Almere is home to various higher education institutions, secondary schools and school communities and dozens of primary schools.
The city has public schools as well as schools that provide lessons based on a particular pedagogical vision or religious conviction. Examples of the former are the Dalton, Montessori or Jena-plan educational systems.
There are also schools based on Catholic, Reformed, Protestant, Ecumenical and Islamic principles. Alongside special education there are also special needs schools, directed towards handicapped children or those with behavioral problems.
Primary education ('basisonderwijs')
There are dozens of primary schools in Almere. Although children from the age of three may attend school, they only come under compulsory education ('leerplicht') after the age of five.
A number of the primary schools in the city are extended schools (Brede Almeerse Scholen). These schools have formed partnerships with day care facilities and cultural or community organisations. Together they offer a varied menu of (after-school) activities that may include play and recreation, sports, music, arts and crafts or other special interest courses. Extended schools that meet a number of quality criteria are awarded with a quality certificate (Keurmerk Brede Almeese Scholen) by the municipality.
Secondary education ('voortgezet onderwijs')
After group 8, the final year of primary school, pupils leave primary education for secondary education.
There are three branches of secondary education: preparatory secondary vocational education ('voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs', vmbo), senior general secondary education ('hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs', havo) and pre-university education ('voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs', vwo). An aptitude test and a report from the primary school advise on which branch is best suited for a child.
Almere currently has seventeen secondary schools. Most of them are combined schools ('scholengemeenschappen'): they provide two or more of the branches of secondary education under a single management team.
Higher education ('hoger onderwijs')
Almere has recently embarked on a comprehensive journey to shape its system of higher education.
Windesheim, one of the largest Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, has established an auxiliary branch (Windesheim Flevoland) in the Almere’s city center. It offers demand-focused and practice-oriented study programs in a variety of disciplines. Over the next ten years, Windesheim will expand its current offer with an additional thirty courses. The number of students is expected to increase to 6,000.
Almere has also acquired an auxiliary branch of CAH Dronten. CAH Vilentum Almere offers quality programs in the disciplines of applied biology and interactions between nature, economy and social systems in urban environments. In time, CAH aims to enroll 600 to 800 students. CAH has a strong international orientation and network.
In 2012 Business Engineering School (BES) La Salle has established a higher education institution (La Salle Almere Campus) in Almere, as part of the IALU (International Association of Lasallian Universities). The IALU is formed by 74 university institutions from all over the world.
In Almere, pupils also have the possibility to opt for international schooling.
Letterland International Primary School operates in conjunction with Letterland Dutch Primary School. Letterland offers a dynamic environment in which all children and teachers are encouraged to develop to their full potential within a multicultural, international setting.
Letterland offers the British curriculum for Numeracy and Literacy, Dutch as a second language and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). The school is housed in modern facilities, including computers/laptops in every classroom, an English and a Dutch library, two playgrounds and sports facilities for the younger children. After-school care is also available.
The International School Almere is an English-language secondary school. The school has a global outlook and follows an international curriculum. Small classes, with usually less than 18 students, enable the teachers to know each student well and address their individual needs. The International School Almere is located in Almere Poort.
The Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands (Stichting Internationaal Onderwijs) offers a list of all international departments in Dutch schools, as well as all independent international schools in the Netherlands . The list can be found at www.sio.nl.
Visit www.dutchinternationalschools.nl for more information on international schools in the Netherlands aimed at specific international target groups.