Whole School Assemblies showcase house-wise talents based on themes and class assemblies offer opportunity for every child to participate in various activities and explore three talents. When everything seemed to be crumbling down after the nation-wide lockdown, what we held firm with virtual assemblies is our family bonds. We want the family bonds of our students to be vary strong and lasting - parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren. We exhort them to enjoy some very warm, loving, caring moments as families. We educate our children to cultivate strong family bonds and learn beautiful family values.
The 21-day trial is based on the age-old belief that it takes 21 days to fully form a new habit. According to research, it takes 21 days to fully form a new habit, as 21 days is the time required for new neuropath ways to be fully formed in your brain. During the 3 weeks, you learn what it takes to cultivate this habit and whether this is a habit you want to stick with for life. In Balsam Academy, we teach students to cultivate new habits by encouraging the student's to take up the 21 day challenge.
Balsam Enterprise day is marked to elicit the organizational skills and the vocational abilities that children have learnt in Work Education, hobby clubs and STEAM sessions. Children make products and Balsam Enterprise is the platform setup to make these products available to potential buyers. The proceeds of the sale go to recognized charity organizations. Joy of giving is what children need to learn to become kind and caring individuals. In addition, children learn to manage finances from a very young age, which makes them responsible citizens.
Celebrations are unique with the motive of empowering and involving children in understanding the essence of the day. To make it meaningful, special days are marked where the entire school comes together (in person or virtual) in festive spirit with efforts in bringing the community together. The celebration days are marked as no-bag days. These days are filled with colours and joy that culture, tradition, and ethnicity brings.
The unique quality of every teacher in Balsam Academy is that of a 'counsellor not by formal training, but by experiencing'. The teachers are ‘guides and mentors’, who are trustworthy, friendly and approachable. A caring and careful watch is kept over children who need more attention than others. The main aim to being to:
This is achieved through a balance of firmness and gentle warmth as the teacher approaches the children as Parent Teacher.
We firmly believe that it is imperative for an individual to be socially, emotionally and behaviourally well-adjusted in order to function to his /her fullest potential. The focus of counselling is on the preventive and promotive mental health of all stake holders involved in the development of the child. We empower individuals to develop their competencies and draw on resources to cause changes.
The Student Council and the leadership programme helps develop strong leadership skills and give student voice a genuine place in the running of the school. Members of the Student Council are elected from Middle and Secondary level.
Events are planned thoroughly and issues relating to school and students are discussed in a focused environment. Regular meetings are held throughout the term and the council reports regularly to the Head of Student Council Body.
A budget is allocated to the Council which gives them further responsibilities for planning and organisation. The Student Council members are given the responsibility of looking after student welfare and enrichment through organising activities like Sports Day, Culture Celebrations, Assemblies, Awards Day, Evolving Minds, May Day celebration for the support staff, Balsam Enterprise, Newsletter, Community projects and many more.
Life skill education for adolescent students is crucial for developing psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills, and helps them in making informed decisions, problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication, building healthy relationships and managing their lives in a healthy and productive manner.
Life skills and community projects as a formal program begin at Class V and are part of the curriculum until the student graduates from secondary school. The program is envisioned in a way where the skills required for the developmental age, are honed through activities, discussions, inviting professionals, field visits and games.
The major aim of the outing is interactive learning, an experience that goes beyond reading about a concept. Students are able to see elements with their eyes or participate in it physically. It also gives them a chance to be in contact with nature and explore the outside world. Venturing into public places, allows the children to learn more about the world around them. They also learn to interact with others Hence, learning in Balsam Academy is not an isolated experience but one that broadens the orisons for the students, through field trips.
At Balsam, we lay due emphasis on different activities through active participation in various social, athletic and artistic clubs and societies. We guide students to discover and create their own understanding. Besides scholastic, co scholastic activities form an integral part of the school curriculum. This aspect includes wide range of co-curricular activities. A student will join a Club and he /she will be assessed on their level of participation and achievement.
The students demonstrate the ability to work in teams and actively participate in various school clubs - Heritage, Book, Spell Bee, Poetry, Writing, Tourism, MUN, Earth, Math, Alchemists, Tech, Fitness, Music, Visual Art, Dance, Culinary.
Integrated learning is the most rudimentary level of collaboration across disciplines. At the very least, it allows teachers and, more importantly, students to make connections across disciplines, creating an opportunity for greater depth and complexity.
However, one of the key competencies for the 21st century is to position students with the skills and habits of mind to be transdisciplinary thinkers. The projects designed must enable students to transfer learning to create purposeful outcomes, i.e., bridge classroom and community.
An example for such project is to produce and sell 50 pieces of soap and earn Rs. 500 in profits. Expectation for the outcome is set. Students need procure raw materials, raise funds, research on what people like, understand the cost incurred, understand the process of making and marketing, sell the product, check and balance accounts, etc. This holistic experience integrates subjects including people and presentation skills.
Other examples are:
Remedial Instruction is support extended to students with academic learning gap or mild learning disabilities. Students are provided with alternative learning strategies considering predominant intelligence (based on MI) and learning styles. Teachers create Student Case Studies to understand students’ better and hence extend appropriate and effective tools for learning. Students are engaged with exploring concepts in relation to immediate surroundings, hands-on concept-based projects, interviewing people practising relevant occupations, art /music integrated memory tools and simplified content is considered. Flip teaching-learning method is adopted so students take initiative in learning. Teachers employ student skills in developing materials required for active learning of the whole class. Mentors are assigned to help students cope with academic rigour. Counselling support exists to address serious issues.
Students capable of performing beyond classroom or grade-level requirements are identified and supported to develop skills to maximize potential within the scope of the school.
Gifted students are partnered with parent volunteers, eminent citizens, are offered internships and real-life learning opportunities. Students work with their mentors to create a vision for their growth and chart out ipsative assessments. They assume the role of a subject leader to work with their peers and juniors. School makes special arrangements for such students to participate in forums and competitions at national and international level. Parents are counselled and taken into confidence to support their children at home. Parents, school, teachers and students work together to elicit the best in the student by providing an effective and appropriate platform.
The Scouts and Guides regime was introduced in Balsam Academy in the year 2015 falling under the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Vellore district, Arakkonam region with the name Veer Savarkar.
The purpose of the movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full potential in social, physical, intellectual and spiritual areas. To be responsible citizens and members of the local, national and international communities, this program helps the child discover the world beyond the classroom, tapping the skills and sharing knowledge.
Tests are held at every stage and a proficiency badge /certificate is earned to move to next level.
Balsam Academy endeavours to progress in all aspects relating to education. 'Story House in education' has been incorporated to play an active part in the curriculum of the Early and Primary stage. The unique and beautiful concept of 'Story House in Education' provides every child a 'lively platform' to 'express, explore and experience' an all-important and completely new facet of their personality.
STEAM fair is a powerful and highly enjoyable way to engage students with Science and Technology Engineering, Arts and Math. It gives students hands-on experience working with the scientific method, planning experiments, and observing the world in which they live. It also allows students to expand their math skills by playing games. As they play, students reinforce a wide range of skills from simple addition to algebra. This fair encourages members to identify the ways science and Math affects their lives and their community.
Contests are designed to develop idea generation, materials usage, presentation, and time management skills. The contests that build resilience, an eye for quality, and serve a purpose involve students completely. These offer lasting learning experiences.