Have you heard of a school where 20 % of the teaching happens online using Google hangout? Harvest International School in Bengaluru does just that. It is a school that believes in education beyond the classroom. Effort is put in to relate the learning to real life wherever possible.
Lesson plans specify learning objectives for knowledge and skills that need to be learnt. Teachers also incorporate values and goals from school’s vision and mission statements in to lesson planning. The curriculum planning is meticulous and thought through processes based on Bloom’s taxonomy and multiple intelligences. Teaching caters to all levels of students in class and is enquiry based.
The academic requirements are mapped and a series of training sessions are arranged for the teachers every year during April-May. Teachers are grouped subject wise and CBSE / ICSE / CIE Board topics taken keeping NCERT as the base. Teachers identify chapters and 20% of the total teaching happens online using Google hangout. The chapters to be taught are also redesigned for projects/ essays / debates/ field trips and other activities.
“Extensive use of audio-visual aids and hands on learning methods are the key to reach our objectives,’ says Dr Kanna. Laboratory sessions and research work are also well planned and executed. Projects are presented integrating subjects to make students understand real life situations. Use of Hobson’s Curriculum Tool ensures that the learning objectives are supported by the activities planned and the learning goals are met.
The leadership ensures continuous monitoring of the teachers for need analysis through the year and training sessions for the skills that are required
Training for teachers to conduct online classes; prepare videos and presentations for students are done using Google apps.
Motivational workshops by renowned counsellors are organised to imbibe values.
Workshops by experts of different Boards on teaching methods used in classrooms.
Extensive training on ‘curriculum mapping tool’ and also mapping the AV resources.
Training to handle children with differences, maintaining records/anecdotal records to monitor the progress of children.
Training on communication skills.
Sequential curriculum plan, consistent teaching and continuous assessment. . .
Considering the working days, the year plan is meticulously prepared. It ensures that every activity done by the child has a relevant rubric for observation and assessment of the learning objectives. Immediate remedial action is also planned at each level. The school also uses guest faculty and online remedial teaching as per necessity. The whole planner has the correct mix of activities, written work, projects and other methods such as presentations, essays and debates etc. Children have the freedom to approach any teacher for help.
Lesson plans at Harvest are prepared after a lot of thought. While there is an academic emphasis based on bloom’s taxonomy, the lesson plans have to incorporate the learning outcomes based on the expectation of different Boards. It clearly states the values, skills, motto that are incorporated and an activity is planned to ensure that the learning goal is met with. These are scrutinised by HODs and approved by the Principal.
Teachers are trained on counselling skills and handling differently- abled students by trained counsellors, experts from medical and psychological fields. They are also trained on writing anecdotal records and planning on improvement of weak areas of students.
Students excel in the competitive world
The school provides opportunities for students to excel in competitions. Students participate in different competitive examinations such as Cambridge YLE/ KET/PET, UIEO, IEO, Spell bee, NSO, IMO, ITHO, NTSE, NSTSE, ASSET, DUKE TIP Exam, SKGK Olympiad, NCO, KVPY, IIT/JEE, PMPD, AIPMT and other National /State professional entrance examinations. Regular classroom teaching incorporates the requirements of preparation of students for these examinations.
Curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
The school has state of the art facilities for multiple sports activities like football, athletics, indoor basketball court, indoor skating arena, multipurpose playground. Students choose two activities per semester. Yoga, Karate and adventure activities are also offered. The school played host to Baichung Bhutia Football tournament. Students are trained on stamina as well as skill development and are sent for inter-school and inter-state tournaments.
Children are trained in model parliament and participate in debate, elocution, storytelling, puppetry competitions. Children are taken to orphanages, old age homes, cleaning drives on lakebeds and surrounding areas, socio-economic projects etc. to understand the real-life situations and develop compassion and the need to contribute to the society. The school celebrates events and activities like Grandparents Day, Service Appreciation Day to honor relationships. Patriotism, Indian culture and universal values are incorporated in all the activities.
The school offers contemporary dance as well as Bharatanatyam. Science exhibitions, annual talent day, annual Sports day and theme-based Prayer Assembly ensure that every child participates and develops public speaking skills. School elections, Student council and other leaders ensure that leadership skills are developed in students.
Partnership of parents, students and teachers
Harvest offers a balanced innovative curriculum as a bench mark and believes in parents’ involvement in all the activities of the school and work closely with teachers to ensure that the children get the best.
Parents are given orientation to understand about the strengths and needs of their children. The school takes action on the feedback from parents.
WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages and 24×7 help lines available for the parents to communicate.
Parents volunteer for activities like science exhibitions, field trips, innovation projects and guest teaching projects depending upon their interests and competencies.
Parents compliment the efforts of the teachers in the school
Continuous feedback from parents has become a norm at school and good ideas from parents are implemented. Regular interaction with parents makes them understand the need to support the school. Teachers ensure that the students meet the set goals