Back to school
Photographs: North Zealand International School
Text: Shani Bishop, North Zealand International School
After a lovely and well-deserved summer holiday, everyone is looking forward to returning to school. The 2021-2022 academic year will be more stable and hopefully corona free. We hope to enjoy a regular school year with the children mixing freely again with more people vaccinated.
North Zealand International School (NIS) asked parents whether they would recommend the school to others in the spring term. The number of parents who said they would recommend NIS increased to 94%. Parents agree that the school did an excellent job setting up comprehensive home learning programmes and communicated effectively with parents throughout.
The silver linings
NIS teachers have seen how students have developed various skills during this period of change. Distance learning meant learners became much more confident in managing their time and became more independent in their learning. By making choices about their own learning, their understanding of how they learn grew. For example, working collaboratively online with other learners and their role in understanding when and how they work best to produce assignments they are proud of. Teachers saw that learners reached out more to ask questions when they needed support. This has translated into more confidence back in the classroom as learners continue to seek assistance as needed.
NIS started online parent consultations during the period of school closure which proved a success. Busy parents can now join from work if they cannot get away.
Well-being has been prioritised over the last year, and rightly so. At NIS, the message is always clear, the children's well-being through good mental and physical health comes first. Our school achieves this in several ways. One of the school's physical challenges sought to see how far families could walk, cycle and run. This helped parents inspire their children. Seventy-three families took part, and the average distance was 80km in a week. One family managed 550km!
Our class teachers and social and emotional counsellor Michelle Aniere-Bentsen supported learners on an ongoing basis. Class teachers see children every day and so are quick to spot any potential issues. In addition, Michelle provides counselling support if required to learners and families.
Things to look forward to this academic year
There are so many activities and events to look forward to in the coming academic year. When our Primary learners at NIS complete a unit, they celebrate their exit point by inviting other children, including siblings from different classes, to share in their success. Typically parents attend these events in person, but parents were invited to participate online during school closure. Online exit points had the added bonus of allowing grandparents based overseas to join. This further strengthens the bond between NIS families and the school and subsequently started many conversations about learning worldwide.
NIS children enjoy day trips and overnight stays as part of their academic development at NIS. Trips to special places in Denmark can go ahead now so all the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) goals, including communicator and collaborator, can be practised. It's usual in NIS for children from two classes to work on the same unit. Recently NIS children in years 5 and 6 studied fairgrounds and constructed their own rides in miniature, applying what they had learnt about forces in their designs. Parents then could watch online presentations where the learners showcased their knowledge and skills.
NIS children are delighted they can play with kids from other classes again. Xavier from NIS said, "I'm so happy to play with my brother and my friends again in the playground". Rebuilding those bonds with other children is vital for their social development, so it's something we can all smile about.
Are you still looking for an outstanding international school?
NIS is open from early August and is accepting applications now online and throughout the summer, so apply at https://ngg.dk/international/admissions