Pedagogy at Bethany Institutions
Raising Levels in the area of Teaching and Learning
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist
Teaching and learning with a difference
The main aim in Pre Primary education is to attain an optimal awareness of the world and to acquire motor, cognitive and social skills as the basis for readiness to further their learning. The young learners interact very well with their peers and with teachers. A visitor on entering the portals of the little people’s arena, is welcomed with sweet strains of music and chuckles of laughter filling the corridors with an air of cheerfulness and excitement.
In the Pre Primary dept, learning is not confined to the limits of the classroom, textbooks and teacher, but they are helped to acquire skills and independence that enable them to continue learning outside and beyond school.
Experiential learning – In the classrooms the little ones are kept engaged in hands – on experiences and involved in the process of learning by doing. Visits to the nearby supermarket, the school bakery, the HAL Museum, visit to the Sarjapur Fire station, the Game Changers bringing in a lot of fun with skill building sessions, different places of worship and fun outings, picnics – the added excitement of getting onto the school bus and having a ride with their friends and teachers – all of these assist in developing life skills in the young learners.
Peer Learning – This is done when students learn with and from each other, Poster making – paper collage, craft lessons, circle times, dress ups and role plays, costume parades, show and tell times, a splash of colour days, salad making days, snack times and many such moments and days. It is an added attraction to have their parent’s involvement. Learning to share and cooperate is an important aspect of social interaction.
Play Way method – this involves encouraging children to learn basic concepts which are age appropriate in fun ways via hands – on activities instead of through traditional classroom teaching. Through play, children learn about the world and themselves. This is done through exploration in games, the use of toys, vocabulary and number games. The weekly lesson in the Montessori Lab enhances motor skills and introduces skills in a practical manner before going on to abstract concepts.
Establishing core values – This provides a sense of purpose and direction, which help children in making better decisions and choices in their everyday living. Valuetoons – bring out the theme of learning good values, through cartoon characters! Morning assemblies’ show case the values of love, respect, kindness, gratitude –The Rhyme and Rhythm shows, stories, puppets and role plays, all of these well placed programs help largely in developing sound values in our children.
In the Preprimary, foundational stage, we focus on six learning areas:
- Environmental Sciences or Nature Study
- Language and Literacy
- Numeracy and Logic
- Motor skills and physical development
- Aesthetics and creative expression
- Social and emotional development
All the above foundational skills are developed with a theme–based integrated learning approach.
Primary –The Primary Dept is one that has a distinctiveness to blend both studies and fun activities. There is a buzz throughout the day and through the academic year! The corridors have bulletin boards decorated with samples of the work that is happening in the classrooms.
At this level the school aims to provide all children with learning opportunities using several approaches in order to recognize and celebrate their uniqueness and to develop their full potential.
Focus on using a wide range of learning experiences: At this level we build upon the concepts and skills learnt in the pre-primary years. It is here they support a variety of pedagogical approaches central to learning and teaching. Varied activities that lend to learning – the Talent Hunt, Boogie Woogie, special days are celebrated helping our children to enjoy and respect the multi-cultural ethos of our great Nation. The Lit Fest, the Reading Program, the Mental Math competition, Kannada activities, Inter House games, Walk for fitness, Inter section Elocution contests, the Choral recitation, Craft work all of these activities and more contribute richly to learning.
Experiential Learning: This supports a variety of pedagogical approaches and strategies which is central to learning and teaching. The community helper’s day is to help children to appreciate and respect our support staff. Field trips organized to the HAL Museum, the Special school bakery. Picnics are fun times of sharing and caring for each other, the Safe touch and growing up sessions, salad and fruit salad making, Abacus, Robotics, organizing the Tuck shop is a huge learning experience, an exclusive Equestrian show in our Bethany grounds sparked a lot of interest and excitement in our students. This vast exposure to the various learning experiences will remain etched in our young learners mind.
Instilling Core Values – the morning assemblies have so much to offer, values that will remain long. Building relationships, Celebration of Love, our planet our Future, Incredible India, values on acceptance, building confidence, respect and recognition and many more assembly lessons based on moral values.
Assessments and Open House days: The AOLs – ‘Assessment of learning’ gathers information about how a child learns and what they learn. An assessment also helps in studying how a child is progressing and developing. An Open House is scheduled to encourage parents to meet with the teachers where feedback and guidelines are offered.
The Primary department further reinforces the foundation laid at the Pre – primary stage.
The NEP 2020 and the Council (CICSE) have stressed the following
“Questions should stress understanding of concepts, not just recall of facts. Schools need to move away from a rote memorization–centered approach towards a more comprehensive method that prioritizes understanding and application of concepts.”
In keeping with the Council’s requirement Bethany has taken a firm stance on raising standards in teaching and learning in the classroom. The Middle and High school years play a vital role in building life – long learning competencies.
First, it is important to acknowledge that successful teaching relies on the teacher and learner working together for success. In order for this relationship to flourish it is necessary for the teacher and learner to have contact with each other.
Middle School: This is a period in a child’s life which moves them from being children but still not into adolescence. This is a critical period where they are gradually made to progress from dependent to more independent learning – in other words, the need to shift towards self–learning. With this in mind, the students connect their studies and the real world.
At this stage, the teachers recognize the fact that there are different styles of learning and that every child learns in a different way – to support this, interactive sessions are planned, field visits to the Special School bakery, hands-on experiences, poster making, creative writing competitions are held, debates, dance, art and dress up competitions, public speaking, special growing up sessions are planned, competitions, excursions shows and picnics. The wide range of learning experiences is made so relevant in their lives, helping both the present and the future. Outstation trips to Delhi, Wayanad, and to the Western Ghats and excursions bring Geography to life.
Contextualization: The Middle school adapts and contextualizes according to their own requirements, keeping in mind the needs of the children. The key concepts and specific learning terms are covered based on the resources and the prescribed syllabus.
Core Values and Life Skills: These values and skills are instilled in students through meaningful morning assemblies with age-appropriate themes like ‘Respect’, ‘Be different’, ‘Think and speak well’, ‘A day without laughter is a wasted day’, and Morning assemblies encourage good student participation, along with the script writing.
Collaborative Learning: Working in teams and pairs creates a space for students to share learning experiences and accept ideas, agree to disagree. And above all, bringing together the three different achievement levels to work on one, shared platform and to appreciate one another. Editorial teams are formed to work on the Annual Reports. Anchoring morning assemblies and at different shows. Science Lab work and projects are all done in collaboration.
Assessment and Evaluation: At the end of a topic, lesson or unit, tests and assessments are held to check a student’s learning against the expected learning outcomes. Feedback and guidelines are given to the parents and students on the Open House days.
High School and Junior College
From the Council website: ‘In the ever-evolving world of education, CISCE has always stood out and pioneered many a change, always adopting and adapting to the global scenario and demands. Presently, with the release of the New Education Policy (NEP 2020) introduced by the Government and the changes proposed, CISCE too will be making suitable course corrections to be in sync with these proposals.’
The ICSE board is well-known for its comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum. It places a strong emphasis on both language proficiency and practical knowledge. The curriculum includes subjects like English, mathematics, science, social studies, and a second language, along with a wide range of elective subjects.
The High school and the Junior College are the two significant Depts. in the entire Bethany Institutions that reverberate with action, success stories and learning activities. It’s a learning environment which aims at a holistic education focusing on the overall development of the students. Equal opportunities are given to all students. Teachers’ are adept in using the Senses Interactive Smart boards during their lessons – students learn better, visuals come alive, leaving a lasting impression on the mind. These Interactive smart Boards are installed in the HS and the JC classrooms and in the science Labs.
Class 8 – at this level a meeting is held to apprise the parents and the students of the selection of subjects, to bring clarity in making the right choice of electives to be studied in class 9 and 10.
Main Focus: It is at this stage that students are being prepared for academic excellence, laying emphasis in preparing the students to face the challenges of a competitive world. However, since Bethany’s focus is on the holistic learning and overall development of the students, several vibrant activities are organized and presented – Bethany featured in the news and is presented as an outstanding school in many of the inter school performances. The BJCMUN 2022 – 23 – the conference was held in Bethany and MUN offered an outlet to comprehensively and holistically hone the delegate’s talents by stimulating geopolitical and economic discourse around the world. IGNITE – is the JC’s signature intra – collegiate festival covering areas in poetry, business, art, theatre and several other cultural skills. Workshop on ‘Reinventing school education with technology integration’.
Quiz, Inter house debates, public speaking competitions, art displays, Mono acting and dumb charades and talent contests, ethnic day, culinary talent and many more special days are planned. To raise levels of Teaching and Learning, teachers of the HS and JC were trained to use more analytical and application-based questions in order to prepare the students for life. The question papers have questions based on the Higher Order Thinking Skills and the Bloom Taxonomy.
Core values and life skills – a drive ‘A Fistful of Joy’, conducted by an NGO Goonj saw our students donating bags of rice to be distributed to the under privileged people. Assemblies bring out the best side in our students – the following themes like- positive minds, pivotal changes, swim against the tide, bouncing back, grateful hearts. The tuck shop days are a true learning experience.
Social and life Skills are developed in informal settings such as Picnics, Outstation and Overseas tours. Trips to Shimla, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Malaysia and Resorts in city of Bangalore.
Assessment and Evaluation: At this level the teachers and the taught regard assessments rigorously – The students are evaluated periodically and report the results of the evaluation to both the students and the parents.
Pattern of Tests and Exams:
Class 8, 9 and 11 – 2 Unit Tests – 1st Term and Final Exams
Class 10 and 12 – 2 Unit Tests – 1st Term Exam, Model Exam in January and Board Exams