Technology @ British School
digitalLEARNING brings to you a peek-view of The British School. It is an international school which is based n the National Curriculum Of England, with suitable adaptations, to take into account the location in New Delhi. It has approximately 650 students on roll and currently has 58 nationalities. Its a diverse cultural mix with the truly international flavour
By Yukti Pahwa & Sheena Joseph
The British School, New Delhi, was founded in 1963. It is a not-for-profit day school with an international student population of about 60 nationalities, with around 640 students enrolled in classes from nursery to year 13. The school offer’s a unique teacher to student ration of 1:6 and holds professional affiliations with the cambridge International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and is an accredited member of Council of International Schools.
It has a fully wireless campus, has on-line research databases, facilities for teachers to plan activites online and has virtual learning environment.
The school facilitates international education by enabling students from Delhi who have a clear vision or who may think of opting places like UK , USA and Canada for their higher studies, through their course and curriculum.
It also has runs the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme that includes a period of industry training. The objective is to help the students with soft skills that go a lon way in their careers, as also help student prepare for the real world challenges. This has been done due to the fact that at this age children have the widest grasping mind and intellect power. This programme runs for the final two years of a student’s secondary education.
Intercultural Schooling with a Difference!
Director, The British School
In conversation with, Graham Ranger, Director of The British School, New Delhi. There he teaches on the IB Diploma Programme. He has been heading the school since July 07. From 2002-07 he was one of Her Majesty’s Inspector’s of Schools, in England, with national responsibility for helping to improve some of the most dysfunctional schools
in inner city areas. Here is what he had to say about the school:
What are the measures taken by the school to provide international education with Indian soul?
We do not set out to be an Indian school. We do not follow ICSE or CBSE. We set out to follow overseas curriculum and 90% of our teaching staff is Indian. The aim to have such a large percentage of teachers is to be able to imbue Indian culture amongst its students. We have students of about 60 different nationalities in our school. We work towards forming an inclusive society through the education system we follow.
Kindly elaborate on the teaching-learning and other activities at school.
Our school is a reservoir of privilege. Our teacher student ration is 1:6. What is offered here, as compared to some other schools, is learning with technology. Technology has played an important part in changing the role of a teacher in the present day scenario, in terms of making teaching learning process interactive and having group based learning. We encourage students to participate in their education, speak and evaluate their education.
I do not want students to come to school, sit silently throughout the day and absorb wisdom, which is a very outdated traditional method. We are an accredited school by Council of International Schools. There are many schools who are members with CIS but only five schools are accredited by CIS and we proudly, are one of them.
What are the challenges and opportunities that ICT brings to education in your school?
The challenge for teachers is the role change/ cultural change, not being the only source of information students can access, which was the case earlier. Secondly, to keep up technologically with students, especially, on what the students do with it in their leisure time. If we do not use the technology as well as the students, then I think we are letting them down.
One downside is the amount of control you have to bring in, in form of filters and checks. Talking about opportunities, we have a fully wireless environment; children can bring their laptops and access any information anywhere.
We have Promethean interactive whiteboards in every classroom and there is a time to time training for the teachers to make them adept with the technology being used so that they are at ease while using the same with students. For teachers, one of the benefits is that they are using IT now, they are using software where system track the progress of the students and reduce the menial administrative work required of teachers. We also have intranet facility for parents and students, to cut down on emailing. So, all students can just access the website and get all updates. We are, also at present, trailing with Moodle, which is an online virtual learning environment/ platform with primary and secondary students.
What are the efforts taken by your school to enhance the capacity building amongst teachers?
Everybody gets a full induction of all the technology available at the school. We invest a high percentage of our budget into training the teachers, that is, six percent. This is because we have to have internationally competitive staff and we have to give them exposure to the technology being used across other international school.
Does the school hold any collaborations? What do you opine about PPP in school education system?
We have collaborations with a lot of corporate houses, in order to provide students who are about to graduate with work experience. The students are also later, additionally, put through CRS units of corporate houses to get a week of experience with NGOs and social work. We have membership with Round Square. About PPP, it is a good model for schools but only when much needed invest comes from private players but at the same time accountability is maintained through public aspect of the partnership. It becomes a topic of concern when it leads to springing up of school like mushrooms, especially with respect to the quality of education it brings along.