One of the most important decisions parents have to make is choosing the right school for their child, where the happiness and success of the child are the major concerns upon which their future depends. Therefore, it is paramount that the school they go to, value their child and encourage them to do their best at every front. The Christ Church School, Byculla is one such school where every child has the chance to grow in confidence by participating in a wide range of learning experiences. Progressing steadily since 1925, the school has built a reputation that is synonymous with excellence, providing an environment that encourages growth, and fosters creativity, exploration and discovery. It is a place where children can find magic in their lives, broaden their intellect, and build a strong sense of integrity, compassion, and a spirit of giving.
Primarily started by the Bombay Education Society (an Anglo-Indian board), and still administered by them, Christ Church School, Byculla is a private, unaided, Anglo-Indian, Christian minority, ICSE and IGCSE school. The CISCE curriculum has been started right from the 1960s and the IGCSE started off somewhere around 2011-2012 under the leadership Mr. Karl Lorry, who passed away in 2017 due to a brief illness.
Christ Church was the Bombay Education Society School in Fort Colaba, which operated out of a very tiny building, and it came to do the rescue of a lot of the Anglo-Indians who could not join elite schools. Thus, providing Anglo-Indians a place of quality learning experiences, that’s how Christ Church was founded and it took the name Christ Church School because of the church that is already on the campus. Since then, Christ Church has expanded exponentially. And today, the School has about 4,000 students. Christ Church has grown considerably and currently the School houses 165 onboard faculty members, along with a lot of contract staff, making the total to be 225 staff members, who work in 2 shifts, morning and evening.
CCS offers three curriculums for its students, namely CISCE, which has specifically been designed to provide a thorough experience at general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986, through the medium of English. This course offered at Christ Church will ensure an education curve without any diversification of studies as all candidates are required to enter and sit for six subjects and Socially Useful Productive Work.
CCS also houses Cambridge’s very own CAIE programme providing subject content, planning and resource guides, guidance for curriculum implementation and development, plus support for classroom teaching and student learning. It is a programme which has been developed with consistent standards that are externally benchmarked across thousands of students. The main focus of this programme is to deliver world-class international education through the provision of curricula, assessment and services. “We are committed to extending access to the benefits of high-quality education around the globe, and our programmes and qualifications develop successful learners and support the economic performance of countries where we work at the national level”, added – Mr. Bunyan.
Lastly, CCS is home to an International Baccalaureate program that aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Creating well-rounded personalities
CCS being home to a number of faculty members who have been in the school for 10, 20, 25, and 30 years, results in long-lasting relationships of trust and growth, where each of the faculty members contribute towards student upliftment. Where all the teachers are treated equally, they are trained well, to stay in-sync with the current trends and demands of the society. Also, the mental well-being of everyone at CCS is considered with equal emphasis, ensuring that everyone who is a part of CCS – grows and learns steadily and consistently.
A home to renowned fests and cultural events, CCS hones extracurricular brilliance among the students, and lets students excel in their managerial skills in the fest called Roachuk. This fest is a welcome move in today’s time, as it lets the students engage and learn deeply about our Indian heritage and culture. This fest promotes Indianness to the maximum, where students don’t play basketball, but play Lagori. They don’t play Cricket, but they play Kabaddi. Over 20 to 30 schools participate in this fest, with absolutely 0 participation fees, and with the local students playing as the valuable guests who don’t participate in the fest, but let others enjoy and learn immensely. 10 lakhs rupees is allotted for any event of this festival. Recently, CCS now has events for juniors, middle and senior high school students.
Pandemic and beyond
“The pandemic was extremely surprising, challenging, and we were taken aback”, shared Mr. Ferdinand Bunyan, the Principal. Continuing to explain how Christ Church School continued imparting quality education despite a global pandemic knocking on our doors, he added – “So when the pandemic hit us, our first approach was to make videos of lessons. Teachers were
briefly trained. And we had a few students who rose to the occasion”. Through the conversation with Mr. Bunyan, we learnt that CCS sent out a lot of worksheets and they had videos covering all aspects from PE to values and models. And gradually, the School bought its first 10 licenses from Zoom and then began live classes. Despite having their own YouTube channel, by 2020, the School ended up with no less than 50 paid Zoom channels and licenses.
Not only did CCS focus on bettering its IT-infrastructure, but whenever the school was operational, the School sent out worksheets, and children had to bring them back and a timetable was set. Adding a point on this, Mr. Buyan shared – “We divided up the gates, we put out boxes, we put staff in charge. So parents would come in and drop off their respective ward’s worksheets, test papers because we realized that having a Google form and test at home where you had multiple choice questions, it was open to a lot of, let’s say, unfairness”.