School Blog

Camps That Teach Teamwork And Positivity

Camps That Teach Teamwork And Positivity

Location: The camp at Högbo Bruk

An action-packed programme of fun activities saw 60 children from more than 13 schools attend Internationella Engelska Skolan's camps as the Swedish summer got underway.

A three day programme included axe-throwing, team building activities, shooting and the always popular tree-top course.

Students also take responsibility for duties, including groups taking turns to watch the fire and make sure it doesn't go out overnight.

The activities are designed to promote positivity, teamwork and to boost the confidence of the students who attend the camp at Högbo Bruk, near Gävle.

Ingrid Sjöstrandt Needham from class 8G at IES Uppsala was one of the students taking part. She said: "I've really learned to step out of my comfort zone on several levels. Usually I always wear make up at school, but I actually went bare-faced the entire trip.  

"Another way I really got wonderfully uncomfortable was speaking my mind, sharing ideas and not avoiding people I didn't know. If I could stay for a week with these amazing people, I would in a heartbeat."

Mohammed Mohtadi, who had come to the camp from IES Hässelby, added: "My best memory from camp was to meet all the real friends that had fun inside them.  I learnt that if I have an idea I need to voice it and if I have a negative opinion then I need to keep it to myself because negativity spreads out fast to everyone."

Camp leader Tony Fowler, who works as Discipline Manager at IES Eskilstuna, said: "These events are very popular with the children who take part, but it is not just about having a good time.  The skills and the ways of thinking that we encourage during the camp will stand them in good stead in the classroom, and in future life. The idea behind the camps is to help the students grow as people, a wonderful compliment to the high quality education that they receive at our schools."

Ellery Nott from IES Uppsala was one of the teachers who brought children to the camp. 

He said: "During their short stay at camp, I witnessed an amazing transformation take place in nearly all the students. People that have trouble making friends were suddenly playing cards, darts, fishing and laughing with people from another school.  Many who were painfully shy before were brave enough to get up in front of camp with their team and perform a team song."

Jenna MacGillivary a teacher from Ies Hässelby added: "It is important to give these kinds of students that opportunity to grow and shine, like they do at this camp. These students often go unnoticed in lessons because they are quiet and shy and can often fade into the background.  "It is great to have the opportunity to see these students have the opportunity to meet with students who are similar, and see them be the ones to take charge and lead a group. These students rarely get these opportunities and it is good for them to see what they are capable in a different setting, when given the opportunity."

IES Schools which took part this year included those in: Johanneberg, Uppsala, Liljeholmen, Huddinge, Hässelby, Linköping, Bromma, Falun, Nacka, Täby, Sundsvall, Eskilstuna and Västerås.

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IESU Principal on National Radio

Dear Guardians,

Two weeks ago our principal Mr Mikael Östling was interviewed on a radio program (Sveriges Radio P1 called "Skolministeriet") about today's schools' approaches to dealing with disruptive behavior in the classroom. Apparently, our school (or schools, meaning the whole company?)  is one of very few that has a systematic approach to this common problem. Please have a listen if you are interested in hearing Mr Östling's perspective and explanation of the IES approach.

French Trip 2015

French Trip 2015

26 IESU French language students and 3 staff members have just returned to Uppsala after an 8 day student exchange and home stay in Besançon, France. IESU's relationship with the middle school Collège Clairs Soleils in Besançon began in 2011 with a pen pal exchange between our students and a class of their students wanting to practice writing English. In April 2014 our Year 7 & 8 French students welcomed 30 of their Besançon pen pals to Uppsala for one week. This spring it was our turn to visit them!

During our sunny and warm week in Besançon we learned a lot about the history, industries and culture of the beautiful region Franche-Comté in Eastern France, located near the Swiss border in the Jura Mountain range.

Highlights included visits to sites such as Arc et Senans (salt mining and Neoclassical architecture), Salins-les-Bains (unique salt mine), art museum of Gustave Courbet in hometown Ornans, and a traditional creamery where we learned about the artisanal production of the famous Comté cheese (named for the region). We also enjoyed the beautiful nature of the region and took a beautiful hike along the Loue river.

Of course we enjoyed trying local foods. Photo 5 shows the buffet of tartes and quiches served at the good-bye party organized by the French students on our last evening.

Our students were challenged to use as much French as possible while at home with their host families and in public places.

Both IESU staff and students attended a mix of classes at the French middle school where we noticed many differences in the daily routines, the organization of the school and the actual lessons. A group of students will present an overview of our trip and their experiences at an upcoming year 8 assembly so the entire year group will have a glimpse into the amazing experience their classmates had.

One student noticed that after the first few days he was able to distinguish between individual words when listening to the spoken language so the impression he had that French people speak very quickly changed and his understanding increased greatly.  

Another student says:

The trip was very exciting and I learned so much! I really improved my French language skills and my social skills and I gained a new motivation to work harder and become more responsible at school and at home. I made new friends and became closer to my friends from school. Our outings together were the most memorable part. This was an experience that I will never forget!

From the Principal

Teacher Appreciation Week at IESU

Teacher Appreciation Week at IESU

(Main image: Mr Stremming)

Dear readers,

Last week we had fantastic event called Teachers Appreciation Week arranged by the PTA and the students. It was appreciating the work that teachers do for our students and getting to know the teachers on a more personal level. Our school was draped in fantastic colours and poster with positive messages for our teachers which you can see in the images below. The PTA also hosted a breakfast and a cake party for all staff members making us all feel very humble and thankful for their amazing effort and hard work getting the whole week organised. There was also a vote on the most inspiring teachers in the school for different year groups and the winning teachers were: Mr Bhalla for 4 and 5, Ms Herbert for 6-7 and MR Stremming for year 8-9.

Ms Herbert
Ms Herbert
Mr Bhalla
Mr Bhalla

All in all it was a truly heartwarming experience for our staff and something we will remember for a very long time!


Staff room
Staff room




World Book Day 2015

World Book Day 2015

Continuing our annual tradition, we celebrated World Book Day on March 5th for the fourth year in a row. Many students and staff dressed up as their favorite book character which made it so fun to come to school in the morning! One could stumble upon an array of characters in the school from 'The Boy in The Pink Dress' to 'James Bond'.

Congratulations to the winners of the English Department's "design a bookmark" competition! Our Junior School winners were Malte Rudstrom 4B and Clara Melin 5A while Jonas Kuzavas 6D won best design in year 6 and Amelia Rezvanpour's bookmark  (7A) was awarded best in year 7-9. Their colorful and artistic designs will be printed and laminated to create bookmarks which will be given to students who borrow books in April!

Another highlight of the day was the Usborne book fair in the library. Junior school classes enjoyed games and story-telling with the Usborne book representative on site. So far our library has earned over 7000 kr in free English books for both Junior school and Middle school since the books purchased by our literature-loving students and parents before and on the day totaled 11,000 kr! The books that will be added to the library for this amount will be soon available for students to borrow.

Also on theme, Year  6 & 7 had "book talks" during their lessons for two days around World Book Day.

During our upcoming Student-Parent-Teacher talk days, March 23 & 24, the Usborne representative will be available with books for purchase from 8.30-17.30 at the Junior School entrance. For all additional sales those days, we will also receive 30% of the total in free books for our ever-growing library! (We love to read!)