In June 2021, SPJ Sadhana School went into the second year of virtual schooling. The past year had been a time of learning, innovating, experiencing, adjusting and finally consolidating and a stable platform had been constructed to continue and exceed the level of mentorship already achieved.
One of the main strengths of the school has been the conscientiousness of the faculty, - starting with the Principal and Co-ordinators down to the newest member - to constantly upgrade their skills. The past summer month, again, were a time of learning for the same of the staff, as the Principal, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi and several teachers participated and completed the CRE courses in The Use of Teaching, Learning material, Disability and Rights of person with special needs, policy and programs, Vocational Training and Employment, Covid-19, - World Health Organisation.
Further, Ms Sanghvi participated as panellist in a panel discussion organised by Aquacentric, called the ‘Physiocon' where Autism was discussed. The event was held on 23rd May 2021. She was also invited by the Jai Vakeel Foundation to share the best practices of virtual schooling at SPJ Sadhana School and was assisted by Co-ordinator Ms. Priya D’Souza, the event was held on 12th June 2021.
The Principal has also decided to adopt pertinent procedures from the ‘Project Disha’to support SPJ Sadhana’s own Curriculum. Project Disha has been reviewed and certified by the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
Student Orientation was held at the commencement of the new academic year. The staff initiated a blend of entertainment and games, imaginatively and comfortably easing the students into their studies, in June. An innovation saw the Co-ordinators and teachers across the school participating and conducting activities in the Formative Years, the Intermediate Level and the Vocational level. This ‘teacher exchange’ aimed at acquainting the students with as many of the staff as possible and enabling the staff to teaching and learning experiences in the diverse classes. Of course, a trend of favourites, like the Kahoot Quiz, ran through the whole gamut of exercises planned and executed in the classes.
‘Treasure Hunt’ acquired new meaning as the students stormed their way through clues tendered through phonic sounds, colour codes and diverse shapes, to name a few. Not with - standing the frolic and fun, a thread of seriousness quietly brought home the still impending threat of Covid-19, to students and parents alike. As with all situations of lasting gravity, the pandemic with its long spell, acquired a fatalistic response ---- “what will be will be” or a devil may care attitude specially among the young. The teachers, albeit through song, dance and role play, stressed the role of precaution and safety norms in keeping the virus at bay and avoiding distress to one’s self and others. The students also engaged in memory games, board games, face morphing and dance and role play with props.
The Enhanced Intervention Centre was also closely involved in the Orientation activities on the 10th and 11th June 2021. Therapist employed ice-breakers to introduce the new students to their classmates and employed a blend of therapeutic exercises and games to support the academia. Therapist utilized their expertise to create experiences based on their processes. The Speech Therapist introduced ‘Interviews for the News' complete with ‘reporters’ and mock microphones. The Sports instructors introduced ‘Emoji’ facial expression, Rain dance and Quiz time with motor movement and the Yoga instructor used a story and yoga exercises.
For Math, the Formative Years students of Grade-3 revised counting with music and accompanyment & through clapping, jumping, banging which was exquisite fun for the little ones. Vessels of different shapes and sizes were used to create music and recognize shapes at the Intermediate Level.
Parent Orientation took on new meaning with the teachers and parents interacting while new methodologies were demonstrated to the parents. The parents were also addressed by the Principal and Co-ordinators and the entire concerned staff. The parents of the Vocational Classes were specially orientated into the workings and importance of Maths and for working in close partnership with the school. The parents of the Office Procedure Course were orientated in ‘Using Money Independently’ those of Hospitality and Catering Department learnt the importance and practical use of weights and measures, the parents of Visual Arts and Crafts were introduced to how Mathematics influences Art and those of Wood Art and Handicrafts were shown to greater achievement for the students.
Yoga Day, 21st June 2021 was celebrated with verve and vigour, while stressing the underlying poignancy deep-rooted in the Indian psyche. Drawing on the analogy of the ‘Father's Day’ and the ‘International Yoga Day’, the yoga instructors enthused that just as the patriarch was the pillar of his family, Yoga was the mainstay for the body, mind and soul and application invigorated the whole human entity. Happy thoughts on a happy day. The school invited the parents do be a part of the yoga sessions and student and parent happily paired in ‘partner yoga’, were immersed in ‘AUM Pranayama’ for inner peace and calm, indulged in ‘Smile Asana’ for serenity and were ‘roaring’ in ‘Simhasana’, providing impetus to all the senses of the body for healthy function. The school also shared links to propagate programmes on the importance and benefits of yoga.
1st June 2021, was a day of celebration in SPJ Sadhana School as Hamza Kachwala, our student graduating from the Office Procedure Course was offered the position of Junior Office Assistant in SBI Life. Congratulation Hamza!