Arden Skole

Arden Skole is a school serving 520 (0-9 grade) students in Mariagerfjord municipality (Denmark). It is located in Arden, next to the biggest forest in Denmark (Rold forest), where some of its classes are held. The school has a section for special needs students including Autism. The school urges students to take an active position in relation to topics and current affairs. The school values development of an active environment that enables and support learning with the opportunity for a variety of working positions, learning during exercise and motion as well as interdisciplinary. The school supports the broad range of different learning modes of students and welcomes the teachers to take the role as teacher supervisor and inspiration guide. Arden Skole puts emphasis on natural science and innovation skills and takes advantage of the proximity of the forest and agricultural land. The school has a long record of developing TEACHOUT approaches and Problem/Project Based Learning. The school has strong inter-school natural science cooperation between teachers and the school has participated in a Comenius program (2012 – 2014) that included school gardening and school foresting. The school is undergoing a major rebuilding and redesign that will include academic workshop facilities, orangery, garden and educational forest in close proximity to the natural science teaching and home economics. The school features a school canteen offering light hot lunches.

Arden Skole has a pedagogical focus on how teaching and learning inside classrooms can be linked to the natural environment that surrounds the school. Instruction takes as a point of conceptual and practical departure a close link among the natural resources of the school: Orangery, educational forest, garden and green spaces around it to promote learning, health and wellbeing of pupils. The teaching balances theory and practice with a special emphasis on the methods and mindset of the natural sciences.

Students are invited and encouraged to test hypotheses and go through problem statement, data collection, hypothesis, test/evaluation, results, discussion and confirmation or rejection of hypothesis all within the authentic natural contexts just mentioned. In this manner, Arden School seeks to disrupt the way classroom-based science pedagogies can be informed, structured and organized by engaging students directly in practices across a diverse set of contexts (local forest next to school, greenhouses, school gardens, local agriculture, etc.), and thus link the school to the larger community context in relation to food systems and all the roles of its different agents.

Arden Skole and L4H
For L4H, Arden will take the lead on the Soil & Garden activities, which ground academic concepts within the context of growing food and the different factors involved in such a process. In addition, the school will work with the other L4H partners (that may have the capacity to do so) to develop comparative activities around the following Research Questions (TQ’s): • What factors affect crop yield • How can these factors be manipulated and what is the difference among the participating countries. Arden will in particular test the influence of temperature, humidity, and type of soils; light, CO2 and pH using automated ICT based data logging. In addition, using a soil rapid test kit, Arden will measure nitrate, phosphate, and potassium content in the soil as indicators of optimal growing substrates.