How GEMS Modern Academy Prepares its Students of Today for Tomorrow?
In an age of rapid change and development, it is imperative that schools examine internally the curriculum entitlements for its students within its affiliated curriculum and most importantly the methods of its delivery. The students in GEMS Modern Academy are excited to come to school and each day experience the wonders of discovery and exploration as they learn in the context of the cross-disciplinary. We provide our students with the important skills which prepare students with the skills and competencies required for tomorrow. And here is how! 1. Cross-disciplinary learning. Typically a student’s day is programmed into periods of study within a timetable. Subjects are separated into periods – hence a period for Mathematics, a period for English, a period for Science and so on. Students’ learning is thus conveniently compartmentalized. Recall how many of you during the course of your own school education hated certain subjects and this in turn impacted on the delight of learning and discovery. We at GEMS Modern Academy teach thematically and incorporate all the elements in a seamless cross-disciplinary manner. Grade III students recently explored the theme, ‘How people across the world build homes’. This theme entailed a hands-on visit to a construction site, a meeting with the project manager, a demonstration of how cement is mixed, how foundations are laid and the materials used. Students studied homes in different countries and analyzed why the designs suited those geographical climates, the history of such structures, the science involved in the construction of such homes, the mathematics of the design and architecture and were then put in groups to build such a home, Students then had to write a descriptive essay of the home and explain it to their parents and guests at the end of the unit in what we refer to as a ‘Gallery Walk’. All the disciplines of Mathematics, Computing, Science, Geography, Art, Language skills were interwoven into the development of this theme. Hence, students learned all the skills of each subject in an exciting integrated manner. 2.Collaboration Students for success in tomorrow’s world will need collaborative skills and cooperative teamwork. Too often, schools discourage such activities as the premise is that working with others opens up the possibilities of cheating and stress the importance of individual work. While individual work is indeed important, it should not compromise the validity of the ability to work as a team. Most jobs now and for the world of tomorrow require a team effort – an understanding of how to communicate with each other on a project, how to compromise, how to harness individual skills to leverage success and how to share credit. Here in GEMS Modern Academy, students are encouraged to work on projects and group assignments and presentations that are applicable in real life situations. 3.Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication In GEMS Modern Academy, it’s not just about getting the problems solved, but getting it solved by the best path and students are encouraged to explore several ways to arrive at conclusions. Students in Grade IV were learning about different forms of Government. Students had to create their own country with its own unique name, design a passport, a National Flag, a National Anthem, and the form of Government they would choose. They were then given a context for decision making and solving problems – such as global warming, or unemployment or food production. In a forum, each had to explain how his or her country would solve those problems. This explanation involved research, an understanding of economics, finance, populations, geography, science, art, mathematics and music and finally communication skills. 4.Curriculum Entitlement Much of the skills taught in schools today are prescribed by the limitations of its curriculum. There is no one method that will prepare students for tomorrow’s workforce, but the provision of a well-rounded and diverse education helps. GEMS Modern Academy provides its students an all inclusive curriculum starting with the IB PYP in the Early and Primary Years and continuing with the Cambridge International curriculum in the Middle and Senior school.The curriculum from KG to Grade VIII includes Science, Technology, Robotics, Mathematics, Drama, Art, Music, Physical Education, Dance, Social Studies, Civics, Business Studies and a five-language communication programme in which students learn English, Hindi, Malayalam, French and Spanish. The more well-rounded the curriculum, the more well-rounded the students. Students need life skills like knowing how to handle money, the ability to balance a checkbook and a range of educational options because of the great diversity in both the population and the workplace. GEMS Modern Academy produces well-rounded students in a happy learning environment supported by teachers who provoke thought, facilitate exploration and discovery and who genuinely care about the education of each student.