School Blog

From the Principal

Season's greetings

Lucia illustration with a Prao choir

As the days get shorter and shorter, we are coming to the end of the term and the year. These last few weeks hold quite a few special events for our students. The Year 9s are finishing their oral National Tests, the Year 8s have one week of “PRAO” - practical work-life orientation, and we also have three choice days coming up, where students have the chance to pick a subject to delve deeper into. There are also several special festive days; Nobel Day, Lucia, our Christmas Sweater Day, and then the end of term ceremony to celebrate the work and learning that have taken place during the autumn term.

Lately, we have had the pleasure and privilege to have Antigone Karapetsa, an educator with 42 years of international experience, including being a teacher educator around the world for 26 years, visit our school to observe and work with us. We were humbled and proud when she shared some of her impressions of our school, and we want to share them with you as well:

It was a great opportunity to experience first-hand how great your school is. My first impressions were of a very healthy and happy atmosphere everywhere. The students are very keen to learn and progress; the teachers take great pride in their work and show passion for their subject; they are all very caring towards the students and want to give them the best. Management is very supportive and encouraging and the lunch was outstanding. In all honesty, this is my first time in 42 years of work to experience a great sense of well-being in an institution. Really excellent!

And on that positive note, we wish everyone Happy Holidays, and look forward to seeing our students again for the start of the spring term on 9 January!

FUNdraising for Movember

Students throwing pie at teachers

Why not combine a good cause with some good fun? This year we turned up the Movember fundraising campaign a notch by offering the students the chance to buy pies - and throw them at staff members! This was a very popular activity that raised several thousand crowns for the Movember charity in less than an hour - and perhaps gave students the chance for a little "payback" against teachers who have been working them hard! 

In total, the school raised 7445 kr for Movember. 9C was the class that donated the most, 1500 kr, and they will get a pizza party as a thank you. And, the clear winner for best staff mustache this year was Mr. Mattes - congratulations! Many thanks to everyone who took part in this successful fundraiser.


Ali's New Adventure

Ali Rahman, Internationella Engelska Skolan, acting.

Ali Rahman is a student in class 9F at the International English School in Gävle. When his Spanish teacher, Ms. Hevia, told the students in the spring that Utbildningsradion (UR) was looking for new participants for a Spanish educational program for teens, Ali saw his chance, and an adventure of new proportions started!

After an initial mailed-in video and a nervous skype interview, the film team came to Gävle for a personal meeting and more detailed screen tests. Ali felt good about the filming, even if it was nervous, and there were some slips of the tongue. However, it should be stressed that the film team was not looking for an expert, says Ali, who has studied Spanish since Year 7.

After a week-long wait, Ali's mother finally received the phone call he had been waiting for: - Ali! You have been selected, welcome to Spain and the making of season 2 of ¡HABLA YA!

For the first time in his 14-year-old life, Ali traveled abroad on his own. He went to Spain, stayed with the film team, and got to try out his Spanish skills both on and off set.  According to Ali, the biggest challenge is that some Spanish people speak incredibly fast. 

When asked if being in front of the camera piqued his interest in filming, he replies:

- Yes, it was fun, I want to do it again!

What was most difficult while filming?

- Uncontrollable laughing attacks, we had to do quite a few retakes.

Ali will be speaking Spanish again already on Thursday, with Ms. Hevia and his classmates in the classroom on Södra Sjötullsgatan. In the future, he will continue his Spanish studies at gymnasiet, and of course, he hopes to visit Spain again to continue developing his Spanish language skills! 

All of us here at IESG congratulate Ali on his selection and on a job well done!

For those who are interested, the programs are now available to view at

Hasta la vista!

From the Principal

IES Gävle Sr parking situation

The neighbourhood around the Engelska Skolan Sr building is going through major changes. Old buildings are torn down, and new ones are planned. This results in a very chaotic parking situation.

Basically, there is no visitors' parking, except behind the school, along Styrmansgatan, and it is unfortunately pretty much full from early mornings.

So, here's a map with "close by" parking, both free and paid. Good to know when you are visiting us!


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If you have any suggestions/ideas or complaints about this, please talk to our landlord, Castellum.

IES Gävle Sr kickar igång årets stora SV/SO/EN ämnesövergripande projekt, the Scrapbook, med en föreläsning av Emerich Roth

Parts of the swedish department together with Mr. Roth

Onsdagen den 19 september var en stor dag på  Internationella Engelska skolan i Gävle då Emerich Roth återigen besökte skolan. Emerich överlevde Förintelsen och vi är evigt tacksamma att han orkar fortsätta berätta och besöka skolor i landet. Detta är den fjärde gången i ordningen han besöker våra årskurs nior och när vi skiljs åt på eftermiddagen så säger vi glatt till varandra  "vi ses nästa år".

Emerichs berättelse är otroligt tuff att ta sig an och man känner av spänningen i gympasalen där 200 elever  från åk 9 samlats. Temat är andra världskriget och Förintelsen. Dagen börjar med en film där Emerich berättar om hela händelseförloppet. Han berättar om hur han och hans familj i dåvarande Tjeckoslovakien, nuvarande Ukraina, förflyttas till ett tillfälligt ghetto för att sedan transporteras i boskapsvagnar till Auschwitz. Där splittras familjen och Emerich får senare veta att hans två yngsta syskon och mamma gasats ihjäl direkt vid ankomsten. Från Auschwitz och dödsmarschen så överlever Emerich totalt fyra andra koncentrationsläger innan de befrias av ryssarna. Hans historia beskriver vad det yttersta våldet och hatet kan göra med människor.

Emerich är idag 94 år gammal och när han går ut på scenen så får han rungande applåder. Eleverna tystnar och sedan sprider Emerich sitt budskap om kärlek. Om han fick välja skulle alla gränser vara öppna i världen och den enda religionen vi skulle följa skulle vara kärlekens. Han menar att ingen människa föds ond utan vid avsaknad av kärlek och bra förebilder så kan detta barn bli ont. Hans budskap till eleverna fortsätter med att säga att om vi känner någon som far illa så kan man hjälpa honom eller henne och det är viktigt att man gör det. Ingen kan hjälpa alla men alla kan hjälpa någon.

Ett viktigt budskap når eleverna idag och det märks väl att de är tagna av stämningen. Det är magiskt att vi får dela detta tillfälle tillsammans och att vi nu kan föra detta vidare till kommande generationer.

Vid pennan,

Ms Holmkvist, lärare i svenska