Hello, all of you, in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Scotland and Finland, with whom we are lucky enough to cooperate through the Comenius Project!

In this first letter we will present our school and our environment so you can learn a bit about us.

 

OUR SCHOOL

 

Kirkebygden skole is a combined elementary and comprehensive school, and it has been situated on the same spot since 1857. Then it looked quite different! Now its much bigger, and it has been rebuilt and extended a lot of times.

 

At our school we have a library where you can borrow books for free (if you have a library-card, that is). We also have a special computer-room with 15 computers, and all the pupils have access to Internet both here and through their classroom machine.

In 1971 Kirkebygden comprehensive school was built, including a swimming hall. Twice later, in 1982 and 1992 new rooms where built to give room for everybody. In 1996 the municipality started to build a big gym-hall in connection to the school building. It was opened in 1997, and then we got 4 new wardrobes, a grandstand and a cafeteria, which have all been in constant use ever since.

In spite of this we are rather crowded at this school, but we do have a kitchen were we learn to make food, laundry–room to go with it, an art-department and a science-room.

THE MUNICIPALITY

We live in the country, and we are 4000 inhabitants. In our woods you will find different animals, like elk, deer, fox, hare, lynx, ermine and – WOLF! There are huge discussions whether the wolf shall be hunted on. It has been gone for a hundred years, but last year it returned, and the farmers are not very happy about it.

The dog of Kajas family (Kaja is a girl in our class) was killed by wolf some days ago so we have our reasons for not being happy with it!

Every autumn we go hunting in the woods. Våler also has a lot of trees, berries and mushrooms.

Våler is situated in Østfold. Our closest town is Moss. We have three centers: Kirkebygden, Svinndal and Våk. There are many farms here, but also some small-scale industry - food-processing, wood-processing to mention some. 72 % of the people who work work in Oslo. It takes 45 minutes by bus to get to the city. Våler is 705 square kilometres, most of it wood. We need car or bus to get to the nearby cities, but it only takes 15 – 30 minutes.

THE CHURCH AND THE MUNICIPAL INSIGNIA

Our church is a stone church, and it was built 800 years ago. It’s a roman style building from the last part of the 1100s, with a crucifix from 1300, altar and pulpit from the 1630ies.

The insignia is divided into two parts – the first part is a silver lily on blue background and is known to have belonged to a noble family from the first part of the 1300s.

SPARE TIME ACTIVITIES

We are 68 pupils in 8th grade at Kirkebygden, and 388 all together at school. In our spare time we do different things: Attend Posse (the youth club), play handball or football, play in the school brass band, and attend 4H(an international organisation

where you’re supposed to use your HEAD, HAND, HEART and take care of your HEALTH). Some attend art school in Moss, and some dance ballet, sing in a choir or play an instrument. There are also some who drive go-cart and track-cycles.

AT SCHOOL AND IN THE BREAKS

We have five ten-minutes breaks and one half-hour break. In comprehensive we have more or less our own schoolyards; 9th and 10th grade have the best places, though! During the day we have 5 lessons; three of 60 minutes and two og 45 minutes.

POSSE YOUTH CLUB

As we’ve told before, Posse is a youth club. It has two parts, one for children (10-12) and for young people from 13 to 18. We can play, listen to music, dance, buy sweets, pizza and soft drinks. The leaders are 20 and 17 years old, and there is a board elected among the members. They look after the music, the kiosk and keep the place in order.

Here comes an interview with one of the frequent users of Posse:

What do you think about the club?
- Very nice, otherwise Våler would have been extremely boring.
What do you like to do there?
- They play very good music. I listen to that, of course, and all my friends are
hanging around there.
How do you like the leaders?
- I think they’re very good; too bad Jørgen left, but I hope the new leader will be just
as good.
Is there anything you would put above Posse?
- Probably my handball-training!

SPORTS

Many of us are interested in sports, and we are lucky to have an active athlete’s club in Våler. The club Vansjø-Svinndal (V/S) was founded in 1920. Biking was the main thing then, but also cross-country skiing, ski jumping, football and cross-country running were major sports of that time.

Most of these sports could be performed along the road, in the wood or in the fields. Football needed a footballground, but in the beginning they just played on fields.

After the war handball became very popular, especially among girls. In the middle of the 60ies they started walking races. This group expanded quickly, and reached a high level. The best result was obtained by Thorild Gylder (the aunt of Eric in 8th grade!) with a silver medal in the world championship.

Later on orienteering and driving with dogs made their own groups. A lot of arrangements have been made by the club, for instance district cross-country skiing with 300 participants and handball tournaments with 70 teams.

Today football and handball are the main activities.

AT LAST….

Most of the pupils are interested in data, and, as we’ve told before, the school is connected to internet and has its own home page. Its address is:

http://www.kirkebygden.gs.of.no

Here you can find more pictures from our school!

We are looking forward to hearing from you and learn about your countries and your culture, and hopefully make new friends!

Best regards,

Teachers and pupils of 8th grade, Kirkebygden skole.