As the class of 2020 graduated, more than 4,000 IES students throughout Sweden have been awarded their school diplomas. This is normally a crowded event involving hugs and hats thrown in the air in front of friends and family.
The graduation ceremony, with its iconic blue caps and gowns is an important part of the tradition of Internationella Engelska Skolan - a right of passage for students to mark their achievements over several years of education. This year has challenged us all to find new ways to celebrate our students and their hard work within the limitations of the ongoing pandemic.
Regarding the school's first grade 9 graduation ceremony since it opened in 2018, Julie Kelly, principal of IES Länna, said:
“For us, everything with this class has been unique and special since there are only 29 of them and we have only had them for two years. It was quite fitting, then, that their graduation was also unique. While the restrictions forced us to make a lot of adjustments, we actually had a beautiful and more intimate ceremony that we will all remember forever.”
In her speech to the students at the graduation Mrs. Kelly said: "I have spoken to you so many times over our two years together that it was very hard to find my final words to you. I can only give you the advice I wish I had had when I was sixteen years old: love yourself first, make friends in unexpected places, and never let anyone else set limits for what you can do and how much you can achieve."