Leena Verma, Principal of New Horizon School
The New Horizon School opened in 2000 as a kindergarten catering to value based schooling for children in the age group 3 to 6. In 2003, the institution expanded its services to educate children from 3 to 12, obtaining the official approval of the Ministry of Education with the new name, the New Horizon School.
Why choose the New Horizon School for your child?
The New Horizon School firmly believes in holistic development of the students and provides them with the tools and experiences to blossom and become good and responsible human beings. We have an amalgamation of the academic and non-academic activities which caters the needs of every growing child and we give chance to each student to stand apart and to enhance his/her skills.
The dedicated staff at the school provides the right learning environment through their commitment and love for the students under their care. They play an important role to empower the minds of students not only with knowledge and skills, but also with the discretion to distinguish between right and wrong. The extracurricular activities like yoga, music, art, swimming, karate, cricket and football enable the students to hone their skills. The repertoire of co-curricular activities organized throughout the year provides a platform to develop their creativity, nurture and display their inherent talents. The school’s motto “To educate to rebuild” inspires the staff as well as the students to perform their best.
What is the e-learning system at the school like? What platforms do you use to teach?
There is a huge paradigm shift in the education process due to this lockdown. The virtual learning platform for the Academic year 2020-’21 was launched at the New Horizon School from 19th April 2020. Going from physical to virtual teaching wasn’t easy for anyone be it teachers, students, parents or the administration.
Meticulous planning, frequent parent-teacher interfaces via WhatsApp, online resources and most importantly, the collaboration between the teachers and students have made this transition an immense success. The impact of the E-Learning on the learning outcome of the students was appraised through a feedback questionnaire sent to the parents.
The subject teacher interacts with the students through online Zoom classes and explains the lesson with the help of PowerPoint (PPT). The PPT is then uploaded on the school portal to enable the students to reinforce their learning. Links for YouTube videos related to the topic and Google form to assess their learning are included in the PPT. The teacher goes through the assessment feedback and contacts the students who fare poorly to provide additional help.
After considering various platforms of virtual learning, the school opted for Zoom classes, complemented by the PowerPoint presentations on each chapter uploaded on the school portal. We also made good use of Google forms to assess students ’comprehension and application skills after each lesson.
The SMNUVO portal, KAHOOT for our higher grades students were used frequently for online quizzes. This made our teaching and learning fun. We even subscribed to Destination Success, which consisted of detailed videos and inbuilt assessment. If this pandemic lockdown continues, we plan to use other platforms like Padlet, virtual tours of historic monuments and virtual experiments.
How are students coping with virtual learning?
At NHS, the student’s physical, mental, emotional and psychological health has always been of utmost importance and priority. Our students have coped well with the virtual classes. The parents have also appreciated the patience shown by the teachers in listening to the students and creating rapport with each of them.
We hear that teachers take a lot of effort to prepare and execute online classes. Can you tell us more?
Our teachers have done exceptionally great in terms of shedding their inhibition to go virtual instantly. There has been sudden change but our teachers adopted and adapted very well to this situation. Our teachers researched and created new innovative ideas and strategies before executing the topic.
Our teachers prepare the PPT lessons with voice over and videos for better understanding and comprehensive learning of the module presented, when the students want to read it in offline mode. Each chapter is divided into 3-4 modules and an assessment link of the Google Form where students have to do the summative assessment after each module. Our teachers regularly evaluate the forms to see whether the students have met the learning outcome. Assignments are planned catering to the overall development of students.
The training given by the IT section of the school and webinars like Destination Success and Cyber Safety equipped the teachers to meet the challenge of online virtual education. Teachers use a variety of resources to enhance teaching-learning strategies related to the topic. They leave no stone unturned to ensure joy, warmth and humour while video conferencing with students.
What measures have you adopted for the school, to ensure sanitation and hygiene when reopening?
The School plans to implement the following steps to ensure the safety of the students when the school reopens:
- Temperature checks of all students and staff on arrival.
- Sanitizer dispensers and tissue boxes are kept in each classroom.
- Mandatory use of face masks for students and staff at all times inside the school. Awareness is given on the proper use, care and disposal of masks.
- Sharing of food will be strictly avoided.
- Face shield screen awareness activity conducted by the science teachers to give students further insight into the pandemic and safety measures.
- A staff nurse will be stationed during the school hours.
- Limiting gatherings and suspending group activities, such as school assemblies, trips, camps, sports and games. Parents will be informed to monitor the health of their children and inform the school if they encounter any Covid positive cases.
- Sterilizing the school building, classrooms, laboratories and other facilities regularly.
- Operating School buses with reduced capacity and temperature taken prior to boarding.
- Only one parent or guardian will be permitted to drop off and pick up their children. They will be allowed to stay in the designated area for a maximum of 10 minutes but cannot enter the school.
- Desks will be placed away from each other and students will not change classrooms between the lessons. Instead the teachers will move around throughout the day, to avoid overcrowding in the hallways.
- Sports classes will focus on exercises that don’t involve physical interaction. Outdoor spaces are encouraged for education and exercises.
The school strives to continue its effort to make learning as productive as possible through the collaborative effort of the Management, staff, parents and the students and following the norms laid down by the Ministry of Education.