The School With A Difference
Bounces Back To Prepare Their Kids For The Finals
VKE PREPARES FOR THE NEO NORMAL IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
As we are preparing to ensure safety for our students, we are also preparing to make sure that the teaching and learning in this new environment remains of the same quality. As the students would be coming back to school after a long time, there are many questions and doubts in everyone’s mind on how the schools are going to cope up with this huge gap. How will teacher and students adjust to physical schooling after an extended period of online learning. We are aware that this transition back to physical schooling from online schooling is not going to be easy. But the champion students and angel like teachers of VKE are ready for this challenge. They will make sure that this transition from online to on-site learning is a smooth one.
What would be challenges?
Assuring safety may be challenging in the beginning phase. Students of VKE are clean and positive at heart; they meet their peers and friends with oozing energy and openness. It will require a conscious effort from them to avoid human contact. In the beginning, they will be given online orientations in order to help them realise the potential threat and ignored mistakes. Teachers will conduct online modules to help them realise their functionality while traveling to school, visiting washrooms, using the common areas of the school, sharing items among the students etc. Motivating students to shift from online classes to physical classrooms, may be a challenging duty in the beginning in terms of using common resources and logistics but with adequate safety measures, we can certainly conquer this. Students may have to be called in small numbers to visit school, wherein the rest of them will have to attend school virtually. Since all students of a class may not be attending school physically at the same time, catering to the students who are not in school physically and attending online classes would be a bit challenging. School is adopting a hybrid learning model where teaching and learning can happen simultaneously online and offline in school. We have recognised the effective digital tools that will continue to be practiced in the class.
How are we going to re-align the huge gap of nine months, when the entire training was conducted virtually and now it would start off with Face-to-Face (F 2 F)?
Another major question that is going in parents mind is how we are going to re-align the huge gap in the face to face instructions. There has been almost a year when students attended face-to-face classes in school. This would be a Transition from Earlier normal to New Normal – VKE with its Vedantic philosophy and IB methodology of schooling, will conquer the new normal and our students will set the new path for others to emulate. We are sure that our students and teachers will efficiently & swiftly restore the campus habits, social values and function in a realized manner with a responsible attitude.
What are those strategies that we would invent, evolve, and would employ to bridge the gap?
There has been a gap in terms of students interacting with teachers face to face, physically in school premises. They are meeting the teachers physically after months and the comfort zones with teacher-students have been compromised to some extent. Bonding with students is what should be the initial focus for all the teachers. Students will attend morning meditation to start their day with positive energy. They will practice yoga and physical exercises to keep themselves active throughout the day. Students will be provided regular counselling sessions to stay focused in terms of safety practices and use masks.
The huge gap of almost a year may have created a lack of effectiveness in most of us, but through new regulations and flexible teaching practices, we can march ahead together. Teachers will check and assess student’s level using various tasks and tools and would decide if any intervention is required for students. To enhance their reading, writing and mathematical skills, special guidance will be provided to the students by our teachers. We will also carry out a thorough assessment of student’s skills and abilities to identify if any student needs additional guidance or support. Teachers will also revise important concepts through interactive and interesting activities to make sure that students understanding is clear and they are ready to learn. Peer learning and tutoring, focusing on developing ATL skills, providing focused guidance and learning activities custom built to bridge the gaps in understanding would be utilised to make sure that no child is left behind.
How are we going to prepare the children, particularly for their “Final Examination for MYP V & then The DP II Final Examination?
The biggest concern of parents of 10th and 12th standards is their final examinations. VKE has been planning for this from the beginning of the year. We had tremendous results in MYP V and DP II last year. This year also, the MYP V & DP II Final Examination candidates have been thoroughly guided to be prepared for their exams. However, the opportunity to be in campus and meet the teachers will further boost their confidence. The students will be able to revise the taught curriculum with the teacher in school and personally seek clarity in one-on-one session with teachers. The MYP 5 candidates will be able to utilize the E-assessment labs and get to work with the associated application for E-assessments. The vocational subject candidates will be able to utilize the labs (Design, Art, Theatre, Science, Language etc.) to complete their product submissions.
VKE will adopt a flexible learning approach:
- Keeping in mind the global crisis situation, IB has already reduced the syllabus and paper pattern in most of the Diploma Programme subjects,
- We will adjust the exam calendar to take into account the teaching support required by the students to prepare them for the final IB DP exams.
- Revision Class Time table will be made in consultation with the students. They will be allotted classes for subjects in which they need extra guidance.
- Mock Examinations will be conducted to prepare and familiarise them with the IB DP Exam protocols and paper pattern.
- Feedback will be given to students and teachers will work consistently with them so that they pass out with flying colours.
- Our counselling team will look after the emotional needs of students and provide counselling, as and when required.
What about the MYP Junior Classes (MYP I to III)?
The students of other classes also need to adjust to the new environment. The students of MYP 1 to 3 have already been exposed to too much of screen time and no time in the sports fields or the labs. We are certain that the opening of the school campus will be a much needed decision for them. We as school intend to bring in a balance in the missed physical activities and classroom instruction time. This will enhance student’s inner energy and spirit to be active, motivated, passionate and positive in their daily attitude.
Preparations and plans in which manner are we going to start off the physical training. Many would have become obese. In turn the lethargy angle has certainly affected and would have to be addressed?
To some extent, the months of lockdown and the virtual schooling environment may have pushed lethargy in terms of physically being active. In some case, students may have put on some extra calories and fat due to less or no physical activities. Our sports team and our sports grounds are ready to accommodate students and let them work on their physical health. As mentioned above, we would be organizing more of physical activities in the beginning phase to enhance the spirit of the students. Being active will also allow them to be positive and emotionally sound.
Enhancing, once again their writing, reading and mathematical skills.
Ensuring that students have required competency in reading, writing and mathematical skills would be one of the main priorities of the teachers. Due to virtual learning, many students may have had less practice. Teachers will give extra emphasis on these. In MYP students are being prepared with the aim of doing well in the MYP 5 (10th Std.). Students mostly use a computer for research, note taking and preparing their responses for assessments. For portfolio subjects like Visual arts, Theatre, PHE, Design and Language Acquisition, they have a choice of either using a computer or a physical notebook. The mathematics teams have already designed Maths support classes wherein students are provided one-on-one help to learn mathematics. The campus provides an added opportunity to use physical library for reading or using silent corners of the school for reading, our teams will provide support for safety yet allow students to practice reading as per their comforts.
Frames of mind of the student and probably a fall in their academic standards because of no face-to-face contact.
Although the students have maintained their academic performances in general during the online classes, but they might be lacking competitive spirit seen while working behind the screen in isolated space. The physical classroom will certainly bring back the healthy competitive spirit back in all students. All our teachers are IB trained and they have developed strategies to reinforce ATL skills in students. Through meditation, yoga and other mindfulness exercises teachers will work on students’ affective skills and make sure that they have the correct frame of mind to learn this new environment. School’s counselling department will guide the teachers on how to motivate students, they will also observe the classes to see if any students requires emotional counselling.
Frames of mind of the teachers and their professional upgradation, balancing, and standardisation.
In all this we should not forget our teachers. They have been working very hard for the last one year. This new online environment has been very taxing for them and they all have taken up this challenge quite well. We will also have to ensure that teachers are in the correct frame of mind. They may have to work even harder to adjust to the hybrid learning environment, where they will have to cater to both online and face-to-face teaching. Our teachers have regularly been attending the IB pedagogy workshops and trainings online. In the lockdown and the virtual scenario, teachers had to work double the hours in order to prepare their lessons, introduce and cope up with the new technologies and tools, dealing with students one on one etc. Teachers are also attending sessions on how effectively they can deal with the students after the schools reopen. These sessions will discuss student’s emotional health, psychological changes in them, physical differences and the setback of this worldwide pandemic. Teachers with the pedagogical leaders plan ways to deal with students in differentiated function.
Infrastructure of the school in terms of not just Covid-19 safety and precautions, but also towards computers, Wi-Fi, laboratories, D-tech lab, library, and other associated infrastructure, required to assist the new schooling.
School has already made the necessary arrangements of the essential infrastructure that will be required when the school reopens. The classes have been modified to maintain the class sizes based on the physical distancing measures and the norms made by the government. To monitor all the protocols in place, we have made a special New Normal Reinforcement Team (NNRT). The IT facilities, within the school campus, has been upgraded to accommodate the students. Webcams and other necessary hardware has been installed in classes to ensure that both online and face-to-face learning happens at the same time. The school is already equipped with the necessary IT infrastructure. We have reviewed the same and have made sure that all the necessary hardware and equipment are available in the school.
We are commencing school in the time of Covid-19, but as you have heard us say before, this will not defeat us, but it will make us stronger. As author Vivian Greene once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Let us dance and make the most out of this unique time. Welcome back, everyone, and God bless you, all!
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”~ John Quincy Adams
We, at Victorious Kidss Educares, are ready to Welcome our Students and Teachers for a fresh start. We could not have imagined back in March, when we closed, that we would not be able to return almost for a year. The current pandemic has kept the students and teachers away from school, but not from learning. In the intervening months, we have seen a heroic effort by our teachers and staff to provide the best possible level of learning and care for our students remotely. We know that together with parents, teachers and students, we have attained many successes while working remotely, but we understand that students need to be back in school. School campus is where their true freedom shapes up. With the chatter going around that the schools are going to reopen, physically, teachers, students and parents are excited and worried at the same time. Everyone is longing to get back to the school; we all miss the exhilarating and vibrant environment of VKE. However, everyone is also concerned about the safety, especially the safety of students, the standards and practices to prepare the children for the final assessments a fews mon ths away..
Victorious Kidss Educares is making all the necessary preparations for the physical reopening of the school. The management and administrative staff at VKE are working round the clock to ensure that the school premises are safe and ready to welcome students and teachers. The complete premises is being sanitised and disinfected regularly. All the necessary resources to ensure safety and hygiene are put in place. All the required protocols and procedures are in place to ensure that the school remains safe for everyone coming to the building.
We are certain that the students of VKE will continue to march on the path of truth, patience and perseverance. The school with its Vedantic philosophy coupled with IB pedagogy has continuously trained and inspired the students to face any challenges they may encounter. We are sure that our teachers and students will continue to be the torchbearers of IB learner profile (Inquirer, Thinker, Balanced, Principled, Caring, Risk Takers, Open Minded, Communicator, Reflective and Knowledgeable).
We recognize the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brings to students and families. The safety and health of our students remain our top priority. We know this is not ideal, nor is it what we hoped for to start the opening of the 2020 school year, but the important thing is that we are all coming back, happy, healthy and ready to see this as a new beginning. VKE team is here for you and we are doing all we can to welcome back our champs in the school as special as possible for in-person learning. We have been working non-stop trying to keep up with the changing tides to make sure you have the best learning that is possible right now.
Our classrooms have been modified to increase social distancing, signage’s have been installed throughout the building to guide students, and our schedule has been modified to allow for more time for mask breaks, hand washing, and opportunities to access outdoor learning spaces.
We all are fervently waiting for the government announcement to reopen the schools. Till then, we will need this time for the students to learn new protocols for returning to school under the government guidelines, and finally making sure everything is sparkling clean and ready for you.
In consultation with all our stakeholders, we have decided to move forward, to gradually re-open the school as and when we get a go ahead from authorities. We will maintain appropriate health and hygiene standards to prevent transmission of COVID-19, to ensure that our students, teaching and non-teaching staff can work safely and effectively.
Precautionary Measures Practiced at VKE
To ensure the health and safety of each student, VKE is taking the following precautionary measure:
- As and when the authorities give a go ahead to open the school, physically, the school will get all the teaching and non-teaching staff tested for Covid-19. Any staff that has not done Covid-19 test within a week before the school reopening will not be allowed to enter the premises.
- Having Arogya Setu App installed on the mobile devices of all staff has been made compulsory.
- Wearing a clean mask, sanitizing hands and maintaining social distancing has been made compulsory for all entering the school campus.
- VKE is implementing a daily screening process with record keeping for all staff before reporting to work. Temperature and pulse checking would be done at regular intervals as per the government guidelines for each member of the school.
- Daily screening with record keeping for students.
- Any person suffering from cold, cough, fever would not be allowed on the school campus.
- The number of housekeeping staff has been increased as there will be more work of cleaning, disinfecting the classrooms in two shifts. After school hours and Weekends would be utilised for deep cleaning and sanitization of the entire campus.
- Daily cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, taps, phones and toys.
- School has made all the necessary resources available to the housekeeping for effective sanitisation, including the process training.
- Housekeeping staff has been trained in advance about the social distancing norms and the cleaning processes.
- There are sufficient housekeeping staff deployed on all the floors to ensure regular cleaning and sanitization throughout the day.
- Sanitizers have been provided in all the classes and all the common areas of the Teachers will ensure that students sanitize their hands while entering and leaving the class.
- Rigorous training to teaching and non-teaching staff on ‘how to be alert and cautious’ and ‘how to help children maintain social distancing and hygiene’ has been provided. Often and on a regular basis it would be monitored by the Core team and School management.
- For the smooth, fear-free schooling, and for following social distancing within school, the school will practice all the recommended classroom norms as per the Government Regulations (GR).
- VISUAL CUES and REMINDER signages have been put up all over the school campus which will remind everyone about maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing hands regularly.
- School Vehicles used for student transportation would be sanitized regularly.
- Parents will have to give a written consent before sending students to school.
- In case the student is unwell, parents must not send the students to the school.
- Students would be asked not to share their belongings (e.g. water bottles, stationery, food, masks)
- School has made the protocol to avoid crowding during the entry and exit times, while accessing common areas such as laboratories, libraries and computer labs.
- School has made relevant arrangements to deal with anyone found with any of the symptoms. School has in house medical assistance. A designated waiting area has been provided for any such contingencies.
- Our school medical and support staff has been trained and will monitor everyone’s temperature and oxygen level regularly during school hours. Our medical room is well equipped with thermometers and pulse oximeter.
- Swimming pool will be cleaned regularly and different time slots will be provided with minimum number of students. The government norms will be followed.
- Cafeteria will follow all the hygiene and safety norms to provide healthy food.
- Students, teachers and staff will always follow all steps to protect themselves and others, through proper use of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitization, etc.
- Labs and the common areas will follow restricted entries to manage social distancing and regular sanitization.
School will abide by all the recommendations given by the relevant authorities.