Scan Magazine, Issue 83, December 2015

Page 58

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Efterskoler – Uniquely Danish

Above: Skamling’s Adventure X programme is the place where young adrenaline junkies get to live out their dreams in a safe setting. Right: Aspiring designers and fashionistas have a great time at Skamling, where they have eight weekly design classes and “get to be creative every day”.

‘Being a bit of a nerd is a good thing’ With a broad and varied range of design and sports subjects, Design- & Idrætsefterskolen Skamling attracts students from all over Denmark. The school has been educating ninth and tenth graders for more than five decades, but offers more opportunities today than ever. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Skamling

Founded in 1955, Design- & Idrætsefterskolen Skamling is by no means a novice when it comes to educating young people. But the school is about much more than traditional schooling. It is about cultivating, encouraging and preparing students for future opportunities by allowing them to grow their individual interests while ensuring that they also achieve their academic goals. Principal Brian Vittrup explains: “Our school is about training and working to accomplish better results both academically and in your area of special interest. When we use the word ‘nerd’ it is 58 | Issue 83 | December 2015

a positive term, and that is something our students find really cool – that it is not just okay to specialise and be a bit of a geek; it is a positive thing.” Students spend eight hours a week on their chosen subject. The available subjects include: football, handball, design, app design, adventure X, and equestrianism.

Diversity and inclusivity Unlike some other schools, Design- & Idrætsefterskolen Skamling has chosen to include subjects from two very different

worlds, namely sports and design. A consequence of this is that students meet and experience an unusually diverse range of backgrounds and interests amongst their fellow students. “The respect for individual differences is one of the things that characterises our school – it is a special way of being together that naturally prevails all over the school. We do not see differences as a weakness but as a strength; actually, inclusivity and diversity are not something we talk about but are just an inherent part of the way we do things,” explains Vittrup. The students themselves confirm that making friends across different subject groups is one of the great things about Design- & Idrætsefterskolen Skamling. Among the other aspects they highlight are the school’s academic focus, the encouragement to think big and the ability

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