“EBUS” is located in the middle of the nature, in Engerdal, a rural mountain area with 2 important national parks( Femundsmarka & Gutulia) in the Eastern part of Norway, near the Swedish boarder. Our institution has a general primary school(6 – 13 years)- and a general secondary school departement(14 – 16 years). Our school has 172 pupils, and 32 employees. The central purpose of the school community is the intellectual, moral, physical and social education of the pupils. Our community seeks to create an inclusive atmosphere in which pupils can feel safe and confident in each other. The school is commited to respect the dignity of the pupil with her/his background, traditions and beliefs:valuing the potential of each and encouraging the strong to support the weak. We are also commited to: Enabling the pupil develop a healthy self-image and form positive relationships with others through both practical & theoretical activities; Encouraging the pupil to develop a sense of creativity and of collaboration with others through outdoor activities and international/multicultural cooperation. We also want to develop better and more motivating teaching methods for foreign languages and multicultural understanding by bringing new technologies into the classroom through an increasing use of ICT (Information Communications Technology).
The Norwegian school, “Engerdal barne- og ungdomsskole”(EBUS) has a unique location in the middle of a forest area, close to lakes, mountain, rivers and hills. This unique location gives wonderful opportunities to the pupils to get a varied education where outdoor activities are directly implemented in the cross curriculum teaching lessons. Outdoor activities provide valuable alternative, often non-competitive, avenues for achievement, as well as opportunities to develop independence and self-reliance. Direct experience out of doors stimulates and reinforces learning across many areas of the curriculum, and the use of these kind of alternative activities encourage young people to take greater responsibility for their own learning. They get trained in overcoming fears and apprehensions along the way, getting rich opportunities for personal and social development through carefully structured group work in challenging situations. Moreover pupils are encouraged to show trust, care, tolerance and the willingness to give and accept support to others. Opportunities are presented to exhibit and develop effective inter-personal behavior and to work co-operatively and effectively in teams. Furthermore, exercising through outdoor activities contributes greatly to pupils’ health and stimulates them in continuing a healthy lifestyle into middle age and beyond.
The main aims for the school’s teaching program are: to build self-confidence and self-esteem with their pupils; to get a positive attitude to learning, to sustain effective relationships; to get experience in the purposeful use of leisure time; to provide a healthy relationship to the environment and develop pupils ability to cope with a rapidly changing world.
The Norwegian partner’s active learning fosters sensitivity to the environment, helps young people to see themselves in a global context and helps to develop citizens with an awareness of the need for sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.
With all the mentioned good experiences in outdoor education, we believe that EBUS has already got some experience solving the problem of teenagers’ free time, so its support and ideas will help to achieve the aims of the project. Moreover, this school has also good practice in teaching English, Arts and crafts and Mathematics. Their contribution will enrich the cross- curriculum methodology aspect on different levels.