Social and Emotional Development
The personal health, social and emotional development is the second most important domain where each school pays enormous attention to execute or implement activities for the growth of the children in School life. It promotes not only cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills but encompasses holistic development of the children.
Valiants Academy consciously conducts on day to day basis activities to promote these aspects of personality development. We would mention two good practices for each one which is being followed at our school.
1. Personal Development:
Valiants focuses on the formal and informal system, encourages children to recognise personal attributes, talents and interests.
The activities or any activity is chosen by the child. The child is given choice of any project what he wants to do. Teachers are asked to give many topics. For example, the interdisciplinary projects are selected by the children from a wide choice of 20 different projects. Allows complete freedom of choice, thought to work on the project what they like to do. This makes the children responsible and also learn things with interest of their own. Learning happens seamlessly.
a) Activity 1. The circle time of teachers and children where children speak to the teachers freely of their learning, behaviour, interaction with their peers and their emotions or concerns if they have. Teachers are very friendly and they build a positive relationship which enhances their freedom of learning. The connectedness of the teachers and the children are evident during this time. This circle time anytime whenever children want to let out their thoughts to teachers personally. During their leisure time.
b) Activity 2. Theme: Self-awareness and Self Image: A scheduled day where each child presents their own creative work, may be art work, craft work or any other presentation related to syllabus or general exploratory projects. This activity encourages children to recognize attributes, talents and interests of their own. Such recognition contributes towards children’s personal growth, to set realistic goals and building self esteem which enhances learning.
c) Prayer Assembly: It is led by children. They perform and plan out the songs for the day.
d) Cleanliness of the Classrooms: (Responsibility) Cleanliness is the theme of the school. Children take responsibility. They very well know that their environment should be kept clean. They sweep the classrooms at the end of the day and also keep the furniture in place for the next day. This is part of the routine.
They follow roster and do their duty. Children are the monitors and they prompt their classmates to do their duty if anybody has failed to do on a particular day. This is done in a friendly way. The child who reminds helps the child who has forgotten to do it quickly regardless of time.
2. Social Development:
a) VOICE: Valiants Outreach Initiative for Community Education, participating within the community to bring about social and environmental awareness.
Theme: Participation, Democratic structures, Leadership and decision making
The research work which we offer children is outreach programmes. They do the planning, they study, frame the timeline, accept responsibility of tasks and execute it themselves. The children become much more responsible in such activities and we can also identify leadership qualities and they exhibit decision making skills. The Out-reach initiative for Community Education- Parents are also part of this activity.
There are always experiments and the method of Science we offer - the trial and error and how to work together as a team.
Collaboration is the key to this programme.
b) Communication Skills: The peer group learning offers scope for
communication skills in our academic programmes. This enhances children to communicate with each other effectively including teachers. The school environment is dynamic for children to explore their surroundings and interact with adults and also other age group children. Opportunities are given to children to guide children younger than they are and this improves their communication skills. Reciprocal learning is also part of the class room setting. Children are asked discuss the concepts. A concept not so well understood is thrown to a brain storming session in class room teaching. The children who have understood very well the concept beautifully interacts with the other children to make them understand in a simple manner.
c) Field trips and adventurous trekking trips we organise are well planned programme with specific objectives to fulfil the interdisciplinary projects, connectedness with their lessons. It provides opportunity for children to know about culture, heritage.
3. Connecting with Nature
Studies throughout the year prepared children to work and explore outside the walls of the environment. The winter trekking trip is not simply an opportunity to bond and have some fun as a class, but it also serves as an integral part of the curriculum. For example, exploring the past of early man, flora and fauna, geographical conditions, the mathematics, – all tie us to our present and prepare students to live together as a community for three nights and four days. Children work with plants and animals connect them with the living world and studies in math and language help them to relate and communicate at a new level. All of this work allows children to see themselves as integral parts of an ever-changing world, capable of making a difference when they engage as active, participating members of humanity.
Work in the Lower and Upper Elementary community also provides children with perspective and opportunities to consider what their own roles are in the greater community. Working collaboratively on the trip in the planning and execution of every detail, the children were tested by surroundings and the situation on how to really put the needs of others in front of their own at times. Service to the larger community took on new meaning.
The removal of distractions and even daily expectations of the environment freed the children to explore, enjoy, play, and work together in new ways.
4. Our Historical Visit
At Valiants, the learning for the child is explored with multiple resources. “Going Out”, is one such activity where children will have the opportunity to explore the learning by experiencing it. We organize a heritage field trip specifically designed for Valiants children.
Children have been introduced to civilization and are engaged in doing activities related to the same. Learning about various dynasties is an extension to civilization. With ease of access to one of the longest ruling dynasties in Medieval Indian history, the Imperial Cholas, Hampi the temple town of north Karnataka once the capital of the Vijayanagar Dynasty which is located on the banks of the river Thungabhadra. Madurai the Meenakshi Sundareswaran temple, owing to its rich cultural heritage and architectural splendor, the city is often referred to as the 'Athens of the East'. The origin of Madurai dates back to the Sangam period, the golden period of Tamil Literature. Children have visited these places.
This activity will provide a time travel experience to explore the grandeur and get close to an era of the great Cholas Dynasty, Vijayanagar dynasty and Sangam period through an expedition conceptualized and led by scholars, historians and story-tellers. Children will have the opportunity to experience the culture and heritage - stay where our ancestors lived and walk where they walked helping them understand our roots and take pride in our legacy. They will realize the beauty of the sculptures and the efforts of humans in construction of the gigantic structures. These experiences may lead them into admiring and understanding the capacity and leadership of our ancestors. It is cosmic education connecting to different subjects of learning like geometry, physics, math and arts.
During these kinds of exploration children get to experience various aspects of learning like geographical conditions of the place, culture and heritage, major occupations of the people and cottage industries.
Children get to visit different types of small-scale industries like:
Banana stem rope industry – manufacture carpets, baskets, bags etc
Potter’s village in Madurai – clay dolls are made which are sold during the Dasara festival. This entire village people make only clay dolls theme based.
Anthangudi tiles – Handmade tiles which were used Chettinad palaces and even today it is made and used in specially designed heritage houses, hotels and buildings.
Cotton Handloom weaving centre – pure cotton Chettinad saris are woven.
Yellow Bag – manufacture variety of bags replacing plastic bags this organization is run by women completely.
Textile Industries in Madurai – garments manufactured for exporting.
Metal sculpting – Experience the art of country
Tanjore Dancing dolls – Traditional art of Tanjore
Children get to visit different types of small-scale in
a) Dining area where children take care of their peer group and younger group children in every small way from serving the food, compassionate towards others sensitivities and help at all times. It is a place where we see children exhibit empathy, compassion and kindness.
b) Activity 2. Resilience, Anxiety - Once a week our teacher has sessions with each group for a general discussion, free expression of children’s stress, emotions or any anxiety. Children come out with their concerns either individually or in groups the system inbuilt teaches them resilience and adopt to situations.
We believe in caring and nurturing love and affection in the environment. It is very stress-free environment. Children’s thought process for learning stress free.
4. Value inculcation:
Value Cards are presented to the children of different age groups. It is purely an interactive session in which they define the expression of a value, how significant it is in their life. How it adds value to their personality and how they imbibe the values as habit formation. It is a mirror of reflections deepens their understanding of value system in their life in all situations and locations.Values are inculcated in story telling sessions. The recital of Bhagavad Gita -Sanskrit shlokas, quintessence of the Vedas is also explained.
The grand parents of the school are conducting story sessions from various books, epics or their own real-life incidents which taught them values and they have overcome challenges. This programme is once a week for one hour and it is named as ThathaAjjiKathaigalu (Grandfather, Grandmother’s stories in Kannada)TAK. We also have a story telling session once a week on Saturdays, stories from Mahabharata with puppets as aids which is named as KATHAMRUTHAM.
5. We conduct programme for adolescence education by experts. Mr. Sujay and Ms. Prathima have been certified for counselling and they are the resource persons who take up counselling sessions once a week. The policies of school focus on age-appropriate life skills based on adolescence, health, safety education. The basic policy of group activity is always both boys and girls participate, collaborate and Adolescence education and life skill Education is part of school activities like we arrange for one night stay at school for Grade 1.
Grade II stays for two days at a vegetable farm, they indulge in the farm in activities. Grade III, IV go on trips based on some theme every year. In 2019, the children were taken to Tanjore and it was based on historical background. The evidence is a report and photographs. Grade V, VI went for Sharavathi Valley, trekking for 5 days. In these trips, the children travel by trains, local vehicles, interact with local people, live like common men there, interact and understand their livelihood, eat local food available and understand their life and culture.
The school has constituted a discipline committee and if there are any kind of anti social behaviour observed remedial action will be taken. We rarely see any disciplinary problem in our school as children are at their best in a safe, loving environment where they feel secure and open to conversations with us all. If there is any difference of opinion, children sit in the CHAT CORNER and find solutions themselves having a conversation with concerned person. Reconciliation and relationship building happens here in this corner. Class room norms are well defined, children do act responsibly. Assembly is the forum and any deviation of code of conduct is addressed as a community in a subtle manner where children realise their erroneous behaviour and take responsibility, reckoning the facts. We find suggestions from the children themselves and reflections are owned by them for future course of actions.
7. MENTAL WELL BEING:
HIGHER, DEEPER, BEYOND: A programme conducted by our founder Mr. Sujay . A reflection time for children. They ask questions of any kind about emotions, feelings and sometimes philosophical and Mr. Sujay replies to them of the life experiences and small anecdotes and children participate in these conversations encourages critical and analytical thinking depending on the subject topic discussed.
There are many programmes for mental well being like meditation, yoga. There is a SILENT CORNER allotted for children in the class room. Children sit quietly there and provides them a time to think all alone, relax, complete and to study their own emotions if any. Once they are seen found in that corner, no other adult or children disturb them. The dynamics in the
class room is well defined. Motivation and awareness intervention is all conscious effort by the teachers.
8. We promote healthy life and the teachers have a talk everyday about some positive habits of healthy life. It is dealt with along with curricular and cocurricular activities. We do maintain health record of all the children.
We promote eating of healthy food and nutritious menu is the routine of the day. The physical exercise, games and sports is included in the time schedule. Ofcourse because of online sessions, opportunities are lacking as of now.
9. The infirmary is in place and we have all the preparedness for health emergency.
10. Health checkups are conducted and the records are maintained of the children.