A very warm welcome back to all students and their families. I am sure you will join me in welcoming on board all our new students in years 4-9 and their families and in particular the 180 students and their parents starting in year 4 at junior school. We may be one of the top ten largest schools in Sweden, but we are made up of families with siblings in both junior and senior school! We still have parents that have been with us from the start and will continue with us into our 9th year at senior school and our 5th year at junior school! Thanks to our mentoring system and close cooperation with our PTA we are able to keep a positive and proactive flow of communication between the school and home, building the smaller community within our school and its two buildings. Our school is very successful academically and made up of amazing students and staff: a school for us all to be proud of belonging to.
While hopefully everyone has been enjoying the fantastic and warm summer, our staff have been busy preparing for the start of a wonderful school year to come: 2014-15. Our international teachers arrived on 4th August for an Introduction Week and our returning teachers were here last week preparing for the school year ahead.
So what’s new and exciting at IEST this year?
New teachers and subjects
Management team update: We have a new Assistant Principal Mr. Anthony Taylor starting at senior school, as well as Ms. Eloise Barton who is joining us for a year on the IES management trainee programme (ASL). Mr. Flynn has moved up to senior to become Academic Coordinator at senior school and Mr. Ward is now Academic Coordinator at junior school.
Teachers: We have 11 “Förstelärare “positions at our school this year, increasing from the 4 teachers we had last year. This is a government sponsored initiative and we are very excited about being able to increase our focus on teacher development and excellence in so many areas in both junior and senior school.
New teachers: We are really looking forward to you meeting our new teachers in both junior and senior school. We have recruited some very experienced and creative teachers from both Sweden and abroad for this school year. Students will meet them on Monday and parents at our “Back to school nights” coming up shortly. We are preparing a new page on our website where you will be able to view where our teachers are from and at which university/college they have studied for their teacher qualifications.
Chinese: We are offering Chinese in year 6 for the first time as part of the Modern Foreign Language option at our school and our delighted to have Ms. Cathy Ji Li to continue her great introduction of Chinese for students and staff at our school. Life Skills: We have reintroduced Life skills in year 7 in senior school to be run by Ms. Gabor our school counsellor. Ms. Carlsson and Mr. Martinez will continue Life Skills in year 5 in junior school.
IT Skills: A very welcome return for IT skills to support students with the skills needed to use our school’s IT devices in lessons and our recent move over to Google drive. Mr. Hogg our IT Rep. will be developing training for staff and students and will meet with our year 7s once a week for intensive training in our IT Centre. Mr. Johnstone will be meeting with the year 6s for a similar weekly training in our Computer room in junior school. We believe this will be a wonderful opportunity to develop student skills in IT and improve their use of the additional chrome book carts bought for this school year in both junior and senior school.
Career skills 4-9: We are delighted that Ms. Cassell- Berghagen will be working full time this year to develop our career guidance programme throughout the school. As well as her focus on our year 9s she will be meeting with our year 8s weekly as part of strengthening our support in preparing students for their career choices ahead. English: We have added an extra lesson in English in year 4 to support development in vocabulary in the subjects, especially Science, which are studied in English.
Science year 9: We have added an extra lesson for Science in year 9 so the students have one lab and 3 lessons per week to cover the 4 subjects included in the subject Science at senior school.
New and improved facilities and resources
The school has been redecorated and thoroughly cleaned over the summer and both buildings are looking spotless and shining in anticipation of school starting on Monday 18th!
In junior school: New and welcome additions to the playground including bike racks and a covered seating area, both requested by the student council at junior school. A library is being created in one of the junior club rooms for use during lessons, breaks and at junior club.
In senior school: We have renovated the Art room during the summer to prepare for the half classes in art. We are also planning to open “Smoothiest” a smoothie and juice bar in the student lounge area, but need support and ideas first and hope to get our student council and PTA involved in this healthy and popular idea...More to come...
The departments have purchased new resources too numerous to write about here; however, one of the major purchases this year has been new Science books for the senior school which are also available online for students to use at home. Our new HOD Science Ms. Hartburn and her team are very excited about having these wonderful resources for their students this year.
So much to say...
I would like to sign off by saying there is always so much to say. However, I will now save some information for next week for the students to find out themselves. I will also save the details of our academic success last year for parents at the ”Back to school nights”. We will strive to continue with our excellent school results and academic success for all students and continue in our desire to create a school which our students, parents and staff are proud to belong too! Welcome to IESTäby for 2014-15