Ørestad Gymnasium is an upper secondary school founded in 2005 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Led by Allan Kjær Andersen, Ørestad offers 12 study programs within the subjects of natural science, social science, language study, and artistic study. Through their intense academic focus on these topics, the school aims to prepare students for higher education. The school also offers a three-year gymnasium program (STX) focused on general education and study preparation with an academic standard closely linked to aspects of academic subjects. Students participating in this program are to achieve competence in humanities, natural science, and social science.
As a school, Ørestad Gymnasium is constantly testing new ways of teaching and traditional classroom teaching is supplemented and partially replaced by other methods. The high school believes teaching becomes more realistic and present to students, as they experience how knowledge is being used and wants to make the students participate actively and productively in learning. They aim to create a school in which teachers and students stimulate each other to think in creative and innovative ways. Teaching is organized as an interaction between:
traditional classes/plenary environments
group-based learning environments
individual acquisition of knowledge (e.g. virtual learning)
real-life cases taught in cooperation with external partners.
While teaching is widely organized in collaboration with companies, industries, and the local community, all teaching activities are controlled by the teachers to ensure that all network-based learning meets the study plan requirements.
Ørestad also recognizes that creativity and innovation are essential skills in our future society, as is international cooperation. To ensure their students embrace these skills, they teach them how to participate in a society in which the production of knowledge and experience is playing a steadily increasing role and they must be producers, not just consumers, of content.
Students flourish in open spaces where all activities are visible to everyone and Ørestad Gymnasium's building creates a flexible and structured use of learning environments. The architecture supports alternative learning strategies with its open floorplan and inspires learning and facilitates group work, nontraditional modes of teaching and communication. Highlighted for their building and teaching methods in the Financial Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, and Euro News, the Gymnasium's building is changing perceptions of what it means to have open learning spaces and be fully committed to a classroom-less school.
Information and communications technology (ICT) is an important learning platform so, in order to facilitate a model of education based on part teacher-led and part student-led learning, the school went 100 percent digital in 2012. Free Wi-Fi encompasses the campus and all teaching materials are digital and students have free access to digital teaching materials such as textbooks.
Allan Kjær Andersen has been the principal of Ørestad Gymnasium since the school was founded in 2005. He holds a Masters of Art in Danish Language and Literature from University of Southern Denmark in Odense, a Masters of Art in History from Roskilde University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Copenhagen Business School, University in Frederiksberg.
He has an extensive background, knowledge, and experience in teaching as well as school leadership and has been the principal of several other schools prior to joining Ørestad Gymnasium. Mr. Andersen has been the key figure in defining and outlining the school's pedagogical approach of student-activated teaching in open-space classrooms, the school's media profile, and the decision to be a 100% digitalized school with ICT-based teaching. His ultimate goal is for Gymnasium students to become active learners with the skills and awareness to transform knowledge into action, as engaged members of society.
Contact Principal Andersen by email: aka(at)adm(dot)oegnet(dot)dk
Follow him on Twitter: @allankjaer
Allan Kjær Andersen, Principal
Ørestad Gymnasium is the initiator of this project, aiming to make students more competent and motivated to choose higher education after high school. Seventeen gymnasiums (secondary schools), three centers of higher education, and the Center of Youth Research (CeFU) participate in the project, which is supported by the capital municipality.
Read more here (in Danish):
At Ørestad Gymnasium things are a bit different compared to the ordinary. Besides being aesthetic and impressive the architecture forces teaching and learning in new directions.
While this is the main purpose of course the Gymnasium acts as scene for the students last steps before they fully become adults.
A network of 14 Danish gymnasiums across the country focus on globalization and seek to educate and inspire teachers and students to use the world around them as their classroom. In 2014 Ørestad Gymnasium hosted the "Global Educator Conference" where educaters and students from the Globale Gymnasier network, together with international guests, participated in seminars and workshops about globalization and citizenship.
Read more here (in Danish): http://globalegymnasier.dk/
AVITAE is a project under the European Union program Erasmus+ where teachers and students from participating schools in seven countries explore the entrpreneurial tendencies in Europe, from past to present. The goal is to create innovation with inspiration from the cultural heritage of the participating countries. The students make different products such as a newspaper, cookbook, and films based on their findings. The program furthers cooperation and friendships between the students of the participating schools and includes travel opportunities.
Presentation of Orestad Gymnasium
29 January 2015
Watch a promotional video about Ørestad Gymnasium for shown to new students (in Danish).
08th April 2015
On 8th April 2015, Ørestad Gymnasium hosted the European Commissioner of Competition and spoke to Innovation Program students about her work.
02nd September 2015
A group of students launched a TV program for young people on Channel TV2 Lorry. The program is produced, filmed, written, and edited by the students themselves.
28th August 2015
Students dressed up in fanciful costumes and participated in not so everyday Physical Education activities for OEG Games. Held 28th August 2015, the school's unothodox yearly school tournament saw students dressed up along the themes of Mexico, army, beach vacation, Grease, Mardi Gras, and two different kinds of dogs. One class even hosted a Bedouin tea with six camels.