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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.

From the Principal

The first week at IES Östersund

The first week at IES Östersund

IES Östersund students have now experienced their first full week of lessons.  I don't know about them, but for me, the week has flown by!  

 

One of my greatest pleasures has been seeing so many children having fun in the playground.  Our Fritids children are outside, enjoying the play equipment from 06:30 and then the outside space is busy again during the lunch time.  I am very happy that after school, children from the local area are able to come and use the equipment too.  The playground is a real community resource.  An important message that we communicate within IES Östersund is to respect each other and our learning environment.  It is my sincerest wish that everyone who uses the playground equipment can support this belief and help keep the area in the best possible condition for the young people who are getting so much pleasure from it.

From the Principal

IES Östersund Official Opening and School Start!

IES Östersund Official Opening and School Start!

The weather was perfect!  The sun was shining and the air was warm.  It was a wonderful day on which to open the doors to our new students and parents for our official opening and school start on Thursday 20th August 2020!  We had a very calm and orderly staggered start.  This began at 06:30 when Fritids welcomed their first visitors.  The playground soon contained many FSKL children who were excitedly awaiting the arrival of their mentors.  After both FSKL A and FSKL B lined up perfectly and walked to their classrooms the Year 1 students and their parents quickly arrived.  This system continued until our oldest students (7A and 7B) completed the process.  Our smartly dressed staff were out and about infront of the school and they were easy to spot because of their IES yellow vests.  Their prescence really helped with the organisation and meant that parents and students could easily find a member of staff if they needed any questions answered.

Students lining up at the beginning of the day

Once all our students were inside, the school felt so vibrant and full of energy.  Whilst mentors and their students got to know each other and took tours of their new school, I had the pleasure and the privilege to meet a small number of special guests who had each played an important part in helping to establish IES Östersund.  After speeches some of our Year 1 and Year 3 students helped me to plant our apple tree of wisdom. They then held our IES blue ribbon infront of the main reception so that I could ceremoniously cut it and declare IES Östersund officially open!

Planting of the apple tree

It was disappointing that our plans for celebrating the official opening had to be scaled down in order to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.  However, I look forward to a second 're-opening' of the school next year when all of the site and facilities will be open and we welcome many more new students to the school.

This is such a special time. I know that my staff are all as excited as I am to now get on with the most important jobs - to get to know each and every one of our students, help them fulfill their academic potential in our calm learning environment and help them develop a command of the English language.  

Here's to a successful first year at IES Östersund.

From the Principal

New School and New Staff!

IES Östersund staff

I have so enjoyed starting to meet many of our new IES Östersund students and parents recently, both at our FSKL and Year 1 Induction Sessions and our FSKL - Year 5 Parent Information Sessions.  FInally, after months of hard work, it feels that the school building is starting to come to life! I am looking forward to meeting Year 6 and Year 7 parents at their meetings and I am especially excited about meeting and greeting all of our students as they arrive at school each morning.  

 

However, I have also been getting to know all the staff who are now working at IES Östersund. I have a great team!  There have been many training sessions.  During these we have been addressing the IES core values and the ‘10 must haves’ for every lesson and discussing how they will be used in the classrooms and school environment. We have also been getting to know one another to build a team that has a common goal and mindset. The staff members have been familiarising themselves with the school site and preparing lessons for the students’ arrival. 

 

There has been lots of progress in the school and more new furniture and equipment is being delivered every day. It is very exciting seeing the building develop and look like a real school! I am very grateful to all the crews who have been working so hard to get everything ready on time.   Do keep checking the school’s Facebook and Instagram (@ies_ostersund) accounts where information and updates about the school is posted. 

 

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to every new student and their carers to the IES Östersund school community. All of the staff are looking forward to getting to know you better as we work in partnership to provide our students with a safe, calm and engaging education for many years to come.

 

This is an exciting time...a new school year, a new school and new students!

 

Your Principal - Mr Reunanen

IES Östersund Management Team
From the Principal

Summer greetings!

Summer greetings!

The summer break has recently begun, and whilst for many this is a great opportunity to relax and re-energise, I and my team have been busy with feverish activity planning for the autumn school start when we will welcome all our expectant pupils. 

The spring has been slightly different and challenging due to Covid 19 but we have succeeded in our preparations and I can assure you that we will have a fantastic school environment ready in the autumn.  You can follow the exciting developments at our school at ies_ostersund on Instagram.

In the next few weeks we will set the schedule and at the beginning of August I will give you more information about the first days at school and the program for our Grand Opening. 

Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing summer holiday.

Your Principal - Mr Reunanen

From the Principal

Heads up !

Heads up !

I am pleased to report that most of our staff members and teachers are now employed.  All members of the student health care team and pre- and afterschool teams (fritids and junior club) are now employed. I am also glad to announce that the school's leadership team is now assisted by our human resources administrator and economist - Ms Wik.

The majority of teachers have been recruited with just a few positions left to fill in the next couple of weeks.  I have several qualified candidates to interview. I am pleased and relieved that the mix of Swedish and international teachers is sufficient considering the circumstances of the recruitning challenges during the Covid-19 global pandemic!


Your Principal - Mr Reunanen

From the Principal

Introducing our Academic Manager - Mrs Viner

Introducing our Academic Manager - Mrs Viner

I have great pleasure in presenting IES Östersund's Academic Manager - Mrs Viner.

The Academic Manager role supports the Principal in the mission of ensuring the three key values of IES - achieving the highest academic expectations of its staff and students, creating a calm and safe school environment where teachers can teach and students learn and instilling a command of the English language.  

Here Mrs Viner introduces herself:-

"Hello!  My name is Mrs Viner and I am really looking forward to starting work as IES Östersund's Academic Manager.  I moved to Sweden Skellefteå in October 2018 where I taught English and SO to grade 6-9 students at a kommun school in Skellefteå.  Before that, I taught in schools in the UK in London and Oxfordshire where I was also an Assistant Headteacher.  Moving to Sweden was a dream come true for me!  I had wanted to live in Sweden for many years because I love the Swedish way of life, Sweden's beautiful nature and even the long, dark, cold winters!  My husband and I are very excited to have relocated to Östersund and to start to become part of its community.  However, I am even more excited to be joining the newest IES and am so looking forward to working with my colleagues and meeting our students as we embark upon new learning journeys together.  See you soon Östersund!"

 Mr Reunanen - Principal