Brainchild of billionaire owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, it is hoped the new institution, based in Billund, Denmark, will put its rural surroundings on the map and become known as the “Capital of Children”.
The International School of Billund will combine the international baccalaureate (IB) with the Danish school system and Lego´s emphasis on creativity and play.
The idea is that children are more motivated when they generate their own questions. As one prospective parent of the new school put it: "In the UK you´re taught how to pass exams. In Scandinavia you´re taught how to think.
The Kirk Kristiansens are the most famous dynasty in the country and Kjeld is the richest man in Denmark. He is chairman of the board of the Lego Foundation, an organisation funding research into child development and the psychology of play.
The new school in Billund is just one of a long line of projects in a town of 6,000 people sponsored by the Lego family. The family has also paid for an airport – the second largest in Denmark – and worked with the council to construct a church, community facilities, a library and a theatre.
The Lego group was founded in 1932 by the Kristiansen family, is the world’s third largest manufacturer of play materials and provides toys and teaching materials in more than 130 countries.