Since the days of yore when students studied at gurukuls, education has changed dramatically. Today, more than just teaching the 3Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic, education should aim at the intellectual growth of a child, which in turn becomes instrumental in the development of a country. But a child develops intellectually only if exposed to a comprehensive training regimen, as only then would the child’s all-round development be ensured.
This is why it is imperative for schools to ensure their curriculum develops all aspects of a child’s personality. Understanding a child’s special needs, VIBGYOR High International School has become the first to set up a Curriculum Department. The aim of the Curriculum Department is to make the syllabus child centric. In a child-centric curriculum, sports and physical activities are considered integral. Compared to others who just have academic or pedantic knowledge, students following a child-centric curriculum are exposed to practical knowledge and enjoy the advantage of hands-on experience. With the establishment of such a department, the curriculum is customized in accordance with the needs of the children and not the other way round.
The Curriculum Department is responsible for the effective planning of the curriculum. The duties of the department include determination of curriculum content, selection of learning resources and classroom procedures and even evaluating progress. Establishing useful learning experiences, defining appropriate learning objectives and evaluating the curriculum at regular intervals are the principles which drive the department. With a dedicated department, periodic revisions of the curriculum are also possible as and when required.
Curriculum content is one of the core concerns of the department. A creative team of 40 curriculum developers work to develop content at VIBGYOR High. Each level of content is developed in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the Boards (CICSE, CBSE, CIE and NIOS) and the National Curriculum Framework. Such curriculum content is based on the knowledge of international teaching trends and the latest research inputs.
With an ideal student-teacher ratio of 10:1, the focus is on the learner’s needs while tailoring the curriculum. The syllabus is designed with the aim of building and deepening the understanding of students. Each child’s unique learning style is considered by the Curriculum Department. Through the theory of Multiple Intelligences, the department aims to tap the learning style of each child that goes beyond logical, linguistic skills and uses it to provide an optimum learning environment.
The establishment of a curriculum department has produced a curriculum that promotes experiential learning, critical enquiry and creativity. The curriculum even encourages perceptual skills as well as physical, language and mathematical development of a child.
Team work projects teach the students to work in teams and lessons on social interactions educate them about the proper way to interact with others in society. Activities such as yoga and meditation train students to control their mind and body by adapting to the ups-and-downs of life, while adventure trips expose them to the outside world. The all-round curriculum also imparts lessons on creative writing, public speaking, sculptures, art and theatre, which takes care of the over-all development of the child. Through integration of such activities, the advantage of a supportive learning environment can be taken to prepare students for life beyond classrooms.
Through such innovations, VIBGYOR High has put forward its vision of Enthuse, Enlighten and Empower. The Curriculum Department helps the school provide inclusive education to students that produces an ideal mix of academic and corporate professionals.
The author is Kavita Sahay, director – human resources, schools and academics, VIBGYOR High International School, Mumbai.