Our philosophy is to create a happy and conducive learning environment, a genuine ‘free space’ for the learning and holistic development of our children. At GEMS we believe that, to stimulate the interest of children in any subject, it is important to foster curiosity about that subject. We encourage students through hands-on learning experience on concepts, thus ensuring ample opportunities to explore, build, destroy, rebuild, ask questions and answer some themselves by doing it again. Within the spontaneity of children and their way of perceiving the world lies the true meaning of education. After all, don’t children acquire language (mother tongue) and the skill to walk and run even before we begin any kind of formal education. The human child is born with the insatiable urge to learn, to unlearn and relearn. The child doesn’t care about each fall and stands up courageous unperturbed again and yet again over and over. Thus, learning has to be student-led and facilitated to ensure the right direction and safe space to explore.
Teamwork and collaboration are very key skills as Creative and Social Intelligences become seminal to human existence amidst the changing paradigms of the technological revolution around us. After all, we are all aware of so much research that highlights the fact that more than 65% jobs in 2030 will be those that are unheard of today. Thus, our learning practices encourage teamwork, independent thinking, problem solving, responsibility of actions and decision-making.
Our teachers are more like facilitators for them, who train the children to reach desired levels of understanding by using their various faculties and intelligence. Our students develop knowledge and understanding which can be applied to real world situations within and across subject areas and contexts.
Our curriculum focuses on “STEM Education”. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. With this approach the students can experiment with new ideas across subject boundaries and focus on originality, creativity and innovation.
We allow our children to develop holistically to become problem solvers and citizens of the world, recognizing and celebrating their uniqueness, yet understanding their role within our community as special focus is laid on value-based learning and development of social, emotional and creative intelligences. It is inculcated through ‘School Cinema’, project-based exploration of life skills and a strong engagement with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Education must prepare us for life, not just the workforce. Some of the key life-skills we try to develop include:
- Focus and Self-Control – Children thrive on schedules, habits, and routines, which not only create a feeling of security, but also help children learn self-control and focus.
- Perspective-building and perspective-acceptance– Thinking about another’s point of view doesn’t come naturally to most children, but it can be developed. In today’s world of Information overload amidst a confluence of local and global perspectives, our children must imbibe the social intelligences of empathy, acceptance of diverse cultures and belief-systems, while staying rooted in their own. Thus, perspective-building and perspective-taking are important life skills.
- Persuasive Communication – Children need personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills, including the ability to understand and communicate with others, the ability to make others understand and appreciate one’s point of view.
- Making Connections – The more connections we make, the more sense and meaning we make of the world. Young children begin to see connections and patterns as they sort basic household items like toys and socks. Simple acts, such as choosing clothing appropriate for the weather, helps them build connections.
- Critical Thinking – We live in a complex world in which adults are required to analyze information and make decisions about myriad things every day. One of the best ways to build critical-thinking is through rich, open-ended play. Thus, free-play time and heuristic play are a part of the GEMS school routine. Very often STEM and Innovation labs allow them to experiment with their innovative ideas and challenge them to think beyond these, use their creative imagination to solve complex problems. Through play, children formulate hypotheses, take risks, try out their ideas, make mistakes, and find solutions—all essential elements in building critical-thinking.
- Taking on Challenges –One of the most important traits we can develop in life is that of resilience—being able to take on challenges, bounce back from failure, and keep trying. Children learn to take on challenges when we create an environment with the right amount of structure—not so much as to be limiting, but enough to make them feel safe. They need to regularly face challenges and learn through classroom experiences that it is possible to find alternative out-of-the-box solutions, to bounce back in the face of adversity.
- Self-Directed, Engaged Learning –A child who loves learning becomes an adult who is rarely bored in life. To encourage a love of learning, we encourage reading, open-ended exploration and metacognition in multiple ways at the school.Our students love reading and are experts at learning, unlearning and relearning anything anytime. They are genuinely future-ready.