Good evening and Happy Holidays to all of you in the Futuraskolan community,
I hope this post finds you cozy, warm and inside from the winter chill. The season of solstice brings warm family gatherings, candles and good cheer and a well-deserved, relaxing break for the students in the community.
Festivals of light and winter traditions are amongst the most popular festivals of the year in many cultures.
Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period. As Northern Europe was the last part to Christianize, Scandinavia’s pagan traditions had a major influence on the traditional Christmas celebrations we experience today. Many current Christmas rituals emerged during the difficult winters pagans often encountered. Candlelight conquered darkness and evergreens were valued for remaining green in even the harshest weather. Singing, drinking and dancing, meanwhile, reduced isolation and kept people positive.
For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. While Diwali is popularly known as the “festival of lights”, the most significant spiritual meaning behind it is “the awareness of the inner light”. Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment, while Soyal is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi Indians in North America. The main purpose of this ritual is to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber.
Light, family, culture and song, these are the common tenants that mark the celebration of the solstice in many global cultures, as well as our local culture at Futuraskolan.
This month we have enjoyed celebrations of song, art and culture both in our local communities and amongst our respective schools. Our Lucia train at Futuraskolan International Bergtorp reached across town and spread to the local community. Our Literary Prize celebration recognized our fine young authors who submitted poetry and essays for publication as a part of our Nobel Day celebrations. Many of our schools are currently working with the theme Traditions as the central theme of their learning units.
A vibrant learning environment based on a celebration of our community. This has been the theme of the term.
Looking forward to 2019 we are excited about what the future has in store for us.
Starting in January we will begin our development process for our International Baccalaureate (IB) Gymnasium which we plan to initiate in 2021. Furthermore, we have a host of community festivals in the works for the spring term 2019.
In March we will all join hands in what I believe is our most festive celebration of the year, The Futuraskolan Music Festival. Here students from all of our schools will treat us to songs, dance routines and instrumentals coordinated by our outstanding music teachers. Please plan to join us, it is a celebration of the creativity and passion that helps define us at Futuraskolan.
Later in the spring our amazing leadership group at Futuraskolan International School of Stockholm will hold our first annual Model United Nations Conference. During this event, students will be given country assignments and will go through the United Nations processes of formal lobbying, writing resolutions and trying to get their input to United Nations policy formally recognized in the General Assembly. It’s an amazing experience for our students. Last year we sent students to New York and Rome to compete in MUN events. Please encourage your grade 7-9 students to ask their teachers about this. There is no better way to be a global citizen than to ensure that your personal beliefs are interweaved into the discussion about global policy.
Lastly, in May and June we will have all of the grade 9 students from the organization together for a fun picnic in preparation for our annual Grade 9 Prom. Here we celebrate as a community the amazing efforts of your young men and women as they embark on their journey to higher education.
When looking at the results from the year we are grateful for the tremendous efforts of the community to help ensure that we remain, from a grading perspective, the number one free school organization in Sweden (275.2 grade point average).
Along with our good fortune comes an ethic responsibility, and I would encourage you to make this a part of your dinner table discussions during this time of year.
When we celebrate with family and friends this year we must keep in mind that outside our doors there exist less fortunate families than our own.
At both Futuraskolan International Kottla and Stockholm our Global Citizenship projects aim to support the members of our global community who do not have the opportunities that we share. By taking our students to elderly centers to read and play music for their members, or going to local churches on the weekends to feed the homeless, to working with PLAN International in their offices every second week, to raising money for our outreach projects across the global, we aim to embody the spirit of giving that is such a core part of who Futuraskolan aims to be.
Please have a talk with your students about how you too can support these projects. By doing so you help us to enforce one of our core beliefs that when you lend a hand to your neighbor you are standing for the goodness and humility that we encapsulate as true global citizens.
Thank you all for a wonderful and exciting term of study. We are grateful for you having chosen Futuraskolan to entrust with the social and academic development of your fine students. This is a show of faith that we do not take lightly and we are dedicated to honoring your trust in us.
Happy Holidays everyone 🙂
Good afternoon members of the Futuraskolan community and happy Nobel Day,
In celebration of Nobel Day I’d like to share for your reading pleasure the complete works of the Futuraskolan Literary Prize.
Sweden has a long and vibrant history of literary greats. Taking inspiration from them, we have constructed a yearly Literary Prize competition so that we can put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Futuraskolan’s young contemporary authors.
All of the works you will read help to illuminate the vital contemporary issues and demonstrate the transformative power of literature on both thought and culture.
We are deeply honoured that our young artists chose to share their hearts and minds with us in the form of their essay or poetry entries to the prize.
The following are the writers from our schools who have been recognized for excellence in English writing and prose:
Colours of Autumn – The Different Phases of Life by Akshainie Sharan
We the Free Birds in the Zoo by Ella Nilsson
Syria by Duong Thuy Nguyen
Deadly Deception by Aimee Wark
A Man by Sara Bratt
Literary Prize Entry Piece by Julius Gorme
Life Sucks by Anonymous
The Ballade Train by Nessa Moran
Read them all here . Futuraskolan International Literary Prize – 2018
Thank you all . Tom Callahan CEO – Futuraskolan AB
Good afternoon members of the Futuraskolan community,
Happy Monday! What a lovely sunshiny autumn day it is.
It is a festive time of the year for us working in the food department. Preparing for next week’s Thanksgiving celebration, our Nobel Lunch on Monday December 10th and our annual “Julbord” served on Lucia Day, the 13th of December. We aim to provide a warm culinary experience for our fine students while celebrating our local and International traditions.
As always, working hard to find the right high quality produce and making the extra effort to work with distributors who represent the ethical values of Futuraskolan is a priority for us.
A great example of this is the pork meat and handmade sausages we buy from Svenska Gårdar. All of their meats are coming from farms prized for their animal welfare and the products are made without artificial additives. This is important to us when we choose our purveyors as we aim to serve our students warm and healthy meals that also represent our core values.
Following these guidelines and ambitions, this season we will also be serving our students food that is:
Fresh: Never frozen, avoiding semi-finished products.
Swedish: Local produce, aiming for short transport and low CO2 footprint.
Seasonal: Produce in season are flavourful and are sold at the best possible price
Once our students have left us for the holidays, the head chefs and I will start writing the menu for the spring semester. Combining the wishes from our students from the Student Councils (Elevsråd) in the organization and adhering to the guidelines the authorities gives us, we aim to prepare student friendly, healthy choices for our fine students lunch experience.
You can find our menu at: https://skolmaten.se/futuraskolan-international/. And if you have questions or concerns about our processes please give me a mail or a call, or drop by my office at Erik Dahlbergsgatan for a coffee and a chat.
We are grateful for your efforts and support and are always eager to receive your feedback.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone and we wish you a warm and family orientated Holiday Season from all of us at Futuraskolan AB.
Head Chef – Futuraskolan AB
A spooky day has been had by all at Futuraskolan International Preschool Danderyd.
Pumpkins, ghosts, spooks, witches and ghouls we’re out to fright and delight!
Good afternoon members of the Futuraskolan community,
It is with excitement and joy that I write to you today to formally introduce the newest member of our Futuraskolan Leadership Team, Ms. Rachel-Ann Björk. Rachel will assume the leadership of our Futuraskolan International Gåshaga school effective December 1, 2018.
Rachel’s work was first introduced to me when she was named Head of Mathematics at Internationella Engelska Skolan Bromma in 2010. During our time working together she constructed a sound set of academic processes that helped place IESB among the top 20 academic institutions in Sweden.
In time Rachel was entrusted with an expanding set of leadership assignments. She was a member of the team that opened IES Liljeholmen in 2013. As a result of her exemplary work there she was assigned the task of opening three other schools over the coming years, concluding with her accepting the Principal role at IES Alvsjö in 2016.
Rachel brings a dynamic and progressive set of leadership processes to the organization. We are thrilled that she has chosen to honor us by agreeing to work alongside us in our pursuit of excellence.
Grade 9 students from Futuraskolan ISoS – Bilingual attended a mega science event “Forskar Fredag” in Stockholm and were featured in their published video, check it out!
Students from Futuraskolan International Rådan appear in a segment discussing #metoo a year on since the internet hashtag was spawned. skip to 4:15 Lilla Aktuellt
Good afternoon members of the Futuraskolan community,
I hope this post finds you cozy, warm and inside from the autumn chill. The season of harvest brings a new phase in our year, as the efforts of yesterday begin to bear fruit.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the amazing parents and teachers in our community for your outstanding efforts over the previous academic year. Just last week Skolverket released their formal statistics for the year, and once again your efforts and engagement have resulted in a set of impressive academic results at the hands of our fine student body.
There are different ways to measure students’ academic progress and personal growth. Still, summative results can best be viewed as a matter of fact, and not opinion. This year our amazing grade 6 students have passed all of their subjects at an 88.8% success rate. When comparing this result to other free school organizations (Internationella Engelska Skolan’s result was 86.5%, and Acadamedia’s result was 79.7%) we can see that your dedication and diligence has resulted in an impressive set of standards achieved by the students in our care.
Furthermore, when we dig deeper and focus our attention on our 9th graders merit points we see that your efforts have led to once again an exemplary performance. Our students left grade 9 last year with a 275.2 grade point average. When compared to the previously stated free schools (Internationella Engelska Skolan’s result was 272.8, while Acadamedia’s was 244.8) we have every reason to conclude that the support members of the organization have truly made a positive impact.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a community to create a culture. Parents and teachers, thank you for your dedication, your efforts and your passionate diligence in helping to guide our fine students in this personal growth process based on academic success. You stand out as amongst the most successful academic organizations in Sweden, and for that we commend you.
And I know you would all agree that our deepest respects today go out to the amazing students in our care.
Students, you have achieved what no previous student group at Futuraskolan has ever achieved. You have done so in a world that is multifaceted and complex. You have done so in a world where dialogue is often replaced by rhetoric, and discord has been replaced by dissent.
Yet still you persevere. With your compassion, your creativity, your intuition and intellect, you have managed to transcend the global condition brought forth by your elders to help make this world a more conscious and caring community. For this we salute you. And please know that I am confident that I speak for all of the elders in the Futuraskolan community:
We are proud of you.
Thank you all once again for your dedicated efforts in helping make Futuraskolan the leading free school organization in Sweden.
I am honored to have my name placed beside your work.
Have a great weekend everyone.
My name is Tom Callahan and I am honored to have been chosen to assume the role of acting CEO of Futuraskolan. I am the proud father of Cassandra and Julius (ages 16 and 18) and live with them in Tyresö. During my free time I like to go running, I am a scuba diving instructor so I love to scuba dive and I am a huge Seattle sports fan.
My role in the organization is to develop the various groups in the community (parents, students and teachers) so that we together can provide a vibrant and stimulating environment where students can achieve their goals in relation to the Swedish National Curriculum. Our aim is to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment where students are valued and challenged. My ultimate aim is for all the students in the organization to leave grade 9 with a reason to feel proud of themselves.
My motivation mainly comes from my schooling many years ago. For a few of my teenage years, school and I did not agree with each other. I had family and personal events outside of school that were very impactful to me and made me question my personal value. Luckily, I had a few adults who never gave up on me, who were firm yet gentle in their handling of me, and who instilled in me the belief that I could go wherever my wishes took me as long as I was willing to take the steps to get there. This inspired me to go into teaching. I will never forget when, as a student in teachers college, I was assigned an inner city school group in America to work with. Many of these students were from disadvantaged homes and one thing that I saw was a key component of their success was how much I proved to them that I believed in them. I left this teaching assignment with a clear belief that I still hold to this day, that sometimes the only thing a person needs to start on the road to success is for someone to believe in them.
I will be employing this philosophy every day in the various schools and preschools in the organization. By looking for student success, leading the staff by introducing them to new learning theories and models of instruction and holding parent seminars where we can share our common ideas and perspectives about the development of the respective schools and preschools I hope to foster a vibrant and cooperative learning organization that is both student centered and ambitious in scope. My ultimate aim is to develop the community so that we are working together towards a common goal. This goal is student growth through academic achievement.
You will be able to find me in front of the schools or preschools in the mornings greeting the students as they arrive, in my office during the day, or by mail or phone outside of normal working hours.
We have a progressive and dynamic organization built on an amazing teaching staff and an engaged and supportive group of parents.
I encourage you to come have a look around, try our lunch in one of our fine lunchrooms, and see our spectacular teachers and students at work. Or, stop by for a coffee and a chat with me here at headquarters.
Your perspective is important to us so please make your opinion known. Then we are better able to share in our common goal of developing productive and capable future world citizens.
Have a fantastic afternoon!