The primary objective of scholastic development is to nurture the nature of exploration and enquiry. For young children, opportunities are available to observe, handle a variety of natural and man-made material and hone their inherent virtues of questioning and sharing. Students are regularly encouraged to conduct research at elementary and complex levels. For this purpose, the school infrastructure and curriculum enables the active use of school laboratories, the library and activity rooms. The time-table each week allows adequate time for students and teachers to read, collect data, construct, discuss, analyze and present their findings with each other on a regular basis. Scholarly development at Manthan Valley refers to the development of academic knowledge, the ability to question, sensory experiences and a honing of creative expressions through the performing arts, fine arts and sports. To facilitate meaningful learning, opportunities are provided for students to participate in large and small group discussions, conduct research, practice and structure their own pace of learning through:
Group Classroom Teaching
One-third to half of the day’s schedule is spent on group teaching time that includes story time, lecture demonstrations, large group discussions, Debate, Symposium, conceptual explanations and group goal setting. The use of conventional modes of interaction encourages students to listen, observe and share their personal knowledge and development with that of their peers. It also permits teachers and students to establish individual and group standards of performance and expectations.
Small Group Activities and Research
We are now located in the outskirts of Raj Dhanwar which allows us to experience the silence of nature. We are now in 4 acres of land which opens many opportunities for our children such as playing, ampi-theatre, flower garden, herbs garden and many others.
Small group learning time allows students to observe, read, research, experiment and discover the finer details (as per developmental readiness) of topics introduced in the large group classroom. These opportunities maybe provided through worksheets in the classroom, laboratory time, library time, computer time and small group discussion time. Opportunities such as these provide platforms for students to actively participate in the process of learning and develop a sense of responsibility for their contribution to lesson completion. Small group and individual research time fosters the development of enquiry, reasoning and problem solving. It also encourages students to develop interpersonal skills of listening, sharing and working together towards successful task completion. Small group activities are part of
the daily structure.
Every week, each class teacher would spend half a day outside of their teaching duties to concentrate on lesson planning and evaluating their pupils’ learning. All of the teachers who
provide cover for these half days are experts in specialist subjects. This allows our children to benefit from weekly specialist tuition in music, PE, art, drama and languages, or specialist early years’ support, according to which year they are in.
On completion of individual and small group tasks, students share their findings with peers from their own class and the next grade level during regular multi-grade interaction time. The primary objective of multi-grade interaction is to provide a platform for students of two grade levels to interact with each other to share and to learn across a developmental range that permits children to “visit and re-visit” their processes of learning. Essentially, it allows “older” children to master concepts and skills appropriate for their age and encourages the “younger” children to observe and learn from imitation, experimentation and experiences of the older children. In addition, it provides children the space to view learning on a continuum of developmental stages and different paces. Multi-grade interaction time is
structured for all ‘paired classes’ at least twice a week.
All children require varying periods of time to understand specific conceptsand skills. Self-learning time is designed to accommodate individual paces of learning and provide a platform for students to reflect over their learning processes. To accommodate individual paces of learning, students are encouraged to repeat and attempt new sets of experiments, worksheets and reading material to reinforce topics conducted in the large group and small group settings. Students who accomplish tasks relatively sooner or demonstrate mastery over one or more topics are encouraged to attempt the next stage of learning, undertake project work, help peers or corroborate findings and discoveries through a wide variety of experiments and activities.
Self-learning time is also encouraged to enable students to reflect over their thinking, the processes they discover within themselves as learners and the problems they encounter while negotiating complex concepts and constructs.