Welcome to Daltonschool De Borgwal

We are a primary school in Bemmel, a small town in The Netherlands. We provide Dalton education for children from 4 to 12 years old. Our school currently counts around 200 students, divided over eight different groups. Our students are grouped according to their age. Each group consists of approximately 25 students and one or two teachers. All of our teachers are certified Dalton-teachers.

Dalton as a way of life

Dalton is a way of life. That is exactly what we endorse in our school. Of course our students learn mathematics, reading and writing, because those are very important skills that enable the students to participate in society. But besides that, they learn so much more at De Borgwal. We create a place where students practice living in a community. Where they learn to handle independently, to take responsibility, to reflect on themselves and others and learn to work together. These are our Dalton-pillars, which shape our Dalton education.

Dalton community

We cannot create this place only with our teachers. We are a Dalton community together with everyone that is involved in the development of our students. That includes all the parents and external organizations, but of course the students themselves as well! By giving the students a voice in the norms and values, the rules and activities in our school, they experience the importance of learning to take responsibility for these agreements, to reflect on themselves and others and to work together to reach our goals.
An example of how we do this, is our student council. Regularly, we organize class meetings. During these meetings, every class discusses important topics in the school. Some of these issues will be taken to the student council, in which two students from each of the groups 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 participate. These students are chosen by their classmates at the beginning of the year. Next to our student participation, we also have a very active parental community. A group of parents supports the organization of all kinds of activities during the year. Another group of parents takes part in a council that discusses school policy and development.

Responsibility, student ownership and self-regulation

Besides the student council, we also make our students responsible for their own by providing them with enough tools to help them plan, structure and make choices.
For instance, to help students structure their work and planning, we make use of day colours. Every day in our school has its own colour. Even young students that cannot read the days of the week or remember their names, can still get used to the weekly structure through these colours that can be found throughout the entire school.
We also make use of our ‘kwartiertjesrooster’, which is literally translated a schedule per quarter. Students can see exactly on the whiteboard in front of the class what the planning of the day looks like. This helps them to structure and be able to make decisions. Another way in which we practice student ownership and self-regulation, is the way in which the students choose where they want to work. The workspaces in the classrooms are flexible and students can move from one place to another. They can either sit in a group, individually or close to the teacher. Sometimes, the teacher has to help to make the wisest decisions at first. After a while, the students learn to make these wise decisions themselves. By doing this and guiding the student, the student slowly develops more self-regulation skills.

Broad curriculum

Since Dalton is a way of living, and learning means more than only learning cognitive skills, we provide the students with a broad curriculum. Students for instance spend time on music, sports, drama, technical and creative lessons. We believe that students can discover and develop their talents when more cognitive lessons alternate with lessons that address other skills and interests.
An example of our sports curriculum is the sports lessons that all of our students take on a daily basis. Every morning, our specialized sports teacher sets up different games and sports activities, each with another goal. Some games involve working together, others are about playing fairly or learning how to deal with winning and losing. All students participate in these games during their morning break. This gives them a moment of relaxation, they are having fun and they can release their energy in between the lessons. It also results in less conflicts during breaktime.

Changing classes

All of our students are different. To us, this means that we do not try to make a student fit into our educational system, but we adapt the system to the student’s needs. Some students take big steps and go very quickly. Other students need more repetition and practice to reach their goals. Some students love to work with their hands. Other students are theoretically very strong. We set our standards high for all of our students, because we believe that every student is able to get very far. And when we show the students that we believe in them, they will also start to believe in themselves. However, what ‘far’ exactly means, is different for every student. That is because they all have different talents, different strengths and different challenges.

To be able to provide the students with the best education possible, we organize changing classes. We have intensive changing classes and enriched changing classes. The students that need more instruction, practice and repetition, go to the intensive changing class once a week. A specialized teacher will provide these students with the help they need. Students that need more challenging exercises and materials, go to the enriched changing class. These students will learn how to deal with higher-order thinking and discuss complex topics and assignments.

The term ‘changing class’ refers to the fact that we believe that students and their development are not static. For instance, a student might only need some extra repetition or practice for a short period of time, after which he or she is able to continue by him or herself.

Week-assignment and goal cards

At De Borgwal, we work with a weekly schedule that consists of all the tasks that the students do in a week, the so-called week-assignment. Every student has his or her personal week-assignment that is completely adapted to the students’ level. On friday, the students plan their week-assignment for the upcoming week, by using the day colours as shown before. The next friday, they reflect on their work and check whether they have reached their goals for the week. The goal of the week-assignment is not to finish all the exercises, but to work on the goals. Therefore, we write down the goal of every exercise, so that students know what they will learn by doing a certain exercise. Students know why they are learning and practicing.

Even the youngest students in year 1 and 2 work with a week-assignment, but in a more simple way. They have fewer exercises and work more with symbols than text. The older the students get, the more extensive the week-assignment becomes.

Besides the week-assignment in which students can read what the goal of certain exercises is, we also work with goal cards. Firstly, students take a pre-test. The pre-test is checked and the number of correct answers is registered. If a student already does all the exercises correctly, he or she does not have to attend the instruction anymore. The student has already reached this goal. If the student makes 1 or 2 mistakes, this student attends the instruction and does some practice by him or herself. If the student does not have any answer correct, he or she attends the instruction and practices more together with the teacher. Afterwards, all students take a post-test. The test is checked and again registered. The students can now clearly see their growth compared to the pre-test. This way, they see the result of the effort that they put in their work.

Dalton International

Since 2023, we can proudly say that we are part of Dalton International, a community for Dalton schools worldwide. As a member of this association, we are able to share our Dalton practices with Dalton schools from all over the world. We visit international Dalton schools and have (online) meetings with regards to Dalton education. This way, we are able to inspire others and be inspired ourselves.

In case you have any questions about our Daltonschool or you wish to make a visit or appointment, please feel free to contact us.


Het Hoog 20
6681 DE


Postbus 39
6680 AA


[email protected]
T 0481-450184