For the curriculum to serve its noble purpose, it must become a facilitator of curiosity and enthusiasm. After capturing a child’s attention it must accelerate knowledge gaining. It should provide the child with questions to ask, with pursuits to follow and act as an interface between individual experience and theoretical assimilation. By doing so, such a curriculum will then breathe new life into the educational process. Children will then understand the importance of arranging and rearranging concepts so as to gain a stronger grasp on studied matter…and reject information that was memorised without any conceivable use in mind.
Let us now offer you a detailed insight of the curriculum.
The early childhood curriculum at Universal is designed to satisfy the needs, interests and abilities of the young child as well as the demands of the 21st century. Our curriculum draws inspiration from the theory of constructivism, the Reggio Approach Learning and the theory of multiple intelligence’s.
Young children are by nature curious, active learners who learn best from direct firsthand experience. With the help and support of their co-learner, the teacher, they are able to construct meaning and reflect on their own learning. Such an approach prepares the ground for the young child to develop into an independent learner; such an approach also demonstrates the need for critical thinking and problem-solving throughout the day.
Play is at the centre of our early childhood curriculum as research has shown time and again the benefits of play for young children. Play not only clarifies concepts, facilitates social development and provides emotional relief but also provides sheer joy to the young learner!
THE WHOLE CHILD
Our curriculum lays emphasis on developing all the aspects of the child: cognitive, physical, social and emotional. We resonate with the theory of Multiple Intelligence’s that focuses on the development of the whole child. Linguistic: The capacity to use words effectively, whether orally (e.g., as a storyteller) or in writing (e.g., as a poet) Logical-mathematical: The capacity to use numbers effectively (e.g., as a mathematician, tax accountant, or statistician) and to reason well (e.g., as a scientist, computer programmer, or logician). Spatial: The ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately (e.g., as a hunter, scout, or guide) and to perform transformations upon those perceptions (e.g., as an interior decorator, architect, artist, or inventor). Bodily-kinesthetic: Expertise in using one’s whole body to express ideas and feelings (e.g., as an actor, a mime, an athlete, or a dancer) and facility in using one’s hands to produce or transform things (e.g., as a crafts-person, sculptor, mechanic, or surgeon). Musical: The capacity to perceive (e.g., as a music aficionado), discriminate (e.g., as a music critic), transform (e.g., as a composer), and express (e.g., as a performer) musical forms. Interpersonal: The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people. Interpersonal: Self-knowledge and the ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge. Naturalistic: Expertise in the recognition and classification of the numerous species—the flora and fauna—of an individual’s environment and the capacity to discriminate among inanimate objects such as cars, sneakers, and CD covers.
RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
Our curriculum is socially and culturally appropriate. We respect diversity and impress upon the young child an awareness and appreciation of cultures other than one’s own through the celebration of festivals.
THE PROJECT APPROACH
The Project Approach as developed by Lillian Katz and Sylvia Chard is one of the unique aspects of education at our institute. Through this approach the child and the teacher become co-investigators as they embark upon the study of a topic of significance. Field trips, interviewing resource persons, reading books, watching audio-visual content and most importantly documentation of the learning process, form parts of the process leading to the culmination of the topic. In this approach, our objective is that young children learn critical thinking and problem solving, important aspects of ‘the learning to learn’ phenomenon.
The child at Universal also learns about the other 3 R’s – responsibility, respect and the importance of relationships, through the life skills programme specially integrated into the curriculum.
THE LEARNING PROGRAM
- Arousing the curiosity of the child thereby creating joy in learning
- Learning through doing, observing, reasoning and most importantly first hand experience
- Creating a healthy and holistic learning environment by enhancing non-formal learning
- Giving greater impetus to child centered, child directed activities as opposed to teacher directed activity
- Teaching aids like story books, picture books, films, worksheets, activity sheets, puppets, slides and other audio visual representations form a part of the process of learning
- In the first year, the activities conducted aim at increasing the child’s trust in the learning place i.e. the new environment, the new teacher, the new set of children that are present. Play is the primary medium of education. Age appropriate toys and learning tools are provided to children.
- In the second year, games, music and play activities increase the interpersonal contact between the children. At this stage, appropriate attention is paid to strengthening pre-reading and pre-writing attributes of each child.
- In the third year, motor and speech skills are improved through games, scribbling, colouring, recitation, music, drama. Enhancing the linguistic abilities of the children assumes great priority.
- In the fourth or final year, physical and mental co-ordination is further accelerated by way of specially supervised activities like cutting with safety scissors, puzzle solving and building blocks. Increased self reliance is encouraged while the training imparted ensures that each child is proficient and ready for formal learning.
At Universal, we do not necessarily view assessments as the sole measure of a child’s potential. In a rapidly evolving educational environment, methods and techniques need to match the need of the hour. To achieve our greater goals, we prefer an approach that considers both sides of the coin.
At this tender age careful attention is paid to a child’s likes and dislikes.
This minute observation is recorded in detail and provided as a report to parents on a term wise basis.
The assessment serves a dual purpose:
- Offers an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of each child to the teacher so that she may further fine tune the instructional programme
- Offers you feedback about your child’s abilities, likes and dislikes
- Our assessment includes a formal written document that traces minute details across all the areas of development. This is shared with you twice a year.
- In order to arrive at this assessment, the teacher makes detailed observation on a regular and periodic basis.
- This kind of assessment recognizes the uniqueness of each learner and allows for differences in styles and rates of learning.
- This assessment utilizes an array of tools and a variety of processes including, collections of representative work [artwork, stories], records of systematic observation by teachers, records of conversation and interviews with children.
The Dramatic Play area welcomes every child to interact with puppets, props and disguises that help to develop your child’s self-image as he adopts varied roles.
EXPERIMENT AND DISCOVER
The Experiment and Discover area is an amazing space that appeals to the child’s growing curiosity. Here the child learns basic scientific concepts through first-hand experience.
PUZZLES AND BLOCKS
The Puzzles and Blocks area is every child’s dream space! From jig-saws to construction kits, it brings out the engineer in every little one!
READING AND WRITING
The Reading and Writing area develops your child’s ability to recognize the alphabet, words and sentences through sight reading as well as phonic training. The attractive displays and comfortable seating also gently invite your child to explore writing.