The Skolkovo International Gymnasium celebrated its second birthday on Thursday with a day of singing, dancing, masterclasses and lectures, as students, teachers and parents looked back on a packed year that saw the fledgling school move into its first premises inside the Skolkovo innovation city.

The celebrations on Thursday included a spirited performance of a song from the musical "Cats." Photo:

September 1, the day when the school’s 133 students began the new academic year in their new premises with a new headmistress, was the day that stuck out most in pupils’ minds, though they have certainly been busy since then. In the two years since the gymnasium was opened for children of those connected to the Skolkovo innovation city, the pupils have already done much to remember and celebrate, said the school’s director, Oksana Demianenko.

“Your successes are the successes of the school,” Demianenko told the students. “You are making the history of the Skolkovo Gymnasium.”  

Amid a varied programme performed to an audience of fellow students and proud parents at Skolkovo’s Hypercube building, the students looked back on their diverse achievements throughout the last year – a list that fully reflected the forward-looking outlook of the pioneering private school, which aims to inspire future generations of innovators. 

Skolkovo Gymnasium director Oksana Demianenko. Photo:

Fifth-grade students Maxim Shcherbakov and Timofei Polivanov and sixth-grader Alexander Makarevich, for example, designed a model for a space station that won the Space category at the All-Russian Competition of Children’s Technology Projects. Their fellow student Daniil Yefimov’s project to use a flying robot to transport cargo was named the most creative idea at the Future Intellectual Leaders of Russia forum in Yaroslavl, an achievement that must surely have made his father particularly proud: Albert Yefimov is head of robotics at the Skolkovo innovation centre.

The students also looked back on their more traditional academic achievements. Two eleventh-graders, Anna Kruglakova and Alfred Nasibulin, won the municipal stage of the Russian Olympiads in the subject of English, with Kruglakova winning the German section too. Nine straight-A students in the school were awarded with prizes Thursday for completing the first half of the school year without getting a single grade lower than a 5 – the highest grade in the Russian education system.

Sporting achievements were not overlooked either, with 24 students awarded cups for their participation in school sports.

The Skolkovo Gymnasium is due to move into its purpose built state-of-the-art facilities in September this year. For now, it is housed in another building on the territory of the innovation city, and already has close ties with the city’s other institutions. Thursday’s celebrations, for example, also included a lecture for older children by Konstantin Severinov, an award-winning professor of biomedicine at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech).