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How Stockholm International School is shaping tomorrow’s world leaders

High-achieving students tend to have one thing in common: they take a proactive approach to their education.

How Stockholm International School is shaping tomorrow’s world leaders
Students taking part in the Model United Nations at Stockholm International School.

It’s an attribute that’s standard at schools teaching International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, where students play a more active and involved role in their own learning.

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma Programme (DP) form the curriculum framework for the secondary school at Stockholm International School (SIS). The challenging programmes encourage children to take the lead and learn through experience, imbuing them with the skills they need to thrive as adults.

“We’re an inquiry-based school, so we set problems and the students look at ways to solve them through their learnings,” explains Paul Boswell, economics teacher and Head of Learning at SIS.

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Now entering its 50th year, the IB has become synonymous with producing curious, confident students with a strong intercultural understanding. An IB education has come to stand for a mark of quality, a signpost that flags future success.

One way students achieve their IB Diploma is through Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS). The three strands are integral to an IB education and are interwoven with particular activities which allow them to fulfill some of the criteria to achieve their diploma.

“Students need to demonstrate these three things,” says Boswell. “It could be by doing something traditionally creative like making a movie, or coming up with new ideas.”

One shining example of CAS in action at SIS is the school’s Model United Nations (MUN). It’s one of several strong student leadership programmes at SIS, and among the reasons it was hand-picked to feature in ‘A Better World Through Education’, a promotional video produced by ITN and the IBO to mark the latter’s 50th anniversary.

ITN Productions spent a day filming SIS’s Model United Nations in action.

Intended to simulate the real UN, students that take part in SIS’s MUN debate and develop solutions to global issues like climate change, economic development, and global energy requirements. It helps pupils recognise their common humanity and figure out how to thrive in a complex and conflicted world.

“The students pretty much manage the whole thing,” says Boswell.

He explains that SIS’s MUN doesn’t just operate within the school but also takes the lead at Scandinavian and Europe-wide Model United Nation conferences.

“Our students handle all the communication with students from other schools and pick the themes they want to debate. They’re given certain tasks, for example, some are ambassadors, some are judges, and others chair the meetings.”

It’s hard work and can be very challenging, but Boswell says it has a noticeable effect on the children that take part. Not only do they develop a more global mindset, they also improve certain soft skills that will come in handy whatever they chose to do in the future.

“The kids gain so much more confidence through writing speeches and public speaking. They’re so well spoken with so much communication savviness, if you close your eyes and listen you would think they’re adults!”

All the more impressive when he adds that most of the children at SIS speak English as their second language.

And the students’ involvement with the MUN certainly isn’t something that’s sniffed at by university admission officers.

“Universities definitely look for it,” says Boswell. “It’s a firm example of demonstrating student leadership, and shows the kids are able to initiate, communicate, and work in groups. A lot of these buzzwords come in handy on a university application.”

Along with the other teachers at SIS, Boswell is incredibly proud of the students’ hard work with the MUN and sees it as a testament to the efficacy of an IB education.

“We don’t just talk the talk, we actually do these things. Any child doing the MUN will be pushed. Through this experience the students really do gain the skills to be the leaders of tomorrow!”

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Stockholm International School.

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FOOD AND DRINK

Eating out in Stockholm: Is this the Swedish capital’s best pizza?

Pizza, people and an environment that will transport you to Campania. Perfect for a dinner with friends, a casual date night or a weekday lunch, writes Lauren Abston in this restaurant review.

Eating out in Stockholm: Is this the Swedish capital's best pizza?

On a sunny, late Sunday afternoon after working up an appetite kayaking in Brunnsviken, my friend and I stop by Magari for lunch.

Walking in, we are warmly greeted by the host who speaks to us in English. In the front corner of the restaurant sits a group of six men animatedly gesturing and speaking in Italian. They have drinks and no food, giving an impression they have been sitting and enjoying each other’s company since their lunch, hours before.

We opt for a table outside under the colourful, patterned ceramic tile and start rifling through the menu which explains the name of the restaurant as well as the origin.

Nicolas and Giuseppe are the pizza chefs who hail from Irpinia, the birthplace of pizza. Their goal is to bring innovation and fresh ideas to classic pizza, and the well-organised menu reflects this as it’s split into classic and contemporary pizza.

In addition to pizza, they have starters, snacks, calzones, and dessert. Saying magari is an enthusiastic way to stress how much you desire something. Our waiter helpfully answers our questions about some ingredients we’ve never heard of, helping us narrow down our pizza choices. 

The eponymous Magari lager, served in a wine glass, is the perfect antidote to my thirst on this humid afternoon; it’s cold, crisp and tastes faintly of tropical fruit. Magari has a concise drink menu with sparkling, red and white wine by the glass or bottle, plus classic cocktails.

Soon after the drinks arrive, our pizza is whisked out. We’ve opted for the classic Margherita Irpina and a vegetarian Nerano, with plans to split them half and half. 

Chock full of cheese on top of fresh pureed tomatoes, with scattered basil leaves and olive oil drizzled on top, the margherita does not disappoint. It’s paper thin everywhere except for the blistered, ballooned, chewy crust on the edges. I cut a piece off for myself with the crimson Tramontina fork and knife, and then I greedily pick it up to eat it instead of continuing to use the silverware.

It’s absolutely delicious, and I eat two pieces before remembering that I am supposed to share, and I offer to cut a slice for my friend.

She hands me a slice of the Nerano. It has fior di latte, fried zucchini and round slices of caciocavallo, a nutty cheese from Southern Italy placed on top. Instead of tomato sauce, it has a zucchini cream for the sauce so the pizza is a lovely green and white. It lacks a little salt; we imagine the zucchini has soaked up most of the oil and salt during the cooking, and it doesn’t compare to the margherita, but it’s still delightful.

We finish both pizzas and remain chatting as another group of Italian men spreads out over the table next to us with bubbling flutes of bollicine. 

As a late lunch, it’s a lagom amount, although we are both eyeing the larger than life cannoli that a family of three orders for dessert. I make a mental note to order that the next time. 

Magari may be the best pizza in Stockholm, and the quality food is heightened by the family feeling evoked the second you walk through the door. Going for a weekday lunch gets you a ton of value, 125 kronor for pizza or pasta, plus salad and coffee.

If you want to go on a Friday or Saturday night, I recommend booking a table in advance or planning to take it away. The best seat in the house is at the bar where you can watch the chefs expertly topping and firing the pizzas in the wood fired oven that takes up the majority of the kitchen. 

Magari Pizza Contemporanea

Rating: Five stars

Location: Sankt Eriksgatan 110, 113 31 Stockholm

Price: Starters and snacks: 40 to 250 kronor; pizza: 130 to 199 kronor; desserts: 95 to 150 kronor

Details: Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm. Friday 11am to 10.30pm. Saturday noon to 10.30pm. Sunday noon to 10pm.

This review is the writer’s own opinion. Lauren Abston moved to Stockholm two years ago from San Francisco. She loves exploring all the city has to offer, trying out new restaurants and bars with friends, picking up new Swedish words and learning how to dress for four distinct seasons.

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