This international school in Rotterdam developed a groundbreaking curriculum

Consider your faculty years. Let me guess, you have been instructed to place your head down, do your courses, get your grades and depart for the grownup world — however this time in youngsters and teenage’s lives ought to be about extra than simply an examination curriculum. In actual fact, there’s way more to be discovered. 

That is one thing that Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty’s (RISS) new curriculum is seeking to train its college students. We sat down for a chat with Dr Gilbert-Sáez, Principal of RISS, and what adopted was an attention-grabbing dialog about childhood, curiosity, and management. 

However earlier than we get into the main points, enable us to introduce Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty — or as Dr Gilbert-Sáez likes to name it, “Rotterdam’s Worldwide Faculty.” 😉

Introducing Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty

Positioned in central Rotterdam, this rising worldwide faculty affords college students greater than a global expertise. The college’s holistic method to studying has created a model new curriculum powered by programmes designed to assist their college students develop.  

“No single nationality overpowers the opposite, in each the scholar physique and the employees,” explains Dr Gilbert-Sáez. “We’ve acquired over 77 totally different nationalities! Which means that you might be delivering a very worldwide expertise and never only a British, American, or Canadian faculty.” 

We spoke with Dr Gilbert-Sáez about RISS’ thrilling new RISS Rose Programme. Picture: DutchReview/Equipped.

What makes RISS totally different? 

That being stated, Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty is about way more than its many flags. The college is all the time exploring methods to innovate how its college students are taught. 

Educating for self-awareness, curiosity and integrity

College students of RISS are taught past the essential necessities to get a diploma, but in addition discover self-awareness, uncover their passions, and outline their values. 

“{Qualifications} are vital however they’re not sufficient,” Dr Gilbert-Sáez tells us. “Dedication to studying is prime however the jobs individuals are doing now might not exist in a 12 months. We wish to nourish the pure curiosity that college students arrive with.” 

Alongside curiosity is one other energy: integrity. Dr Gilbert Sáez makes use of the instance of world leaders by means of the pandemic for example. “A excessive training isn’t all the time sufficient, typically what management lacks is integrity. If we’re going to train management, we should additionally train values.”

Conventional methods of studying meet innovation

Whereas RISS affords conventional diplomas such because the Worldwide Basic Certificates of Secondary Training (IGCSE) and Worldwide Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), the varsity takes its training a step past the examination curriculum. 

By means of initiatives just like the Pastoral Programme, RISS Rose Programme, and RISS Attain Programme, Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty teaches its college students sensible abilities and values to take with them for all times after faculty exams.

Pastoral Programme

This holistic method to educating is enabled by means of their Pastoral Programme the place RISS pays particular consideration to its college students, tackling points that fall exterior the realm of examinations and faculty work. 

“Steering, assist and care are every thing to us. If a baby isn’t completely satisfied, hungry, or liked, that little one won’t be able to study something,” says Dr Gilbert-Sáez. 

The Pastoral Programme exposes college students to points on this planet while additionally defending and supporting their childhood. The 2-hour per week initiative tackles points exterior a pupil’s faculty atmosphere, similar to medication, sexual training, identification, and relationships. 

By means of RISS’ pastoral programme, college students can study extra about themselves and topical points. Picture: Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped.

Most significantly, the Pastoral Programme makes means for a wholesome dialogue of topical points. In consequence, the programme is continually adapting and altering to deal with the problems of immediately.  

Dr Gilbert-Sáez offers us an instance: “One concern that’s developing typically is the difficulty of girls in society and the respect coming from college students — boys particularly. The perceived function and therapy of girls on this planet is one thing we’re going to work on subsequent 12 months, with girls and boys.” 

Basis years: a skills-based method

For many people, the reminiscence of the transition from main to secondary training might be tinted with a bit of hysteria. RISS pays particular consideration to the fragile strategy of this transition with regards to their Grade 6 college students. The college needs to nourish new pupil’s pure curiosity and have interaction their pursuits utilising a skills-based method to educating. 

The RISS Rose Programme 

Dr Gilbert-Sáez and her colleagues determined to create a programme that will enchantment finest to their new college students. That is the RISS Rose Programme, which she describes as “a curriculum that enables us to ship the fundamentals of an awesome worldwide training but in addition provides a extra sensible, hands-on collection of real-world experiences.” 

The RISS Rose Programme appears to have interaction its pupil’s pure curiosity by means of skills-based studying. Picture:Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped.

The Rose Programme has been in growth for the previous three-and-a-half years and is now able to launch for the 2021-22 tutorial 12 months.

“Whenever you create your personal curriculum you’ll be able to enter a degree of responsiveness and the foreign money of stuff you wish to share, in addition to the rigour that’s essential to instil an curiosity in new issues.” 

A give attention to vocational studying

Earlier than curating the programme, Dr Gilbert-Sáez requested her lecturers “If you got the prospect only for as soon as to show no matter you wished, what’s it that you’d train?” The consequence was a collection of distinctive programs based mostly on sensible, vocational studying.

Life By means of a Lens

One instance is RISS’ “Life By means of a Lens” programme. RISS is conscious that a lot of its college students seize pictures of their lives utilizing their telephones, so the lecturers determined to play to their college students’ strengths.

Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty are very enthusiastic about their RISS Rose Programme. Picture: Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped.

“If you happen to have a look at the pictures that college students take on daily basis, we have to add a degree of talent and competency to make use of to allow them to supply a mirrored image of who they’re and why they do it,” Dr Gilbert-Sáez factors out. This module introduces its college students to inventive and significant considering, artwork, aesthetics, and identification while partaking their sensible abilities.  

Mr Murphy’s Kitchen

Mr Murphy’s Kitchen is a programme that was developed to introduce younger college students to the science behind on a regular basis life — by means of the enjoyable of meals and flavour. This enjoyable and distinctive science course introduces its college students to molecular gastronomy and engages them by utilizing experiments you could eat — lekker

The college has teamed up with Wolfert Lansing Secondary Faculty to take its college students exterior the classroom and introduce them to the fantastic world of meals sciences and chemistry. By translating complicated topics into their occurrences in on a regular basis life, the RISS Rose programme will interact its younger college students in new methods. 

Communicate up, communicate out, communicate properly 

One other promising side supplied is “Communicate up, communicate out, communicate properly.” Dr Gilbert-Sáez factors out that the flexibility to talk properly is usually uncared for in conventional curriculums. “As a rule we’re frightened about literacy however we hardly give attention to oracy.” 

The significance of oracy is one thing that RISS needs to speak to younger college students. “You possibly can have a extremely sensible thought and maybe you’ll be able to write it down, however should you can’t ship it and persuade others of what you’re saying your thought loses energy.”

The safety of childhood

The Rose Programme appears to have interaction RISS’s new college students and nourish their sensible abilities while additionally catering to their childhood and the pure curiosity that comes with it. 

Dr Gilbert-Sáez strongly emphasises the significance of sustaining childhood. “It’s a most valuable time within the lifetime of a human being and typically we’re determined to hurry them, for them to hit college and reside their life as adults,” she says. “However I really feel we have to decelerate that course of and actually let these youngsters take pleasure in their childhood.” 

RISS needs to nourish its college students’ childhood while getting ready them for the world. Picture: Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped.

By means of the Rose Programme, Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty needs to permit college students to embrace and luxuriate in this era of their lives and make significant reminiscences within the course of. 

Center years: a curriculum for worldwide context

Armed with their abilities from their basis years, Grade 9-10 college students at RISS will observe the Worldwide Basic Certificates of Secondary Training (IGCSE.) The curriculum surrounding this certification is tailor-made to supply a global and culturally delicate training.

The RISS Attain Programme 

Nevertheless, RISS wished to take their educating a step additional. According to the varsity’s core values of self-awareness, curiosity, and integrity, RISS has launched the RISS Attain Programme. 

Put together for Increased Training

The RISS Attain Programme was curated with the scholar’s future years in thoughts. While the IGCSE affords its college students a global curriculum with conventional functions, the RISS Attain Programme provides to this by educating college students the extra abilities that they’ll want as soon as they enter their closing faculty years. 

“Having single topics or exams doesn’t enable for a holistic method” Dr Gilbert-Sáez tells us, “RISS Attain is the kind of programme that may train the scholars analysis, join with present points, and contribute to society.” 

By educating college students these abilities now, they are going to be extra ready for the Worldwide Baccalaureate Diploma Programme within the closing two years of faculty the place college students are anticipated to have the ability to suppose, plan, and organise for themselves. 

Senior years: greater training and the work world 

After all, the last word objective of Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty is to teach college students for all times exterior and after the classroom. Programmes similar to RISS Rose and RISS Attain will assist college students enormously with the transition into this closing stage of secondary training. 

The IB Diploma Programme 

Within the closing two years of their time at RISS, college students will observe the Worldwide Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) a worldwide, highly-esteemed qualification that allows college students to enter work or greater training. 

HE Steering

RISS prepares its college students for the world round them and in addition helps them to prepare for the transition from secondary training to greater training or work by means of its HE Steering Programme. 

Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty prepares its college students for the world by means of its HE Steering Programme. Picture: Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped.

“The transition is a fancy one, it will be important that we put together our college students for the long run,” says Dr Gilbert-Sáez. “We information them and supply counselling in order that college students are prepared to begin taking steps and make decisions about what they wish to do once they depart faculty.” 

RISS’s extremely counseled HE Steering Counsellors help college students with researching potential profession paths, curating a CV and private assertion, and serving to college students by means of varied utility processes.  

Enrolment at Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty

All for enrolling your little one at RISS? Right here’s all it’s good to know in regards to the utility course of. 

A digital tour 

Uncertain about whether or not or to not apply? Maybe a digital tour of the varsity’s services will enable you make your resolution.

Software and interview 

The applying course of begins on-line. Merely fill out your data utilizing RISS’s utility portal! As soon as the varsity has obtained the applying, you and your little one will likely be known as in for an interview. 


The Netherlands has strict guidelines surrounding who can attend a global faculty. Fortunately, RISS has laid these phrases out good and neatly on their web site. 


For a rundown of the assorted prices of enrollment, RISS has supplied this useful faculty charges booklet.

Rotterdam Worldwide Secondary Faculty is working so as to add a brand new component to the training of its college students. One which appeals to their childhood while additionally getting ready them for the realities of an ever-changing world. 

In closing, Dr Gilbert-Sáez emphasises this. “We provide a dedication to youngsters’s wellbeing, a dedication to them having a childhood. Exposing the scholars to new experiences in a means that they’ll take pleasure in after which keep in mind for the remainder of their lives. We wish them to take pleasure in faculty whereas studying, that’s actually vital to us.” 

Are you contemplating sending your little one to a global faculty? Inform us your ideas within the feedback beneath! 

Characteristic Picture: Hannah Anthonysz fotografie/Equipped

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