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.