Head of International School, Karen Bøttger, is interviewing NGG Principal, Thomas Thrane
Karen: We encourage learners to think globally. What does that mean to you?
Thomas: To understand many of the challenges we are facing in the society of today, we need to be able to look at them in a global perspective. The world is getting easier to access with all the enhanced transportation methods and with the technology improving all the time, we are looking at a future where global collaboration is just around the corner. Implementing a global perspective can enhance the strength of local actions. As we say, “Act global in a local community”.
Karen: Although we encourage learners to think globally, we also promote acting locally. What kinds of local action initiatives do you hope NIS learners can be a part of in the future?
Thomas: Our intention with learning at NGG and NIS is to develop our young students to become responsible globally oriented citizens who can navigate actively in a democratic environment. By that I hope that our students will always behave as critical thinkers and involve themselves if they believe in a cause. Do not let anyone tell you that it can’t be done before you have investigated it yourself. Use and listen to arguments and facts but be aware of all the opinions out there because there are a lot.
I hope that the students can be a part of bringing the world to the local environment. Our international students come with so many experiences and traditions in their backpacks and I hope they will use them in what ever context they find themselves in the future.
Karen: You are now Principal of a school with a growing international school as one of its departments. The vision for the kinds of students we want to develop involves them aiming to respectful responsible global citizens of tomorrow. How do you see that being supported in the NIS classrooms?
Thomas: I think that our teachers are doing a fantastic job every day by teaching our students, not only about the curriculum but also about the personal and social behaviour that impacts the learning environment in a classroom. It is so important that we are focusing on how we are learning so we are enhancing the focus on skills they can take with them out into the society afterwards. A common expression for them is 21st Century Skills and it focuses on the personal and social skills we are working with at NGG and NIS, like communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
Karen: How do you see International mindedness (as a mindset) becoming more embedded across all departments at NGG over the next years?
Thomas: I think that NGG is one of a kind, I actually know so. To be able to offer educational levels from Danish kindergarten to Danish high school student at the same time as having an international education that runs from Early Years to 11i and soon pre-IB and IB DP is unique in Denmark. There is a lot of potential for collaborating between departments. Right now the first movers are Early Years/Primary and Ællingen/Svanereden because they meet every day when they play in the schoolyard or at Svanereden. But we should expand that. I have heard of collaborations between classes in the Danish department and NIS and they have all been learning rich and most of all insightful. This is where we make our common cultural platform. This is where we get so much undefined learning handed to us. Learning that is hard to measure but gives our young students so much insight in Danish and international culture, language and traditions and helping them think globally in a local environment. That is totally unique for NGG and NIS.
Thomas Thrane appointed new Principal of Nordsjællands Grundskole og Gymnasium (NGG)
A clear vision and strong values are a priority for Thomas Thrane, who has been appointed the new Principal of Denmark's largest private school, Nordsjællands Grundskole og Gymnasium (NGG), of which North Zealand International School is a part. As the son of the school's founder, Jan Thrane, the 45-year-old Principal has had the school's spirit encoded in his DNA since childhood. He now looks towards the future where learning and personal development are central to the new Principal's leadership.
Thomas Thrane was chosen for the position by a unanimous board after an interview process with several strong candidates. The choice landed on the now previous Vice Principal, Thomas Thrane, as he built the bridge between the school’s history and its future development. The Principal’s motto is that NGG develops rounded individuals who are lifelong learners.
A multi-faceted school based on strong values
One of Thomas Thrane’s goals is for NGG to take social responsibility by working on its unique core values, balancing between personal development and learning. In his leadership position, Thomas Thrane will focus on developing global citizens in a local community.
NGG is a multi-faceted school and Thomas Thrane will therefore continue to develop the strong relationship between the school’s many departments. Currently Denmarks’s largest private school consists of a preschool, a Danish grundskole, gymnasium og HF and an international Early Years setting, Primary, Secondary and High School. It is, in total, possible to attend NGG for 14-15 years.
NGG is especially known for its strong parent/school collaboration. Thomas Thrane will further prioritize this collaboration to make the expectations between school and homes even more clear and improve wellbeing among learners. In other words, NGG is a melting pot of learner, parent and teacher competencies which Thomas Thrane will work to bring together in the learning and growth of students.
NGG for life
Thomas Thrane will work to develop a new NGG community culture. In the past, the school had an alumni association which provided a strong sense of affiliation to the school. This makes it possible for alumni to form strong bonds to one another after graduation and thereby form a sense of community that reaches far into the future. Many former students return to NGG as parents and thereby several generations are part of developing NGG.
Thomas Thrane is proud of the school’s learners, their daily efforts and the strong relationship between learners, parents and teachers. On a solid foundation of vision, values and community Thomas Thrane looks forward to developing the school in new facilities in the coming years.
NGG is a school for life.
THOMAS THRANE PROFILE
Thomas Thrane, the son of the former Principal and founder, Jan Thrane, graduated with Masters (Social Sciences) in Math and Physical Education from Copenhagen University. Thomas Thrane has been employed at NGG for more than 20 years. Of the course of the 20 years, Thomas Thrane has established the school’s popular Sports College, established High School camps for our youngest secondary students and been part of developing the school's digital citizenship programme as a pedagogical leader at NGG. Since the start of 2019 Thomas Thrane has been Vice Principal of NGG with the responsibility for the Danish gymnasium’s development and daily operation.