End of Year Message from the Head of School


Dear ISU community,

We started this year with our 10-year anniversary celebrations and will finish it with the move to a new campus to hold our existing 1100 students. Two huge highlights, but there was so much more. In many ways, the 2022-2023 academic year has been a year of transition. We not only launched a new logo, mission statement and core values; we now also have a brand-new website, telling prospective parents and colleagues all about our school, community, and city. 

This is an important step for all of us. Over the coming years we will dive deeper into how our core values guide the way in which we teach, connect, and communicate.

As in most international schools worldwide, every year a number of staff leave, and this year a number of our teachers have decided to move back home or pursue their next chapters outside of ISU. We have known of their plans for some time and have fully supported them in their next pursuits. During their time with us, they have made a memorable impression within our school community, but we are certain that our ISU community will forever stay in their hearts, too.

We want to assure our parent community that the transition will be a smooth one. Within our PYP, MYP, and DP teams, teachers collaboratively work together to share their expertise and best practices amongst each other, which means that when teachers leave, it doesn’t impact the quality of learning. We have now recruited excellent teachers and leaders, some of whom have decades of experience in IB schools around the world. We are excited to begin the new school year together.

For all of us, well-being is an important topic. In the coming school years, workload reduction funds from the Dutch government will be spent sustainably (long term) on cover teachers in both primary and secondary, support with lunch and playground duties in primary, extra planning time in secondary, more hours for the primary Grade Level Coordinators as well as task hours to work on the primary curriculum. I am very proud of the way in which school leadership and the Participation Council collaborated in this project, ensuring the best for all ISU staff. The well-being of teachers plays an important role in the overall educational experience and success of our students. Ultimately, when our teachers prioritise their well-being, it creates a ripple effect of positivity, improved student-teacher relationships, and better academic achievement.

School-wide, we will concentrate on the pedagogical climate next academic year, coming up with agreements and uniformity in the way we teach, relate to, and talk to each other in school. This will create an even safer classroom environment in which all students are seen.

This year, we have also worked hard towards creating a more balanced school day and timetable for both our primary and secondary students. From next school year, primary students will have 5 equal school days (8:30-14:30). In secondary, in order to align subject areas and avoid similar criteria being assessed, we have created a new arts cycle in Grades 6, 7, and 8. For Grades 9 and 10, we are enabling student agency and choice by providing various pathways. This will also enable students to balance their workload. In DP, we have added Economics as a new subject and will continue to evaluate how DP subjects enable our students to fully access and thrive in tertiary education.

We very much look forward to moving into our new campus and to having all students and staff under one roof again, as a continuum IB World School. With more space, we will take the next steps, creating an even better school together.

For those of you leaving ISU at the end of this academic year, we hope you take a part of us with you on your journey, and we wish you all the best. For those of you returning after the summer holidays, we look forward to welcoming you to the new campus at Van Deventerlaan 1.

Have a great summer!

Best wishes,

Marieke Folkers

Head of School