“WAAW – We Are All Welcomers”, is a codesign thesis project by Tone Lysholm from KADK and Signe Møller Rosendal from Design School Kolding. They have been exploring playful welcoming rituals and practices in a reception class in the Danish primary school. The aim is to strengthen the community in the classroom and give children who have recently moved to Denmark a sense of belonging.
“We know that all transitions are important. As simple as that. Well-being begins where you are met and recognized as the person you are”, Senka Besic, Integration Councilor.
Tone Lysholm writes: Research shows that how children are met in school, is crucial for their future well-being. To be new is not always easy, but it helps a lot if you receive a warm welcome by friendly people. This is why we created the “WAAW Toolkit”. It is a welcome kit that, through play and community building, supports teachers and students in reception classes in welcoming new students. The kit facilitates rituals and activities that that can be carried out during the first week, when a new student enters the class. The “WAAW Toolkit” s built around the key concepts of play, community, responsibility and physicality.
The WAAW kit was co-designed with the children and teachers from a reception class, M2 at Lundehusskolen, that accepts new students in the classroom almost every second month. A reception class is a class for children from other countries, who need extra language and social support before going into a traditional class. The children and teachers at Lundehusskolen engaged in exploring new ways of welcoming in the classroom and took part in generating new ideas and prototypes. In that way, the WAAW concept was co-designed with the end users, in order to make sure the toolkit fi t their everyday context and the resources they have available.
The school is where children learn together and about each other. It is also the place where they learn about the danish society, friendships, respect and curiosity. A good welcome does not only matter for the well-being in school, it also affects the integration into society. We believe that to support the integration process, a good starting place is to examine current practices and ways of doing in the school system, and ask ourselves: How things could be different. The WAAW project is a suggestion of one way to do this, through co-design, play and community building.
Tone Lysholm in collaboration with Signe Møller Rosendal and Lundehusskolen.
Tone and Signe have been working with UN goal 4 and 10.
Learn more about the thesis project at the Design and Architecture Graduation Exhibition 1/7 – 13/8 2017 from 11.00 – 18.00 at KADK, Udstillingen and Festsalen: Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51-53. 1435 Copenhagen K.