Creative arts

In tandem with an academic focus, our school encourages every child to develop in other important ways, whatever their talents, to the joys and opportunities outside the classroom.

Early Years School

Children have an opportunity to perform on the stage in assemblies and productions. Each Nursery class performs an assembly to their parents, often based on their current theme in the classroom.

All the children in Reception take part in an annual year group production and are encouraged to take on a speaking role, however short and to join in the songs for the performance.

Children in Reception take part in ‘Zing Zo’ at the Muziekgebouw aan het Ij. This is a musical performance organised for local Dutch schools, led by the Amsterdam School of Music. Children learn the songs for this performance during their weekly enrichment music class. There is also a visit to the Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum during the school year.

Junior School

We have a rich variety of arts taking place across the school; there are weekly music lessons covering all aspects of the curriculum, led by our music specialists, as well as regular singing sessions. Art Skills are taught each week by our Art specialists and tie in to topics being taught in class.


We have three regular choirs at the Junior School, for all age groups, and we take every opportunity to build links with the wider community and develop their performing skills in different environments.

We have a thriving private music service with access to 14 peripatetic music teachers and a large variety of instruments. We combine all of the musical talents of our children in regular concerts, assembly slots, choir events and practice bands at lunchtimes, and we are well resourced including orchestral instruments to loan out.

We have an annual arts week, and every year group produces a full scale production through the year, as well as regular class assemblies for parents. Children use a variety of artistic media to develop their drawing, painting and visual arts skills, and we take part in local arts events such as the Art Zuid sculpture walk, and visit Amsterdam’s rich variety of museums.

Senior School

From technical challenges of leading a school production to the courage and confidence needed to perform in drama, the creative arts have an important role to play in your child’s education.

Whilst drama, music and art are a part of our curriculum throughout the Senior School, there are also many opportunities for our pupils to excel outside the classroom. Our popular school production club puts on an annual musical show, and pupils are encouraged to participate in stage design, costume, lighting and sound in addition to the acting and singing.

One of our school choirs is a parents, staff and pupil choir, collaborating with our pupils studying music at higher levels to perform West End style shows such as Sweeney Todd.

The Art Department houses a kiln room for the firing of ceramic art and work showcased in our creative arts exhibition each year. Large collaborative pieces of art from our students, inspired by known artists, have been used as backdrops for productions and have also been on display at locations in the city of Amsterdam.

Private music tuition

The School is fortunate to have a variety of experienced Peripatetic Music teachers, who come into school to give private individual music lessons on different instruments. Lessons are offered on Violin, Cello, Harp, Guitar, Recorder, Flute,  Clarinet/Saxophone, Brass, Voice, Piano and Drums. These music teachers come under the collective title of the Young Musicians of The British School of Amsterdam (YMBSA) and focus on meeting our pupil’s musical needs first. They are experienced and intuitive; our pupils become proud and confident musicians.

The YMBSA have their own system for applying and paying for lessons, separate from school fees. More details can be found in the YMBSA Conditions.

Music Exams

Exams are used as a motivation tool to encourage practice and to give the pupils individual goals and a great sense of achievement.

  • The ABRSM board and the Trinity College of Music (UK) have syllabi ranging from the beginner’s level up to grade 8. Each exam encourages the ‘all round’ musician by incorporating performance pieces and technical tests including scales, sight–reading and aural tests.
  • The AB exams are held digitally and twice a year in The Netherlands with exam centres in Amstelveen and Voorschoten (near the Hague).

Pupils are provided with opportunities to perform throughout the year in concerts, recitals, assemblies, and class lessons, both as soloists and members of ensembles.

If you are interested in learning more about the YMBSA, please contact:

Julie-Anne Manning, YMBSA Coordinator | | +31 629 165686