Thijs and Isobel discover the differences and similarities between their schools

Schools across the world all offer pupils a valuable environment to learn, however, no two schools are the same! Thijs from havo 2 (Dual Language Education – tto) interviewed Isobel on the differences between the RSG Enkhuizen and Wath Academy in Yorkshire! Take a look at what they put together for us!

Thijs: The RSG is just your casual Dutch school, with our rules, grading system, timetables, but you all know that already. What do you think it’s like in a different country? More specifically, England. Their school system is way more different than our system. That’s why I wrote this article, with my friend Isobel who lives in England to teach people more about the different school systems.  

Isobel: Just like most British schools, Wath requires their students to wear a nicely fitting uniform with a blazer of the school colour, burgundy. Our blazers have several pockets with a blazing torch on the front pocket with the unforgettable quote ‘Meliora Spectare’ that in Latin means aim to higher things. We have a choice between skirt or trousers with a white button up shirt. Matching our blazers, we are required to wear a burgundy and golden striped tie along with a lanyard in our respective colour. Sixth form students wear a black blazer with a black lanyard. Rules and regulations of the dress code is very different in the Netherlands.

Thijs: Rules are extremely different over here, that’s true. First of all, we do not have to wear any type of uniform. Our school doesn’t provide us with clothes, nor anything to wear throughout the day. Only on special occasions (celebrations, parties, etc) will we get a necklace, armband, or anything along those lines. Our school has the motto ”Meer dan een diploma”, this means ”More than a diploma”. Dress code wise, we don’t have any strict rules. Our school just won’t tolerate any clothing that shows too much skin. Rarely do they enforce anything dress code related though.

*Isobel: To get to school, most students either walk to school at 07:00-08:25 just as school begins in the morning, catch the bus, get dropped off by their parents or a combination of all three. Very rarely a person bikes to school especially in the harsh conditions of winter and hilly terrain.

Thijs: I genuinely wish we had the option of going by bus, especially with the recent weather being horrible for the last few days. Only when going to university/college will students go by train, or bus. As for the school I go to, we cycle to school everyday! You can imagine that especially in the winter, it can be a very painful journey. That’s why we usually wear warm clothes and prepare before heading to school. Dutch teens are always prepared with clothing that’ll protect them from the rain, and to protect their schoolbooks. In the summer, it’s lovely weather and also a very enjoyable trip to school.

Isobel: Due to covid, our lesson lengths were altered from five 50-minute lessons to three 95-minute lessons along with a 30-minute tutor session. Our school starts at 08:25 and ends at 14:50 on the dot.

Thijs: Our school has also suffered from the pandemic, although now there isn’t much to notice. Our lessons are 60 minutes long, and the time we finish really depends on the number of lessons we have. Having only 4 lessons could mean that I would finish at 12.35. If a teacher doesn’t show up, we usually get our lesson cancelled. This could mean an hour of nothing, being able to go to school later, or finishing earlier than usual. The longest day we have is until 16.15, and the shortest day we have is until 12.35. (This depends on whether any lessons get cancelled or not, as it could even be that we finish at 11.35) School usually starts at 08.15, but this could also be 09.15, or later. Our schedule is difficult to explain, but hopefully this makes it a bit easier to understand!

After reading this text, you now know some of the differences between the two school systems. Every country has their own school system, but despite the differences in every country, we still get offered excellent education overall!