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.