Exploring the Nordic heritage and traditions
TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © EFTERSKOLEN FLYVESANDET
At Efterskolen Flyvesandet, hunting, fishing, cooking, and horseback riding are all part of the everyday class schedule. Exploring the cultures and traditional outdoor activities of Greenland, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands, the school attracts students from throughout the Danish Commonwealth.
Located at the most northerly point on the Danish island of Funen, Flyvesandet is surrounded by woodlands and situated only a few hundred metres from the Kattegat coastline. The boarding school is the home of approximately 75 eighth, ninth and tenth graders from Denmark, Greenland, Schleswig-Holstein, and the Faroe Islands. “Our ambition is to build bridges between the countries of the Danish Commonwealth,” explains principal Pavia Haaber Jakobsen, who, before becoming principal of Flyvesandet in 2013, founded an ‘efterskole’ in Greenland. “We want to ensure that students from Greenland and the Faroe Islands get the chance to experience a year at an ‘efterskole’ too, and, thanks to the small size of our school, we can make sure that nobody’s invisible. We make room for everyone and ensure that all our pupils are seen and feel like a part of the group.”
Besides the school’s four main subjects – hunting, fishing, food and horseback riding (with Icelandic horses) – students at Flyvesandet can choose between a variety of outdoor activities such as kayaking, archery and spearfishing. Joining them in many of the activities are the school’s 23 horses from Iceland as well as a number of the students’ own dogs. “One of the things that’s unique about our school is that we allow the students on our hunting programme to bring their own dogs to live with them at the school,” explains Jakobsen.
In addition to the regular schedule, all pupils go on three annual trips: a trip to Læsø to hunt, fish, ride and cook, and trips to two Nordic countries. This year’s students will be visiting Norway and Iceland. “In Norway, our students will get to go horseback riding, ice fishing, grouse hunting on snow shoes, and building and sleeping in snow igloos,” says Jakobsen. “Basically, we use our trips to tie everything together that we’ve been working on throughout the year.”