A school in the city
Christianshavns Gymnasium is an upper secondary school situated at the centre of Copenhagen and in one of the most attractive parts of the city: Christianshavn.
Christianshavn is a unique neighborhood brimming with atmosphere and tradition. The neighborhood attracts a mixture of people, from bohemians to business people. Old buildings are changed into new and posh condos or offices, and over the last decade, Christianshavn has become one of the most sought after and trendy places to live.
Christianshavns Gymnasium has 650 students and 90 teachers and staff members, who all participate in creating the learning environment and special atmosphere which are hallmarks of our school. We are located in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Denmark, at the centre of our capital. The scale of our school buildings may be small, but we have plenty of room to learn, explore, grow and understand.
Our visions for the school and students are ambitious. Our main goals are academic proficiency, democracy and internationalization. Our students are met with high demands, but we treat each other and our surroundings with respect. These things combined create the school spirit which Christianshavns Gymnasium, or “CG” as we call ourselves, is known for.
Our students are generally very active: In the many clubs and committees of the school; student council, academic competitions, the school musical and various extracurricular activities: school choir, art, sports and humanitarian projects. We support these activities because we believe they contribute to the development of the students’ personal skills and academic competences.
Each school year, Christianshavns Gymnasium establishes a number of specialized study programmes in the range of science, civics, languages and the arts.
These are our specialized study programmes for August 2011:
- Biology-Math- Physics
- English-Math-Social science
- English-Media-Social science
- Social science-Math-Design
- Social science-Math-Psychology
- French-English-Social Science
- Spanish-English-Social Science
- German-English-Social science
School vision and values
The core values of the school are academic proficiency, democracy and internationalization. Of course, neither of these terms are clearly defined. We perceive them as ideals or goals to strive for, and which should constantly be up for debate and discussed as well as practiced.
Our democratic ideal encompasses the notion that every person has the right to make decisions about issues regarding his or her life. We strive for an environment in which conversation and debate are at the center and where knowledge is sought out and respected, where arguments are presented and listened to, but also criticized. This kind of environment presupposes mutual trust, consideration and tolerance.
Our vision for academic proficiency encompasses the idea that academic knowledge, competences, absorption and cooperation are necessary factors for the work with science, languages and society. Our goal is to prepare our students for their academic lives after graduating, and to make sure that they leave Christianshavns Gymnasium as well-rounded individuals.
We believe that academic proficiency and democracy are closely related to the process of formation. Participation raises the academic skills and academic skills are necessary for a dynamic and qualified democracy. Thus, the education and development of the individual student is closely connected to the education and development of his or her peers. Being educated is also being aware of others as well as being aware of other subjects, cultures and teaching traditions.
The upper secondary school system in Denmark
There are four different upper secondary education programmes in Denmark: STX, HHX, HTX and HF, aimed at young people who are interested in knowledge, concentration, seeing things in perspective and abstraction. Christianshavns Gymnasium is within the STX-programme.
- STX (The Gymnasium – general academic preparatory studies)
- HHX (The Higher Commercial Examination Programme)
- HTX (The Higher Technical Examination Programme)
- HF (The Higher Preparatory Examination)
The common objective of the education programmes is to prepare young people for higher education, and in that connection ensure that they acquire general education, knowledge and competences by means of the subjects they study and in the interaction between them. Each education programme has its specific range of compulsory subjects that are common for all pupils taking the programme. In STX, HHX and HTX, in addition, each school offers a number of different specialized studies packages (normally containing three subjects) and elective subjects for the pupils to choose between.
All of the education programmes also contain multi-subject courses, among other things with the object of strengthening the pupils’ preparedness for further study. This includes the ability to apply knowledge and methods from several subjects to illustrate interdisciplinary themes and problems and the ability to compare the subjects’ knowledge and methods. The STX takes three years to complete and admits young people who have completed nine years of basic school. An exam from one of the upper secondary education programmes allows the student to apply for tertiary education.
The international dimension is a central part of the school values at Christianshavns Gymnasium. Each class travels abroad on a study trip at least once during their three years at the school. We also participate in exchange programmes with schools in France and Spain as well as choir exchange with schools in Germany, and our students participate in the annual OxDox Film Festival in Oxford. Furthermore, our school is part of the European Study Programme, the UNESCO Baltic Sea Project, the Transatlantic Slave Trade Project and the World Heritage Education Project.
The international dimension is implemented in numerous ways, for instance by inviting guest teachers, visiting museums and participating in various international events such as the annual Auschwitz-day. In 2009, our school represented Denmark in the Pan-European Environmental Student Conference in Cyprus.
Christianshavns Gymnasium stands out when it comes to international student competitions. In 2010 our students won “Best Student Film” at OxDox. Also in 2010, one of our students won the Public Speaking Competition arranged by The English Speaking Union. In 2009, two of our students finished in the top 10 percent in the Juvenes Translatores competition arranged by the EU commission, and another of our students finished in the top 15 percent in the mathematics competition Georg Mohr. In 2008, one of our students won bronze at the international Chemistry Olympics.
These activities and accomplishments are good examples of how the international dimension is a natural and well-implemented part of the everyday life at Christianshavns Gymnasium.