School Blog

From the Principal

Covid - 19 Updates

Covid - 19 Updates


The constantly changing situation with Covid-19 in the Östersund region has presented many challenges for us at IES Östersund.  Information and advice changes on an almost daily basis and it sometimes seems difficult to make sure that carers, students and staff are all hearing the most up-to-date messages.

 

I would like to thank all IES parents and carers for helping us to keep our students and staff as safe as possible.  It is really appreciated that carers try and minimise the number of times that they enter the school building and if it is necessary to come inside, I have been grateful that all visitors do not proceed beyond the 'stop' signs that are at reception.  The adapted Fritids check out system in the afternoon also seems to be working quite smoothly.

 

As of writing (December 6th) the latest advice is that any student with a sibling and/or parent/carer at home who is infected by Covid-19 must stay at home.  More information can be read here https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-press/nyhetsarkiv/2020/d...

 

Additionally, if a student becomes unwell at school, the student's mentor must call home first to inform parents/carers.  The student should then be collected as soon as possible from school.  This procedure is in place to help keep all of our students as safe as possible and to reduce the possible risk of a spread of infection, both within school and the wider Östersund community.

 

Thank you very much to everyone who is helping us to uphold these protocols.

 

From the Principal

Comments for Parents and Carers.

Comments for Parents and Carers.

In my last blog I wrote about the importance of feedback and communication.  We regularly ask our students for feedback and are currently in the process of using some of their ideas to help with continually reviewing and developing teaching and learning for all students.  In this blog I would like to provide some feedback to our parents and carers.

 

Over the past few months our lost and found boxes have been filling up very quickly.  What started off as one box has now become four boxes.  Whenever we find items that are named, we immediately return them to the student.  Unfortunately, most items have no name.  We have included messages on SchoolSoft, asking carers to name items.  We have also asked carers to ask their children to check in the lost and found boxes or for carers to come and look, so that items can be returned to their rightful owners.  (Boxes have been put outside the school building to make it easier for carers to check). Our mentors have also spoken to their students about taking greater responsibility for their own items in order for us, as a school community, to maintain a calm and orderly learning environment.  Despite all of this, we still have a lot of unclaimed items.  

 

Therefore, we will be informing all students and their carers that any unclaimed items that remain in the lost and found boxes by Monday 11th January (student school start day) will be donated to charity.  It is my sincere hope that over the next couple of weeks, the amount of items starts to reduce and many of the items are reunited with their owners and that more items (especially hats, gloves and shoes) are named before they come into school.  Thank you for your help with this!

 

From the Principal

Student Feedback.

Student Feedback.

At IES Östersund we believe that it is really important to ask for feedback, to listen to feedback and to take action (when appropriate) on feedback!  Over the past few weeks, we have been working with all our students to gather their feedback about teaching and learning at IES Östersund.  During a mentor time, students in every class were asked a few simple questions about academics.  The survey results were then shared and discussed with the student School Council representatives.  Most recently, the student School Council representatives led discussions with their own mentor groups to collect answers to the question, "How can teachers make lessons even better at IES Östersund?".  

 

The results are now in and the feedback has been fascinating.  We have received some very informative, well-considered and imaginative ideas from our students.  However, there is no point collecting feedback if the next steps are not communicated to stakeholders and so, over the next few weeks, we will be informing students about some of the actions that will happen as a result of their comments.  The students' ideas will also be communicated to all staff and incorporated into workshops and training plans over the next few months.  We shall also be using the TV screens around the school and our social media channels to keep students and parents and guardians updated about how we are responding to our students' feedback.  

 

I believe that it is very important to keep communication channels open and so I encourage all parents and guardians to make contact with their child's mentor, in the first instance, if they have any feedback for our school.  Together we can work collaboratively to continue to make IES Östersund a school with a calm learning environment where we have mutually high expectations of each other and we all continue to develop our command of English.

 

From the Principal

World Kindness Day 2020

World Kindness Day 2020

November can often be a dreary month, and certainly, with the increased challenges that Covid is presenting, it has at times been tricky to keep things upbeat at school.  Therefore, as a school community we are embracing the concept of 'Nice November.' We have been encouraging random acts of kindness throughout the month and on Friday 13th November we all celebrated World Kindness Day together.

 

The day was a great success.  Everyone was encouraged to wear bright colours and mentor groups participated in a variety of activities to promote kindness and empathy.  There was also a special display at school which shared staff and students' thoughts about what made them proud and what made them happy. 

 

Possibly the most popular feature was 'friendly fika' which was provided for everyone.  Different year groups met to enjoy it together, chat and get to know each other a little better.  There was a lovely atmosphere around the school during the day and it was a super example of our Student Care Team, our Admin team and our teaching and fritids/junior club staff all working together to promote one of our school messages - be kind.  I am sure that we will all be doing our best to continue these good vibes throughout the rest of the year!

From the Principal

Covid - 19 precautions

Covid - 19 precautions

The autumn break week was a wonderful opportunity for many teaching staff and students to relax and re-energise.  However, the IES Östersund Fritids and Junior Club staff and the Student Care Team staff were still on site, caring for children and carrying out useful tasks in preparation for the start of the second part of our autumn term.

 

We have all been affected by the news that Covid-19 rates are increasing again in Sweden and I have been advised by IES Headquarters that we must take extra measures to best manage the situation.  One change is that most on site face to face meetings must now be cancelled and only the most urgent meetings can now take place.  This means that with immediate effect we respectfully ask that no parents or carers proceed beyond the school reception if they enter the school.  It would be ideal if all parents/carers said goodbye to their children at the school gate.  Parents/carers who are collecting children from Fritids are now asked to enter the school and check out their child at the Fritids check out point which is located in front of the school reception.  

 

I am sure that everyone will understand the importance of these new procedures and will cooperate with us so that we can do our best to try and reduce the spread of infection.

From the Principal. 

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