Project Awake and Shine

We need your support

We need your support

Curriculum and teaching methodology

Aim of the School Curriculum

  • The all round development of the child, with focus on self confidence; to enable the child to create a “level playing field” with urban children.
  • Empowering the child to get admission in any English medium school, after completion of primary education.

Our curriculum is dynamic with regular improvements, and includes personality building.

Click here to know more about our syllabus

Innovations in Evolving our Syllabus

We identified self confidence as vital to personality development, and the learning process. Accordingly we “dared to change”, the conventional, and experimented with “out of the box” solutions. We were looking for methods to emphasize personality development, in tandem with conventional learning. Innovations introduced in the curriculum continue are described below :-

The Confidence Course:  A tool for Physical Development, confidence building and spoken English.

A set of obstacles like balancing beams, bars, rope and tree trunk ladders, wall climbing, swinging bridge, tunnel, jumping sandpit and more, were put together and dubbed The Confidence Course.

This course aims to build self confidence , determination to succeed. agility, balance, strength, and coordination; whilst removing fear of heights and darkness. At the same time the children expand their vocabulary by learning the meaning of commands in English, practicing speech, counting numbers, distinguishing colours, sizes and shapes.

Children are also introduced to the concept of obedience, discipline, team work, leadership, and follower- ship. All this is done in a relaxed atmosphere, free of tension, to maintain the happiness level of the children.

The confidence course has been integrated with a comprehensive physical development programme. This includes free standing exercises, jogging, power walking, skipping, throw & catch exercises with Frisbee & tourniquet, ball games, and competitions, orienteering, camping and trekking.

Trekking and camping

Children learn how to pitch tents, and are taken out for day trek cum night camping which includes Camp setting,  camp cooking, night march in darkness, improvised shelters, camp fires, and games.

The Nature walk: a tool for building Nature and social awareness, multi activity learning and expanding English vocabulary

The concept of learning through all senses and experiences, is the basis of this multi-activity awareness and learning walk. It aims to teach a host of subjects. Enhancing nature awareness, build pride in own rural roots, instill respect for elders, teach how to differentiate between sizes (Big & Small), colours, shapes and numbers. It also introduces the child to Flora, farm animals, insects, birds, nature (such as sun, wind, shade, shadows, clouds, rain etc), and agriculture in different seasons. The children also expand their English vocabulary.

The children also visit homesteads and meet “live” families, learning  English words for calling and greeting, learn to respect elders, and practice using English words, for familiar objects in the homestead.

Multi- Activity Composite learning

For early learners, with limited attention span, multi-activity composite learning periods have been devised   The composite period, makes learning interesting, tests recall, and helps to strengthen the knowledge base of children.

Learning English

Faced with the challenge of teaching English to children coming from homes with no English, we explored many activity based learning methods.

The school has adopted a policy of Speak only English, and employed a mix of Phonics, Speaking English for all actions and activity, role play, speech games, word building games and puzzles, as also a reading scheme. 

Learning English through stories

Margot Sherwill, an Australian consultant in teaching English, with vast international experience, has been a regular visitor. She has introduced  English learning through stories, and improved our teaching methodology. The English Lesson Tempalate, introduced by Margot is a programme for building vocabulary through stories. One story is taken up for a full week and vocabulary, word reading, comprehension, sentence forming and writing emerge from the story. The story is also linked to creative activities; thus making it very interesting for the children. Margot is currently writing over one hundredstories with local content suitable for our children.

Learning Mathematics

Children learn mathematics best by doing practical activities, and playing logic games. Children in the nursery class learn numbers by using counting beads, numbers ladder, natural objects such as pebbles and leaves, and numbers games.

In the KG classes, we start using click together bricks. To teach early computation. Games have been devised with click bricks and a Numbers ladder. Counting of natural objects during nature walks is practiced.Children are introduced to the Ganit Mala - a device developed in India, by Jodo Gyan. This comprises a string of 100 large beads, with number markers which can hang from it. Children learn how the numbers to 100 fit on to this, and can use it for finding which are greater and smaller.  It is also useful for addition, subtraction multiplication and learning times tables.

In the primary classes, we supplement Ganit mala excercises by using Dienes Blocks (of Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Ones) to make the learning of Place Value easy and fun. Attribute blocks are used to teach how to sort by size, shape, thickness and colour and fit on to Venn and Carroll diagrams. 

For measurement we have a trundle wheel, and a long metric tape; which is used to measure any large distances on the ground. A balance - exactly like the ones in the bazaar, is used for practical lessons on weighing. 

Flat and solid shape blocks are available for better understanding as children can handle and manipulate the 3 dimensional blocks

For creative mathematics, we have introduced many games, puzzles and aactivity games to develop logical thinking 

Computer literacy

Net books are provided for Class 1,2 3 and 4.  Our syllabus comprises a total of 224 periods of hands on practice, spread over 4 years. Half the class can practice at one time. By the time the children finish class 4, they are able to type, use word for simple drafting, send E-mails, and search the internet.

Creative learning

Creativity is included as a subject in our syllabus. It aims at developing :-

  • Creative talent though arts and crafts, and vocal skills, rhythm, and body coordination through singing and dancing.
  • Pride in heritage through folk song, dance and play acting
  • Introduction to new skills such as baking , camp cooking, digital photography, straw mat making, bamboo basket making

Class teachers provide guidance and  allow children to produce original work, on themes. Combination of art work, Cutting and pasting, digital photos, Natural objects, and computers are used to create theme books and wall displays

 

Leaf and flower collection, camp cooking, construction of and baking in a mud oven have been included in the syllabus.. Batik, straw mat making, and Bamboo basket making are taught as hobbies or taken up as projects.

Music, song and dance are local favorites. Children are encouraged to sing and participate in folk dancing

Activity learning

We are always looking for ideas to take the children out of the class room for learning through activities. Several learning games have been devised

Evolving  a comprehensive assessment system

The school team has been researching, experimenting, and evolving a responsive assessment system. We have eliminated tests based on text book recall, and introduced snap quiz tests, voice response tests, hand writing test and competition, written and activity based tests. The progress of children is also assessed and recorded for physical development, personality building and other activities. This enables timely remedial action to improve the learning process and assist in personality building.

Our Address: Project Awake and Shine
Samthar Farm House, Basti and Post Office Samthar, Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - 734301
Mobile: +91-94340-47372,E-mail : awakeandshineschool@yahoo.com, gurudongma@outlook.com, gurudongma@gmail.com
For India wide Tours and Treks go to www.astonishingindiatours.com. Mob: +91-94340-62100,