Schools Of The World: Ørestad Gymnasium

Could you teach in a school without classrooms?

Ørestad Gymnasium in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the most unique school in Denmark and is famously known as the school without classrooms. The school says it is “created to nourish our pedagogy.”

This school has a vast learning area called the gymnasium which is divided by sections or ‘drums’ where students can sit and think.

Source: ØrestadGymnasium

Over 1,100 students attend the the school and its unique design is intended to encourage student-centred creative thinking. The classrooms either don’t have any walls, or have walls made of glass so that students are aware of each other at all times.

The school leadership actively empowers teachers and students to invent new ways of doing things and are willing to take risks.

Flexibility and openness symbolise this school and traditional classrooms no longer exist. This is the place where you will find open rooms, subject zones, niches for creativity and concentration, and free access everywhere to the virtual space.

They organise their pedagogy as an interaction between:

  • traditional classes/plenary environments
  • group based learning environments
  • individual acquisition of knowledge (e.g. virtual teaching)
  • real life cases taught in co-operation with external partners.

Opened in 2005, the school was one of the first in the world to go entirely digital and so lessons are taught entirely using computers and iPads with Google apps.

The curriculum is geared towards developing ‘modern knowledge’ which focuses on qualifications, competencies, creativity and culture. Remarkably there are no foxed timetables as learning materials are available online and can be accessed at anytime.

Teachers move between  “learning zones” helping students and they act more like coaches, mentors or facilitators and focus on giving students feedback rather than formal instruction. Students are encouraged to investigate, collaborate, produce and express themselves.

The building is split into four “study zones” each with its own story and designed like a boomerang and staggered like a shutter on a camera. Each of the study zones are linked by a spiral staircase that winds up toward the roof terrace.

Find out more about this pioneering school by watching the following video:


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