School Life

A Typical Day

Let us tell you about a typical day at the International School Utrecht. Please ‘join’ our early years, primary and secondary students as they go through the day, are out on an excursion, or celebrate together. You might also be interested in watching a short film in which two students take you along as they go through their day at the ISUtrecht.

The school day at ISUtrecht starts at 8:30. The doors at the main building open at 8:20. Our youngest students are being brought in by their parents, using either the back entrance, or the external doors in the kindergarten classrooms. The kindergarten students 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 themselves and quickly settle in, ready for their first lesson, which starts at 8:30. The doors to the secondary campus open at 07:30, giving students the opportunity for a timely arrival, ready for their first lesson.

Outside Learning

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 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.


ISUtrecht_primary_playgroundEarly years and primary students have a shorter break in the morning, where they go outside onto either the early years adventure playground or the primary 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. The students will also meet regularly with specialist teachers for Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Dutch, or English Language Acquisition lessons. All the primary students also regularly visit the media centre.


ISUtrecht_Secondary_StudentsSecondary students are being taught in the main building, as well as the annex at the Grebbeberglaan. During the school day, they move around and between buildings 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 annex, as well as the main building have its own lunch room and kitchen, providing secondary 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 bike, bus, or car. Free on street parking can be found around the school. Most secondary students travel to school independently, either by bike, train, tram, or bus.

Trips Abroad

Every school year the Middle Years Programme students (grades 6-10) 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. Our Diploma Programme students have a DP experience week.


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, teachers and staff).  Typical Dutch festivals like King’s Day and Sinterklaas as well as festivals from other cultures like Holi, Halloween, or Chinese New year  are celebrated with a host of different activities. Other highlights in the ISUtrecht school year are the ISU drama troupe performances, the concert and the primary winter dinner in the classrooms.