Come October, we are on our toes. With assessments and reports were intertwined merrymaking and jollification, ending with the holidays.
Assessments loomed large but without any bite. ‘Kahoot’ and clever teachers brought in ingenious ways of assessing, as fun-filled as online games. In the Formative Years, the teachers were able to plan the question papers better, using various modalities. At the intermediate Level, the students with prompts were able to access the applications correctly - a huge step forward for the skills Enhancement class. Further, Khushi Sengupta and Tirth Shah surprised all by working independently, without being shadowed closely during assessments, At the Vocational level, the Visual Arts Department were adept at performing all skill based activities learnt this year and using kahoot with great ease.
At the Vocational Level, using a variation of assessment tools, namely, Kahoot! Microsoft Word and the Whiteboard, brought novelty in the approach of assessing students. Incidentally, the parents were fearful of learning a new assessment tool - Whiteboard. To overcome this apprehension, a training session was conducted after school hours. Parents and students together were trained to use the whiteboard. As they explored the tool with the teachers, they developed the confidence and proficiency to use the app. Simplification and the systematic exploration of the steps coupled with practise rendered the process easy, due to which, Siddhant Das of the Hospitality Department learnt the process independent of parental help, with only the guidance of his teacher. Kudos Siddhant! The process has undoubtedly developed the students' progress in using and adapting to technology.
Dussehra was celebrated actively in every class. The students of the Office Procedure Class learnt on MS Word to create a bow and arrow, as this was the weapon of Lord Rama’s choice. They also studied the story of Mahisasur and Goddness Durga, who beheaded him. The students enjoyed a quiz on Dussehra, with the Yoga Instructor. The students of Wood Art and Handicraft Department made a Ravana puppet and a dandiya was organized for them.
In the Visual Arts and Crafts Department the students used the basic shapes to create Ravana on the Paint Software. They embellished the image with a garland of Marigold flowers and Mango leaves. They wound up the Dussehra celebration by learning the basic and simple steps of the garba and dancing. A novel aspect was that the students invited a relative, friend or a neighbour to celebrate with them. Adarsh Jain's uncle and aunt joined the festivities from California, making nothing of the massive time difference. His cousin, from Gwalior also participated. This was a true laurel in the Visual Arts and Craft Department’s cap.
In the Hospitality & Catering Department, the students were educated on both Vijaya Dashmi and Dussehra. The students learnt of the significance of each of the nine days of Navratri and the nine different avatars of Goddess Durga. Further, a comparison of the two festivals gave them clarity on the differences and similarities of the two. On Dussehra day, the students, dressed in traditional outfits danced with family and friends.
In the Formative Years the story of Dussehra was told through a puppet show, while the students dressed as Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. The students also created art and craft items such as a ‘garbo’, bow and arrow and Monaco biscuits with toppings which depicted Ravana's ten heads.
In order to facilitate the framing of assessment and reports differently and yet meaningfully, a workshop was held by Ms Kalpana Kapadia and Ms.Jasmine Sajnani: The former explained how a creative games format could be effectively used to contrive different types of questionnaires to assess and grade students. The latter's process of mindful observation of the student’s behaviour, emotions and body language provided the teachers with a modus operandi to understand and assess the students.
Under the able guidance of the Principal Ms. Fionika Sanghvi, the process of report writing was simplified and elevated. The workshop held under her direction, enhanced the teachers’ ability to assimilate and write meaningful reports. The use of simple but precise words and sentences, and pertinent areas of focus enhanced the effectiveness of the reports.
Open Days were conducted with the help of a systematic schedule where the parents had sufficient time to express themselves. As before the entire team of educators and therapists were present at each student’s event to guide them in their requirements.
On 6th October, Dr. Mickey Mehta, global leading holistic health guru, conducted a workshop for the Hospitality & Catering department on nutrition, fitness and health. As the student's were aware of the benefits of nutrition, a balanced diet, fitness and a disciplined lifestyle. They interacted confidently with Dr. Mehta. He advised each student on their diet and fitness regime and encouraged them to invest consistently in improving their life style.
Diwali was celebrated through the entire school. The students learnt of the ‘Ramayana’ in different ways. The teachers and therapist planned different activities for the students where their creative skills were employed in the making of cards, preparation of sweets, decorations. Activities were all based on the skills acquired during the year. The Hospitality & Catering department made delicious pedas and rava laddoos and the Visual Arts and Crafts created rangoli designs on ‘Paint’ Software and made Orgami paper ‘bombs' as fireworks. Students at the Intermediate level made Kaju Katli’s and paper diyas, The Formative Years participated in craft activities and were initiated into the 'do's and dont’s’ of Diwali with an accent on ‘Safety First’.
On Saturday 30th October 2021, the staff met for a ‘get-together’ (for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19) to celebrate Diwali. A sale of items made by the students at home was also held. The staff bid a fond farewell to Ms. Madhu Sajnani, Mr. Pradeep Kanga and Ms. Ursula Hendrick who retired after a long and fruitful tenure. They will be deeply missed.