We are now well into October and the autumn break is just a week away, giving a well deserved break for both staff and students. During this term we have seen our students grow and I have been fortunate enough to have seen and heard about many great leaps of progress among our student body due to the hard work the students and teachers are putting in.
We have also hosted a conference about teaching and learning for all IES schools in the northern region (Gävle, Sundsvall, Falun and Umeå). In total, 350 people attended the conference, the theme of the day was "Building persistence in Students learning". The theme is of course closely linked to our continued effort to build grit and a growth mindset culture that permeates our school and we also got a chance to show off our wonderful school and let some of our students guide our visitors around. It was a great day with lots great ideas being exchanged.
As we now prepare for the final months of the term it feels so good that we have such a wonderful student body and support from so many parents for what we are trying to acheive with our work. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all of you parents who filled in the survey from Skolinspektionen, that will be the basis for their inspection in the spring.
Students at Internationella Engelska Skolan Uppsala had a chance to quiz political leaders from the centre-right Alliance parties during a visit to the school.
The four politicians, Conservative party leader Anna Kinberg Batra, Liberal party leader Jan Björklund, Annie Lööf, leader of the Centre party and Ebba Busch Thor, leader of the Christian Democrats, toured the school before taking questions from students, and eventually journalists.
Students asked about topics including Brexit, the military, housing issues in Sweden and the gender pay gap.
Angelica Hagström, 14 of class 8A, was in charge of the event after she was chosen to moderate the session for her classmates.
She said: “It was really fun, but I was nervous as well, because If I said something wrong there would be so many people who heard. I felt a bit special when I was asked to moderate, and that is always nice.”
Angelica had been thinking about her own questions to ask before she was offered the chance to lead the discussion.
She said: "I thought I would ask about the grading systems. Then when we were going into the class my social-science teacher asked if I could organise the questions a bit. I thought: 'that is no big deal, I can do that’.
“The politicians had good and well-thought-out answers so you knew what they meant, they spoke well. I think it is good to hear them speak directly, because then you can build your own opinion rather than being influenced by what is reported.”
During the event the politicians presented their ideas of how education in Sweden could develop. They spoke of Pisa, how to make the teaching profession more attractive, education for those newly arrived in Sweden, an increase in the number of hours of teaching that students receive, encouraging parents to make a more active school choice and even externally moderated national tests.
Following on from their press conference the political leaders met with Mr Östling, the school’s Principal to discuss issues around education and to hear his views.
He said: "It was a great honour for us to host the visit and show our school to a few of the most influential politicians in the country. We are proud of our school and our students, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have our students show their knowledge of politics by the excellent questions they asked. Personally, I am very pleased to have shared the story of IES Uppsala and to have been given the chance to discuss educational matters and concerns with people who can really make a difference on the national level."
Dear Parents and Guardians of Internationella Engelska Skolan Uppsala,
We have had an excellent start to this academic year, we have introduced the year 4 students to of our house system, which has fostered even stronger unity and pride for Internationella Engelska Skolan Uppsala among students. We have continued to develop our growth mindset approach more and more in our classrooms and have made teaching and learning in school more visible to the students. The visibility of learning has been developed through introducing success criteria in lessons using the first-person form such as: "I can read and understand varied texts in English”. This is done to emphasise to students that learning starts and ends with them as the focal point and we have already seen positive impact of this initiative. This year we are also focusing our professional development of the whole school on Growth Mindset language and how we can build resilience and persistence in students´learning.
We have also received awards as the best overall school when it comes to academic performance in Year 9 for 2015/2016, having the best results in Math and History as well as being top ten in many other subjects. This gives us great pride in our teachers and students ability to continue to perform well and learn as much as possible through this academic year.
It is also clear to me that the achievements of IES and its students are now getting nationwide attention, I was invited to a school leadership conference in the late spring, where the current Minister of Education, Mr Gustav Fridolin and the former Minister of Education, Mr Jan Björklund publicly praised the results of IES and its method of ensuring a calm learning environment where teachers can teach and students can learn.
We are all very eager to get this year going and hopefully I will get the chance to see you in the morning as I stand and greet the students by the main entrance.