Preparing students for the real world – both their personal and career needs

An international program tucked inside a large Danish school creates a unique learning environment

Learning, both in the classroom and real-world, is the guiding philosophy of NGG International School  (NGGI) in Hørsholm.

And according to Karen Bøttger, the vice head of school, the focus on learning extends well beyond the traditional classroom setting.

“It is incorporated in teacher meetings and in every activity we do,” she said. 

“For example, at the recent cross country championships hosted by NGG International School (see for our coverage), the IGCSE Business Studies students used running the refreshment stand as a purposeful case study.”

Beyond academic learning
The school’s teachers focus on creating a welcoming and secure environment that promotes a positive attitude towards learning.

“Children need to learn academically, socially, spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Bøttger said. 

“We strive to create an education that responds to current and future personal needs as well as the student’s future career needs.”

Unique international setting
Bøttger said that self-confidence, a sense of tolerance and respect for others are vital lessons at a school with students from many and differing backgrounds.

“We have a wide variety of nationalities and our students are happy, motivated and confident,” she said. “Respect for others is strongly valued.”

The vice-head said that NGGI’s unique position as a small department inside a very large Danish school creates opportunities that might not be available at other international schools.

“One of the major benefits of this is that students are able to participate in celebrations and Danish traditions, such as the annual Fastelavn or Santa Lucia celebrations, together with their Danish peers,” she said.

Two-tiered approach 
NGGI uses two different curricula: the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for younger students age 4-11 and Cambridge International Exams (CIE) for 11 to 16-year-olds. 

“We have two professional bodies guiding our practice,” Bøttger said. “With 225 students, aged 4-16, there is a very personal feel to the school, and both the teaching and leadership teams have an open door policy and encourage dialogue.”

Bøttger said her student body is a mixture of different types. They are from families who are new to Denmark, families in which typically one or both parents are here for the short-term, families in Denmark on a longer term basis, families in which one or both parents are of another nationality, and families who have moved from country to country, attending several international schools in the process

Community involvement
In line with the philosophy of learning both inside and outside of the classroom, NGGI students take part in frequent community initiatives, both local and global. 

“These include students collecting warm clothes for the homeless, who then visited a shelter in Copenhagen to hand over the clothes, and Global Perspectives students organising a school walk to raise funds for Cancer Research,” said Bøttger.

“Over the last 12 years, NGGI has also supported the Baharini School in Kenya with donations of much needed items as well as raising funds for the school building.”

Bøttger praised NGGI’s “active PTA” that organises events such as International Day, student parties and learning events.