The curriculum at Sri Kumaran Children’s Home, Nursery-TSF is tailor-made for young children. The activity-based course of study aims to provide holistic, comprehensive and integrated development and growth for our students. Our pedagogical approaches are flexible and diverse and constantly updated with the change in time. It is diverse in nature.
Formal learning has been an important part of nursery education for years. It begins right when the child enters the classroom and stays with them for much after they’ve left school. These are the foundational building blocks that add to a child's socio-emotional development. It helps children in their emotional experiences, expression, and regulation as well as the ability to form pleasant and rewarding interactions with others. At Kumarans, to promote such learning, we conduct various activities starting with prayer and assembly, exercises, and classroom activities. We use progressive teaching methods based on activity, questioning, explaining, demonstrating, and using collaboration techniques.
Language development is a critical part of teaching young children as it promotes overall development and cognitive advancement, among other things. Language allows children to make friends, and develop meaningful relationships. Our focus remains on helping children build their vocabulary and develop communication skills.
During their time in nursery school, children usually transition from learning their mother tongue to picking up English. To aid their journey we encourage listening, speaking, and writing activities to enhance their English speaking and writing skills.
Words are not taught in isolation; rather, the emphasis is on how to use words in sentences. Theme-based words are introduced as High-Frequency Words, which expose toddlers to a large number of words. Many exercises are created in which youngsters select a topic and speak about it in a few sentences.
For a child, reading is a complex cognitive task. Phonics provides a tool for comprehending it completely while strengthening a child's general thinking and reasoning abilities. Children can identify many words quickly and accurately, which helps them enhance overall reading fluency and language development.
As they master CVC words and sight words, children are encouraged to read phrases and sentences. Children are given sentence reading strips to help them read better. Worksheets are created based on the curriculum to help students gain reading experience. They are given a platform to develop their reading skills by borrowing storybooks from the library.
At a young age, children begin to develop an instinctive knowledge of numbers. Because it connects counting to quantities, a strong sense of numbers formed in the early years is a crucial building block to learning arithmetic as they get older. In class, we employ Montessori items such as blocks and counting beads to introduce numbers to our pupils. This enables the children to learn something new while using their hands. Montessori items are used to teach numerical and place value to children. Children are taught how to recognise and write numbers from 1 to 100, as well as learn about place value.
We also teach various other age-appropriate concepts:
Sensorial Development in early childhood, and in nursery education, is an important part of growth. Incorporating sensory play helps the child learn more complicated concepts easily. It not only helps the child in better their interaction with others and language development, but also strengthens their problem-solving skills, motor skills, and cognitive growth. We use Montessori materials, that use the five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling, to aid in the refinement of the child’s senses, which in turn, serve their intellect.
Our students are taught concepts of spatial sense such as big and small, tall and short. This helps them in understanding of shape, size, position, direction, and movement.
It is critical to learn about and care for the environment in which we live from an early age. Beginning in Pre-KG, we start to lay the groundwork for environmental sensitivity, interest, and responsible behaviour. Simple and tangible concepts are used to introduce nature, natural phenomena, and important facts about nature science. We help in the development of a basic understanding of the natural world.
We provide outdoor experiences such as nature walks, bird watching, field trips, theme visits, role play, and puppet shows to make the learning process more meaningful and interesting.
Theme-based settings, such as Day and Night, Animal World, Aviary with models, and Vehicles, are designed to spark curiosity among students and enhance learning in a simulated environment. We create colourful and informative instructional materials by combining multimedia with real-life experiences. This allows children to concentrate more and learn more effectively.
Our teachers carry out assessments of our preschool students to evaluate and review the progress they have made. It assists instructors in understanding the children and determining how to promote their learning and development. We transitioned from traditional paper-pencil assessments to a more interactive method.
These interactive methods include open-ended questions and the use of thinking abilities such as seeing, thinking, and wondering, as well as claiming, supporting, and questioning.
We created rubrics for English, Number Work, and Environmental Sciences to assist teachers in observing and assessing youngsters in a systematic manner. It is a type of scoring guide for assessment. The learning outcomes for each subject were kept in mind while constructing the rubric. Rubrics help keep track of how each child is progressing over time. It can also be used to address learning gaps in children.
Our students are assessed once every three months — June, September and December/January, and March. Term wise achievement reports are published for parents on Edchemy.
Children learn the importance of togetherness and harmony through the different festivals we celebrate in our school. In a country as diverse as India, participating in different festivals encourages children to learn, understand and respect each other's customs and traditions. We hold grand celebrations on our school campus for Janmashtami, Dasara, Deepavali, and Christmas. We celebrate Independence Day with pride in our hearts with the other schools of The Sri Kumaran Group of Institutions. Nursery students contribute in different ways like singing patriotic songs.
The occasion of School Day, held once in two years in November, is marked by a well-organized cultural show. On this day, the nursery children perform a dazzling array of events in the forms of dance, theatre, and music. Parents and grandparents gather in significant numbers to watch this lavish event and marvel at the talent on display.
The graduation ceremony honours and celebrates a child's three years of nursery education at our institution. Excited students put on their caps and gowns for the graduation ceremony and collect their certificates from the school's Director Smt Deepa Sridhar and other school heads.
It usually takes place at the end of the academic year in the last week of March. LKG children usually perform a send-off programme for the graduating class, while the UKG students sing a thank you song to celebrate.
We equip and prepare our students for life, not just academic and professional achievement. We start young so that positive behaviours become second nature. Many of these activities are similar to what the child sees and does at home, making the transition to school easier for them. These activities are also purposeful and calming in their own right. PLA promotes self-care and respect for the environment. Some examples are opening a particular book or a certain page, packing their school bags neatly, opening and closing their lunch boxes, putting things back in their designated places after use, arranging crayons after colouring and placing their shoes neatly under their chairs.
Social skills enable us to interact with and communicate with others. Students learn how to deal with social situations by anticipating and comprehending other people’s behaviours, body language and gestures. Fostering a child's development of social skills is an essential requirement.
The Four C's — Confidence, Communication, Cooperation, and Curiosity — are four fundamental elements of social skills. At the Kumarans, we have developed many activities in response to the need for global connectedness and basic social skills.
Here are some of the activities that aid social skill development:
Fine motor skills enable us to execute simple activities that we often take for granted. This includes writing, eating, and handling small objects such as scissors and pencils with our hands. Fine motor skills are necessary for self-grooming, dressing, and opening and closing lunch boxes. The ability to use the tiny muscles in our hands, fingers, arms, and wrists requires fine motor skills. Our age group of students in our nursery school are still learning how to use these small muscles and enhancing their skills.
To strengthen their fine motor skills, the curriculum includes age-appropriate activities. These activities help children develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and agility in developing finger movements. They include playing with clay, paper cutting, and tearing, making paper balls, crayon shaving, pencil shaving, leaf tracing, cotton dabbing, veg printing, fingerprinting, and paper folding and crushing.
With the support of Montessori materials, we gradually introduced these activities over the years. Additional practice is offered to children who need to enhance their fine motor abilities. We use the following materials and activities to improve fine motor skills:
Daily physical activities are a must for young children as it helps develop their gross motor skills using the large muscles in their arms, legs and other parts of the body. We hold yoga sessions, fun physical activities and free play in our child-friendly soft play area to promote the gross motor skills of our students. It helps children bond with one another.
Children are the most unrestrained and expressive when they are younger. As educators, we must hone their unfettered expressions and channel them productively through creativity and aesthetics. While one represents the art, the other allows you to learn the language of art interpretation. Developing an aesthetic sensibility through art activities such as drawing, painting, collage, craft, dance, and music boosts children's creativity.
The environment in which they create their art is equally important. The decor of our activity centre entices children to spend more time there. Teachers use welcome boards and theme-based flannel boards to provide visually appealing and colourful experiences for the students.
For every major festival celebrated at our school, we incorporate art created by students. Teachers decorate the floor landings and the basement with their own creativity and innovation. This not only draws the attention of students but also helps them comprehend the significance of each holiday.
Art education necessitates originality and ingenuity, as well as thinking outside the box and having strong interpersonal skills. Individual activities such as leaf tracing, cotton dabbing, vegetable printing, finger dabbing, palm printing, and paper folding are taught to children to help them improve their creativity and dexterity.
Songs and music not only entertain and delight youngsters, but they also act as crucial learning tools. Learning music, rhymes, and rhythms have been shown to speed brain growth through improving listening abilities, coordination, and communication skills, as well as sensory development.
Along with music, movement techniques such as yoga are included in the curriculum to help children develop holistically. Yoga is an ancient practice that not only benefits the body but also calms the mind, and teaches them discipline.
We have a reinforcement of the human spirit in the presence of stories. Children will benefit greatly from stories that open the door to true knowledge. Language growth, public speaking abilities, communication skills, confidence, imagination, and self-management skills have all been observed as learning outcomes of storytelling and puppetry.
The relationship between parents and school has a crucial role in the child’s educational progress. In our institution, we believe in working in collaboration with the parents of our students to facilitate better learning outcomes. This makes it imperative for us to hold parent-teacher meetings every two months. These meetings give an insight to both the teacher and the parent as to where the child stands in terms of their holistic development. It provides a safe space for both the parent and the teacher to discuss concerns, provide feedback and exchange important information for the benefit of the child.
Concerned teachers provide dates and timeslots in advance to the parents so that they have the opportunity to discuss personally and privately the educational progress of their children.
Sri Kumaran Children's Home is proud to have been one of Bangalore's first schools to build a resource room in the 1980s to assist children with special educational needs. This was the brainchild of former Director Smt. Meenakshi Balakrishnan, lovingly called "Mother," who was always looking for ways to help those in need. She was always ready to introduce new programmes and ideas to assist students. She was the driving force behind this endeavour that was very close to her heart.
Smt. Rukmini Krishnaswamy, the Director of the Spastic Society, assisted in the establishment of the resource centre. The special education department in the school was initially run by experts in the field like Smt Rupa Shivakumar and was later taken over by Smt. Bhavani Chandrashekhar.
Later, the school decided to provide teachers the opportunity to participate in the Karnataka Parent's Association for Mentally Retarded Citizens’ Special Education Programme in order to learn the essential skills to work in this domain.
We are grateful to Mrs. Deepa Sridhar, our Director of Academics, who is always willing to assist the department. She ensures that teachers are always up to date on the latest methods of learning/teaching to ensure that best practises from around the world are adopted and implemented.
A student who wanted the world to understand the frustration of the reading experience for someone with a reading disability. The compelling piece perfectly describes why children with special needs need special care.
Children with special needs face difficulties in learning what their peers are able to grasp easily at school like language structure, reading, writing, spelling, and math. While all children need love, care and affirmative action, those with special needs require this even more. They require tools to help themselves overcome these difficulties. Our resource room provides exactly such a nurturing environment. In a nutshell, this a sanctuary of learning for students, as their needs for academic assistance and emotional comfort are effectively fulfilled here.
The teacher educates students in such a way that they receive accommodations that address their unique issues and requirements. Alternative teaching methods implemented in the resource rooms help children learn better.
We make special efforts to identify children who are experiencing learning difficulties and to intervene as soon as possible. Teachers pay great attention to each pupil, even in nursery school. If a child is unable to keep up with the rest of the class, they are referred to the resource room. Special educators, who are experts in their field, conduct informal testing on the child and, if necessary, enrol the child in the resource room. Parents are urged to undergo formal testing if is warranted. The students are supported until they complete their education, if their is such a requirement.
Educators in the resource room use specialised teaching methods to teach the students and help them adapt to this new way of learning.
All necessary support is provided by the school. For example, students may be given assistance during exams or granted more time to complete their papers. If parents or students require support outside of school, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy, they are guided in the right direction.