Primary education Netherlands explained

Primary education Netherlands explained

Are you navigating the Dutch primary education system for your child? Here’s what you need to know.

Do you want to find the best solution for your child’s education in the Netherlands? We are educational consultants for education in the Netherlands and can help you find the best solution.

Primary education in Netherlands

Children start primary school in the Netherlands at age four (on the day your child turns four, it will go to school) and move to secondary school after Group 8 (age 12). Every school offers unique teaching methods, so it’s vital to explore their curriculums and educational ethos.

Visit schools during ‘voorlichtingsdagen’ to get a real feel of the environment.

🔍 Use ‘Scholen op de Kaart’ to find schools near you. Enter your postcode to see schools by distance, along with details like religious backgrounds and teaching approaches.

🎒 Education Focus: In groups 1 and 2 (ages 4-6), Dutch primary schools emphasize on play, social skills, and structured preparatory learning. Formal reading and writing start from Group 3, around age 6.

📝 Homework: Homework is minimal, usually about 30 minutes weekly, beginning from Group 4

⚖️ Attendance Law: Attendance is mandatory from age 5, with fines for non-compliance barring exceptions like illness or family events.

💰 Costs: There are no primary school fees, but voluntary contributions (up to €100/year) for extracurricular activities are typical. Parents also pay for after-school care and lunchtime supervision.

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