Our Campus

The Campus at Van Vollenhovenkade is home to both International School Leiden and Basisschool Joppensz. ISL will open its doors to up to 40 students in its inauguration year, doubling in size the next two years. We won’t need that much space in these early stages, so we decided to team up with a regular Dutch school. Joppensz is close to the city centre, has enough classrooms available to host our school and we are happy to make it just a little easier for our students to integrate into the Dutch society. We will, within five years, move to a new campus offering a vast range of world-class facilities designed to optimize our students’ learning experience

But that new building will still look like a typical Dutch school. And there is a good reason for it. Dutch children are the happiest in the world. UNICEF, the Children’s organization of the United Nations, published a report in 2017 on child well-being in rich countries, which ranks The Netherlands number 1 on the list. The report lays out several dimensions of child well-being: material well-being, health and safety, educational well-being, behavior and risks, housing and environment and subjective well-being.

Freedom to ride
The Dutch love getting around on two wheels on dedicated bike paths, and drivers reflexively looking out for cyclists means that it’s very safe. Kids have the freedom to cycle off to school, visit friends or go to sports, giving them confidence, exercise and loads of independence; what child wouldn’t be happy about that?

No pressure
Parents and teachers have a pretty healthy attitude towards their kids, seeing them as individuals rather than extensions of themselves, and do not put pressure on them to perform. They are realistic about their children’s strengths and haven’t created a culture of success where school grades are taken as a measure of worth. Although the Dutch want the best for their children and stimulate them to do their best in school for a bright future, they don’t put any unnecessary pressure on their kids. Dutch parents also give their kids the freedom to explore and find their own boundaries. After school and during weekends the neighborhood kids can usually be found playing out on the street. Homework is often kept to a minimum and there’s plenty of time to play and relax.

Family first
Family time is important to Dutch parents. Children regularly eat dinner with their parents. Dutch dads make time for their children. There’s an equal role for both daddy and mommy in parenting the kids. Many fathers take advantage of a ‘papadag’ (daddy day), a legally allowed (unpaid) day off work for dads to look after their children. Dutch women lead the way with part-time work amongst OECD countries. Dutch parents make time to raise their children. Dutch parents are among the happiest parents in the world, and it should be no surprise that this reflects on their children. Many researchers agree that the key ingredient for happy children are happy parents!

Free and open minded
In the Netherlands you will find freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of sexual expression amongst others. The Dutch speak their minds.

So, both our new and our present campus should have a Dutch ‘feel’, making it not only easier to integrate, but also a little easier to be happy!



Early years

We foster our students’ love for learning, encourage them to try new and exciting things, and give them a solid foundation to build on


Primary years

Our goal as a school is to equip our young people with the skills and mindset to thrive and then take on the world.


International Primary Curriculum

The IPC is commitment to the holistic development of learners through enjoyable academic, personal and international learning that prepares them for opportunities and challenges now and in the future