A Cute Poem by PICT Grade 3 Student Ms. Ananya Shirodkar

My School 📑✐👧

PICT Model School is the best of schools,
Despite its strict rigor and rules.
The teachers are caring and kind,
Their teaching helps to improve my mind.
Yoga, badminton and basketball,
Games and sports are liked by all.
The classrooms are tidy and clean,
The snacks and meals are tasty yet lean.
I love to chat with my friend on the bus ride,
and watch the houses, trees and shops by the roadside.

- Ananya Shirodkar
Grade III, Pegasus

Fostering a culture of environmental sustainability in school

In a globalizing world of limited resources and unlimited ingenuity, schools play a vital role in preparing students to meet the sustainability challenges of future. The imperatives of sustainability point not only to new course content, but also to new ways to teaching that content. As a project with relevance across the disciplines, sustainability presents a valuable paradigm for rethinking pedagogy.

Environmental sustainability is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains two key concepts: - The concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given.
- The idea of limitation imposed by state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.

Along with academics and sports, students at PICT are inspired to excel at their responsibilities towards mother nature. · We guide them towards activities like tree plantation, gardening, and teach them awareness and importance of environment.
· What’s more, teaching sustainability could facilitate better learning outcomes for students. Studies show that hands-on civic engagement projects can boost student achievement in reading and science.
· Our educators learn about the community’s vision and strategies for a sustainable future, then bring this larger dialog into the curriculum with a focus that’s appropriate for our students, hence promoting sustainability and environmental learning.
· We encourage young learners to take action to protect the environment and to be the change for sustainability. It begins in the classrooms, expands to school and fosters changes in the community.

PICT Model School presents a unique Kitchen Garden. We have our very own kitchen garden where students are encouraged to grow organic fruits and vegetables and also take care of the plants. For many children, a garden offers the only chance to get close to nature. Some lack access to gardening spaces because of their living situations while others have limited exploratory free time outdoors. At PICT, the kitchen garden provides students’ their first opportunity to dig into soil and watch a plant grow. Also, based on the principle ‘matter can neither be created nor can be destroyed, it only changes forms’ a compost pit allows young minds to observe how we give back to nature what we harvest from it.

The bigger picture The bigger perspective is that fostering environmental sustainability in school enables students to develop skills, empathy and motivation for actions that contribute to their own wellbeing, and that of their community and the planet, in an increasingly interconnected world. In a classroom, on day-to-day basis, sustainability enriches and strengthens students’ learning.

At PICT, we focus on our collective lens of what we think the purpose of environment sustainability really is: to foster thriving students, school and communities, so as to cultivate leaders that are prepared to troubleshoot challenges of the 21st Century.

Innovation – The Mantra of Gen Next

Great poet William Butler Yeast once said, “Education should not be the filling of a pail but the lightning of a fire.”
Using innovative teaching methods to better serve students and teach them about the benefits of innovative thinking, does so much more than just “fill the pail.” It ignites a passion for learning and provides students with the tools they need to succeed in the future world of innovation.
This leads us to the question; What is the most important skill to teach our kids in schools? The answer: to build creative and innovative minds that can adapt and face unpredictable future challenges.

At PICT, we apply creative and innovative strategies in education with a particular focus on student’s basic education.
We adopt unique learning methodologies to empower our learners to think radically and develop a questioning power. We encourage students to explore, discover, ponder over and question what they have learn helping them understand the concepts in the most unadulterated form.

Here are some of the ways we introduce innovation in education:
1. Encourage children to find answers
Unlike the ordinary practice of directly giving away answers for questions, this method aims to encourage students to find answers on their own. It helps students to observe, imagine, judge and reason.

2. Use design thinking tools and methods
Design thinking methods unleash creativity and explore innovative solutions in the context of group discussion and brainstorming. These methods facilitate student involvement in solving problems hence boosting their thinking as well as self-confidence.

3. Focus on the key concepts
Providing knowledge in the form of facts orients student thinking while inhibiting creativity and ability to imagine. Focusing on key concepts helps the students to find solutions through exploring ideas and evaluating the best answers.

4. Role play
Students are encouraged to have their own version of characters they are portraying and enact them with the context of present times. Through role play, students get to learn about the various aspects of stage performance. This technique helps educators explore creativity and critical thinking in young learners.

5. Peer tutoring
Simply put, peer tutoring means one student teaching another fellow student. Research shows that peer learning helps the student doing the teaching as much as the student being taught. This is because it enables the tutors to clarify and deepen their own understanding while trying to teach their classmates.

Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page are successful examples of how adopting innovation in education can help in building creativity and better abilities in order to solve problems.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Someone has rightly said, “Sports are more than just games; they are about life, emotion, passion, and some of the greatest highs and lows that one can experience.” Over the years, academic learning and sports education have become complementary to each other. Experts in the education field believe that these two sides of the same coin are necessary for developing all-round personality of a child.
In pursuit of academic success, children sometimes need a break from the classroom and an opportunity to release the pent-up energy. While academic success is no small feat, students who participate in at least one extracurricular sports activity are proven to reap more benefits that those who do not. Engaging in sports activities each week helps improve students’ focus on school work, as well as help them lead happier, healthier lives.

Here are some of the benefits of engaging students in structured, after-school physical activities:
1. Physical strength and all-round development
Playing sports regularly not only develops a healthy body, but also better strength and co-ordination. Also, perspiration is a great way of releasing toxins from the body.
2. Academic performance
Studies show that students involved in physical activities perform better academically and maintain higher test scores. Sports provide a spirit of healthy competition that drives children to give extra effort.
3. Confidence
Any person good in one walk of life automatically gains confidence in others. So, if one is good at sports, it follows that their confidence will spill over to academics as well. With confidence on their side, they are motivated to give their best.
4. Mental and emotional benefits
Athletics not only have great physical benefits, but it also allows kids to improve mentally and emotionally. While the body exercise, the brain releases endorphine. From a biological point of view, students who are physically active are happier and have a constructive outlet through which they can relieve stress.
5. Leadership qualities and team spirit
A good sportsman always learns to obey the rules of the games and the commands of their superiors. Sports education trains the students to face defeat with a smile and maintain the humility even in victory. It is the healthiest means of refreshments and recreation.

At PICT, sports is a part of our academic programme. We have a customized sports curriculum to ensure holistic growth of our learners.
Recent studies have shown that physical activity stimulates the physical and mental growth of a child. The importance of sports is not only limited to being physically fit but has positive effects on their studies as well.
We strongly believe that children’s participation in sports is extremely important and hence it is included as a part of school curriculum.Currently at PICT, we have standardized infrastructure for badminton, table-tennis, basketball, swimming and gymnastics. However, the campus has provision for a full size football cum cricket ground, shooting range as well as golf simulation which are expected to be complete by 2020. The sporting spirit is strongly promoted which not only gives students an opportunity to learn their chosen sport, compete in a healthy manner but also develop their skills to build a career in sports.
The digital era has brought a major shift in the way children spend their free time. Hence, it has become important for parents and teachers to bring children back to the playground.

Bridging the communication gap between a child and parent is our aim.

When we compare two generations and when there is a considerable difference in the lifestyles, habits, likes and dislikes of the people belonging to these two separate times, problems due to age gap arise. And, it is no secret that these days this gap is widening by leaps and bounds. 
More and more parents and their offspring agree that they just can’t understand each other. This lack of understanding of social, moral, political, musical, sartorial or religious opinions leads to lack of acceptance, which is the primary reason why families break.

Shrinking families and widening communication gap is a big barrier to a child’s growth.
We at PICT make sure that both parents as well as the child take a step forward and bridge this gap with increased family time and engaging in meaningful daily conversations.

Here are a few pointers which can help bridge this ever-widening gap: 

Have a day out with your kids at least once in a month. This will strengthen the bond between you and your kids and guide your relationship in the right direction. Do things together that you both have a common interest in. Bond over movies or talk to your child about his/her friends and get to know them better through your conversation.

 Do not be in a rush to repeat instructions. Ask a question or make a comment and wait. Your child has heard you. Give him a chance to respond.Please be aware that your child understands what you say, even though he may look ‘inattentive’.

Don’t impose your views on your child. An open mind is never closed to different perspectives or opinions. Such an attitude provides an invaluable insight that can bring about resolution of conflicts. It is important for you to accept that just because he/she is your child, doesn’t mean they cannot have preferences and interests independent of yours.

While growing up, at some point we all have been at the receiving end of our parents’ lectures about perfection and doing things in a particular way. But its time to do away with that approach and replace it with one where you try to understand what your child has to say. Remember what your kids are trying to convey is an extension of themselves which they expect you to understand. So, listening to them should be your first priority.

Yes, sometimes, we need to be silent too. We have to let our children voice their opinions and listen to what they have to say, without interrupting them. Let’s practice what we have always preached.

It’s time we give up being judgmental about every little action of our children. Be it household chores or scoring marks in academics or winning a competition, let’s stop comparing our kids with others. After all, success does not depend on competition, it depends on originality. Encourage your child to analyse success and failure with you and, send a message through your action – you are always there for your child.

The reality of a generation is only in terms of age. If we let go of our egos and look at things from an entirely different perspective, we perhaps would never have a gap between us and our children, this does not mean we do not do what is needed to do as parents. It just means we became a little more understanding and accepting of what our children see as their ‘world’.

Ultimately, the essence of effective communication lies in the beautiful expression. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said!"

The Necessity of Vocational Education at Schools

We live in a society that places a high value on the profession and white-collar jobs, and that still considers blue-collar work lower status. It’s no surprise that parents want their children to pursue careers that will maintain or increase their status. In high socio-economic communities this is even more evident.

A few years ago, vocational courses were thought to be for people who did not have the aptitude to study in a school or college and thus, needed skills in a particular field, to gain employment. This bias against vocational education is dysfunctional. It is destructive to our children. They should have the opportunity to be trained in whatever skills their natural gifts and preferences lead them to, rather than more or less condemning them to jobs they’ll find meaningless.

This scenario, however, has completely changed today. Nowadays, people have realized the importance of vocational education and are opting for such courses, both online and offline, to gain skills related to a particular field so that their job prospect can improve.

Benefits of vocational education in school 

- Vocational Education as a term itself denotes that the students are specialized and therefore they have more chances of employment as compared to others.
- Due to the nature of skills it imparts a student doesn’t consider it a futility as compared to academic education.
- Career of one’s own choice is a major benefit of this type of education. A vast majority of people are caught in the wrong jobs because they opted it for the sake of security, money, social status or lack of alternative. Whereas an individual with vocational training is already pursuing his/her dream job.
- Majority of Vocational Skills are applicable all over the world, creating employment opportunities abroad.
- Gives students opportunities to take marketable skills from the classroom directly into the working world.
- It imbibes values of responsibility and independence in students.
- Such training promotes entrepreneurship, which is important for the economy today since recession has left many without jobs.

We believe in imparting “specialized knowledge,” which is the need of the hour.
At PICT, we consider vocational training of extreme importance. Young learners are encouraged to choose their field of interests and further pursue training in the same.
Vocational Education on both a secondary and post-secondary level should be highly valued, well-funded and effectively implemented. The first step can and should be taken on a local level.

“Vocational programs train students for many high-demand (and high-wage) jobs, develop practical skillsets and — because of the focus on hands-on learning and apprenticeship — often engage students at a higher level than traditional classroom learning” – NishaChoksi, Educator

The advantages of less screen time to growing kids

“Whether you are a parent or not, carving out time to turn off your devices, to disconnect from the wired world and engage with the real people who are all around you, is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and the people you love.”
– Alan Brown,entrepreneur, productivity coach

If you've ever wondered whether it's worth fighting with your child over the amount of time he/she spends in front of the TV, computer, or another screen, the answer, according to recent studies, is a resounding "yes." Reducing time with devices makes it more possible for families to actually spend time together interacting and talking to each other face-to-face and can give kids more time to go outside, get some exercise or read a book.

Recently, studies have shown that cutting down screen time can also have a positive effect on kids' physical, social, and behavioral well-being, and can even improve their academic performance.

Why limit the screen time?
Overuse of digital media and screens may put your child at a risk of:
1. Obesity
Excessive screen use or having TV in the bedroom can increase the risk of obesity. Teens who watch more than 5 hours of TV per day are 5 times more likely to be overweight than teens who watch 0-2 hours of TV. This is in part due to the fact that viewers are exposed to advertising for high-calorie foods. Viewers are also more likely to snack or overeat while watching screen media.

2. Sleep problems
Media use can interfere with sleep. Children and teens who spend more time with social media or who sleep with mobiles or I-pads in their rooms are at a greater risk for sleep problems. Exposure to light and simulating content from screens can delay or disrupt sleep.

3. Negative effect on school performance
Children and teens often use entertainment media simultaneously with school work. Such multitasking can have a negative impact on academic performance and grades.

4. Ceases creativity
Watching too much television takes away opportunity from your child to broaden his/her imagination and makes them dull and uninterested.

5. Being lazy and inactive
Sitting or lying in front of a screen the whole time makes children lethargic. Kids find it too comfortable to laze around in front of the TV instead of going out or playing a sport.

6. Expects things to always be perfect
Watching TV, your child believes that everything must entertain and you can change the channel if something doesn’t. They apply this in life as well and are disappointed at every point because they cannot control things here by merely changing the channel.

Not having control over what goes on in their life, children are often annoyed and consider life to not be fair. Because well everything turned out well for that fantasy story they saw on TV the other day. Anything not working out for them makes them feel defective and a failure.

Benefits of cutting down screen time
1. Better sleep
Poor sleep exacerbates symptoms of depression. Numerous studies have shown that blue light from a screen is harmful to sleep. By avoiding screens an hour before bed, your brain starts to relax, resulting in a better sleep.

2. Reduced anxiety and stress
Having a shut-down ritual and avoiding screens before bed, makes your child less prone to depression and anxiety and he/she is likely to be much happier.

3. Wake up more focused
The greatest benefit of avoiding screens an hour before bed is that you wake up more focused. If you’ve avoided screens before bed, you’ll be less compelled to turn on your devices first thing in the morning. When your child wakes up clear and focused, it becomes much easier to spend the early hours of their day on activities that add meaning to their life.

4. Better attention to other activities
When children are not glued to the television sets or video games, they can utilize that time for some other activities such as outdoor games, reading or even drawing or painting.

5. Better grades
Research shows that parental monitoring of kids’ media use leads to better performance in school as well as improved grades.

6. Enhances social skills
Kids spending most of the time in front of television lack social skills. Being outdoors, meeting new people in person and not online, allows your child to interact with the outside world which is extremely necessary for their adult relationships later in life.

7. Makes your child active mentally and physically.
Children who are not addicted to television, spend more time doing other stuff. Be it outdoor games, creative arts or reading a book. All these activities boost your child’s confidence and makes them active learners.

Monitoring screen time and content doesn't immediately lead to changes, but over time, there are a wide range of health and wellness benefits. Remind yourself that its worth the argument. Your child maybe one unhappy camper when his/her screen time is limited and monitored but remember, it’s worth the short term sacrifice. 
PICT Model School. Powered by Blogger.