Arden Skole

Arden Skole is a public school serving 555 (0-9 grade) students in Mariagerfjord Municipality (Denmark). The group in this project focus on the oldest students (grade 7 – 9). The project follows the Danish curriculum for all 4 science topics (Biology, Physics/Chemistry and Geography) and includes elements from other classes like Math, English, Home Economics and Gym class. Parts of the accumulated knowledge can be incorporated into the pupils’ final exams, not to mention, be used in later stages of their education and life in terms of making sustainable choices. The school is located in Arden, next to the biggest forest in Denmark (Rold forest), where some of its classes are held. The school has a section for special needs students including Autism. The values of Arden school rest on the idea that wellbeing, enjoyment of work and collectivity are important and that pupils need to be active in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies. The school urges students to take an active position in relation to topics and current affairs. The school values development of an active environment that enables and supports learning with the opportunity for a variety of working positions, learning during exercise and motion as well as interdisciplinary. The school supports the broad range of different learning modes of students and welcomes the teachers to take the role as teacher, supervisor and inspiration guide. Arden Skole puts emphasis on natural science and innovation skills and takes advantage of the proximity of the forest and agricultural land. The school has a long record of developing TEACH-OUT approaches and Problem/Project Based Learning. The school has strong inter-school natural science cooperation between teachers and the school has participated in a Comenius program (2012 – 2014) that included school gardens and a school forest. The school has been undergoing a major rebuilding and redesign that includes academic workshop facilities, orangery, garden and an educational oriented forest in close corporation with the science-based classes and home economics. The school features a school canteen offering healthy warm meals. Arden Skole has a pedagogical focus on how teaching and learning inside classrooms can be linked to the natural environment that surrounds the school. This includes but is not limited to: The orangery, the educational forest, the school garden and several other nearby green spaces around it; to promote learning, health and wellbeing of pupils. The teaching balances theory and practice with a special emphasis on the methods and mind-set of the science subjects. Students are invited and encouraged to test hypotheses and go through the scientific method: problem statement, data collection, hypothesis, test/evaluation, results, discussion and confirmation or rejection of hypothesis all within the authentic natural contexts just mentioned. In this manner, Arden School seeks to disrupt the way classroom-based science pedagogies can be informed, structured and organized by engaging students directly in practices across a diverse set of contexts (local forest next to the school, flatbeds, school gardens, local agriculture, etc.), and thus link the school to the larger community context in relation to food systems and all the roles of its different parts. Arden school is a public school and all faculty members are paid.