Välkommen från VD
Years before I became a CEO, or even a principal, I was a history teacher, and history is a subject which will always be close to my heart.
Of course, I was delighted when a colleague, a dedicated SO teacher from Karlstad by the name of Mr Höök, inquired about running the first ever Internationella Engelska Skolan History Contest.
Over the course of the year the eight schools taking part in the contest did their best to provide answers on challenging historical topics.
I have enjoyed watching the teams move up and down the league table as they worked to answer this broad range of history questions.
Eventually they were whittled down to just two schools.
Those top two teams, Nacka and Bromma, took the contest to the next level. In a nail-biting, quick-fire final the teams met for the first time, and faced off against one another as they worked to prove which school has the best history skills.
While Nacka took a strong lead early on, dealing adeptly with questions around piracy and religion, Bromma fought back when the topic switched to the cold war, in which they seemed to have a special interest.
As the contest moved into the final round, the two teams were almost level pegging, keeping the tension up until the very last questions.
Throughout the morning the tension was high, and nerves got the better of the young historians a few times, as they rushed to answer questions, sometimes realising only a moment too late that they had misspoken.
Looking back over the year, the quality of the written answers from all the schools who took part in the contest has been very high indeed.
It was an absolute pleasure today to meet the children who were taking part, and to see the level of enthusiasm they have for my subject of choice.
Well done to everyone involved, and especially to the finalists from Nacka and the first prize winners from Bromma. I look forward to seeing how a new history project will evolve.
Keep on keeping on.
Before I became CEO I was the Principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan Gävle and as such, in the summer of 2006, I was proud to see the school’s first year nine class don their blue caps and gowns to graduate and make their way into the world.
One of the mentors of 9D, a promising young teacher by the name of Mr Varley, now the principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan Jönköping, took a picture of them as they threw their caps into the air, celebrating their success.
Little did anyone know, as he took that picture, that it would become a mainstay of the organisation’s marketing materials.
In the seven years since it has been used on websites and brochures, on tablecloths and posters. The ‘blues’ students standing in a row have been the public face of Internationella Engelska Skolan.
They have been a key part of our marketing materials through a period of huge expansion as we moved from having nine secondary (grundskola) schools, to the 21 we have today. We have grown from 4,700 students, to the 14,500 we have today.
As the winter whiteness descends upon us it is always uplifting to dwell on positive developments within IES.
During November, Ms Bergstrom and I went out and performed four Open House information evenings in the new school locations for August 2013; Skärholmen, Huddinge, Helsingborg and Lund. As always the evenings were exciting and lively and the majority of parents attending ask “Can my child really learn in both languages?” And the students always ask, “Do we get a lot of homework?”. Our answer is always, yes to both questions!
A great Autumn break gift was delivered in the annual DN newspaper general knowledge competition with IES Karlstad, Gavle, Eskilstuna and Sundsvall all winning the best class in the county awards and with Her Majesty, Queen Silvia, agreeing to present awards to three of our students in December. No doubt I will be present to hand over our own IES gift and congratulations. Well done to all our fabulous students!
Being out in the schools is my favourite part of the job. While Ms Bergström was away planting her apple tree over the water at International English Schools UK, Breckland, I visited both new Swedish schools, and what a great start both schools have had.
Recently IES held the new All Staff Conference at IES Enskede and it was a magnificent success! For the third year in a row the company welcomed over 250 new staff into its ranks, as the expansion of our schools continues unabated across the country, and staff were informed and reminded of who and what IES is….and where ”Tough Love” rules OK.
The end of the academic year is always a time of great pride.
At our schools across Sweden, year nine students put on their distinctive blue gowns and throw their hats in the air as they celebrate their achievements over the past several years.
Updates at this time of the year come thick and fast as the company constantly evolves and grows and its most important elements, the students, are prepared one last time for study before the end of another busy and action-packed season.