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Building a Sense of Community

Justin Noack
Justin Noack (23 posts) Head of Lower Campus View Profile

After decades of work in education, I can think of few things that serve the children better than strong links between the members of their community. There is an adage advising society that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. After years of restrictions limiting social contact, there has never been a better time for revisiting this timeless piece of wisdom.  

When parents and school share and express common values, children grow strong personal characteristics that serve them well in life. Even with this knowledge in mind, the process of developing shared values in a community is more challenging than it sounds. Parents and teachers may have different opinions about any number of matters, with both parties feeling strong personal connections to their ideas. 

In order to build a strong community, it is important to gather often, communicate openly and honestly, and celebrate the core values upon which everyone can agree. At the International School of Moscow, it is for precisely this reason that we invite parents to a large range of events that celebrate the importance of the children. 

Concerts, Recitals, Sports Days, Assemblies and Productions are all exciting traditional ways that parents can honour the children’s efforts with their presence and applause. Newer events like Open Days, Family Fitness Days and Project Days, all give parents the opportunity to work alongside their children. It confers great importance upon a child’s work when parents are excited about getting involved in this way, at their level. 

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Parent Academy seminars and Curriculum Evenings are other opportunities for parents to learn about ISM’s unique approach, and later have informed conversations with parents. 

And of course, there is always room for celebration! Family Fun Days, Colour Runs and Christmas Parties all offer the perfect opportunity to celebrate our shared school experience together. School should be a joyful place, whether you are a teacher, student or parent. 

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All of these lessons can equally be applied to any community. Building shared values in the home can also involve some measure of being a starry-eyed spectator cheering encouragement, an active participant joining in gleefully, or simply making time to laugh and play together. 

We thank all the parents for participating so actively in our ISM school life, and invite you to join us once again next year. We are looking forward with great hope and excitement to a full calendar of shared experiences. 

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