We are Indians and crunching numbers is in our DNA. So here is something that would interest you.
90,660 student hours spent at GGIS 3400 student hours spent online 1400 student hours of Makers Lab 192 student hours of Design Thinking 284 student hours of Public Speaking 9880 student hours of sports on field 16,180 student hours of recess 523 additional working hours for teachers 4221 lesson plans 335 training hours of teachers 1090 parent hours of interaction with school Above 90% “Yes” for almost all parameters of child’s progress 42,210 kms of transportation 1244 kms of field trips 3,23,480 square feet of green space That was our year in numbers.
Whoaaa, now that is too much to digest. So let me elaborate and put them in perspective.
Hours spent learning, acquiring new skills, hours spent exploring and playing. We expanded our horizons of thinking and created bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime. And that must have been obvious when your child shared his Yearly Yatra with you. So today we shall talk about things other than academics that make GGIS what it is. Let me talk of our secret ingredients.
GGIS is a digitally advanced school and our children use technology to enhance their knowledge frontiers. They are not schooled for yesterday by cramming dates and figures. They know new tools exist and they confidently surf the wide world of the web to extract the information they need. They code, they research and they present their learning through technology.
Makers Lab one of the pioneer concepts for primary schools in India and my favourite space in the school. Makers Lab is multi-faceted. It inspires students to look at an object and see what it can be rather than what it is. Our curriculum does not always give us this freedom. We after all, cannot ask our students what can 2+2 be! But at Makers lab our students’ imagination runs free and their problem solving skills come to the fore. They can make cradles out of plastic bottles and kaleidoscopes of broken toys. Learning and building is limitless. And as children, they deserve that freedom to experiment and find a thousand ways to fail.
Interiact- an after school program helped our students gain insight into the world of design thinking. It helped them gain a framework with which they can solve or imagine a new product and work with constraints. Working with CEPT and NID gave them invaluable knowledge and their installation is a testimony to that. However the skills that Interiact instilled in our students far outgrows the beauty of the installation they created.
A teacher on an average asks 200 to 300 questions a day. While students ask about 2. In a normal school. But not at GGIS. Here we encourage students to ask, explore and meet others to develop their communication and interpersonal skills. With our students stealing the show at events like Weekend Window and Schools’ exhibition and various housing colonies where we took our ‘kabila’ of makers lab, they surely learnt how to communicate their viewpoints.
Health is wealth and a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. We know it all. But conventional schools many times compromise heavily on the physical aspect of learning. Not at GGIS. While our academic lessons involve lots of movement, our sports sessions are sacred. We do not cross them out when we have more important things to attend to like exams or events. Rather, we encourage our students to push their limits, to go beyond what they believe is possible. We let them fail and we stand by them steadfastly in their achievements and heartbreaks. And this year GGIS hosted two inter school sports events- GGIS Kabaddi League and Athletics Meet. With a handful of children in Grade 3 and 4 as our senior most, i must say, our students put up a great show.
Yes, recess. Most of you might be wondering why would we want to highlight recess. That is not when teaching or learning happens. Well, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is in those valuable hours of recess that children really learn to play with each other without adult intervention. They set their rules and abide by them. They explore new games and play freely. Unstructured play has humungous benefits which our children experience day in and day out because we allow for time to play and not just eat your snack. After all, play is serious business at GGIS.Now enough about students. Lets talk about teachers
Our students enjoy their days at school because we as teachers work far harder than most to make it so. Through the year we have worked 74 extra days in terms of hours than our students did. We put in a whole lot of zeal and effort into what happens next day and how it unfolds for the child in the class. We reflect, we plan, we discuss and we carry their problems with us to our sleep. In this one year our teachers have created more than 4221 lesson plans and written as many numbers of reflections!!
We teachers can do good work because we too learn. We learn everyday from our own experiences, but we also go out and seek professional development. This one year we spent hundreds of ours just upgrading ourselves through Skillfest, math sessions with Radha Ma’am through my visits to American School of Bombay and TGES and much more. It was a year of learning more, to achieve more.
You, our parents are the most important partners in the development of our students. Your participation in various school events like Parent Interventions and Funderstanding and Garba and fitness session ensure that we are on the same page. Also, it reinforces the fact that we look at parents as true partners, rather than occasional visitors to our school.
And what do these parent hours tell us? Well, through the parent observation sheets, we learn about your perception of GGIS. And what is it that you have told us? A resounding and reassuring above 90% “Yes” for almost all parameters of your child’s progress. Thank you for having faith in us and appreciating the work we do. You sure are outliers as parents, for you chose not cast your child into a mould, but rather trusted us to carve the best out of him.
Transportation, one of our prickly issues. Well, let me tell you. We travelled around the world this year. Yes the distance covered by our transport this year is more than the circumference of the earth. So pardon us if you faced some hiccups in the long journey! And let me also talk about the field trips. This year we covered 1244 kms in field trips. Our transportation agency which works with 15 other top schools in Ahmedabad mentioned that we not only top the list in terms of outdoor field visits but the second one is not even halfway close. On an average a school covers about 200-300 kms annually in field visits. But we are way ahead.
With urbanization comes vertical living spaces. Our children today do not have access to same open spaces we did. They live in more confined areas and their vision too is limited. But the GGIS campus with its vastness offers huge open space to run, fall, rise and repeat the same. With roughly 92% open space the idyllic hours spent by children in cleaner air and safer environment add not just to their physical health but it also soothes their mental self. Try concentrating on a creative writing essay in the midst of honking cars and you shall realise the importance of serene spaces.But what happened in this year is much more than a 10 minute speech can ever cover. This year our students moved forward, they lived, they learnt, They spent the year without being anaesthetised. For ours is a school where children are handmade, not factory made !
Our Director, Minal Desai’s speech at Glimpses 2015. Yearly Yatra 2015 So we complete two years. At 2, we humans, are considered toddlers. We triple the birth weight and can walk with confidence and enjoy exploring the world. Well, GGIS is toddling and our journey is also almost similar. As
You and I are always running, Running to make the best of our lives. This journey that we have been on for years, Has just begun for our children They are excited and hopeful To flaunt what they learn And hear us clap for them. Its a Yatra, Which, here