Start of Year Message from the Head of School


To mark the start and end of an academic year at International School Utrecht we always publish a news article written by Marieke Folkers our  Head of School. This provides the perfect opportunity for her to look ahead and reflect. During the school year our families receive regular updates from school leadership through the school app. 

By Marieke Folkers, Head of School

Dear ISU community,

Now that the school year has truly begun, we would like to take a moment to reflect. Dealing with a new building & new route to school, finding our way inside an around the Papendorp campus, dealing with IT challenges and on top of that the exceptionally hot weather tested our patience and empathy. Sometimes it was quite frustrating.

Although we each have our own perspectives, solutions, and ideas to resolve certain issues; it is important to recognise that we need to find a way to work together, showing we are responsible and caring human beings. We do appreciate all the feedback and valuable ideas we receive from our parent community and hugely appreciate you reaching out to us.

Work in progress

Traveling to and from school and managing congestion during drop off and pick up is still a work in progress. Our caretakers are doing their utmost guiding pedestrians and cyclists to safely navigate the zebra crossing. The municipality will put an extra traffic light near the P+R, and their traffic analysts are also looking into ways to create a better traffic flow around the school and the P+R during drop off and pick up. Besides school leadership, a group of parents is also in conversation with the municipality regarding traffic & public transportation. We will keep you updated on any developments.

Although school and municipality are coming up with ways to navigate drop off and pick up more effectively, we also need to realise that we each have our own responsibility in allowing ourselves enough time to safely drive, park and walk, cycle or take the bus to school ensuring we arrive in time for the start of the school day. Fortunately, the heat has subsided, making traveling, teaching, and learning infinitely more comfortable.

Having said all this, we are enormously pleased with our new campus and the space it offers for example for whole primary and secondary assemblies, a dedicated secondary library, primary drama room, science labs, silent study spaces, school canteen and much, much more. Students love to chill on the big stairs, use the picnic tables outside, run up and down the grassy hills or play table tennis in the aula. Towards the end of this month the football cage and basketball nets will be placed for students to enjoy.

Pedagogical climate

During the whole school information evening we told you that this year during staff study days we will delve deeper into the pedagogical climate. What is a pedagogical climate? In short, it is the way our teachers influence how our students learn. This has to do with for example how we talk and listen to each other and how we work together in school, but also in the way we form good partnerships between school and home. In other words: we will reflect on  what a good community looks and feels like. We look forward to working with the community on defining our pedagogical climate together and we will keep you posted.

Meet and Greet with the Head of School

For those of you new to the ISU community, every school year we organise six online meetings with the Head of School. These Meet & Greet meetings are informal online get togethers in which we share our experiences. The meetings take place on a Friday from 12:15-12:45 and invitations and meeting links will be sent out via the school app on the Monday or Tuesday before a Friday Meet & Greet.

Meet & Greets planned for this school year*:

  • Friday 22 September 2023
  • Friday 27 October 2023
  • Friday 8 December 2023
  • Friday 26 January 2024
  • Friday 8 March 2024
  • Friday 26 April 2024

*Dates might change due to unforeseen circumstances