In an age of increasing digital interaction, we have become so busy or preoccupied that we are unable to have immersive experiences or be in the present and hence have lost some of our capacity to see, listen, think and act creatively. But it is the power of curiosity and observation that can lead to better performance. With this in mind the Principal, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi selected the theme for the School this year, as „Notice and Observe‟. One of the key functions of education is to prepare students for moving into a professional world and a necessary skill that underlines such preparation on part of the teacher is noticing that which is salient. The Principal therefore has initiated a move towards a pedagogy of noticing and observing, whereby teachers observe their students and notice what is happening for appropriate intervention where and when necessary, the emphasis here is to see teachers developing their own capacity for noticing their own selves as central to developing their own expertise. Without a well-developed capacity for observing their own pedagogical approach teachers may not notice and observe important aspects or significant behaviours that can lead to poor outcomes. The Principal suggests three aspects of noticing on part of the teacher: noticing in context, noticing significant features and behaviours and noticing transfer of learning to help students make an effective transition and operate successfully with the world.
With the spread of the pandemic Corona Virus and the ensuing lockdown, SPJ Sadhana School made a shift to Virtual Schooling. The decision had been made with much deliberation and discussion of the virtual platform and the challenges that could arise. Finally, the school launched an online programme from June onwards. With the end of the first term, it was necessary to take a feedback from the parents on the effectiveness of virtual school. 66 Parents responded and have given a very positive and encouraging feedback. The feedback indicates the parents are extremely satisfied with the programme provided during lockdown. They have had a fruitful experience and teachers helped parents to learn the skills of handling and teaching their child. They were happy to see their children attentive, participative and interactive and constant interaction with teachers and therapists helped parents to work better with their children. They now feel more equipped to deal with their children and their challenges.
Similarly a feedback was taken from the staff to gauge the effectiveness of the new schooling modality and to seek improvement and changes where required. The teachers en masse were appreciative of the whole programme and agreed that the management decision and the subsequent effort were worth their while. Most agreed that virtual school is fun and a positive learning experience for teachers and students. The teachers also felt that the parent interaction and involvement have helped a great deal in the smooth flow of virtual schooling. They were able to work with students as well as guide the parents better. This in turn has helped the development of the child and the growth of the teacher.
Whether virtual schooling or normal attendance, nothing brings a greater glow in the students than festivals and festivities. The months of November and December had brought in great expectations. Children of any age share vivid memories of happy times and Children's Day and Christmas have both been celebrated in school, with great joy.
This year too, thanks to our Principal, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi, Children's Day was a time of continuous entertainment, though conducted online. Therapists and class teachers worked in unison to fill the day with puzzles, fun activities, prop races and games, story sessions, mindful games, memory games, drama, creative activities and fun with numbers.
The Visual Arts department, with an accent on gratitude for the selfless devotion of frontline workers held a fancy dress event – "Covid Warriors" – where students dressed as doctors, nurses, or health workers and presented an aspect of their work through speech or drama.
Christmas activities were conducted throughout the week and ended on an exuberant note with a day of "Christmas Wishing" on the 23rd December 2020. Christ is the reason for the Christmas Season. With this in mind, the students throughout school learnt about Jesus Christ and his story. At their own corresponding level, the Formative Years, Intermediate Level and the Vocational Courses created awareness of various aspects of Christmas such as hymns and carols, the story behind Santa Claus, the relevance of Christmas ornaments and decorations and the Christmas tree.
Christmas "Wishing Day" was planned by the Principal with care. The students enjoyed craft activities related to Christmas followed by xmas themed games. The highlight of the day was a visit to each class from Santa “Sr. Pratibha Pinto”, who led the students in carols and Christmas songs. The visit ended with the students receiving a Christmas gift. The festivities this year have been a learning experience for staff and students alike. Creativity is now the yearmark of every activity and a tide of imagination flows from the students who have broken "virtual" barriers and made virtual learning their own.