A Level Sociology students studying at the Queen Alexandra Sixth Form, North Shields have had the chance during the last academic year to work in collaboration with Danish students to try and discover why, in 2013, a UN sponsored report stated that Denmark was found to be the ‘happiest country in the world ‘, whilst the UK was placed significantly lower on the list, at number 22.

The A Level students were more than happy to take part in a unique research project in collaboration with students studying at the Falkonergårdens Gymnasium, a Sixth Form College in Copenhagen, Denmark to find out a bit more about the reasons for these societal differences.. What makes Danish citizens feel more contented than us? What are they getting right? What are we getting wrong?

The Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College students worked together with the Falkonergårdens Gymnasium students comparing a range of topics which focused on areas of society such as education, the family, crime and religious beliefs. These collaborative sessions enabled the UK and Danish students to share ideas and enhance their understanding of their own society, as well as providing a unique opportunity of learning about a new one.

The students were in regular contact with each other throughout the academic year via a blog, entitled ‘Society’, that was specifically set up for the project and allows both sets of students to post articles and respond to comments with related posts and further questions.

One of the AS Sociology students; Jaxson Hind, 16, from North Shields said he found the blog to be a great way to connect with the Danish students, whilst  Sarah Hobson, 16, also from North Shields, said she thought that it was really interesting to discover more about the lives of the students in Copenhagen and appreciated gaining an insight into social differences and their impact .Emma Porter, 16 from Hebburn, said that the blog had also allowed her to explore other areas of interest within sociology and gain a wider range of knowledge.

The work that students have put into the creation and subsequent growth of the blog has meant that it is now not only well established, but is set to improve and expand. Further plans are underway to make the blog bigger and better for the next academic year - with a view to including more opportunities for shared learning between the two sets of students.

Helle Jeppeson , Class Teacher at Falkonergårdens Gymnasium said.

“The students here in Copenhagen have really enjoyed exchanging views on various topics with the UK students.

“The quick and personal responses that are possible on a blog have been a great inspiration to my students and have  motivated them to not only write in English, but also to think about a variety of social issues and learn a lot about the society in the UK too.”

For more information about the range of A Level courses at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College call and speak to a student advisor on 0191 229 5123, email enquiries@queenalex.co.uk or visit www.queenalex.co.uk