Is the “Buy 3 get 1 free” offer better, or the 30% off? What are the pressures the TV reporters feel when they are out on the streets reporting a crisis? How did small ventures start and thrive during the pandemic? These are some of the questions that students may ask, but there are no textbooks available that could give them the answers. However, at TABIS, we aim to impart a holistic education that expands the boundaries of knowledge, and hence most of their questions are automatically answered.
In senior school, from grade 7 onwards, the NIOS curriculum provides the basic framework for the program. However, the pedagogy is designed to develop life skills whilst preparing the students to appear for the exams held by the NIOS board. Out of the large bouquet of subject options that the NIOS board offers, we offer 6 (English, Economics, Business Studies, Home Science, Data Entry Operations and Painting) at the Secondary level (Grade 10). And at Junior college -Senior Secondary (Grade 12) level, we offer 7 subjects (English, Mass Communication, Business Studies, Home Science, Accountancy, Data Entry Operations and Painting). These subjects have been chosen carefully so that students can opt for a career in the Humanities or the Commerce stream. The board exams are also taken at an easy pace and staggered over two years, in three phases, to ensure focussed study. The board also provides concessions for specific learning difficulties.
The subjects chosen and methods of instruction are interwoven to hone life skills. Nutrition, first-aid, communication, heath & hygiene, time-plans, banking, insurance, cooking, consumerism, sustainable development, to name a few, are all parts of the syllabus at various grades, but through diverse teaching strategies, these are imbibed into their daily living. The entire syllabus is staggered and spread over the grades such that the basic concepts are consolidated at the foundation level, and the content build up follows over the grades.
Numerical calculation is the bogeyman for most children. However, numbers stay with us for life, and we can never escape them– bills, fares, discounts, taxes, percentage marks, temperature... Hence Functional Math, though not a part of their board exam syllabus, is introduced to help children to use numbers in their day to day lives.
While individualised attention is ensured due to the low student- teacher ratio, class discussions form the crux of the teaching methodology, where at times important aspects that may be beyond the syllabus are also touched upon. Students are encouraged to explore concepts in detail and their applications in real life situations. For example, while teaching about economies, the discussion may lead to the census, economic and social problems and government reforms. Projects are assigned to help them ‘do and learn’ and analyse the results. Interacting with guest lecturers is another exciting way for children, to not only learn the theoretical concepts from professionals in the field, but more importantly, they also learn how the same blend into a practical situation at the workplace. Field trips and the industrial tour add value to the experiential learning.
Awareness about our emotions, expressing and managing them well, is extremely important for children as well. Our Minds Matter program, conducted regularly by the school counsellor is scheduled into the timetable so that our students are emotionally secure too. Occupational and Speech therapy is given to students on need basis after a thorough evaluation by professionals. The co-curricular activities and events are geared towards developing the child’s personality – confidence, leadership, team spirit, sportsmanship, and more.
While general awareness is being focussed on, our experienced teachers also ensure full preparedness for the board exams which the students appear for, at the end of grade 9 and grade 11, for Secondary and Senior Secondary respectively. Learning and retrieval is made simpler through mind maps, diagrammatic representations of answers, charts and tables, pictorial and audio material, constant recapitulation and revision. Learning strategies and study skills are also specifically taught. How to read and analyse questions; how to eliminate the options in a multiple choice question and close in on the correct option; how to emphasise on key words and score marks; are specific skills woven into the teaching methodology. The continuous assessment structure is designed to help students learn small bits of information first and then proceed to larger volumes of content. Assessment in the form of quizzes and games also adds the fun element to evaluations.
At the Junior college level, we are more focussed to prepare the students for their career and life after school. Project based learning is emphasised. The Practice school / observorship program aims towards practical exposure to the real world, where the students are involved in live projects in the corporate world, under direct supervision of mentors from the industry. The sectors targeted by us are Sales, Marketing, Administration, Human Resources and Finance. The hands-on training, tutoring sessions, live simulations and project work help students learn about the skills required in their future professional life, the demands of the industry and familiarize them with work ethics.
The pandemic hit us all and engulfed the world in a monumental tsunami. But our program was seamlessly tweaked to suit online learning. The teachers worked with added passion and enthusiasm and made the best use of the features of the online platform to carve out a superior program. This only strengthened our belief that we change with the changing times, and for the better!
After a span of more than 7 years, I can happily say that our successful alumni validate our mission - “Inspiring potential to create happy, confident, balanced, and independent learners whilst nurturing the qualities of amity, bravery, integrity, and sincerity”.
Head of Senior School
The Aditya Birla Integrated School