Photographs: North Zealand International School
Text: Shani Bishop
If you are looking for a place at an international school for your child, there are many things to consider. There are plenty of international schools in Denmark, but they are very popular, so planning ahead is always advised.
A space for my child
Whilst there are many international schools, getting a place can be challenging. Class spaces are created when families leave, so lining up new arrivals is like a jigsaw for the schools. Once you have a few schools on your list, approach each one to schedule a school tour and/or begin the admissions process. North Zealand International School (NIS) is very popular, so new classes have been created in many year groups.
Choosing a home
Before Covid, parents would look at the location of the place(s) of work and think about living near the school. Hybrid working and working from home have changed all this. Families can live anywhere now, and with good road and rail networks in Denmark, living in a beautiful place like Northern Zealand is an excellent option for families. North Zealand is the best of both worlds with beaches, forests and beautiful countryside in plentiful supply, yet Copenhagen is only 20 minutes away. NIS is located near Hørsholm in North Zealand.
What does the curriculum cover?
International schools in Denmark teach many different recognised curricula, including the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), International Primary Curriculum (IPC), British, Cambridge Assessment International Education's IGCSEs, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) 's PYP, MYP and DP. Therefore, it's essential to think about which type of curriculum will suit your child and, if you are moving again one day, which will work best for your family.
NIS is the only international school in Denmark accredited to teach the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). The IPC curriculum is taught at international schools worldwide, including the British International Schools in Stockholm and Washington. This fantastic curriculum combines rigorous subject learning with the creativity and innovation needed to develop children's skills for their future. In addition, NIS offers the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) for the youngest children (3 to 5-year-olds) in the Early Years setting as a vital transition between early and primary education. The IEYC uses international best practices, holistic enquiry and play-based approaches that cover all curriculum areas, including personal, social and emotional development.
Learning the local language
Learning the language is crucial whether you plan to stay in Denmark forever or just a few years. International schools all provide Danish lessons as part of the curriculum. NGG is among one of the largest private schools in Denmark (which NIS is a part of), and NIS learners are fortunate to join the Danish department for celebrations and events, in addition to at least 4 Danish lessons per week. International children also mix with their Danish friends at the after-school club every day.
Caring teachers and staff
International schools generally recruit teachers from all over the world. NIS is no different and has teachers from the UK, US, Denmark, South Africa, India and the Netherlands. This means the teachers bring an enormous amount of experience and diversity of approach, making the learning engaging for the children.
Parents high praise
Feedback from parents is always helpful. Try Facebook groups but also visit the school if you can to see how you feel about the school and talk to parents on site.
When NIS asked whether parents would recommend the school in a recent survey, an overwhelming 92% said they would!
Best time to apply
International schools accept applications all year round. In addition, most accept applications online together with a fee. Therefore, it's best to always apply as soon as possible.