The OWIS Multicultural School Environment Feels Like Home

Michelle Dickinson
Updated on
October 27, 2020

Diversity and inclusion are important features of today’s multigenerational, multiracial, and heterogenous global economy. Diversity describes the full spectrum of demographic differences, such as gender, age, race, religion, physical ability, education, lifestyle, personality, opinions and socioeconomic status. Inclusion describes the feeling of belonging and occurs when individuals feel accepted, respected, valued and appreciated.

At OWIS, we prioritise both diversity and inclusion. We intentionally create a multicultural environment that helps children feel at home and prepares students for successful futures. 

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion

Studies show that diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions and demonstrate high levels of innovation, engagement and creativity. Consider these and other benefits your child gains from the multicultural environment at OWIS.

1. Academic Benefits

Learning in a multicultural environment prepares children to master academic lessons. Exposure to different ideas, thoughts and opinions teaches children how to think critically and solve problems. Children also become more curious, creative and collaborative as they interact with diverse peers.

2. Emotional Benefits

Interacting with a diverse and inclusive peer group helps children feel valued, respected and accepted. A multicultural environment also allows children to develop and exercise empathy and compassion for students of a different race, creed or religion. Children feel safe being themselves as they learn to trust their peers and respect others.

3. Social Benefits

Attending an open-minded, kind and tolerant school allows children to build trusted and enriched relationships. Children develop communication skills as they interact with peers and teachers from a variety of backgrounds. As part of a global community, children deepen their ability to trust, respect and promote the welfare of themselves and their peers.

4. Future Benefits

Becoming more internationally minded prepares children to serve as tomorrow's leaders. They develop into team members and leaders who can appreciate, communicate and interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Other invaluable skills learned in a multicultural school environment include eliminating assumptions,  viewing opinions from a variety of perspectives, merging multiple viewpoints and negotiating solutions. Each of these skills prepares children to become responsible citizens.

OWIS Feels Like Home

Children experience a sense of belonging at OWIS. We are intentional about creating a school that’s one with the world and fosters understanding, appreciation, tolerance and empathy.

1. Multicultural Environment

Surrounded by multicultural peers and teachers from across the globe, children experience a variety of cultures during day-to-day academic and social interactions. The broad cross-cultural environment exposes children to different languages, traditions, beliefs, mindsets, habits, etiquette and social expectations. Children learn to understand others, appreciate differences and discover similarities as they explore and embrace the rich diversity of cultures.

International Day celebrations at OWIS

2. International Curriculum

The OWIS curriculum supports diversity and inclusion by cultivating and preparing open-minded, lifelong learners. We recognise that diversity and culture have many aspects to it, as can be seen from Edward Hall’s Cultural Iceberg model. Our curriculum is intentionally designed to delve into diversity to engage all our students and help them develop a broad worldview. Our students learn to think critically, solve problems and collaborate with others. These skills enable children to live and work in a global society.

3. Global Staff

Our international faculty and staff from countries around the globe are world travellers who hold degrees from leading global institutions. Our staff’s diverse cultural perspectives and international heritages flow through all of their daily interactions and enrich our students’ experiences.

4. Cultural Celebrations

Various food, dance, religious and cultural festivals bring cultures and people of different backgrounds together in harmony. We celebrate your child’s cultural roots and expose students to other cultures. Through celebrations, we appreciate diversity and create an inclusive environment that’s valued, comforting and familiar.

Children who attend OWIS feel at home in our One World, One Community environment. We invite you to discover the benefits of our school and all the ways we help your children feel accepted, valued and appreciated as they prepare for life and future success. To get to know more about us, schedule a virtual tour of our campus.

*Please note: All the images in this blog were taken in pre-Covid times.

About Author

Michelle Dickinson

Head of School

Michelle has a BA (Hons) in History and South Asian Studies from North London University and PGCE from Middlesex University. She began teaching across all three primary key stages. Michelle began her school leadership career in 2002, when she became the Deputy Head Teacher of a large primary school in North London and spent four wonderful years there before relocating to India in 2005.

Her first international position was the Head of Primary of a local/international school in Bangalore in Southern India, where she introduced the Cambridge International Primary Programme and Checkpoint. Michelle then spent 6 years in China and 3 years in Ethiopia developing curriculum and assessment practices.

Michelle believes that children learn best when they are having fun and are engaged in practical, real life activities. While she recognises that outstanding academic achievement is the ultimate goal, she feels it is just as important to build self-esteem, instill character and encourage a global outlook in every child. Michelle believes that learning transcends the classroom environment and is passionate about educational visits and extra-curricular experiences.

Michelle is married with four children - Ana, Hindya, Bille and Markos. The Dickinson family have a sense of adventure and love of life. They particularly enjoy the outdoors, family holidays, making friends, good weather, camping and exploring and are delighted to be at OWIS.

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