time: we were in the middle of a lockdown, I was still working part time at the Utrechts Stedelijk Gymnasium and the ISUtrecht was faced with some unwelcome changes concerning the school buildings. And yet… the energy I experienced from the beginning has been truly special. As a community of students, staff and parents we talk about everything that goes on, from subject choices and teaching methods, to the school buildings. What strikes me is the enormous involvement and commitment of our whole community to make our school a little better every day.

The ISUtrecht started nearly ten years ago (ten years!) and it’s time to take the next step, which we will take together! This past year was a year in transition with a new leadership team, many Covid-related matters and a lot of hassle concerning housing. Unfortunately, this last issue hasn’t been resolved yet, but we will start the new school year with renewed energy, ready to move forward. With the learning plan (which focuses on extended learning, language learning and agency), we are taking a big step towards a new school plan.

My big wish for next school year is to have live meetings: coffee mornings, chats at the gate, concerts and school wide celebrations. Please feel free to drop by, I look forward to meeting with you. But first we are going to enjoy a wonderful summer in which I will look back on a fantastic year with a great exam result. I am so incredibly proud of our students!

Stay healthy and safe and I look forward to seeing you again in August. To those of you leaving the ISUtrecht for a new adventure, I want to wish you all the best and I hope you look back on your time here with us with some fond memories.

Warmest regards,

Marieke