Scan Magazine, Issue 82, November 2015

Page 34

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Though it is one of Denmark’s oldest efterskoler, Halvorsminde’s facilities include many new additions including a large new fitness centre and sports trampolines.

Similar children play boring games In Denmark there is a saying that similar children play the best games (‘lige børn leger bedst’), but that is not what they think at Halvorsminde Efterskole. Having boiled down a century of experience to create a unique combination of traditional efterskole and vocational programmes, Halvorsminde is more than ever honouring the principles of diversity and inclusivity. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Halvorsminde Efterskole

Founded on the outskirts of Hjørring in Northern Jutland in 1903, Halvorsminde Efterskole is one of the country’s oldest. Today, the school attracts youngsters from all over Denmark, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland, with a diverse programme of subjects. “We have taken the experience from 112 years and boiled it down to create a powerful fundament bursting with culture,” says school principal Jens Beermann, who took over the management of the school almost two years ago. Since then, he has worked to develop the school’s new profile, which 34 | Issue 82 | November 2015

was launched last year. He adds: “At the heart of our identity is still the fact that we are a Grundtvigian [Grundtvig was the founder of the Danish Efterskole concept] institution and, as such, believe that people from different backgrounds contribute positively to each other’s identity and learning formation. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on attracting young people from a wide range of backgrounds.” The school’s diverse selection of core subjects comprises 14 subjects includ-

ing everything from football and handball to philosophy, drama, and wood and metal work. Living together, learning together To create as fertile a learning environment as possible for an extensive range of abilities, all students at Halvorsminde Efterskole are divided into seven different learning profiles. The learning profiles define the way subjects are approached to suit each student’s ability and strengths. “During school hours students are allowed to dedicate themselves to their areas of strength and to work with other people with the same interests. This means that we create a homogeneous learning environment and give students the opportunity to learn through interdisciplinary exercises,” says Beermann, adding: “This creates an educational safe zone that allows

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