Goals, Values and Unique Characteristics of Dania School
At Dania we:
- Provide a co-educational teaching environment supporting the child to become a well rounded, confident, enquiring and happy bilingual and multi-culturally aware individual, developed to his/her maximum potential and prepared for further education and life after school in the UK, Denmark, Scandinavia or abroad.
- Draw on the ideology of Grundtvig and his views on education and to:
- integrate this into the teaching of our students in order to prepare them for active participation in society and later community life.
- promote a spirit of freedom and disciplined creativity, within all branches of educational life.
- to promote his values such as wisdom, compassion, identity and equality and will incorporate these into our school.
- Focus on developing each individual child to their full potential using a blend of Danish and English teaching methods
- Create a unique and dedicated learning environment, seeking to address the circumstantial challenges of being bilingual and bicultural in a British multicultural society
- Help children develop a sense of belonging and integrated nationality in a multicultural setting
- Provide a bilingual Danish/English full time education in London and to further integrate Swedish and Norwegian children into the school.
- Offer a specially designed curriculum, incorporating the English national curriculum to the level of GCSE, The Danish language curriculum (Dansk) to the level of niende klasses afgangs eksamen, thereby enabling children to continue their schooling in either country. This is to be developed also for Swedish and Norwegian children, using native speaking trained teachers and teaching assistants.
- Design and develop our curriculum in conjunction with the English, Danish (Norwegian and Swedish) Departments of Education
- Provide Scandinavian teachers trained in Danish and equivalent paedagogical teaching
- Teach and celebrate the festivals and traditions of Denmark and the UK, as well as Sweden and Norway.
- Build on a Christian ethos, but welcome children of all faiths or no faith
- Have a strong focus on sustainability, ecology, outdoor play and organic living
- Take a Scandinavian approach to the aesthetics and architecture of the learning space
- Believe in close observational assessment in line with the Danish teaching ethos methods
- is for children from age 2 to 11
- Recognises the central role of safeguarding in the day to day life of the school
- Is a fee paying non-selective self funding bilingual Danish/English (Swedish/Norwegian) co-educational school registered as charity
- Offers a very high quality education at an affordable price using a modified version of the new model school http://www.newmodelschool.co.uk/
- Is open to children of all abilities
- Does not offer or rely on the 7+ or 11+ exam for entry
- Aims to offer art, music, PE and Danish (or Swedish/Norwegian) lessons taught in Danish, Swedish or Norwegian
- Provides after school and holiday fun clubs
- Follows the English school year and bank holiday timetable, as well as some Danish bank holidays
- Is a limited liability company, registered charity
- is registered and inspected by ISI
- Relies on significant support and input from the Anglo-Danish community
- Works closely with established Danish cultural and religious institutions in London
The School Structure
A high level of parental involvement is expected and is essential to ensure the school meets the expectations of the pupils and parents
The Head Teacher and staff arrange parent/school meetings every term to provide ongoing discussion and feedback about children’s progress
The Head Teacher is Sandy Mathewson
The Board of Governors monitor and guide the overall running of the school
The Chair of Dania is Peter Melbye
Our curriculum is developed to merge the best from the Danish, Scandinavian and British curriculi. We follow a modified version of the English national curriculum, and a Danish language and culture curriculum based on the guidelines from the Danish ministry of education. The Danish curriculum will be delayed a year, so children in reception year, will receive a kindergarten level curriculum developed around play, games and music. This is done to strengthen Danish language perception and expression. In Year 1 we continue to follow the English national curriculum, in conjunction with the Danish Reception curriculum. This later start for formal Danish teaching is in line with Danish education tradition and additionally avoids simultaneous introduction to early reading and writing in both languages. The following years will follow a similar approach with Year 2 English/ Year 1 Danish and so on. A similar approach will we adopted for the Swedish and Norwegian students.
We carefully and considered rejected the IB curriculum, as our main aim is to give our pupils a thorough integration into English and Danish society, through the curricula of those two countries. Additionally we offer them an option to transfer into any school system at anytime, including the Danish, British or IB. This is of particular relevance to families who may be living in the UK long term, moving to another country in the future or who maybe returning to Denmark at some point.
The unique points about our curriculum are:
- Grundtvig based
- Mother tongue teaching, taught by native speaking Danish (and Swedish/Norwegian) fully qualified teachers
- English as a first or second language to suit individual pupils
- Emphasis on physical activity and outdoor play
- Individual learning plans, teaching each pupil at their current level and to their maximum potential
- The ability to embrace both British, Danish and Scandinavian culture on a daily basis
- Specially designed by educational experts from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK
- Delivered in small class settings with a maximum teacher: pupil ratio of 1:10