Newsletter 11.11.2011

Dear reader!
On 11.11.11 at 11.11'11" - imagine looking forward to this historic moment and then it's over after just 1 second?!

The week has flown by for the many students who have been in compulsory bridge building for 10th grade, while it may have felt a little longer for 9th graders who have just been home and had subject days.
The week now slides into a Friday evening, when the student party committee and the parents' council organise the team's first party outside the school. Thus, the students gather again in a probably festive evening, after the majority of the students have left school at 07.07 all week and been in activity at schools in Års and Aalborg all day. Throughout the week we have also tried to keep efterskolelivet together by daily gatherings for all bridge building students at 16.00 and by a cosy Kærhus dinner on Wednesday evening, as well as a successful contact teacher evening on Thursday. But we are all looking forward to next week, when we can once again live the real efterskole life at RE.

Feedback on bridging are largely positive, and there have been very few problems with attendance and interest in the schools' offerings. A few schools have given pupils a lot of time off and we will pick up on this in terms of the framework given for the programmes.

9th graders have been positively engaged in their professional days, and the teachers have been really good at varying the days. All afternoons have focused on Sport for fun and although the sun has certainly not been out much, the lawn in front of the main building has been beaming with good cheer and smiles.

This week we had a visit from another Chinese teacher who visited our Chinese guest teacher, Shiyi, and several pupils had the opportunity to try their hand at kung fu on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
On Wednesday there were more than 30 boys and girls at Hardball and the membership of the RE Hardball Association is now over 50. There are some problems with keeping the Hardball hall locked, so a lot of time is spent cleaning up and setting up the courts, but it is also a learning experience that should sharpen the self-discipline of the hall users.

Pedagogical there have been problems with several pupils who have been on nights out and we have again been working on problems around contraband smoking. It is not uncommon at this time of year and around Bridge Week, when there is a looser environment, for some pupils to try to create their own rules and norms for communities in the afterschool. However, while it is expected that these sub-groups form, they take up a disproportionate amount of resources in the house and drain energy from the larger community. We have an open dialogue between the contact teacher, parents and pupils, and work to avoid the creation of a them/us culture which can reinforce negative sub-groups. We also know that there will be both rumours and small problems after the first student party, but we are ready - and fingers crossed!!

Thursday afternoon and evening was a contact group day, and many students visited their contact teachers at home.

Last Wednesday was Operation Day's Work at all the country's upper secondary schools, OD day, and we were visited by 4 former students. They were to launch a Facebook campaign and collect testimonials on former students' experiences of attending Ranum Efterskole. They did a great job and the dialogue continues in cyberspace!

In the coming week there is again "normal" afterschool week with academic subjects, profile subjects, movement subjects and skills subjects. On Monday evening, the focus is on classical education and the students will attend a piano concert with some of Denmark's greatest youth talents in the group Gratus. The event is open to all interested and starts at 19.00 in the Festsalen. This weekend, a group of students will be collecting for the Danish Refugee Council, on Sunday from 13-15.

Especially for current parents: This week we have sent out the first invitation to the professional talks, performance and parents' meeting about the profile subject journeys in the weekend of 3-4 December. We would like to point out that both siblings and grandparents are very welcome.

Best regards and have a great weekend!

Olav Storm

NB: In this and the next several weeks, a lot of information will be sent out by email about the profile subjects and the expeditions in period 2.