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The bricks of education

Education that revolves around play may sound like every kid's dream, and for some children in Billund, Denmark, it is about to become a reality at a new school founded by Lego.
The bricks of education
©Alan Chai

Education that revolves around play may sound like every kid's dream, and for some children in Billund, Denmark, it is about to become a reality at a new school founded by Lego.

The International School of Billund is the idea of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the third-gen former head of Lego. He is aiming to turn his hometown into a "capital of children".

The Kristiansen family's Lego Foundation will fund the project. The foundation, with a 25% stake in Lego Group, conducts and sponsors research into teaching and child development.

Despite being Denmark's richest man, Kristiansen has remained resolutely loyal to Billund, which has a population of just 6,000, with 26,000 in the surrounding municipality.

The new school is one of several projects funded by the Kristiansen family, including the local airport, a church, a theatre and "Lego labs" for all local schools.

Lego said in a statement: "The ambition is to create a kindergarten and a school of international top standards which can inspire both expatriate and Danish children."

It is due to open its doors in August to three to seven-year-olds. The curriculum will be based on "enquiry-based learning" – combining the standard Danish syllabus with sessions in elaborate playgrounds, and of course, plenty of Lego.

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