On the afternoon of day 2 we visited a grade 5/6 class at the Primary school. This is the equivalent of a year 7/8 class in the UK. The pupils were having an English lesson and were very much given ownership of their own learning. They selected their own activity and there was a range on display - translating books from English to Swedish or vice-versa, writing a report in English, reading English novels etc. The teacher told us that she lets the children know at the beginning of the term what activities they needed to cover and it was up to the pupils to do so. Periodically the teacher would check up that the required work had been done and if it had not been then the pupil needed to catch up in their own time. Pupils were even trusted to work at home in many cases and would regularly do so up to a few months ago when the government changed the rules that allowed this to happen. The teacher and pupils were enthusiastic about this particular way of working and were hopeful that it may be allowed again in the future.
In terms of ICT with this group, the teacher said that the pupils were free to use it when they wished to, but the most common uses were word processing, powerpoints and online dictionaries. Interestingly we were told that there were no dedicated ICT lessons to teach specific skills. ICT was in use for some home-school communication through their 'First Class' system. This was mainly via the teacher updating an online class calendar that parents could then pick up via the school website, as well as some email-type communication. Other ICT use seen in the school was mainly with individuals or groups; for example a memory building / brain training piece of software for specific targeted pupils and a program called Lexion being used to reinforce basic literacy skills - this program having been procured on behalf of all Sandviken schools and introduced with an extensive training programme.