Information in English

Basisschool The Cornelis Vrijschool, a unique primary school in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid

The Cornelis Vrijschool is a small primary school (basisschool) with approximately 250 pupils in Amsterdam South. The school was founded in 1898 by the teacher Cornelis Vrij. He wanted to have his own private school – which was modern for the time – to shape ideas about education. He believed that children prefer to learn by acting and ‘by doing’ and then they are more motivated to go to school. He became known for his advocacy for drawing, crafts, and physical education in primary school. His motto was ‘working with head, heart and hands’ and that is still the vision we use at the Cornelis Vrijschool.

The school is run by a board of parents, and we are a secular school – we respect all philosophies, religions, and social movements.

In addition to a thorough primary education, we pay a lot of attention to visual, physical, and musical education, and art and culture have a central place in our curriculum. At our school, differences are consciously dealt with through action-oriented working and there is plenty of room for talent development. We think it is important that children become independent, that they are given and take responsibility for themselves and learn to work together. Therefore, the core of our education is that the children play an active role in their own learning process.

Our goal is to provide the children with the best foundation for later life and to ensure that they enjoy going to school every day.

We help children to recognise their own personal development and allow them to take ownership of their learning process. For, us the learning process is most important and not simply giving a correct answer. We do this in a safe, respectful, challenging, and professional learning environment. Our mission is that the children develop skills now and for the future and can go to secondary education with confidence. Our goal is to provide the children with the best foundation for later life and to ensure that they enjoy going to school every day.

Our curriculum is in Dutch, and the majority of pupils are native Dutch speakers, although many students speak a second or third language. We have experience with the integration of non-Dutch speaking pupils into the school program and also have access to additional resources if necessary to help children adapt. When enlisting your child, please note that our general admission rules apply:

• For children with an older brother or sister in the school application is still obligatory but placement is guaranteed;
• All remaining places are given out on the basis of shortest distance of the home address of the child to the Cornelis Vrijschool.

In general, children start primary school at the age of four. From the age of 5, school attendance is compulsory. The general rules and regulations for enrolling children at primary schools in Amsterdam do not apply to the Cornelis Vrijschool, as we have our own enlistment system. If you are interested in enlisting your child to the Cornelis Vrijschool, please read the application information and download the application form on our website.

You are welcome to join the English information sessions that are organised regularly.

Please contact the school’s administration desk at to get the latest details on the exact program and to enlist for the introduction.