Thematic Learning allows learning to be more natural and less fragmented with all skills being linked and integrated around a theme. Children are engaged in learning when they identify with what is being taught. Real life examples ensure that children are engaged in the learning process, and can relate and understand what is being taught. Such a process ensures the 'Ah Ha moment' of understanding and as a result the children experience the 'joy of learning'.
For example with the Theme "World Under Water", Kindergarten children at IWS learnt the following.
Language skills: children listened to stories about the Ocean and its creatures, They watched the film; Finding Nemo, built new vocabulary around the theme.
They learnt rhymes like : I saw a fish go swimming by & Down in the ocean what do see?
Number Skills: They learnt Math and numbers also with the theme as a background.
Art and craft : They made origami fish, they created a cardboard aquarium for their class
EVS: They learnt about how animals breathe under water, how they move and what they eat
Field trip: They visited an aquarium, then returned to discuss and reflect on what they saw . They drew, wrote and recorded their experiences.
Theme Activity: They built a pond in their school with help from mentors and adults
The Time Line of a Roti : Learning in Connect With the Real World
At Indus we follow the approach of Realistic Mathematics, propounded by Jodo Gyan, an organization entrusted by GoI to rewrite the NCERT math books Indus children mostly love mathematics, a subject that is usually feared by students.
By using mathematical toolkits (Jodogyan), puzzles and games to introduce concepts, we make Math interesting and relevant to children's lives. This is a revolutionary approach of teaching mathematics, followed by some of the best schools in the country. Our teachers are specially trained in these techniques, which complement the wonderful textbooks we follow.
IWS uses widely acclaimed international practices such as Jolly Phonics from Jolly Learning Company, UK for teaching of theEnglish language to young children. Our goal is help children become ready to be independent readers by the age of five.
'Drop Everything And Read', Role Plays and Story Telling are some of the unique practices which promote reading and language skills among young children. Our classrooms in the Ananda phase have Reading corners and Word Walls, which encourage a natural way to learn the language. At Indus we believe that creative expression has to be encouraged from an early age and children from an early age engage in writing their own poems and making stories.
Inter-Personal Skills development and value education are encouraged from a very early age. A unique practice at Indus is one of Quality Circle Time, which is followed once a week by teachers and children together. During this time children learn to sharpen their thinking and listening skills, learn to give and receive feedback to each other and share their emotions with each other. These practices help children increase their perceptiveness and self-disclosure which are critical life skills
At Indus we believe that parents are our partners in the learning process. Understanding the family and its culture is integral to bonding better with a child. Mentors visit the home of each child once a year to get to know the family better. This little gesture goes a long way in building a lasting bond between child, mentor and parent.
Even at the earliest age levels, children are allowed to make choices and own their spaces. They give names to their classrooms, frame their own classroom rules and make choices of how they want to spend their time, during designated 'Choice Times'.
By giving children freedom, responsibility and respect, they grow up as self-adequate individuals with high self-esteem and a sense of self-discipline.
Closure is a no-holds barred session conducted at the end of each class day. It involves 15 minutes of reflection on the days events and is compulsory for everyone. The students explain how they feel at the end of the day and what made them happy or sad. The session is an opportunity for students to unload their school 'baggage' before going home.
EPL implies ‘Exercises of Practical life’. EPL prepares the child indirectly for all other areas of the curriculum with order, concentration, co-ordination and independence. A child is introduced to a prepared environment where she/he can carry out activities similar to ones that have been observed at home. These start with ‘social graces’ move onto more complicated activities ‘pouring’, ‘grooming’, ‘filing worksheets’ etc. To the child, these are meaningful activities that involve caring for herself/himself, others and the environment. They also help the child to concentrate, to expand the attention span and to improve their hand-eye co-ordination.