Remembering HT2014 …

View this slideshow to remember our fun times together …

animotoOr click:


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A Christmas Market filled with entrepreneurs …

The Christmas Market at VRG was not your typical Swedish Christmas market.  It was a showcase of student ideas, student work, and student enthusiasm.  On December 16, we welcomed guests into our school to learn more about how we work.  The students in our Entrepreneurship classes, music classes, and our art classes worked together to provide a market full of authentic learning.

Students in our entrepreneurship classes have started their own companies – each with their own unique idea:  Sports Buddy – a company that pairs older teenagers with younger students for sports training; lip balm for chapped lips where all proceeds go towards operations for children with malformed mouths; an easy carrying belt for skis; a drinks recipe for alcohol free drinks; and much, much more.

Photos from our UF companies:

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We also had a concert:

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And, an art exhibition:

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Thanks to our Parents association who provided refreshments and support.IMG_2413

And, thanks to our hard-working teachers who coached our students to help them reach this level.

Having a showcase for your work provides an authentic aspect to learning – this market did just that …

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Oskar Kihlborg inspires VRG students

bild1 (3)Oskar Kihlborg visited VRG students on December 16.  He has climbed Mount Everest, traveled by skateboard to Gothenburg, rowed his way to Finland, and much more.  An adventurist, an entrepreneur, a leader, and inspiration … he had many powerful words of encouragement for our students!

We are strongest when we are ourselves …oskar sitting
Sometimes it is important to be spontaneous …
Be brave enough to take risks …
Why not?”

“bara göra”

We have to work together if we are all going to reach our goals…
You can go so much farther than you think you can, unlimited oskar studentspotential …
Mental training is important
Use all of your senses to create a picture of what you want to do what you want to be …
Towards any goal, the path should start with one step; take one small step at a time
Live a little more…
Hang with friends who have goals
When in trouble – think, “Is there anything good about this situation?”
What can I do that makes you strong? How can I help you? Work oskarkilhlborg and fftogether …
You are never going to be perfect; accept it!

Thanks to our wonderful Parents Association for offering us this lecture!


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Authentic learning … convincing classmates to vote for EU-citizen initiatives using Pecha Kucha presentation method

Students in Social Science, year 1, have researched and created their own EU-citizen action initiatives.  Now, they are trying to convince us to vote for their ideas.  In a classroom project, each group of students was challenged to investigate, create, and present an EU-citizen initiative.

The presentation is done using the Pecha Kucka method.  This type of presentation requires a series of 20 slides for 20 seconds each using only pictures, no text.  Students are forced to be concise and correct with their words while at the same time find images that strengthen their message.

Some of the students presentations are shown here:

When grading in the Swedish school system, process is as important as product. This assignment engaged students in an authentic and meaningful process of solving a real-life problem while at the same time challenging them to produce a presentation of high quality in a defined format. This format emphasizes the students’ message through images.  Students rose to the challenge and presented some great ideas.

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Thanks for a wonderful Lucia concert!

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Why should you go to Barcelona to learn Spanish?

Students in Spanish 4 want to improve their Spanish skills and awareness of Spanish culture .. so, together with their teacher, they are planning a trip to Barcelona.

As a first step in their fundraising for this trip, they have created films to “show” why they need to go to Spain to really “learn” more . . .

This was a classroom assignment that resulted in great fun!  Students and teachers are looking forward to their trip . . .

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Learning about leading from a person who does “leadership”

Connecting with the community around us is an important goal for us at VRG … bringing in lecturers from the “real world” is one way we achieve this goal.

chrisYesterday, we had the honor to welcome Chris Kinsville-Heyne from Hult University to our International Relations class.  He spoke about leadership in times of crisis.  Chris is a former Commissioned Officer from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

Chris brings a wide variety of experiences to his academic life; as a British army officer, he led a Mobile News Team in the Former Yugoslavia in the last months of the civil war, providing images and reports seen by millions around the world, returning as the NATO Spokesman in Bosnia a short time later. As the Managing Director of C3i Strategic Solutions, he has taught several world leaders how to get their messages across to their audiences and how to create strategic messages for their country or organisation. He has been published in many professional journals for his insights on Crisis Communication & Crisis Management and is currently the EU-appointed Strategic Communications Advisor to the National Transitional Council in Libya.WIN_20141125_102501

Students appreciated this lecture.  They had this to say about the experience:

“I extremely enjoyed this lecture. It was not only very interesting but it also made me really feel inspired. I loved the way Chris spoke, he had structure but could still go ’off-track’ with stories that were as if they were from a film. I could tell that I wasn’t the only one hooked on what he was saying. It also made me think about the importance of being a leader and qualities that you can adapt and develop in your everyday life for example listening and talking skills”. // Rebecca

WIN_20141125_102138“I thought it was a great lecture! … Foremost I was interested when he brought in some psychology, the impact of our vision and what that can tell you about another person. … Being able to hear more about leadership in “real life” from a successful businessman that has multiple professions under his belt was a real privilege!” // Jacqueline

“… It was one of the most giving lessons I have had during my time at VRG. … especially about different essential leadership skills. I will definitely take with me the “reevaluation questions” presented, the importance of knowledge about current events and “slow thinking into quick doing”. But most of all, I was inspired to become a great leader.” //Lovisa

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What we learned at MEP Luxembourg 2014 …

mepcBetween the 8 – 15 of November, 8 students from VRG Djursholm and VRG Odenplan attended a MEP, Model European Parliament, session in Luxembourg arranged by the school Lycée Aline Mayrisch together with Lotta Nordgren and Alexandra Koumi.

During this week we, the 8 students, got the opportunity to experience new things, form new relationships and evolve as intellectual beings. It is somewhat like a personality boot camp as you leave the MEP with many new perspectives – on current situations in the world, on EU member countries and their populations and, perhaps most important, on yourself.

It is hard to imagine what a week of MEP really does to you and what the experience means to you once you get home. Anyone that has participated in a conference such as this one can tell that once you return home you feel as if you know a secret no one else is aware of: the secret of Europe. Sweden is a part of Europe. It might not show in our everyday life but when you go abroad it is definitely a part of the Swedish identity. It is mepbalso a part of identities with a different nationality than Swedish. We have found this to be a key thing when getting to know students from other countries. In many ways we are alike, even though are nationalities or the differences between our countries. Being a part of the European Union is only one of these ways.

A part from the new relationships and the personal experience you also learn a lot of new things. Not only do you develop your English-speaking skills (as this is the spoken language – 24/7) but you obtain a greater knowledge of the European Union and its purpose. As a whole, the participation in an international MEP sessions truly is an invaluable experience and should you be given the opportunity we recommend that you seize it – right away!

The Luxembourg session was the 41st International MEP session held so far. The actual session started off with committee meetings where all Swedish delegates were a part of different committees, who all created their own resolution. After three days of committee work, all  delegates traveled to Schengen in Germany for a lobbying session over the day. During the lobbying we mainly discussed the resolutions with other delegates, whereas some created amendments against other resolutions and therefore collected signatures for their amendment. The atmosphere during the lobbying, where around 160 delegates are together in one room debating and discussing, is beyond words.mepassembly

During the two last days of the week the General Assembly, also known as the GA, is held. At the GA all resolutions are debated and then voted on. This time the GA was held in the Hemicycle which is The European Parliament’s official secretariat, a place where actual EU parliament sessions has been held. The feeling of speaking at the Hemicycle cannot be described in words.mepa

The week ended with a farewell party in the city of Luxembourg, a lovely party bringing a great week to its end.

/Swedish delegation

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Do you read Emoji?

Students in the VRG Spets English program share their learning with younger students from sister school, VRS Spets English program.

emojiarticleIs Emoji: the first truly global language?  This was an article our Communication course students read to debate the effects of using symbols in our communication.

In this course, the students study:

  • The development of media culture and the use of digital media, as well as the impact of these two for people’s life and learning preface

After reading this article, debating these ideas, and considering what role storytelling plays, the students set out to write their own stories in Emoji language.  Their “books” had to have a preface where they explained how their words and symbols were used, a visual story, and a translation at the end.

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They then shared their books with younger students from Viktor Rydberg Samskolan.  The younger students gave feedback and picked their favorites.

Both the writers and the readers are students in “Spets” education programs focused on English.  So, the entire exercise was in English.

Hmmm … is Emoji the first global language?

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Who would you take with you in a hot air balloon to a new civilization?

IMG_0006In an English assignment, students had to represent a character they felt should survive in a hot air balloon on its way to help build a new civilization.  They should tell their story and explain their reasoning.

Ideas, among others, included Harry Potter and Buddha …


And, here we have Caesar in the red toga …

Who would you choose?

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