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Pratima Sinha, Principal, Hillside School, Hyderabad

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“Today, education is not merely about imparting knowledge but is also about the required skills to co-exist with life values for a harmonious and balanced life.”

What major developments have taken place in the school?

Educational Systems across the world do not exist in isolation or vacuum but mirrors the values and expectations of the family and Society.  The “winds of change” are blowing and there is a tremendous need to bring in the new generation standards. Pedagogies for the 21st century consist of teaching critically, professional obligations, Integrity as well as ethical and moral commitment.

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 As the Principal, my vision for the school reflects in totality the requirement of today and tomorrow, the need of flexibility and sustenance the framework and systems, to manage diversity and maintain quality and to guarantee equity and quality for all students.  This has been done through a simple task of   creating an aura of positivity in the school, by collaboration, through partnership and being an instructional leader.

Hillside, under my leadership has been climbing surely and steadily to great heights with a long list of achievements which had never been witnessed before. Students and teachers are winning laurels in various fields not only in the city but across the country. Our school has been ranked among the top hundred schools of the country. Hillside has been awarded the sanitation award in the blue category, has been featured among the top hundred schools of the country as well. Hillside is broadening its horizons, giving the students a wider perspective of our social and cultural traditions, strong leadership and teambuilding skills. We are helping the students to explore the key global issues of today and in achieving excellent academic results.

In what ways has Technology changed the education scenario in the school?

To facilitate a new paradigm into education for higher order of thinking, skills and strengthening instruction information sources, data collection, and data analysis strategies introduction of ICT into education as an instructional tool has taken a new meaning.  Bringing the virtual view of the content that the student is learning across the school was a dream comes true for me.

What are the technological and pedagogical changes brought about in the school?

My goal for the school has always been manageable and meaningful.  I measure the school’s success, going by its academic result, growing popularity and demand, scholastic and non-scholastic activities, parent appreciation and commitment of the faculty and the satisfaction of the stakeholders.

Managing the ‘Gifted children’ – Inclusive Education and intensive intervention for struggling students has been the bench mark of the School.  I have always considered and focused my attention at the bottom of the pyramid students, using the co-scholastic areas to improve a student academically. Promoting the psychological needs of the gifted through encouraging participation in the projects with the peer group also finding solutions to learning challenges.  Highlighting the giftedness in the right time and utilizing the numerous teaching learning experiences researched and approved has given a new high to the meaning of education in the school. The facilitator to carry forward the programme are matured, self-confident, highly intelligent and imaginative flexible.

Today, education is not merely about imparting knowledge but is also about the required skills co-exists with life values for a harmonious and balanced life. Thus a continuous process and effort has gone in to deepen the commitment to the creation of a balance learning programme through service. Physical training, theatre, art, dance, music, student exchange programmes, active participation in competitions, visits and field trips, literary, social and science clubs, yoga and karate helps in channelizing the energy of the students in the right direction. Providing   a disciplined and joyful school culture through balance in scholastic and co-scholastic has intensified a strong learning outcome in the students.

Hillside School is a dynamic powerhouse where one can find new Ideas, initiative and hard work which is the best formula for Success. We have established an identity of our own. 

What initiatives have been taken in organizing teacher training programmes to keep the teaching staff abreast with the latest developments in the field of Education?

Cultivating transformational leadership in teachers, giving freedom as well as accountability to facilitate syllabi and curriculum by keeping the focus on the goals and processes to guide the nurturers and enhancing team building has ensured stability and ownership in the school staff. Giving ample opportunities for the ongoing professional development has made the already committed staff to perform to their highest ability.

Have the expectations of parents changed over time? How have been the school changing its strategies in that regard?

Innumerable interactive sessions with parents are arranged round the year.  As the student is motivated, excited and immensely happy to have his parent in school this has lead to a wave of parents interested in sharing their skills and talents with our students. Hillside today boasts of a strong community of parents who show ownership of the school.

What are the infrastructure developments that have been brought about in the school?

New activity rooms for visual and performing art forms have been added to meet the requirements of the added strength of the students. Beautiful state of the art and fully functional swimming pool, dining hall and auditorium have come up. A well-equipped Primary school library which is a perquisite of an IB World school is an addition. We already have a gym and good facilities for outdoor and indoor sports.

Your views on sports development programmes and how have they been undertaken in your school? 

By maintaining a wide variety of sports facilities for cricket, football, basketball, volleyball, athletics, swimming, hiking and trekking we make sure that the children get as many options of developing sports/ skills of their choice. We have taken sports education to the next level with the introduction of EduSports – a year-round programme that aims to create a generation of healthy and fit schoolchildren.
With expert trainers, daily lesson schedules and a chance to participate in inter-scholastic sports we make sure the children stay inspired and dedicated to sports.

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