Curriculum is all learning planned, guided and implemented by the school. The purpose of curriculum is to develop each student as a lifelong learner, well rounded individual, community member and contributor to society.
Principles underpinning our school curriculum decisions
- It should be based on the belief that every student can learn.
- It should focus on maximizing student learning.
- It should provide every student with sustained opportunities to learn.
- It should promote depth of student understanding and expertise.
- It should be equitable and inclusive.
- It decisions should be based in ethical practice.
- It should be coherent and aligned.
- It should be dynamic and responsive.
We believe these principles are highly significant and that they are the principles that underpin the specific areas of pedagogy and assessment also. We use these principles for our work at various levels.
Early Childhood (KG Programme):
Our Early Childhood curriculum is designed to address six areas of development:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication , Language and Literacy
- Mathematical Development ( Numeracy)
- Understanding and Knowledge of the world
- Physical (Fine and Gross Motor) Development
- Creative Development.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This area of learning is about emotional well-being, knowing who you are and where you fit in and feeling good about yourself. It is also about developing respect for others, social competence and a positive disposition to learn.
We believe that children are social beings and display differing personalities. We therefore foster independent help for children to gain and use skills necessary for working in small groups as well as the whole. Children learn how to function well as group members, how to ask for help and how to complete a task and put things away.
Encouraging children to be responsible for their own belongings and class equipment, and knowing the daily routine also encourages their independence.
We are able to achieve this through a play based curriculum which allows for independent choices and individual development.
Communication, Language and Literacy
The development and use of communication and language is at the heart of young children’s learning. Learning to listen and speak emerge out of non-verbal communication, including eye-contact, bending the head to listen, hand gestures and taking turns. These skills develop as children express their needs and feelings, interact with others and establish their own identities and personalities. The ability to communicate gives children the capacity to participate more fully in their society.
Teachers provide children with opportunities to revisit ideas and skills, use literacy – based skills in real-life contexts, and provide them with many ways to communicate, read and write as they participate in both indoor and outdoor learning activities.
Mathematical Development (Numeracy)
Mathematical development depends on becoming confident and competent in learning and using key skills. This area of learning includes counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognizing relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measure.
Maths is an important part of everyday learning. Children are given opportunities to “play” with math in a variety of ways. A variety of activities are planned that involve whole group, small group and individual sessions. Maths experiences may include reading (or being read to), writing, and is often involved in science activities. Maths sessions include calendar and attendance taking, some paper and pencil tasks, game playing, mental problem solving, and use of manipulative and other materials. Activities are planned to include some adaptation as necessary for children who need a greater challenge, or more support or experience with lower level skills.
Through careful observation, conversations, and guidance, adults help children make connections between mathematics in familiar situations and new ones. Adults provide access to books and stories with numbers and patterns; to music with actions and directions such as up, down, in and out; or to games that involve rules and taking turn.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
We believe children have a range of knowledge, skills and understanding on which to build and are naturally curious and keen to learn.
In this area of learning children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. This forms the foundation of their work in science, design and technology, history, geography and information and communication technology (ICT).
We want to create an environment where each child has the time, confidence and freedom to learn at their own pace, explore their own interests and begin to make sense of their own world.
Physical development in the foundation stage is about improving skills of co-ordination, control, movement and manipulation. It also helps children gain confidence in what they can do and enables them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. Young children’s physical development is inseparable from all other aspects of development because they learn through being active and interactive. Effective physical development helps children to develop a positive sense of well-being.
Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their understanding. This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.
These six areas form a foundation for the subject areas in grades 1 and above. Through these areas we wish to create an atmosphere of emotional warmth, and to be sensitive to the individual needs of each child. We give opportunities to children to be in control of their own learning by allowing them to make choices through structured activities. Although we plan for whole group instruction as it is important for community building, the early childhood teacher knows that young children learn best in small groups with ample one-on-one support. We fully encourage and prepare children for life by placing learning in a meaningful context.
The philosophy that is unique to this division is that we believe children use play and other creative and imaginative activities to learn and make sense of the world. We also believe that learning at this stage should be child centered and provide opportunities for children to be in control of their own learning.
The elementary curriculum at The Oxford School Trivandrum was originally developed from the English National Curriculum; however, being a truly international school and catering to students from such a wide variety of nationalities, teachers at TOST have developed a school-based curriculum which incorporates best practices from the Indian, American, Australian and European education systems. We have adapted our curriculum to meet student needs and to bring in the culture of the host country, India.
The comprehensive curriculum at TOST is divided into seven subject areas: English, Mathematics, Environmental Studies (Science & Geography), Languages (Malayalam & Hindi), Technology, the Arts, and Physical Education. In order for students to be well prepared for life beyond school, a set of skills – thinking, social, research, communication, self-management – are developed in the process of structured inquiry or topic work. Structured inquiry is used as a vehicle for learning. This is usually done through ‘topic work’ where students engage in interdisciplinary inquiry learning for a considerable part of their learning time. These topics help students to acquire and apply trans-disciplinary skills while developing an understanding of these concepts.
Teachers assess student work regularly through both formative and summative assessments. The school administers a yearly benchmark test in March based on the CBSE Curriculum “Grade” tests. These tests are moderated internally. They give a good snapshot of the work covered during the year and the levels reached in comparison to other students. Throughout the year, and wherever possible teachers make use of rubrics as an assessment tool.
The Middle School strives to provide a challenging curriculum to meet the emotional, social, intellectual and physical needs of the student. The curriculum is designed to build upon the work covered in the Elementary School and provides a bridge for transition into the Senior Secondary School.
In years 9 and 10 The Oxford School Trivandrum offers India’s most popular international curriculum, i.e. the CBSE Curriculum, for 14-16 year olds. CBSE Curriculum is an international curriculum that develops students’ skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving, and gives them excellent preparation for the next stage in their education. However, being an international school catering to students of multiple nationalities, we have adapted this curriculum and developed our own school-based curriculum which uses best practice from all over the world. The Middle School aims to promote enthusiastic learning within an international environment. This is in accordance with the core values of the school. The curriculum incorporates a myriad of different teaching approaches to ensure lessons are varied, cater for the different learning styles of the pupils and promote challenge and success.
In the Middle School students study English, Mathematics, Social Science (History, Geography, Politics and Economics), Science, French/Hindi/Malayalam, P.E., Art/Craft, I.C.T. and Library skills.
Senior Secondary Programme:
The Senior Secondary Programme is based on the CBSE Curriculum – a challenging two-year program of international education for students aged 15 to 18. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities.
Students learn more than a collection of facts. The Senior Secondary Program prepares students for university and encourages them to:
ask challenging questions
- learn how to learn
- develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
- develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.
WHAT IS IN THE CURRICULUM?
Students study Five Subjects selected from the subject groups.
Assessment is a continuous process of gathering and interpreting evidence to make judgments about student learning. Assessment identifies what students know, understand and can do at different stages in the learning process. Assessment assists teachers to plan, guide and implement learning.
Principles of assessment
The Oxford School Trivandrum recognizes that teaching, learning and assessment are fundamentally interdependent. We are guided by the following principles:
Students: have differing learning styles
have different cultural experiences, expectations and needs
perform differently according to the context of learning
need to know their achievements and areas for improvement in the learning process
should receive feedback that is positive and constructive
have an active role to play in self assessment and peer assessment
In the curriculum and instructional process, assessment:
- forms an integral part of the planning/assessment/reporting cycle
- monitors the progress of student learning and achievement
- determines the effectiveness of teaching
- informs curriculum and assessment review
- utilises a variety of methods
- should be in a context that is relevant and motivating to students