Schools have an important part to play in helping young people to feel safe in, and a part of, their immediate community. That’s not just their ‘school community’, but also the wider community in which they live and, in the future, may work.
Schools need to build bridges – and to get students to appreciate that there is life and a diverse community beyond the school gates
Schools need to be looking beyond their gates if they are to encourage students (and their families) to understand the local environment in which they are living and learning. That relates every bit to families and children that were born in the area, as well as those that weren’t.
Through community involvement, participation in special events and inviting people in from the locality to talk to children and share their knowledge, young people get a bigger and broader sense of who they are, where they are and how they fit in.
Schools should be working together with their community if students are to grow their understanding of the world – and feel a part of it
Through community enrichment, AISPP children are taught to act as responsible adults, to feel a greater sense of belonging and, by taking part in different cultural events, are encouraged to practise their language and general communication skills.
“A good example of a community initiative designed to open students’ eyes to what is happening around them”
Recently, Sarah Rhodes of Plastics Free Cambodia came in to talk to AISPP (years 3-6 students) about her work, and how students could make a difference in ridding Cambodia of the growing problems it has associated with widespread use (and disposal) of single-use plastics.
Already a hot topic, a lot of disposed plastics are ending up in the ocean causing horrendous problems for marine and plant life. Students learned that 1/10th of plastics in the ocean comes from the Mekong River. Phnom Penh alone has huge issues with landfill and waste management.
Through this initiative and others, AISPP students are being encouraged to think critically, to question what is happening around them, and to develop a sense of purpose and ownership. It’s those experiences that make community involvement in a child’s education so valuable and meaningful.
AISPP, an Australian Co-ed IB International K-12 school (Phnom Penh), is fast becoming one of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s leading education providers. Providing a modern Australian private and independent education, its 21st Century philosophy, state-of-the-art facilities and world-class teaching standards, make it ideally placed to prepare children for the global challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of them.
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