The 2008 Queen Sonja School Prize

was awarded to Løkenåsen School.

 

Her Majesty Queen Sonja initiated this prize in 2006 to reward schools that excel in practicing equality and inclusion. The prize is administered by the Directorate for Education and Training, and the jury is led by Professor PhD. Edvard Befring.

 

The criteria for the award emphasize that the winner of the Queen Sonja School Prize is a primary or lower secondary school that:

·        gives each student positive attention

·        builds confidence and the feeling of belonging

·        practices extensive vocational training

·        promotes the rights of pupil participation and the students’ right to be heard

·        has a comprehensive and long-term plan to realize equality and inclusion -  involving students, parents, teachers and school


An abbreviated translation of the jury’s justification of the 2008 award:

Løkenåsen School has for many years emphasised the creation of a customized and equitable learning environment. 35% of the students come from different ethnic background than Norwegian and most of these follow the normal curriculum. In addition the school has a separate introduction class for students who have recently arrived in Norway and therefore do not speak Norwegian. The jury also pays attention to the fact that the school has an integrated area for multi-disabled students and one for pupils with significant learning difficulties. There is a special team in charge of 13% of the students with individual education plans based on their learning abilities. There are 5 students who do mathematics and 2 students take English at upper secondary level at a nearby school. Løkenåsen has its own social activity plan to strengthen the school's social environment. The school is responsible for all the mother tongue teaching in the municipality.

 

The school stresses the importance of cultural activities, both in terms of sports, music, dance and activities in arts and crafts to enable the students to show different aspects of themselves. Annual performances are arranged at all levels involving the local kindergartens, nearby primary schools, the municipal library and the parents.

 

The school attaches great importance to student participation in curricular activities; this particularly applies to the development of criteria for assessment and students’ evaluation of their own performance. There is an emphasis on the fact that all students should be able to work in accordance with their own academic level. Student representatives discuss the class work plan before the completion. There are regular morning meetings between classes and form teachers at which the program of the day, class schedules, current events or incidents that the students are concerned with are discussed. There are parent meetings on special topics such as the class learning environment, drug abuse or careers. The Student Association has monthly meetings with the headmaster and representatives on the school board.

 

The school has its own activity centre in the canteen. Every morning physical activities are organized, breakfast is provided, and every afternoon the students may play table tennis, billiards and other games. Optional homework help is provided both before and after school hours. At certain times the centre is open to students in the 5th -7th grades from the local elementary school to ensure a better transition to secondary school.

 

Løkenåsen School takes part in the “MOT”[1] programme for schools, meaning that pupils, teachers and parents should contribute to equality and inclusion in a preventive perspective. The goal is that students will develop "the courage to live", "the courage to care" and "the courage to say no." In connection with this scheme the students visit the local 7th grade classes in the nearby primary schools to spread information about these themes.

The school has continuous assessment and development projects. The focuses in 2008 are educational measures linked to immigration and also on individual student assessment.



 


 

[1] MOT means ”courage” in Norwegian