Preprimary

06

To introduce this section, we would like to quote from the National Curriculum Framework: 2005. ’Learning for the sake of being examined in a mechanical manner takes away the joy of being young, and delinks knowledge from everyday experience’.

For the curriculum to serve its noble purpose, it must become a facilitator of curiosity and enthusiasm. After capturing a child’s attention it must accelerate knowledge gaining. It should provide the child with questions to ask, with pursuits to follow and act as an interface between individual experience and theoretical assimilation. By doing so, such a curriculum will then breathe new life into the educational process. Children will then understand the importance of arranging and rearranging concepts so as to gain a stronger grasp on studied matter…and reject information that was memorised without any conceivable use in mind.

Let us now offer you a detailed insight of the curriculum.

The early childhood curriculum at Universal is designed to satisfy the needs, interests and abilities of the young child as well as the demands of the 21st century. Our curriculum draws inspiration from the theory of constructivism, the Reggio Approach Learning and the theory of multiple intelligences.

LIFE SKILLS

The child at Universal also learns about the other 3 R’s  – responsibility, respect and the importance of relationships, through the life  skills programme specially integrated into the curriculum.

THE PROJECT APPROACH

The Project Approach as developed by Lillian Katz and Sylvia Chard is one of the unique aspects of education at our institute. Through this approach the child and the teacher become co-investigators as they embark upon the study of a topic of significance. Field trips, interviewing resource persons, reading books, watching audio-visual content and most importantly documentation of the learning process, form parts of the process leading to the culmination of the topic. In this approach, our objective is that young children learn critical thinking and problem solving, important aspects of ’the learning to learn’ phenomenon.

CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING

Young children are by nature curious, active learners who learn best from direct firsthand experience. With the help and support of their co-learner, the teacher, they are able to construct meaning and reflect on their own learning. Such an approach prepares the ground for the young child to develop into an independent learner; such an approach also demonstrates the need for critical thinking and problem-solving throughout the day.

PLAY

Play is at the centre of our early childhood curriculum as research has shown time and again the benefits of play for young children. Play not only clarifies concepts, facilitates social development and provides emotional relief but also provides sheer joy to the young learner!

RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY

Our curriculum is socially and culturally appropriate. We respect diversity and impress upon the young child an awareness and appreciation of cultures other than one’s own through the celebration of festivals.

THE WHOLE CHILD

Our curriculum lays emphasis on developing all the aspects of the child: cognitive, physical, social and emotional. We resonate with the theory of Multiple Intelligences that focuses on the development of the whole child.

Linguistic: The capacity to use words effectively, whether orally (e.g., as a storyteller) or in writing (e.g., as a poet)

Logical-mathematical: The capacity to use numbers effectively (e.g., as a mathematician, tax accountant, or statistician) and to reason well (e.g., as a scientist, computer programmer, or logician).

Spatial: The ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately (e.g., as a hunter, scout, or guide) and to perform transformations upon those perceptions (e.g., as an interior decorator, architect, artist, or inventor).

Bodily-kinesthetic: Expertise in using one’s whole body to express ideas and feelings (e.g., as an actor, a mime, an athlete, or a dancer) and facility in using one’s hands to produce or transform things (e.g., as a craftsperson, sculptor, mechanic, or surgeon).

Musical: The capacity to perceive (e.g., as a music aficionado), discriminate (e.g., as a music critic), transform (e.g., as a composer), and express (e.g., as a performer) musical forms.

Interpersonal: The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people.

Intrapersonal: Self-knowledge and the ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge.

Naturalistic: Expertise in the recognition and classification of the numerous speciesflora and faunaan individual’s environment and the capacity to discriminate among inanimate objects such as cars, sneakers, and CD covers.

ASSESSMENTS

At Universal, we do not necessarily view assessments as the sole measure of a child’s potential. In a rapidly evolving educational environment, methods and techniques need to match the need of the hour. To achieve our greater goals, we prefer an approach that considers both sides of the coin.

At this tender age careful attention is paid to a child’s likes and dislikes.

This minute observation is recorded in detail and provided as a report to parents on a term wise basis.

The assessment serves a dual purpose:

  • Offers an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of each child to the teacher so that she may further fine tune the instructional programme
  • Offers you feedback about your child’s abilities, likes and dislikes
  • Our assessment includes a formal written document that traces minute details across all the areas of development. This is shared with you twice a year.
  • In order to arrive at this assessment, the teacher makes detailed observation on a regular and periodic basis.
  • This kind of assessment recognizes the uniqueness of each learner and allows for differences in styles and rates of learning.
  • This assessment utilizes an array of tools and a variety of processes including, collections of representative work [artwork, stories], records of systematic observation by teachers, records of conversation and interviews with children.

Primary & Secondary

Primary

38

The program initiates the child to core subjects and development of fundamental skills of basic literacy and numeracy. Foreign language learning is also introduced in the early stages.

This section of the curriculum is the backbone of formal learning for a child. It is during these years that, we at Universal, motivate a child to be increasingly curious and discover necessary information about world around him/her.

The key teaching and learning techniques listed below.

Ÿ     > Support during learning but also encouragement to learn independently

Ÿ     > Sustained approach to basic competency building in academic and co-curricular activities

Ÿ     > Integration of technology and increased experimentation and exploration to answer the ’whys’ and ’hows’

Ÿ     > Improved oral communication by focusing on appropriate pronunciation and intonation

Ÿ     > Research based group projects that explore specific topics

Ÿ     > Life skills training to ensure that a child grows up in harmony with the requirements of an ever expanding world

Ÿ     > Academic subjects include English, Hindi, Marathi, French, Mathematics, Science, Environmental Education, Computer Applications and Social Studies.

Ÿ     > Co-curricular exposures and experiences include music, dance, self defence, arts and crafts, information technology, yoga, indoor and outdoor sports

Ÿ     > The Disaster Management programme deserves special mention as it trains our students to deal with unforeseen eventualities.

Secondary

02

The secondary section represents the last five years of a child’s schooling at Universal. While the primary sections establishes a solid platform of enquiry and creates a thirst for knowledge, the secondary section shifts the emphasis of enquiry. During these five years, understanding the prescribed academic concepts is of prime importance. Students continue to question and learn through active experience but in the secondary section, great focus and attention is paid to the facts and principles underlying each subject.

Co-curricular and extra-curricular participation is mandatory while special age appropriate programmes also form part of the educational milieu.

Co-curricular exposures and experiences include all of those mentioned in the primary section. However, children are allowed to select the activity that interests them the most so that they can derive the best benefit of these advanced learning.

Self expression and leadership are facilitated through platforms like Debates, Elocution competitions, Mock parliament sessions and the Student council.

Specific knowledge content is passed on to the students in the shape of programmes covering age appropriate sex education, stress and examinations, future career path alternatives and so on.

Individual interests find their place in our scheme of education by way of diverse clubs and groups. We will have clubs for writing, flower arrangement, cookery, nature and photography, arts, music, drama, dance and sports.

Assessment

At Universal, we do not necessarily view assessments as the sole measure of a child’s potential. In a rapidly evolving educational environment, methods and techniques need to match the need of the hour. To achieve our greater goals, we prefer an approach that considers both sides of the coin.

At this tender age careful attention is paid to a child’s likes and dislikes.

This minute observation is recorded in detail and provided as a report to parents on a term wise basis.

The assessment serves a dual purpose:

  • Offers an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of each child to the teacher so that she may further fine tune the instructional programme
  • Offers you feedback about your child’s abilities, likes and dislikes
  • Our assessment includes a formal written document that traces minute details across all the areas of development. This is shared with you twice a year.
  • In order to arrive at this assessment, the teacher makes detailed observation on a regular and periodic basis.
  • This kind of assessment recognizes the uniqueness of each learner and allows for differences in styles and rates of learning.
  • This assessment utilizes an array of tools and a variety of processes including, collections of representative work [artwork, stories], records of systematic observation by teachers, records of conversation and interviews with children.