The Dutch education system consists of 4, 5 or 6 years of secondary education (depending on the type of school). After primary school, from the age of 12, students go to secondary school. Secondary education consists of VMBO, HAVO and VWO and prepares students for MBO or higher (professional) education.

The Netherlands has 4 different types of secondary education:

  • Practical education for young people who have difficulty obtaining a diploma for secondary education. The practical training prepares students to join the workforce and lasts for 6 years. 

  • Secondary vocational education (VMBO) prepares students for MBO and HAVO. VMBO lasts for 4 years. 

  • Higher general secondary education (HAVO) prepares students for higher professional education (HBO). The HAVO lasts for 5 years.

  • Preparatory scientific education (VWO) prepares students for education at a university. There are 2 types of pre-university education: Atheneum and Gymnasium.


At the end of group 8 (6thgrade), the final year of primary education, students choose a direction in secondary education following school recommendation, their own preferences and in many cases a national test. Secondary education is intended for children of the age 12 through 16, 17 or 18. General secondary education takes 5 or 6 years and is compulsory for students up to the age of 16. Students have two options: general secondary education (HAVO or VWO) or vocational secondary education (VMBO). Students can choose from these two types of educational paths. These educational paths take 2 or 3 school years, depending on the type of secondary education. In most schools, students receive advice at the end of the second year about which direction they can best follow.


There are two types of education within general secondary education: pre-university education (VWO) with a duration of 6 years, which can be followed in the Netherlands at a gymnasium, atheneum or lyceum (a combination of gymnasium and atheneum), and higher general secondary education (HAVO) that lasts for 5 years.



In the first year of secondary education we offer three levels:

  • theoretical learning-havo

  • havo-vwo

  • vwo


In the second year of secondary education we offer three levels:

  • theoretische leerweg-havo

  • havo-vwo

  • vwo

SECONDARY EDUCATION YEAR 3+From the third year, an educational direction will be chosen.
We offer three levels:

  • theoretische leerweg-havo

  • havo

  • vwo



The first years of secondary education are subdivided in:

  • VWO class 1,2 and 3

  • HAVO class 1,2 and 3

  • VMBO class 1 and 2

  • vmbo class 3 and 4 (includes a certificate or diploma)

  • havo class 4 and IB or CNaVT

  • vwo class 4 and IB



In secondary education the regular lessons are structured in such a way that each student has one hour and 15 minutes of lessons per week.


During the lessons we work with the Nieuw Nederlands method, which provides education for the VMBO, HAVO and VWO levels.

The Nieuw Nederlands method classifies: 
Reading, speaking, watching and listening, writing, portfolio assignment, vocabulary, language art, grammar phrases, grammar words, spelling, fiction and poetry.


Working with the Nieuwsbegrip method, is a good way to connect with current events while practicing reading comprehension and vocabulary. Students read texts that are related to the theme of the week.The texts are linked to reading and vocabulary exercises, with the aim of allowing students to read strategically. 

Because the teacher regularly shows students (thinking out loud) how she approaches a text as a reading expert, she shows how she uses a reading strategy to understand the text. NOS Jeugdjournaal broadcasts a video for every theme. The students enjoy to view and discuss this.

There is a text for each student at his or her level.

  • Level AA for group 4 (2ndgrade)

  • Level A for group 5/6 (3rdand 4thgrade) , ISK and practical education and newly literate students. 

  • Level B for group 7/8 (5thand 6th grade) , vmbo bbl/kbl year 1-2 en mbo level 1

  • Level C for the better readers of group 8 (6thgrade), vmbo bbl/kbl year 3-4, vmbo g/t year 1-3, havo/vwo year 1-2 en mbo level 2

  • Level D for vmbo t year 4, havo/vwo year 3-4 en mbo level 3


The New Dutch method offers a wealth of extra practice material online and through exercise books. We also work with Bloon, a handy site where the children can practice their dictation in a fun way after each chapter. All groups also regularly practice their spelling as homework on the computer with Bloon. Bloon is a method-independent way of exercising with spelling.


The possibilities to continue and finish secondary education are offered in collaboration with


For students who want to finish their  Dutch program with a recognized diploma, but do not choose IB Dutch A, the Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate with profile Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) is a good alternative. This CNAVT exam - at level B2 - is recognized by almost all universities and colleges in the Netherlands and Flanders.
WWJ offers targeted exam training in collaboration with IBID by experienced teachers. The CNaVT exam takes place in the first two weeks of May and can be taken anywhere in the world at a recognized exam institution.


The student goes through the entire route of Dutch secondary education with the New Dutch Methods. In the last year we will apply for the state exam. The application must be made before January of the year in which the exam is taken. The written exam may be taken abroad under certain conditions. The conditions are:

  • The country must be outside of Europe.   

  • Candidate has the Dutch nationality.

  • The Exam Services department must agree with the request.

  • There is an embassy or consulate in the area athat is willing to examine the candidate at the Dutch exam times.

  • The oral exam must be taken in the Netherlands or in the Dutch Antilles.

The candidate may also request to take the exam at a later date in the Netherlands, in the second period of June or in the third period of August. In order to qualify for this, the candidate must send proof of living or working abroad to the Exam Services Department.


In addition to the CNaVT and the Dutch Certificate, there is the possibility to continue as a NT2 candidate, exam I or II.

The NT2 exams are taken almost weekly at 5 different locations in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Rijswijk and Zwolle. The NT2 exam can also be taken in parts (partial certificates). For example: first reading and listening and after a few months speaking and writing.



The NT2 I exam gives access to programs or activities at MBO level. Secondary education students who have completed year 3 VMBO can choose to take part in the NT2 I exam.

The NT2 II exam provides access to programs and positions at higher professional education and university level. Secondary school students who have completed year 3 HAVO or 3 VWO may also choose to continue and participate in the NT2 II exam.


In secondary educations, various tests are taken at different times. This way in addition of the teacher’s observation, the progress of the students is closely monitored in all parts of the Dutch education that are addressed during our lessons. After each chapter we take a method provided test to see whether the offered and learned content of that chapter has been mastered by the student. Three times a year the students take a digital reading skills test. This allows the students’ progress to be tracked and gage if the student understands the plain text, can see connections and can extract the author’s main idea from a text.

Once a year the students take the national standardized test for reading and spelling.  When a student starts in year 1 of secondary education, at World Wide Juf, a test will be taken to measure the student’s starting level. This test will be taken twice in the first year. 




We will refer students who want to take the IB (International Baccalaureate) exam after the third year of secondary education (depending on the level of the student) to, WWJ and IBID work closely together. IBID is, just like World Wide Juf, affiliated with the NOB foundation.












VWO: Dutch universities and hbo-institutes.

HAVO: hbo-institutes.

VMBO: mbo-institutes.

Individual through the website from DUO before January 1st.

In May, June and August.

In the Netherlands or in a country outside of Europe.


CNaVT profile Educatief

Universities and higher education in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Individual with help from IBID/WWJ before March 16th. 

Yearly in the beginning of May.

At recognized exam institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide.


MBO institutes and professions on a MBO level. 



Individual through the website from DUO.


Almost weekly.

Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Rijswijk and Zwolle.


Universities and HBO institutes and professions on a university and HBO level.


Individual through the website from DUO

Almost weekly.


Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Rijswijk and Zwolle.


The NOB Foundation has developed the NTC lesson series NederLAND IN ZICHT. In the lesson series, vocabulary is integrated with culture lessons. It is a continuous learning path from kindergarten through secondary school.

In selection of the subjects for NederLAND IN ZICHT, they tried to consider the best possible coverage of the core objective of primary education: “orientation on yourself and the world”.  The choice was made for those subjects that are not generally treated or treated in a different way at the student’s day schools.  During the lessons of NederLAND IN ZICHT, the emphasis is placed on the Netherlands. 

NOB Foundation has also developed the culture game CultQuest. CultQuest is an online game for NTC students aged 11 to 14 years.
Various interactive games can be played via
While playing the games, students can score points. With these points they can unlock or customize their own avatar.

The intangible cultural heritage of the Netherlands and Flanders is central to CultQuest. This means that Dutch traditions and Flemish customs are discussed. Different topics are discussed and connected to a theme. The game formats are based on reproducing knowledge, research, comparing and positioning itself in relation to aspects of the intangible cultural heritage. The children explore, discover and learn more about Dutch and Flemish traditions and customs.