The Gera School (TGS) at Kadamba Plateau, recognised by Cambridge Board, which is accepted nationally and internationally, has been exceptionally adept at adjusting to the pandemic and lockdowns by transitioning to online teaching and virtual classrooms. The Gera School was amongst the first few schools to smoothly and successfully offer exemplary digital learning experience to over 130 students across Grades within the first couple of weeks of the lockdown.
TGS teachers have been making effective use of Google Classroom and Zoom for taking online classes. TGS follows the Cambridge curriculum which encourages learning and application of knowledge, and not rote methods, but which is also rigorous; balancing these aspects with the novelty and limitations of digital learning can be daunting. To address the challenges, TGS trained its teachers extensively and equipped them with various techniques to modify the teaching process to suit the new, online environment. Thus, TGS teachers have managed to retain the quality without compromising on the rigour.
Further, every two – three weeks, TGS teachers hold a one-to-one Zoom session with every student and their parent to share feedback on the student’s progress and to address any problems in the initial stages itself. TGS’s practice of sending reports to the parents every 10 weeks has continued unabated; these reports highlight both acquisition of skills and academic performance, and thus track the student’s all-round development.
Mr Carol Joseph, Principal, The Gera School said, “Quality delivery is given high importance at TGS. Teachers were put through an intensive training programme to enable them to quickly adapt themselves to the new normal of teaching virtually. It was critical to upgrade their skillsets to efficiently manage the entire digital process as well as make the lesson plans interesting and engaging for the students so as to retain the attention and reduce mental fatigue. Every single lesson plan for each class was made in advance, which included the expected outcome of this plan.”
Mr. Joseph further added: “This hand-holding programme along with making teachers regularly attend the Cambridge workshops online immensely aided the effective delivery of all aspects of the curriculum (planning and delivery), pedagogical skills, Life Skills, EQ training and Dress sense. Teachers were able to reflect on their teaching and we could give pointed feedback. The Principal and Coordinator have been conducting classroom observations to audit the teaching methodology even in the current situation. Parents, anxious to not let their children’s education get interrupted, and students themselves have enthusiastically embraced the digital remote learning from home in the new normal. They have shared extremely overwhelming and positive feedback encouraging our efforts.”
TGS has also been able to retain its founding aim of ‘Nurturing Individuality’ throughout the pandemic. Despite lockdowns, TGS has been able to successfully adapt many of its co-curricular activities to the online environment and conducted many of them. In fact, this year, TGS is delivering more in terms of training in verbal and non-verbal reasoning for students from Grade 1 onwards, free of cost, through its tie up with Logiqids. A teacher who has certification from Trinity College, London, gives Speech Training to TGS students and will help them obtain certifications from Trinity College as well.
With about 140 students in the academic year 2019 – 2020 across Grades right up to the 8th Grade – higher Grades follow in due course of time, the school boasts of infrastructure with an over-four-acre campus and an upcoming state-of-the-art auditorium which is the first of its kind for a school in Goa. Apart from academics, TGS gives lot of importance to extra-curricular activities including drama, music, art, gymnastics, and Martial Arts amongst others.