Article

Clear rules key to academic success

Nordic International School is characterized by high expectations and a safe study environment, with a focus on knowledge and academic progress, where everyone is given the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability. Ms Linda Vejedal, who teaches Swedish at Nordic International School, explains the school concept and how clear rules help the students perform.

At Nordic International School there are clear rules of conduct, which everyone in the school is expected to respect and help to maintain. It is one of the keys to the students’ academic success, according to Ms Linda Vejedal.

– It is about us being clear and consistent with our code of conduct. We have a lesson structure that is crystal clear, the students know what to expect.

Before every lesson starts the students line up outside the classroom and calmly walk in one by one. They then greet the teacher at the door and wait, standing behind their chairs. The teacher then welcomes the class and asks them to take their seats.

– As teachers we have been given a tool to maintain the order and focus in the classroom. It does not vary between teachers, it is the same in every lesson – and it really works, Ms Vejedal says confidently.

The students know that they have a consequence system to relate to. If they disturb the order in the classroom and learning of their peers they are issued with a first warning, a so called C1 – C as in Consequence. If it happens again the student is issued a C2 and must leave the classroom to finish their work in a separate school room under supervision. If the student continues to misbehave and interrupt learning, a C3 is issued, which results in detention.

– A system like this is needed to create a calm atmosphere in the classroom. Children always want to explore where the boundaries are. However, at this school they know where the boundaries are. The teachers at this school are always consistent and coherent, which makes the students calm. As a teacher I have felt enormous joy here. I can do what I have been educated to do and focus on the teaching. It is our consequence system and that we have a clear lesson structure that makes it work. It is really astonishing to see how engaged the students are in their work when they are given the opportunity to focus. I get to live out my teaching ideals here.

The relationship between teachers and students she describes as respectful but also warm.

– Despite us having clear roles, the students feel comfortable coming to us and opening socially, and that is of course very important. But the students know that there is a time and place for everything, when we are in the classroom we focus on studying.

Whilst working as a teacher in Swedish, Ms Vejedal also works with supporting fellow teachers and helping them become comfortable with their role in the classroom and implementing the school concept.

– Our concept has high expectations on the teachers but that is also something that characterizes us who work at Nordic International School. We want the students to succeed and everyone at the school take their education seriously.

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