Home Education School

Widely used in preschools in Sweden, the Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy that has gained world-wide popularity due to its holistic approach, placing the natural development of the child at its core.

7551690792_0957eb8643_cPhoto: Penn State/ Flickr (file)

Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach, had a vision for a public school that aims to combine the children’s welfare, education and fundamental rights with the social needs of families. His philosophy is founded upon three central beliefs; firstly, each child is unique, secondly, children construct their own experience and thirdly, a child-centered approach is central to learning. 

What is ‘Reggio Emilia’?

Reggio Emilia is named after a small city in northern Italy. After WWII and the destruction that it had caused, parents in Reggio Emilia decided that a new type of education needed to be established. Cue: Loris Malaguzzi, a local teacher and parent. Inspired by the ideas of pedagogical theorists such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, she supplied the demand by founding the Reggio Emilia approach, an approach very different from the traditional school setting at the time.

One of the key principles in this approach is a belief in the positive image of the child. It builds on the concept that each child has the desire to connect with others, to engage in learning and to enter into a relationship with their environment.

What are its main principles?

  • Education based on Interrelationships – a network exists between the children, parents, and the teachers, all working towards the same purpose.  This network creates cooperation, collaboration and co-construction of knowledge.

  • Each person constructs their own intelligence from direct interaction with the environment and in social groups.

  • Child-centered philosophy – the child’s interests guide the curriculum.

  • The teacher’s role is complex; they are learners alongside the children while they are also the researcher and contributor to the child’s capacity to learn.

  • The school environment is “the third teacher”; a positive environment encourages participation and discovery. Space is organized for projects and children’s work is displayed around the school. The arrangement of structures, objects, and activities encourages choice, problem-solving and curiosity.

  • Long-term projects are undertaken as vehicles for learning – ideas may spring from both the children and teachers.

  • Documentation is a key element; it communicates the life of the school and the development and learning process of each child using many sources, such as photographs, note-taking and the child’s work itself.

  • Real-life experience, such as field trips, allow children to question the world and develop theories.

The Hundred Languages of Children


A child has a hundred languages, but is robbed of ninety-nine.  Schools and culture separate the head from the body, they force you to think without a body and to act without a head.  Play and work, reality and imagination, science and the fantastic, the inside and the outside, are made into each other’s opposites.

- Loris Malaguzzi

In Reggio Emilia, there is an expression: “A child has a hundred languages.” Whilst children explore, investigate and test their ideas, they are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding through a symbolic language, of which children have many (such as drawing, painting, dramatic play, and writing).

Key to understanding the mind-set behind Malaguzzi’s approach to learning is her poem, the Hundred Languages of Children:

The Hundred Languages of Children

The child is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred.

Always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling, of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi

Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


For more information about this approach, contact the Reggio Emilia Institute in Sweden. They organize workshops and can provide material for you to read.


Dodd-Nufrio, A.T. Reggio Emilia, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey (2011).  Early Childhood Education Journal, 39, pp. 235-237.

Reggio Emilia Institutet, Stockholm  www.reggioemilia.se

Reggio Emilia Organization, New Zealand www.reggioemilia.org.nz



Sarit Grinberg

More and more we are seeing a rise in alternative schools, and the meaning of ‘education’ has become relative as there is no one way to educate. The world is quickly changing and schools need to adapt so that they can prepare the student – the individual – for the future.

Montessori Tools

At the same time, some parents are becoming increasingly disappointed with public schools, and with the traditional or ‘mainstream’ way of teaching and learning. Alternative education has become a trend and is growing rapidly around the world. With the school choice system in Sweden, parents have the right to choose any school for their child, making it easy for parents to choose alternative schools. In addition, any of these alternatives are run as independent schools, which means parents do not need to pay large fees.

Most schools in Sweden are run using the Reggio Emilia approach. We shall runa full article on this type of schooling later. For now, here are some alternative education programs that are growing around the world, and are available here in Sweden.

Waldorf Education

Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy

What is it?

Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education is a humanistic approach to pedagogy, based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Learning is interdisciplinary, integrating practical, artistic, and conceptual elements. The approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning. Another important concept is the threefold nature of the human being in which body, soul and spirit are taken into consideration.

In Waldorf education, the idea is to engage the feelings of the child through art, music and rhythm. There are over 900 schools around the world.


Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head. One of the goals is to provide young people the basis on which to develop into free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals, and to help every child fulfil his or her unique destiny.

The central focus for the Waldorf teacher is the development of that essence in every person that is independent of external appearance, by instilling in his/her pupils an understanding of and appreciation for their background and place in the world, not only as members of any specific nation, ethnic group or race, but as members of humanity and world citizens.

Structure and Curriculum

The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive, structured to respond to the three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 6 or 7 years, from 7 to 14 years and from 14 to 18 years. Teachers are to provide meaningful support for the child to comprehend these phases fully and to bring “age appropriate” content to the children that nourishes healthy growth. Schools and teachers are given considerable freedom to define curricula within collegial structures.

There are Waldorf schools all over Sweden. For a full list of schools, click here.

A traditional Waldorf toy – the Rainbow. Photo Credit: Rjabinnik and Rounien

In the news

  • On October 31st 2012, the School Inspectorate announced that the request to start an inner city school with a Waldorf approach has been approved.
  • A 2007 study in Sweden comparing Waldorf and state schools reported that Waldorf pupils were more likely to have a positive learning attitude, less likely to have passing tests as the goal of their learning, and had a “more in-depth study style” in higher education. They also showed more tolerant attitudes to minority groups and less tolerance of racist ideologies, were more involved with social and moral questions and were more likely to believe in the social efficacy of love, solidarity, and civil courage as opposed to legislation or police control. Waldorf students also tended to wait longer before attending university.
  • A 2012 study of Waldorf pupils in Germany concluded that, in comparison to state school pupils, Waldorf students are significantly more enthusiastic about learning, report having more fun and being less bored in school, more often feel individually met, and learn more from school about their personal academic strengths.
  • Despite the fact that Waldorf students are less exposed to standardized testing, U.S. Waldorf students’ SAT scores have usually come above the national average.


Montessori Education

What is it?

192px-Maria_Montessori1913Montessori education, developed by Maria Montessori, is practised in around 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to 18 years old.

Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.

The Montessori classroom, sometimes called the ‘children’s community’, is a carefully prepared environment designed to facilitate the development of the children’s independence and sense of personal empowerment.  In this environment, children move freely within it, selecting work that captures their interest. Every small child is responsible for their own environment. When they are hungry, they prepare their own snacks and drinks, they go to the bathroom without assistance, and when they make a mess, they help each other clean it up.

Children are encouraged to learn and experience on their own. The teacher’s role in Montessori education is not primarily to impart knowledge – rather to observe the children and pay attention to each child’s needs and provide the stimulus that corresponds to each child’s maturity and interest.

The Montessori Method goes from the concrete to the abstract, which means that many concrete materials are used during the early school years. The goal is for students to be able to think abstractly.


The main purpose of a Montessori school is to provide carefully planned, stimulating environment which will help the child develop a foundation for creative learning.

More specific goals are 1) to develop a positive attitude toward school; 2) to help each child develop self confidence; 3) Assisting each child in building a habit of concentration; 4) fostering an abiding curiosity; 5) developing habits of initiative and persistence; and 6) fostering inner security and sense of order in the child.


Known as the ‘Cosmic Curriculum’, the Montessori approach is interdisciplinary, as subjects are woven together. The children make connections between the subject areas spontaneously.

During the early years, the curriculum introduces the children to phonetic sounds, and continues with spontaneous reading and grammar activities.

One of the most important tools in Montessori education is working with specialized educational materials, which are selected for each group. Students learn concepts from working with these materials, rather than by direct instruction

Children working on the phonogram moveable alphabet

Characteristics of a Montessori School:

  • Mixed aged classes
  • Highly individualized
  • Students have their own plan that will guide them in their independent work
  • Freedom with responsibility
  • An environment without traditional school desks
  • Homework uncommon below elementary level
  • Critical thinking encouraged
  • Many activities contribute towards resolution of conflict

For a list of Montessori schools in Sweden, visit:


***Interesting Fact***

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the search engine Google.com credit their years as Montessori students as a major factor behind their success.


Kunskapsskolan (Knowledge School)

signaturbildKunskapsskolan is one the largest chains of independent or “free” schools in Sweden, serving primary and secondary students. The main characteristic of Kunskapsskolan is ‘personalized learning.’

The classes are small and students have a personal tutor for support and inspiration. Students are assessed and challenged, yet each student’s needs and abilities are considered to be important in shaping the work they are given. Kunskapssolan provides personalized education, and unlike other educational settings, students develop a close contact with their teachers.

Teachers at Kunskapsskolan assume and adapt to the student’s goals, aspirations and circumstances. Each student has one of the school teachers as his personal tutor. When the student starts at the school, students, parents and tutors put together the goals for the results they aim for for the 9th grade. They are then broken down into term and weekly targets which are monitored in personal coaching calls every week.

Each student has his own weekly planning – a personal schedule – based on what needs to be done to achieve the goals. Students have the option to read at a faster pace, to choose between different levels of difficulty and to put more time in the schedule for topics they find difficult.

The main outcome is for all students to learn and achieve high academic performance, yet not to do it the same way and at the same rate as everyone else.

For more information, visit: http://www.kunskapsskolan.se


Home Schooling


Although it is not completely illegal (as there are exceptions), it is very difficult to get approval for home schooling.  Sweden approved a law in 2010 that restricts home schooling even further, which has led over a dozen families to flee Sweden. The restriction on homeschooling has been protested by many, arguing that it goes against human rights.


Parents have the opportunity to visit schools by appointment or during open houses where they can get a better feel for the school. Take the opportunity to research further the different choices you have, and think about your child’s needs and abilities: Which approach and environment would be best for your child? Everyone has an opinion or experience of one or another approach, but the important thing to note is that there is no ONE best approach, just one that works best for YOU!











Article by Sarit Grinberg

Photo Credit:  nerxswhgrad



When moving to a foreign country with kids, choosing which school they go to is a major consideration. International schools are often a great choice for parents who plan on staying for only a short term, for parents with specific language preferences or for parents who would like a different approach from the normal Swedish schooling system. These international schools have the ability to accommodate a melting pot of children who will attend from a few months up to a number of years. The list of Stockholm international schools is below.

Map of Stockholm’s International Schools 2013

View Stockholm International Schools in a larger map

Click on the map’s blue flags for the school’s name and information.

View Stockholm International Schools in a larger map

If we have missed anything or if any information needs to be updated, please let us know.

List of Stockholm’s International Schools (age 5 & up)

British International Primary School of Stockholm

Östra Valhallavägen 17, 182 68, Djursholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-755 23 75

Fax: +46 (0)8-755 26 35

Curriculum/Language: British/English

Grades: Preschool & 1-7

Email: borgen@britishinternationalprimaryschool.se

Web: www.britishinternationalprimaryschool.se

Map: Click Here

Dé Nederlande School in Stockholm

p/a British International Primary School

Östra Valhallavägen 17, 182 68 Djursholm, Sweden

Tel: +46 (0)8-755 08 33

Grades: Primary school and secondary education

Language: Dutch

Email: nlschoolstockholm@hotmail.com

Website: www.nlschoolstockholm.se

Map: Click Here

Deutsche Schule Stockholm

Karlavägen 25, 114 31 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0) 8 679 98 44

Curriculum/language: German

Grades: Preschool & 1 -12

Email: dss@tyskaskolan.se

Web: www.tyskaskolan.org

Map: Click Here

Engelska Skolan Norr

Roslagstullsbacken 4, 114 21 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-441 8580

Fax: +46 (0)8-673 2915

Curriculum/ Language: Swedish /English

Grades: Preschool – 5 & 6 -9

E-mail: info@esn.se

Web: www.esn.se

Map: Click Here

Europaskolan (Södermalm)

Gotlandsgatan 43, 116 65 Stockholm

Tel. (Info centre) : +46 (0)8-33 50 56

Tel. (Principal: Anette Parts): +46 (0)8-33 50 54

Language: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 9

Email (Info centre): rita.ahonen@europaskolan.nu

Email (Principal): anette.parts@europaskolan.nu

Web: www.europaskolan.nu

Map: Click Here

Europaskolan (Vasastan)

Luntmakargatan 101, 113 51 Stockholm

Tel. (Info Centre): +46 (0)8-33 50 56

Tel. (Principal: Anette Parts): +46 (0)8-33 50 54

Language: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool – Primary School

Email (Info centre): rita.ahonen@europaskolan.nu

Email (Principal): anette.parts@europaskolan.nu

Web: www.europaskolan.nu

Map: Click Here

Fisksätraskolan (International School in Nacka)

Bräntvägen 1, 133 04 Saltsjöbaden

Tel: +46 (0) 8 718 83 00

Fax: +46 (0) 8 718 83 02

Grades: Preschool – 9

Language: English/Swedish

Email: fisksatraskolan@nacka.se

Web: www.isn.nacka.se

Map: Click Here

Franska skolan – École Française

Döbelnsgatan 9, Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 -598 889 00

Grades: Preschool & 1-12

Curriculum/Language: Swedish/ French

Email: info@franskaskolan.se

Web: www.franskaskolan.se

Map: Click Here

French Lycée (Lycée Français) Saint Louis de Stockholm

Essingestråket 24, 112 66 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0) 8 441 30 30

Curriculum/Language : French

Grades: Preschool & 1 -12

Email: secretariat@lfsl.net

Web: www.lfsl.net

Map: Click Here

Futuraskolan International School of Stockholm

Erik Dalhbergsgatan 58-62, 115 57 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0) 767 24 28 97

Grades: 1-9

Language: English

Email: info@futuraskolan.se

Web: www.futuraskolaninternational.se

Map: Click Here

The International School of the Stockholm Region (ISSR)

Bohusgatan 24-26, 116 67 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 508 426 50

Grades: 1-12

Language: English

Curriculum: IB Program

Email: issr@stockholm.se

Web: www.issr.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Kunskapsskolan

Virkesvägen 3,  Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0) 8-506 910 00

Fax: +46 (0) 8-506 910 49

Grades: High School

Curriculum: Swedish/International

Email: info@kunskapsskolan.se

Web: www.kunskapsskolan.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm

Allhelgonagatan 4, 118 58 Stockholm

Tel: +46 ( 0)8 562 28 702

Curriculum/Language: Swedish/English

Email: info@sodermalm.engelska.se

Web: www.engelskagymnasiet.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Engelska Skolan i Bromma

Riksbyvägen 40-48, 168 74 Bromma

Tel: +46 (0) 8 120 651 40

Curriculum/language: Swedish /English

Grades: 4 – 9

Email: info@bromma.engelska.se

Web: bromma.engelska.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Engelska Skolan i Enskede

Lingvägen 123, 122 45 Enskede

Tel: +46 (0)8-505 533 00

Fax: +46 (0)8-505 533 11

Curriculum/Lauange: Swedish/English

Grades: 6 – 9

E-mail: linda.degreef@enskede.engelska.se

Web: enskede.engelska.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Engelska Skolan i Nacka

Augustendalsvägen 1, 131 52 Nacka Strand

Tel: +46 (0)8-562 969 00

Curriculum/language: Swedish /English

Grades: 4 – 9

Email: info@nacka.engelska.se

Web: nacka.engelska.se

Map: Click Here

Internationella Engelska Skolan i Täby

Nytorpsvägen 7, 183 53 Täby

Tel. (Sr. School Secretary): +46 (0)8 473 72 81

Tel. (Jr. School Secretary): +46 (0)8 120 457 66

Curriculum/Language: Swedish /English

Grades: 4 – 6 (Junior School) & 7 – 9 (Senior School)

Email: info@taby.engelska.se

Web: taby.engelska.se

Map: Click Here

Johannes Skola

Roslagsgatan 61, 113 54 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-508 445 00

Fax: +46 (0)8-508 445 20

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 6

Curriculum/ Language: Curriculum based on the Swedish course plan. Classes are in Swedish as well as bilingual classes in English/Swedish. Native English-speaking teachers provide education in English as a second language in the Swedish classes and teach half of the subjects in the bilingual classes.

Email: johannesskola@stockholm.se

Web: www.johannesskola.stockholm.se

Map: Click Here

Kista International School

Bilingual School

Sibeliusgången 11, 164 77 Kista

Tel: +46 (0)08 – 510 602 90 (head office) or +46 (0)510 602 92 (English Section)

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 9

Email: info@kistaschool.se

Web: http://kistaschool.se/eng/

Map: Click Here

Kungsholmens Gymnasium

International Section

Hantverkargatan 67-69, 112 92 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-508 380 00 (head office) or +46 (0)8-508 380 06 (International Section Office)

Grades: 10-12

Email: lesley.brunnman@.stockholm.se

Web: www.kungsholmensgymnasium.stockholm.se

Map: Click Here

Olympen Skolor & Forskola (3 campuses)

Jungfrugatan 51-53, 115 31 Stockholm (Svea Torn)

Stora Mans Väg 11B, Älvsjö (Långbro Park)

Tellusborgsvägen 96, 126 28 Stockholm (Telefonplan)

Tel: +46 (0) 8-664 06 31

Grades: Preschool & 1- 9

Language: Swedish/English

Email: info@olympen.se

Web: www.olympen.se

Map: Click Here (Svea Torn)

Map: Click Here (Långbro Parken)

Map: Click Here (Telefonplan)

Rudbeck Gymnasium

Malla Silfverstolpes väg 3, 192 51 Sollentuna

Tel: +46 (0) 8-57 92 18 30

Grades: IB program

Language: English

Email: info@rudbeck.se

Web: www.rudbeck.se

Map: Click here


Upplandsgatan 100, Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-508 44 800

Grades: 1 – 9

Language: Swedish / English (Bilingual programme)

Email: rodabergsskolan.rog@stockholm.se

Web: www.rodabergsskolan.stockholm.se

Map: Click Here

Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket

Manfred Björkqvists allé 8, 193 31 Sigtuna

Tel: +46 (0)8-592 571 00

Fax: +46 (0)8-592 572 50

Grades: Middle years – High School

Language: Swedish/English

Curriculum: IB program

Email: info@sshl.se

Web: www.sshl.se

Map: Click Here

Spanska Skolan Colegio Español

Västra vägen 7 C, Solna

Tel: +46 (0)8 518 06 75 or +46 (0)7 019 077 63

Grades: Preschool & 1-5

Curriculum/Language: Spanish/Swedish

Email: spanskaskolan@medborgarskolan.se

Web: www.spanskaskolan.se

Map: Click Here

Stockholm International School (Kindergarten – 9)

Johannesgatan 18, 111 38 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8-412 40 00

Fax: +46 (0)8 412 40 01

Curriculum/language: IB/English

Email: admin@intsch.se

Web: www.intsch.se

Map: Click Here

Stockholm International School (Grades 10-12)

Luntmakargatan 28, 111 37 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 412 40 09

Fax: +46 (0)8 412 40 01

Curriculum/language: IB/English

Email: admin@intsch.se

Web: www.intsch.se

Map: Click Here

Stockholms Internationella Montessoriskola

Konradsbergsgatan 24, 11259 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)705 48 48 08

Curriculum: Swedish

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 8

Email: yasmin.sundberg@stims.se

Web: www.stims.se

Map: Click Here

Stockholms Språkskola

Rågsveds skolgränd 8, 124 56 Bandhagen

Tel: +46 (0)8 508 493 00

Fax: +46 (0)8 508 493 20

Grades: 1-9

Curriculum/language: Swedish/English

Email: ragsvedsskola@stockholm.se

Web: www.stockholm.se

Map: Click Here

The Tanto International School

Flintbacken 20, 118 42 Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 669 71 71

Fax: +46 (0)8 668 60 07

Grades: Preschool ‘The English Nursery” & 1- 7

Curriculum/Language: We have the British system and show the English National Curriculum with adaptations to suit our international student body. All teaching is done in English. However, Swedish is taught mainly from Year 4 and onwards.

Info: We are a small, multi-cultural, family run school with great emphasis on high academic standards as

well as developing social skills. We work hard with all children to teach respect for themselves and others, good manners and the importance of having fun while learning.

Email: mail@tantoschool.org

Web: http://www.tantoschool.se

Map: Click Here

Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium (VRG) & Samskola (VRS)

Viktor Rydbergs väg 29, 182 62 Djursholm (VRG Djursholm)

Kungstensgatan 6, 114 25 Stockholm (VRG Jarlaplan)

Norrtullsgatan 41-43, 113 45 Stockholm (VRG Odenplan)

Viktor Rydbergs väg 2, 182 62 Djursholm (VRS)

Tel: +46 (0) 8-622 21 02

Grades: 3 Gymnasium High schools (10-12) and 1 middle school (7-9)

Curriculum/Language: Swedish/ English

Email (VRG): info@vrg.se

Email (VRS): infovrs@vrg.se

Web: www.vrg.se

Map: Click Here (VRG Djursholm)

Map: Click Here (VRG Jarlaplan)

Map: Click Here (VRG Odenplan)

Map: Click Here (VRS)

Vittra i Lidingö

Vesslevägen 3, Lidingö

Tel: +46 (0)8 636 28 70

Fax: +46 (0)8 731 59 40

Curriculum/Languages: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool & 1 -9

Email: lidingo@vittra.se

Web: www.vittra.se

Map: Click Here

Vittra i Luma Park

Lumaparksvägen 12, Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 556 949 50

Fax: +46 (0)8 556 949 59

Curriculum/Language: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 3

Email: lumapark@vittra.se

Web: www.vittra.se

Map: Click Here

Vittra i Rösjötorp

Lomvägen 100, 192 56 Sollentuna

Tel: +46 (0)8 585 755 61 (Administrator)

Curriculum/Languages: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 5

Email: rosjotorp@vittra.se

Web: www.vittra.se

Map: Click Here

Vittra i Sjöstaden

Lugnets Allé 60, Stockholm

Tel: +46 (0)8 556 979 60

Fax: +46 (0)8 556 979 61

Curriculum/Languages: Swedish/English

Grades: Preschool & 1 – 9

Email: sjostaden@vittra.se

Web: www.vittra.se

Map: Click Here

Vittra i Telefonplan

Snickerigatan 4, 126 37 Hägersten

Tel: +46 (0)8 681 69 80

Grades: Förskoleklass (Age 6) & Grades 1 – 6

Email: telefonplan@vittra.se

Web: www.vittra.se

Map: Click Here

Something missing? Incorrect? Simply contact us and let us know! We will be updating our list continually and aim to make this the best reference for international schooling in Stockholm.

Do you need to generate more inspiration, creativity and enthusiasm in your child’s learning environment?

When my daughter comes home with her homework, she is always asking “why?”. Why do I have to learn all this stuff? Why do I have to do this now?  What´s in it for me?

Eventually it all ends up in the lap of us, the parents. If I had the knowledge, extra time, teaching skills and patience it might work out just fine, but right now the hours after school are filled with stress, tears, and frustration. I started thinking, their must be a better way for our family and for the other families in Stockholm going through the same situation. Then I learned the Swedish government will pay 50% of home tutoring fees. Yes it’s time to hire a private tutor.

I asked around my network and was recommended to talk to Lyfta, a Swedish company providing home tutoring. I decided to sit down with them and ask them some questions concerning the school system in Sweden.

image by Lena Granefelt from imagebank.sweden.se

Home tutoring has until recently been scarcely utilised in Sweden, but since the political contribution through “RUT”, by 50%, the situation has dramatically changed. Parents can now easily get access to private tutors who come home to their kids and help them with their homework and school work needs.


Tell us about yourself?

LYFTA, which means “to lift”, is  a company who provide home tutoring in both Swedish and English. It is run by Malin Tyrén Bakken and Annika Olin.  Annika, 42 years, worked as a math and science teacher for many years before she became a life coach helping people finding jobs and new careers. She  is now working full time at LYFTA AB with home tutoring and school coaching.  MalinTyrén Bakken, 44 years, has a background as a teacher in Swedish, Norwegian and English and as a coach helping students with various difficulties. Together they have many years of experience from different school systems as teachers and professional school coaches and are well aware of the difficulties facing parents and students today.

“We are a response to all this and we want to make a difference! With our background as certified and experienced teachers and professional coaches, we want to give parents a choice and a tool to help their children when they face challenges in school. We educate our tutors so that they not only give them educational help, but also give them motivation, structure and the support they need to reach their goals.”

There has been a lot of discussions in the Swedish media and among politicians about the Swedish school system, but the teachers themselves remain quite silent. Why do you think this is the case?

“We often get the answer that there´s so much to do as a teacher, meetings and reports to fill in and more meetings. The time to reflect over the lessons and the students is not there. And when the world outside the school starts to talk about the school, the teachers have a feeling that nobody listens to them anyway. So they remain silent and keep on trying to do their their best. ”

How do think this situation can be changed?

“School coaching is starting to become a known phenomena now, since several TV-programs have pointed out the problems with student who don’t pass the minimum qualifications in the main subjects. The School Ministry have just started a new and very interesting project where they involve school coaches in the class rooms to give feedback and coaching to teachers in schools who volunteer to receive this help. LYFTA is a private initiative in this direction. Through feedback and powerful questioning, we want the teachers to find their own answers to improve their teaching- and leadership skills in order to lift the students. We also have on-line coaching and educational programs for both principals, teachers and students for different needs. We live in a world where flexibility in time and space is necessary, that is why we have tried to give our best tools and tips through these interactive on-line programs.”

How do these services make a difference?

“Today we have many students engaged in our programs and our tutors visit them once or twice per week to help them with their home work. The satisfaction  for the students when they succeed with their homework is so rewarding! We are here to make a difference, that´s the only thing that matters in the end.”

What gives you the motivation to do what you do?

“The truth is always simple when it´s good… The mission is development through challenges, where the goal is to become a little bit better as a person in some way, a little bit happier and fulfilled, and to spred that to the world. We try to do this through LYFTA by focusing on schools, students and teachers to give them a momentum  forward on their road to better personal and professional development.”

To find out more head to www.lyfta.nu

Or Contact:

Annika Olin


070-489 07 02

Cover Image: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se

As a response to a growing demand for a truly international education at the primary and secondary levels, the City of Stockholm will finance an international school that starts August 2012

-The International School of the Stockholm Region, ISSR-

Preparing students to live in a multilingual and multicultural world


The International School of the Stockholm Region’s mission is to provide a high quality international education and a safe learning environment. All students will be welcomed with respect for their personal and cultural identities and will be offered an education which allows them to develop to their full potential.


The school will offer all three International Baccalaureate programmes:

• Primary Years Programme

• Middle Years Programme

• Diploma Programme


ISSR will be managed by IB School South which has offered the Diploma Programme both to the international and the local communities since 1999 with results well above the world average.

The International School of the Stockholm Region’s states their learning environment will be built on an atmosphere where intellectual growth, personal reflection and international mindedness are the core concern of everyone. Their primary goals are to prepare their students for higher education as they also prepare them for life. Academically strong programmes, as the IB, provide a forum of inquiry and opportunities for the development of critical thinking and reasoning skills. These will be balanced by school-wide practices that encourage diversity and foster personal integrity, mutual respect and development of self-esteem.


All aspects of international school life are considered. ISSR will be free of charge and available to children of temporary residents in Stockholm and the surrounding region. The language of instruction will be English. English as an Additional Language (EAL) and mother tongue classes will also be provided according to need.


The school will have a library and a professional team for student health. The school will also offer extra curricular activities and after school care for students ages 5–11. ISSR is situated in the inner city near Skanstull. The fully equipped school building is easily accessed by car and public transportation. The grounds include a newly built sports facility, football field and green, safe playgrounds.






How to apply

Students will be accepted throughout
the year through submission of
an application. For more information
please contact head of school Karin
Henrekson Ahlberg.
Phone: +46 70 771 92 53

Are you currently trying to figure out what the best options are for your child’s education in Stockholm? Or simply don’t know which questions to ask? Choosing the right school, whether international, English or Swedish, is not an easy decision. Our newest contributor Sarit Grinberg, has an inside view of the school system in Sweden, and shares her experience and insight that should help you find what your looking for and make some of your decisions a little easier…

Families coming from abroad are likely to look into the many international schools available in the city of Stockholm. Though there are a lot to choose from, parents often get frustrated with the choices, not knowing the differences between the schools.

Of course you want the best for your child, and depending on where you come from, you may be looking for a specific environment or pedagogical focus. This guide will help you choose which school is right for your child.

Here is information you should read before enrolling your child in a school.

First, let’s take a look at the Swedish school system:

Compulsory education in Sweden is from year 1 to 9 (approximately from the age of 7-16).

From the age of one, children can attend pre-school (förskola). They can go from daycare style settings to kindergarten style settings, depending on their age. The year before a child goes to the first grade, they have the opportunity to attend the Pre-school class (Förskoleklass), which is similar to the kindergarten year in many countries. From year 1-9, children attend compulsory comprehensive school (grundskola). After year 9, students then can attend a 3 year high school programme (Gymnasieskola). From the Pre-school class (Förskoleklass), children have the opportunity to have Modersmål (mother tongue) classes. These classes are for children who speak a language other than Swedish at home. An instructor comes to the school and helps the child practice and develop their first language. This program is paid by the government. Parents only need to talk to the school administration and fill out a form.

Who runs the schools?

Most schools in Sweden are municipally run. There are many public schools and independent schools, and just a handful of private schools. In Sweden, there has been an explosion of independently run schools. What does this mean? It means that individuals or organizations have been allowed (since 1992) to open and run their own schools with the approval of the government. These schools get funding from the municipality they belong to, and in return they have to follow the Swedish curriculum and laws.

Most international schools are independently run.

What is the admission process?

Whether they are preschools, primary schools, or high schools – schools are to have open applications, but admission preference goes to children who live close to the school and those with siblings already enrolled. The admission process normally starts with the parents filling out an application form from the school website, and sending it in electronically. There may be a queue for many schools, which is why it is important to apply to more than one.

Preschools charge a (small) fee depending on the income of the parents, while primary and high schools are not allowed to charge additional fees. It is important to know that all government funded schools are not allowed to charge parents for school trips, textbooks, and activities (other than after-school programmes).

How does the Swedish Curriculum differ from others, such as the British Curriculum?

Most schools that get government subsidies (funding) are required to have Swedish in their schools. International schools that want English to be taught usually have to make a compromise of having Swedish classes as well.

The Swedish Curriculum differs greatly from ones in other countries, as it is said to be quite general, and teachers have a lot of space to choose learning materials and how to structure classes. As long as the goals of the curriculum are met, teachers and schools have a lot of flexibility in their work. One of the important beliefs in Sweden is that each child should learn at their own pace, and should not be secluded from others. Each level varies as well, as described below.

Pre-schools – the curriculum for pre-schools is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, which puts a lot of emphases on child-centred learning. The child is encouraged to observe and experience their surrounding, thus learning on their own. There is also importance in ‘learning through play’ so children spend a lot of time playing. Teachers are not supposed to intervene in the child’s learning, and instead are the observers. There is no grading system in pre-schools, but teachers do make notes, observations, and a portfolio for each child. The values of Swedish society, such as democracy and equality, are instilled in the daily activities of pre-schools, with the goal of creating a democratic and caring citizen.

Primary School – Students have until recently been assessed by a three grade system – Pass (G), Pass with Distinction (VG), and Pass with Special Distinction (MVG). Now the grading system is A, B, C, D, E as passing grades and F as Failing. Children do not receive grades until 9th grade, which is quite different than school systems in other countries. The Swedish government, however, is now proposing to change it so that children get grades from year 6. The grades from primary school are used to apply and compete for entrance to high school.

Secondary School – This level lasts for three years. Secondary school is divided into programs or specifications (i.e. Natural Sciences, Social Sciences), which the students choose. There are currently 18 national programs – 6 college preparatory programs and 12 vocational programs.

All programs give basic qualification to attend university.

Before enrolling your child:

It is very important to visit the school, have someone show you around and answer any questions you may have. It is best to bring your child with you – that way you can see how they fit in during the visit.

  1. All municipal, public and independent schools can be found on the Stockholm Stad (City)

    website: http://www.stockholm.se.

    *You can type the school name in the search to get information and statistics.

    * HINT: Use the translate function on top of the screen if you can’t read Swedish.

  2. School quality and inspection results can be found at:



    www.stockholm.se (information in Swedish only).

Things for you to think about:

  • Think about your child’s strong and weak points. Are they interested in particular activities, such as sports or drama?  Some schools focus on one subject more than others.
  • Is it important for your child to go to an international school? Which language should be dominant in your child’s learning?

Questions to ask (yourself and the supervisor) during the school visit:

  • What is the school’s philosophy and their goals?
  • What is the teacher/child ratio?
  • What is the schedule/routine?
  • What are the school hours?
  • What food does the school provide for breakfast/snack/lunch?
  • Does the playground have enough room to run around? Are there sufficient toys/activities available?
  • What is the language of instruction?
  • How many international students are there?
  • Are there school trips?
  • Is there a sufficient amount of books, toys, school material, and resources available for learning?
  • Are teachers qualified or have experience in teaching?
  • How does the school deal with misbehavior and bullying?
  • How often are the parent-teacher meetings?
  • How will the school communicate with me about information and events?
  • What learning tools are used in the classroom? (i.e. whiteboard, computers, projector, games)
  • Which subjects are taught? How often?
  • Are there report cards?
  • How often are there tests/exams?
  • What is the grading system?


International Schools

There are many schools in Stockholm that claim to be ‘international’. All International schools focus on diversity and are geared towards families coming from abroad either temporarily or indefinitely. International schools offer English instruction (dominantly or in combination with Swedish). International schools differ from Swedish schools in that they have parents with different demands, and thus offer additions to the Swedish curriculum, sometimes adding more hours to subjects. Most international schools state that they value diversity, respect, and quality in education.

Schools that rely on government funding (public and independent schools) are sometimes pressured by parents coming from competitive countries to be more strict and academic, but these schools have rules under the Swedish law, and thus can’t raise standards as high as parents would like.

Private International Schools, on the other hand, are very much focused on standards, quality, and academics, which is more suitable for parents who believe in high standards and competition. These schools provide an international diploma, which students can use to transfer to any international school in the world (private or public) and students have an advantage when applying to first class universities. As the saying goes ‘If you want quality education, you have to pay for it’. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good quality public or independent schools. You just have to do some research to find the best ones!

Here is a list of truly international and English-speaking schools in Stockholm that will help you find the best school for your child. Check which schools interest you by looking at the list below, and take a look at their website for an overview before going for a tour.

Private International Schools

For those who are willing to pay extra fees for quality international (all English) education.

NOTE: Students with a personnummer (personal identity number) from grades 1-12 may be entitled to municipal subsidies for their education.


British International Primary School of Stockholm


Levels: Pre-school – grade 7

Curriculum: British Curriculum


The Tanto International School


Levels: Nursery – grade 7

Curriculum: English National Curriculum


Stockholm International School


Levels: Kindergarten – grade 12

Curriculum: IPC, MYP, and IB Diploma


Independent International Schools

For those parents who want an international education (some schools may have Swedish and English) for their child while getting the full subsidy from the municipality. All of these schools have to follow the Swedish National Curriculum.



Levels: Pre-school – grade 9




Levels: Pre-school – grade 9

Curriculum: IBO/Swedish National Curriculum


Engelska Skolan Norr


Levels: Pre-school – grade 9





Levels: Pre-school – grade 9

Curriculum: Swedish National Curriculum/IPC for grades 1-5




Level: High school


Internationella Engelska Skolan


Level: grades 4-9


Kungsholmens Gymnasium

(International Section)


Level: High School


Stockholm Language School (Stockholms Språkskola)



Level: grades 1-9


International Pre-schools

These schools are focused on the pre-school age, and offer an international (mostly English) environment. Many children attending these pre-schools come from all parts of the world, creating a truly unique international experience. They also follow the Swedish Pre-school Curriculum, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.

Mother Goose International Pre-school



Crickets and Dragonflies



Engelska Förskolan






Humpty Dumpty Nursery School



Imagination International Pre-school



Planet Kids Nursery School



Olympen Förskola

(English Section)



Non-English International Schools

For those parents who want to enroll their child in a language specific school (other than English).

Dutch Schools:

Dé Nederlande School in Stockholm



Finish Schools:

Finska Förskolan (Finnish Pre-school)



French Schools:

French Lycée (Lycée Français) Saint Louis de Stockholm


Franska skolan (Ecole Francaise)


Les Mélodies


Les P’tits Choux



German Schools:

Deutsche Schule Stockholm (The German School)



Greek Schools:

Greek Preschool Melissaki



Spanish Schools:

Spanska skolan Colegio Español



Remember: Before choosing a school, consider your child’s needs and interests, what you expect of your child’s school (environment and learning), and make sure to ask all the questions you may have during the school tour. With all of these in mind, you are closer to finding the right school for your child!

Good luck!

By: Sarit Grinberg

Images by: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se