The Safari Kid believes that classrooms should be very stimulating space, facilitating multiple possibilities of action. The environment and the educational practices in classroom must coexist in meaningful ways that are related to students and their potential, says Jitendra Karsan, CEO – Safari Kid, India, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
Share us about the curriculum followed at Safari Kid. How does it ensure playbased, explorative and structured learning among kids?
As one of the key principles of our programme, the curriculum at Safari Kid is customised to fit every child’s individual needs and capabilities. This is accomplished by combining different approaches to learning methodologies, highlighting those that are more active and dynamic. It’s clear from working and observing any classroom that Gameful Thinking is at the basis of children’s learning experiences. Through Gamification, children learn to live, and they rehearse the way they act outside the classroom. That is why at Safari Kid we present them with reallife situations all the time, taking contents into a lively representation. Teaching through Gamification and Project Based Learning allows us to introduce topics that help children understand concepts and processes better. At the same time, it allows them to get deeper knowledge on themes that they’ve already delved into. Students must deal with situations and conflicts that help them answer their own emotional inquiries. In this case, we’re referring to structured or mathematical games, which give meaning to everything that students experience and explore with new concepts, without fear of being wrong.
This approach is based on games that follow instructions and learning objectives, instead of those of “free play” (even though both are key for the intellectual and social development of the child) and it is supported by other methodologies like Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Emmi Pikler, Waldorf, Howard Gardner, etc. As a result, gamification shows us a child’s intellectual development process.
To take theory into a practice, for example, when it comes to identifying and explaining the areas of geometric figures, we take the children and calculate areas in the playground.
Experience and scientific research shows us that students can learn any concept presented to them as long as we adapt them to their maturational age. Other methodological strategies that are incorporated into the SK curriculum include interdisciplinary projects, problem-based learning, mental maps and thinking routines.
“At Safari Kid, we understand that classrooms must be a very stimulating space that facilitates and suggests multiple possibilities of action. The environment and the educational practices in the classroom must coexist in real, meaningful ways that are closely related to students and their potential. “
How does the learning environment at Safari Kid help students to enhance its students’ imagination?
At Safari Kid, we understand that classrooms must be a very stimulating space that facilitates and suggests multiple possibilities of action. The environment and the educational practices in the classroom must coexist in real, meaningful ways that are closely related to students and their potential.
Choosing wide, well differentiated, easily accessible and specific spaces is the key to optimising the teaching-learning process in the classroom. That is why our spaces encourage creativity, public speaking, working on arts and exploring on different projects and themes. Our spaces allow and encourage joint assignments (like assemblies and dramatisations), always reminding the educational value of autonomy. Our spaces invite them to make hypotheses, build fantasies and narrate new experiences. This way, children’s imagination is not only enhanced but favoured from such rich environment, where discussions and reflections on what is known and what is new to be learnt is valued.
What best practices, at par with global standards, are followed at Safari Kid to ensure students’ safety?
Another of Safari Kid’s principles as a programme is to ensure the safety and caring of our children, their parents, and our employees. We have developed our own operations manual with high standards on safeguarding based on the best practices in childcare of different countries. Each child is treated as an individual, with a natural process of development and needs to be attended. Teachers and managers are trained and ready to identify if any child has special (social or physical) needs that must be taken into consideration.
Along with their training, all our teachers and employees go through a very rigorous interviewing process where their capabilities, backgrounds and references are checked to be up to our highest standards. Everyday, routines and aspects like the tracking of each meal had at the nursery, their toileting details and medication schedules are noted and journaled. This documentation, though confidential, is available to be shared with parents on a regular basis with all the detailed and written feedback available to them in the classroom, waiting to be shared also in individual or group meetings.
Parents play an important role in holistic development of their children. How the school involves parents in students’ day-to-day learning?
Along with their teachers, parents are partners in developing a child’s learning process. Therefore, effective, constant and personalised communication is crucial for Safari Kid. The way in which we approach this relationship is by creating the role of the Parent Relationship Manager, someone that closely follows every child´s needs and their development. Their task is to share the documentation of the children’s learning process and their performance along with our teachers. Parents are invited to witness their children’s work through activities held during the school year, including sports days, art exhibitions and special celebrations or holidays: the classroom becomes a space where knowledge and growth is shared and celebrated. Also, parents get access to the daily activities and assignments performed by their children through the Safari Kid app, which is updated with pictures on a regular basis.
Please describe the accelerated learning programme.
At Safari Kid we believe each child is an individual. And, we must favour development of their all possibilities. By doing so we make sure that all the Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) are being considered. While some students access to learning from a mathematical logic, others accomplish it through other intelligences: if we present concepts through stories, we encourage linguistic-verbal intelligence; if we do it with a cooperative game, we encourage inter-personal intelligence; while reflection appeals to the intrapersonal intelligence. For some years now, the relationship between neuroscience and education has become increasingly important. The accelerated learning programme is an advanced teaching and learning method that sees it base on the latest neurological research to increase learning effectiveness. Accelerated Learning unlocks much of the potential for learning that has been left largely untapped by most conventional learning methods by actively involving the child, using physical activity, creativity, music, images, colour, and other methods designed to get children deeply involved in their own learning. As education professionals, we must attend to knowing how the brain works because it allows us to know its possibilities and how to take care of it better. Especially if, in addition to knowing how our students are performing today, we care about what they can become in the future.