Futuristic learning: A glimpse inside one of Denmark’s most innovative schools

Over 50 years after the establishment of the International Baccalaureate, participating international schools continue to deliver excellence in education.

Futuristic learning: A glimpse inside one of Denmark's most innovative schools
Students in the CIS cafeteria space, Photo: CIS

Nowhere is this more evident than at Copenhagen International School (CIS), one of the 12 founding schools of the programme. Almost 60 years since the school’s founding, and 50 years after the first Diploma Programme exams, we examine how this trailblazing school continues to innovate and help students achieve excellence. 

From small beginnings… 

With an initial cohort of just 12 students, CIS was founded in 1963 to serve international families in Copenhagen, offering US high school correspondence courses. From 1968, the school began to offer the International Baccalaureate programme – one of a handful to do so.

Over the decades, as Copenhagen became more of an international city, student numbers grew and the Early Years Programme, the Primary School, Middle School and High School at the school took shape. This required larger and better-equipped facilities. From a humble beginning, using the classrooms of existing high schools, the school enlarged through the ensuing decades to encompass two bustling campuses.

Today the school has about 900 students, with 60 languages being spoken by students – a diverse learning environment that is the natural choice for those seeking to expose their children to the wider world.  

…emerge great things

Today’s CIS is a far cry from its original small block of classrooms. Bringing together the cohorts from the school’s former campuses, today’s school is located in the city’s new Nordhavn district. Designed and built by one of Scandanavia’s leading firms, C.F. Møller Architects, the campus is both environmentally and socially sustainable – built to last and to tread lightly on the earth. 

Encompassing four towers, the campus is full of classrooms and learning environments designed specifically to engage students and meet their specific learning needs. Located on its own promontory in the busy harbour district, solar panels across the building supply its energy demands. It is, in every sense, a building designed to meet the needs of the future. 

Explore one of Europe’s most innovative learning environments, and learn more about how Copenhagen International School prepares students for the future

Early Years students play at CIS. Photo: CIS

Future-forward learning

CIS‘ futuristic campus is only one of the school’s innovative aspects. As Ida Storm Jansen, the school’s Head of Community Relations, tells us: “The CIS approach to learning is designed to foster curiousity, tolerance and an apprecation of diversity. Understanding the challenges of the modern world is something our students must be prepared for, now more than ever.”

Within each of the school’s academic programmes, students are encouraged to become the champions of a just and a sustainable world. This is assisted by engaging students with modern challenges in a hands-on manner – ‘learning by doing’. Therefore, students are meeting, talking to and working with individuals and groups from outside the school community, earning valuable ‘real life’ experience. The many and diverse backgrounds of the student body are incorporated as a powerful learning tool on a daily basis.

Growing the whole child 

Outside of traditional academic programmes, the school’s philosophy places emphasis on encouraging the ‘thriving’ of the individual, across a wide number of areas. Physical education programmes and the membership of a number of sporting associations allow students to compete and excel in the physical arena, while a long-established music and theatre programme gives them valuable performance experience. Visual arts is also highly prized at the school, with students regularly winning competitions, displaying their work and having their artwork adorn the school’s halls. 

Students from CIS have gone on to study at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including those within the Ivy League and Russell Group clusters. Others have built successful careers in fields as diverse as business, dance, research science and biology. The school also offers a powerful alumni network, that ensures that the school positively impacts the lives of students long after they have graduated. 

A world class education 

For those seeking a world-class education for their children in a city and country that already boasts many outstanding schools, CIS is an obvious contender. It achieves this through its dedication to growing strong, internationally-minded individuals who are ready to meet the challenges of the future head-on. 

Watch the video below for a look at what parents and students can expect from Copenhagen International School. 

Interested in giving your child a world-class education in one of Denmark’s leading schools? Learn about CIS’ admissions processes and scholarship programmes today

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Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules

Around three-quarters of French teachers plan to go on strike onThursday to protest the government's shifting rules on Covid testing for students, forcing the closure of half the country's primary schools, a union said Tuesday.

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

The strike led by the Snuipp-FSU union, the largest among primary school teachers, comes after the latest of several changes on testing and isolation requirements for potential Covid cases announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex late Monday.

After seeing long lines of parents outside pharmacies and labs in recent days to test children in classes where a case was detected, Castex said home tests could now be used to determine if a student could return to school.

But teachers say class disruptions have become unmanageable with the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

“Students cannot learn properly because attendance varies wildly, and a hybrid of in-house and distance learning is impossible to put in place,” the Snuipp-FSU said, adding that absent teachers are not being replaced.

It is also demanding the government provide facemasks for staff, including the more protective FFP2 masks, and CO2 monitors to check if classrooms are sufficiently ventilated.

“Not only does the current protocol not protect students, staff or their families, it has completely disorganised schools,” the union said, claiming that classes have effectively been turned into “daycare centres.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has said the government is doing everything possible to avoid outright school closures that could cause havoc for parents and jeopardise learning for thousands, especially those in low-income families.

“I know there is a lot of fatigue, of anxiety… but you don’t go on strike against a virus,” Blanquer told BFM television on Tuesday.

As of Monday some 10,000 classes had been shut nationwide because of Covid cases, representing around two percent of all primary school classes, Blanquer said.