SKALs - an introduction
"SKALs International Boarding School gave me a unique opportunity to get closer to the Danish way of living. Furthermore I now have a broad network of young people in Denmark, who themselves are studying and living in the country".
(Kathy, student from Estonia).
SKALs may be your opportunity to experience a particularly Danish tradition of "people's enlightenment" and your chance to learn about Danish culture, language and democracy.
Skals International Boarding School was established in 1990, and it has a total of 144 students. The initiative was taken by people with connections to the business community. In addition to offering general education we aim to perfect students' knowledge and motivate them to be able to live up to the requirements of the future international society and business world.
In practice, the daily school life consists of a variety of tasks: academic instruction, creative and artistic subjects, sports subjects, practical tasks (cleaning and cooking) and a lot of extra-curricular activities within as well as outside the school.
The academic instruction at the school is important. Every student has many academic subjects and we expect that students are engaged and willing to put forth a good effort.
The school seeks contact with the international world as part of daily life. We talk a lot about the world and its challenges; we have a number of foreign guest teachers and exciting lectures; and during the school year, all the students go abroad on a study tour. We have an exchange program with a school in Ireland. While abroad, our students attend the classes and stay in the family homes of their exchange partners. Correspondingly, our SIP students go to Nepal for 2 weeks doing project work and the Cambridge classes take a two-week language course in Cambridge, England or a two-week homestay in Hanoi, Vietnam.
SKALs is rooted in the past, lives in the present and is open to the future - a future in which people will be more closely linked across borders.
SKALs is a good place to meet the Danes
The school provides a key to understanding Danish society. In a free and open atmosphere, it presents Denmark's cultural heritage as well as a range of other subjects. It also affords foreign students an opportunity to meet 'ordinary' Danes. Our courses are residential. The students live, eat and sleep at the school for the duration of the course, which lasts 42 weeks. In addition to lessons, the courses include a number of cultural activities, evening lectures, excursions and social get-togethers.
The Danish Continuation Schools (efterskoler):
This Danish tradition of 'peoples enlightenment of public matters', which still has an influence on Danish society today, dates back to the mid 19th century, when democracy made its breakthrough in Denmark as in other European countries. In this connection, N.F.S. Grundtvig - regarded as a sort of Danish national father figure - began to consider that if the people were going to participate in governing the country, they would need to be suitably enlightened. The vision of the Danish folk high school was born, and in the space of only a few years - as part of a broader social movement - it was put into practice throughout the country. At the heart of the folk high school project were the ideas of 'enlightenment for life' (livsoplysning), people's enlightenment, and democratic education - still central tenets of the Danish folk high school philosophy. The contemporary Continuation Schools - like SKALs - descends directly from this.
Skals International Boarding School
At SKALs, enlightenment for life has to do with thinking about, discussing and working with central issues of life - while being in the midst of it. The perspectives are many: philosophical, pedagogical, political, historical, religious and social.
People's enlightenment and education is concerned with being part of a community, part of a society, part of a culture. This also relates to the small community at SKALs; the students are 'learning by doing' together with 143 brothers and sisters and 25 parents (employees) - like one big family.
Democratic education is about being a citizen and a participant in a democracy - at the local level, the national, and the supranational level. The challenge of today is whether ideas of national democracy can be implemented throughout the world.
Besides the Cambridge IGCSE Curriculum we offer all subjects within the National Curriculum as well as a number of optional subjects, ranging from political studies, philosophy, psychology, music, and drama to arts & crafts and sport. The school offers a number of compulsory subjects, which all students must take, i.e. gymnastics, dance, choir, international news and lecture. When you arrive at the school, you put together your own schedule with the help of your assigned counsellor.