Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
School Type: Public, Upper Secondary School
Age group: 16-19
Number of students: 1088
Year Elected: 2016
Ørestad Gymnasium’s vision “Tomorrow Today” aims to develop education that prepares young people to become changemakers in the local and global community. The school wants to show that education can and must change in order to prepare students for the future. It has organized team of teams for teachers to innovate around the concept of teaching where the students are regarded as active producers rather than consumers of knowledge.
As an ‘experiment of pedagogy’, Ørestad upper secondary school learns and evolves alongside its students, staff and community. Ørestad Gymnasium is an exploration for the development of subjects and pedagogy and often applies real life cases as part of the curriculum. The school wants to give the students a natural desire to learn – not only in school, but also in all parts of their lives. Therefore they try to stimulate academic and practical curiosity through innovative learning methods and creativity. The school itself is learning all the time and develops besides developing teachers and students. Alongside learning and creativity, another core value for Ørestad Gymnasium is appreciation where everybody should feel like taking part in the learning process and communities.
Examples of changemaking:
- Since the architecture at Ørestad Gymnasium is open – the classrooms either don’t have any walls, or have walls made of glass - students are aware of each other at all times. It gives them the feeling of being a part of one big community, where they learn to respect one another. For example, if you are being too loud, it disturbs the entire school, so the design of the building helps create an atmosphere where their behaviour reflects their mutual consideration for one another.
- The school leadership actively empowers teachers and students to invent new ways of doing things and are willing to take risks. Sometimes the school will attend a project just to try something new. They believe that creativity is born from stretching our thoughts and stepping out of our comfort zone from time to time.
- Student’s themselves take charge and leads various activities that are traditionally carried out by teachers, for example they have a TV-studio which every day live streams the morning meetings (compulsory at all Danish schools), where the chief editor (a student) and the team of students decides which topics to cover, who to interview and so on.