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Auxilium Convent High School Wadala

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Auxilium Convent High School Wadala
Auxilium Convent High School at Wadala is girls schools in Dadar, Mumba. The students are oriented towards high aspirations and the entire management and teachers work towards this goal of holistic development of every child. The families have a strong cultural influence on the lives of their children and they are very fluent in their mother tongue, be it Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi or any other language. English is therefore a language to be learnt for speaking and expressing – solely left to the school.
Overall impact
The Skills Builder Global Accelerator was a welcome programme by the Staff, students and parents. The resources of this programme are so systematic and practical that it has become a part of our language and expectation from each other. There is a systemic and systematic development of these skills in the students and the school community as it is embedded in our daily schedule and also frequently communicated to the parents. Thanks to the periodic training given by Skills Builder to Teachers and School Leaders, students have become more conscious of implementing these skills in group activities, in their curricular expectations and when working as a team. Their confidence level and openness to learning has increased. This activity was shared as a best practice on the Institution Level to enhance holistic development of the students at the Annual Planning meeting. The impact of Skills Builder’s Programme with its interactive resources, rewarding and reinforcement techniques was considered as one of the Five Best Practices of Education at the Institution level. It was displayed during the Annual Planning Meeting with the representatives of the 34 communities of the Province which has 11 schools including Auxilium Convent High School, Wadala.
Keep it simple
We introduced the language of the Universal Framework to all teachers across the school. We ran teacher training sessions with the Skills Builder team and reinforced the training through the section leads. We displayed the Skills Builder skills throughout the school, including along the staircase, on display boards at the entrances of the school and near the Primary and Secondary Principal’s office wall. Teachers also took screenshots of the lessons and activities to gather evidence and display in the corridors. Teachers were supported to regularly reward students for their use of skills by collecting stamps in Primary and producing report cards in Secondary.
Start early, keep going
The entire school staff was involved in the delivery of this programme, with focus groups piloting the approach across Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary at the start of the year and then rolling it out to the rest of the staff. We had a team for the Secondary Section that prepared central lesson plans for the rest of the teaching staff using the resources available on Skills Builder Hub. We added all Class teachers to the Skills Builder Hub and use this as a central lesson plan and resource for the teaching of essential skills during the assembly in all the sections – Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary. Parents of every section were informed of the Skills Builder Global Accelerator program at the start of the year and of the use of Skills Passports for reinforcing and practising the skills. The Kindergarten and Primary parents helped to complete the Passport at home. The Kindergarten teachers referred to the lesson plan and Listening and Speaking skill was done through videos and action songs from the Skills Builder Hub resources.
Measure it
We measured progress in essential skills in different ways for different sections of the school. For Kindergarten, it was through observation in the curriculum delivery - with the teacher reinforcing the skills and grading the students accordingly. In the Primary and Secondary sections, we used the Skills Passports with learners and a Google Form was used by teachers. This data was then used to complete class-wide assessments on Skills Builder Hub. Teachers also used the Skills Passports to reward students with coloured stamps and certificates. The Kindergarten classes used the star system on their progress report card. Teachers were also able to give regular feedback and thoughts on progress to the other teachers at the staff meetings.
Focus tightly
Focused teaching was developed in different ways across the sections. In the Kindergarten section, teachers broke the language down to the student’s level and then practised conversation during the English class, with a particular focus on the Listening and Speaking skills. The students were helped to focus on Listening and Speaking through animated videos with stories and action-songs based on the steps of Listening and Speaking by Skills builder. Kindergarten teachers used it for the communication skills in the curriculum and support communication between student to student, student to teacher and teacher to student. Across the Primary section, teachers had sessions dedicated to essential skills on three days of the week. The Primary teachers used the central lesson plans to interact with specific resources of Skills builder Hub and explored the early steps and stages of the skills (generally around step 0 to 4). The Primary teacher focused on opportunities to teach these skills in all of her subjects wherever possible and also ensured that the students maintained their passport. The pace was purposefully rather slow as we wanted to ensure there was regular observation and reinforcement of the skill done by the teacher. In the Secondary Section, learners had their morning assembly from Tuesday to Friday on the Skills builder using short lessons and workshops on the interactive platform. In these sessions, teachers covered all the 8 skills. The Secondary Section had their class teacher and in case their class teacher was a vernacular language teacher, she was supported by an assistant teacher who is of the Skills builder team. Consistently focusing on the eight skills in the assembly helped the Secondary students to build an understanding. Teachers regularly did assessments on Google Forms, which helped the teachers to gauge which skill needed attention. All teachers were acquainted with the skill and so it could be easily picked up for reinforcement.
Keep practising
Reinforcement was done at different levels in different sections. For the Kindergarten section, the language skills were completely integrated with the curriculum. In the Primary Section, the teacher was supported to plan and refer the skills across the different subjects as per need like Listening and Speaking for language skills. The students and teachers explicitly used ideas and notions used in the Skills Builder resources in their curriculum, especially in the teaching and learning process in the Secondary section. The students in their interactions and in their class are often using the skills intentionally or are reminded by their teachers especially when it comes to listening and speaking. Teachers across the Primary section were also supported to plan out opportunities to reinforce the skills in each of the activities. To reinforce the skills, a revision session was conducted for every class and the salient features of Step 0 and Step 1 of all 8 skills were revised. The students were set in groups after which they summed up their understanding in the form of a mind-map on chart paper. An eco-activity was given to the group wherein all the 8 skills with Step 0 and Step 1 had to be used while getting a flow-chart ready to accomplish this eco- activity goal. In conclusion, the students created another mind map to reflect over how they used these skills. It was a 2 hour session for all the students of Grade 5 to Grade 9. These charts were then displayed in the class. Colourful, instructive displays of the steps learnt were put on display across the school – at the Reception, near the Primary Entrance, near Primary Head Teacher and Principal’s office - to remind students of the knowledge they had developed quickly.
Bring it to life
The students took up various initiatives in helping the teachers for various school programmes. Two such events were organizing the Exhibition of the Annual Global Connect – a curriculum based activity which ran across the whole school. The student leaders who helped to organize the event, used all the essential skills in arriving at ideas, implementing and executing it in partnership with each other. The teachers observed and reinforced the growth of their skills. Another event was the Annual Day programme in which the students participated and also trained the other students for the cultural dances and compering. Again, essential skills were highlighted and reinforced throughout these activities. We also ran our own eco-focused Challenge Day, which involved all eight skills At all Parent-Teacher meetings, parents were asked to give feedback on the impact of the program with their children. We received very promising feedback from the parents. The Hindi and Marathi teachers also used Home Zone and had sessions for parent-coordinators in Hindi. Around 27 to 30 parent coordinators are involved for every class and each parent coordinator is connected with 10 other parents. The presentation on Skills Builder and the framework was shared with the parent coordinator who would then do the same session with the rest 10 in Hindi. These activities were provided as holiday homework for parents so that the students would remain embedded in the skills learnt at school and practised at home.
What's next
Skills development will now take place in person and now students will be in direct participation with the teachers for the whole academic year. In this mode, it will be a very effective scenario wherein the students will be able to express themselves and also utilize the skills willingly. The teachers too will be able to guide and help them in various situations. We will continue to use the Skills Builder Passports for the students to interactively participate and reflect over their learnings and use the Google Form assessments to track progress. The Home zone activity will be evaluated and its effectiveness in reaching out to the community will be further explored. We will also grow the number of teachers and classes regularly using the Skills Builder approach.