On Thursday, at one of our bi-weekly staff meetings, I found myself quite choked up as I shared with staff a letter written from one of our current Year 9 students for students who will be entering Year 4 in August. I was extremely touched by the sentiments shared by this student that it was the first time that I found myself being quite reflective and emotional about the year that has been, with the fathom that only 7 more days of the academic year remains. When taking this challenge of starting a new school I knew it was a mountainous task. Knowing that I have the trust of our company, parents, students and staff in my hands, has been strengthening to my spirit. Each day I have woken up knowing the challenges to be faced, at the same time, preparing myself for the new unexpected obstacles that will be placed in front of me. But when reading these words to my staff, I could appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that my staff has for our students, school and myself. They have transformed the educational experience for not only this young student, who has now been able to place her faith in grown ups again, but for all our students. I am humbled, and reminded of why I decided to take on this journey.
Though our vision has been to promote a quiet and calm environment for students to learn, we also want to create an atmosphere where students are able to explore a number of activities that make their schooling experience all the more rewarding. The months of April and May saw our school participate in a number of such activities.
Uppsala Roos (yes that is short for Kangaroos), made their first appearance on April 25th at Edsberg sport field, where a mixed team of Year 4 and 5 boys and a mixed team of Year 4 and 5 girls participated in the annual Inter IES School Football Competition. This was a seven-aside contest, where children were competing to win the Turf Moor Cup for boys and girls. Though we did not receive any placements, I am proud to say that our Uppsala Roos displayed great football skills and team spirit. Well done!
On this day, we also had six students representing Uppsala in the annual Inter IES Eurovision Song Competition hosted by the Modern Foreign Language Departments. Following their victory last year, Internationella Engelska Skolan Eskilstuna had the honor of hosting the contest this year. The school organized a fantastic show that was just as astounding as the Eurovision hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan. Each performance was judged following a number of criteria such as their ability to use the language, their stage performance and musical ability to name a few. Uppsala had two lovely musical pieces representing the French (Le vol du'n ange) and Spanish (Causa y efecto) languages. Though we did not make the final 3 places, our students came back inspired and are already planning to rock in next year's event to be held in Gävle. Check out the company's home web site for the winning performances.
During this spring term, Ms Herbert our Art teacher has been working with our students with international inspired art. This theme formed the basis of our in-house art competition, where the three winning pieces of artwork went on to be sold in an auction hosted at SO Stockholm Gallery in Kungstädgården in the middle of Stockholm. It was quite exhilarating to see our young artists work being sold. The three pieces from Uppsala were sold for 1,700 SEK, where half of this money raised has been donated to The Swedish Tibetan Society, which builds and runs schools in Tibet, while the other half has gone to the young artists who produced the work. Parents at our school had the opportunity to see all of our students work on display during our first PTA (Parent Teacher Association) Spring Mingle on May 13th.
Lastly, six students in Year 7 and two students in Year 8 were selected to participate in Camp IES. These camps provide our students with the opportunity to practice their leadership skills, to boost their confidence and challenge themselves and their cooperative abilities. From the description of Mr Roriston, our UK native and music teacher, "it was very rustic and almost like the reality TV show Survivor. While, Ms Kipfer, our USA native and PE teacher, described it as being "a great program and camp experience". Both students and staff had a fantastic time, and we can see the positive impact the camp has had with these students. We are looking forward to participate in Camp IES again next May.
With all these activities and plans for the end of year, it is no wonder that I have little time for reflection of all our students' and teachers' achievements. Though each day is challenging, I do go to bed each night with a smile knowing that I do play a small part in enriching our young students lives. Go Uppsala Roos!