Philosophy of the School

At the British School of Amsterdam, we aim to create a stimulating and caring environment which enables all individuals to realise their full potential and by doing so, develop skills and confidence for a fulfilling and responsible life in a changing society.

The British School of Amsterdam is committed to promoting understanding of the principles and practices of equality and justice. All members of the School community will be treated equally on the grounds of sex, race, age, disability, religion or belief, marital status (including civil partnerships), sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, nationality and ethnicity, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.


We commit ourselves to the following aims:

  • To foster the development of positive self-image, so that all children may have a high regard for their own worth and for that of their families, and for their cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • To demonstrate that the cultures of all people in this country and throughout the world are to be valued and respected.
  • To ensure, through planning and observation, that all children take part as far as possible in the full range of curricular activities, and are encouraged to avoid stereotyped roles.
  • To enable all pupils to learn in a variety of different groupings.
  • To ensure that all pupils receive their entitlement to quality education.
  • To provide all pupils with equal entitlement to the use of resources and the right to be protected from disruptive influences.
  • To ensure that all members of the School community are valued and treated with respect and fairness.

Enrolment at the British School of Amsterdam

Pupils are not required to sit entrance tests and examinations to determine academic ability prior to being offered a place - with exception of possibly assessing fluency in English for entry into Year 10 and above. We welcome children of all nationalities and children for whom English is an additional language. We are a non-selective mainstream school and seek to meet the needs of a range of pupil abilities. Pupils with very specific additional needs may be assessed before a place is confirmed to ensure we can meet those needs. We accept pupils regardless of their intended length of stay over one term; from those children of parents who are working in the Netherlands on a short term project, to families who have chosen to relocate to the Netherlands on a more permanent basis, or Dutch citizens. Children may enter at any point during the academic year.

Teaching and Learning

We ensure that the social and educational needs of every pupil are met. Committed classroom teaching reflects careful differentiation of the curriculum to ensure that learners of different abilities are catered for. Alongside this, we provide extra support for pupils who have special educational needs, as well as for those for whom English is a second language.  

We value each pupil's worth, we celebrate the individuality and cultural diversity of the community centred on our School, and we show respect for all groups. We are aware that prejudice and stereotyping are caused by poor self-image and by ignorance. Through positive educational experiences, and support for each individual's legitimate point of view, we aim to promote positive social attitudes, and respect for all.

The Environment

Reasonable adjustments are made to the premises to cater for anyone with any form of disability. (see Accessibility Plan). Our visual environment will also avoid stereotypical imagery and will be used as a way of enhancing positive views of our community and celebrating pupils work and achievement.

Staff Recruitment

Selection techniques will be determined by the nature and duties of the vacant post, but all vacancies will require an interview of short-listed candidates. We will ensure that all candidates are assessed on merit and ability to carry out the advertised role.

Staff Expectations

We expect all staff to behave in a professional manner, follow the policy and be consistent, sensitive and fair. We expect them to challenge others who make inadvertent racist, sexist or insensitive remarks. We challenge personal prejudice and stereotypical views whenever they occur.

Staff Training

We give the opportunity for all staff to develop their professional practice through annual CPD meetings and plan relevant training when they:

  • have identified an area in which they wish to improve their own knowledge and expertise;
  • have been identified through an inspection or an in-house appraisal as having a training need;
  • want to further their own personal development.

We ensure that all recruitment, employment, promotion and training systems are fair to all, and provide opportunities for everyone.

Links with other policies

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Anti-Bullying Policy, the policy for Learning Support and the Accessibility Plan. We will ensure we consider this policy in line with decisions concerning:

  1. Admissions
  2. The content and presentation of the curriculum, both overt and covert
  3. Achievements of students
  4. The valuing and promoting of community languages
  5. Assessment, records, reports and profiling
  6. Displays around the School
  7. Assemblies
  8. Subject choice, career guidance and work experience placements
  9. Referrals and disciplinary procedures
  10. Bullying (see Anti-Bullying policy)
  11. Induction of new students and staff
  12. Work with parents and the community
  13. School publications and press coverage
  14. Recruitment, appointments and promotions
  15. Extra-curricular activities
  16. Work with outside agencies
  17. Training and INSET

We will report to the Supervisory Board annually on the effectiveness of this policy.