Is the crisis an opportunity to make society more sustainable?

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its associated measures pose challenges for us all.

Shall we choose to see this crisis as an opportunity to find new ways of organising our lives, the lives of our communities and to make society more sustainable?

This is the theme for an online conference that Life Link Friendship Schools together with SSHL are hosting, taking place right now. During 7 weeks the participating school teams will explore this theme and plan a project that can be implemented by the teams once physical gatherings are safe and local restrictions are lifted.

All Life-Link Friendship schools located around the world are invited to participate. Life Link together with SSHL organises recurring international conferences. This year’s conference includes participants from 23 schools with 33 teachers and 147 students from nearly all continents around the world. SSHL will participate with 5-7 students and one teacher.

The projects have three focus areas

1 Transport: What can we do to make transport more sustainable in consideration of ourselves, others and nature?

2 Consumption: How do our consumption habits relate to ourselves, others and nature? We are all consumers and can choose to be more or less sustainable through our consumption. Application of the 3 R’s Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle applies.

3 Food: Is it produced under sustainable and ecologically sound conditions? Is it possible to reduce the ecological footprint? How do our food choices influence ourselves, others and nature?

Care for myself, for others and for nature

Each school team is to produce a detailed plan for a project relating to the assigned focus area and answers the questions: why, who, how, when, where and what, and builds on Life-Link’s 3 C’s: Care for myself, care for others, care for nature.

The theme of this conference stands in line with several of SSHL’s school organisations’ vision of how to pursue SSHL’s work on education for sustainable development, for example SSHL DTG, Think Tank, Kenya Project and Make a Kid Smile, as seen in the article “Sustainability in Design” (International School Leader Magazine) written by Principal Carina Nilsson.

3rd place in Hack the Pandemic hackathon!

A big congratulations to our team of students who spent their weekend in the competition Hack the Pandemic hackathon!

The SSHL team won 3rd place with their solution ‘City Travel App 2.0’ and were highlighted for “outstanding engagement, creative problem solving, and applicability of concept”.

The students truly showed great ingenuity, resilience, and commitment to excellence. Now they have the opportunity to put their concept into application by a development network.

The Hack the Pandemic hackathon kicked off on Friday evening with the mission to design, test and execute ideas on everyday challenges generated during this pandemic. The event was organized by the Uppsala Sustainability Inno-center

The SSHL team chose the challenge “Preventing transmission on transport” and was up against 300 participants, mostly professionals and graduate students, from around the world.

The students started hacking on Saturday morning and continued until 16:30 on Sunday afternoon. A talented SSHL Visual Arts student then edited the material into a video presentation. The team submitted their final product at 17:58 – 2 minutes before the deadline.

The SSHL solution ‘City Travel App 2.0’; is an application that is designed to piggyback off existing city travel apps in cities around the globe. The safety features in the app are designed to use biometric scans for signs of infection before travellers enter the bus/train, as well as a facemask detection function integrated with the bus cameras. The goal of the app is to help avoid city wide lockdowns, and protect democratic values such as freedom of movement in a safe and sustainable manner.

The winner was announced on Monday 26 April. The jurors had received 23 projects, of which 7 were shortlisted. SSHL participated with students from the SSHL Think Tank and the SSHL Design and Technology Group.

Winning team:
Mikael Hartzell DP22, Daniel Hawking DP22, Hanning Jiang MYP5, Matteo Villa DP22, Louis Toulemonde MYP5, Magnus Hawking DP22, Johan Berch MYP4, Agnessa Poluzhnikova DP21, Georgios and Clara (team leaders and teachers).

Environment, identity, and oppression – themes in IB DP Visual Arts 2021

In the subject Visual Arts, all IB DP students work with their own collection of up to ten works. They get to choose the theme and materials themselves. Together with a longer, written statement and shorter exhibition texts, these works are a large part of the course section “exhibition work”.

The students have gone into depth in their concepts and ideas. They have done thorough research in their chosen areas and also work with a “process portfolio” that describes the creative process.

This year, our students have worked with themes such as environmental issues, beauty ideals in China, identity issues, Generation Z and the relationship between nature and technology, the human relationship to the digital world, oppression, perception and point of view.

Our students develop enormously during the work in Visual Arts, not only as artists but also in their creativity – and perhaps above all as human beings.

Most of the students’ works were photographed before the fire in the Aula and the art studio. We have managed to photograph some sculptures afterwards. Now you have an opportunity to see the students’ work!

Agnessa Poluzhnikova – Generation Z and the relationship between nature and technology:

Aliza Ziyana Kabani – Man’s Relationship to the Digital World:

Bi Ying Wang – Beauty ideal in China:

Charlotte Sakmar Åberg – Places that mean a lot to her:

Emily Beck-Hellström – Identity issues:

Juliette Sakmar-Åberg – Portrait and identity:

Nathalie Strömberg – Perception and approach:

Giselle Harnevie Enja – Oppression:

Zselyke Varga – Environmental issues:

Now we are setting up for a 360-degree musical

The students’ annual musical performance is usually performed at this time of year. This year we have several challenges to meet. Our Aula is no longer there for us to gather in, and we also face restrictions due to the pandemic  that only allows a few people together.

But, our teachers are inventive. They see new opportunities in the chaos – and in the digital technology ‘VR’ – virtual reality. The solution will instead be a 360-degree ‘green-screen studio’ where you can copy in dancers, singers and actors to form a larger ensemble.

Nik Dahlström, teacher responsible for the project:

– Technology could even allow us to place our players in the old Aula again, if we want to. Or why not in the Royal Albert Hall or at the Circus in Stockholm? It would fit well because we are working on the piece “This is me” from the musical “The Greatest Showman”, which takes place in a circus arena.

The students have also made scenographic mobiles from old keys on the theme ‘unlock your unique potential’.

Filming with a 360 camera and the corresponding chroma wall is the very latest technology, and this work will be a pilot for future projects. The film is recorded in small groups, over and over again, and you then put the films in different layers so that it looks like a single big show in the end.

Nik says that the plan is for the students to then be allowed to sit in swivel chairs – “one-person cinemas”- and watch the film through VR glasses:

– There will be three swivel chairs at the school with associated VR glasses, says Nik. And, of course, sanitizing alcohol to wipe off between users!

SSHL to become a high school exclusively

Following thorough analysis and careful consideration, the school board and its trustees have decided to change the structure of the school.

We will refine SSHL’s selection of educational options by concentrating on and developing our high-school programmes, while at the same time we are phasing out our middle-year programmes. 

We will also continue to develop our boarding offering. SSHL is tasked with being a boarding school that also welcomes day students. Our goal is for the school to have slightly fewer students in a few years than it has today, divided between Swedish and international high-school education and with at least half of the students as boarders. Our vision is to go on being one of the best schools in Scandinavia. 

In order to act, we need to change the school’s offering.
While we are reducing the educational options overall, we are adding new high-school programmes. 

More specifically, this means that we are fully closing our Swedish middle-year programmes in years 7-9 and in the IB MYP2-4. All middle-year programmes will be gradually cancelled over the next three years. Concurrently, we are concentrating on developing our Swedish and international high-school programmes, which include the upcoming IB Career-related Programme in Business and Hospitality Management

We are also introducing more accommodation choices for our boarders to meet the demands of the modern family. 

The background to this decision originates from many years ago.
In 2012-2013, political decisions left the school no longer able to charge tuition fees. At around the same time, the system of national boarding schools was abolished, which also created financial challenges. The school’s offering, however, has remained unchanged. We continued to offer the same broad range of educational courses as before, with four types of school: education at elementary and high-school level as well as education in accordance with two different curricula, the Swedish version and the International Baccalaureate (IB). 

Maintaining the same high standard and broad offering under radically different financial conditions is not sustainable in the long term. Ensuring the school’s financial balance while being able to develop and offer high quality requires us to prioritise and to concentrate on operations that are financially solid over time. The amendment that has now been agreed gives us the opportunity to move forwards and take SSHL into the future with a new approach.

The changeover is to begin with immediate effect:

  • All students admitted to years 7-9 and MYP2-4 who will start their schooling in the 2021 autumn term and all students currently in year 8/MYP3 and year 9/MYP4 will complete their studies as planned. 
  • We are placing a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the phasing out of our middle-year programmes is done professionally and with concern for our students and staff. 
  • Annual admissions to year 7 and MYP2 are cancelled with immediate effect. 
  • The school’s application system for year 7 and MYP2 will be closed with immediate effect. 

Carina Nilsson, Principal and Head of School at SSHL:

We are now focusing all our efforts on ensuring that the changeover will occur in the best way possible, both for our students and staff. We are highly confident that this improvement to how the school is structured will create an even better and stronger school for our current and future students.

All students who have applied for our middle-year programmes will be informed in writing of the change in the structure of the school. The same applies to current students and all students who have been accepted for autumn 2021. 

For further information, please contact:

Book being created about our iconic Aula building

A commemorative book, Aula Memories, is being planned to celebrate the iconic Aula building, our assembly hall, which tragically burnt down on March 1st, this year. 

The book will combine some of the official history of the building as well as capture people’s own individual memories from events that have been held in our Aula over the years.

Past and present attendees and partners of the school are invited to contribute their own images and memories online. A number of these images would then be used in the final printed book. 

A Facebook group has been created called SSHL Aulan: Memories, as a way of connecting people to the project. Those who would like to share memories and photos are welcome to join the group, see link below.

Mrs Carina Nilsson, Principal/CEO, SSHL:

– I am truly moved by the tremendous support and kind offers of help which the school has received from so many people, locally, in Sweden and abroad. We have sadly lost our beloved Aula but the memories the building held are what matters most. This is why we are grateful for Julian Stubb’s initiative to create the SSHL Aula memory book with the help of his team at UP. Together, we hope to capture those many memories from students, alumni, parents, staff and what the SSHL Aula meant to Sigtuna and our community, which will create a lasting memory for us all.

The creative work, design and writing is being sponsored and organised by international Branding, Marketing and Digital agency UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, based in Stockholm. The Founder and CEO, Julian Stubbs, has a son at the school, who is due to graduate this year. 

Julian Stubbs:

– Like everyone I was really saddened by the fire. All of us who have a connection with the school have had the same reaction. There have been so many happy memories and events held in Aulan it’s important we don’t just remember it for the fire. So we decided to help by creating a book commemorating the building, and people’s memories.’

The book will be in both Swedish and English. 

For your contributions, please join the facebook group or send your pictures and memories via email to:

For more information: 

Eva Nilsson Lindin
+46 (0)76 881 1028

Förbundet Sigtunafördettingar
Jeanette van Reis
+46 (0)70 811 2031

Julian Stubbs, CEO
+46 (0)70 655 7479

Introducing a new SSHL IB Programme autumn 2021

The IB Career-related Programme Business & Hospitality Management is a new international High School Programme, planned to start at SSHL in August 2021.

IB Career-related Programme is quite new in Sweden as an alternative for those who are motivated and interested in a special industry field. At SSHL, the programme will be focused on Business and Hospitality Management* and complements our existing IB Diploma Programme. 

The world has changed and a multi-billion dollar industry is facing major evolution. Are you service-oriented, innovative, ambitious and interested in sustainability? Are you focused on a career in an industry that is much broader than you might think?

If this applies to you, we believe you may be right for our new Business and Hospitality Management Programme.

This education is part of the IB Career-related Programme, which offers internships in addition to the academic school work. Within the programme, you will get great opportunities to build a network within the industry whilst also preparing for higher studies. 

Business and Hospitality Management at SSHL is a two-year programme for 16-19 year olds, that combines academic studies and experience from the industry. Through internships and other workplace experiences, the students’ mobility is facilitated, to promote international understanding. The student will have opportunities for internships both in Sigtuna and Stockholm as well as internationally during the programme. 

Prepares for employment as well as higher education

The programme is an international education, recognized by a range of universities, colleges and other educators worldwide. It prepares you for an employment in the Hospitality industry as well as further education in Business and Hospitality Management.

The new programme is planned in cooperation with Mr Carl Palmlund, COO of The Conscious Luxury Hotel Group and co-founder of Royal Park Hospitality & Education Hub, with a long documented career in Hospitality:

Carl Palmlund, COO at The Conscious Luxury Hotel Group

Carl Palmlund, The Conscious Luxury Hotel Group

– Hospitality is defined as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers”, but we believe it is more than this, it is an ideology. 
– We have to build a new, conscious experience business. When we offer meaningful experiences to people, memories are created that will last for a lifetime as well as an increased understanding and sustainable development for our climate. 
– We look forward to welcoming more young, conscious and innovative people to the industry!” 

IB CP Business & Hospitality Management at SSHL is offered in cooperation with the César Ritz Colleges, the Swiss Education Group and Royal Park Hospitality & Education Hub

*The planned start of this programme is August 2021, subject to authorisation. We are at the moment in the final stage of the process as a candidate school. 

Read more:

IB Career-related Programme – Business & Hospitality Management news article

VIE Education – delivering the main IB CP course

Letter from the Board of Sigtuna Skolstiftelse, regarding the fire

To SSHL students, parents, guardians, alumni, and staff,

The fire that completely destroyed our Aula on Sunday night leaves us with enormous grief, but we are, first and foremost, grateful that no students or staff at the school were injured. Nevertheless, what has happened is very tragic. The Board feels great appreciation for how the school’s management has handled the situation in light of the events of recent days. This task also becomes easier to carry when you are shown such tremendous support as we have seen in the past few days. 

Many of us mourn the loss of our beautiful assembly hall and former sports hall – the Aula, a place where so many students both started and finished their time at school. The fire means a great loss, but I hope you share my view that people and memories live on and that is something that everyone who has a connection to the school contributes to.

The school management has full focus on a lot of practical work now and on preparing for the students’ and staff’s return after the Sports Break. Of course, there will be questions about security. Safety is extremely important and something the school works with on an ongoing basis, both on and around the school grounds. Good routines are in place for everyone to feel safe at SSHL. 

The security work never stops but is ongoing and the school is constantly working to adapt to the society we live in. The school will further strengthen security with various measures by, for example, adding more cameras, increased surveillance, and better ability to detect illegal intrusions. For further questions about the school’s security management, please contact SSHL Security Manager Richard Kindroth,

We have taken on great challenges before and we will do it again. We learn even from difficult experiences and we move forward, strengthened with united efforts. In the midst of the sadness, it is extremely comforting to see all the support shown from so many of you. We appreciate this enormously, not least when we look at the extensive work that lies ahead. Now the focus is on running the school and ensuring that students and staff are well taken care of in an already different everyday life characterized by the pandemic. 

The school and the Board look forward to returning with more information later about the plans to build a new assembly hall. Again, thank you for all the support shown – now we look to the future.

The Board of Sigtuna Skolstiftelse,
Marie von Satzger, Chair

Help us build our new assembly hall

We are grateful that you want to contribute towards the school’s new assembly hall where we, once again, will be able to come together and create new memories. Your support is crucial to the SSHL community – thank you!

I would like to donate

The school’s assembly hall has burnt down

During the night, we were awakened by the sad news that our Aula was on fire. A piece of history has seen its final days. 

The fire started around an hour after Midnight and although the fire brigade were quickly on the scene, the old historic building could not be saved. Already in the early morning hours, the schools’ Aula was completely burnt down. 

Thankfully, all students are away for Winter Sports Holiday and no other buildings were damaged by the fire as the Aula was located by itself, separated from the rest of campus by a common road.

The school’s Aula was a revered and beloved gathering place for students and staff. Over the years, thousands of students have gathered in the Aula for school commencements and graduations, lectures, awards ceremonies, theatre, song and music events.

From the beginning, the almost 100-year-old building was used as a sports hall, but was later converted into an assembly hall when the new sports hall was being built. During the past year, our Aula has also served as an additional dining hall, as the pandemic required increased space for our students’ meals.

The Aula was photographed recently during Winter sports day. (Photo: Gabriel Lundh)

The situation right now is that work is still underway to extinguish the fire and to secure surrounding buildings. The area around the Aula will be fenced in as a security measure. 

Many people are coming by just now to see the site with their own eyes and to try to understand what has happened. Many of us mourn the beautiful building, which has been a symbol of the school throughout the years. Many also reminisce with fond memories and moments. Let us hope that, in the future, we may once again experience gatherings and build new memories at this place. 

Our Wednesday assemblies are a tradition at SSHL.