You can start at our schools with any level of English. Up to half of the education is conducted in English, and teachers have a great deal of experience in helping students learn to command the English language, using language immersion.
Our students learn to command the English language quickly. In grade F-3 we introduce English gradually, giving students the tools to succeed in their lessons through the English language.
Families choose our schools knowing that some subjects are taught in English, and it is something which has attracted them.
Students in our schools really enjoy speaking in English, and learning from teachers from a range of English-speaking countries. In this environment it is easy to succeed with the English language and see it as a useful tool, rather than an obstacle.
Young children have an amazing capacity for language learning. With guidance from outstanding educators, and parental support, we have found great success in helping students become bilingual since we first started teaching in English in 1993.
Our schools are bilingual and we believe in students learning to command both languages, so half of the lessons are taught in Swedish. While English is the key to the world, it is important that students also master the Swedish language, which is an important tool for anyone who wants to live, work and integrate into Swedish society.
Our national test results in Swedish are also above the national average, as they are in the other core subjects, showing that our students are able to command both languages.
We celebrate Swedish culture as well as the traditions of English-speaking countries - such as wearing caps and gowns during graduation.
Teachers who move to Sweden to teach with us often arrive with little or no Swedish. But it doesn’t take them long to start learning, so they can get the most out of life here. We offer support to help them learn Swedish. Children at our schools often find themselves helping English-speaking adults on their own language journey too.
Parents can let us know if they prefer to speak only Swedish during development talks. If we are informed in advance we will make sure a Swedish-speaking member of staff is present to help translate.
In IES schools 85 per cent of teachers are qualified (2018-19 and 2019-20), compared to the national average of 78 per cent (2018-19). 47 per cent of our teachers have teaching qualifications from abroad - mostly from English speaking countries - while 38 per cent of them qualified in Sweden. We aim to recruit qualified teachers wherever possible. If we recruit an unqualified teacher we put a development plan in place to set out how they will become qualified.
Swedish school law sets out that where teaching is conducted through the English language, teachers with a teaching degree from outside of Sweden are also qualified. The training of teachers in countries we recruit from, such as Canada, the USA and the UK, is excellent and in many ways superior to the training that Swedish student-teachers receive.
The maximum number of students in a class varies depending on the age of the student.
In general at our schools this means:
F-3: 28 per class
4-5: 30 per class
6-9: 32 per class.
We encourage all of our students to reach their full potential, and recognise that every child has unique talents and abilities. Some students need a greater challenge to hold their interest and help them to develop. IES teachers are always pleased to help students set new and ambitious targets, and make the most of their enthusiasm or talent.
Students are given the opportunity to get extra help and support outside regular lessons in all subjects. They have the chance to revisit any topic in more detail with their teacher, outside of class time. These sessions can also be a perfect opportunity to explore what is possible if they would like to take their studies further.
At IES schools the average is to have ten students for each teacher or member of the support team.
The IES model differs from that used in many other schools. We have dedicated support staff, including student health and student care teams, who work alongside the teachers and support them in areas outside of their expertise. While this can mean that our class sizes are a little larger, it also means that we have a system in place with staff who are devoted to helping maintain a safe and calm environment in our corridors and classrooms. This support helps our teachers to focus on teaching and our students on learning.
IES closely monitors students' performance on the national tests, both as a key part of our quality work and to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for the future. Any variance in grading from national test results - as well as deviations from the IES average and the municipal and national average respectively - are examined to ensure that the teachers grade correctly. Grades are analysed at local level and at principal level as part of our systematic quality work.
In the case of subjects where there are no national exams, such as technology, crafts, art, music and home economics, each school submits its preliminary grades one month before grading. The purpose is to find out how the grades are distributed and to identify any deviations. If deviations are found, the school concerned is contacted for to explain, analyse and provide its motivation.