Recent school reforms passed by the Danish Ministry of Education will make for a longer school day and consequently a greater integration of some of the more periphery subjects, such as arts and culture, into the mandatory curriculum.
This, however, is old news for the Copenhagen International School, which has for years had a longer school day than the Danish public system.
While Danish public schools let their kids out as early as noon at some ages, CIS students have a full school day until 3 PM.
This extra time on campus allows students to diversify their subject matter, devoting as much time to the arts as they would traditional subjects like language and science.
Additionally, CIS offers 'homework cafes' – meetings between students and faculty to work on homework assignments – which take place in the afternoon, when students of other schools may have already gone home.
A different school of thought
Many students of the public school system attend SFO (an after-school program), where there is considerably less structure and members of the staff are often not qualified teachers.
“In my experience, it's the kids at SFO who organise their own activities. If it's sunny, they'll go play sports. If it's rainy, they just play on computers,” explained Thomas Nielsen, the Director of Communications and Advancement for CIS.
"Kids at that age are really keen and eager to learn, they just need the right structure," he continued.
The shorter ‘academic’ portion of the school day results in less diversity of subject matter, so many kids will only have the opportunity to explore a few different subjects at school and have to resort to other resources for any additional interests or hobbies.
The CIS philosophy is clearly working well for its students and general image.
While the school was originally targeted at expat families moving to Denmark for work, who would need a proper international school for their kids, there are actually an increasing amount of Danes applying for admission.
The two CIS campuses are currently approaching capacity – which in the past has led to waiting list issues – so they are building a new campus in Nordhavn that is scheduled to open in 2016.
High standards yield high results
CIS seems to be getting increased global recognition, as its students have been accepted to some of the best universities in the world.
Just this past year, CIS graduates were accepted to MIT and Cambridge universities, with previous years' students being accepted to Harvard and London School of Economics.