THE LEARNING PROCESS AT BIS
Aims of teaching and learning at BIS are:
BIS has created a foundation for a strong learning culture in order :
- to develop students at a holistic level (intellectual, academic, imaginative, physical, moral and social)
- for students to grow into citizens who contribute positively to different communities they become part of
- for students to be effective learners, beyond as well as in the classroom and to engage in learning throughout their lives
- to contribute significantly to students’ growing sense of what is right and wrong and to support them in finding meaning in an increasingly complex and diverse world
- to develop global awareness and inter-cultural understanding in our students that rests on a firm sense of self and individual identity
- to ensure that every student achieves potential and is able to move on to the higher educational experience they want
- to develop creative problem solvers who work effectively as part of collaborative teams.
Our learning story
BIS’s learning story is about our journey and our shifts in thinking from our attempts in moving from a school with three programmes to a K-12 continuum school. We are committed to offering the IBPYP (candicacy stage), IGCSE and IBDP and connecting the three effectively. The influence of the boards we endorse is evident in terms of our focus on developing ‘inquiring’, ‘caring’ and ‘compassionate’ learners. A constructivist approach in our classrooms has helped with progression of the learner profile across the continuum.
In addition to the IB learner profile, specific skills like critical thinking, research, communication (approaches to learning) are scaffolded across all grades. BIS students are encouraged to develop competencies for the 21st century through this focus and gets embedded in the programme through activities, global engagements and classroom teaching. We are thus using various pedagogical approaches to teaching including concept based learning, active use of visible thinking routines and embedding of formative assesments amidst collaborative learning environments.* Flipped classrooms, setting meaningful homework, reviewing terminology and types of assessments are some of the current themes being woven in to a teacher’s working week. We have dedicated one full staff development day per month and made their focus topics that are common to the entire teaching staff. Senior leadership has been focusing on professional growth and thus coordinates with programme coordinators ti implement school-wide initiatives. For the whole staff, the school’s commitment to thinking ‘continuum’ is evident and supported with time set aside in each week for collaborative meetings.
Our academic structure supports the continuum
In 2016, we took the step to create new curricular positions at the school, based on our needs for implementing our ideas through the continuum. We have experienced team leaders focussing on early year needs and on the upper primary. For specialist subjects in the PYP we have also appointed Team Leaders.
Our Middle School Coordinator is working on developing a robust curriculum so that PYP students are in a state of readiness when they come in to grade 6. For secondary and high school, we have academic team leaders for English, Second languages, Mathametics, Science, Social Studies. Under the overall guidance of the Principal and Head, International Curriculums, the Middle School, IGCSE and IBDP coordinators and academic team leaders work closely to implement the curricular goals at BIS.
The core element of CAS in the IBDP needed to find a place in other programmes, so we created a curriculum centred around holistic learning. The service component is particularly important and we want to expose students to service learning at a much earlier age. This also connects well to the PYP action cycle and student engagement in a broad sense. Our holistic curriculum development team is headed by our Deputy Head. The team has focused on self-regulation skills and developed strands that relate self-management issues to student growth and maturity.
International mindedness at BIS
The ethos of ‘international mindedness’ is ingrained in the ethos and fabric of BIS. As a school, we are proud to be where we are, and students, teachers, staff and parents share common values. We recognize that our actions and decisions impact our community so we reflect and act to find solutions, individually and collaboratively. Our understanding of international mindedness is in line with child development, in that, it starts with the self, then becomes more abstract as the children understand the impact of their actions and decisions on the wider community, leading to deeper consideration of global issues. We are incredibly fortunate to have students and members of the staff from all parts of India, and we make full use of this diversity to share individual cultures and beliefs, gaining a better understanding of living in a world that is influenced by events that generate from cultures other than our own.
At BIS, within the curriculum, students learn our host language (Hindi) and are also encouraged to learn a foreign language (Spanish or German). The focus is on language development and cultivating appreciation and understanding of our country, along with developing an understanding of cultures in other countries. A significant part of developing international mindedness has been the emphasis on student participation in international exchange programs with schools in other countries.
*Towards a continuum of international education, IBO