Week 51 has been filled with plenty of festive celebrations and IES Östersund has felt a wonderfully, cosy place to be. I am so very proud of all our students and staff who have worked incredibly hard all term and yet kept standards high throughout the last week of the autumn term. Grades have been set for our Year 6s and 7s and subject rubrics updated and developmental comments written. Although lessons continued as normal throughout the week, we still had time to participate in some fun. There were three different tipspromenad (scavenger hunts with multiple choice questions to answer) to participate in, festive food to eat at lunchtime and special dress up days.
Phase 2 of our school building is now open and so several mentor groups also took some time to move classrooms on the last day of term. This means that when the spring term starts on Monday 11th January 2021, all classes will be ready to start learning again in their new locations. We will also have all our practical rooms in operation and I know that teachers and students are really excited to finally have lessons in the custom built cookery (HKK), craft (slöjd), art (bild) and science (NO) rooms.
One of the activities for all students on the last day of term was to watch a short film which celebrated many of our achievements since the start of August. It reminded me that although many things have felt new, strange, difficult and often uncomfortable for staff, students and caregivers over the past few months, we also have so much to celebrate and be proud of.
I have spoken to all IES Östersund students about sisu. Sisu is a Finnish word and it is used to describe a mindset. Sisu is about resilience and grit and determination. Sisu is about never giving up, even when things seem unfair or difficult or even impossible. Sisu is about developing skills to persevere even when things do not feel comfortable and cosy. I firmly believe that sisu is a characteristic that is a good fit with our IES core values and message. What we have all (students, staff and caregivers) achieved over the past five months has only been possible as a result of a collective desire to build a school which has a clear and unified culture. I would like to thank everyone involved in our journey so far for their cooperation and patience. It has not always been easy. It has not been perfect. But, everyday, we all try to do our best and every day we have taken another step in building a school that we believe in. Thank you so much, merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year! We look forward to welcoming all students back at 08:15 on Monday 11th January 2021.