Major New International School to Open in Moscow
On the 21st of September at the ‘Cube’ a futuristic building in the centre of the Botanicheskii Sad, area of Moscow, David Rose, one of the board of the Brookes Education Group, signed a final agreement with Moscow’s Pioneer Group (developers) for the construction of a massive new International School due to open in September 2018. The arrival of this independent day school which will offer education based on the International Baccalaureate syllabus for 550 local and international students with an additional 240 kindergarten spaces has the potential to change the makeup of the international education environment in Moscow. The school is to open in September 2018, providing schooling from preschool through grade 12.
Brookes is a comparatively new, progressive, but rapidly expanding international education provider with schools on three continents. The fact that Brookes are committing themselves to Moscow in this way perhaps reveals a brave expression of confidence in Russia that we all too rarely see, a confidence that flies in the face of the underlying messages present in much of what we read about concerning Russia in the international press.
The project is unusual, because, as Andrey Grudin, the Managing Director of Pioneer Group pointed out during the signing ceremony, the new school will be part of a massive new development in Botanicheskii Sad called ‘LIFE-Botanical Garden’ which encompasses residential blocks, restaurants and shops. The new school is an integral part of the whole project. In this project, we have a Russian developer teaming up with an international education provider to invest in Moscow’s infrastructure for the benefit of both parties. Andrey spoke at length about the consortium of Dutch designers DMV Architects which created the concept for the building, and Japanese architects Nikken Sekkei who have designed the façade and landscaping; the same architects who are designing facades of many of the other buildings in this ‘microraion.’ The school has the advantage of being purpose-built; will be ‘smart’, and supply generous educational and recreational facilities.
Charley King, the new school’s founding headmaster, who has lived in Moscow for four years and calls Russia his new home, communicated the philosophy of the Brooke’s education system which is built upon the three principals of Creativity, Connections and Character. He envisages a holistic education which will surpass the ‘traditional constraints of the usual international schooling hours of 9am to 3.30pm,’ which is an approach that may fit in well with the traditional Russian view of secondary education here. Various innovative approaches will be introduced such as the introduction of mandarin Chinese in supporting the fundamental roots of maths learning. As a graduate of Chinese studies, I found this detail to be particularly interesting on both a philosophical and practical level.
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