“Communication Through Art” – Local Artist Visits Lower School

Recently, Kindergarten students have been working on the “Communication Through Art” unit. As part of the unit, they visited the Van Gogh Museum to get inspiration.

On Wednesday, 7 February, local Amstelveen artist Anne Leegstra visited the Lower School to give the students a taste of a real artist’s work. Anne set up a canvas in the centre of the classrooms, which the students gathered around to watch and ask questions as Anne breathed life into his artwork.

Anne Leegstra using sponges on his canvas. Credit: Cathie Ellis

Using sponges and a pallet knife, Anne created a painting using bold colours. The students have also been using these same tools and materials to create their own artwork. Seeing them used in action by a real artist was a wonderful experience for them.

For teacher Cathie Ellis, it was valuable for the students to meet a real, living artist, to add to the students view of art and the artist’s work as a process which compliments wonderfully the artwork they saw hanging in the Van Gogh museum. Cathie believed that the students gained a deeper understanding of the process of creating a piece of art, by seeing the artwork not as instantaneous but as something that is added to over time.

As a culmination of the unit, Kindergarten students will hold a week-long Art Gallery exhibiting their work in the ISA foyer, starting on 12 December.


Written by Megan Amelia

ISA Wins Top Employer in Education Award 2018

In 2014, ISA employed Effectory, a leading personnel research company, to administer an employee satisfaction survey to all faculty and staff. With consistently high scores across the survey categories, the school was nominated, and won, the coveted Top Employer award for Education in the Netherlands, as well as placed in the top 10 for businesses with under 1000 employees. 

Last Spring, in following with HR practice, ISA surveyed its faculty and staff again and the results were nothing short of amazing. ISA’s numbers soared past our 2014 scores, once again placing the International School of Amsterdam in the list of nominees for Top Employer in Education for the Netherlands.

ISA’s Top Employer in Education award. Credit: ISA HR Team.

Yesterday, the ISA Human Resources Team – Harmen Veling, Michelle Pescott and Trudi Williams – attended the Effectory/Intermediar Beste Werkgever 2018 awards ceremony and proudly received the 2018 award for Top Employer In Education on behalf of the entire ISA educator community.

There’s a famous saying that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life. Working in the field of education often means following a passion – for learning, for teaching and for building a stronger future. For over 53 years, ISA has attracted leading educators from around the globe, creating a legacy of academic excellence which continues to extend the teachings from the classroom to a lifelong love of learning for every member of our community.

This award is a recognition of all the hard work that ISA teachers and staff members put into our school each day. It recognises that our organisation is special and that our diversity of cultures and beliefs truly allows us to integrate the mission we teach towards each day – to educate for international understanding – into our professional lives. We thank all of our faculty and staff for their support of our school and for their daily commitment, hard work and dedication.

Second London ISA Alumni Reception

On Sunday, 21 January, ISA held its second alumni reception in London at the trendy Graphic Bar in Soho. The event connected ISA students, faculty and staff from the past five decades for an evening of fun and shared reminiscence of their time at the school.

There were around 40 attendees in total, 34 of which were alumni. These were mostly students who had attended ISA in the past 10 years, and it was especially exciting to have someone who attended from 1977-1985. Representing current ISA staff were Director Ed Greene, Admissions & Advancement Director Julia True and Alumni & Advancement Officer, Matt Jasinski. It was also a pleasure to see David Monk, the former Head of Upper School and Claire McQuillen, the former Assistant Head of Upper School, attend the event. 

ISA Alumni at our London Reception. Credit: Matt Jasinski

Receptions such as these provide a fantastic opportunity not only for old friends to catch up but for alumni to make new friends through their shared connection to the school. The next reunion will be held in New York on this coming Sunday, 4 February.

For Julia, who has worked at ISA for 20 years, the real pleasure of the reception was seeing how students had grown into successful young adults.

“What was lovely about the reception was spending time with these young adults in the height of their career. I saw them start ISA as children, so it has been an honour and a privilege to see them grow into adults. That’s what makes these events special.”

“It was also amazing to see the shared connection between students. They may not have known each other before because they attended school at different times, but there was still a common feeling between everybody who shared a connection through their time at ISA.”

For Matt, the London reception was a success and he is excited about the opportunities to host future networking events for alumni and current students.

“It was a great experience to return to London for our second ISA Alumni Reception. We were able to both catch-up with alumni who attended last year, as well as meet some new faces who were attending for the first time. I am really looking forward to hosting our first reception in New York City and know that it will be as fun as our London receptions have been.”

“In addition to expanding these receptions, we are continually thinking of ways to engage our Alumni Community with our current students. To this end, we are currently planning a career series for our grade 10 students. A number of alumni at the London reception expressed an interest in participating, as it would be a great chance for them to give back to ISA.”

If you would like more information about this or our other alumni offerings, please contact Matt at alumni@isa.nl.

Written by Megan Amelia