During 30 years of RISS, starting as a small department within the Wolfert Bilingual School, it has grown to become a symbol of Rotterdam’s growth, international importance and multicultural awareness.
RISS provides an education that not only addresses these academic needs, but also seeks to instil key values and a wider social commitment, all designed to enhance the learning experience of students in line with the expectations of international education. Its values – courage, respect, responsibility and relationships – serve to support the overall vision; ‘educating for self-awareness, curiosity and integrity in a changing world’.
Where many schools seem to concentrate their efforts on what their children and young people will be, perhaps one of the school’s most powerful public declarations has been its desire for all children and young people to enjoy being what they are now – children and young people. Rather than simply seeing school as one long process of working towards external exams, university and beyond, it works to make sure it lives by its stated mission that all its students ‘enjoy their youth’. It is in their early teens that young people should have the opportunity to more freely explore the world around them, develop and practise the skills they need to best work with other members of the communities they are part of, develop a sense of mission and service to something bigger than they are and, most importantly, learn about themselves through a wide range of opportunities and challenges. This is done via high-quality teaching, involving students as much as possible and letting them be reflective about their learning and aspirations.