Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the admission process work?
We request that you fill in our application form preferably on line: Student Applications. If you do not have access to a computer, please call the school. Once the application form is received, it will be dated and you will be assigned a place in line. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis with one exception. If you have a brother or sister already in our school, we are allowed to give you an advanced placement on the waiting list.
- Can I apply from outside Sweden?
Yes, if you are of the appropriate age, plan to move to Sweden and have the Swedish personal numbers necessary for registration.
- Does it cost anything to attend your school?
No, it does not cost anything to attend our schools. There are no tuition fees. Funding comes from the “skolpeng” or school subsidy, allocated to schools that are approved by “Skolverket” the Swedish National Agency for Education.
- Do you test your students prior to admission?
No testing is permitted as part of the admission process.
- What if we decline an offer and then change our mind? Will my child be still eligible for admission?
No, if you decline to accept the place offered, your place will go to another student. You will need to apply again. Your registration will be accepted as of the date of your new application.
- I work at a certain company. Can the company pay the school in order to avoid waiting in line?
No, we are a state regulated school without fees. We recommend that as soon as you have decided to attend one of our schools, to apply as quickly as possible. Early applications result in favourable placements. In exceptional cases, it is possible to grant admission at a later stage. If, during the first weeks of school, we find that there is an unexpected vacancy, and school is already in progress, we may contact those who have already placed themselves in the queue, following the order in which they applied.
- What are the rules on visitors to your schools?
We welcome and encourage visitors. We recommend that you ask us at least 24 hours in advance. All visitors must report to the main office, sign the visitors register and obtain a visitor’s pass, which must be displayed at all times. This pass must be returned to the main office and the visitor must sign out at the conclusion of the visit.
If you have not asked for permission in advance, we cannot guarantee that you can visit the school. We have to know who is in the school and for what reason. If friends are allowed to come and go as they please, and many external students come at the same time because they don’t have anything else to do that day, then teaching is disrupted and we are unable to keep our students safe.
Please make sure that visitors meet the following requirements: (local variations may occur, check with your school’s office)
- Visitors and students alike are expected to follow the rules of the school
- Visitors to a class must be of the same age, unless their presence is for academic or research purposes.
- The school must have received at least 24 hours advance notice.
- Some visits may require the approval of the principal. It is therefore important to let us know in advance.
- We do not accept visitors from other schools simply because their present school is not in session that day. Visits, from students outside of our own, should be because the student is considering our school as a school of choice for the near future.
We prefer that you attend our Open House evenings and Introductory Days first. Prospective students and their parents are invited and most welcome to these events.
Due to our extensive waiting lists, for some of our schools the list extends to over 1000 students, we find it difficult to provide the same kind of service to everyone.
We ask for your patience and understanding if we are unable to accommodate your request.
- Is it possible for a student to just try to see if they like being in the school?
The Education Act does not provide for people to spend time trying different types of school. IES also does not believe that just trying out a new school is a good idea.
When a decision is made, with it comes the perseverance and motivation to make it work. Experience tells us that all students are able to succeed in our schools and that the desire to do just that is often the most significant factor.
We provide initial information about our school and our expectations, at information meetings and on the Introductory Day. The Introductory Day ensures that students have a chance to participate in lessons, meet with teachers and administrators and see how we work. Positive feedback is continuous. All our efforts are geared to help students and parents make a conscious choice.
Just “testing” the concept of our school means uncertainty regarding learning, making friends and becoming involved. Ultimately, selecting a school is a matter of choice and exercising that choice is a right and a responsibility. Parents and students have the option, at any given time, to move to another school.
- Do you have a lot of students leaving Internationella Engelska Skolan because of difficulties with the teaching in English?
No, this does not happen often. It is reassuring for parents and students to know that our school has been in existence since 1993 and has established and developed professional practices throughout this time. Students may take some time to adapt to a new learning environment, and may consider the transition challenging. It is an undeniable fact that the best way to learn a language is through immersion and having the language integrated into the school culture. All classroom teaching does adopt a bilingual approach so students leave the school with a command of both Swedish and English.
Students’ learning capacity, at an early age, is sometimes underestimated. When students really want to learn, have educators to guide, and parents to support them, the results are forthcoming. We know through experience that a calm, safe and stimulating learning environment is necessary for students to achieve results.
We often see, after the first term, that students have made tremendous progress. Suddenly students understand “everything” and homework becomes so much easier.
- Where do your students come from and Is it necessary for my child to speak English well already when starting at your school?
Our students come from many different places. Some are native English speakers but most are of Swedish origin and have attended the compulsory Swedish school system.
Knowing English well is not a prerequisite for starting in our schools. Most of our students have attended Swedish schools before coming to us and have acquired a basic foundation in English.
Our experienced teachers are familiar with teaching English to students at various levels. Students in grade four are introduced to learning in English by having a more gradual language immersion.
- Do you teach French, German or Spanish as well?
We expect all students to study a third language.
We offer instruction in German, French and Spanish according to the level of demand at our respective schools.
Modern languages are part of the normal schedule in Swedish secondary schools.
- How well do your students manage the Swedish language and culture with English being the language of instruction half the time?
We know that we are a school in Sweden where students are able to achieve fluency in both English and Swedish. Therefore equal emphasis is placed on commanding both languages, English and Swedish. The results of the National Tests have consistently placed our students considerably above average in the Core Subjects of English, Math and Swedish. We celebrate Swedish holidays, traditions and cultural events plus English and American traditions such as Thanksgiving, Student Prom in grade 9, Caps and Gowns at graduation and a variety of other festivities that are appreciated by parents and students alike.
- Do all your teachers speak Swedish?
When teachers come from an English speaking country, they do not necessarily speak Swedish immediately upon arrival. It is school policy to provide Swedish teaching to our non- Swedish teachers already during their first year in Sweden.
Information to the parents is given in both English and Swedish. If parents at development talks have a mentor who does not speak Swedish and the parent prefers to speak Swedish, just contact the school in advance and we will make sure that a Swedish speaker is present at the meeting.
- Are all your teachers certified?
All our teachers are well-qualified. We strive for all our teachers to have a Swedish teacher identification, or an equivalent foriegn qualification.
Internationella Engelska Skolan has special permission from Skolinspektionen for each of our 29 schools to provide up to half of the teaching in the English language. In chapter 2, 17 § of the Swedish school law, a permanent exception from Swedish teacher certification is granted for those teachers we employ to teach in English and who have a teaching degree from their home country.
49 percent of our teachers have a foreign background.
To teach subjects including maths and science, we recruit teachers from Canada, USA and the UK. We dare say that their teacher training is superior to the Swedish teacher training. This is reflected by the fact that our results in these subjects on the national tests in year 9 are far higher than the norm for Swedish schools. At present we have about 600 teachers with a foreign teacher qualification, which is an essential contribution to the Swedish school’s internationalization.
Up to half of the teaching in our schools is done in English, primarily by teachers from English-speaking countries. English is to be used as our conversational language in the corridors and classrooms. Our schools are characterized by an international atmosphere. The mixture of teachers from many different countries contributes to this. IES promotes full bilingualism – skills in Swedish are developed in parallel to English.
Barbara Bergström founded Internationella Engelska Skolan in 1993, based on three pillars that still characterize Internationella Engelska Skolan:
A safe and orderly school environment in which teachers can teach and students learn
High academic expectations and ambitions
Command of the English language
Swedish teachers are also subject to detailed scrutiny, primarily by the principal of a school to ensure that they do possess the required competence and share those beliefs that created Internationella Engelska Skolan.
- How many students are there in a class?
In grades four and five there are 30 students per class.
In grades six and seven classes have, at most, 32 students.
In grade eight classes have up to 31 students and in grade nine classes have a maximum of 30 students.
Grades four and five have a class teacher for each class while grades six to nine have two mentors per class.
- How can I get in touch with my child’s mentor, subject teacher, principal?
We recommend email. Our office does not give out private phone numbers. Many teachers have phone hours and inform parents, at the beginning of term, on the best method of getting and staying in touch.
- Do you take in students with special needs?
Yes, our school is open to everyone. We do expect our prospective parents to let us know if their child has required special assistance previously or needs help in any way. Concerns regarding learning abilities/ disabilities, health, or nutrition should be brought to our immediate attention. School relevant information is a prerequisite to mutual understanding and academic success.
- My child is an outstanding student. Are you able to provide academic challenges and support to gifted students?
Yes, most definitely. Our experience clearly shows that students progress rapidly in an academically challenging and positive learning environment. Your child will be supported, encouraged and given every opportunity to stretch the limits of learning.
- Is there a dress code in your school?
Yes, but we do not have school uniforms. We expect all students to give proper attention to dress appropriately for school and school functions. A student’s dress, grooming and appearance shall not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
Teachers and all other personnel should exemplify and reinforce an acceptable view on student clothing and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. Our teachers are professional educators and advisors to the students and are addressed as Mr and Ms and not by their first name.
- We understand that we will receive regular reports about our child’s progress already from grade six. How does that work?
We monitor our students’ progress continuously and give out written assessments to the parents/students. For parents and students in years 4 to 5, reports are given four times a year. For students in grades 6 to 9 grading is mandatory. Students in grade 6 to 9 receive mid term reports as well as grades at the end of term, in accordance with the law.
For development talks in the fall and spring, we send an empty report card to the home, about two weeks in advance. Parents and students have time to discuss the report and fill in the blanks together. Parents then sign up for a suitable time at school to meet with the mentor and other members of staff. At the time of the development meeting, the report prepared by the family is compared with the teachers’ report, providing a solid base for discussion. Everyone works to ensure that the meeting has beneficial results for the students.
- We have heard that there is discipline in your schools. What exactly does this mean?
We are committed to providing a safe, orderly school environment where students can learn and teachers can teach. Responsible behaviour is essential in achieving this goal. We have a long-standing set of expectations for conduct. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, good citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity. This code applies to all students and school personnel.
All of our schools have an active student council. The rules are set by students and staff working together. The final decision on rules belongs to the principal
Infractions are dealt with swiftly and expeditiously and may result in detention and /or a student care conference. Detention is used in a pro-active way, i.e. students’ carry out work that helps them learn to rectify unacceptable behaviour in future. A clear distinction is made between disciplinary aspects and pastoral work. Parental consent and participation are essential for the student to succeed and is the key in everything we do.
- Do you follow the local municipality’s dates for holidays and vacation periods?
Yes. We generally adhere to the same schedule. In-service time will be different from school to school and is noted at the beginning of term in the school calendar.
- How much homework will there be?
Generally, there is homework every day and sometimes on the weekend. The amount of homework varies and depends on the subject and on the student.
- What about student democracy?
Many students are active in the Student Council. Members of the student council are elected by the students at the beginning of the new school year. Regular meetings with the principal and assistant principal are a part of this process.
- How can parents participate and help in the school?
The school has an active PTA, Parents and Teachers Association. The principal or assistant principal regularly attends PTA meetings to ensure transparency at all levels.
Our Open Door Policy for parents leads to mutual understanding and encourages parents to come to school and see how we work. We urge you to let us know in advance that you are coming so that we are sure you receive a visitor’s pass and that you are able to benefit the most from your visit.
- Do you hand out bus cards to students?
No, bus cards are given to students only at the Upper Secondary level. We advise students to check with their local school authorities for travel information.
- In the unlikely event that I wish to make a complaint, how can I do this?
As we work together to create the right school environment in the best interests of our students, it is essential that there is a close and trusting relationship between each school and its parents. Where there is a complaint which the mentor teacher or Head of Year is unable to resolve, the next step is for the Assistant Principal or Principal to look into the matter. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached within the school, complaints should then be addressed to the “Huvudman” - the organization behind the school - which is Internationella Engelska Skolan I Sverige AB. These complaints can be referred to our Academic Manager, Mr. Damian Brunker via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to: Mr. Damian Brunker, Internationella Engelska Skolan, Huvudkontoret, Nytorpsvägen 5A, 183 53 Täby. Any complaints will be investigated in a factual and objective manner after hearing from the school, parents and students involved.