School Blog

From the Principal

Introduction Day a Success

“Students won’t have phones during school hours...No, not even our 7-9th graders…Nope, not even during breaks. We provide all the digital tools they will need for class, and during breaks we want them to talk to each other, play together, and get some exercise outside.”  I saw the initial surprise on the faces of the large group of parents gathered for our Introduction Day this past Saturday. And then almost immediately the smiles and the nodding heads. There were several “ah-ha” moments like this during our presentation and question-and-answer session.

It was clear from the buzz in the room and the good questions that this group of parents is more than ready for our school to open its doors. I very much look forward to collaborating with a strong and essential PTA (Parent Teacher Association).

While I met with a couple hundred parents at IES Älvsjö, their children - our new students - tried out classes in English, Swedish and Math classes together with some of their future classmates. Their excitement and anticipation at this preview of how a IES school works was unmistakable. They’re ready and it feels like they are eager to start school in August.

Please see our latest blog post to the right here for answers to our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) from parents. And if any questions remain - from parents or students alike - please don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail at info.sodertalje@engelska.se

 

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Parent Questions

Click on this blog post to see the whole list of answers to common questions about our school.

Q: What is the House system?

A: At IES Södertälje, as at many of our IES schools, students will be allocated into four “Houses,” and each will belong to their House until graduation.  If your child has read Harry Potter, then he or she is quite familiar with the English and international tradition of school Houses. Each House has its own shield, colors, song, and traditions. Students engage in friendly competition throughout the school year, earning points for their Houses in sporting, academic, and aesthetic pursuits. Houses are made up of students from each academic year, and the older students are given guidance on how to be good mentors to our youngest students, who in turn become mentors when they become the older students.

Q: What is Junior Club?

A: After classes are done, students in years 4 and 5 are offered a range of crafts, games and activities at our Junior Club. Fees for Junior Club are based on after-school care fees around the Stockholm area, and are due once a term. There isn’t any Junior Club before school, we instead open at 0730 and offer all our students a healthy breakfast to start the day.

Q: Will students be assigned lockers?

Each student will be assigned their own full-sized locker at the beginning of the school year, in which to lock in their personal belongings and school books.

Q: What kind of extracurricular activities will IESSö offer?

A: IES teachers “go the extra mile” and create after-school clubs for our students based upon their own interests. Examples of clubs at other IES schools include: American football, chess club, debate team, photography club, art club, scrapbooking, theater, Eurovision talent contest, robotics club and math team. We’ll just have to see what our staff come up with. Our House system also provides a lot of extracurricular activities to students with different competition and field trips.

Q: What is the food like at IES Södertälje?

A: We have a fully equipped kitchen and dining hall, and will offer a healthy and free breakfast and lunch to all our students. Breakfast starts at 0730, and classes start at 0815. Lunch will be staggered during midday in order to maintain a calm dining environment for the students.

Q: How strict is Engelska Skolan?

A: Part of the reason for IES’s success is our unwavering attention to providing a safe and calm environment for all our students. Our rules aren’t very different from most other schools, the difference is that we follow up every single incident, no matter how big or small. At the beginning of the term, our students discuss our code of conduct and have excellent ideas for why we don’t tolerate certain behavior. They can easily explain why play-fighting, for example, is not allowed in school: it’s not appropriate, it’s not always consensual, it can be dangerous, and it’s disruptive. If a student should then engage in play-fighting, for example, there are always consequences: An immediate discussion with student(s), a notice of the behavior sent automatically to the mentor and home to the guardian. A notice is not a punishment, it is simply to inform of an incident. If a student receives three notices in a two-week period, s/he will stay after school on a Friday for a coaching session with a member of our Student Care Team.

Q: Will IES Södertälje offer bus cards or transportation to and from school?

A: IESSö offers the same conditions as any Södertälje municipality school. We will organize and distribute bus cards to those students who qualify, and individual families will apply for transportation if necessary via Södertälje kommun.

Q: Do the children have to speak English?

A: We are a bilingual school, and while students are encouraged to flex their English muscles in class and out, we are just as eager to help them develop a rich Swedish language. About half of our subjects will be primarily taught in English. Students will receive the help they need to study in a new language: lexicons, material in Swedish, and extra support. This is often the topic parents and students are most worried about, and the concern generally evaporates after a very short time at IES!

Q: Are students allowed to use their phones during the school day?

A: No. We collect all student phones at the start of the day, and return them at the end of the last class. If a student needs to contact his or her parents, they can do so with a school phone. We provide all the digital learning tools the students will need at the school, computers and tablets alike.

Q: Why do you mix up the classes every year?

A: At IES we have found that mixing up classes is a great way for the students to start fresh for the academic classroom environment each year. For the rich social life at the school, we have our House system.  Each student is assigned to a House their first day at IES Södertälje, and stays with that House until graduation. Through all our House activities and competitions, fast and enduring friendships are made.

Q: Does IES have a dress code for students?

A: Students at all IES schools are expected to be dressed appropriately for a work and school environment: We don’t wear baseball caps or other hats inside, sweatshirt hoods are also down inside the school. Clothes should fully cover any underwear/underclothing. Midriffs are covered, and shorts/skirts must extend to outstretched fingertips. We don’t allow messages or graphics on clothes that harass or oppress others based on gender, race, religion or other attributes.

 

Sneak Peak into IES Södertälje

We've uploaded a few new photos in the "School Life" section of our website. Navigate on over to get a preview of our playground and classrooms currently taking shape. We will continue to update with new photos over the next weeks. 

From the Principal

"Tough Love:" A Happy, Healthy School

(Photo: Principal Öhman with two new recruits in the Home Economics room, from left: Head of Department Ms. Emma Eyre, and Head of Department Ms. Annie Hall.)   Meeting all these people and talking education is heaven for me, especially in the recruitment process of our excellent teachers: they have so much knowledge and understanding of what good education is and are eager to get to work at our new school. One of the primary reasons for that  eagerness is our IES-wide approach we call “tough love.” For us, tough love is the concept of learning coupled with the safe and calm environment we nurture at our IES schools.  Some people would call it discipline, but what we really do is foster positive behavior and immediately address any and all incidents, big or small. Our safe and orderly environment is the foundation for students to be happy and at ease with each other, making new friends and playing without any worry or sense of insecurity. As teachers and staff, our clear and firm expectations earn the students’ trust, and they can talk to us about anything that’s on their minds at school. The safe environment is also the foundation for students’ academic performance. The students value and trust their teachers as teachers, mentors as mentors, and we show how much we value the students by our commitment to them and our school. This respectful and trusting relationship is how we are able to challenge each student to reach his or her best academic potential. IES has a proven track record of outstanding results from the national tests and that is just a result of what we do and how we do it. All students can and will be successful with effort and opportunity. This is the greatest reward we know: watching students bloom in self-awareness and self-confidence, academically and socially.

Johan Öhman

Principal

 

Free Breakfast for All Students

Did we mention breakfast at IES Södertälje? Many nutritionists say breakfast is the most important meal of the day; as educators, we know from experience that students will feel better and learn better when they have a healthful morning meal. And those of us who are parents know that in the morning rush, breakfast is sometimes short or nonexistent for our sleepy kids. It’s a long morning until lunch. That’s why we’ve decided at IESS to offer free breakfast to all our students every morning: we know it’s going to help them be the best students and friends they can be.

 

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