Mot fremtiden fra 2002 og Isfolket fra 2005

To av Margots monumentale maleri holder nå hus i Birralee International School, Trondheim.

Et lite innblikk i skolens historie

Birralee was founded officially in the Autumn term of 1973, by Margot Tønseth.

Trondheim kommune had the need of an International School for some time, to serve families employed in Trondheim by the university or other international firms. These families needed an English medium school which could provide continuity for their children´s education. They needed to be prepared for their further education either when they returned to their home country, continued in another international school or entered the Norwegian National school system.

Margot Tønseth believed that all learning should be based on first hand experience. She wanted to provide experiences of educational situations, where the children needed the skills she wanted to teach them. That, wherever possible, there should be a reason for learning, for reading, acting, learning mathematical data, music and for all endeavour and projects connected to other subjects. In fact that they would be `learning by doing´. Tønseth wanted them to help in this process by taking part in the overall responsibility for their own education; and to gain a feeling of ownership of their own learning. She hoped that the children would enjoy their time in Trondheim, that they would make permanent roots through their time at the school; and that the school would become in fact, a part of their lives. Margot Tønseth established the elements which go to make up the philosophy of Birralee International School and together with teachers and others associated with the school, there had always been a colleagueship about the way ideas and practices have evolved, as a result of this interplay. Her background was influenced by the Australian educational system; and some of the provisions made and methods used in Australia for successful second language learning are still working well at Birralee. She had an intense interest in the differences of national educational systems and an interest in the growing numbers of International Schools. A child centred progressive type of education where the child is regarded as being an individual with respect for language, cultural and custom differences and the diversity of all these are a part of today´s living. Education through experience is important and learning by doing was her credo for the fulfilment of the schools motto "Learn to Live", "Disce ut Vivas".

Birralee has developed in a number of educational directions in response to market opportunities and to new educational theories. Second language acquisition for those Norwegian children using the system was important and Birralee was able to define the teaching methods to use for second language learning and deciding on good practices to achieve this through "play" in the infant department and "experiences" in the upper school. This system became valuable not only for the Norwegian children, but also for other internationals, without English as a working language. Since this has been built up, it has also become important for an earlier start of second language teaching in national schools in Norway and we have often been asked to hold courses for Norwegian teachers. i.e "English Earlier"

Birralee started very early with computer teaching in Norway and always fully aware that there was educational value in only some of the available programmes. Birralee needed a responsible and serious programme for the children to have access to learning the skills needed to become comfortable, competent and creative with a computer in front of them. Birralee has achieved this and is still looking forward to new ideas and many interesting projects both from Norway and internationally through the internet.

Birralee is made up of large group of children, young people and adults, drawn from all parts of the world and all walks of life. Individually we are all unique with different experiences, ideas, opinions and life styles. This should only enrich lives and give room for an exciting environment for education.

In 1998 Birralee International School A/S was donated by Margot Tønseth to Birralee International School Foundation. A board of five was formed to administer both the foundation and the limited company.