Our curriculum places equal emphasis on all of the four core pillars
Most curricula tend to be a mile wide but only an inch deep. The focus is on the teachers covering a lot of content by “teaching” facts, and on students memorising those facts and regurgitating them in exams. But hardly any of that knowledge is internalized, or even retained by students. This is not surprising as research shows that a child retains only 5% of what he hears from his teacher in a traditional lecture. What is even worse is that this blind worship of recalling facts stifles a child’s inherent curiosity and imagination.
Another shortcoming of most curricula is that they are divided into disparate subjects, with little overlap between one another, and little connection to the real world. This leads to boredom and disengagement.
Our curriculum focuses on depth over breadth, on students “uncovering” knowledge rather than teachers covering content, on internalization of content by applying it to real-life projects. The application of rich content, drawn from several disciplines, to real-life problems leads to much better retention and student engagement.
DEVELOPING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS
What is as important as content knowledge is developing the “21st century” critical skills in our students. Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration are indispensable in the innovation era that we live in – where content is ubiquitous and free, where routine and even advanced tasks are being automated, and where working in cross-cultural teams is the norm. Young adults will need to be creative and innovative problem-solvers, good communicators & patient listeners. Therefore, we have embedded these skills deep into our curriculum.
LIVING AN ETHIC OF EXCELLENCE
We want our students (and teachers) to live an ethic of excellence. The pursuit of excellence, the love for truly beautiful work, is transformational!! It helps develop tenacity and grit. Once the student sees that he is capable of excellence, he will never quite be the same. He will have a new self-image and a new notion of possibilities. Therefore, an ethic of excellence is the third core pillar of our curriculum. It is ably complemented by assessments that encourage multiple iterations of student work till standards of very high quality are met.
While we want our children to be motivated and driven, we also want them to be wonderful human beings. While we want their intellects to develop, we also want their hearts to blossom with qualities of empathy, positivity, equanimity and reflection.
To us, empathy means getting out of the narrow confines of one’s own self and thinking for others. It also means not to hurt anyone by one’s thoughts, words or behaviour. Positivity is the character trait of always remaining upbeat and positive, of seeing an opportunity where others see a problem. Equanimity is to remain steadfast through life’s ups and downs, not to get perturbed even in the most dire circumstances. And finally, regular self-reflection is to ponder over one’ s strength and weaknesses, to find inner peace, strength and guidance. Developing these values in every child is the fourth core pillar of our curriculum.