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Bilingual department (TPO)


Children nowadays grow up in an international society and therefore come into contact with the English language much more often. Since young children pick up a second language relatively easily the Violenschool started a bilingual department, TPO (Tweetalig Primair Onderwijs), in schoolyear 2013-2014. A five-year pilot commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science to which nineteen other Dutch primary schools have prescribed, covers this division. TPO is an excellent addition to the education our school has to offer.

The start of TPO
We started our first TPO group in August 2014, alongside our regular Dutch group. A second TPO group followed half a year later. Currently we have four kindergarten classes, two classes of group 3 and one class of group 4. Within four years we will have a full-scale bilingual department at the Violenschool.

Bilingual practices

TPO-students follow the same curriculum as the children in our regular Dutch classes. However, 30% to 50% of the time is reserved for English. The children learn in an easy accessible and playful manner to master the English language. They are working on polite social communications, the days of the week and everyday words, etc., which helps increase their vocabulary rapidly. The TPO-curriculum is internationally oriented because English is the world’s language. Not only do the children learn the English language, but they also learn foreign customs and culture, which helps bring the language to life.

Dutch language skills remain on par with those of other Dutch students
Scientific research shows that learning a second language is highly beneficial to the development of the native tongue. It has shown no negative effect on the development of the Dutch language. One of the main conditions set by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science is that TPO-students’ Dutch language skills remain on par with those of the Dutch department. We make an exception for group 3, where children first learn how to read and write in Dutch, by restricting English to theme activities in the afternoon and brief moments during the day. In group 4 the children will learn how to read and write in English.

De Violenschool

Violenstraat 3
1214 CJ Hilversum

(035) 621 17 03