Curriculum and Methodology
Healthy Planet curriculum is scientifically designed keeping in mind how children learn best. It draws heavily from child development theory and brain research. The curriculum integrates children's physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs.
Traditionally, academic subjects have been taught in ways that largely involve two intelligence(s) - Linguistic and Mathematical. While we agree that Linguistic and Mathematical ability are very important, apart from these two, there are six other intelligence(s)- Visual, Musical, Naturalistic, Kinaesthetic, Inter-personal & Intra-personal. It is when children marshal all of their intelligence(s) that they really begin to use their full brain power to master multiple situations that one has to face everyday.
At Healthy Planet, each new developmental concept is introduced and assessed on multiple intelligences platform so as to engage the interest of each and every child. In doing so, we make sure that a child who enjoys dancing is appreciated and involved in the classroom as much as the child who can speak or write admirably.
For instance, the concept of number 3 (three) will be introduced in several ways to target all eight intelligences; through words, numbers, shapes, pictures, rhymes, bodily activities, cooperative group work, clay modelling, individual project work, as well as through observations in the natural environment.
It is through play that young children come to know and understand the world around them. The socio-emotional, physical and intellectual development of children is dependent upon activity. Therefore, the Healthy Planet Kindergarten program uses child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported play as an essential part of the educational process. Play, as opposed to lectures & drill, is the best way for Kindergarten students to learn.
It is important to provide a variety of manipulatives for active engagement when exploring any concept. For example, students may initially explore the concept of measurement (less/more) at the water table with different sizes of plastic beakers, containers and cups. Further play and exploration can be encouraged through the use of other "pourable" substances such as grains, lentils, sand, coloured water, marbles, pebbles, buttons, paper clips, macaroni or rubber bands. It is imperative that children have time for free exploration, experimentation and observation, particularly when concepts, materials or activities are new or unknown to the students
Hands-on Experiential Play
Adaptive Dimension is defined as: “The concept of making adjustments in approved educational programs to accommodate diversity in student learning needs”. Adaptive Dimension in teaching, therefore, refers to inclusion of practices that the teacher undertakes to make curriculum, instruction, and the learning environment meaningful and appropriate for each student. We, at Healthy Planet feel that each child is unique and equally important and hence our teaching strategies & methods are often customised by content developers and teachers to encounter diversity in terms of interests, abilities & aptitudes of children. The needs and interests of the children serve as the focal point around which daily and weekly activities are planned.
Life Skills & Personality Development
Kids of Character
An important unique feature of our curriculum is our Kids of Character component. Kids of Character curriculum helps children explore & learn about important and constructive character traits and values such as tolerance, perseverance, honesty, teamwork, and self-discipline. Each month, a different trait is featured, stories related to the trait are told to them through puppets and the children learn and discuss the trait through various art and group activities as well.
Students at Healthy Planet are also exposed to basic life skills training starting at an early age. Broadly divided into five categories, these skills equip the child with confidence for later years. Life-Skills for Healthy Planet Pre-schoolers include;
1. Self Esteem Building
2. Effective Communication
3. Decision Making
4. Goal Setting
5. Stress Management
Learning Outcomes related to Language Arts, Mathematics, Environmental Science, Visual and Dramatic Arts, are achieved through integration within the monthly theme. The approaches employed by our Teacher-Mentors facilitate development of Social, Emotional, Cultural, Gross Motor, Fine Motor and Self-Help skills. At Healthy Planet, we feel, a thematic approach in an activity-centred environment is most appropriate. Foundational understanding in several areas develops as children use numerous concrete materials and participate in teacher-directed experiences such as going on outings and singing songs. An activity such as block building can lead, for instance, to the learning of;
Foundational understanding for each Required Area of Study is best developed within young children through integrated experiences. Our curriculum features monthly units and each of these units is framed along a developmentally appropriate theme. Throughout each unit, our goal is to make the theme come alive for the child, so that he/she is always completely engaged. Moreover, integrated learning is promoted through the thematic curriculum.
"Which of these two blocks is more difficult to move? Why is that so?"
"What sound comes first when you say the word “blocks”?
“Let us make a label for the house you made with your blocks”.
"Which of these two blocks is more difficult to move? Is it because it is heavy?"