Barbara Bergström, a US citizen and former science teacher, founded IES in 1993. She was convinced that there was a better way to run a school than what she had witnessed while working as a teacher at municipal schools in Sweden. Based on her observations as a teacher, Barbara Bergström established an educational concept based on the three fundamental beliefs that still permeate IES:
- Command of the English language. English has become a common global language, “the key to the world”. Children should learn to master the English language – not just be familiar with it – at an early age. Fluency is best achieved through language immersion, with instruction by native English-speaking teachers in an international environment.
- A safe and orderly school environment where teachers can teach and students can learn. Order, structure and safety are necessary prerequisites for learning. A school characterized by order and calm learning conditions also signals respect for the value of education. “Tough love” became the motto for a school which is strict on behavioral norms but simultaneously conveys love for students and a strong will to help every child reach his or her academic potential. Practicing good manners and proper behavior in the workplace, combined with an appreciation of the positive results of hard work, prepares students for success as adults.
- High academic expectations and aspirations. IES holds the belief that every child can achieve success irrespective of social background. This ambition to support every student in the realization of his or her own potential applies to both those requiring special support to meet standards as well as gifted learners.