Our experienced staff help your child with speaking English as they progress through school.

Young children easily learn languages and love learning about cultures - we nurture this enthusiasm.

The British School in The Netherlands encourages you to continue speaking your personal languages at home as your child will practise English all day at school.

Junior School

Junior boysOur Personal Language Classes help your child progress in a language spoken at home.

The programme currently offers Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish classes. The teachers of these lessons are all fully-qualified proficient speakers.

  • Classes start at the beginning of the school year and follow the co-curricular schedule.
  • Classes last from 15:20-16:20 - different languages/abilities are on different days.
  • Children joining partway through the school year begin at the start of a new term.
  • Not all languages are offered at each location. 
  • The programme is offered for an additional fee (€35/lesson) through the co-curricular activities programme.

We hold regular language events in the Junior Schools, including European Day of Languages, BSN International Days, and the BSN International Festival.

Spanish, French and German

Year 6 students have beginner-level Spanish, French and German lessons. Specialist teachers from the Senior Schools cover one language per term.


Each year we customise our Dutch programme to meet variations in student fluency.

  • Younger children do more in-context lessons e.g art, cooking and drama
  • Dutch culture/traditions are covered

Senior School

Your child can study Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Chinese and Italian in the Mother Tongue Enrichment Programme (MTEP). The Italian Embassy arranges Italian lessons.

Similarly to the Junior School, we organise events to increase exposure to other languages.

Mother Tongue Programme
(Yr 7)
Native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese have lessons for an hour a week. Other mother tongues can be supported, please contact the Head of Languages.
Bridging Programme
(Yr 8 & 9)
Native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese are taught by a language assistant for an hour a week. These lessons usually take place after school. 
GCSE Course
(Yr 10 & 11)
Native French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese speakers are offered tuition with native-speaker language assistants for two hours every two weeks, as an additional GCSE. These lessons usually take place during one lunch hour and one PE lesson.
Advanced Mother Tongue Programme
(Yr 12 & 13)

We give lessons to native speakers taking a qualification in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, or Italian, covering geography, history and culture as well as linguistics. Students can self-study another language with a private tutor.

Dutch Language Provision

Dutch is one of the Modern Foreign Languages offered at the BSN, though it is treated somewhat differently, as it is the official language of the Netherlands. 

Years 7 - 9

In Years 7 - 9, Dutch is compulsory. Each year group is divided into ability groups to best meet the students’ individual needs and support them to make progress in their Dutch language learning.  

CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal / Certificate in Dutch as a Foreign Language) in Y9
It is our intention that, by the end of Year 11, students are ready to do a CNaVT examination. However, some students will be ready to take this examination by the Summer Term of Year 9.

To determine which students are ready to take the CNaVT examination, students in the more advanced ability groups will take a CNaVT mock examination at the start of the Spring Term in Year 9. Students who demonstrate the appropriate level in this mock exam will prepare to sit the actual CNaVT examination in May.

Students who were not at the appropriate level to take the CNaVT exam at the end of Year 9, can choose to study Dutch in Key Stage 4 and work towards taking the CNaVT examination in Year 11 as part of their GCSE programme.

Years 10 - 11

In Years 10 - 11, students must study a language as part of the GCSE programme. Students who did not sit the CNaVT examination in Year 9 can choose to take Dutch as one of their optional subjects during Years 10 and 11. These students will then sit the CNaVT examination at the end of Year 11. 

Students with a Dutch passport are offered the PSHE programme in Dutch in Years 10 and 11 to meet the legal requirements in accordance with the Dutch government’s regulations. They also have access to enrichment self-study online courses. 

Years 12 - 13

In Years 12 and 13, students have IB and CNaVT qualifications available in Dutch. We offer IB Dutch Language B at Higher and Standard Level (Minimum Entry Requirement: Level A2 CNaVT or equivalent). We also offer IB Dutch Language A (Language and Literature).

Dutch passport holders studying for IB qualifications in Dutch meet their legal requirements for Dutch language study.

Students with a Dutch passport who do not choose to study IB Dutch are supported in accordance with the Dutch government's regulations. 

Modern Foreign Languages

The Modern Foreign Languages Faculty at the BSN is made up of four different departments: Dutch, French, German and Spanish.

Our Languages Enrichment Programme offers Chinese and Italian for Year 7 to 13.

Years 7-9

In Year 7, students study French, Spanish, Dutch and German. In Year 8 they choose two of the languages as well as Dutch. If they need extra support with English they may have EAL lessons instead.

Years 10-11

Students are required to study a foreign language for GCSE. They can choose French, Spanish, Dutch or German.

Years 12-13 (A Level and IB Diploma)

Our Language Faculty offer French, Spanish, Dutch and German at AS and A2 Level. Those doing an IB study a language.