Exciting times at the British school of Amsterdam.
The British School of Amsterdam – At International Locals Amsterdam we have the goal of going everywhere and seeing everything. That also includes meeting the people who run fabulous local institutions to give our readers greater insights into those wonderful places. It allows us all to better understand these fine establishments and to learn more about them.
Most recently, I had the great pleasure to meet with Paul Morgan, the Principal of the British School of Amsterdam. He took time out of his busy schedule to tell me all about the fabulous new site that will open in 2020. It will bring together the school’s current 3 sites into one brand new site on the Havenstraat, between the Vondelpark and the Olympic Stadium.
About the School
It is a massive step forward for the school which opened in Amsterdam in 1978 as a primary school with just 10 pupils. In the last 40 years it has grown into a leading provider of international education with nearly 1000 students, from pre-school to Sixth Form. Though the school has grown over the years, the founding values have remained the same – to provide a learning environment that is stimulating, caring and helps each individual child to reach their full potential. The school offers a large selection of GCSE and A Levels subjects as well as a huge range of extra curricular activities. There are also over 50 clubs the students can join. A thriving centre of learning for all the students made up of nearly 50 different nationalities.
The New Future
The new school project is the most exciting undertaking in the history of the school. It is the culmination of a long term vision and years of planning. The search for a new site started back in 2005. It means the 3 current different schools venues will have one unified site. That brings obvious advantages to parents and the teaching staff. Some of the current 800 families have more than one child attending the BSA, often using different sites. Having one location will improve logistics for them. The staff too will benefit from a single location as meetings and planning will be simplified and more efficient. Collectively, the students, parents and staff will benefit from a massive uplift with a new, modern and integrated learning environment. This is a multi-million Euro investment in the future, the benefit of which will be felt for generations to come.
The new site has a monument status, so the experienced architect matched those requirements to the need of a modern centre of learning. It is a rare chance to have 14000 square meters of interior space and large open air areas in one site this close to a city centre. The architects have lots of experience with buildings of special status. They also worked on the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House. The whole project has a Steering group composed by a committee of experts who ensure the respectful transformation of this building. The Steering group is headed by the Principal, Paul Morgan and Fred Gansevoort, the school’s Bursar is also Project Director meaning the link between the project and the school is really strong. A large selection of qualified specialists will ensure that the new school has state of the art IT systems, 7m high sports facilities, catering facilities, security systems, school equipment and that all of these are delivered on time and on budget.
A School Community
The BSA will also be able to organically grow the school and add new classes, all the while keeping class sizes to the maximum number of 22 pupils, but always aiming for 20. The extra space will allow the school to take siblings when needed. Paul Morgan tells me that the ultimate aim is not to grow for growth’s sake. There will be managed growth which the new site will allow, but he feels it is more important to preserve the community feel of the school. There is a point where too much growth would reduce the community feeling and he will not allow that to happen.
Thought has gone into access to the school in the morning and for after school pick ups. The site already has excellent public transport access including bus, tram and metro stops very close by the entrance. A large bike park will be available for the many parents and pupils coming to and from school by bike. A fast drop off system called ‘Kiss and Ride’ will be very useful for those coming in and out by car.
Amazing New Facilities
It goes without saying that the facilities for learning will be second to none. Large bright classrooms will be the norm. Learning in a beautiful environment will be a pleasure for the students. Wide hallways and innovative use of common spaces mean that it will be easy to move around the school. There will be wonderful libraries and study areas where students can work individually or in groups. A large and well equipped theatre will be the scene of many productions bringing joy to peers and parents alike. The sports and physical education spaces have been designed to allow the pupils to excel in the sports they will compete in. There is ample outdoor space for times of play and relaxation.
So there you have it. The new site for the British School of Amsterdam is coming to fruition. It will be a fine new centre of learning for the 21st century and beyond. Thank you Paul for your time.
Contact details for the British School of Amsterdam
The school website
Phone number : 020 679 7840