A school uniform creates unity and benefits learning

One important aspect of the Nordic International School way of working is removing all forms of distractions to give the students the prerequisites to succeed in the classroom. In school you should not have to worry about things that are irrelevant to your learning.

Before taking their first steps into the school, every new student is given three light blue polo shirts and two dark blue zip cardigans or V-necked sweatshirts depending on if they are in Upper or Lower school.

– The school uniform create coherence and gives the students an equal opportunity for a successful education, regardless of their background. It shows the students that they are part of an entity. They are all proud of and happy with the dress code, Mr Pierre Åkerblom, principal at Nordic International School Trollhättan says.

The students are also expected to wear dark trousers and have indoor shoes. Any visible brands on clothes are not permitted. The teachers themselves are also expected to dress smartly and follow a business casual dress code.

In school you study
Mr Andrew Watson came to Sweden from Australia three and a half years ago. He has taught at Nordic International School for three years:

– We ultimately lead by example. If I hold myself to a certain standard, I signal to the students that I take their education seriously and that I want to do a good job.

The school uniform is one way of communicating that when you are in school you are there to study. It is about showing respect to everyone around you and the task that you are ultimately there to do. It gets rid of visual distractions in the classroom and allows the students and teachers to focus on the learning.

In the beginning of every school day all students hand in their phones to the teachers and they are returned to them before going home.

– When the students do not have access to their phones they have to look up and communicate with each other. It makes them calmer and more able to focus. To me it is just as big a part of the school uniform as the actual clothes are. It is all part of the way we work here, Mr Watson says.

A school community
Charlize Ertas studied at Nordic International School in 2017-2020 and is former president of the student council at the school in Norrköping. She confirms that there is a strong sense of unity at the school. In the future she plans to move to the US and study either law or economics.

– We often played games on our breaks and it is completely normal for students in year 9 to play with those in year 4. I think that particularly the younger students find it comforting that we wear the same clothes. It creates a natural bond, Charlize says.

The student councils of all Nordic International Schools were invited to participate in the design of the clothes and voice their opinions. The student councils themselves even had the opportunity to choose which nuance of blue the shirts were to have. That is one reason, according to Charlize, that the clothes are appreciated by the students.

– I think the school uniform looks good and it is also nice to not have to worry about what to wear every day before going to school, she continues.