At B.D. Somani International School, we’ve always endeavoured to provide our students with learning experiences that stimulate curiosity and require practicing collaboration and courage. In Primary School, our entire approach has always been to create opportunities that facilitate this agenda. From our block building program to our field trips to the overnight stays, our approach to learning is to inspire the habits of lifelong curiosity learning in our students. This same approach is what led to the creation of our After School Program.
A few years ago, Ms Zoë observed that many of our students sign up for various extracurricular activities and lessons outside of school. Often the teaching methods at these extra classes would be at odds with B.D. Somani’s learning philosophy confusing and frustrating students. She decided that the best way to tackle this was to make a variety of engaging activities available to students in the school itself. Our teachers already have the skills in the disciplines students were pursuing outside of school. And with our teachers, students would be able to receive the same approach and pedagogy that they are used to in school. With overwhelming support from the teachers, our After School program was born three years ago.
Open to students from grades 3, 4 and 5, our After School program allows students to explore a vast range of subjects and interests. Thus far, the After School program has included graphic design, art and craft, coding, advanced mathematics, dance, needlework, calligraphy, yoga, fitness, taekwondo, cooking, clay modelling and sports.
At the start of every term, students can choose any three activities from the After School program menu. At the end of the term, they have the option to continue with the same activity or sign up for a fresh set. Sessions for each activity last an hour, with the exception of cricket which stretches to 90 minutes.
From the get-go, the response to the program has been excellent! Students often sign up for activities outside their comfort zone, some even defying conventional expectations. For us, this has been immensely gratifying. Enthusiastic responses from our students are also mirrored in our teachers who continue to devise innovative and exciting ideas to engage students, ensuring that the program furthers our aim to nurture lifelong learners. Our other hope is that students will not be forced to attend outside classes but, instead, can go home and engage with their parents at the end of a busy and fulfilling day.