Renaissance International School Saigon fosters international mindedness

At Renaissance International School Saigon, internationalism is at the heart of the school's ethos, according to Head of School Peter Gittins.

Gittins explained internationalism is clearly reflected in the curriculum, in day-to-day interactions between students, faculty and staff, through commitment to service learning along with local, national and international involvement.

"At Renaissance, we endorse the December 2014 International Baccalaureate definition of international mindedness, which is an open, respectful attitude to others; whether that be the ideas they share, culture they come from, or their opinions," he added.

The heart of Renaissance International School Saigon's mission includes excellence in international education and a commitment to respecting the planet, oneself and others.

A multinational class at Renaissance International School Saigon.

Students at Renaissance are exposed to diverse perspectives on topics like age, beauty, space, time and family to increase their understanding of how things can be viewed differently from a cultural perspective, Gittins said. "We go far beyond the typical celebrations of flags, food and fundraising", he added.

"Teaching and learning about other cultures promotes tolerance and encourages engagement with these cultures. We aim to go beyond passive coexistence, to create understanding of, respect for and dialogue between different cultural groups," Gittins stated.

 Students at Renaissance International School Saigon are encouraged to go beyond passive coexistence, to create understanding of, respect for and dialogue between different cultural groups, its principal said.

At Renaissance, he said, international mindedness is developed in numerous ways. Students are encouraged to reflect on the extent to which a viewpoint they hold is culturally specific. They accept and understand that people will view actions differently depending on their cultural backgrounds. They work collaboratively with peers and teachers from different backgrounds and are open to exploring new ways of doing things.

In reflecting on the school’s commitment to the promotion of international mindedness, the annual United Nations Day celebration held on Friday, October 16, provided an insight into how the school tackles the issue. The day began with a flag procession, all students dressed in their national costumes.

After a few speeches, primary and middle school students spent the day working in groups developing projects related to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which were then shared with the rest of the school at the end of the day.

The annual United Nations Day celebration was held on October 16.

"Students were able to identify and explore a number of key issues facing the world and, in the process, step out of their bubble and confront key challenges with a view towards better understanding them. They crossed cultural boundaries and worked together to find tangible solutions," the principal commented.

Fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and a member of FOBISIA and EARCOS, Renaissance International School Saigon provides a dynamic curriculum for students from two years to 18, including the prestigious IB Diploma Program.

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