He (my son) has understood the concept but I don’t know how long he will remember it.”
“They (our children) don’t need us for homework.”
These were some of the reactions of parents who took the bold step of sending their children to a school that is just 18 months old.
Used to watching their children mug up lessons and suffer from stress earlier, parents were left wondering when their children did not refer to the textbook to do their homework after joining Step By Step School in Noida.
“We don't depend on the textbook. Instead, the class teacher prepares her own resources and worksheets before taking a class,” said principal Payal Kapur. “For parents who have gone through the system of rote learning (memorising lessons), the idea of the child not using a textbook was difficult to digest. But they soon got used to it,” Kapur said.
“There is a starter activity that grabs the attention of the child because once the child is interested, half your job is done,” Kapur explained.
The teachers are tech savvy and use their laptops to hold interactive workshops, video activities and also record the learning of the child.
“At the end of each lesson we draw quick work sheets that show whether a child has understood the concepts or not,” Kapur said.
The students are graded twice a year and the school selects the best work of the students for review.
The students, most of whom have come from other schools, speak about their new school’s ‘different approach’.
“Unlike my previous school, the teacher here listens to my thoughts. She gives everyone a chance,” said Mishika Tour, a Class 5 student.
Since the day-boarding school depends more on the teacher to make the class interesting and fun, teacher training is a very important part of academics.
“The teachers focus on an inquiry-based approach. The child must involve herself/himself in activity and get engaged,” said Abha Adams, the school’s education advisor and former director of the Shri Ram Schools.
Spread across 10 acres, the school is in the process of setting up its middle and senior school. At present, it runs classes till the eighth standard.
But admission does not come cheap here and middle-class parents might feel the pinch. Parents have to shell out an admission fee of Rs 20,000 in addition to the caution money of Rs 15,000 at the time of admission.
The quarterly fee is around Rs 25,000. Bus fees and food bills amount to Rs 11,000.