Principal's Blog October 2018

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From the Principal

October 2018

Greetings from the Principal


Dear parents and students,

The autumn term is now well underway, the sun is still shining as the leaves turn red and golden. The term got off to a fantastic start with our assemblies, sports days and the “Back to school Nights” for parents. We have hosted the PTA AGM and I am delighted that Agneta Ljungman is continuing this year as the President with her loyal and engaged board of parents. The first PTA sponsored event is coming up on Friday 19th October when we hold the Junior school Halloween disco! Teachers and the Student Council are also supporting and parents are still most welcome to offer their services to help too.


Year 9 latest

In September we have also held the year 9 “Gymnasie” information evening where our SYV, Ms. Bizzozero, gave a much appreciated and informative talk covering all aspects of the choice process and how to use schoolsoft for links to more comprehensive information. Our students in year 9 will be visiting 2 of our local Gymnasieskolor this week, TEG and Tibble, as well as visiting the Gymansiemässan in November.

Student voice at IEST

Student voice is very important to IESTäby, where we believe in a Listen, Learn, Lead culture. We now have well over a hundred students involved in our Student Council, Buddies and House captain programmes to promote friendship, engagement  feedback and school spirit in years 4-9. We also have our Breakfast Club where students are able to give us valuable input and feedback about academics and teaching at our school.

As we know, It is Cancer Awareness Month in October and our student body are actively taking part by supporting the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden). Student Council, Buddies and House Leaders will be running an SPT Fika and Bake Sale on Monday and Tuesday 22-23 October. All money raised will be donated to this non-profit organisation.

Staff development and training

During this term we have also held 2 inservice (training days) for our staff; opportunities to work more closely with a one school focus, with curriculum alignment and grading integrity as part of our professional development of all teachers at our school.

As part of our working environment programme, all staff took part in an empowerment workshop lead by Pia Webb where we were given time to reflect on ourselves as role models and our work- life balance.

Professional development is key to our school’s success, so our staff have their own individual Personal Development plan which can vary from staff members from Sweden and abroad. We have several staff taking Swedish language courses at different levels, from beginners to TISUS. Our in house PD this year has a coaching focus and is lead by our 12 “Förstelärare” in key areas of active learning, grading and assessment, digitisation and wellbeing expressed  through creativity and learning.

Working with Cambridge Assessment International Education

We have recently launched our 3 Cambridge PDQ courses for staff; Educational leadership for middle management, Bilingualism and Teaching and Learning. We are proud to be the first IES school to have been given accreditation to hold these courses in Sweden. We have 3 trained course leaders who are qualified to run the courses at our school.

As part of our close collaboration with Cambridge, a group of 7 staff visited the International Schools Conference in Cambridge for 2 days in September. The conference theme of “Creating the conditions for success” raised several interesting questions: What might success mean in our transforming world for our students in the future? What skills and learning goals should we have for the future and will they include learning to take responsibility for personal health and wellbeing? A whole school approach to mental wellbeing was discussed and the need for all schools to develop a whole school approach to identify the diverse talents within a school. We came home wanting to make sure we continue with our person-centred approach in Sweden, supporting our students to create a secure sense of self and confidence in what they can achieve in life.


Surveys and SPTs

Finally, I would like to thank all parents, teachers and the students in years 5 and 9 who have completed the “Skolinspektion” surveys for the school. There is still some time for parents to answer this week and the link is on schoolsoft and has been sent home in an email.

We are busy preparing for the SPTs next week and our mentors are looking forward to meeting you all to discuss achievements, progress in your grade levels and decide on goals needed  when preparing for the term grades in December 2018.

I look forward to seeing parents and students in school at the SPTs on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd October.


Best Regards

Ms. Gina Ericsson

Principal IEST