Earlier on, the word ‘sleepover’ elicited responses like ‘fun’, ‘party’, ‘movie’, ‘stories’ and so on. At Neev-North Campus, our students redefined the same term themselves post their experience on 7th Friday, 2020.

The Grade 1s and 2s quickly warmed up in the lawn area with a ‘Line-Up’ activity
that required them to avoid using words or any material.

With the ongoing unit being ‘Communication’ for Grade 1s, we observed the use of non-verbal means very spontaneously. Personal, Social and Physical Education(PSPE) is a part of the IB PYP curriculum and as much as we do have classes during the week and end of day reflections in their respective classrooms, a ‘sleepover’ could be used as a perfect setting for students to build independence, boost their social and self-advocacy skills, spend time with familiar faces as well as a wonderful opportunity to talk to that peer whom they wouldn’t otherwise approach. Prior learning has definitely made them aware of themselves. However they delved deeper into similarities and differences and above all how each one would have to adapt to the situation around thereby setting a perfect practice for
operating in the real world.

One of the groups was a part of an ‘Obstacle Game’ which they said was all about ‘trust’, ‘clear communication’, ‘expressions’ and ‘focusing on peer strengths’. ‘Life Highlights’ was another activity in which students were encouraged to put their experiences in words, recall specific positive moments and analyse. This activity stemmed from the belief that positive thoughts help us develop a positive attitude towards learning, towards community and above all towards one’s own self.

The session on ‘Exploring Darkness’ revealed some of the individual’s inner fears and inhibitions and enabled them to identify and share their strategies that have helped them face it. With an open ended question like- “What does ‘darkness’ mean to you?”, we heard responses such as, “lonely”, “when someone vanishes”, “dark like the solar system”,
“fear that makes us hide” and so on!

On digging deeper, one student spoke about how ‘physical darkness’ scares many but he has made it his friend by imagining having a silent conversation with it and moving on. By the end of it, a lot of them who expressed their anxieties in the dark realized that they were now boldly sitting under the night sky as they drew courage from the rest of them in the group subconsciously.

We concluded the session by reflecting on how ‘darkness’ could go beyond the external aspects and be associated with a person, place, or situation that one doesn’t find appealing to face.

The night got interesting with a little surprise element –‘Zootopia’ on the big screen with some popcorn, giving a theatrical ambience. It’s the student voices that remained with us. After all, like Criss Jami says, “Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle.”

CHARLOTTE, TEACHER – NORTH CAMPUS 

PYP IB Evaluation Process- Living An Experience!

“Collaboration allows teams to capture each other’s fund of collective intelligence.” – Mike Schmoker

Finally, the day arrived and the IB evaluation team visited our school to evaluate our PYP program. We had earlier done an authorization from the IB in 2016. The subsequent evaluation is done four years after the authorization. Thereafter, the IB PYP recommends a periodic evaluation every 5 years.
It was truly a time for reflection for all of us. We had to do an internal assessment; conduct a Self Study with respect to our Standards and Practices so that we were prepared to handle the evaluation process.

The team painstakingly collected and organized all the evidence (in the form of pictures, videos, meeting minutes, etc), action plans, lesson plans, newsletters, unit planners, artifacts from collaboration sessions and meetings for over 12 months. Apart from this, we also collected the required documents from HR, Administration, Library, Finance and the Legal teams.

The evaluation team got a firsthand experience of the Neev culture by observing classroom sessions, the campus infrastructure, and interacting with teachers, students, the exhibition group as well as some members of the parent community. This helped them get an insight into our school’s culture and appreciate how our school strives to meet the stated objectives of our mission statement. We went about the process methodically with the clear aim to present all that we do. We organized the artifacts such that our processes were enumerated with sufficient clarity to the visitors. This entire process leading up to the evaluation resulted in a clear plan for the next steps and future actions towards improved
teaching and learning.

SOUMYA ANIL – PYP COORDINATOR

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