NIEDERLANDE - HET Erasmus, Almelo

The Erasmus is a comprehensive school in Almelo, in the East of the Netherlands, close to the German border. The school was founded in 1874, but has carried the name Erasmus only since 1949. It is an open school, so pupils of all (if any) religious backgrounds can be found there. It has about 1500 pupils, and there are three different locations. One of them is at the A-level (Gymnasium and VWO), and O-level (HAVO). The other two establishments are at VMBO-level, which aim to train pupils in more practical skills they will need for their working lives, later.
A very important credo of the school is tolerance and respect for each other.You will find this back in the way it is led, and in the attitudes of teachers and staff. Erasmus, the 15th century Rotterdam philosopher and thinker the school was named after, taught this too: every individual differs from another, and each has his or her own special qualities, which should be cherished and respected. This is why there is a lot of emphasis on individual guidance.

The Erasmus is nevertheless a conventional school with all its predictable characteristics. Naturally, there is a normal school life with all its chores and subjects. So, if you stepped into the school on an ordinary day, you would see pupils toting round heavy rucksacks with schoolbooks,or less heavy with laptops, hanging together in small groups, or sitting together talking. The classrooms will be crowded with pupils receiving their lessons, just like in any other school. It offers the regular range of subjects that most schools in Europe do, among which there are three foreign languages, namely English, German and French. Classes start at 8:20 and stop at about 3:10 pm, depending on the time schedule of a class.
Within the Dutch school system these days(around 2013) it is possible to choose a school with a certain profile. This can be culture and art, sports, language, business or citizenship. Until now it wasn’t possible to choose a school with a science profile. Our Technasium makes this science profile a new choice for children. Het Erasmus has chosen for the art/culture profile, the business  and the science profile.
However, apart from this, there is also time for hobbies and fun. Each Friday afternoon, when classes are over, pupils are invited and encouraged to play music, drama, or to show their artistic skills. They do this together with a teacher, who can help them, guide them, or at times is like a pupil him- or herself.
The Erasmus already maintains international contacts with schools. We were in the Comenius project from 2009 untill 2011 Feeling good at my school. At the moment(2013) we are starting a new two-year Comeniusproject Today Tomorrow Together, aimed at getting used to a changing Europe.; it will be about the skills we all need to have in our lifestyle, our communication and about our problem-solving capacity.

The Comenius program is a program established by the European Union aimed at bringing students and teachers in different European countries together. The target group is young people aged 14–19 as well as teachers with extensive experience in their teaching subject. It is named after the educationist Comenius. Funding is given for one-year projects aimed at bringing European students, from different countries, together and helping European students to gain a better understanding of their own country as well as the other countries involved in the project. Students aged between 14 and 19 are welcome to join the project.
On top of that, there is the exchange project with Aurich and with a Comprehensive school in Sweden. Every year Swedish pupils come to Almelo to participate in activities. They stay at pupils' homes, and mingle with Dutch pupils. Pupils from the Erasmus got to Aurich and Sweden in return. Exchanging ideas among schools is considered very valuable. After all, you can learn a lot from how people in other schools work. This is why the Erasmus is very delighted to join in the European School partners Platform.