CAFE Menu – Roots Academy
A 12-year-old Montessori and its start-up primary school in Banashankari, Roots Academy, implements a US-based reading programme called CAFE Menu. CAFE — comprehension, accuracy, fluency, expanding vocabulary recognised in this programme as four key requirements of reading. Says Ms Kokila Amarnath, Principal of Roots Academy, “We make the 15 children in our class pick up a book and make them read it independently. After this the teachers pose questions to the child about the text — whether it is fiction, non-fiction or poetry. We build vocabulary in a natural manner, so that children understand contexts and learn to use new words in new sentences.”
Theatre for Curriculum – Deccan International
Deccan International School in South Bengaluru uses theatre to dramatise school text books to make children understand difficult concepts. This programme is conducted by Ranji David, co-founder of Yours Truly, a city-based theatre group. Says David, “We use tools and techniques to convert textbook chapters into plays. Not just history, poetry or social studies, we even convert Class VIII Physics into a play.” In devised theatre, there is no script written by specific writers. Instead, the script is born out of collaboration and improvisation by a group of people.
Differential Learning Programme: ‘Trio World Academy‘
Here, the teachers customise lesson plans to suit individual learning paces. Says Hema Narayanan, Trio’s Primary and Middle School Coordinator, “Under the differential teaching methodology, we begin by conducting a moderation report for every child in the beginning of the academic year, on each subject. We then divide the class into three groups based on their levels and give them fun names.”
Teachers teach the main content on the board, after which they move on from group to group and cater to differing abilities.
Says Hema, “These three groups are different for different subjects – a child who is at an advanced level in Maths may not be so when it comes to English. Even formal assessment differs for the three groups and we have different question papers.”
Design Thinking Curriculum – Ekya
Ekya School is one of the few places in Bangalore to incorporate Design Thinking, a powerful tool to assess an idea through interviews, pattern recognition and creation of prototypes. Says Tristha Ramamurthy, Founder and Director of Ekya Schools, “It allows the children to experiment and create solutions for real-world problems.”
Ekya began a six-week pilot, wherein children devised ideas to solve the garbage problem through interviews, brainstorming and rapid prototyping. They also review curriculum and intend to implement STEM to STEAM, a movement popularised by the Rhode Island of School of Design (RSID). STEM subjects consist of science, technology, engineering and math but art is a crucial missing piece in the puzzle, and thus, STEAM was born, by adding Art and Design to the equation.
Instead of categorising the world, Redbridge International Academy in Electronic City seeks to connect it through its interdisciplinary approach. RBIA’s interdisciplinary approach creates connections between maths, general sciences, social studies and arts, instead of looking at them separately. For example, when the class learned about the Harappan Civilization in history, the children recreated Mohenjo-daro terra cotta tokens, as part of the class activity. “It is important to understand how one subject impacts the other,” says Redbridge’s Vandana Deo.