‘Omwana aba womoi’
African proverb (Banyoro language)
‘It takes a village to raise a child’
Community is at the heart of our school and we embrace everyone as a member – students, staff and parents – working, playing and celebrating together in a caring and supportive environment. We are more than a school; we are a center of learning that serves the needs of the whole Innova community.
Education is not something that only occurs at school from the age of 2-18 years. It is a life long endeavor and many people and experiences contribute to the process. Every child is born ready to learn. It is as natural as breathing and eating. Young children are filled with wonder and curiosity, keen to inquire and find out about the world around them. We believe that we all share a responsibility in nurturing this learning and building on each child’s natural enthusiasm to learn, creativity and need to share with others.
Innova Academy is committed to the principle of being a community school. This is something that we are passionate about and have a long and successful experience in creating.
‘You are always welcome at Innova Academy’.
A Community Space
Parents and family are made welcome at Innova Academy. Our entire first floor ‘Mall’ is dedicated to community – providing social spaces for children, staff, parents and visitors to meet and socialize. It is full of exhibitions, displays and celebrations and is a center for student lunchtime performances.
Teachers can be seen in the morning working in the cafes – meeting with other teachers, greeting children and parents. Children catch up with each other, parents meet parents, and teachers meet parents in a relaxed social setting. Parents are welcome to stay throughout the day, relax and catch up in the café, browse the library or take part in community activities – such as Yoga and cooking classes that are regularly scheduled.
The Sports Center is a wonderful facility and as well as being a hub for the schools extracurricular program is available for booking by parents and community groups.
Innova Academy also hosts activities and events that build our sense of community and enjoy our environment.
While many people are involved with the education of a child, with teachers and schools taking a large responsibility in education, we believe that the process works best as a partnership between home and school. We encourage parents to be partners in their child’s development and an active part of our community as we work together to be the village that cares for, nurtures, and mentors each child.
Education is a complex undertaking involving many people with many needs and interests. At Innova Academy we believe that it is important that parents and the school work together in partnership and seeks to provide transparent and responsive communication and interactions with parents at all times. We also recognize the significant resource that parents provide in accessing resources to enhance the learning program and opportunities for our children and seek to establish close working relationships through the school’s Parent Association, interest groups and working parties to develop our school community.
Innova understands that both schooling and adolescence are complex processes and that along the way there are opportunities for misunderstandings and issues to arise. At every stage, we warmly welcome parents to share any concerns or suggestions they have. Our doors are always open and we are always ready to listen and help find solutions. Indeed, Innova actively seeks parent input and feedback as part of our ongoing efforts for continual improvement. What’s more, in everything we do, Innova’s communications systems ensure everyone is in the loop with what’s happening in our busy school community.
As a community school, we encourage parents to make Innova ‘their’ school. We support an active Parents’ Association to promote communication between school and parents and actively work together to enrich our programmes and activities through connections and resources. Innova works with parent groups to create special opportunities for parents to learn more about our programmes, discuss parenting issues and to get together in social interest groups. We also support parent activities, such as regular guest speakers, English lessons, cooking classes and parent choirs.
Innova believes that it is importance of showcasing and celebrating achievement and to come together as a community that holds assemblies, exhibitions and events to showcase life at school, our programs and student accomplishments. With this in mind, and to ensure everyone feels welcome, we have created cafes and lounges where parents can feel comfortable and ‘at home’. At all times, parents are welcome to visit, drop by, enjoy the environment, have a casual catch up or a formal meeting with a teacher, counselor or principal or to spend time with other parents in one of our cafes or many parent clubs.
A Learning Community
We are always promoting learning opportunities beyond the class for children as well as providing a rich ongoing professional learning environment for our staff and workshops and presentations for parents. The Origins Research and Learning Institute (ORLI) is based at Innova Academy and offers a regular program of courses and workshops for teachers and parents and is open to teachers and parents from other schools.
Service and Action
A key part of our learning program is to develop an understanding of themselves as global citizens and their responsibilities as stewards of this world. We expect all children to ‘be aware, take care and take action’ as members of their local and the global community – taking action to take care of the environment, animals and to people in need people.
Innova Academy incorporates the UN Sustainable Development Goals within its curriculum and the ‘Innova Action’ program together with the IB service learning programs are informed by and work towards attaining these goals – thinking globally and acting locally.
Character and leadership are not qualities that children learn from books – they need to be modeled and lived daily and they need real world practice to forge. Being part of a service and action team also develops complex project management skills – including all of the critical 2020 Future Work Skills necessary to be successful in the future.