Many schools make a rigorous distinction between their Early Years curricula and Grade 1. But not B.D. Somani. At B.D. Somani, we are focused on ensuring that your child’s transition from Kindergarten to Primary School is smooth and comfortable, centred on vigour, wonder and play. The foundation of their learning is still Block work, and we facilitate a deeper engagement with their immediate environment in a more complex and layered manner
The effect of the two pandemic years has been felt in classrooms all across the globe. At B.D. Somani, we worked hard to maintain a sense of community and belonging even during online classes and are now working on the learning that still needs to be accomplished in the physical classes. Our focus as we returned to in-person learning was and is to help students build social skills and enhance their literacy and numeric skills in a classroom setting with peer-to-peer interaction and direct learning from teachers.
Our day usually starts with Circle Time, after which the agenda for the day is set according to what the students want to learn and engage with. This is followed by sharing experiences that students have recorded in their daily journals. This activity enhances the sense of group bonding through giving and receiving ideas and subjective experiences and simultaneously fostering a love for writing and seeing writing as a joyful act.
After this activity, students share their homework with each other and exchange suggestions. This is followed by a silent reading session, beginning individually and then in pairs and groups. After reading, students are encouraged to develop their own stories. Then, working in groups, they enact their reading material through music, role play or puppet shows.
This session is followed by a comprehension lesson where students work on their comprehension skills based on the book they read the previous day. Students often conduct activities such as creating characters and writing sequels or summaries, letting their imaginative powers guide their thinking.

Block Building

Block building forms an essential pillar in this learning, and it can be seen in the evolution of structures. What starts off as fantastical imaginations in earlier grades are now entirely rooted in reality and often form a functioning community within the classroom. We take our students on frequent field trips to the places within the community that they choose to build. Through exploring their community and making observations, they practice first-hand research skills. On these visits, they have many meaningful questions to ask the people working there to clarify their understanding of how things and the world around them work, which in turn informs their structures.
Through Block Building, children translate components of their immediate and external community into representative structures. These structures they build with blocks are realistic and form a community within the classroom space.
By exploring their surroundings, asking questions, and making observations, they are practising first-hand research skills. During these visits, they ask pertinent questions and learn about the various processes that go on within these structures in real settings. This also helps them understand the roles of the people working there every day.
Students spend at least an hour on block building, adding elements, conducting research and visiting each other’s buildings in the format of dramatic play. In Grade 1, the communities they build may take up to a month to fully develop. They sometimes add electrical circuits to their structures or use pulleys to build elevators. The bank may also dispense miniature money to be used in play.
Number Talks are another essential of our Math curriculum. While solving number problems, teachers act as facilitators and scribes, writing down precisely what students say about their mathematical strategies to approach a particular problem. Students have the confidence to share their thoughts without the fear of judgement as they know that the teacher is not looking for the correct answer but wants to note down the steps to solve a particular problem. They learn that there are multiple ways to solve a problem.
Some student favourites Math Routines are – What Do You See, How Many Can You Count, What Patterns Emerge), blank Hundreds Charts. Students visualise and discover the numerical patterns and the relationship between the numbers. Sometimes students are separated into two groups, and each child participates and is given a chance to justify their answer using various approaches. Our students find joy in developing their own number of stories and math problems and like to challenge their peers and teachers with them.
After their lunch break, which is often followed by play on the field, they practice mindfulness to calm their minds and bodies. These practices are also helpful in their daily lives, such as before sitting down to do their homework.
Our first-graders spend a lot of time writing. By using a mental map, a list of concepts or words, or a graphic organiser, we encourage our pupils to plan their writing. They begin by attempting to include all the intricacies of their story in the first draft. They then ask their teachers and peers for comments so they may make changes. Finally, they edit their work using a coloured pencil to highlight the correct punctuation and spelling in the final draft. Children work on a piece of writing for several days before sharing it while seated in the Author’s Chair when it is ready for publication. They solicit feedback and praise from their classmates.
Students in Grade 1 also have regular Art, Hindi, Marathi, IT, PE, Theatre, Music, and Capoeira sessions.
Once they’re done for the day, they complete their tasks as they get ready to go home. These tasks keep our classroom tidy, including straightening crayons in a caddy, sharpening pencils, and arranging the school bookcase. Students finish their assignments, collect their bags, and get ready.
Teachers in Grade 1 are committed to encouraging students’ enjoyment of reading, thinking critically, observing, and drawing conclusions. They employ a variety of tactics and strategies to adapt to individual learning styles and maturity levels. As kids refine their senses of humour and learn to appreciate humorous stories and poems, Grade 1 is also filled with lots of laughing. As children feel comfortable sharing their important questions and musings, our classrooms always have a sense of wonder and curiosity.
When they move on from Grade 1, they know the value of time management and self-control. They possess the capacity to concentrate, reason, and take the initiative. They become more conscious of their surroundings and grow to feel committed to and engaged with the greater society of which they are a part. Our first-graders study how to hone their observational abilities and use them to tackle scientific, social and mathematical problems.
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Group 4 Project: Interdisciplinary Activity

B. D. Somani International School organized the fifteenth Group 4 project for the Grade 11students on the 19th and 20th of April 2023. The ‘Group 4 Project’ is an interdisciplinaryactivity