It’s that time of the year.
When students in group 8 in Dutch primary schools receive their definitive ‘advies’ on the type of high school they will attend and the type of secondary education they will pursue: pre-vocational, senior general or pre-university. This advice is based on a combination of their marks from groups 6-8, the results of standardized tests they take in group 8, and the advice of their group 8 teacher.
In some large Dutch cities, high school allotment is based on a lottery system. In Amsterdam, students have the opportunity to select 12 high schools in order of preference. These preferences are entered into a lottery system and usually students are assigned to one of their top picks. There are exceptions. (Here’s a summary of the process in Amsterdam posted by New2NL.)
High schools in Amsterdam are very good overall. Most offer some form of technology education, with most integrating programming into their curriculum. The challenge is that they mostly offer short programming courses for students, often in the senior classes, as opposed to including computer science as a mandatory subject for all students throughout their high school years.
Serious Computer Science Education
If your group 8 child is interested in computer science and pursuing a career in technology, NewTechKids recommends that you find out more about Metis Montessori Lyceum located in Amsterdam East near the Oosterpark.
Several kids who attended our computer science and programming courses now attend the school. Coderclass students have also served as teaching assistants during NewTechKids workshops with international students.
The school offers two specialized tracks:
Coderclass: “From grade 1 [of high school], the students receive an intensive program of 5 hours a week in which they learn the tricks of the trade. Every student can go to work at his own pace to deepen or broaden. The students also do a project four times a year where there is a real client (company or further education). It is very special that the MML cooperates intensively with companies. Teachers and students can do an internship there. In addition, various companies deliver realistic assignments to the school, so that students really know how business works. In addition to computer science, students follow the normal secondary education program and take an exam for a diploma. As a student of the Coderclass you learn to work in the newest programs and with the newest techniques. You also often receive interesting guest lessons. In short, a varied and innovative training that offers many opportunities for the future.” (Google Translation from school’s Web site)
Technasium: “Just like the gymnasium and the Coderclass, the Technasium has an extra course. However, instead of classical languages, you get the subject Research & Design (R&D). This course has been a concept at Metis for years and since 2015 the students can also obtain an official Technasium certificate. The Technasium is an education formula for HAVO and VWO, which fills the gap that has existed for decades between elementary and beta-technical higher education. Are you interested in design and technology? Do you like to work together in a team? Do you like to learn in practice and by thinking creatively? Then delve into the Technasium! Technasium stands for education that links thinking to doing, and combines theory with practice. At the Technasium you will become acquainted with professions such as civil engineering engineer, industrial designer or architect. In the Technasium workshop you work with other students on a project. You get a problem that you have to solve together and these assignments stem from practice and business. You apply the knowledge you learn in other school subjects here and you will immediately see why you can use subjects such as mathematics and biology. Are you interested in technology and would you like to find a problem to the bottom until you find a solution? Then come to the Metis to see if the Technasium is for you. (Google Translation from school’s Web site)
(Photo of students from Metis’ Coderclass helping NewTechKids teach a programming workshop to a delegation of students from Nigeria in June 2019.)