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Schools are compelled to shut in an exertion to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The pandemic saw many parents/ guardians juggling careers while simultaneously supervising and observing their child’s learning from home. Out of those long months of disruption, both teachers and parents have  the opportunity to appreciate more completely the significance of a strong home/ school organization built on trust. But the increase in parental involvement in children’s learning ought to provide them relatively more of a say in choices that directly influence them.

Parents can empathize with the reality that children are feeling justifiably apprehensive and stressed about COVID-19. Comfort your children that the illness due to COVID-19  is for the most part gentle, particularly for children and young adults. Make them understand that the symptoms of COVID-19 and the disease itself can be treated. From that, parents can remind them that there are numerous compelling things they can do to keep themselves and others secure and to feel in way better control of the circumstances by frequently washing their hands, by not  touching their faces and by following social distancing.

Parents can offer in-person playdates through the internet. Parents can set their children up on video conferencing, like Skype or Zoom, so they can keep in contact with their friends or colleagues. If everybody is at home with each other all the time, having one on one time with each child could be a great way to create a closer bond.

Each parent must develop a habit of keeping constant communication with the teachers. With online learning, it has become much less demanding for families to have one on one contact with teachers either through their work emails or work phone numbers. Parents can utilize this time to plan a virtual meeting with the educator to catch up with your child’s progress.

Parents should set regular meal times to maintain a strategic distance from all-day grazing. Parents should serve 3 suppers and 1 to 2 planned snacks each day. When it's time to eat, they should have their children sit at the table and not in front of a screen. This way, children are centered on the food  and less likely to overeat. Parents should encourage their children to be active for at least 30 minutes each day. Parents should also let their children go outside to play.

A planned and concerted effort will help all to tide over these times more easily and meaningfully.

- School Editorial Team

The Covid 19 situation has brought about a revolutionary change in the educational sector the world over. Faced with the possibility of having to forgo a year of classroom education, the traditional chalk and talk teaching had to be shelved and new innovative methods of instruction were devised. So was born the online platform of teaching and learning. 

As with everything else, e-learning too comes with its challenges and its rewards. The online platform offers the advantage of access anytime, anywhere at the click of a button. Completing activities, assignments and accessing learning material can be achieved anytime and anyplace, thereby affording vast flexibility to the user. Why, you could be holidaying in a different city and still attend your classes everyday! In traditional learning, one has to follow a fixed schedule at a specific place and certainly cannot be physically absent. The familiar and comfortable environment of a regular schedule and a known campus offers comfort to the school goer. The joy of interacting with friends and teachers is what makes going to school or college a memorable experience. This can beat the loneliness that the online platform brings along  as a natural consequence of learning from home.

 The online platform offers a flexible pace as well as independence. One can work alone and of course the primary source of information is online content. One can fit studies around  work schedules and can immediately practice new concepts. Students can always access learning material such as module content, assignments and recorded sessions anytime during the course of their studies. In traditional classroom learning, the pace of teaching and consequently learning, is controlled mainly by the teacher as facilitator. Here, one can work together with  classmates and can  learn from them too. Social and Life skills are picked up in the interactive environment of the classroom, skills that last a lifetime and are invaluable in learning to interact with the outer world. 

- School Editorial Team

 

Schools are closed for quite a while, but schooling is on. Since children can’t travel, education has come to their doorstep. E-learning has become the new normal and parents have suddenly stepped into the shoes to assist educators.

Here are tips that may help children learn online:

1. Set a schedule- Create a schedule for the day, the simpler it will likely be for everyone. Provide  your children the time table , you should probably revise whatever you come up  with at first to fit your circumstance at home

2. Create a positive e-learning environment- First and foremost get familiar before logging on. Adequate lighting can help you physically and mentally. Open the windows and allow ventilation and natural light in. Be innovative based on your child’s learning preferences and your unique home environment. Create a study/ reading area with a large box with pillows, a place at the table/ study desk.  Ensure that your child has the materials needed for the learning activity (e.g. paper, pens or pencils, digital devices). Try to limit interruptions as much as possible.

3. Have patience- Patience is very important to ensure conceptual clarity. However, every child has a unique learning curve. On the digital platform, you can spend as much time as you want on a particular topic till you get absolute clarity. The main objective is to furnish the students with the important concepts and give him the confidence. The parents' role is important in terms of being patient and motivating a child to work on the concepts. .

4. Allow breaks during online classes- A small break can be a great mental respite. Extended periods of time on computer use can lead to excessive sitting and associated negative health effects. During a break, mindfulness can calm feelings of overwhelm by making a body-mind connection. Ask your child to sit quietly for 2 minutes with eyes closed and ask to take a deep breath. It improves attention, mood and helps children cope with stress. Also, make them do short activities. It will stimulate the mind. Go for walks with children, have funny talks with them. This will help boost a child’s motivation and put them in a better mood.

5. Have fun- Many of the lifestyle changes that the current circumstance has brought in are involuntary, however, it is very important to keep a cheerful disposition while studying together with your children and keep a positive attitude. This will assist your child to cope much better with the present crisis as they are also missing their old lifestyle which includes going to school, meeting friends and other outdoor activities. Spending  time with them and being able to take an active part in their studies was something unimaginable even a few months back. However, your involvement with your child will surely boost their confidence and create memories for a lifetime.

- School Editorial Team

STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. “STEAM” includes STEM plus the Arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design, and new media.

The main difference between STEM and STEAM is STEM explicitly concentrates on scientific concepts. STEAM investigates the same concepts but does this through inquiry and problem-based education methods used in the creative process.

'STEAM' education in schools provides students with the opportunities to learn creatively, practicing 21st-century skills such as problem-solving. These extensive capabilities are crucial to growing a future-ready workforce that understands the potential of “what if” when resolving problems that occur in real life.

So the idea of “what if?” is not dependent on the purchase of STEAM-specific technologies or even classroom or the maker space design. It’s more dependent on the creativity and curiosity of the teachers collaborating with their students.

We at The Orbis Schools strongly believe that the purpose of education is not the ability to ace some tests and beat your peers. That is not real success. It is rather the nurturing and development of one’s creative brainpower and essential talents, enhanced by the breadth of knowledge gained from ALL subjects. There is as much creativity in engineering, science, and mathematics as there is in the arts, by the way. It requires an enormously creative and expanded brain to comprehend quantum physics for example!

The schools and universities must redefine how and what they teach to remain relevant to the industry. Education should give fair value to all subjects and how these subjects relate to solving current and future real-world problems, whilst embracing the use of technology and how to develop the world with technology. Digital disruption is affecting the whole industry and our kids need to be ready for this. STEM is important, but so is the broader thinking outside of STEM subjects. STEAM should be the future.

- School Editorial Team

Every parent is anxious to give their child the best school experience because you are putting your child on a long, winding path of learning. Thus, this path needs to be selected carefully and wisely. A good school from the start will cause excellent success in the child's career. Selecting a school for your kid could not only be a vital task but also a hard task too. A good school can lay a good foundation for your child's career.  We don't know which is the best school for the child because there are many schools located near us. Choosing a good school may be difficult,  but it is not impossible.

Here are the factors which will help you to choose the best school for your child.

1. Take a tour

Take a tour- When you find a school that looks like a good fit, it's a good idea to visit and meet the teachers, principal, see what their values are, how they are teaching, how they interact. Prepare some questions like how well are teachers trained? How is the behaviour of a teacher towards a child? how much homework is given to the children, what the overall learning environment looks like?

2. Make a choice about a curriculum

In today’s education world, the curriculum doesn’t refer to only books, in fact, it refers to the totality of students’ experiences throughout the educational process. Curricular activities are an integral part of the school and help in enhancing the learning process of students. They facilitate in enhancing the social and intellectual skills, moral values and personality of the students. There are many Education boards in India like CBSE, ICSE,  IGCSE, IB, State Boards and all these boards have a different curriculum. The level of all the boards is different. The fundamentals that will be taught will be different. You should understand beforehand the curriculum followed and the co-curricular activities that are offered in the school. Each Board addresses the need of the student as regards their higher study trajectory.  For example, competitive exams are set on the lines of the CBSE curriculum, foreign boards curriculum would help the students who prefer to study overseas for their undergrad or PG programs.  You should additionally choose the board with the difficulty level which suits your child.

3. Find out the school's achievement

Try to find out what the school has achieved in terms of board results, co and extracurricular activities, sports competitions, etc. The achievements can give you a better idea of the school's effectiveness in teaching and the all-round development of your child.

4. Teaching methodology

The teaching methodology ought to be such that it suits your child. Every child's need is totally different. Some children feel comfortable grasping the theory that they need a theoretical approach,  but some children need a practical approach. You have to make sure that the school you are choosing follows the best approach which will suit your child. Teaching-learning is an ever-evolving process, so, ensure that the school organises regular workshops and training for the teachers to keep them up-to-date. Make sure that the student-teacher ratio should be such that it allows proper attention and care to each and every student as well as provides for fair competition.

5. Fame

This could be a must-have for any school to be considered good. The scholastic track record of the school and the awards it has won for excellence determine if a school would include among the top 10 CBSE schools in India or your city. Please, do in-depth research and analysis on the school to find out if it is really worth the fame. If yes, only then consider it for your kid.

With these tips in mind, you are now poised to make a good decision for the best education for your child. We wish you the very best of luck!

- School Editorial Team

When looking for a good school for your child, make sure to keep certain parameters in mind. The academic reputation of a school is built on years of hard work and dedication. Speak to parents of wards studying in a particular school to determine the proficiency and competence of the teaching faculty. The results at the Board level classes will tell you a lot about the academic excellence of the school.

A school that includes many co and extracurricular activities in its curriculum focus on the holistic development of its wards. Therefore, look for a school that has plenty of activities in its calendar of events.

Students spend the better part of each working day in school and therefore, big, airy classrooms, clean washrooms, a green campus, ample sports facilities, a well-equipped canteen, good security systems and well-stocked libraries and laboratories are amongst other requirements that parents must definitely look for.

A school that inculcates good values and a strong belief system in its wards will stand the test of time. Students who are polite, well-groomed and confident will reflect the vision and mission of the school and such a school will be an excellent choice for your child’s future.

- Ms. Nalini Samuel,

  Principal

  The Orbis School Keshavnagar

The CBSE Board is a progressive, child-centric Board with its focus on the all-round development of the students. What are the factors that a parent needs to look out for when choosing a good CBSE school for their child? 

A good CBSE school should have the following skill subjects to enhance the multidisciplinary approach in teaching-learning and to sensitize the new generation:

  1.  Life skill education- It aims to mobilize a behavior development approach through adequate delivery of content addressing information, attitudes and value-enhanced life skills. The core life skills are:
  1. Social awareness- It is an element that helps the students to develop many skills and understands their role in society. It’s the combination of emotional intelligence and cultural proficiency. CBSE schools understand the requirement for social awareness and therefore implement it by conducting numerous activities for students.
  2. Empathy- Most of the CBSE schools teach empathy to children at school as a compulsory subject. This makes them compete with themselves rather than with other students. Teaching empathy also helps children to concentrate on collective goals, bully less and be better leaders. The basic concept is to let the students express their problems and arrive at a solution along with the teacher and others in the class.
  3. Creative Thinking- This practice aims at empowering teachers to ask queries connected to a real-life situation and build curiosity among students, facilitate discussions to build collaboration and problem-solving skills and engage parents and the community at large in the students' learning method.
  1. Robotics- The introduction of robotics in schools, is helpful on multiple fronts.  Schools are startlingly resistant to change, despite being centres of learning and education. Nowadays, schools are largely dependent on teacher-led instruction despite the demonstrated benefits of practical learning. However, with rising awareness, schools are making headway in adopting and introducing new courses such as robotics.
  2. Artificial intelligence- AI has gained prominence and is being used almost everywhere over the last few years. The AI program is structured for students consisting of base strands of information (basics, history, applications), skills (design thinking, data fluency, critical thinking). The course has been made robust with problem-based learning outcomes and assessment methods for teachers to create foundational skills of AI in students. The concept is to train students with the fundamentals of AI.

A school is as good as its faculty and therefore, choosing a school that has well qualified and dedicated, long-serving teaching staff should be amongst top priority.

Education is not only about academics but also about holistic development in terms of uncovering talents, honing leadership qualities and imparting 21st-century skills. Therefore, a school that includes co and extracurricular activities in its daily routine is the one that parents should focus on.

Children need a safe and comfortable environment to blossom and flourish. Big, airy classrooms, clean washrooms, a green campus, ample sports facilities, a well-equipped canteen, good security systems and well-stocked libraries and laboratories are amongst other requirements that parents must definitely look for.

The school must have a well maintained and efficiently run transport system which would ensure a safe and comfortable commute to and from the school. The location of the school will be of importance here as school transport facilities are generally extended up to a certain distance.

- Ms. Nalini Samuel

Principal

The Orbis School Keshav Nagar

 

How To Make Online Teaching Learning More Efficient 1

As we are entering into a new era where social isolation has become the norm, the disruption to our lives has been sudden and drastic.  The education sector has witnessed a dramatic change too, moving from real-world classrooms to a virtual setting. As schools rapidly scramble to adjust to the digital classroom, we explore how online learning can be made truly powerful.

Ensuring Real Learning

Online teaching can be used as a way to re-craft mainstream teaching. A mix of synchronous and asynchronous modes of teaching can be instituted. Notably, the time is ripe for the teacher to play the role of a facilitator in a largely student-led model.

We, at The Orbis School- one of the best CBSE schools in Pune ensure that all elements of a school’s timetable should ideally be addressed, but in cognizance of the fact that online lessons would have a different format. For efficient transaction and immersion, it is a good idea for the student to be assigned pre-class work.

Keeping the focus on formative, rather than summative, assessment is also a hallmark of online teaching. The test or assignment should not offer judgments; it should rather inform teaching processes. Focusing on developing deep learning, the test should be a tool for the teacher to assess how far each student has progressed and where a student needs help.

Moreover, assigning students relevant and engaging tasks as a part of a unit plan that focus on concept-based learning is key to student success. These plans encourage and support self-paced learning that is more personalized.

Finally, for a student to be engaged in class, appropriate guidelines should be in place. For example, simple “class rules” such as raising one’s hand and allowing the teacher’s acknowledgement before unmuting and other basic tenets can go a long way in ensuring decorum in the online class. Such rules can also be in place to facilitate peer-to-peer communication.

Taking Care of Holistic Learning

We believe that the holistic approach to student development must also be addressed by the online model. It is thus important to timetable, not just scholastic engagement, but equally importantly, co-scholastic and pastoral engagements as well. Especially in the current context, engaging students in art and movement is the need of the hour not just to enhance and enrich the student’s academic performance.

The current situation may be embraced as an opportunity to re-assess how learning is facilitated in traditional schools. At The Orbis School - Top CBSE schools in Pune, weaving technology in curriculum delivery has remained a pillar in the traditional school. While the current jump to online instruction may be temporary, the school will continue to use technology, as it always has, in the teaching and learning processes.

- Editorial Team
The Orbis Schools

 

 

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