Teachers Appreciated at IES Uppsala

(L-R: Hilde Allen, Johanna Sundqvist, Meena Strömqvist and Cecilia Marlow at a breakfast in honour of teachers)

Teacher Appreciation Week at IES Uppsala began with a luxurious breakfast in honour of teachers, arranged by the PTA.

The annual event was started at IES Uppsala by parent Meena Strömqvist, and is now in its fifth year.

Ms Strömqvist said: “Both my children have been students here, with one graduating last year.  When they were both here at the same time, I thought it would be fun to initiate Teacher Appreciation Week as a new tradition.

“We have different themes each year, with this year being ‘Around the World’. With all the fun things that happen during the week, the teachers, I am told, feel uplifted and appreciated.”

Teachers at IES Uppsala enjoy their breakfast

Science teacher Johanna Sundqvist enjoyed the breakfast with her colleagues. She said: “It’s special, it really makes us feel that the parents appreciate us and see what we do. It’s a reminder that we do something good. If other teachers saw what was happening they might want to come and work here because the parents appreciate us.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is full of activities, including a dress-up day, a basketball game between teachers and students, and a day for students to show their appreciation by bringing in flowers, cards, and home-made treats.

Students also decorate their mentors' classroom doors with posters they have designed, reflecting the contribution of the teacher to their lives.

At the end of the week there will be a fruit and chocolate event, where teachers can sample chocolate from around the world.

Speaking to the teachers as they enjoyed their breakfast, the school’s principal Hilde Allen said: “Events like this are just one of the ways that families show their appreciation.  I hear from parents all the time who want to tell me how much they appreciate everything that you do.

"I received an email before sportlov from a parent, about her girl who graduated last year, and how well prepared she feels for gymnasiet. We hear this often from students who come back and say: ‘it was tough but you prepared us so well’.

"I had another email over sportlov from one of our junior school parents who was also very appreciative of the work that you all do. You are doing an absolutely fantastic job. You are the ones who make this school such a fantastic place to learn.”

Cecilia Marlow, acting CEO of IES, also addressed the teachers.  She said: “I was so happy when I heard about this wonderful initiative, to celebrate our fantastic teachers, and I certainly hope we will see this in more of our schools. Our teachers are the ones that make a difference to our students, every single day, every single hour. I would really like to thank everyone involved in this week- the teachers for their dedication to learning, and the parents for recognising those efforts."

Maths Gold for IES Uppsala Student

An IES Uppsala student has been crowned Sweden’s best mathematician after victory in a national contest.

Year nine student David Mörtberg recorded a near perfect score in the Högstadiets Matematiktävling, when he dropped only one point out of 42.  Three other IES students were also in the top 20. Erik Bryland of IES Lund came joint eighth, Kian Esfandiari of IES Uppsala came 13th and Vidar Gustafsson of IES Nacka came joint 17th.

The competition is open to anyone attending compulsory school and tests students’ logical thinking, problem solving, and ability to express themselves in mathematical language.

Speaking after his victory, David said: “This was my third time in the contest.  In year seven I reached the finals, in year eight I came fourth, and now in year nine I won. In earlier years I found algebra and geometry hard, but this time I was only one point away from a full score.

"I was so happy to have won, they list the winners from the bottom to the top, so I realised I had probably won when they gave the award to the person who came second, but I didn’t know for sure.  My mother was the happiest person, maybe even happier than me, because she has been the person really pushing me to do maths, which is a positive thing.”

David has enjoyed mathematics ever since he was a small child and has always been keen to see how far he could go.

He said:  "I have been interested in maths for a very long time. In kindergarten I liked counting, and in year one, two and three I always wanted an extra challenge; so in year three I could go up to year four and do their maths.

“This year, so far, I have taken one gymnasiet maths course and I am now taking the next one. So I can start with maths 3C right away when I get to gymnasiet. Maybe I can do university mathematics during year three of gymnasiet, and maybe I can take other courses at gymnasiet as well."

“Competitions like this provide a challenge for the better students. For students who need the challenge it is great that this exists.  It shows the top students that they can compete with others, you can show that you are really at the top.  It can give an extra motivation to do maths. Maybe I don’t need more motivation, but it is still fun to know that this competition exists.”

The head of maths for IES Uppsala, Mr Hedgepeth, added: “I think that David is a prime example of perseverance, work ethic and growth mindset.  He has become more confident and more humble with his mathematics, he understands he has a real skill. If he fails he looks at it is a need to find another way, so he views failure as one step closer to the solution.

"He is good, he keeps you on your toes as a teacher. It might sound odd to say, but I like it on the rare occasions he makes a mistake because then I get to teach him something. He watches me in class as well, he is always quick to point out any small mistakes especially with the lengths of my triangles."

David and other mathematicians at IES Uppsala are now preparing for their next challenge, the Pythagoras Quest competition, which will run during the spring term.

IES opening a new school in Skellefteå

Join the queue for IES Skellefteå here or visit the website here.

On 14 June 2018, IES reported that discussions had been ongoing between the Municipality of Skellefteå in north-eastern Sweden and IES about opening a new school in the Municipality in 2019. Discussions centered on IES’s potential to conduct operations in the premises of the Brännan School, which are owned by the Municipality.

IES has now signed a lease contract with Skellefteå Industrihus AB, owned by the Municipality of Skellefteå, to start operations from the academic year 2019/20. Operations will cover grade school from the preschool grade to grade 9, and an after-school recreation center. The initial estimated number of classes is 10, and at capacity, the school will have 20 classes.

“We think a competitive and international business community creates an attractive and growing labor market. To achieve this, our business community needs to recruit experts for its operations, and Skellefteå needs to be perceived as an attractive location for Swedish and foreign families,” commented Kristina Sundin Jonsson, Skellefteå’s Mayor.

“For a long time, Skellefteå’s business community and parents have been wanting the type of education IES offers. We’ve listened to them and believe that this start-up and Skellefteå’s overall education opportunities are decisive to continued sustainable growth,” said Maria Marklund (Social Democrat Party), Skellefteå’s Municipal Commissioner.

In response, Annette Brodin Rampe, CEO of IES commented: “We’ve had a fantastic welcome from the Municipality of Skellefteå. This start-up is an excellent example of how we can be part of the solution to ensure access to the highest-quality education in the Municipality in close partnership with the municipality, residents and successful international businesses. We’re looking forward to being part of this and contributing to the future of Skellefteå and its population.”

Join the queue for IES Skellefteå here.

We Are A School For Everyone

Internationella Engelska Skolan believes children from any background can achieve success with a high-quality education.

We operate 36 schools in a wide range of demographic areas and are passionate about helping all students meet their full potential.  Talented students have the right to an education which stimulates and challenges them, while students who need support should receive it.

IES partners municipalities throughout Sweden. Our aim is to provide a compliment to municipal schools in a way which promotes integration and fits the long-term needs of each area.

To secure a place in our schools parents apply via our queue system.  The queue is open to all and provides a fair system where the children who have been in the queue longest are offered a place first. Everyone has an equal chance, not just those who live closest or find school easiest.

We also open schools in areas with a high proportion of non-swedish parents, or those with a lower educational level, and 38 per cent of our students come from a non-Swedish background, while the national average is 25.

In many areas where we run schools we can see that while the location of the school can make a difference to the student composition, a more important factor is the clarity and accessibility of information about free school choice. In some municipalities, information must be made more available, easier to understand and offered in more languages so that more parents can actively make a decision about the future of their children. Every parent should be made to choose a school for their child.

Our schools are having a positive transformational effect in many areas, for example, Kista, Gubbängen and Skärholmen in Stockholm, Fröslunda in Eskilstuna, and Söder in Helsingborg.  Even so 97 per cent of our students qualify for gymnasiet.

We do not choose which students will attend our schools and can show that we help our students achieve better results, including for students with parents whose highest level of education is gymnasiet, or lower. At our schools 94 per cent of such students qualify to attend gymnasiet, compared to a national average of 78 per cent. This is clear proof that quality teaching, rather than background, is the key to academic success.

Everyone involved in education should work to ensure a better quality of education in Sweden.  There is the need for 1,000 extra schools in the coming years and everyone needs to play their part, for the sake of our children.