Admission policy

ISTwente offers both primary and secondary education in an English speaking environment. We are an authorised International Primary Curriculum and Cambridge Examination Centre school offering the IGCSE Programme, as well as A and Advanced levels. Starting next school year 2017/2018 the latter two will gradually be phased out and replaced with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

The school welcomes applications from students from all over the world, who can demonstrate a need for international education. Students qualify for placement at ISTwente if*:

  • The student has a non-Dutch nationality or is a foreign passport holder and one of the parents or legal guardians is temporarily employed in the Netherlands or a Dutch border region.
  • The student has a Dutch nationality and has lived and gone to school abroad for at least two years because one of the parents or legal guardians was stationed abroad.
  • The student has a Dutch nationality and has a parent or legal guardian (with whom the student will be living) who will be stationed abroad within two years and for at least two years. This is to be proven by a written statement of intent by parent or employer.
  • Dutch nationals applying to the IB Diploma Programme, provided he or she has a havo-diploma or a certificate of promotion to year 5 in a vwo-school, and he or she can provide proof of fluency in English, at the discretion of ISTwente.

*Admission to the Dutch International Schools is subject to conditions set in Dutch legislation.

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Primary Admissions

ISTwente welcomes children from the ages 4 to 11 at our location for primary education: Johannes ter Horststraat in Enschede. Our policy is to place students in the year appropriate for their age, with other students of the same age. This is the best place for students' social, behavioural, and emotional development, and it enables children to thrive and best learn from the rich curriculum

Exceptions to the age guidelines are made infrequently and only upon careful evaluation of the applicant by the programme coordinator. The birth dates for each year level are 1 January- 31 December. We kindly refer you to the year and age table included at the end of this page with regards to the placement of your child. Once accepted, children can start school the Monday after they have reached their fourth birthday. 

While the school has an inclusive policy on admission, it is at the same time a mainstream school, offering limited facilities to students with learning support needs. Admission to the International School Twente is dependent upon the school programme being appropriate to the applicant's needs, and where the student is able to benefit from the curriculum.  

Admission into primary does not automatically lead to admission into the IGCSE Programme. This will be determined in the final year of the International Primary Curriculum (year 6). In the Dutch educational system there is a relevant distinction between primary and secondary schools. He/she has to be officially admitted to the secondary school and at that moment has to meet (again) one of the conditions for admittance as mentioned above.

Secondary Admissions

Students from the ages 11 to 18 will be enrolled at our secondary school at College Zuid in Enschede, one of the campuses of Het Stedelijk Lyceum. It is our policy to place students according to their age, however, if the student's ability requires so, they can study and learn at their own level.

Students entering year 10 are required to choose their IGCSE subjects. English, Dutch, Mathematics and one of the Arts (Music or Visual Arts) are compulsory. We advise students who plan on entering the IB Diploma Programme (see below), after completing the IGCSE, to choose subjects in both group 3 (Humanities) and 4 (Sciences) as well.

Admission in year 11
Entry in year 11 depends (apart from the admissibility under Dutch law) on the ability of the student. Since English is our academic language, we require students to be fluent in English (both in reading, writing and speaking). This is necessary to complete the IGCSE programme in a meaningful way. If ISTwente is not confident that a new student's level of English is appropriate, the school will assess this through a test.

For the other subjects, we use similar reasoning. Students who want to take IGCSE's for certain subjects, have to have studied these subjects at an appropriate level before entering year 11.

The IB Diploma Programme 
We are thrilled to announce our authorisation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. As of September 2017, ISTwente offers one of the four high quality and challenging educational programmes: the IB Diploma Programme (DP). Students from year 12 and up will be able to participate in this programme.

Admissions of an English as an Additional Language (EAL) Student

English is the academic language of ISTwente. To ensure all students can benefit from the programmes we have to offer, the school makes provisions for students whose first language is not English. ISTwente welcomes students with no English in the International Primary Curriculum and lower years of the IGSCE Programme. In the early years of the IGSCE (year 7, 8, 9 and 10) students have time to acquire English. English is taught at Language Acquisition level within the timetable for those with EAL needs.

For admissions into year 11 and upwards, entrance testing plays a more important role in the admissions procedure, and English admissions testing may include reading comprehension with written responses, and an interview, either face-to-face or through skype.  After testing, acceptance into the programme is under the school's discretion.

EAL provision is more limited from year 9 onwards, and before offering a place at ISTwente, the school needs to be sure students are able to cope with the required level of academic English. Occasionally students in year 9 are accepted to the school only on the condition that students are receiving ongoing external tutoring. It can be advisable that EAL students undergo an additional year of secondary at ISTwente, giving them time to acquire the necessary English language skills for success in the IB Diploma Programme.

Admissions of students with a learning support need

IST is a mainstream school, with a clear academic orientation, in that the final years are geared towards university entrance (the Diploma Programme). The school has an inclusive environment, where teachers work with each student's unique strengths and weaknesses, including those students with certain recognized learning support and medical needs. IST is a school that strongly encourages participation for all students. It is vital to establish at an early stage whether the school programme offered is appropriate to the applicant's needs, and whether the student is able to benefit from the curriculum. 

Students with mild learning support needs may attend IST and receive support from their class teacher. Applications for students who have received counselling, support, therapy, or who have diagnosed special educational needs should include all relevant diagnostic reports and evaluation documentation for confidential review. This way, IST can, in concordance with parents, decide whether IST is the best option for the student, and if so, IST can immediately start supporting the student.

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