Providing a Top-Tier Education
The majority of preschool programs provide early childhood education and care for children, assisting them in the development of a variety of academic and social skills that will prepare them to learn when they enter school. Typically, this prospect of school readiness is the only goal. Indus Early Learning Centre is one such preschool that goes above and beyond this basic goal of school readiness. The school prioritizes the holistic development of the child, the goal is to constantly reskill, reflect, and reinvent ourselves in order to provide a top-tier education and develop leaders of the future, starting today.
The concept of holistic education is translated into a schedule rich in co-curricular programs, which includes speech and drama, coding, music appreciation, instrumentation, dance, art around the world, yoga, Spanish and Hindi. The leadership curriculum includes deep reading and reflection, design thinking elements , socio emotional learning, persuasive communication, goal setting, and digital citizenship to develop the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our children, focusing on international-mindedness, personal values, and enabling a strong sense of self.
The school constantly strives to move away from traditional teaching strategies in favour of transformational strategies that connect students not only to the curriculum but also to society, making them more humane. During the unprecedented times of COVID, teachers went beyond just being a facilitator and took the role of mentor. The teacher advisory role took shape as the teacher created environments that not only promoted children’s academic growth, but also their cognitive, social and emotional, physical, mental and identity development. The focus was prioritized primarily on developing competencies, skills & values and thereafter on academic rigor. Parents and children had a deepening respect for the dedication and resilience of teachers. The teacher advisor prioritized a clear understanding of the needs and goals of each individual student and the tailoring of instruction to address those needs and goals.
Promoting Student Supporters- Teachers and Parents
Indus follows a 21st century model that encompasses the concept of holistic education, follows certain experiential best practices and believes in the philosophy of the impact of early intervention. Students and their individual needs are at the heart of all school programs and are supported by a low student-to-teacher ratio. English as a Second Language (ESL), Special Education Needs (SEN), Gifted Learner Program, and Resource Room Support are all provided by trained professionals at IELC. Teachers receive ongoing professional development geared towards aiding students in setting personal and academic goals. IELC follows a design thinking process that helps students think outside the box as they work from different perspectives in collaboration with their peers and teachers. “They identify a gap or a need or a problem that needs to be addressed and brainstorm ideas through a systematic collaborative process. For our young learners, the focus is not on following a stringent process of inquiry but to equip themselves with research, problem posing, art of asking questions and thinking skills.” shares Sonali Malhotra, Head of Center, IELC. Units of inquiry set a transdisciplinary approach that had the design thinking process element attached so that students inquired into a particular conceptual unit and followed a cycle of brainstorming, problem posing and finding solutions, researching, adapting and being both creative and collaborative.
At IELC, Children are nurtured to embrace the concept of Tikkun Olam, which originates from Jewish culture and translates to “heal the world.” This nurtures empathy and gives them a personal vision, which is reinforced by the teachers and parents. At a young age, children learn to set goals towards the attainment of that vision. They have been making observations about the Earth getting sick and have provided really good ideas on ways to repair the Earth. This is part of their “Tikkun Olam” sensibilities as they set goals, refine them, and move forward with empathy. Sonali Malhotra shares, “Having read about this concept extensively, it inspired us to ask our students two questions: “What is it that you would like to do when you grow up?” and “What is it that you can do now? We also read various books, such as Tikkun Olam Ted. It instilled in them a sense of responsibility and understanding that their Tikkun Olam begins with small acts of empathy.”
Indus follows an open-door communication policy with parents, it creates a nurturing environment for the students, where it is ensured that the best possible decisions are taken with a common goal in mind – to educate the students with the right skills to succeed in life. The Parental Advisory Committee (PAC) was formed to give parents a platform to share any feedback they might have on any aspect of school life. The PAC is of the parents, by the parents, and for the students. Further, there are grade wise Groups created by the PAC for parents to interact and discuss with each other, matters pertinent to school and their child’s grade-specific concerns. Each group is moderated by a parent. This unique approach to education is what makes all stakeholders share a common vision.
Sonali Malhotra – Head of Centre
Sonali Malhotra has had a dual career under the umbrella of Early childhood education and Leadership training & consultancy spanning two decades. A Liberal arts graduate from Delhi University, holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Education (International) from Birmingham City University UK and has additionally secured her Cambridge International Diploma in Teaching and Learning with a distinction from The Teacher Foundation. Her experience with play-based learning is vast and her visit to schools in Finland strengthened this holistic pedagogical practice. She is a certified Image consultant and qualified soft skills trainer from the Image Consultant Business Institute, Bangalore. She has also had the unique opportunity to travel and align herself with different leadership positions and systems of education across the country. She believes in the philosophy that all children can learn. She first joined Indus as a leadership and life skills coach at Indus Training and Research Institute and the Indus Community School, and was the founder teacher for Indus Early Learning Centre Koramangala, Bangalore. Head of Centre Sonali Malhotra maintains that true collaboration and partnership between students, parents and school is the best way to unlock a child’s potential.