Monday morning, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway handed out the prestigious Queen Sonja Scholl Award 2018. This year it was Apaløkka school in Oslo who received the prize for their great effort of creating inclusion for all children.
Upon arrival, Her Majesty Queen Sonja was received by the mayor of Oslo together with the principal and student council representative from the school. Principal Elisabeth Dullum then guided the queen into the main entrance. Two members of the student council then presented an artwork by Per Kleiva, designed for the school. They also told Her Majesty about the project “Use a picture” that Apalløkka school is a part of.
Members from the student council also told Queen Sonja about the history of the school and the school’s motto: “Together about creativity, knowledge and equality”. The Queen was then showed art in the schoolyard made by students during the spring this year. The pupils could then tell their Queen about activities in the hall in the school-breaks and after school hours. Her Majesty was guided to a classroom where she saw a debate in the eighth grade about mobile-use.
Following the debate, Her Majesty presented this year’s price in a ceremony. Following the ceremony was a lunch for students, staff and invited guests. It was a unanimous jury that gave Apalløkka School in Oslo, the Queen Sonja’s School Award for Equality and Inclusion 2018.
“Apalløkka School is a worthwhile winner. The school is committed to emphasising cooperation at all levels and by using the local community and in the district of Grorud in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner” said the jury when presenting the winner.
Apalløkka School has 392 pupils that originate from all over the world. Among other things, the school has two teachers who work separately with mental health. The school has its own school environment committee and its own welcome arrangement that welcomes all students every day.
Upon departure, Her Majesty had a short meeting with the press. Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen was present and asked Her Majesty a question. Aanmoen asked: What does the queen think has been the best with the visit today?
Her Majesty answered:”That is a lot. It would be a long story. However, I think it is to see all the activities that were shown in the sports hall. It is so varied and so funny. Here are challenges for all possible things you may have in your head, or in your legs or arms. It has been very, very nice visit.”
Her Majesty Queen Sonja has taken the initiative to the Prize. The prize consists of NOK 250,000, a diploma and a piece of art entitled ‘Growth’ that the Queen has created and signed. Queen Sonja’s School Award has been awarded annually since 2006. Schools are nominated by Norway’s 19 County governor`s that nominates schools from their county.
Criteria for receiving the award is that the school takes a long-term, systematic and knowledge-based approach in its efforts to ensure an optimum learning environment for its pupils; The school promotes inclusion and equality and the school is characterised by the positive relationship between the pupils and the teaching staff.