The partnerships between home and school provide the foundation to support students’ learning, growth, health and well-being and agency.
* Photos taken from the ISPP and PCO archives
Here at ISPP, we feel very fortunate to have such a supportive and involved community of parents. As recognised by the Primary Years Programme (PYP From Principles into Practice, 2020), the learning community is made up of “everyone connected with the school with the parents and families front and foremost”. Although we are currently physically disconnected, we are looking forward to brighter times when we are all back together on campus and when the need for an active Parent Community Organisation (PCO) will be even more relevant.
The past year’s events have highlighted the need for the social aspect of education, which benefits all community members. We have very much missed our daily face to face interactions with families, and yet despite this, we feel we have maintained a strong sense of community and are proud of the partnerships we have made with parents. An active group of Elementary parents have offered to be class representatives this year. These parents have shown support and given input on important, relevant workshops. They are there to support the teacher and share relevant information with the other parents. Although class representatives are not needed in Secondary school, parent representatives are equally important. We encourage parents from all school sections to get together (albeit remotely for now) and share their ideas to support the school or each other during these difficult times.
In the past, our PCO parents across the school have organised Staff Appreciation Day and Elementary dances, supported sporting and social events, being active within the Environmental Action Committee (EAC) and numerous field trips. Many new families have arrived this past year unable to visit the campus or develop friendships with other families. In “normal times”, we have barbecues and welcome back events to connect new families across both Elementary and Secondary school. Although we pride ourselves on being a warm and welcoming community, it has been challenging during the pandemic. If the school can rely on an active PCO to welcome new parents and students, the sense of belonging to a family becomes a reality very quickly. Many new parents form their first relationships or friendships in a new country via their children’s school.
There are so many ways that parents and families can become involved within the life of the school by sharing decisions, exchanging ideas, building on experiences and providing support. All parents are automatically members of the PCO just by being parents, and whether in Elementary or Secondary school, we welcome you. If you are an Elementary parent who would like to be connected to your child’s class parent, please contact Liz, the Elementary principal, at [email protected].
Likewise, whether you are an Elementary or Secondary parent and would like to take an active role in the PCO, ready to welcome new families on campus in August, please get in touch. We are particularly looking to build on our country/mother-tongue representatives. The partnerships between home and school provide the foundation to support students’ learning, growth, health and well-being and agency, and we look forward to a more active PCO when we return to campus.
Liz Ford | Elementary Principal