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Children ages 4 through 12 attend primary school. Primary school has 8 groups. Children are required to attend school from the age of 4. On this page you can read all about primary school.
Primary education is free and compulsory
Primary school is for children aged 4 to 12. Education is free and compulsory for all children regardless of their background.
Primary education is for 8 years
Primary school is divided into 8 school years, also called groups. When a child is 4 years old, they start in group 1. Groups 1 and 2 are also called kindergarten. Starting in group 3, children learn to read, write and do maths. In group 8, students take a final test, called the 'doorstroomtoets' (transition test). The result of the test, together with the teacher's advice, gives an estimate of the child's level for secondary school.
Primary school lessons
Important lessons taught in primary school include reading and writing Dutch, maths, geography, history, nature and technology, drawing, crafts and physical education. For each subject, the child receives a grade. The grades appear on the report card. In most primary schools, children receive a report card 3 times a year.
Parents are asked to be involved in their children's education. As a parent, you have regular contact with the teachers. For example, you attend parent evenings. These are meetings with the teacher and parents to discuss how the child is doing at school.
School days and days off
Children attend school 5 days a week, Monday to Friday. School hours may vary by school, but usually begin in the morning and end in the afternoon. There are several holidays during the school year, such as the summer holidays, Christmas holidays and spring holidays.
Children do not have to attend school during school holidays, if they are sick or if they are given time off for special occasions such as a wedding, funeral, a day of commemoration or a memorial day. You should always notify the school if your child is sick or ask the school if your child wants a special day off.