Established in the year 1981, TI School is located in the heart of Ambattur, a part of greater Chennai. With its humble beginnings, TI School offers best in class education that focuses on holistic student development alongside building socially responsible global citizens, through its well-defined mission, quality objectives and measures. TI School is a great example of a school that is fully committed to offering a comprehensive essential skills education to its students.
Engaging in essential skill driven activities has firstly allowed the teachers to see the potential within every child of the class. The teachers have come to realise that each child is blessed with a different kind of skill set with essential skills that can be honed. Also, the steps in every essential skill that the Universal Framework provides has helped the teachers in guiding their learners to master those skills. The program has encouraged a lot of sharing best practice across sections. With the skill-based activities now being a regular feature in our curriculum, we see our learners as better listeners who are able to articulate their thoughts with clarity and confidence. The Skills Builder team has offered continuous support, by constantly guiding us on how to use the tools and resources available on universal framework. We could take a lot of reference from the resources available and contextualise it for our learners. This program has encouraged both our team of teachers and our students to express, experience, experiment and create. Hence the Senior Leadership have identified essential skills education as a strategic priority and the school will continue to work towards holistic education by further embedding the wide range of principles. Being a part of the Skills Builder Global Accelerator has allowed us to make it a more structured endeavour where we are encouraged to encompass all the essential skills and integrate those even in our academics, giving it a 360° approach.
The Framework is broken into smaller steps for our students. This gives insights into the needs of the class as a whole. In this way, teachers and students generate an insight into which steps have already been achieved on the Skills Builder Framework, and what therefore should be the next focus. The vast positive change in the performance of students, both in academic and extracurricular activities are recorded and the teachers continue to maintain a record of every child. Worksheets are given to students, adapted from the Skills Builder Workbooks, which help them in understanding the essence of the skill and accomplish the given task. This data has proved to be very helpful for planning interventions and support. The feedback from teachers using the framework as a tool for assessment is very positive.
The school has weekly one hour sessions which have been referred to at each stage of future interactions with the students. Most importantly, skills are integrated as a part of lessons and not treated as a stand-alone subject. Along with other aspects of our ‘lesson plan template’ like objectives, learning outcomes, resources etc, skills and skill steps acquired are also planned. Every activity, lesson or event executed is associated with skill enhancement.
The skills have been reinforced through class assemblies. There are wall displays of what students have been studying and how it links to the development of essential skills. Sessions are planned in such a way as to ensure there are opportunities for students to practice their essential skills. The Project Days- Epistimi 2022 and Resonance 2023, Murugappa Inter School quiz, various intra and inter school activities have served as great opportunities to students to reinforce and enhance their skills in listening, speaking, creativity, problem solving and team work.
There have been several projects that provide students with the opportunity to bring all eight of the skills to life. Examples include a project on waste wise management (this was aimed to create awareness within the neighbourhood), Kids to Kids (an initiative by our senior students to reach out to the less privileged children), Jatayu (A TI Alumni Initiative) and Road Safety Patrol to create awareness among the general public about safety on road and the importance of wearing seat belts and helmets. Extracurricular activities such as Art Club, Theatre and Literary Club, Nature Club, Heritage Club are included in the type of target setting that goes on in school and the school has been able to apply the essential skills in a structured manner in a wider scope this year. At all Parent-Teacher meetings, parents were asked to give feedback on the impact of the program with their children. We have received very promising feedback from the parents.
The school 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.