The Folkeskole is a Danish municipal lower secondary and primary institution providing the students with 1 year of preschool, 9 years of lower secondary and primary schooling and 1 year in the 10th class. Established in 1814, The Folkeskole aims at providing its scholars with the knowledge that will help them in their future. They work with the parents in developing the students for a democratic society. Governed by the Folkeskole Act, the institution has almost six hundred thousand students and 50 thousand teachers. The school teaches humanities, science, language, health education and creative and practical subjects. Being a comprehensive, undivided school, the student’s age and not the subjects is given more importance here. The institution does not believe in conducting examinations and thus, students simply attend classes with others having same ages. Thus, students almost never fail in classes.
The institution believes in differentiated teaching principles which develop and strengthen the needs, qualifications and interests of the students. The main class teacher is responsible for supporting and monitoring the social and academic developments of the students in a particular class. Evaluation programs that test the skill and knowledge level of the students are also conducted and these basically provide individual guidance to the scholars.
National tests are also conducted to see whether students are able to acquire the skills and knowledge provided and to plan the educational procedures as per the capacities of the individual students. The Folkeskole also follows a written student plan where information about different evaluations of a student are included and given to the parents. The teachers are also provided assistance through the national evaluation portal which helps them to evaluate the learning outcomes of the students.
The school leaving examination takes place after the completion of 9th and 10th levels. While the former is a compulsory examination the latter is voluntary since higher academic demands are necessary. Central setting and marking is used for examining the written papers. The students are tested on 7 subjects out of which 5 are compulsory and they all include both verbal and written examination.
Apart from the examination the students also have to submit a compulsory project assignment based on interdisciplinary studies. The Folkeskole also use a 7 point grading scale with passing and non-passing levels for academic evaluations. Since the school works in collaboration with the student’s parents, it requires that they mutually inform the other of the student’s views, social and personal development and academic achievements so that they can benefit from their schooling. For this every independent school has the school board.
A student’s entry in to The Folkeskole starts with the preschool year where the institution’s academic programs begin with simple methods and languages of expressions. The institution also provides leisure time services and it is overlooked by the school’s head, which is also responsible for other administrative and educational duties. The Folkeskole conducts the Inclusive Education program for those students having special needs and also offer training in language stimulations to their bilingual students. Every independent school in The Folkeskole has its own library and provides the student with vocational and educational guidance.
The institution is working towards strengthening the IT competency of their scholars, supporting students with special talents and backgrounds and is also trying to develop educational materials that are based on the internet.
Undervisningsministeriet. (2008). The Folkeskole: The Danish Municipal Primary and Lower Secondary School. Copenhagen: (Danish Ministry of Education), Frederiksholms Kanal.