It is with a great honor and a belief in the future, we welcome all new and returning students, parents and staff to IES Falun for the school year of 2017/2018. This year IES Falun has grown to 17 classes with 410 students and 52 members of staff of various nationalities.
After one mentor/class-day, one Year Team-day and two regular school days, we are off to an exciting start. Last week we implemented a parent and guardian mingle evening, with a School Soft demonstration and an introduction of IES Falun's PTA (Parent Teacher Association). For our students best interest, we believe in a strong cooperation between school and parents.
The focus of this academic year is to be promotive and preventative. For physical well-being, students' schedules include health and movement lessons, and for a more psychosocial well-being the students' schedules include Lifeskills-lessons. Lifeskills connect the learning to reality with the intention to reinforce commitment, meaningfulness and, above all, the students' inner motivation. This will be further addressed during the parent and guardian meeting tonight.
Welcome to the academic year of 2017/2018 at Internationella Engelska Skolan Falun.
Tassels have been passed from right to left, caps have been thrown into the air and voices have been raised to sing Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer.
Across Sweden, more than 3,000 grade nine Internationella Engelska Skolan students have celebrated their graduation in front of proud family members, and the school staff who have helped them to develop to this point over the past several years.
Now, as they bid farewell to their schools, the students will go forward to the next challenges of their lives.
This year there were five IES schools who were saying goodbye to a graduating class for the first time. At Falun, Liljeholmen, Hässleholm, Kista and Umeå those students graduating marked the first group to move on from the IES school.
The graduation ceremony is a big part of the tradition of Internationella Engelska Skolan. It is held to honour the achievements of the students and all of their efforts, academic and otherwise, during their time at the school. Students wear iconic blue caps and gowns in an American-style graduation, with speeches and performances of live music from the student body.
During the graduation at IES Liljeholmen students assembled in the schoolyard where a stage had been constructed for the occasion, they heard from their president, graduating student David Hjalmarsson-Batman.
He said: “Today is a very special day. Today is the day that we graduate. The first time that we ninth graders graduate. This day is a milestone in many aspects, this day marks the transition towards continuing our studies at our upper secondary schools.
"If it wasn’t for the English teachers who taught me the linguistics, I would never be able to stand here today to give this speech in English.
"Yesterday we were students, today we are graduates, and tomorrow we are proud alums of our alma mater, IES Liljeholmen.”
The school’s Principal AnnaKarin Johansson also spoke to the assembled group of students, parents and staff.
She said: “Dear students, both in year 9 and 8. You are writing history today as the first two classes to graduate from IES Liljeholmen. In a very short year, students of year 8, you will graduate as the first five classes. It is an honour to have been part of your life, even for a very short time. You have taught me a lot. Students of year 9. I wish you all the best for the future.
“The world that you are entering is challenging, demanding and full of opportunities. And my advice to you, is to embrace those challenges. Meet the demands with grit, perseverance, motivation, and sisu.”
IES Falun held their graduation at Lugnetskyrkan conference centre.
Those assembled enjoyed virtuoso performances on the piano, saxophone and clarinet as well as speeches from representatives of the staff and students.
Sara Fahlström, who was named as Falun’s valedictorian, said: “What I will remember is all the amazing people here, and so now that we have the opportunity, we would like to thank them. We want to say thank-you to the teachers, we have learnt so much these past three years and it is all thanks to you."
Balazs Tarján, Falun's school ambassador, added: “I would like to thank my teachers, my fellow students and my mentors. I was a little bit surprised to win this award because I didn’t think I would. For me it is natural to help others, follow the rules, and show respect. It is really important to have a combination of respect and support in order to have a safe environment.
"We also wanted to thank both of the year nine classes, we are are all really different and that is a good thing, because by being different we have all put in a lot of effort and achieved our goals in hundreds of different ways and in hundreds of different situations."
After the summer holidays a new grade nine class will take its place at each IES school, as they work towards their own graduation day and do their best to meet their goals, academic and otherwise, so that they are as prepared as possible for their future.
First of all, I would like to thank the school's present and resigning principal Ms Forsberg for her effort and wish her luck in her new endeavours.
Then, I want to share, that not only do I feel a great honor and privilege to take over the role as the principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan Falun. I also feel very happy, as I feel I have come “home” again.
My connection with Falun began in my early years of youth, when I spent a lot of time in Falun with my bicycle friends in Falu CK and my ski friends in IFK III Falun Alpin during the 1980s. This connection continued when I studied at Dalarna University with a teaching degree in 1997.
Now, I'm back in this beautiful city and during the month of May, I have done my utmost to prepare school in the best way. I am proud to present our well-educated staff of 51 people, who will meet you in August and prepare all students for the future. The balance between Swedish-speaking and English-speaking is ideal for our bilingual school, 25 Swedish-speaking and 26 English-speaking, and the number of qualified teachers is 37. Together we will ensure that IES's three pillars; "Command of the English language", "A safe and orderly environment" and "High academic expectations and aspirations" is complied with. We will also focus on providing more sport, which we have chosen to call "health and movement".
I am indeed happy to be back in Falun and am look forward to getting to know you in August. The school will start on Wednesday 23rd August and further details will be posted on Schoolsoft during the summer.
In August I will invite you to a simple gathering, followed by the traditional parents' meeting some weeks later.
If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.