Dear parents, guardians, and students,
The National Test season has a few more weeks to go, as well as the final grading period, but we have a long Ascension weekend coming up in addition to Sweden’s National Day, so our teachers are using all of their creativity to keep students on task and inspired to learn. We are all supporting each other and working together to ensure that each IESB student feels equipped and encouraged to make the most of their final weeks of the school term. In short, it is still business as usual here at IESB and our schedule is packed with national tests, term projects, fundraising, as well as all the fun events big and small to celebrate the end of the school year. Below I will detail a few of these that are especially noteworthy.
Now that we have returned from the short Walpurgis break it is full speed ahead. With our big Art show 21-23/5, spring Sports Day 22-24/5, and annual Fashion show 27/5, as well as IES Track and Field day and Band concert on 29/5 before the Ascension Day weekend, graduation will be upon us before we know it. More information regarding the schedule for graduation and associated end of term activities will be shared as we near the end of term.
Among the events we have in front of us, one of the most important is a social cause to which we have contributed for several years. This cause is SOS Barnbyar, and every year our students participate by doing different acts of service in exchange for donations to this very worthwhile charity benefiting an underprivileged children’s village in Sarajevo. The fundraiser takes place between 15/4 and 28/5, and for more information you can read this letter issued by our school. For the direct link to our fundraising site, click this link
Which leads me to our new value topic we will focus on for the remainder of the school year: Equality. In simple terms, equality is about a level playing field where everyone has the same access to the same opportunities. We’ve all heard the saying “If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything”. But that’s simply not true in every case. Speaking generally, poor people aren’t poor because they want to be. And not all wealthy people got what they have through hard work. Sometimes, an idea or attitude is so dominant in a society, it’s practically unconscious. When enough people see something as “just the way it is,” a number of societal systems are impacted. Think of it as a vicious cycle: widespread attitudes about something lead to inequitable systems which, in turn, serve to reinforce the attitudes that created them.
Our students will be learning valuable tools in the coming weeks to challenge these preconceived notions, and hopefully become catalysts for change in their own growing spheres of influence.
With the second term well under way, we want to thank everyone for your continued support of our students, teachers, and school as we collectively strive to provide optimal opportunities for learning each and every day. Our school theme for the beginning of this term is Solidarity (“Solidaritet”) and students have taken time over the past several weeks to discuss what Solidarity means, how it can be expressed, and how we see it in action in everyday settings. This theme is important to us in the face of an increasingly divided world - what small steps can we take in our everyday lives to bring a sense of solidarity to the people and environment around us?
In addition, I want to also thank our mentors, parents, and students for another successful round of Development Talks. I hope these meetings helped everyone recalibrate as we set our sights toward a strong finish to the 2018/2019 school year. I was unable to join due to an exciting recruitment trip to Canada during which I met many inspiring educators and received very positive feedback about IES. IES strives to always provide our students with the best educational environment and the best teachers from around the world, making these recruitment efforts one of the bedrocks to ensuring this promise.
Turning to our academics and school life, I would like to point out a few important dates.
Wednesday, 6th of February: A special presentation hosted by the IESB PTA on the impact of media use and screen time on children. More information can be found here: Föreläsning om skärmtid och ungdomar - 6/2
Friday, 8th of February: Winter Sports Day, meaning no formal classes on campus. If you need a schedule reminder, please use the following link: Winter Sports Day Schedule
Week 6: The beginning of spring National Test season. Please refer to the following documents for more information:
Week 9: Sports Break, meaning no formal classes on campus all week. Enjoy the time off to recharge and have some fun!
AUTUMN TERM 2019
Start of term - 19th of August
End of term - 19th of December
SPRING TERM 2020
Start of term - 8th of January
End of term - 9th of June
Autumn Break - week 44 - 28th October - 1st November
Christmas break - 20th December - 7th January
Sport Break - week 9 - 24th February - 28th February
Easter Break - week 15 - 6th April - 13th April
Ascension day (Kristi Himmelfärd) - 21st - 22nd May
Start up talks - 12th & 13th September - No lessons or JR club on this date
In service day (studiedag) - 3rd October - No lessons or JR club on this date
School photo w 36 & 37 - Exact date notified by mentor
Development talks - 22nd & 23rd January- No lessons or JR club on this date
Singing in Spanish helped Emilia Söderlund (above, centre, with her teacher Mr Vary and her mother) from Internationella Engelska Skolan Johanneberg to win a language and music competition for IES schools.
Each year schools compete in a Eurovision-inspired contest, which sees students sing in languages other than English or Swedish.
This year 13 schools took part in the competition at IES Sundsvall – who hosted because they won the competition last year, in true Eurovision style.
Those competing sang in French, German and Spanish, in front of hundreds of students, and a jury made up of language and music teachers, at Tonhallen in Sundsvall.
Video of the winner's reprise: Emilia Söderlund from IES Johanneberg
After a tense judging process considered the linguistic and musical talents of the very strong entries this year, Mr Brisson, principal of IES Sundsvall, announced the results.
While Emilia took first prize, a team from IES Eskilstuna (left), made up of Tamara Abood, Farah Mouhi, Eira Ankarfjärd and Darian Mather came second, while Cecilia Nilsson from IES Lund (below, right) came third.
After performing David DeMaría song Cada Vez Que Estoy Sin Ti and receiving her trophy Emilia told the audience: "Thank you so much, I did not think I was going to win since there are so many talented people here and they were really great. Give them applause, please.”
After she left the stage she added: “I am grateful that I had this chance today, and I want to thank everyone, but especially my Spanish teacher Señor Rios, my music teacher Mr Duckworth, Mr Vary for coming with me, and my parents for being there with me and supporting me.
"This was my first time taking part in Eurovision, it was exciting but then I heard the other schools singing and they were so good, so I got nervous, but it was exciting.
"When I heard the winner announced, I said ‘well, that’s me’. I thought that Sundsvall would win again because I think she was really good and deserved to win.
"I have been studying Spanish for three years. I would not have believed three years ago that I could win today, but my music teacher told me that I should be here and he helped me, and here I am.”
Emilia’s victory means that next year the contest will be hosted by IES Johanneberg. She gave advice for all students thinking of taking part: “Believe in yourself, do what you like to do, and do not worry about what others think."