Monday, 11 August 2014

Back to (the new) school (reform)!

Hooray!  The school holidays are over!  As my winterbathing buddy, H., said to me this morning, "Skønt! Endelig hverdag igen!" (Nice!  Finally back to everyday life!)  Much as we love our little darlings, we Mums are rather glad to see the back of the six week break.  But - surprise, surprise - even my kids were looking forward to starting school this morning.  Not because they have to start packing (pesky) lunchboxes again.  But because of the new Danish school reform.  Yep, the dice are up in the air and no-one knows how they're going to land! :)


If you live in Denmark, you can't possibly have missed the (mainly doom and gloom) coverage of the school reform.  "The end of the world is nigh!"  Well, we prefer to look at the changes with optimism.

First up, "heldagsskolen".  All-day school.  You have to take that with a pinch of salt, because Danish kids aren't really in school for that long at all.  My DD12 (dear daughter, aged 12) used to be in school from 8am to around 1.35pm.  The rest of the afternoon is normally spent at the school's 'after school club'.  Now my kids will be at school a little longer: 33 hours per week for DD12, 35 hours for DS14 (dear son, aged 14).

At our school kids will be taught English from the age of 6 (as opposed to the current age of 9).  Our local council has also decided to give kids their first taste of English at nursery and kindergarten.  Amazing!  A second language (my kids could choose German or French, both chose French) from the age of 11.

In addition to their regular Physical Education class, our kids will now do 45 minutes of some form of "movement" every day.  We haven't had any details yet but there will certainly be climbing (our school has a climbing wall and several teachers who are certified instructors) and there was talk of bringing in, e.g. yoga teachers, during the lunchbreak.



One of the most controversial changes is that there will now be a Lektiecafé/Studietid (Homework Café/Study Hour) integrated into the schoolday.  My kids think it's a great idea.  DS14 had a similar system in his class last year and was glad to be able to do his homework during school hours, leaving his "free" time as "free" time.  Or should I say computer time? ;)  DD12 is looking forward to the café because there will be a teacher on hand to help with homework.  The Danish political party "de Konservative" disagrees with plans to make the homework café obligatory and believes that kids should be able to "choose to do homework at home with mum and dad".  Ha ha, I literally had to laugh out loud when I heard that!  If I had 10 kroner for every time the subject of homework has come up at Parents' Meetings...  A constant source of conflict between parent and child.  Who wants to come home from football or piano and restart school stuff?  My fellow parents would rather have their eyes gouged out with hot pokers than battle through any more maths problems! :P

As I said, we are positive.  Bring on the changes!


So, there was a smile on my face as gave my kids a hug and waved them off on their bikes at 7.30am this morning.  Birds tweeting, the sun shining - you get the picture.  Only to hear the garden gate opening a couple of hours later, at 11.30am.  "You're back already?", I cried.  "Yep, we were let off early."  Hmmm, so much for all-day school! ;)

Diane

 

 

6 comments:

vydia jessen said...

Thank u for this...very helpful for a new to Denmark mom with a 2.5 and 7 yr old

Mattias Mortensen said...

Great article! Exciting to see how the new "heldagsskole" will workout :)

To be, or not to be (confirmed). That is the question! (Part One) – Diane's Daily Denmark said...

[...] you saw in my Monday post – Back to (the new) school (reform)! – my two little darlings are back at school and life has returned to normal.  Or is this [...]

X said...

You should have the option to let your children at school. Not the obligation. IT should be our decision- the parents not the state who decides how to raise our kids.do you think the state influence will stop at teaching English? They will strip any trace of parental and cultural identity . you will be sutogate parents for government ofsprings. Government has the purpose to serve its citizens the way they want it not the way gouvernament thinks . that is why we vote. If they do not do what they promised to do or if hey do what they said they will not ,dismiss the politician. It is a contract not a divine right.I see people protesting. How dare you impose your preferences on other ? I thought Denmark is democracy. Make it an option not mandatory. Me as a foreigner will choose to move to a less developed country or to say less american subjuged and try to save my kid from brainwashing. So don't say this is to get skilled Workers

X said...

This is as good as an excuse as 9 11 to start a war.

X said...

This reform is no constitutional. It took advantage of the holiday to avoid awareness and protest.