Cals College IJsselstein takes vmbo, havo and vwo pupils. Pupils numbers are at about 1900. The vmbo and havo pupils complete their secondary education at IJsselstein. After three years, the vwo pupils move to Nieuwegein for the upper school. Apart from the compulsory vmbo and havo/vwo courses, the school has the following specialisations:

Vmbo– upper forms: modern and practice-based

In the vmbo, there are two different streams:

  • The professional orientated pathway: The pupils in this stream focus upon practical training. In the upper school, classrooms are set up as technical workshops, kitchens, hairdressing salons or offices. The objective is to recreate professional practice as closely as possible. Pupils also do work placements with local companies.
    After two years, pupils choose one of the following professional specialisations: metalwork, administration, healthcare, metal/electrical, electrical engineering and construction.
  • The theoretical pathway: The pupils in this stream follow a course which is closer to the havo stream as there is less emphasis on practical subjects than in the professional orientated pathway. Theoretical pathway pupils also have project afternoons in which they learn research, organisation, design and presentation. This ‘competency-oriented education’ links up well to secondary vocational education. There are four specializations: economics, healthcare, engineering and agriculture

Havo and vwo talent development

Two times a week pupils are involved in talent development and/or project work.

During talent afternoons workshops are given in a variety of activities, including sport, music, technology, culture and IT. Pupils can choose to do a further workshop in the same subject to develop their talent.

Project work has been developed to help pupils acquire skills such as planning, organisation and collaboration. The pupils work on a range of themes, bringing classroom theory into practice. In the mathematics lesson pupils do Escher drawings, in the Dutch lesson they write poems and in the history lesson they write a play about a historical event, e.g. the Battle of Troy.

International education and culture

We consider it important to look beyond the national borders and to have pupils discover other cultures in Europe. That is why multiple-day excursions abroad, for example to Berlin, Paris and London, are part of the curriculum at Cals College. These are unforgettable experiences.

We deliberately offer all pupils a variety of art and culture experiences. A lot of time is reserved in the class roster for art education, and there is also an extensive cultural offer. This includes culture projects, afterschool clinics and courses, visits to the theatre and museums, cultural days in and around IJsselstein, and a dance day. In this way our pupils have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents. To this end we collaborate with various cultural institutes and artists from IJsselstein and the vicinity.


In the 2015-2016 school year, we will also introduce the technasium in our school in IJsselstein. The first year of havo/vwo is an orientation year for all pupils. They will do two Research and Development (R&D) projects of around eight weeks each. In this new subject of R&D, small groups of pupils work on an assignment set by a commercial company or institution.