Framhaldsskólinn í Austur-Skaftafellssýslu, or FAS like it’s usually called was established in 1987. It was established because there were no schools near the town Höfn. For the first fifteen years it was located a short distance from the town, and a bus drove the students from Höfn to the school. Today FAS is one of the smallest upper secondary school in Iceland.
The school moved to Höfn in 2002 and is situated in a building called Nýheimar in the centre of the town. In that building there are many different institutions, such as the local library and a branch from the University of Iceland and many other smaller institutions.
The first year there were 52 students in FAS but today there are around 160 students studying at the school and there are 22 staff members. It is possible to choose between different departments at the school. It is possible to choose between vocational studies or academic studies. Most of the students choose the academics which are science, social and a third option based of specific interests of the student.
The school also focuses on vocational studies and art, everyone can find something in their area of interest. Most of art and vocational studies are taught in the Vöruhús (the Warehouse), the Vöruhús collaborates with FAS and the municipality. The main goal of the Vöruhús is to promote education and vocation training through creative subjects. Among the subjects that are taught in Vöruhús are possible to study in the Vöruhús are construction, textiles, art, photography and fashion design.
At FAS it is also possible to learn entrepreneurship, students use FabLab in their work in it. FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) is a functional workshop, all the necessary tools there and with them it is possible to create almost whatever you want to. FabLab gives young as well as older people the opportunity to work their creativity and implement their ideas by designing, developing and producing things with the help of digital devices. People that live in Höfn have the option of coming by and apply for access at the Vöruhús and use the facilities and tools for artistic creation or to work on all kinds of crafts. The main goal of the Vöruhús is that people can study informationally through courses and other self-study.
It is possible to graduate from FAS in three years, but of course it’s possible to stay in school as long as you like. At the school there is a place that’s called study room. Students at the school are obliged to stay there for one hour for every course they are taking every week.
The languages course that the school offers are Danish, English, German and Spanish. The school is all about promoting health and the main goal is, both for students and teachers, to live a healthy lifestyle. The project contributes to strengthen the micro society and for that reason to increase support and opportunities for students and teachers to dedicate themselves to positive and healthy lifestyle. The main reason of this project is nutrition, movement, mental health and positive lifestyle. One of the subjects is taken for each school year. All consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs are forbidden of school grounds.
Part of the health conciseness at the school is the students are offered free porridge every morning when they arrive.
All students that work outside of school have the option of having their workplace experience evaluated as school credits.
The school tries to provide as much social life as possible and the students work hard to organize events. Unfortunately, it is hard to cooperate with other schools for social events because of the distance to the next community.
In FAS there are a few organized events which are hosted every year. We have the annual festival; which we spend around three whole days planning. Those who do not want to participation in that project will plan other smaller festivals which we host sooner in the semester.
Another project that is set up annually is a school play. The director of the theatre in Höfn then comes and students can apply for role. A lot of students apply for a role in the play of the year. A lot of time and hard work goes into this play each year.
Each year the school is involved in two national school competitions. One is quiz competition and is called “Gettu betur”. The other one is debating competition called “Morfís”. FAS has gotten decent results in both of them.
We try to have some kind of competition for ourselves each year. We call it the Championship. In this competition we split our students in teams and they compete each other in all kinds of puzzles and games.
The last but not least we have science days. Then we spend few days doing fun and challenging projects. We have few tasks we can choose from.
Written by Ingibjörg Lúcía and Ólöf María