A normal working day has had a facelift like never before. With four to five devices working at once from the morning till midday and then going into the evening, many parents are now considering the change as a way towards homeschooling. After speaking with several parents and understanding what was on their minds, the learning gap created by the online teaching method was considered. After all, was homeschooling a better option? Parents could save the money they are spending on their kids' education. At the same time, they sat at home, shared their workplace, and continuously came up with the three words that every parent has been privy to through this pandemic "I am bored"!
What is this learning gap? Does it mean that the child would not acquire the expected knowledge by attending online classes? The coveted Bangalore International School made sure that this learning gap was nonexistent!
An accomplishment owing to BIS's quick and focused assessment of the situation helped them form a plan for the children to continue with classes, albeit online. Students, right from Pre-Primary to Grade 12, meet every day for regular classes with their teachers. Literacy and numeracy are covered every day with all the students' especially in early years and elementary. BIS made sure to modify schedules to provide the younger students with less exposure to screen time while also considering their sitting tolerance. The school's Head of Academics, along with teachers, devised an excellent schedule to ensure that children are exposed to academics and activity-based learning.
A typical online day for their students starts at 7:45 am. This is then followed by a class which could be either literacy or numeracy. Both subjects are covered in the first two lessons, while the third lesson is usually activity-based. Depending on the grade, the 4th lesson would be a non-core subject like art or music. A similar schedule is followed by elementary school. Middle and high school follow a more rigorous schedule online and finish school at 2:45 pm. Maintaining the timing and schedules have helped the students transition to the online platform smoothly. Many parents have pointed out how great BIS has online classes like this rather than rushing through a few hours. This gives the children enough time to ask questions and approach teachers with doubts like they would do in normal circumstances at school.
Upon speaking to a parent who admitted their child in grade 1 and was apprehensive about virtual classes, she said that she was stunned by her child's level of proficiency in reading, writing, spelling, math, and science. She also marvelled at the art, music, and dance classes conducted online and how the students thoroughly enjoyed these classes. She noticed that there wasn't a massive change because of the medium being online, rather that it was as if he was in school. "There is no learning gap".
Many Early Years teachers have been praised for their teaching skills and ability to handle this super active bunch. Keeping them engaged, that too online, has earned them many kudos from the parent community. It is by no means an easy task; nonetheless, all of BIS's teachers have gone that extra mile, keeping the students and their learning at the very core of what they do.
With these efforts of the school and the teachers, it's no surprise that there is little to no learning gap. The results this year are testimony to this wonderful collaboration between students, teachers, and parents. BIS students have performed exceptionally well in the Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A level examination with a 100% result. The toppers at the IGSCE levels were Gautam Krishna Belur & Kunyang Kim, who secured 8A*s each, while in the AS levels, the topper Geonyeong Kim secured 5As. For A-Levels, 53% of the total grades awarded were As and A*s, where the highest grades were secured by Shoshanna Sunil Attavar & Dhanush Katam Reddy with 4A*s 1A each. A phenomenal 89% grades awarded at AS and A level were C and above. The IB curriculum is offered in Grades 11 & 12, where 40% of the class gets 40 or more points, and the topper Karan Vellor Jayakumar gets a perfect 45 points out of 45. The IBDP class of 2021 had an average of 39.13 points. This is an exemplary achievement that exceeds the previous highest average by more than 4 points.
BIS has gone the distance to ensure the pandemic has not impacted their students' learning. They have now begun the on-campus classes for high school and are waiting to welcome the other sections back soon!