Learning to use your voice

Find out what happened when PYP8 petitioned City Hall to reinstate the ice skating rink in Aarhus

January, 2024

An important principle of the IB is teaching students responsibility, voice and choice. But it is not simply about doing something and taking a stand. It is not simply about teaching students about their community and the way the world they live in works, nor is it about telling students what they should or shouldn't believe. Instead it is about instilling in students the tools they need to understand and navigate the world around them, to explore the world on their own terms as is relevant to them, and help them figure out what is important to fight for and believe in. Action in the IB is giving students agency.

Here are some pictures form the recent PYP8 trip to the outdoor ice skating rink in Aarhus city. The students had a great time on the ice - and even after a few tumbles, still left with great big smiles on their faces and excited stories to tell. They loved this bonding opportunity with each other and their homeroom teacher, Mr Bettger.

This really fun trip has been long awaited and has been the hard work of not just this PYP8 class, but also last year's PYP8 class. When Aarhus Municipality last year closed down the ice rink, the students were understanding but very disappointed as they had looked forward to this trip for a long time. This trip and this chance for bonding was something important to PYP8. So, they decided to try and make a change. They took to writing a class letter, petitioning City Hall to reconsider. They took action, they got involved in their local community, they were risk takers and tried to make their voices heard!

And that hard work and bravery paid off, as the ice rink reopened this year. As a thank you, the current PYP8 wrote a second letter to City Hall expressing their gratitude.

The whole experience was a great teaching moment for the students, who learnt that they have a voice, and that when they use their voice and take action, people will listen. And the reward of a skating trip was definitely well deserved.