An amazing time of the year is here for the international family communities in Latvia. At the International School of Riga (ISR), Grade 5 students have worked diligently on their Exhibition projects with guidance from experts in the local community. 

The Exhibition (PYPX) marks the transition between the Primary Years Program (PYP) and Middle Years Program. 

PYPX is the end of year showcase of projects done by students based on topics they are passionate about, encapsulating their learning through the years of study in PYP. 

Their PYPX work highlights students’ autonomy and ability to choose and undertake research and field work aligned with their interests, tying together all the knowledge gained by the various Central Ideas and Units of Inquiry that they’ve mastered over the study program.

2023 to 2024’s ISR PYPX Latvian Community Experts and Groups

This year, ISR’s Grade 5 students worked in groups on topics based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) of:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Life on Land
  • Life Below Water

Read on to find out more about the different Latvian organisations and community members that have collaborated with ISR’s Grade 5 class to share their knowledge and experience in contributing to these UN SDGs. 

In the final section of this post, learn about the different student groups’ stands and see how they tied together art and music to express their learning during PYPX. 

Hope for Children (Cerība bērniem)

Director Helen of Hope For Children visited the Grade 5 class to talk about how their organization works to reduce inequalities, protect children, and provide basic needs to families struggling with poverty in Latvia. 

Students learned about how people in a community can work together to help reduce inequalities and provide support for those struggling with financial difficulties. 

What surprised the children the most was how shoes are the most difficult item to get for struggling families in Riga, and how food can be scarce for those who live near them. 

Overall, Helen emphasised how families—however well meaning—can still find themselves in different but difficult situations. The impact of a single good act or several small good acts from community members can change a life, or several, and this inspired students of Grade 5 to act. 

Students in the Reduced Inequalities group created a food donation drive that ended on May 10. Items gathered were donated to the charity by the students with help from Mary Levocz (Teacher) and Cloe Montoya (Support Teacher). 

The donation drive is aligned with the students Exhibition as a form of action showing their involvement in the local community. 

By offering an easy option for people to donate non-perishable food, and taking up the responsibility of collecting, organising, and transporting the items, the students managed to achieve their action goal of providing food relief to in-need local Latvian families. 

If you’d like to learn more about Hope for Children and the work they do for families and children in Riga, visit their website.

Latvian Red Cross

Olha from the Red Cross organisation in Latvia visited the classroom to talk about the work done locally and internationally to support people with different areas. 

Students got to learn about the services and actions done by the Red Cross, such as helping protect people from discrimination and enabling others to live more safely in 190 countries over the past 105 years.

It may come as a surprise to many in Latvia who may not be involved in volunteering or social work, but the Red Cross does a lot more than blood donations. 

Working in first aid, educating people on disaster situation response, providing social and health support, and offering tracing services for families who have gone missing are some of the things the group organises in Latvia.

Other projects done by the Latvian Red Cross involve projects around providing relief and aid to those in cities and the countryside, establishing access to food and shelter, and mental health services. 

Shelters such as Day Care centres, Functional Disabilities centres, and night shelters for those in need are managed and run by the organisation across the country.

To focus on social support and reducing inequalities, students were able to ask questions about the different types of discrimination, what type of help children can receive, and what common issues are found. 

Olha answered all questions, specifying reasons and providing examples on why and how people, or children, find themselves in one of their shelters. After the discussion, Olha taught the students a breathing exercise used to keep calm when in situations of stress.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Latvian Red Cross.

Riga Mezi and Koksirlabs

Kristaps Ceplis, from Koksirlabs, and Riga Mezi teamed up to provide an excursion to educate the Grade 5 students about Latvian forests and nature. Member of the Board at “Zaļās mājas”, Kristaps has been involved in the Latvian forest industry for many years, prior to that he had worked in Canada.

Originally having met the students at an excursion earlier in the year, Kristaps had introduced the students to the importance of the forest for Latvia and many more subjects over the tour and workshop, such as:

  • the various types of trees found locally in Latvia and tree nurseries
  • the purposes and uses of different trees and parts of a single tree
  • fire safety and health safety connected with building materials used in houses
  • the various wood products and their usage in international relations and trading 
    • wood-based ingredients from Latvia used in logistics and transportation
    • wooden speakers made in Latvia used for concerts for popular US celebrities
    • wood from Latvia used in beauty products all the way to “plastic” products
    • the connection between wood and the atmosphere (O2 and Co2)
  • science experiments using Latvian wood for thermal regulation for space rockets

The workshop was intense and beneficial to understanding the world around students. The information also connected what students learned in classes with the outside. 

This experience later provided an opportunity for students of the Life on land group to get back in touch and meet Kristaps again to conduct an interview. 

During the talk, students asked various questions prepared in advance and recorded answers. Things from what to expect in Latvia regarding forestry, why the forests are important, and how the forests are an integral part of sustainable development and natural wildlife were covered. 

The information was used to help guide their research for their Exhibition booth posters and to help them think about what they would like to do in their local community.

During the meet, Kristaps organised with officials from Riga Mezi a special tour through the Tomes Forest, a managed forest near the city of Ogre. 

Kristaps led a walk with officials from Riga Mezi through the Tomes Forest where students could see every variety of common Latvian tree in various stages of growth and organisation (from saplings in massive outside nurseries to fully grown trees providing habitats to natural wildlife and more).

Later, Kristaps and the Riga Mezi officials taught students how:

  • to measure tree heights without equipment
  • how to tell the age of a tree
  • how to plant trees with proper tree planting equipment
  • how to measure the average number of trees in a given space using a yard of string and simple mathematics

Students not only learned, but also got to enjoy the experience with one another in the outdoors.

Riga Mezi also taught kids about the various animals that live in Latvian forests, conducting a game to learn about the different tracks left behind by animals that currently live in Latvia. 

The activity helped students learn how to identify tracks from prey to predator.

After the activity, Riga Mezi and Kristaps went in depth into the different types of animal species and how they affect the balance of nature if hunting or poaching are not managed responsibly in the future. 

On top of the activities, Kristaps and Riga Mezi brought the students to learn about infected trees (insects) and the danger they pose to the forest as a whole. 

The students could see the various types of equipment used to manage infestations and how something very small (such as an insect) could affect such a vast number of animals and plantlife across a massive area.

The experience led the Grade 5 students of the Life on Land group to consider what they can do to immediately improve nature in their local community, regardless of size of impact.

Fixating on the ISR Kalnciema Iela 118 campus, the students decided to use funds they had earned through selling their own green onions during ISR’s International Day activities to buy 10 pine trees from a local Latvian nursery. They planned to do a second fundraiser during their exhibition with their remaining onions. 

After the sales, and with the help of teachers, the kids were able to get their trees—getting them one step closer to completing their goal!

The trees were added to the existing row along the ISR fence, forever planting their action as a memory for future students to enjoy at the school alongside the donation of other trees from the US Embassy.

Kids shared that contributing to the existing greenery of the school could be a small step toward prompting fellow students to ask, “Why?”, leading to opportunities for other kids to learn about the importance of trees and their impact on our global environment, and in Latvia.

Latvian Green Movement

Janis Matulis, representing the Latvian Green Movement, met with Grade 5 students to educate them about the campaign “Save the Dunes.”

Save the Dunes was a grassroots campaign in Latvia focused on preserving the country’s coastal dune ecosystems, it aimed to safeguard the unique biotopes of the dunes by constructing and enhancing modern, visitor-friendly infrastructure.

The goal was to steer tourists away from fragile areas toward more resilient ones and raise awareness through campaigns and educational endeavours, such as collaborative clean-up efforts and tree planting activities.

Educating students on how to address dune protection through infrastructure development, community participation, and awareness-building initiatives, teaches students how campaigns in real life usually adopt a comprehensive approach to conservation. (Sustainability is not a simple thing to work toward, even for adults).

The experience allowed students of the Life Below Water group to plan and ask questions about what they can do to protect the natural water environment of Latvia. 

Considering the scope of their project, and the information they learned from Janis, the students thought of a way to combine art with action.

As a result of the meeting, the students organised a cleanup activity by the Vansu bridge in Riga to collect trash. 

They wore protective gear and considered hygiene safety while collecting trash that ranged from plastics to paper alongside the underpart of the bridge and the nearby children’s playground.

The trash was kept and brought back to the school. The trash was displayed to visitors alongside the booth and some plastic was cleaned and used as a part of their interactive art hallway, which people could walk through to experience what pollution might feel like to sea animals (learn more about the artwork in the last section of this post).

Riga Zoo

The Riga Zoo offers educational tours guided by professionals. Students of the Life on Land group decided to visit the zoo to talk to an expert and learn more about animal habitats across the world and non-native species would help them with their Exhibition. The entire class went as connections could be made to almost every Exhibition group.

During the tour, the students learned about the interconnectedness of animal habitats, nature, pollution, and human cities. They could to see hippos, Baltic Sea sealions, flamingos, zebras, and more.

Seeing animals in real life helps students connect what they learned in classes about ecosystems, nature, and the water cycle, with real animals. The kids also learned more about how zoos have a responsibility to ensure they can provide for the animals they choose to take on.

For the Clean Water and Sanitation group, they learned about the importance of water for animal rearing, farming, and how a lack of proper infrastructure can lead to disease in animals and then humans.

This helped the students of the group extend their knowledge and focus on their area of research, which was what made water clean.

The kids were excited to learn that they, too, can educate others about how a lack of clean water affects a country’s economy and can change social dynamics and school attendance.

Getlini Eko

Our natural environment doesn’t stand a chance against the unending stream of trash that piles up from cities. To combat and reduce the negative impact of pollution, Getlini Eko works hard at innovating solutions that can make the most of natural energy and manage trash collection responsibly. 

Students who visited Getlini learned about innovative ways to sustainably grow vegetables and fruits with energy gathered from solar panels and from clean hydraulic solutions managed by the landfill. 

The organization also works hard at managing and safely storing trash from Riga and cities nearby. The site included an educational walk on types of bins and management of radioactive waste which helped the students understand how important safe management of energy and material collection and disposal is for cities.

Kemeri Parks

Ilze Ozola, Chairman of the Board at the Latvian National Peatland Society, took the students to Kemeri to learn about Wetlands, focusing on the famous Latvian Kemeri Bog. The students walked along the well-known boardwalk where they got to view various types of moss and plantlife. Ilze was an exceptional guide, educating students on the importance of the natural environment, the complicated nature of boglife, and it’s vital place in the natural ecosystem for the planet and animal life in Latvia and abroad.

In a twist of expectations, students learned how trees which seem rather young and small are actually decades old. 

The wetland changes the way plantlife looks and grows, so plants and animal life were able to adapt to their environment in order to maximise their survival and nutrient absorption. 

Students created their own peatland in a jar, guided by Ilze, and were taught about the different layers that create the environment. Students were educated on the cleaning ability of moss and how water squeezed from moss is drinkable for animals and humans.

Students of the Clean Water and Sanitation group were invited to ask Ilze a few questions. They learned more about moss, the various animals that visit and find safety in bogs, and how bogs are formed. Following the students’ research, they collected samples from a small river near Kemeri’s boardwalk, and then a small sample of water from Kemeri bog. 

Later, the students of the Clean Water and Sanitation group tested the water of the school’s tap and drinking water against water from various parts of Latvia brought by school staff and against the water they collected outdoors in Kemeri.

Grand Final: Exhibition Day

After hard work, progress on posters and artworks, and more, the students of Grade 5 set up the gym alongside their teachers for Exhibition day. Mentors such as Heath Capello, Jemma Dooley, Rachel Ernst, and Lisa Bariss had worked hard to support students as they fine-tuned their research skills, and Ginta Karklina checked in on the Grade 5 teacher’s Mary Levocz and Cloe Montoya to provide overall support from the ISR school.

The result was a beautiful day of activity, communication, and music. The kids sang their chosen song during the start of each period where classes or groups, such as lower grades, parents, and the International School of Latvia’s Grade 5 students, could visit and learn about the International School of Riga’s PYPX event.

Clean Water and Sanitation

The group, Clean Water and Sanitation, worked on combining research skills with what they’ve learned about drinkable water from official online and library-found resources. A bake sale was done twice with the help of parents to raise funds to build a well in Eti Koppaka, India, which was done with the help of charity Barnabas Benefit. After the exhibition, with the help of Erika Butler in organising communication with the charity, the well was built, and the students received photos viewing the constructed work!

Barnabas Benefit was one of the charities the group got in touch with to learn about the importance of clean water and sanitation. From their own research, the group understood how sanitation impacts the environment, human economies in countries around the world, school attendance, gender inequality, and health safety for children, adults, and the elderly in every city.

To test their research, the group used pH strip tests to view values of different minerals and other factors in water found around Latvia with the help of their community. They collected water from the school, Kemeri bog and a stream near the area, and from other people who could travel around Latvia. 

They compared different mineral and pH levels to come to their conclusion that neutral, non-carbonated, soft water is the healthiest and difficult to get from nature, emphasising the importance and necessity for appropriate infrastructure for providing water to communities, agricultural land, and large cities.

Reduced Inequalities

The students of the reduced inequalities group created ceramic art and posters that relayed messages of injustice, discrimination, and mental health. In the middle of their stand they displayed food items donated by community members over the past several months in Riga, and the kids have donated the goods to Hope for Children as a way of taking action. 

Over 170 items of non-perishable foods such as canned meats and fish, pasta, baby food, canned goods, and more were donated. 

During the exhibition, the students raised awareness about the negative impacts of racism, sexism, and homophobia on the health, safety, and economic journey of people who are not boxed in by stereotypical roles.

Affordable and Clean Energy

The students of the Affordable and Clean Energy group constructed an electric fan and made a creative animated video viewable through a QR code earlier in April. They showed these items, alongside art pieces of oil rigs and more, during their stand on Exhibition day. 

Combining the use of technology and art to raise awareness, the kids advocated for the advantage of sustainable and green energy, sharing details on what unsustainability is, the issues of relying solely on oil, and educated fellow students and others about the different types of energy we use globally and in Latvia. Daniel, a student of this group, shares “I felt more comfortable and confident with my feelings after Exhibition.”

Life on Land

The Life on Land group shared their learnings about the natural environment, various types of animals and plants across the world, their importance and connection to the stability of our ecosystems, and the large number of onions and plants they grew in preparation for the April Exhibition. 

Attendees could buy the onions, which helped the group save up to buy trees which would help them continue the treeline at the ISR Primary campus. The trees were planted by the students themselves, and will remain at the school for decades to come.

The kids also spoke about specific animals facing extinction, how societies have worked together to protect animal life, and what we can do as regular citizens to avoid contributing to pollution and climate change.

Life Below Water

The Life Below Water group combined art with action, using plastics after cleaning to create art and an interactive hallway where students, parents, and other guests could walk through to experience the claustrophobia of pollution.

The experience helped people understand how only a handful of plastics, which can last hundreds of years, can create a dangerous and unpleasant experience for a small fish or simple sea mammal.

By displaying trash from Riga’s Vansu Bridge at the exhibition, the students showed how a simple two hour cleanup with a small group could result in a significant amount of trash that, upon first glance, doesn’t seem very cluttered but turns out to be.

The group educated visitors on how to protect animals underwater, how pollution affects climate change and natural life, and more.

Moving forward

If you’re interested in learning more about what ISR does to prepare Primary students for Middle School, and later the International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma), get in touch with us at admissions@isriga.lv. If you’d like to learn about our graduates and their success stories, click here. Stay posted for next year’s PYPX (Exhibition) at ISR!

 

Author: Cloe Montoya

 

 

This year has been a banner one for our Grade 12 students at the International School of Riga (ISR). They’ve received acceptances from 40 universities across diverse regions including the US, England, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, UAE, France and Scotland. This achievement underscores the dedication, hard work, and commitment of our students, reflecting their readiness to pursue higher education at some of the best universities in the world.

At ISR, we take pride in fostering an environment where students can explore their talents and interests, choosing university programs that align perfectly with their aspirations. Our educational approach has continually resulted in a 100% university acceptance rate, with each student receiving offers from institutions that recognize their potential and readiness for advanced study.

The range of programs our students have been accepted into this year is notably diverse, covering fields such as biology, arts, engineering, physics, data science, computer science, marketing, neuroscience, economics, communication, business, and music production. This variety not only highlights the broad spectrum of interests among our students but also the quality of education and guidance they receive at ISR, which prepares them for success across multiple disciplines.

We are immensely proud of the global opportunities our curriculum has opened for our students. As they step into these new chapters of their academic careers, we look forward to seeing the impact they will make in their respective fields. The International School of Riga remains committed to nurturing young minds that are well-prepared to take on the challenges of a complex global landscape.

It is with immense pride that we celebrate Estere, a remarkable student from the International School of Riga (ISR), who has been accepted to New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) on a substantial scholarship. Estere’s journey from Latvia to the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi marks the beginning of a transformative chapter, filled with opportunities for personal growth, cultural immersion, and academic exploration.

Embracing New Cultures and Perspectives

Estere’s excitement about transitioning from Latvia to the culturally diverse environment of Abu Dhabi is palpable. Having been exposed to an international education at ISR, she looks forward to further broadening her perspectives, meeting new people, and diving into new cultures and traditions. This eagerness to learn and grow embodies the spirit of a true global citizen.

The Path to NYUAD: A Scholarship Journey

The scholarship Estere has been awarded covers approximately 90% of her expenses, highlighting the significance of financial aid in empowering students to pursue higher education without constraints. Estere’s journey to securing this scholarship involved meticulous preparation, determination, and the support of the ISR community.

Choosing NYUAD: A Decision Inspired by Diversity

The decision to apply to NYU Abu Dhabi was driven by the university’s diverse academic opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities, and the potential for research. Estere’s application process was supported by ISR’s nurturing environment, including guidance from the university counsellor and recommendation letters from dedicated teachers.

Navigating the Application Process

Estere describes the university application process as initially daunting but ultimately rewarding. From essays that capture her individuality to engaging in interviews and virtual candidate weekends, the journey was a testament to her resilience and the support she received from the ISR community.

Looking Forward to Life in Abu Dhabi

Anticipating the shift from Latvia to Abu Dhabi, Estere is excited about immersing herself in the Middle Eastern culture, broadening her understanding of the region, and living in a city known for its diversity and innovation.

ISR’s Role in Shaping a Global Citizen

Reflecting on her education at ISR, Estere credits the school’s diverse community for shaping her into an open-minded individual, prepared to embark on her international university journey. The environment at ISR fostered curiosity and respect for different cultures, setting the stage for her next chapter at NYUAD.

Advice for Aspiring Students

For students aiming for similar opportunities, Estere advises starting the scholarship application process early, utilizing available support, and persevering through challenges. Embracing setbacks as growth opportunities is key to success.

Preparing for Cultural Immersion

As Estere prepares for her move to Abu Dhabi, she focuses on learning about the local culture, adopting basic Arabic phrases, and connecting with fellow students. Embracing this new experience with an open mind, she looks forward to personal growth and cultural immersion.

Anticipating NYUAD’s Academic Environment

Estere expects a challenging academic environment at NYUAD that fosters exploration, critical thinking, and collaboration. She looks forward to engaging in vibrant student life, pursuing research initiatives, and contributing to the community.

Future Aspirations

Academically, Estere aspires to explore various disciplines before finding her true passion. Personally, she hopes to immerse herself in cultural diversity, build lasting friendships, and make meaningful contributions to NYUAD and beyond.

Congratulations, Estere, on your remarkable achievement! The ISR community is incredibly proud of you and eagerly awaits the stories of your successes and experiences at NYU Abu Dhabi.

On April 5th, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, at our Vesetas street 3 campus, we proudly present “An IB Victim’s Melodrama,” an inspiring IB Art Exhibition by our Grade 12 student, Stella. This event is not just an exhibition but a significant milestone in Stella’s IB journey, accounting for 40% of her IB art grade.

Each IB HL Art student undergoes the challenge of creating 8-11 cohesive artworks for their final exhibition. Stella’s collection is unified by the theme of emotions—a theme that emerged naturally as she navigated through the intense experiences of the past two years, channeling her feelings into her art.

This exhibition aims to resonate with visitors on a personal level, challenging societal narratives around expressing emotions. Stella’s work aspires to provide comfort and reassurance, conveying the message that it’s okay to feel and express emotions freely.

Throughout her IB Art course, Stella has delved into the study of human expressions and figures, making people the focus of her exhibition. Attendees will witness a diverse range of materials, styles, and techniques, reflecting Stella’s exploration and development of her unique artistic voice.

Despite being the sole art student in Grade 12 this year, Stella’s dedication and passion have culminated in this solo exhibition—a testament to her creativity and resilience. The anticipation and support from peers and teachers have been overwhelming, adding to the excitement and pressure of presenting her work to the ISR community.

Join us to explore Stella’s emotional and artistic journey, where each piece tells a story of vulnerability, strength, and the universal experience of navigating through emotions. Let’s support Stella and experience the comfort and connection her art brings to us all.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to celebrate the talent and hard work of our students. We look forward to seeing you at “An IB Victim’s Melodrama” and sharing in this special moment of artistic expression and emotional exploration.

In an effort to enrich our educational practices and strengthen collaboration within Latvia’s education system, the International School of Riga (ISR) ventured on a rewarding journey of learning and exchange with Jelgava’s State Spidolas Gymnasium, a prominent secondary school in the region.

On March 13th, ISR warmly welcomed five guests from Jelgava’s State Spidolas Gymnasium, intending to forge a meaningful partnership between the two schools. The day unfolded with various activities crafted to facilitate sharing knowledge and exploring each institution’s unique educational approaches.

The afternoon included small and large group activities to help each school learn about its vision and methodology, with ISR focusing on sharing its approach to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP)

One of the standout moments of the day was a session on Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) led by Nick Christen, ISR’s CAS coordinator. Guests delved into the transformative role of CAS in nurturing students into collaborative, globally engaged citizens who demonstrate perseverance and commitment to engage in the complex world around them.

ISR’s Lauren Fenato, Secondary Geography, TOK & Global Perspectives teacher, and Emily Buckland, the IB DP coordinator, led engaging discussions on Theory of Knowledge (TOK) planning. Attendees were encouraged to participate and share their insights actively, culminating in a collaborative lesson observation during grade 11 TOK, providing guests with a firsthand experience of ISR’s teaching practices.

But the learning didn’t stop there. Our friends from Jelgava described their interdisciplinary planning in the Middle Years Programme (MYP), while ISR’s Secondary Principal, Heath Capello, shed light on Diploma Programme (DP) Courses and Assessment Practices.

As the day drew to a close, Andrea Christen, ISR’s Extended Essay coordinator, shared personal experiences and valuable tips for tackling the Extended Essay, inspiring all present with how she has implemented student feedback to develop the student journey through the Extended Essay.

These collaborations extend beyond the exchange of knowledge; they foster connections and cultivate a community of learners. Whether international or local, the International School of Riga believes in the power of shared learning. As plans for future collaborations take shape and anticipation builds for ISR’s visit to Jelgava’s school, the excitement for the journey ahead is palpable.

The International School of Riga is pleased to invite all community members to our upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Thursday, March 21st, from 18:00 to 20:00. This important gathering will be hosted online via Zoom, ensuring everyone can join us from the comfort of their homes.

AGM Agenda:

  • Director’s and School Council’s Reports
  • Financial Report
  • Approval of Annual Financial Statements for the Year 2023
  • Approval of the Tuition and fees for School Year 2024 – 2025
  • Election of a New Council Member
  • Questions & Answers Session

We encourage our community members to actively participate in the Q&A session. Questions can be submitted in advance via this Google Form until March 19th at 18:00 or directly during the AGM via the Zoom chat.

Voting Process:

  • Preliminary voting: March 20th, from 9:00 to 23:00.
  • Meeting voting: March 21st, during the AGM, from 18:00 to 22:00.

Voting links will be emailed from ElectionBuddy to one parent per family. Please check both your inbox and spam folder for the email. Your participation in the voting process is vital to achieving the required quorum for making decisions during the General Meeting.

The AGM presents a valuable opportunity for our community to engage, discuss important topics, and contribute to the shaping of ISR’s future. We look forward to a productive meeting that promises to be both informational and enlightening.

Should you have any queries or need further assistance, please feel free to reach out at any time. Let’s come together to make our school an even better place for our students and community.

We eagerly await your presence at the AGM on March 21st.

Thank you for being an integral part of the ISR community.

In the bustling hallways of the International School of Riga (ISR), stories of success and ambition unfold every day. Today, we spotlight Maxim, a Grade 12 student whose academic journey has led to remarkable achievements – acceptances from four prestigious universities in the United Kingdom for Marketing Management. Maxim’s dedication, hard work, and passion for marketing have culminated in offers from the University of Brighton, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, and University of Sussex.

  1. Maxim, congratulations on your impressive university acceptances! How do you feel about this achievement?

Hello! Thank you very much. My friends and family members have also congratulated me on surpassing this fantastic milestone — I am delighted to receive acceptance letters from these prestigious UK Universities, and I look forward to the next steps of this exciting process!

  1. Can you share what inspired you to pursue a degree in Marketing Management?

From a very young age, I have enjoyed the concept of writing. At the age of five, before I thoroughly learned how to write, I began creating my own short stories and novels. This craft became the foundation of my future experiences and the selection of my preferred area of study.

Since the beginning of Grade 10, I have been involved in a number of valuable work experiences that helped me identify Marketing as my desired profession. I began my working career in the sphere of journalism — writing 600+ news articles for an online newspaper. Subsequently, I have transitioned into the field of content marketing and collaborated with various IT companies, FinTech businesses, and Start-Ups that further supported me in uncovering my passion for Marketing.

Currently, I am exploring the personal branding industry while working one-on-one with Founders, Consultants, and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and helping them to build impactful personal brands on LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to stay in touch or discuss a potential partnership!

Overall, the idea to pursue a degree in Marketing Management has been primarily inspired by practical, hands-on projects in which I have participated throughout the years of my High School career, as well as the interest that I developed towards that industry.

  1. With acceptances from four prestigious UK universities, how did you go about making your decision on where to apply?

In addition to the United Kingdom, I have also applied to two other countries — the United States and the Netherlands. In my eyes, these locations offer the optimum combination of features and opportunities that I could leverage and enjoy throughout my Undergraduate Studies and beyond.

It is worth mentioning that the offers from the UK Universities are conditional in terms of the IBDP requirements. Therefore, plenty of work still needs to be done as a part of the next steps of this journey — I look forward to finalising my IBDP-related coursework, preparing for my end-of-year exams, and completing the ultimate components of my University Applications!

  1. What role did ISR play in preparing you for the university application process and your future studies in Marketing Management?

The International School of Riga has played a pivotal role in my education and preparation for the University Application process. 

I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the teachers and staff members of ISR who have helped me with my learning ever since I joined this school in Grade 6. 

In terms of the University Applications, I am extremely thankful to Ms. Lauren Fenato and Ms. Andrea Christen for providing me with outstanding Recommendation Letters, as well as to Ms. Duong Mai, our kind and attentive University Counsellor, who has assisted me at every step of this pathway.

  1. Throughout your time at ISR, what experiences or projects do you believe significantly contributed to your interest and success in marketing?

One of my most meaningful school-related projects and experiences has been the establishment of the ISR Telegram News Channel, which aims to connect students, parents, and faculty members by publishing daily news and announcements about the school.

I founded this channel at the start of Grade 10, and it has been active for 3+ years. The project emerged as a Mission & Service (M&S) group, later transforming into my CAS Project for the IBDP Curriculum. 

The ISR Telegram News Channel enhanced my leadership and communication skills. It allowed me to experience a previously uncharted niche at ISR, as well as the process of developing and scaling this venture by means of content marketing and advertising within the school community. All members of the ISR Community are welcome to join the channel via this invite link.

  1. The application process can be quite daunting. Can you share any challenges you faced and how you overcame them?

The University Application process encompasses multiple steps and can become quite time-consuming. A challenge I faced was maintaining a balance between tasks associated with the University Applications, as well as other school-related commitments and IBDP projects. Jotting down all of your deadlines and putting them on a calendar view (e.g., I use Notion) was beneficial to see the bigger picture and streamline my time management system.

  1. Do you have any specific goals or aspirations you hope to achieve during your time at university?

My major goals and aspirations during my time at University include diving deeper into my chosen program, meeting new people, developing new connections, and simply enjoying every moment of this wonderful adventure!

  1. Marketing is a field that’s constantly evolving. Are there any particular trends or areas within marketing that you’re excited to explore more deeply?

At the moment, my work experiences and ongoing projects have led me to specialise in digital and content marketing directions of this field. On the side, I am actively learning about affiliate marketing, social media marketing, and community management, among other areas.

As you have correctly pointed out, marketing is a field that is constantly evolving. I find this concept as one of the most fascinating aspects of this industry because there is always room for learning, growth and improvement!

  1. Looking back at your journey, what advice would you give to fellow ISR students considering their future university studies and career paths?

The main advice I would like to share with fellow ISR students contains some timeless strategies — pursue an area of study that you genuinely enjoy and start the University Application process early. 

From personal experience — research, essay writing, and profile management go smoother when you have a comfortable time margin before your next deadline. I wish all ISR students the best of luck with their future University Applications!

  1. Finally, as you look forward to starting your university life, what are you most excited about, and how do you plan to make the most of this new chapter?

I am incredibly excited about this new chapter and everything that University life has to offer. There are multiple components that I look forward to exploring, such as joining new communities, adapting to a different learning environment, and gaining insightful knowledge about my chosen area of study. Thank you very much for inviting me to participate in this interview. I really appreciate this wonderful opportunity. Have a nice day!

In our continuous effort to support the holistic well-being of our students, ISR is excited to extend an invitation to all parents of Grades 6 – 12 to a crucial workshop titled “Managing Student Anxiety.” This event, aimed at equipping parents with the knowledge and tools to assist their children through challenges, is led by the esteemed Ms. Jurita Smiltiņa, ISR’s Secondary School’s Social-Emotional Counselor.

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday, March 14
  • Time: 17:00 – 18:00
  • Location: Vesetas 9

Anxiety in students is a growing concern, and understanding how to navigate these waters as a parent is essential. Ms. Smiltiņa will delve into several key areas during the workshop, including how to recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety, effective support strategies for parents, and the science behind anxiety. Additionally, she will provide practical advice on what approaches to try and what to avoid, aiming to equip parents with a comprehensive understanding of how to aid their children.

Moreover, the workshop will address the importance of expanding mindsets to combat negative or rigid thinking patterns, fostering a positive and encouraging atmosphere for students to overcome their anxieties.

This in-person session promises to be an invaluable resource for parents, offering insights into the complexities of student anxiety and presenting strategies to support their children’s emotional health effectively.

RSVP Today: We encourage all interested parents to RSVP by filling in the provided form to ensure adequate preparations for this important event. Your participation is a step towards strengthening the support network for our students within the ISR community.

Don’t miss this opportunity to join hands with ISR in nurturing a supportive and understanding environment for our students to thrive emotionally and academically.

RSVP Here

We look forward to welcoming you to an evening of learning, sharing, and empowerment at the Managing Student Anxiety workshop. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our students.

On a crisp Saturday morning, the vibrant halls of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE became a bustling hub of creativity and learning, thanks to the meticulously organized silk screen printing workshop and exhibition tour on February 3rd. This enriching event, thoughtfully arranged by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), saw an impressive turnout of eager participants ready to immerse themselves in the art of textile painting—a craft steeped in ancient Asian traditions.

The workshop was more than just an opportunity to learn a new skill; it was a bridge connecting participants to the rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Under the expert guidance of skilled artisans, attendees delved into the intricate process of silk screen printing, transforming plain T-shirts and bags into personalized masterpieces. The air was thick with concentration and creativity, as each participant, from young enthusiasts to seasoned artists, brought their visions to life on fabric.

But the day offered more than just practical learning. The guided tour of the Riga Bourse Museum added a profound layer of inspiration to the experience. As participants wandered through the galleries, they were greeted by an array of stunning artworks and exhibits. Each piece, with its own story and significance, invited onlookers into a dialogue with history, culture, and the endless possibilities of artistic expression. This blend of hands-on activity and educational exploration made for a truly memorable day, deepening everyone’s appreciation for the arts.

The event’s success was a testament to the community’s vibrant spirit of curiosity and creativity. The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE provided the perfect backdrop for this cultural immersion, offering warm hospitality and an inspiring setting that left an indelible mark on all who attended.

As we reflect on this unforgettable day, we are reminded of the power of art to connect, inspire, and educate. The enthusiasm and talent displayed by each participant underscored the importance of such events in fostering a deep-rooted appreciation for cultural traditions and the arts.

We extend our sincerest gratitude to the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE and to every participant who made this event a resounding success. Your creativity and passion were the heart of this workshop, and we look forward to seeing how you continue to express yourselves and inspire others.

Let’s keep the art spirit alive and thriving within our community. Don’t forget to share your creations and experiences using #PTOCreativeDay, and stay tuned for more opportunities to explore, learn, and create together.