Primary School

One of Elizabeth Lawrence’s famous quote is,” There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place, where the colours are brighter, the air softer and the morning more fragrant then ever again!”It is this wonderment that we at SREI strive to protect while allowing young minds to learn absorb and use the knowledge they gain for the world around them. While they graduate to late childhood, children do not lose their natural need to explore and create, however, they need appropriate guidance to facilitate them to reach their goal. Their abilities to solve problems, organize and interpret their world full of people and symbols is gaining shape and momentum. Neurologically, physically and emotionally they are growing at great speed and their perception of the world has greater approximation of reality. Each child also begins to exhibit an appetite for independence, personal preferences, behavioural choices and unique cognitive tendencies, all of which must be delicately pruned.

  1. Teacher training: While teachers continue to introduce old and new ways of gaining, receiving and interpreting information to the students, they are constantly attending in house workshops and job alike sessions so as to keep abreast of the latest research in education and teaching methodologies, assessment or even technology, so that they can deliver only the best to the ultimate consumer, the student. They are even coached to identify and in some cases, modify/rectify learning styles and predilections. Children are at this stage increasingly exposed to different subjects, disparate methods of experimenting, verifying results and seeking validation due to their maturing and multiplying cognitive abilities. Thus, at SREI teachers strike the delicate balance of pushing children forward to explore the unfamiliar, experiment with the new so as to learn more yet, they help the learners channel their efforts towards the right means to reach the desired goal.
  2. Technology: Since the children of the 21st century are already exposed to a multitude of gadgets and the internet, it is imperative to bring it to the classroom. Hence, while in the pre-primary, technology is used to bolster their learning, in the primary, children are encouraged to use technology to find solutions, complete assignments and projects to maximise efficiency and use their time optimally. The children are also taught to use child friendly websites to conduct simple research, so that their sense of inquiry is reinforced. Literacy and numeracy are also taught using smart boards, desktops and laptops.
  3. Global Exposure: Students are now encouraged to discuss headlines, read newspapers in class, hold friendly debates on a few general topics and indeed are allowed to create, develop and follow a class/school newspaper so that they understand the idea of news and its importance. Children are also introduced to science magazines like National Geographic’s Young Explorer so they are aware of subjects like global warming, Nuclear Energy, Nanotechnology and the like. Video clippings, films and documentaries on matters such as tribal welfare, social psychology, history or even politics are shown and later discussed to reiterate relevant points. Activities such as these along with suitable and relevant information from the internet certainly create an environment of awareness and alertness.
  4. Life Skills: We continue to suggest, guide and encourage children to constantly work in groups when in class or on the field. Due to this artificial coercive groups that students are required to make, skills necessary to strive, thrive or even just sustain in a group emerge. Social communication, group dynamics, problem solving, creativity, conflict resolution and many more skills come to the fore. Gradually, these group situations instil, stir, or even rouse their confidence, polish their potential, abandon unsociable behaviour, or even reorient their perceptions in such a way that it comes closer to the way they relate to their life. Thus, their working social groups indeed become a microcosm of the world they eventually will step into.
  5. Spirituality: Research in Child Psychology shows that children between the ages of 5-9 years have certainly developed in themselves an idea of their individual self- which includes not only their social, economic and religious backgrounds, but also their own strengths, idiosyncrasies and potentials which stems from various familial and social relationships they share. The effort remains in this age as well to accept and celebrate differences between people to boost greater confidence and foster a positive self regard by way of discussing various traditions, customs, rituals, belief systems or even religions to focus on similarities all human communities share.
  6. Community service: In tune with developing the concept of ‘self’ in children, common human values and emotions of empathy, caring, respect and compassion are highlighted in various group- social interactions in school. Getting them engaged in outdoor activities such as visit to a village school, develop and maintain paper recycling in school or raise funds for an old age home in the vicinity also helps them understand the need for working towards the benefit of a community. Students are even asked to submit project reports on how they were able to organise, plan and execute their social welfare activities. Reflection, retrospection and introspection as a team are also encouraged so that their actions in future can achieve better results.
At the end of the primary school, i.e., Grade 4, children are at the threshold of adolescence, a stage marked with significant changes physiologically, psychologically and emotionally.