Härlig utflykt till Ängsö Nationalpark med NA13

På nationalparkernas dag och i strålande sol och bästa försommarvärme åkte eleverna i NA13 som läser kursen miljö- och energikunskap ut till Norrtälje kommuns alldeles egna Nationalpark. Ängsö är en ö ute i Roslagens södra skärgård och avsattes som Nationalpark redan 1909, som en av de första i Sverige och Europa. Syftet var att bevara den vackra skärgårdsnaturen och de växter och djur som fanns här.


När nationalparken avsattes var kunskaperna i växtekologi inte lika bra som nu. Därför förbjöd man bonden på ön att slå ängarna eller ha betesdjur. Följden blev att de öppna ängarna växte igen och blomsterprakten försvann. Man hade inte förstått att det var ett kulturlandskap och att mångfalden var helt beroende av bondens brukande av marken.


Idag har man förstått hur kulturmarken bevaras och vi kunde alla därför njuta av orkidéer som Adam och Eva, Kungsängsliljan (Upplands landskapsblomma) och Ramslöken som spred sin doft i gammelskogen. Efter en rundvandring på ön genom de olika biotoperna med slåtterängar, betesängar och gammal skog, arbetade eleverna flitigt med olika uppgifter. Det kunde vara att rita av några typiska blommor eller fåglar eller bara njuta av dagen.


angso1  angso3


Linda Nordgren Kilpeläinen och Kristina Ottander

Thoughts from Maidstone

Tankar och reflektioner från Mrs Rebecca Howard, Maidstone Grammer School for girls
England. Rebeccca och hennes kollega Neil var på studiebesök i Norrtälje för att se hur vi använder oss av IKT i undervisningen. Här är hennes berättelse.

We had such a valuable time visiting Rodengymnasiet this week. We started off our visit with a breakfast meeting with a group of teachers from local schools. Everyone was immensely friendly and keen to find out who we were and why we were here and, a continuing pattern we would experience for the rest of the day, keen to give up their time to help us. We experienced our first Swedish breakfast which was great, especially the copious amounts of strong coffee! We listened to some great talks on Onenote, QR codes and a visit to South Korea. All this and is wasn’t even 8 o’clock in the morning!

Then it was off to a Swedish lesson with the amazing Elsa. We weren’t prepared for the warmth, energy and kindness that hit us when we entered her classroom. Each student came and shook hands with us, introduced themselves and told us where they were from; this ranged from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria and Somalia. What struck us the most was how happy and enthusiastic they were; it was period 1 on a dark morning and I’m sure our students back in England wouldn’t be starting the day with such zeal. Each student had an iPad and they used an app called SVA which had a wide range of stories in their respective native languages and also in Swedish and English (we’re definitely going to find this to use back at our school). Elsa’s teaching was inspiring. Her questioning style so effective and her ability to inspire and motivate the students ever visible; hands were up constantly. Thanks Elsa- we we inspired by your teaching and warmth and the students were a credit to you and the school.


Next was a maths lesson with Jonas. Students were given a mathematical problem regarding prey and predators. We quickly learned that most of the time was dedicated to encouraging students to think for themselves and the mathematical calculating could be quickly carried out by a computer. Students were clearly used to this style of learning and, in groups, talked at length about the different variables for this problem. This, again, was a great lesson to see, not least for the impact this teaching style had on the students’ ability to think independently. Use of technology here was clearly freeing up time for the students to collaborate and move forward.

After coffee, we had a meeting with Anna who was in charge of organising all of the computers for the school. This was an enormous undertaking and, since September, she had clearly made a huge success of this. One thing we were really impressed with was the fact that the school uses students for IT support. Students helping other students to learn a new app or fix something wrong with their computers is a great way of advancing and collaborating. We gave Anna the email address of our own IT coordinator as we were discussing a different way of organising student and staff laptops. I hope Daniel can help out as much as she has helped us.

Next we have the chance to meet with English man Danny Stacey. We worked out that he was vaguely similar to an OFSTED inspector in England. His role was to visit local schools and offer suggestions on how to improve teaching and learning. It was great to chat to someone and get their perspective on the differences and similarities between English and Swedish education systems. Was chatting whilst we experienced the school canteen, which offered delicious food in comparison to our one in England!

After lunch we have a chance to meet with Kathrin who was English teacher and she showed us the great work she’s been doing with Onenote. She has basically created an online course for her students witch enables them to independently access all the work, collaborate, submit their own work, and for her to give feedback. Again we really appreciated the time she gave us and she was keen to answer all the questions we had and to give us all the advice she could.

The final part of the day was spent with David, who showed us how he uses Onenote and the amazing course he has set up for his students. We then got to see this in practice in one of his politics classes, where students were working in groups to explain different political ideologies and then feeding back to each other. They were working hard and clearly enjoying learning together. Many thanks to David for giving up his time.

Johan had organised the whole program for us and spent the whole day with us, too, which we really appreciate. An extra addition to the original schedule was that we got to visit the vocational building with mechanics carpentry, and electronics This was great to see as it’s so different to what we have in England with the idea of students being able to have the opportunity to learn a vocation alongside other academic subject was a great one. Again huge thanks to Johan for all the time and effort he spent on the programme and for being so welcoming on the day. We really hope we can repay the favour one day; we’d love to welcome visitors from your school to England; both students and teachers!

Reflections and thoughts? Well, we ended the day being overwhelmed with your hospitality and keenness to dedicate your time to giving us help and advice. The school has a lovely, friendly atmosphere and the students have a wonderful opportunity to learn in a supportive and nurturing environment. The use of technology here is clearly completely embedded and has enabled students to become much more independent and helped motivate them. It’s quite simply a lovely school; teachers are happy and the students likewise. We would love to have a chance to come back one day but, in the meantime, we must keep in touch and explore any online links we could have.


Mrs Rebecca Howard
Head of MFL

A letter from Greece

Norrtälje, 21-25 September 2015

Dear Rodengymnasiet,

It has been a wonderful week for me! Full of new experiences and adventures!

I came from far away Greece and sunny weather. But I immediately fell in love with the Swedish nature and the Swedish people

…walking in the forest early in the morning, late in the afterrnoon….the fog that made it all look like a fairytale…the smell of the rain…the reflections in the water….

…and of course the people….thank you for making me feel like home…thank you for answering every question…thank you for being understanding and interested in my country’s situation…..

I have tried to learn as much as possible about the Swedish educational system and I will do my best to adopt the new ideas/methods/practices I have learnt, modified to the Greek school reality.

I have talked to many teachers, administration staff and students during this week. It was always a pleasure to communicate with smiling, interested people.

I have also made ”a trip to the moon and back” ! Thanks to Mike and Mario, the two romantic astronautes that visited the school, the space does not look so scary any more…

But above all I need to thank Jonas Hall for inviting me, for teaching me, for working extra hours with me, for giving me a tour to the stars, for the little things that make a difference….

Thank you Jonas…
Until we meet again…

Katerina Roubi
Athens, GreeceIMG_20150925_132719

Katerina (fourth from the right) with Jonas Hall (fifth from the right) and the students doing Science Specialisation in year 12 after a successful solar observation session. Photography by Isac Revilla, also doing Science Specialisation.

Katerina has been job shadowing Jonas for a week, under the Erasmus Plus program.

När Rymden kom till Roden

8Mario Runco berättar om rymdpromenader.
Samtliga foton tagna av Amanda och Jesper i SA14

”Inspiration”. ”De hade varit där på riktigt”. ”Jättehäftigt”. Så lät det när jag frågade eleverna på det naturvetenskapliga programmet om hur de upplevt astronautbesöket den 23 september. De var Sveriges tur att vara värdnation för den årliga kongress som hundratalet astronauter besöker och som en del av deras outreach-program fick vi och många andra med oss besök av två astronauter.

Mike McCulley, Mario Runco och deras svenske Ciceron från KTH, vår gamle elev Christoffer Nordström

Sug lite till på det. Det finns ca 100 astronauter i hela världen. Människor som på grund av sin stora vilja, djupa hängivenhet och enastående kvalifikationer faktiskt färdats ut i rymden och visat vägen till framtiden. Fundera sedan på hur många statschefer det finns i världen…

Några teknik elever sammanfattade händelsen så här:

Den här veckan är det astronautvecka, vilket innebär att ungefär 100 astronauter åker runt i världen och hälsar på skolor för att informera elever om hur det är att vara astronaut och svara på frågor ifrån publiken. Vi fick äran att få besök av astronauterna Michael ”Mike” James McCulley och Mario Runco jr. Båda har en bakgrund inom den Amerikanska Flottan men Mike var en testpilot och Mario var en fysiker. Mario sökte jobb hos Nasa 5 gånger innan han blev anställd år 1987 och Mike blev inbjuden till Nasa år 1984.

Presentationen pågick i ungefär 70 minuter och var fylld med information, Mike började prata om hur rymdskeppet kom upp i omloppsbanan och hur raketerna fungerade. Sedan lämnade han vidare ordet till Mario som fortsatte berätta om själva upplevelsen uppe i rymden t.ex. SAS (Space Adaptation Syndrome) och om rymdpromenader. Mike tog sista delen av presentationen där han beskrev om hur det är att landa på jorden igen och sen hur det är att anpassa sig till jordens gravitation.

Denna första del av presentationen avslutades genom att astronauterna fick presenter av elevguider från naturvetenskapsprogrammet.

Efter en liten kaffepaus så började andra delen av presentationen. Denna presentation var en frågestund för de coolare som ville veta lite mer. Det började med en fråga om vi skulle kunna resa intergalaktiskt inom dem kommande hundra åren, svaret var ett stort nej. Det som följde detta var ett par frågor som fick utförliga svar även dem simplare frågorna fick detaljerade svar.

Denna presentation har hjälpt oss expandera vår kunskap likt universum.

18                    15

Eleverna avslutade med att citera Mario Runco’s avslutande råd till oss:

Sluta aldrig att sikta mot stjärnorna! Beam me up Scotty!

Vi fick vår Planeten Jorden-flagga, designad av svensken Oskar Pernefeldt, signerad av astronauterna. Astronauterna fick också med sig små gåvor från oss, bl.a. var sitt litet blått stenklot av bergarten Lapis Lazuli – så att de aldrig varken ska glömma vår blåa Jord eller sluta drömma om andra planeter.


För hur mycket kunskap vi än förmedlar i skolan så är det drömmarna om framtiden som gör kunskapen värd något.


In April 2015, we were 10 students who went to Valencia and the private school Julio Verne for one week with our teachers, Ann-Britt Söderberg and Isabelle Thunberg. We were all paired up with one Spanish student and lived at their house to experience their culture and to improve our Spanish.


This week in September it’s been their turn to come to Sweden with their teacher, Javier Sánchez Perez, to experience a new culture. They’ve been living at our homes and going to our school, Rodengymnasiet. During this time we have been speaking English, so we all have had the opportunity to improve our English. They have also attended Spanish lessons to help the younger ones to communicate in Spanish better.

Rodengymnasiet and Julio Verne are alike in some ways and distinct in other ways. What is common is that both schools are Microsoft Mentor Schools, and that’s how we got in touch with each other.
The structure of the lessons is quite the same and the education too.

However, there are more differences. First of all, you have to pay for attending private schools in Spain. You can start in theirs when you’re only 1 year old, and have the possibility to go to the same school until you’re graduating. Also, they wear school uniform until they’re 15 years old.

spanien2What do we think have been good with this exchange?
It’s a great way to learn a language by living in another family and go to a school where everyone around you speaks the language. To get to know another culture has been really fun and an experience we’ll remember.

We have also made new friends for life!



Rodengymnasiet är det stora kommunala gymnasiet i Norrtälje.