School Blog

From the Principal

Principal Appointed for IES Södertälje

A dedicated and qualified educator with years of experience as a Principal has now been appointed to lead the development of Internationella Engelska Skolan Södertälje.

Mr Johan Öhman will become the Principal of IES Södertälje in April, four months before the school starts. He will work closely with colleagues from IES to ensure the school opens with everything needed for success - from new facilities to excellent teachers, all in time for the students to be welcomed into the refurbished building by their new Principal.

Mr Öhman is joining Internationella Engelska Skolan from his current job as the Principal of two upper secondary schools in Täby and Upplands Väsby, and is also taking part in the postgraduate program for Principals at Stockholm University.  He has 17 years experience in education and has worked as a teacher of subjects including the social sciences, economics, business studies and computing.  He also has a strong international background, as teacher and in school management, from international schools and education in Bangladesh and Singapore, including his commitment to the Swedish Supplementary Schools.

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Öhman said: “I am truly honored and excited to be the founding Principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan in Södertälje. As always with Internationella Engelska Skolan the expectations are set to a high standard. This expectation of a continually high standard gives us great inspiration to provide all our students with a first-class education.”

Ralph Riber, CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: “I am very pleased that we have managed to recruit a Principal with the experience and international mindset of Mr Öhman to run our new school in Södertälje. 

“His first task as Principal will be absolutely key to the success of the school, as he builds a strong international team around him, bringing the best teachers from the English-speaking world as well as excellent teachers from Sweden.”

Internationella Engelska Skolan Södertälje will be a 4-9 school and will open in August 2017. The queue is open now and parents are welcome to apply for a place for their children on a first-come, first-served basis.

A Proud Day As Year Nine Students Graduate

A Proud Day As Year Nine Students Graduate

 As the summer holidays approached, students in year nine at schools across Sweden prepared to bid farewell for the last time.

For those attending Internationella Engelska Skolan, the event is marked by a grand occasion, a graduation ceremony featuring distinctive caps and gowns, where the achievements of students are honoured.

As well as speeches and awards, the ceremonies also feature music and joy, as proud parents witness their children passing a milestone and moving on to new challenges.

Mr Robert Clark, Principal of IES Enskede, addresses the graduating class

At Internationella Engelska Skolan Enskede, the original IES school, principal Mr Robert Clark spoke to his departing year nine students.

He told them: “A few months ago I got everyone together in the hall, but there weren't so many parents here, and we sat and I said - ‘Pretty soon you are going to be wearing these gowns and you are going to be asking yourselves the questions: Am I satisfied? Am I happy? Did I do my best? Am I going where I need to be?' and you listened, you have worked incredibly hard. I would like you to put your hands together for the teachers, because they have, not just this year, but in the years before, they have worked really hard for you.

"You have done fantastically well, I have very much enjoyed your company and interacting with you, I am very proud to have been your principal during your years at this school.  There are some amazing people in this room, and I am so sure that you are going to do great things, and I will be following you with interest."

Year nine graduate Felix Persson (right), formerly of class 9E at IES Enskede, won the school’s Ambassador Award for the contribution he has made to the atmosphere in the school.

After the ceremony he said:  "It was fun, it was nice to end, but I am also bit sad leaving friends and changing schools. Now I will be changing schools, moving away from English school and wrapping up having gone to the English school for six years.

"I was surprised to win an award, I didn't count on winning anything but it does fit, I like helping people and keeping people together, talking to different people."

IES Lund, which opened three years ago celebrated the graduation of its first ever grade nine class.

Mr Per Ola Olsson, Principal of IES Lund, speaks to his graduating class

The principal, Mr Per Ola Olsson said: "We have shown excellent results in both the grades and the  national tests.  It has been a successful year and I would like to thank all the students but especially my hard-working staff, who have made this possible. I really would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all you who work at IES Lund, teachers, non-teaching staff, supervision, administration and student care, all of you who contribute so much to making this a great school."

The graduates and the assembled crowd in Lund were also addressed by their student representative (left), who said:  "I am really honoured to be the one holding the valedictorian speech of 2016. I am so excited to be standing here in front of all you people, my name is Beata Erici and we have just finished ninth grade.  Gathered here around me today I see my lovely classmates, we have worked so hard these two years and are now just looking forward to summer, and sun and the ability to use our phones again.  I can still remember those first awkward days when we all met, we were so worried about speaking English, dressing appropriately and  pronouncing Mr Neppelberg’s name correctly that we completely forgot that we were just a bunch of insecure teenagers."

After the summer a new set of grade nine students will step forward for the first time, ready to make the most of their last year with IES before it is their turn to graduate next summer.

Graduating Students Perform at IES Enskede

Students Soar at Eurovision Event

Students Soar at Eurovision Event

Video of the winner's reprise: Ida Arnö from IES Bromma

As the dust settled on Eurovision in Stockholm and Ukraine started to plan next year’s event, IES students enjoyed their own music contest.

Arriving in Gävle from 15 schools throughout Sweden, students from as far afield as Lund and Sundsvall took to the stage hoping to win this year’s Internationella Engelska Skolan Modern Foreign Languages Eurovision Song Contest.

Students sang in Spanish, German and French, and were judged on their stage presence, musical performance and linguistic ability by an assembled panel of music and language teachers.

For the first year ever one school, IES Täby, entered a song through the medium of the Chinese language.

After the judges' deliberation, it was Ida Arnö from class 9F at IES Bromma who won with the song Je Vole, which she sang in French.

Speaking immediately after her reprise as the winner, she said: “It feels crazy because I never thought that I would actually win and I just feel very happy and surprised.

"The song is from a movie that I saw called La Famille Bélier. In the film Paula sang it and I thought it was a very pretty song and I tried to sing it and it fit my voice well.

"Music is a great way to learn a language, maybe a bit easier than speaking but you still get to practise, especially the pronunciation.

"I think it is really fun to meet people from all around Sweden and make new friends, and really fun to perform.  I think the other schools were great. They were really good. My favorite was the band from Hässleholm."

Supporting her at the contest was Ms Björk, head of modern foreign languages at IES Bromma.

She said: “This is absolutely fantastic and a great inspiration for next year and for all the students who want to participate next year.

"I think this competition has every kind of benefit you can think of, learning the lyrics and something fun for students as well, even if you sing a famous song, I think that is one of the best ways of learning a language."

Second Prize - The team from IES Hässleholm

Second place went to the team from IES Hässleholm, a new school which was competing for the first time this year with the German song Gelles Leben.

James Lu of year 7 was one of those involved, he said: “We became more and more excited as time went by and finally after seven hours on the train and a night at the hotel room, we were up on the stage, sound-checking. After our magical performance we felt really proud because we couldn't have done it better.

"We had listened to the other schools and we knew that they were very good so at the end of the night when we were on stage waiting for the host to tell us the results, we weren't too into it. When he shouted that we came second we all thought; 'well then, we are pretty good after all'. We loved the whole trip and had a lot of fun and cannot wait for next year."

The third prize went to a duo from IES Johanneberg in Gothenburg.

Ellen Hendar of class 9D at the school said: “It was a great experience and everyone was so good and I am so happy to be in third place. Everyone deserves to win."

Bronze for Johanneberg - Ellen Hendar and Anna Johansson

Her bandmate Anna Johansson added: "I feel infinite when I sing, I love it so much it is the best thing, it is my biggest hobby, I am going to music gymnasiet next year."

Ms Hevia, who is head of modern foreign languages at IES Gävle was one of the organisers of this year’s event.

She said: "I think it went really well it has been the highest quality of performances since we started it in Gävle.  Every year it is getting more difficult to win because of the quality, the students, the music, and it has been by far the best this year. Events like this encourage students to learn languages, because they know how good it is to come to this event.

"Thanks to everyone who has helped so much, you can’t do it yourself, not just our school but all the schools involved."

Bromma’s victory means that they will host the contest at the end of next academic year, with teams from around Sweden making their way to the school in the hope of lifting the trophy.

Internationella Engelska Skolan schools taking part this year included those in Hässelby, Hässleholm, Nacka, Bromma, Täby, Uppsala, Skärholmen, Borås, Eskilstuna, Johanneberg, Lund, Sundsvall, Gävle, Kista and Huddinge.

Four IES schools to face off in national mathematics final.

Four IES schools to face off in national mathematics final.

Linköping's mathematicians at the Östergötlands regional final: Henrik Angelstig, Juliana Holmberg and Omor Almamun

When the national final of the prestigious Pythagoras Quest mathematics competition is held, no fewer than four schools from Internationella Engelska Skolan will be represented in the 14 teams involved.

To reach the final the young mathematicians were first given an hour to complete a qualification test, without a calculator or other electronic help.  The best performing three students from each school were then selected to take part in a district finals, held throughout Sweden.

Now, following victory in their respective districts, IES Eskilstuna, Linköping, Karlstad and Uppsala will each be sending a team to compete against one another, and ten other schools from across the country, to see who will win the national contest this year.

As any of the students taking part could explain, that means a staggering 28.57 per cent of the mathematicians at the national final will come from IES schools.

Henrik Angelstig, who studies at IES Linköping in class 9B, won the Östergötlands final alongside Juliana Holmberg and Omor Almamun. He said: "The competition goes slightly beyond the school level and that is what makes it worthwhile to take part in, it is not your normal standard problems but lots of thinking outside the box ones.

"Many of them will be problems you have not encountered before, so you have to think of a really new solution that you have not practiced before.  The way the question is formulated is not what you are used to from school.

"When you spend a lot of time thinking about a question or some part which you are not quite able to solve, you get a sense of achievement when you finally manage to crack it, that is a good feeling.

"I am very intrigued by mental challenges of any sort, from suduku to crosswords and playing chess.  A maths competition is a good way to get to extend that hobby further, and you get to communicate with lots of other people who share the same interests, meet the other people with the same thoughts and principles as you."

 

The team from IES Karlstad
The team from IES Karlstad

Charlotta Eriksson from 9C at IES Karlstad was joined in the team which won the final for Värmland by Hanna Åkerstedt, also of 9C, and Anna Hulteberg, of 9A

"We felt surprised we would be going to the final because we didn't think it went really well.

"Our teacher, Mr Arvidsson, told us to enter and we knew it was a team competition and that made us want to. We are all in the same maths class and we know each other well.  We all like maths and we think it is fun especially problem solving.   This competition needed a lot of number skills and shortcuts, but mostly you can figure it out. Some knowledge is needed above the normal grade nine level, but what we always do in the lesson is above what we need to do. It is always nice to have more of a challenge."

 

Eskilstuna's team, hard at work
Eskilstuna's team, hard at work

Oskar Carlsson, from class 8F at Internationella Engelska Skolan Eskilstuna, competed as part of a team alongside Sofie Ohlsson of 9C and Gabriel Gilgren of 9E

He said: "This is the first time I have ever competed in a maths competition, it was very exciting, some problems were hard but then it was easy when I got into it.

"The bonus question seemed very hard, and  at first we couldn't solve it, but in the end we found a solution.  That was some algebra, and we were very happy that we found a solution, it was Sofie who did most of the work on that question.

"I think the final will be much harder and more difficult to do but we hope for the best.

"Maths is an important everyday life tool that you use to solve questions or measure the length of something or the area. I think about engineering for the future, so I will need to use maths."

 

IES Uppsala's math stars.
IES Uppsala's math stars.

15-year old Hugo Erixon, of class 9B at IES Uppsala competed alongside Rika Nakato from class 8D and Anja Zhou of class 9C.

He said: "Going to the regional final felt really weird, I didn't think we had that big a chance of winning.  When we won it was a big surprise, but when I understood fully that we had won it was a pretty great feeling.

"Since then I looked at the website for the competition. It said the average points for all the teams was 21 or 22 and we have 26, so maybe we do have a chance for the final.

"I have always found maths really fun and challenging and enjoyable and I like to study a lot of maths. I am currently studying the first course of gymnasium maths, much of it is very similar to grade nine maths, with a bit extra on it and the problems step up a level.

"I like algebra and those areas the best, I find that geometry has a lot of rules and formula that you need to remember, and if you don't remember them it is hard to figure a problem out."

Damian Brunker, head of academics for Internationella Engelska Skolan, welcomed the results that the students have achieved. He said: "We are very proud of the high academic aspirations shown in our schools, and mathematics is one of the core subjects where our students perform far better than average when it comes to achieve top grades in the national tests.

"However, there is always room for improvement and competitions like this are inspirational; they help students to aim higher.  This competition is just one of the ways that we can provide an extra challenge to students who excel at mathematics, encouraging them to reach further than they thought possible."

Now the winners of the regional events are preparing their skills, ready to travel to Skåne for the national final, which is set to be held in Malmö on Friday 27 May.

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