Wondering if VRG is the right high school for you?

At last week’s Open House, we received the following questions:

faq open house

Here are the answers to these and other FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about VRG Djursholm:

  1.  How long is a lesson?  Most lessons are 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  2.  Do all students come from the same area?  Most of our students come from the north-eastern part of Stockholm (Danderyd, Täby, Vallentuna, Vaxholm, Solna and Stockholm city)
  3.  How much English is there at your school?  VRG is a bilingual school.  In our Spets English program, approximately 85% of the program is in English.  In Natural Science and Economy, approximately 25% of the program (over three years) is in English.
  4. How many hours/lessons during the week are with a teacher?  All classes at VRG Djursholm are led by teachers.
  5. Are some of the classes in “half class”?  if so, which ones?  Math groups, lab science groups and aesthetic groups are most often in smaller groups.  In additional, some individual choice courses are in smaller groups.
  6. How large are the classes?  A full class at VRG is 30 students.
  7. What type of homework support is offered?  We offer after school support groups called “stugor” in math, modern languages, sciences, etc.  In addition, we offer individual and group support sessions based on need.
  8. Are there any extracurricular activities at school?  Our school offers many different activities via elevkår, debate, choir, sports and specific student interest groups.  In addition, we have many schoolwide activities:  ping-pong tournaments, VRG Olympics, sports days and inspiring guest lecturers – all of which contribute to building community -“gemenskap”.
  9. How long are the days?  8.30 – 16.00
  10. How is the food at VRG?  We have a fresh and healthy lunch each day consisting of an abundant salad bar, two main courses and bread.  Klein’s catering is our food provider. All of our meals are prepared here in our own kitchen.
  11.  Why should I choose VRG?  Choose our school if you want an engaging and challenging high school program where everyone, both teachers and students, want to achieve a lot.  Choose VRG if you want a creative learning environment where you are pushed to think and solve problems.  Choose VRG if you want a bilingual school where you can build your communication skills in both English and Swedish so that you are prepared to be successful at the university either here in Sweden or abroad.  Choose VRG because you want to be a part of a school that values warmth, respect and community (värme, respekt och gemenskap)
  12. What courses do you offer in the individual choices/electives?  Rhetorics, International Relations, Sports, Music, Art, Astronomy, Finance, Forensics, Philosophy, Programming and more …
  13. How large is your teacher turnover each year?  We have many teachers who have been at VRG Djursholm for many years.  We do have teachers who leave our school for parental leave or to change to one of our other VR schools.  On average, we have between 3 – 5% turnover.
  14. In the economy program, is there a connection with the business community?  Yes, in our Economy program, all students have a mentor company.  Students follow the same mentor company for three years.
  15. Is it possible to combine elite sports training with studies at VRG?  Yes, we offer Sports Specialization courses which allow students to get course credit for their training outside of school.

Do you have other questions about VRG Djursholm?  Ask us:  info@vrg.se

 

 

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Year 3 students share tips and tricks with Year 1 students during “fadderfika”

During mentor time today, Year 3 students shared tips and tricks with Year 1 students.  Year 2 students mixed across programs.  In an effort to build school community and get to know each other better, we spent time “just talking.”  One of our most important VRG values is community (gemenskap).  We believe together we are stronger!

Today was definitely a #VRGANDA kind of day!

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Daniel Boyacioglu inspires “språkhistoria” with a poetry slam

In the coming weeks, Swedish 3 students will work with language history.  

Their teachers have developed an engaging approach to this unit of study.  Students will attend lectures, read and discuss articles and write responses.  Students will research ideas they want to explore more in-depth.  The examination for this unit of study will be two-fold. Students will write an essay as well present their knowledge in a creative way. Students will be asked to argue how the Swedish language has evolved.

Students will present their ideas in the form of a poetry slam.

poetryslam

istalletforhiphopAs an inspirational “kick-off” for this unit, VRG welcomed artist and IMG_7732poet, Daniel Boyacioglu to visit.  Daniel has won the Swedish National Championships in Poetry Slam twice.  Daniel has engaged in many interesting adventures to gain inspiration for his work.  He biked from Stockholm to Gibraltar, worked with Generation7, performed in theatre, recorded albums, worked with HipHop artists, worked as a program leader on P3, written a blog and more.

daniel boyYou can read some excerpts from his collections here>>  Or listen to his poetry podcasts here>>  Or watch a video of his readings here>>

This is a prescribed unit of study in the Swedish3 course plan. The same for all students.  However, this is a VRG approach to the learning.  A fun exam in the form of a poetry slam is one example of how we realize “hjärnan vill ha roligt” (entertain your brain).  Our teachers challenge students to realize a higher level of understanding by empowering them to let “konst och vetenskap gå hand-i-hand. (art and science go hand-in-hand)”

Thanks to our Swedish teachers, Anna, Joanna and Helena, for organizing such an interesting visit and inspiring our learning!

We can’t wait to hear the students’ poetry slam.

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En digital struktur som stödjer den pedagogiska verksamheten

Interesting thoughts about the digitalisation of learning from our Instructional Designer …

Hannas skolblogg

Debatten går het kring de digitala läromedlens vara eller icke vara. Jag använder både digitala och icke digitala läromedel, och det vill jag fortsätta med. Jag vill att mina elever ska läsa pappersböcker, rita på whiteboardplast, bygga DNA-modeller och springa i skogen. Också. Däremot ser jag gärna att instruktioner, resultat, reflektion, respons, återkoppling, diskussioner och annat som är kopplat till dessa uppgifter, finns tillgängligt och kan hanteras i en digital miljö.

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“Vägen dit är viktigast”, Niklas Adalberth inspires students

niklas 1Thanks to our always supportive parents association, VRG students were able to take part in an interview with Niklas Adalberth.

Niklas, one of the founders of Klarna, joined us for a personal and engaging interview.  Moderated by VRG Economy student, Daniel Sternegård, Niklas talked about his path from high school student to successful business IMG_5306person.  He shared personal anecdotes about his own successes and not so successful efforts.  He talked about entrepreneurial thinking and risk-taking, as well as decisions he has made along the way that have shaped where he is today.  In addition, he shared how his values have influenced the different steps he has taken while growing his company.  He answered questions from the audience as well – the role of Sweden in the global market, how to expand a simple idea to something great, start-up advice, which subject knoweldge and skills are most important to have, and more.  Here are a few of the many memorable quotes from the interview:

quotesniklas

Thanks to Niklas and to our Parents Association for helping our students have the opportunity to learn from a real entrepreneur!

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VRG Volleyball tournament – January 2016

This gallery contains 14 photos.

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Learning from each other – Finnish teachers visit VRG Djursholm

grankullaApproximately 20 teachers from Grankulla, outside of Helsinki, visited VRG Djursholm to find inspiration regarding how to integrate creativity and formative methods into the classroom.  Finland is in the midst of implementing a new national reform, LP2016.
VRG and Grankulla and VRG have worked together many times with MEP.  Grankulla is a bit of a “VRG in Helsinki” and is completely Swedish speaking.  You can read more about their profile, here>>
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During the visit, VRG staff presented different aspects of our school’s learning vision and specific examples of development areas:  projects, blended learning and how we use digital resources, EK2020 and the VR vision of “hjärnan vill ha roligt” and the role creativity plays in students’ learning.
During lunch, we also compared and discussed different aspects of our schools:  how do we prepare students for university studies,  relationships between students and teachers,  students’ possibilities to influence their school and learning environment, expectations, and more.  After  lunch, students from VRG presented their January projects.
Thanks Grankulla for visiting VRG!  It was an inspiring visit.  It was interesting to understand what aspects of the Swedish school system Finland is now adopting when quite often we feel that here in Sweden we are looking to Finland as a model for student academic excellence.  During this day, we were all reminded that the ideal learning situation is actually probably somewhere in the middle.
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Activities in the Library make it the perfect place to “Entertain your Brain”

IMG_4805This autumn has been a busy one in the VRG library! After summer, our new librarian Maria joined us.  Her focus is on literature and reading skills, while Anja keeps her eyes on information literacy. We started the semester with gymnasiearbetet, talking about search skills and source evaluation. IMG_4800
November meant opening a new library branch at Jarlaplan, a great deal of fun and also a lot of new books! Meanwhile, we´ve also been working on a new project aiming to include computer game skills in our classrooms and teaching. So far the project has been taking place at our Odenplan school, but is hopefully coming soon to Djursholm!
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During December, we´ve celebrated the Nobel prize winners in the library and also held a “Klarsittning.  This is a very cosy event where students can stay and study for a whole afternoon to tick things off their “to-do” lists before Christmas, aided by teachers, Anja and Maria. Pepparkakor and tea were a big part of the success!IMG_4802
We´ve also created an “Adventskalender” or Christmas countdown on our Instagram account, recommending new reads each day.
Follow the VRG Library activities on their very active Instagram account, here>>
Come see us!
Anja Vikingson
Librarian
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Christmas UF Company Convention

On December 16, year 3 Economy students shared their UF ideas with students and guests at our Christmas Company Convention.

There were many interesting ideas:  högskoleprovet app, baked good kits, venison meat sales, telephone cases, fashion ideas, first aid kits, bikes, support for refugees and more.  Christmas music set the tone and the Tanzania team manned a nice café of baked Christmas goods.

We look forward to seeing where their ideas take them in March of 2016!

See here>> for the stories of our UF companies last year.

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Sahar El-Nadi shares her “Book of Joy” and the idea of “Ikigai” with English 7 students

IMG_4794How can we promote peace and tolerance? How can we understand and communicate with persons from different cultures?  

On Monday, November 9th, we were lucky enough to welcome Sahar El-Nadi to our English 7 classes to discuss and brainstorm answers to these questions.ikigai

Speaking from the framework of ikigai where we find the meeting point between our passion, what society needs, where our skills lie and what we can get paid to do.  Sahar shared how she had found her “ikigai”. During this interactive lecture, students were able to discuss the framework, lift new ideas and debate common IMG_4782and uncommon opinions.  She discussed her own experiences as an artist and writer working in Israel during the Arab Spring. She helped students to understand what conflict and unrest can do to the local culture.  And, how this contributes to stress.

Then, in the second half of her visit, Sahar shared the book she created during this dark time in IMG_4770her home country.  She led the students in a mindful workshop where they colored.  Sahar shared some of her own coloring creations. She explained basic art fundamentals like the color wheel and different ways to approach the task.  She also explained what happens in the IMG_4787brain when we color such detailed works. The students worked in teams to “color” a picture.  They colored both to reach a higher level of mindfulness, but also to participate in an activity that works even if you do not speak the same language.  IMG_4791

 

Students practiced:
“teamwork without words.”

According to the curricular guidelines, English 7 should think about “societal issues, cultural, historical, political and social conditions, and also ethical and existential issues in different contexts and parts of the world where English is used.”

      IMG_4773Thanks, Sahar, for sharing your perspective on these important aspects of our course!

 

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