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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Swedish Schools Abroad

110 years in the heart of Berlin Celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, the second oldest Swedish school abroad breathes tradition and history yet manages to create a dynamic environment and flourishing future for its young pupils. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Svenska Skolan i Berlin

The Swedish school in Berlin, Germany, was founded in 1906 by the Swedish Victoria Congregation and has a long tradition of educating students at compulsory school age. Located on Landhausstrasse in the bright and leafy borough of Wilmersdorf in the centre of the city, the school operates as an independent unit on premises owned by the church. The site also hosts a preschool for younger children as well as the Norwegian parish. “Our small school has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, providing a social environment with tight bonds between parents, staff and children,” says headmaster Eva Gripenstad. “With small-size, mixedage classes run by our competent and qualified teachers, we are also in the great

position to give more attention to the pupils and their individual needs.” Following the Swedish curriculum, the school offers a high-quality educational programme for around 40 pupils from Sweden, Norway and Finland. While preserving its Scandinavian heritage and values, the school manages to integrate with modern German society. “When studying abroad, the children get a completely different outlook of the world,” Gripenstad says about the benefits of the international environment. “They get a global perspective and become more broad-minded when switching between languages and cultures.” As part of their education, the pupils at the Swedish school get the chance to see the exciting and bustling city of Berlin, with ad-

ditional study trips to historic locations such as Lützen. The children and their families can also enjoy a mix of German traditions and Scandinavian festivities such as Lucia and the popular Christmas market, which attracted more than 20,000 visitors this year.

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Friendly school with rhythm The Scandinavian school of Madrid offers a dynamic mix with its many nationalities, high-quality educational programmes and popular music profile. The school also boasts a pioneering anti-bullying programme to support the students’ wellbeing. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Scandinavian school of Madrid

The Scandinavian school of Madrid welcomes students of many nationalities. Half of them are of Nordic origin and 40 per cent have more than one nationality. The Scandinavian section, following the Swedish curriculum, and the international section, following the Cambridge programme, are both based on Scandinavian pedagogy and values and have an experienced team of qualified teachers at hand. The school is one of the first educational institutions in Spain to qualify as a KiVa school. In the KiVa anti-bullying programme originally set up in Finland, teachers emphasise the children’s wellbeing and initiate discussions about values, friendship and bullying. “Being a small school, we have a friendly and peaceful atmosphere,” 66  |  Issue 95  |  December 2016

says headmaster Jenny Dettmann. “With students of all ages in the same location we see that they help each other out, which also gives great results in their studies.” This is a Scandinavian school in an international environment, with the city of Madrid functioning as an additional classroom during regular visits to the many museums and sights. At upper secondary level, the school also welcomes some 40 students from Sweden. For one year, they study at the school and live in Spanish host families. “This is a great experience for our guest students,” says Dettmann. “In addition to learning the language, they get to really see the Spanish culture up close.” With a modern music profile, everyone has the chance to play an instrument and

sing in the school choir. “In Spain, people celebrate at every opportunity. We embrace this great tradition and encourage the children to perform during all the festivities at school.”

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Scan Magazine, Issue 95, December 2016  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish skiing ace Charlotte Kalla.

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