21st Century Global School – Interview with the founder, Ingrid Elbertsen
Ingrid gives us a warm welcome into her new school, the 21st Century Global School on the Korte Verspronckweg in Haarlem, which will be the first bilingual school in the region. Building work is still ongoing while we visit but the school is taking shape and the work is on schedule to be finished before the open day on the 28th of June. The 21 Century school will open its doors to pupils in August, at the start of the new school year. Ingrid Elbertsen is the founder and will be teaching at the school as well. She is originally from South Africa but married a Dutch man and after having lived in several countries, the family is now settled in Haarlem. She has been working for AICS, the Amsterdam International Community School for the last years and is now working on setting up the school.
The school is located on the Korte Verspronckweg, in between Haarlem and Overveen and will be the first primary school in Haarlem where lessons are taught in both English and Dutch. The bilingual part however is not the essence of the school; it is the Montessori approach that defines the school’s philosophy. Ingrid has adjusted the Montessori method so that it fits more into current times and includes the use of technology in modern teaching methods. She has already applied this method both at AICS and when raising her own children. Key to it is that teaching is done on an individual basis, focuses on personal strengths and weaknesses and is centred around working independently. To do so, the school only admits a maximum of 36 pupils between 4-12 years old. As children need to possess a certain amount of independence to be able to fit into this approach, the school assess pupils before they are admitted. Teachers are both native Dutch and English and children are taught in both languages.
The 21st century school is a private school and school fees apply. Fees are steep at 1500 Euro/month/child but this covers a full day from 7.30-18.00 and includes all food and materials. As the hours cover more than the minimum education hours require, part of the fees are eligible for tax benefits under childcare allowance. The school is small but it has an outside space at the back where sports can be played and were nature can be explored. To allow
21st Century School
Korte Vespronckweg 9
2023 BS Haarlem
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