Bryggeriet Skate School – Parts 1 & 2 by Phil Evans
Bryggeriet skatepark has been the heart of the Malmö skate scene since 1998. In 2005 the board of the skatepark was granted a permit to start a high school on their premises. The idea was to incorporate skateboarding as a subject on the school curriculum.
Long time Malmö skater John Dahlquist was hired to build a subject around skateboarding and to incorporate as many aspects of the culture as possible into the courses.
The school started fall of 2006 with 50 students and today the students can choose from the profiles of art, photo, film and skateboarding as special courses. The school is run as a non-profit NGO.
Ten years later the school has 150 students of which about half are skaters. The skate students come from all of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Students need to at least understand basic Swedish to apply but the Scandinavian languages are similar enough to work. The other profiles are now photo, film and art, all which have obvious connections to skateboarding.
The great aim is to study for a high school diploma. All ”regular” classes are included such as English, Social science, Math and Swedish. In that perspective it is a traditional school. What makes Bryggeriets gymnasium special is the inclusion of students interest in other activities such as art and skateboarding. (And the fact that there is a huge skatepark in the middle of the school.)
The staff believes that the drive, passion and attitude that skateboarding brings can work as good generators of other good outcome. The teachers want to create a school outside the box and offer an inclusive school based on the students involvement in their education.
The school has had a fair share of great skaters such as Oskar Rosenberg-Hallberg, Didrik Galasso, Karl Berglind, Sarah Meurle, Fernando Bramsmark and Herman Stene who have all made careers as skateboarders. That is all great but not the big goal here. The goal for skating as a subject is for everyone to find their own place in skateboarding. Filming, shooting photos, designing skateparks, landing tricks or just using skate to make school more manageable are all equally important reasons to attend. Within the network of Bryggeriet the school has managed to connect students with professionals from different aspects of skateboarding. Every year the school invites different people from the industry to come and share their stories and experience.
The students have been lucky enough to listen to Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, Bryce Kanights and Mike V to name a few.
There are no demands on prior knowledge. Students need to have passing grades from middle school and understand Swedish to apply. A passion for skateboarding helps but the level of skating is secondary. But the evolution when 70 skaters are out in the same spot is obvious.
These are just words. Teaching, learning and the effects of bringing your passion to school is hard to explain. Phil Evans films about Bryggeriets gymnasium hopefully gives a glimpse of what skateboarding on the curriculum means.