Newsletter 17 September 2011

Dear reader!
The parliamentary elections have ended and we have a new government with the first female prime minister! Whether you're in favour of the blue or red block, the political change triggers some reflections among us, young people and parents about what the future holds. There is no doubt that we are facing major challenges and that it is increasingly important to dare to set clear goals and make the decisions that lead to them. This is what we teach the young people at Ranum Efterskole: we shape our common everyday life, content and goals in a large community of interest, where there is room for many different young people and communities due to the size of the school. Therefore, it is an important message to the new government and the newly elected politicians that the after-school must be strengthened, that young people must understand the importance of diversity to become democratic citizens.

The week has been about more than the election. The students have been working hard on their academic subjects and are preparing for their expeditions in their profile subjects. The divers are holding pool tests this weekend, and the sailors have been training their crews for the voyage to France. The international classes have been working on Chinese society and history with the Chinese guest teacher Shiie. On Friday morning, the Maritime programmes visited the school with a broad presentation, and thus the vocational presentations have begun.

In the coming week there are also many choices to make for both current and future RE students:
Students will decide on the upcoming profile period, and there will be information on profile courses, expeditions, and electives on Saturday, September 24 at Parents' Day. The contact teachers arrange a parent meeting on Saturday morning with each family, and in between they inform about the upcoming profile subjects. In the afternoon there are activities and registration takes place online.

Sunday 25 September is Open House from 13:00-17:00 and we look forward to showing the school and telling you about our many exciting offers. And prepare future students to make the right choice.
We hope that many people will want to visit us, and we encourage you to visit other efterskoler schools in Himmerland, because together we present almost everything you could wish for in the efterskole world. If you have seen several sides of the world and several schools, you can make the right choice. Himmerland is efterskoleland!

The new profile newspaper has been distributed to both current and former RE students, but if you haven't received one, you can either read it in pdf format on the front page, or we'll send you a copy by post. Although Afterschool Day is mainly for new interested students, it is also a good opportunity for those who have been enrolled for a long time to hear about all the new opportunities and be reaffirmed in their choice.

Pedagogical it's been a great week, with both clubs and contact groups having a good time. We have a very positive group of students who are good at sticking together. There is always a bit of travel fever and uncertainty as we reach this point in the school year and face the first weeks of travel, the switch to new profile subjects and have many activities going on throughout the week. And it is precisely this uncertainty and excitement that creates the challenging and evolving learning space that is unique to our school! So be patient, hold on and be brave - in 3 weeks we will be in the finals and travelling the world together.

RE cooperation with educational institutions in China.
This past week I have been in China, with a group of school people. The trip showed many possibilities for future collaborations, including several invitations to visit schools in China, and an invitation to collaborate with Beijing University of Sports in the field of outdoor sports. The AFS Intercultural Department in China is part of the Chinese Ministry of Education and it was a great and exclusive experience to visit the Ministry and to learn that AFS China is very interested in Ranum Efterskole and our global education approach, as well as the free school form. Now the seeds are sown and the soil is fertilized, so in the coming years we will have great opportunities to get to know the new superpower!
The picture shows two of 16,000 elite sports students at Beijing University of Sports. The new students have compulsory military training as part of their personal and mental preparation for university - and the party. They wanted a joint photo with him in the blue shirt from the free school Ranum Efterskole and thus the human came before the differences in system and politics.

I hope to see you this coming weekend - either Saturday or Sunday, have a great weekend!

Yours sincerely

Olav Storm