Primary Years Programme
Inspired by the Maths Programme at University Child Development School, Seattle, USA, our Maths programme involves a multidisciplinary approach. Each student enters the Maths Booster task from an area of strength and then works through their areas of challenge. The open-ended real world problems based on the characters of the Read Aloud/unit/current events or situations, etc. and presented in a story form, have the students completely involved and engaged in the Maths task. There are multiple entry points to a Maths Booster story problem. It allows the teacher to understand the student’s thinking and enables them to guide students individually.
Maths is not only about calculations and it is not always a silent activity. It involves listening, talking, moving around, observing and discussing. The students approach a Maths Booster story problem differently based on their unique learning styles and the rate at which they can process and grasp the information. The Maths Booster stories are designed to enable every child to identify himself/herself as a mathematician and achieve success. It is very different from a traditional teacher-driven lesson. The initial thinking and processing is done by the students which is followed by the teacher guidance based on the steps taken by the students. Maths Booster involves Build, Record, Write an equation where the students demonstrate their thinking visually using Maths manipulatives like Pattern Blocks, Base Ten Blocks, Unifix Cubes, etc., represent their work artistically using representational colours, shapes, numbers and write an equation to explain their mathematical thinking.
Maths Skills is another element of our Maths programme. The children are divided into small groups based on their ability/skill/understanding of a particular Maths concept. Targeted skill development through games and other fun activities will be enforced in each of the groups. The groups are flexible and dynamic, based on the student abilities and the concept being explored.
We have an interesting and comprehensive Language programme at Aarth.
Our unique Reading and Writing programme begins right from the Early Years. We celebrate love for literature by encouraging reading throughout the day through different parts of our programme such as Rest and Read (Early Years), Read Aloud, Literature Circle and DEAR (Drop Everything and Read). The base for fiction and non-fiction writing begins from the Early Years through Express and Bulletin. The students go through the entire process of writing starting from the brainstorming stage to the final finished product while exploring various genres as part of the Writer’s Workshop in the Primary Years.
Our Language programme includes whole class and/or small group engagements, need-based flexible groups and also individual student-teacher conferencing. To build their reading and writing skills, the students across PYP also participate in targeted Language Labs. The Language Lab provides regular practice with a group of peers at a similar level. Groups are formed based on the grade-level expectations and the abilities of the children. These groups will be reevaluated throughout the year to ensure that each student continues to work at an appropriate level to stretch their skills.
Phonics is an essential element of the language programme at Aarth, especially the Early Years. Phonics allows young readers to develop their reading comprehension and decode new words as they read. With practice, this action becomes so automatic that they are able to easily understand the overall meaning of words while they are reading. Understanding of the letter-sound relationship enhances their writing skills as well.
In addition to our Library which has a vast collection of books across various genres and grades, every class has their own Class Library. The Class Library includes a variety of books based on the reading level of the students and also takes into consideration the diverse interests of the students. The children are encouraged to pick a book of their interest, be it fiction, fantasy, adventure, non-fiction, etc. Various elements of our Language Programme and the events in school like the Literary Week, Bell to Read, etc. are designed to inspire students to develop a love for books.
Research shows that people learn at different rates and in different ways. At Aarth, we acknowledge that children of the same age can be at different stages of their learning. Inspite of being of the same age, they could be at different places physically, academically, emotionally and socially.
Multiage classrooms provide multiple opportunities for students to collaborate with a wide range of peers who have diverse abilities and diverse approaches to problem solving. Students see their peers as a resource; they learn from each other. Multi-age classrooms also help in enhancing social skills. They build relationships with a wider variety of children – both in terms of age and ability. The children are more likely to be cooperative than competitive. They learn to collaborate and use multiple strategies for resolving conflicts. Multi-age learning provides a holistic socio-emotional development and a strong friend circle.
Our multi-age classrooms and differentiated curriculum are designed to meet the diverse, unique and changing learning needs of students. We believe that learning is a process and not a product. Accordingly, the teachers are able to meet the students where they are and stretch them further in their learning journey. The students are challenged based on their individual levels of understanding. They do not get labelled according to their ability as fast or slow learners. They learn at their own pace. The teachers design learning experiences and assessments keeping the diverse and unique needs of the students in mind. The dynamic and flexible nature of the curriculum keeps the problem solving fresh and exciting for students and teachers.
At AARTH, we wil be recognizing the importance of developing and maintaining students’ literacy in their mother tongue, English, Hindi and a Foreign Language. The primary language of instruction will be English. Students whose English language competency does not meet grade level requirements, will be supported with an English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme.
At AARTH our Mathematics curriculum will aim to provide a sequential, activity-based programme that will enable students to learn through the provision of developmental experiences that relate to real-life situations. Teachers will provide Maths lessons in conjunction with national and international standards progression points. They will provide extra support through individual learning improvement plans where required.
Design and Technology
AARTH will be providing a new and dynamic educational landscape where our student’s learning will be raised in digital spaces. Students will get to use and appreciate different kinds of information, related skills and digital platforms. The school community will ensure that students gain a positive educational experience by understanding how to use the internet and web-based devices safely, responsibly and smartly.
We will be providing a curriculum to every student with the opportunity to develop into a physically-educated person; one who learns skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities is physically fit and understands the benefits of involvement in physical activity and its contribution to a healthy lifestyle.
Visual and Performing Arts
Our Arts programme will provide a way for each student to understand their own cultural context and create art within that context to explain their country, their culture and their society to the worldwide community. The language of arts, such as musical notations, gestures, images and movement will give our students skills of creative processes that are likely to be essential for 21st-century citizens.
Assessment and Reporting
Assessment and reporting will be an integral part of the teaching and learning programme at AARTH. Assessment tasks will include tests, observations, peer discussions, work samples, presentations, performances and projects. Criterion-referenced assessment will be the basis of all formal assessments at AARTH. We will be reporting to parents and students both formally and informally.
AARTH will offer a mix of co-curricular activities that are age-appropriate, challenging and engaging. These programmes, be they performing arts, crafts or sports, will be open to all students so as to help them develop skills and an appreciation of life-long learning, having fun and learning to play as a member of a team.
As a core component for AARTH students, the action-oriented approach will encourage our students to be involved in activities as individuals and as part of a team that will take place in local, national and international contexts. Through experiential and service-based learning, there will be an enhancement in their personal, interpersonal, social and civic development.
Students will be exposed to the English, Hindi and Gujarati languages throughout the Early Years. The context of learning would be imaginative and symbolic play with teacher-led activities. As the student will progress through the Early Years, there will be gradual acquisition of the literacy skills needed for primary school.
Throughout the Early Years, Mathematics instruction will rely heavily on the use of manipulatives. The programme will be based on the understanding and application of basic foundational number concepts, measurement, money, logical thought, spatial sense and estimation. Students will be taught through activities and experiences which will incorporate investigation, problem solving, cooperative group work and practical application of Mathematics.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Our school believes that digital learning plays an important role in the education of 21st century students. So, right from the Early Years onwards, we will be offering a comprehensive ICT programme . All classes will be equipped with a TV or a multimedia projector.
AARTH will take pride in its excellent PE facilities. The curriculum will be devised such that every student is provided with the opportunity to experience a range of sports. This will enhance a wide range of skills and attitudes, which will enable every student to follow an active and healthy lifestyle.
Visual and Performing Arts
We believe in integrating the arts by combining core content areas with Visual Art, Music, Drama and Movement to provide students with the opportunities to express themselves by way of a creative outlet.
Our assessments will support individual students in achieving progress in their learning. Ongoing assessments will be an integral part of the learning and development progress. Provision will be made for observation through experience and play-based learning. These will be recorded in a variety of ways – photographs, videos or anecdotes.
A quality co-curricular programme will inspire and extend the interests, talents and skills of students. We will be offering a range of co-curricular activities that will allow every student to pursue their passion through age-appropriate developmental stages.
Students at AARTH will be participating in community service activities because we believe that a little sacrifice goes a long way. Our Early Years students will get an opportunity to learn the value of helping people in need and of caring for the environment.
A peep into a week of a PYP Aarthian
Meet and Greet
The day for Aarthians begins with greeting each other with a ‘Namaste’ followed by play time in the lush green lawn at the campus. Amidst the fresh air and the warmth of the morning sun, the Primary students enjoy fun games with each other that energises their mind and body.
The end of Meet and Greet time is marked by the sound of ‘OM’ that guides learners to assemble in the common area where all members of the school participate in the chanting. With a nourished mind, body and soul, Aarthians are now ready for a day full of learning and exploration.
Gone are the days when mornings at school began with teachers calling out names for attendance. The Primary students at Aarth begin the day by signing in using a prompt question. An open-ended question that is related to the ongoing unit, local/global context, social emotional learning, or sometimes just fun. These thought-provoking questions set the tone for the day.
We feel that everything is possible when we explore. Exploration results in knowledge and insight, which means that as you explore, you improve. At Aarth, the Early Years’ students are encouraged to explore in order to improve their learning. They think more critically and approach problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. They are given a variety of tools, settings, and suggestions to explore and develop their creative abilities during Explore sessions. This is also a time to practise problem solving skills, communication skills and social skills.
Quality Circle Time
Everyday the students at Aarth enjoy a few minutes of excellent Circle Time with teachers and classmates. They get a chance to spend time together in a meaningful way. They are able to enjoy the activities more because they feel protected and secure. They interact with one another and know more about one another, which enables them to relate their own lives to those of others. Teachers and students talk about their feelings, the day, and their families. They also enjoy wiggles and rhymes during QCT.
Once a week or more, based on the need, all students gather and participate in varied activities. In mixed-age groups, students enjoy playing, creating, inventing, exploring and much more. Such experiences support children in building healthy relationships with their peers and forming close-knit bonds. Based on the need, this community time is also utilised to identify solutions for concerns brought out by members of the school community. This practice provides an opportunity for learners to hone their problem-solving skills as they brainstorm probable solutions.
Class Meeting is also an integral part of an Aarthian’s life. Students have the chance to discuss any concerns they are having in class or at school during this time. They improve their ability to interact with others and solve problems as a result. Meetings foster open, safe spaces for students to express their feelings, voice their issues, and find assistance.
Rest and Read
Rest and read is exactly what it says. Just rest and read. No teacher intervention. The children in the Early Years enjoy a relaxed and self-directed reading time. This is the time for them to pick a book of their choice, find a comfortable spot and have a calming and relaxing time with the book.
This is an intense, thoughtful discussion around fictional/non-fictional books that are aligned with the learning of the unit. The students enhance their communication skills and social skills as they gather in small groups to discuss and appreciate ‘literature’ using the Literature Circle books as a medium. In the Early Years, the children share their thoughts about the characters, the illustrations, etc. They discuss their favourite page, make connections with the characters, situations and the on-going unit. Step into different roles as Character Sketcher, Sequel Person, Intent Investigator, Word Wizard, Summarizer, Discussion Director, etc. in the Primary Years, the students bring in their own perspectives for a book which leads to insightful, engaging conversations and further supports their inquiry journey
Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE), popularised by Dr. Sugata Mitra, an education scientist, is an approach designed to promote inquiry and foster self-directed learning. During SOLE sessions, using the internet, the Primary students work in mixed groups to find answers to a Big Question that fires up their curiosity and imagination. Without an easy answer, Big Questions reach across many disciplines and subjects to provide a deep, meaningful context for exploration. Developing 21st-century skills such as digital literacy, collaboration, communication skills and critical thinking are key elements of SOLE.
Lunch and Recess
Following our culture students have their lunch sitting on the floor which helps the muscles in our abdomen to be activated which helps in increased secretion of stomach acids – making it easier to digest food. Sitting on the floor to eat is considered the best position to eat food. We provide a wide range of nutritious food and tasty food in our cafeteria, which includes Indian as well as international foods.
After the meal all students enjoy their recess time. They make themselves comfortable with the game which they want to play. They enhance their social skills by interacting with the buddies across grades. Recess time also provides opportunities for the students to problem solve.
Express, Bulletin and Journal
During Express sessions, the students imagine and share their thoughts by illustrating them and writing about them. Through this they enhance their imagination skills.
Students depict and write on real-world topics in the Bulletin programme. Because it is nonfiction, it helps children reflect on real events that have happened with and around them.
In their Journals, the students respond to a given prompt. The prompts could be related to the units of inquiry, events or about the likes, interests and feelings as well. The students respond using illustrations and words..
These are elements of the Language Programme in the Early Years. They are learner-centred and differentiated programmes to enhance their understanding about sound and letters. It gives them the opportunity to understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction and also enhance their creativity and art skills. Illustrations form a framework for the writing programme in the Early Years.
An extensive writing programme, our Writer’s Workshop has been designed to meet the holistic needs of improving overall writing skills. This programme allows for an in-depth exploration of various writing genres over the course of an entire unit. It includes fictional genres such as story writing and science fiction, as well as non-fictional genres such as formal and personal letter writing, persuasive writing, personal narrative, and so on. After brainstorming various topics to write about, students draft and redraft their work based on the feedback they receive until they are ready with the final draft. The rigorous process of self, peer and teacher assessment not only just helps the students improve in different areas of writing but also contributes to developing the mindset of accepting and providing specific, helpful feedback in order to grow. As writers, students frequently put themselves in the shoes of others to write from their point of view, be it personal narrative writing or biography, allowing them to be more open-minded and empathetic learners. Different assessment tools such as Rubrics, Checklist etc, often created in collaboration with students, help them envision their learning goals as students go through the process of writing.
One of the highlights of the learning at Aarth is Book Buddy, which helps students improve their communication, reading, and listening abilities. Students have the chance to interact with peers from other grades by reading aloud to and listening to one another. Additionally, it improves social abilities, which lessens problems on the playground. Teachers carefully select class pals by considering an age difference of at least two years between the kids. Such multi-age interactions help children bond and build relationships with their peers across grades.
The unit Read-Aloud is a meaningful and impactful book that aids to the student’s understanding of a unit’s learning throughout the inquiry journey. It also provides the opportunity for teachers to design open-ended Maths Booster problems picking events and characters from the book which makes it relevant and interesting for the students. As students empathise and live the experiences of the characters and see the world from the lens of different perspectives, it adds value to their social-emotional growth as well. An interactive session, the Read Aloud accommodates insightful discussions that enhance students’ communication and thinking skills as well as improve their listening and comprehension skills.
A focused reading time for all students that aims to promote independent reading and improve reading fluency as well as comprehension skills. It meets the varied needs and interests of all students as they can choose any just-right book from their Class Library. In the Primary classes, during DEAR Time, students have access to the dictionary, which helps them simultaneously develop their vocabulary and dictionary-use skills. During the DEAR time, the teacher observes and records data about students’ reading abilities. In the end, as part of reflection, the Primary students respond to any of the questions in their DEAR Log, expressing their thoughts and opinion about the book they have read.