School Blog

From the Principal

First month at IES Östersund

First month at IES Östersund

September 2020

Hello Östersund!

We opened to students on the 20th August as the 38th IES school in Sweden.  The first month of being a fully functioning school has been intense and exciting.  There have been many meetings with new teachers, students and parents who have come from different parts of the world and these meetings are shaping the development of our shared culture and ethos.

Our students have embraced our values.  They are especially positive about our determination to create a safe and orderly school environment where teachers can teach and students learn in peace.  Bilingual teaching and learning has been a challenge for some, but students are adapting quickly and are developing their language skills at a rapid pace.  I am very proud of what our students and staff have achieved so far and I know that things will continue to improve all the time.  

It is unfortunate that the local media have been focusing on issues other than our core values and daily activities.  I therefore thought that I would take this opportunity to highlight our focus, our goals and our promises.   

Internationella Engelska Skolan Östersund offers teaching in a safe environment. Student well-being and the right to learn in a peaceful environment are prerequisites for all our students. We are proud to say that every day we work as a team to provide a safe, structured and secure school learning environment.  

Furthermore, we are proud to say that we have high academic expectations and aspirations for all our students.  Students' future personal and professional success in adult life is often dependent, in part, upon their educational experience in their formative years.  That is why at IES Östersund, we do all we can to promote a positive growth mindset approach to academic endeavour.  I and my staff share the same desire to see each and every student as an individual and personalise their educational experience accordingly.  At IES Östersund we do not expect everyone to be the best but we do expect everyone to do their best.  

I am proud that the IES Östersund family is a diverse socio-economic and cultural community.  Our students represent 14 different mother tongue languages and the staff represent 8. Multilingualism and cultural differences are part of our everyday life and we embrace a truly international atmosphere.  Promoting language skills is a natural “must” and, because English is our collective language, developing a command of English is essential.

I am very proud of what we have achieved so far and I am convinced that our school community has a place alongside other educational establishments within Östersund.  We are here to stay and are committed to delivering our values and ethos every day to our students and their parents and carers.

I would like to end by sharing our promise with all students, guardians and staff

“Teaching and education is our core business! We will deliver good teaching and every student will be given the best conditions to reach their full potential, based on their personal level. Jointly, we will build and maintain a strong positive culture and safeguard our work environment. We will work for, and maintain, confidential relationships where participation and commitment will characterize our daily work.”

 

Mr Reunanen

Your Principal

From the Principal

Our first Forest Day

Our first Forest Day

Our first Forest Day was hugely successful!  We were so lucky with the weather.  It was a beautiful, sunny, autumnal morning.  Although it became cloudier and chillier later on, it never rained!  Every mentor group was able to spend time with their class mentors and other members of the Student Care Team (SCT) and the Leadership Team.  

Members of Student Care Team with students
Members of Student Care Team with students

The FSKL classes and Years 1-3 walked a short distance and had fun working in mixed year group teams to complete a Pippi Longstocking themed treasure hunt.  Meanwhile, our Years 4-5 and 6-7 had their own fun in the forest and by the lake.  The highlight for most was the opportunity to grill their lunch - sausages, burgers and vegetarian alternatives. 

 

Having the opportunity to be outside, relax, have fun together and continue to build relationships is such an important part of school life at IES Östersund.  We believe passionately in our value of having high academic expectations for all.  However, unless we really know who our students are and get to know them as individuals, outside the classroom, it is very difficult to truly meet their academic needs.

 

Students exploring the forest
Students exploring the forest
From the Principal

STP meetings

STP meetings

It was really good to welcome so many parents and carers into school for the first STP (student-teacher-parent) meetings.  We were very mindful of taking precautions due to Covid-19 and meeting times were staggered across three afternoons.  Each mentor had plenty of space within which to run their conversations.  Some STPs were conducted over the telephone or a google hangout.  We have already received some very positive feedback from guardians, students and our mentors.  The conversations have been a really useful way to build important relationships between the school and students and their carers.  All students have had the opportunity to set their own goals and SMART targets and these will be reviewed over the next few months. 

From the Principal

Our first fire evacuation training drill

Our first fire evacuation training drill

Having high academic expectations and aspirations is one of the IES core values.  Another core value is that we create and maintain a safe and calm learning environment everywhere within the school.  

 

It was therefore a very important moment when the whole school community took part in our first fire evacuation training drill.  All of our staff had already received fire safety education from Anticimex during their onboarding weeks and teachers had spoken to the students about the evacuation protocol before we sounded the alarm. 

 

I was very happy with the students' behaviour during the drill.  There was a calm and orderly exit from the school building and all mentor groups waited in quiet lines with their teacher so that an attendance register could be taken.  As Principal, I completed final checks of rooms and windows and doors before vacating the school.  It is obviously my dearest hope that we never have to take part in a real life fire evacuation.  However, it is crucial that the school community remains informed and prepared for emergency situations and so we will continue to train throughout the year.

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