The IFFS has a vision of “Quest for humanness in human beings.” They want to achieve this vision by reaching beyond the books. This is one of the reasons why the school chose ICSE board since ICSE provides the flexibility to design your own curriculum. In our opinion, this fits very well into the vision and mission of the school.
The IFF School wants students and parents to get a continuous and consistent brand experience. The efforts to provide this were evident during our visit through people and places. To one of our question on teachers’ hiring, Jaya (our host and HR and PR Manager of IFFS) told us that the same thought process is
applicable in hiring teachers. Teacher’s attitude to go beyond books and conventional teaching methods is essential to IFFS.
Learning by Doing
The school focuses on academics from Monday to Friday. Each class room is equipped with interactive wall. Each interactive wall has games, charts, or prototypes of the most referred concepts of that grade. Keeping ‘No-Bags’ policy, each class has is equipped with lockers for each student. This helps students to go to hostel with no or only required books. Weekends are generally reserved for voluntary and hobby
Supporting the teaching in the class, the IFF school emphasizes on learning by doing. A few of such activities are - kriya labs, learning by farming, and the Special Interest Groups. Jaya told us that they are several such activities conducted round the year keeping age of the student in mind.
Kriya labs is an application-oriented learning activity in which student applies the concepts learnt in the class. These applications range from the simplest
form such as pulleys to highly sophisticated robotics.
The school has the gardening staff. Student gain much of the botanical knowledge by experimenting in the field itself. The great realization of not wasting the food comes when they eat the food they cultivated in the school farm.
Besides these activities, school has the Special Interest Group program. In this program, various student groups are formed s after identifying their interests or aspirations. These groups are given live projects to work on. The school has developed
required infrastructure for these kinds of projects.
Providing Parental Care and Safety
Being a residential school, the first problem students encounter is missing their parents and feeling homesickness. “To address this, we have foster parenting and mentoring programs. In these
programs, we assign a teaching staff to the newly admitted students. By the way, all our teaching staff also resides full time on the campus. This helps students to share their difficulties and open up to the foster parents for things that are not necessarily academic. The bond thus slowly developed helps to improve teacher-student rapport and provides individual attention.” said
What caught our attention more than anything else is the use of latest technologies to keep parents connected with their kids. Jaya told that each parent is given a user credentials to login into the school’s remote monitoring system. Using this system, parents can watch their pupils any time
in the classes or on the campus. And this is achieved without letting students get distracted. Besides this, they have separate schedules to meet parents in person or by phone or video calls.
Reaching Beyond Books
IFFS conducts special programs that help students to experience the learnings beyond books. Jaya shared the details of the Anubhuti and Global Village programs with us.
In the Anubhuti program, IFF invites the grandparents of the students to stay over at the campus. Students spend times either with their or their peers’ grandparents which helps them to connect with the generation older than their parents. This is a very thoughtful initiative to pass on the values to the new generation and to learn from experiences of older generations.
Global Village is another program in which the students are exposed to various cultures in India. This activity is specially designed to cultivate tolerance, understanding, and acceptability of other cultures in in and around India.
We could also see many games at each corner of the school building that are focused on building values in the student in a fun way. For example, a game of snakes and ladder shows you go up the ladder with right values and are
eaten by a snake with wrong deeds.
The school has very diverse and influencing
members on their board and the part of the trust. The school admits students from various boards. The current strength of student is 94. Last year, the first batch of 10th grade of ICSE student passed out. We were informed that the result was 100% and the highest score was 85%. We could not attend any classes. As a result, our experiences are based on what the school staff shared with us and what we experienced during the campus tour. The school is focusing on increasing its capacity to 360 students in the coming years.
Based on the campus and the thought process behind the school, the India First Foundation School surely has a promising start. myNalanda wishes them the very best in the journey ahead.