How OWIS Fosters a Sense of Belonging Among Its Students

Sanhita Roy
Published on
September 16, 2021

Students of all ages should feel a sense of belonging to their school community. If your child feels as if they play an integral role in their classroom and throughout the school community, they will be more likely to enjoy going to school each day. Your child will likely perform better both within the classroom and outside. Also, they will want to stay at their school year after year, allowing them to benefit from the consistency of the community and the school environment.

At One World International School, we actively work to foster a sense of connection and belonging among all our students. We want every student at OWIS to feel comfortable being themselves, as this allows them to feel ready to participate in all aspects of school life.

These are some of the practices that we employ at OWIS that will encourage a sense of belonging in your child.

Reasons Why Your Child Will Feel Comfortable in the OWIS Learning Environment
  • Your child will have a personalised education: At OWIS, we believe there is power in accepting students for who they are and understanding where they are on their learning journey. Your child needs to feel confident and comfortable in his/her own skin, as this is crucial to growth and development throughout their adolescence and into adulthood. Our teachers and staff members take the time to get to know each student, address our students by name throughout the school day and personalise learning according to students’ learning styles, needs and goals.
OWIS students work collaboratively to establish classroom rules
OWIS students work collaboratively to establish classroom rules
  • Your child will work with the rest of their class to establish classroom rules: At the beginning of the academic year, students work with their classroom teachers to determine a code of conduct for the classroom, play-areas, canteen and the rest of the school. Students have a stake in the established rules, and, therefore, they feel a sense of commitment to adhering to those rules. This student-led code of conduct called ‘behaviour agreements’ at OWIS results in a safe and calm environment where students can constructively interact with one another.
  • Behaviour agreements are displayed and consistently enforced: Once the class has worked together to create behaviour agreements, they are displayed as a reminder for everyone. In addition, the teacher works to consistently but fairly enforce those rules, which allows students to understand that they have certain behaviour expectations to live up to. Positive reinforcement is always used by teachers rather than punitive measures designed to shame or embarrass learners. Students at OWIS learn to work together as a community to create an effective learning environment.
  • Teachers solicit student input and encourage students to share their perspectives: Your child will have the opportunity to select their own learning experiences, which allows him/her to build their confidence in a comfortable learning environment. Students are given time to provide their feedback and to create their own learning plans. When students provide valuable input, our staff members consider the inputs seriously and work to implement changes, if needed, based on their feedback. We pride ourselves on having open discussions regularly within our classrooms, and students often collaborate with each other and their teacher on projects and classwork.
OWIS teachers solicit student inputs
OWIS teachers solicit student inputs

Your Child’s Personal Progress is Important to Us

Our students are encouraged to set personal goals, and we help them identify individual targets. Our teachers and staff members offer feedback along the way, and we celebrate our students when they accomplish their goals and reach their targets. We want them to feel proud of who they are and what they have done.

At OWIS, our teachers and staff members know that our commitment to nurturing a sense of belonging in each student works, and it works well. Anecdotally, we have seen many students thrive in our inquiry-based learning environment. For example, our students have been known to:

  • Be visibly happy about arriving at school each day. Our students, of all ages, genuinely want to come to school and participate in the day’s lessons.

  • Feel as if they belong to the OWIS community almost immediately after being enrolled. We support students who are new and help them adapt quickly to our school.

  • Feel at home due to our welcoming and kind atmosphere and our multicultural student and teacher community. Students begin interacting with peers who are both similar and different from themselves, which benefits them in a variety of ways.

Children who develop a sense of belonging within their school community tend to feel happier and more fulfilled with their learning experience. In addition, they often perform better in the classroom.

As a parent at OWIS, you have likely experienced the warmth and acceptance of our community. We would love for you to share your experiences with the community at large! Feel free to connect with OWIS on social media and share your story. 

If you are interested in joining our vibrant school community and would like to know more about OWIS, do schedule a school tour with us.


About Author

Sanhita Roy

Humanities Teacher, Head of Humanities

view full bio
blue-arrow
Tags
The latest OWIS news, articles and resources sent straight to your inbox every month.

Related blog posts