Address: Gamle Riksveg 246, 3055 Krokstadelva

Country: Norway

 School website

Project: See and be seen

Working language during the project:

  • Norwegian

Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Addressing controversial issues
  • Preventing violence and bullying
  • Tackling discrimination
  • Improving well-being at school

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of language and communication

Target group age range:

  • 11 - 15

Level of education:

  • Lower secondary education

Short description of the project:

Eknes lower secondary school has for a long time been working systematically to strengthen the focus on democratic awareness and prevent hate-speech bullying and social exclusion. In order to do this, Eknes has paid attention to enhancing the relations between the students. Our slogan is “See and be seen” (C&Z).

2014, the school participated in the project “Democratic preparedness against racism and antisemitism (Dembra)”. The aim of this programme is to strengthen efforts to promote critical thinking and participation, adjusted to each participating school’s previous experiences. As the programme says, the preventive work is all about relations between the adults and the pupils and how the school systematically focuses on creating a healthy school environment.

With this in mind, the school took part in the national programme “Kompetanse for mangfold (Competence for diversity)” with the focus on enhancing relations with minority students and on being aware of eventual prejudices. Like the Dembra- project, the aim is to enhance the relations between the students, and between students and teachers.

The school is also taking part in the programme “MOT (show courage)” which is a programme that educates students to become good role models for their fellow students. The principals of this programme are to be ahead of problems, to enhance the positive aspects in a person, to see the whole human being and assigning responsibility to students who can be good role models for fellow students. The students learn how to respect each other, how to include others and how to dare to be themselves.

Recently, the school participated in the education programme for learning democracy at Utøya (the island of the 22 of July- terrorism) by The European Wergeland Centre. The student council leader (10th grade) and two students from 9th grade represented the school. As part of the programme, the students learned activities they could take back to school and teach to the other students as well as the teachers to enhance democracy.

On the 24th and the 25th of October this year, the school celebrated United Nations. Our focus this year was on all of our programmes : how to strengthen students’ democratic thinking, values and skills to prevent hate speech, discrimination and exclusion. The celebrations brought the whole school together. We were blessed to be contacted by one of the mothers who lost her 14year old daughter in the terrorist attack at Utøya. Her speech for the students was a powerful reminder and message of why addressing hate crimes and teaching on controversial issues is so important.

After the powerful launch, the grades were mixed together and divided into six different groups. Each group had to visit six different stations where they took part in activities learned at Utøya (two stations) and activities learned from Dembra – (two stations), a dance station, and a station for making a news wall promoting democracy.

As a finale, the whole school joined for the school song (the Eknes song) and then the BlimE (come join us) dance. This dance is produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting Company and its goal is to promote friendship and caring for each other. This campaign is a well-known and popular initiative at all schools in Norway.


Our aim is to enhance responsibility, tolerance and cooperation between students and between adults and students. Our focus is to see the whole human; both in a school matter, methodically and socially.

Expected results/outcomes

expect students to take responsibility for themselves, for their fellow students and for the work environment. We expect students to recognise social exclusion and address it, including hate speech in the society. We expect tolerance and students that include each other.


We will make some changes to where some of the activities took place. Some of the rooms that were used at the United Nation days were not equipped and big enough for the activities.

We will also substitute one of the activities with another one. We found that many of the students did not understand what their task was, and therefore it was hard for them to make a statement. They did not understand the meaning of the words of their task.

Challenges you faced

How to get the whole student group to see why this is relevant and important, and how to get the students to see the relation between the different exercises.

Time-frame of the project:

This is an ongoing project that is rooted in the school philosophy. We expect it to be integrated in the different courses.

Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:


Additional material provided by the school

Pictures on Facebook

Music on soundcloud

Facebook page of the school