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Bilingual primary education (TPO)

As of August 2004, the Dutch classes are taught both in Dutch and English, providing a bilingual basis in primary education. In the youngest age groups, focus is on expanding vocabulary and basic communication in English. Starting in Group 4 we work on reading and writing skills in English. The gym, music, and ICT lessons are (partly) taught in English as well. Reading English books is encouraged.

Percentage English
The Bilingual Primary Education offers 30% of the lesson time in English for groups 1,2,4,5,6 and 7. For group 3 this will be 15-20%. In 2022-2023 we will also offer the groups 8 30% of the lesson time in English. Also the classes of HB will be offered the same percentage of lesson time in English. It is important to us to measure the impact of this bilingual approach. We are working with the national FoTo research. It is an long-term investigation with testing in Group 1, Group 3, Group 5 and Group 7. it is designed to measure the effects of ESL learning in relation to Dutch language skills and mathematical skills. No negative effects have been measured on Dutch language skills nor on mathematical skills, yet a positive effect has been noted in regard to English language skills.


In order to teach our pupils well in a second language, it is important to work with certified teachers. We support our staff in their English language skills and didactic abilities in a second language.

Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closing of schools nationwide, no testing has been done in Group 8. In 2022-2023 we aim to implement a new monitoring system to accurately analyse thelearned language skills from Group 6 towards Group 8. Pupils in the department for the highly-gifted are also provided with the same amount of English in their weekly programmes. Pupils who are already proficient in English will be offered resources at an appropriate level. Pupils who enter the school at a later stage receive extra time to attain the acquired levels.

Teaching staff
Specialist teachers, who are (near) native speakers of English, teach in English as well. They play an important part in the education we offer and in organising the lessons. Class teachers also give some of their lessons in English, for which they receive specialist training. In 2020- 2021 and 2021-2022 all teaching staff followed a course in Carlisle. This could be done because the school was awarded Erasmus funding.

Nationwide project Since
In August 2014 the GSV took part in a nationwide project for Bilingual Primary Education, in which the associated schools aim to offer 30-50% of their lessons in English. Every year, the GSV adds another class to this project. The project took five years. After the evaluation with the project partners, the project was approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to continue for a further three years. This allows the schools to incorporate findings from an entire primary school career in this pilot, before a definite decision is made to formalise 30+% of primary education in English.

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