What's happening?

Students from Denmark settle in at Shropshire school
03 Feb 2019
by Rebecca Dutton

A group of 30 students and three teachers from a Danish School have made the most of a trip to see how education works in England.

The students from Slotshaven Gymnasium in Holbæk, Denmark, have attended lessons, had lunch in the dining hall and heard a talk on the International Baccalaureate qualification at Ellesmere College.

The 16 to 19-year-olds visited as part of a project to see the educational provision in the UK.

Ian Wilson, group leader from Slotshaven, said it was a very worthwhile visit and his students got a lot out of it.

“Students at Ellesmere College duly embraced our students both on a professional and personal level and showed them the college at its best,” he said.

“From the moment we stepped into the doors of Ellesmere we were impressed not only by the impressive facilities but the welcoming atmosphere of the school.

“Ellesmere has certainly made an impression on our students.

“As a teacher I was taken back by the true professionalism of the college and also the diversity of the college, from drama to clay pigeon shooting.

“Even though the British private school system is very unlike the Danish school structure I do believe both sets of students benefited greatly from the visit.”

All students who visited are studying a business related course in Denmark, such as International Economics.

They took part in a number of Economics and Business lessons, had a tour of the facilities on offer at Ellesmere College and watched some sporting fixtures taking place.

Julius Scheel Vandel, one of the students from Denmark, said: “We expected to find a rather posh institution of an elitist nature.

“What we got was a reasonable, if a little alien to us, school that seems to foster a certain kind of camaraderie in their students, as well as not just accepting the elite and widening the gap but allowing regular people to flourish as well.

“We saw fellow human beings at a school that certainly appeared to care about its students and pushed them to excel in a great, if different, way than our own.”

Another student, Martin Anton Panduro Pedersen, added: “I enjoyed going to Ellesmere a whole lot.

“From how nicely the teachers acted to how the lessons played out and even how the school felt in general.”

Philip Wood, Head of Sixth Form at Ellesmere College, said it had been a huge success and staff and students helped the visitors gain a real insight into education there.

It is one of a number of visits the College hosts as students from overseas come to look at how they operate and what they offer.

As part of the College Global Engagement programme they also welcome students from China and elsewhere – as well as arranging trips for Ellesmere College pupils to visit places such as the Netherlands, Italy and America.

Headteacher Brendan Wignall said it was vital to the life of the school to share best practice and to enrich students’ lives with opportunities outside of the classroom.

“Our students get a lot out of it when they talk to the visitors about how their life here may differ from what our visitors may experience back in the home countries,” he said.

“Ellesmere aims to develop enquiring, knowledgeable, caring and confident young people, who can help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and responsibility.”