International relations and diplomacy is something that concerns all of us. Although it’s often hard to totally get a grip of what it’s all about. Every year schools around the world arrange UN role plays. Falu Fri gymnasium has been doing this for a long time, and this spring year 9 at IES Falun got the chance to join a smaller debate. The UN role play is a way to learn in an interesting, exciting and fun way by doing a political simulation.
The students have been given different nations to represent, and have during lessons and as homework prepared themselves for this debate. It has been important to get an understanding about the countries domestic, economic, social and foreign policies. The subject has been the crisis in Syria, and the students have together formulated a resolution based on the knowledge about the nation they’ve been representing.
So this Tuesday it was time for the students to show their new knowledge when we had a full day at Falu Fri. The day started with speeches from each nation, continued with lobbying, and then the votings for the resolutions. In the end it was clear there wouldn’t be an agreement as USA used their veto to stop the two chosen resolutions.
The UN debate and preparations have involved research, public speaking, debating, writing skills, critical thinking, training in leadership and much more. The students have been doing the work in both swedish and english. It was a great day and everyone both students at the gymnasium and all teachers were very impressed! It was so nice to see students take a huge step forward and do things they’ve been scared of before. Everyone was also dressed as “diplomats” and it didn’t feel at all like two year 9 classes....
/ Ms Tigerstedt, Career Counsellor (SYV)
Spoken Word Poetry is a form of oral, word-based art where the author plays with words, voice inflection, and intonation to convey a message. Many times, spoken word performances ask their audience hard questions, make them think deeper about something, or shed light on an issue we often overlook.
This term, our Year 9s had a Spoken Word Project in their English lessons with Ms Cole. Students could pick a topic of their choice, and write a poem that tried to included figurative language, such as rhymes, metaphors, alliterations, and puns. We would love to show case some of the many talents pieces Ms Cole received this term:
Milton Wiklund, 9B
Topic: Life - watch on YouTube
Emma Svensson, 9A
Topic: Anxiety - watch here
Ellen Brus, 9B
Topic: Gender Norms & Gender Freedom - see below
Hundreds of people leave themselves behind every day, simply because society expects everyone to be the same
And when you refuse to stand in this teeny, tiny, tragic box of normal,
You get a ticket to loneliness, a tattoo in the face saying that you should be avoided
Yeah, that guy wore a skirt and rouge on his cheeks,
But it didn’t make him a girl or a fag or a freak
His style made him Unique
Until Normal came…
Normal teased him
Normal taunted him
Normal tormented him
Unique covered himself in deep, scarlet cuts to escape
When they faded, he faded too
A ghost he became to Normal and their crew
Unseen and unheard
He went to the rope, begging to be cured
The rope embraced him with a tight hug around his neck
Hanging at the end his colour was brought back!
But only as one of a million ink numbers on a statistic chart
And I’m telling you this because you have the right to not be defined by your style
You see that girl over there?
She doesn’t have the balls to be herself
But she does have balls she doesn’t want to have
Everybody calls her names day in and day out
And much, much more…
It’s always followed by threats
It’s always followed by a kick between the legs
One day the pain will become too much
And she, she will turn to drugs
The pain will disappear!
But so will every other feelin’
Soon, she will only feel the kick of heroine
And I’m telling you this because you have the right to not be defined by your sex
There’s this person
It’s not a he
It’s not a she
So what could it be?
It’s a they!
They are always looked upon as this mysterious creature
But not as the fairy or phoenix
But as the troll, as the freak
All those things are entirely wrong
They are made out of flesh and bone
But having to always be filled with heavy expectations and norms made it impossible to move, to take a single step away from them
Now they are stuck, trapped in the mindset of others
Unallowed to eat anything other than their rotten words, the names continued to rain upon:
And all those things, they aren’t entirely wrong
They are just made out of bone
And I’m telling you this because you have the right to never be defined by anybody else
One by one they all fall
Punched by your words, no one can ever stand tall
An army of lookalikes they become
Surrounding everyone different until they all are forced to be the same
But if you feel that you have the right to tell me about my identity
Then it’s not me who have a mental disorder,
It’s your brain that’s only the size of a quarter
Because we are here
Because we are queer
And no matter what you freedomphobes do,
We will always be here for eachother but never for you
Tania Gazi, 9A
Topic: Social Anxiety - see below
In The Past: I didn't speak
“What am I going to say?”
“Will they like me this way?”
I felt weak
I felt like a cracked cup
A damaged cup left in the corner of the cabinet.
Dealing with being unappreciated
Feeling very separated...
From others because
All these anxiety symptoms
I thought would never end
Every lunch break
At the bathroom I hid
I was completely divided
8 years passed
“I can't live this way”
“Every day “
My thoughts held me captivated
Is it possible to be liberated ?
By the enslavement of social anxiety
Is it possible in our society?
I believed it was a obstacle
That weren't possible
I was wrong
The journey was long
Here I am
I achieved the obstacle
How that was possible...
Was by Addressing the root cause of my social anxiety
Fear of rejection;
In the past:
When I got rejected, I felt the pain of 100 arrows through my chest.
I was terrified of that pain.
Therefore I wanted the validation and acceptance of others.
And because of my
Inability to accept me.
I sooner questioned my pain:
Was it the rejection who caused the pain?
Or was it me? It was me...
What's the point to treat myself with 100 arrows?
Because I got rejected
It doesn't make any sense.
I figured out that:
Is just the
Lack of connection
It took time for me to realize:
Rejection doesn't affect my value.
Neither does it affect yours.
You and I are valuable
Because we exist.
You and I are able to validate ourselves
Only because of
The validation of myself
Gave me the purity of a colorful rainbow.
A colorful rainbow shining over a dark landscape
I addressed the root cause
Now I'm blessed because
In the past;
I was the slave
Of the great wave
The great wave died
As I tried
To be brave
And ended being the slave
Your own validation
It's your true liberation
This year, we have introduced a new day to our calendar - Creative Subject Day! This day is an opportunity for teachers to host more creative and dynamic lessons with their students in their regular subjects. A time for them to do something that spans across all parts of their subject’s curriculum.
One of our teachers, Ms Ellis, hosted a wonderful activity with her Year 6 students during their math lessons. Students learned how to make different 3D shapes out of paper to then create a beautiful Christmas Tree for our Lunch Hall. Then they decorated it with ornaments and snowflakes of all different shapes and sizes!
Other teachers hosted lessons with everyone singing Christmas Carols, students designing holiday cards, and decorating the school with beautiful pieces of art.
We had a wonderful first annual Creative Subject Day! :)
One of the hardest things about moving to Sweden for our international staff and students is the long, dark, and cold Swedish winters. After Höstlov, it seems as though we only get a few hours of daylight each day. But as soon as the snow comes sprinkling down, energy is restored and that cozy Swedish winter feeling arrives.
Of course, it also helps to celebrate the Swedish tradition of Lucia. Other Scandinavian countries celebrate Lucia, but it’s otherwise a very new experience to most of us coming from outside of Europe. Lucia has become a common celebration in Sweden to symbolize light, with a Luciatåg (Lucia Train) of students wearing white and holding candles while singing. It is said that celebrating Lucia helps one get through the long and dark winter days!
This year, our Music teachers Ms Fournier and Mr Ellis organized Lucia with students from across the school. Surrounded by cozy candles in the Lunch Hall, our students presented a lovely Luciatåg for their fellow students, staff, and family members on December 13th. It was a spectacular performance! Afterwards, the cozy winter feeling continued with a little fika after lunch for all students.
A big thank you to Ms Fournier, Mr Ellis, and our amazing students for bringing that wonderful winter feeling to our school!
During Week 38, our students in Year 6 had the opportunity to go to Naturskolan for the day to learn about water and water safety!
They began the day with a short introduction to water from their wonderful guide, Anders. He explained that the world is 70% water, and broke this number down by the amount we see every day in our lakes, streams, ponds, clouds, etc. He then explained that Swedes use, on average, 190 litres of water each day! When the students played a game to fill a bin up to 190 litres, it didn’t seem like that much water since it didn’t take too long to fill. But when you then learn that some people in our world have access to less than 5 litres of water a day, you realise how important and rare clean water can be.
After their short lecture, the students could get some hands on experience! In small groups, they rowed boats out to small islands. They were tasked with measuring the water depth, clarity, and temperature on their way. Once they arrived to the island, then needed to measure the circumference. Then they made a fire on the island and had a nice lunch together, discussing what they had learned for the day.
Looking forward to our next adventure at Naturskolan!