Proven techniques to help your child transition to the Netherlands

Proven techniques to help your child transition to the Netherlands

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Research-based behavioural approaches used by ISH in the Netherlands help improve your child's transition and turn them into well-rounded students academically, socially, and emotionally. [Contributed by The International School of The Hague]

Learning is the heart of The International School of the Hague

Moving to a new country and finding the right school for your child can be a stressful time for everyone. Having your child happily settled in their new school is a priority for parents, but with many schools to choose from, how do you know which is the right one?  At The International School of The Hague (ISH) we place high importance on both academic and social emotional learning to ensure that your child feels supported, included and engaged. We know that the borders of learning extend well beyond the academics of reading, writing and arithmetic, understanding that brain-based research validates a strong link between one’s emotional state and the effectiveness of learning. 

“The emotional centers of the brain are intricately interwoven with the neocortical areas involved involved in cognitive learning. When a child trying to learn is caught up in a distressing emotion, the centers for learning are temporarily hampered…In short there is a direct link between emotions and learning.” (Goleman, 2004: vii) 

The International School of The Hague (Primary) was founded in 2003 under the Stichting Het Rijnlands Lyceum. Since its inception, it has grown into a four-stream school that hosts over sixty different nationalities and language backgrounds. Though the school’s core instructional language is English, Dutch and Mother Tongue instruction are prominent in its learning environments as well. ISH Primary’s child-centred philosophy has been gradually developed through the combination of several, positive behaviour approaches. 

From the earliest days, we adopted Jenny Mosley’s ‘Golden Rules’

  • Be kind and helpful
  • Be careful and safe
  • Be honest
  • Listen to others
  • Take care of property
  • Work hard
  • Be honest   

 The International School of the Hague

These six golden rules allow us to positively reinforce the behaviours we want our school community to follow and became the base for all our future developments within the area of social-emotional education. They are displayed around school, shared and discussed in assemblies and are well known by all the children, teachers and parent population. After some years of implementation, we created an additional golden rule to raise environmental awareness and advocacy in students: look after our planet. 

As a school, we also believe it is important to equip our teachers with the tools to help them explore what needs are behind some of the challenging behaviours. 'Win-Win' was brought in as a school resource, meshing well with the positive approach of the golden rules. 'Win-Win' focused on finding solutions to problems that benefitted everyone involved. The programme also advocated for children to move towards solving their problems more independently over time.  

We were on the right path, however, not content to stand still, we felt that we needed to be more explicit about the types of learners we wanted our students to become. Of course being literate, numerate and well-behaved were all important, but to be successful in our ever changing global community other skills and specific attitudes are needed and thus, 'SquISH the Spider' came into being. Each one of his eight legs represents a personal goal we want our students to aspire to be: communicators, principled, respectful, adaptable, cooperative, creative, inquiring and resilient. 

'SquISH' quickly became a part of our school practice and the decision was made to combine these newly created personal goals and the golden rules onto one clearly identifiable image: 

As parents and educators, we want to provide the children in our care with tools to practically deal with any conflicts that might arise. The child-friendly approach, 'STOP, THINK, DO' gives our students concrete steps to resolve a conflict situation. In guiding them through these basic steps, children begin to learn how to step away from a conflict, giving them time to cool off and consider what happened. Once they are calm, they can then explore possible ways the conflict could be resolved either independently or with adult support. 

Through the intertwining of all these strands, The ISH has developed it’s own, unique learning environment which combines high academic standards with a strong social emotional programme to ensure that their learning really does prepare them for life in our transitional world. 

Contacting the ISH

If you are interested in finding out more about ISH programmes or would like to visit our school to see our programmes in action, we warmly encourage you to contact us: 

Admissions Department
The International School of The Hague
Wijndaelerduin 1
2554 BX The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)70 328 1450
Fax: +31 (0)70 328 2049


Kagan, Spencer, Patricia Kyle and Sally Scott. 2004. Win Win Discipline. Kagan Publishing, San Clemente, CA, USA. 

International School of the Hague Primary Policy Documents. 2016. International School of the Hague, NL. 

Mosley, Jenny. 2010. Jenny Mosley’s Small Books of the Golden Rules in Action. Positive Press Ltd., United Kingdom. 

Peterson, Lindy and Allyson Adderley. 2002. Stop, Think, Do, Social Skills Training: Primary Years of Schooling. Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, AU. 

Zins, Joseph E. et al. 2004. Building Academic Success on Social Emotional Learning: What does the research say? Teacher College Press,Teachers College, Columbia University New York and London. pp vii-3. 


Contributed by The International School of The Hague

The International School of the Hague


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