Students leading students … committee life @VRG

Last Tuesday, VRG student committees manned info tables throughout HB.  Their mission was to show all students which committees were available at VRG.  Via our student association (elevkår), student-led committees offer all students the opportunity to get involved in extra-curricular activities.  

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Committees vary in focus and size, but all have started with a specified interest from students for students.  School is more than classroom learning.  Students should learn and practice democratic ideas.  Leading themselves in student committees offers students the chance to realize this ambitious goal.

At VRG, we believe this is an important forum for authentic learning.  We are happy to support many different student groups.  Here are the 2016-17 student committees:

VRG Debating Society
VRG Radiostation
Financial VRG
Motor racing committee
VRG School newspaper
VRG XC
VRG School Sports
Ping-pong committee
Environment awareness – Green Flag
Viktor Rydbergs Feminists
Smoothie 4 Change
Traditions committee
Rowing committee
Community Outreach Committee VRG
College Prep Study Group
Astronomy committee
Grill committee
Stocks committee
Tennis committee

This week, students will hold their first open meeting where they begin to decide what their goals will be and how they will work.

Students leading students …. authentic learning.

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Comparing theory to real (working) life … mentor companies make it possible

 

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VRG Economy program vision – EK2020

On Thursday, September 22, VRG welcomed 15 new mentor companies to school to meet their year 2 Economy students.  As defined in our vision for the Economy program, we want our students to have authentic and relevant learning experiences.  When we studied our classroom practices, we realized this was one area we could achieve more if we pushed students to go “out” and “see” what really happens when theories are applied in real world environments.

 

img_0088This is the second year, we welcome Mentor Companies to school to be paired with students in year 2.  Throughout their studies in year 2 and 3 , students will study, visit, investigate, observe and report on their mentor company.  By developing a genuine relationship with the company, students are better equipped to study the practice that relates to the applied theory.

It is no easy task to find 15 companies each year toimg_0093 accept the responsibility to be a Mentor Company.  We are lucky!  When we looked into our alumni group and our parent network and asked who would be willing, many answered.  More than half of our mentor companies have former VRG students as founders or employees.

During this “kick-off”, representatives from each company and students introduced themselves.  Then, img_0096students explained about an assignment where they have studied theories about HR and how to motivate employees.  This will be the focus of their first visit to the company.

Will the practice match theory?  We can’t wait to find out …

Thanks to our many Mentor Companies for offering our students a chance to learn more:

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Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver – Economy students get started on their entrepreneurship journey

IMG_5313VRG Economy students kicked-off their diploma projects last week in an unusual way – they left school.

After a short theory introduction to the LEAN methodology, students were challenged to travel to new places in their community to investigate what type of businesses there were at that location and how hornstull.PNGtheir ideas might work in that environment.  They were challenged to “DISCOVER“.

In groups of 4, students explored business behavior in unfamiliar situations.  Students photographed interesting observations and then wrote a short reflection about their discoveries.

 

On day 2, Economy students traveled to Stockholm House of Innovation – Epicenterepicenter for further inspiration.  Students listened to further lectures on LEAN start-up methodology and visited this innovative hub of entrepreneurs. IMG_5418

During this visit, students were able to discover best practices by watching and listening to real entrepreneurs .

To reflect on their adventures, students gathered at our sister school, VRG Odenplan, in the afternoon for further discussions.  During this time, students began to “DEFINE” their ideas … brainstorming and debating, questioning and rethinking.

This week, students returned to school after a weekend of further thought.

When asked about their experiences they responded in this way:
https://www.mentimeter.com/embed/d9a5bb3b8c1c/849743159763

(Evaluation tool:  Mentimeter – a VRG Mentor Company!)

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In the next step, students will continue the process of “DEFINING” their own ideas  … specifically focusing on market needs and potential customers.

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Memories from Fiskeboda 2016

Each year, we travel with our year 1 students, their mentors and student guides from year 2 and 3 to Fiskeboda for an overnight team-building experience.  Through organized activities, sing-songs, walks, informal chats and lots of outdoor fun, we build the foundation of our school community.  We call it “VRG ANDA”- our school spirit.

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When students feel comfortable with their peers and well supported by their teachers, that is when they have the best chance to succeed.  This is just one of the many activities we do during the school year to build #VRGANDA.

 

To read more about how we named our school spirit, VRG ANDA, read here>>

Or, see our instagram feed #vrganda.

 

 

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Year 2 students building the skills needed to “Seize the Day”

carpediem.jpgDuring our start of school two-day project, Seize the Day/Fånga Livet, students in year 2 listened and learned about skills needed to find “balance.”  To be able to Seize the Day, characteristics like grit, courage, curiosity, openness, diversity, honesty, leadership and understanding are important.  VRG welcomed many guests to school to share their experiences.annette lindell

 

Annette Lindell from Trygg i Danderyd spoke about how we meet and treat the people around us and our collective responsibility to building a safe environment for all.

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Students took a Pilates course from Caroline Ponzoni.  Through Pilates, students used physical activity as a method to manage stress.

trygga

 

Bonnie and Cornelia from TryggaBarnen spoke about what it is like for children who grow up with family members suffering from substance abuse.  Their personal stories left a lasting impression.

matilda

 

Former VRG Djursholm student, Matilda Persson, shared her experiences from the time she left VRG until today – travels, studies, career and more.  Although she works for Åhlens today as a Consignment Controller, her life path has sailed over many waves.sofie

Sofie Bodén, VRG Jarlaplan alumni,
shared her travel experiences emphasizing that you learn something every day, everywhere you go if you are open to new ideas.

Hearing the many different lectures inspired students to “think outside the box” and consider alternative paths to the end goal.

We were reminded that no matter what the goal … “balance” is key when you set out to Seize the Day.

 

 

 

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“Grej” of the Mentor Day

Natural Science students in year 2 have started an inspiring activity in their mentor time.

“Grej” of the Mentor Day

Each week, when students gather for their mentor time, an individual in the group will share a short clip, article or exciting idea related to science and/or learning.

First up was:  Does Exercise Enhance Creativity?

Students watched this clip:

Then, they took a long “walk and talk” to the seaside near our school to get-to-know their classmates better.

Great use of informal learning time!

Thanks, Markus & Anna for sharing

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Former VRG student builds program to recognize great teachers

Beata Kull (VRGD alum 2014) decided to do something that recognized the great work of teachers.  She created Kunskapens väg and #Lärargalan.

Lärargalan is a program that allows students to nominate their most inspiring teachers for recognition for their hard work.  After the many nominations are collected, a professional panel of judges choose the most deserving teachers.  All teachers are invited to a big image (7)celebration where the work of the many talented teachers in Sweden is recognized by celebrities, politicians, students, friends and peers.

VRG Djursholm is proud to have so many of our teachers nominated for this prestigious prize.  To read the testimonies of our students is inspiring:

A few examples include:

Roger Lister … sitt underhållande och lättillgängliga sätt att förklara svåra kemiska reaktioner eller biologiska samband till ett glad stämning i klassrummet och effektiv inlärning. De saker han förklarat, genom sina bildliga jämförelser, ordvitsar, animationer och kroppsspråk, de sakerna minns man för livet, vilket inte alltid kan sägas om annan teori man lär sig i skolan. Han är dessutom väldigt kunnig, har en förmåga att lyfta fram det viktiga och det intressanta inom varje ämne och tar alltid tiden att förklara om man inte förstår.

Markus Andersson … Mån om att alla elever förstår och hänger med i kursen. Håller koll på var alla elever ligger i kursmatrisen och ger extra hjälp vid behov. Erbjuder även genomgångar av prov för att se till att alla förstått momentet i kursen även efter det att momentet är avklarat. Värderar våra kunskaper högt… Brinner för sitt ämne och vill alla elevers bästa.

Sue Tennander … Hon undervisar på ett helt fantastiskt sett. Hennes lektioner är magnifika och hon motiverar elever som ingen annan.  Pratar ni med henne så finns det ingen tveka att hon kommer att få priset och nu tycka att hon är världens bästa lärare

Read all of the motivations, here>>

We are also proud of our alum, Beata – well done!

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Graduates left words of advice for incoming year 1 students …

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Last year’s graduates left encouraging words of advice and tips about what they should think about to be able to learn as much as possible in Swedish class during high school.
We talk a lot about #vrgspirit at our school.  This is one example of how students can help each other.  They can use each other as a resource even  between classes.
Examples:
quotesswedish

De förra treorna ger ettorna uppmuntrande kommentarer och tips om vad de bör tänka på för att lära sig så mycket som möjligt i svenskämnet på gymnasiet. Ett exempel på hur eleverna kan använda varandra som resurs även mellan årskullarna.
Exempel:
“Kom ihåg att det du lär dig i svenskan kommer du att ha nytta av i resten av livet”
“Lyssna på all feedback”
“Våga fråga!”
“Se till att planera in tid för att korrekturläsa”
“Svenska är viktigt eftersom att du har användning för det inom alla yrken!”
“Tänk på att läsa igenom uppgiftsinstruktionerna noggrant!”
“Läs alltid igenom era verk noga innan ni lämnar in”
“Försök att lära dig ditt tal utantill när du ska framföra muntligt”
“Ta vara på den feed-back du får”
“Tänk på att göra alla uppgifter och lämna in dem i tid”
“Svenska är viktigt eftersom att du kommer att ha användning för det i resten av ditt liv. Inom yrken, när man håller föredrag eller ska skriva en rapport. Eller när du ska hålla tal på t.ex. ett bröllop.”
“Tänk på att titta på kursmatrisen kontinuerligt.”
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At VRG, school development is a way of life …

IMG_7854During this past week, we welcomed our staff back to school to ready ourselves for the coming school year.  Well rested after a long summer vacation, everyone was ready to get started again.
In accordance with our organizational motto, “School Development is a way of life/Utveckling som tillstånd“, we began the week by reviewing how our students did last year and what did want to achieve this year.

Three specific development areas emerged: themes.PNG

To achieve an optimal understanding of what are students face as challenges and learning opportunities throughout their years at VRG, we have decided to strengthen our program teams.  To not only define and build a common thread throughout the 3 years, but also IMG_7855help students to manage a sustainable workload allowing each student to do his/her very best. We believe that it is only when students can see the connections between their different areas of knowledge that they can reach their fullest potential.

IMG_7870During this week, we have defined what a graduate from VRG Djursholm in each program should “look like” at graduation – which skills they should have, which experiences they should have had, which abilities and even which attitudes will help them the most after graduation.  This is important work.  It will continue throughout this year.  And, students will be included in the work of “defining” our ideal graduate.

Over the past three years we have studied how to develop innovative learning environments:  students’ abilities of self-assessment, value of trust in the classroom/relationships/growth mindset, varied assessment methods, formative working methods and how to use the right technology in the right way to lift the learning (we call this “pedagonik“).  Now, we are ready to study, develop and implement the next step through Blended Learning Initiatives.  We define blended learning as:

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communicationAnd, there is always a practical aspect to school start.  That is no different for us.  This year, our focus is on communication.  How do we communicate effectively and efficiently?  How do we communicate expectations in a way that all understand?  How do we mix digital and analog information?  How can we manage communication effectively to limit the cognitive stress of finding information or remembering details?  As an institutional step, we are shifting to Schoolity as our student information system and to Canvas as our learning management system.  We have identified all the challenges with communications between 504 students, 40 staff and 4 buildings.  Now, we must continue the work of finding optimal solutions to these challenges.  We are hoping our students will actively engage with us in this endeavor.IMG_7848

Happy to see each other again, satisfied with what we hope to accomplish clearly defined – now, we can’t wait to meet our students … Here we go again – Welcome to 2016-17!

 

 

 

 

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Remembering 2015-16 …

Thanks for this year!/ Tack för i år!

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