The first weeks of school are gold. That’s where the teachers are François Vatel firmly convinced. At the small VMBO school, August and September are therefore dominated by the Golden Weeks. School director Marco van Wijngaarden: “Ultimately, these lead to more motivation and even better performance.”

    If the group formation is good, the students can come into their own better. “A good start is more than half the battle in group formation. You only get one chance to get off to a good start. Investing early in the group, in students and parents yields gold for the rest of the year and perhaps the entire school career,” says Marco.

    Crucial first start

    In the first period of the pre-vocational secondary school in The Hague orientation, presentation, standardization and performance are central. After this, the roles, norms and values ​​were largely determined for the rest of the year. Then comes the evaluation phase.

    “With the class we look at how the Golden Weeks went. What do we agree on as a group? In this way we give the students responsibility themselves and they feel that they are taken seriously. We also evaluate at the end of the year. The group dynamics also influence the next year.”

    Personal attention

    The Golden Weeks are an example of the advantages of a small school. François Vatel has about 350 students and 50 teachers. “Everyone knows each other,” explains Marco. “This allows everyone in our team to offer a lot of personal attention.”

    Practical lessons from day one

    In addition to standard subjects such as Dutch, mathematics, sports and people & society, the students at François Vatel immediately start with a profile. In the first two years they follow a number of practical subjects, depending on the profile. You can think of baking and serving at Horeca, Bakery and Recreation (HBR) and working with computers and being creative at Media, Design and ICT.

    Read more under this introductory video >

    The best pre-vocational secondary school in the province

    In March 2022, François Vatel was elected as the vocational school in South Holland. Both the students of the MVI and HBR courses were awarded prizes. Does François Vatel seem like the school for your child? You can enroll from another school in year 2 and 3. For more information, visit the website of François Vatel.

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