Student-Centered Classrooms

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One of the very common phrases heard in context of schooling is student-centered classroom. Developing a student-centered classroom has slowly become necessary than a luxury. It is no longer another new and innovative technique adopted in schools. Rather it should slowly become a norm in schools. Even though most schools and school leaders realize the importance of developing student-centered classrooms, not all are able to do so. The leading chain of Millennium Schools in Indiais a perfect example of how student-centered classrooms are developed in schools.

The unique curriculum, Millennium Learning System, followed by The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools across India, is based on thorough research of more than a decade. Through this in depth research, they have been able to develop a curriculum that promotes student-centered learning. Most CBSE schools in India are shifting their focus from teaching to learning which means teacher-centric classrooms to student-centric classrooms. The traditional method or teacher-centric classroom believed that the teacher will pour out knowledge and wisdom and fill the empty minds of students. Students were considered merely like sponges that will absorb the knowledge imparted by teachers. However, scientific research studies have proven that children’s brains are much beyond than sponges or empty buckets. In fact, maximum learning happens till the age of 8. Therefore, the kind of education we provide to our younger children plays a critical role in shaping their personality, attitude and skills.

At Millennium schools, classrooms and learning revolve around students and not teachers. They strongly believe that every child is unique which means that children have varied learning styles and levels. Every child has a different method and pace to learn. Therefore, differentiated learning is followed in the best CBSE schools in India. Student-centered classrooms at Millennium Schools engage all types of students and encourage them to participate actively. Student-centric learning is said to be one of the most effective ways to develop skills of independent learning and problem-solving and attitude for life-long learning in students.

In the traditional method, the teacher is at centre of teaching–learning process. The communication is more or less one-way. Students sit passively and listen to their teacher and respond only when asked a question. Students passively receive information from teachers and do not really question it. However, in the student-centric classroom, two-way communication happens. Students are actively engaged in the process of teaching and learning. Students independently construct their learning and teachers facilitate this process. Students engage with the information and question the content to develop their skills. Teacher-centric classrooms usually promote rote learning while student-centric classrooms promote conceptual understanding and skill –based learning.

Part of the leading chain of K-12 school franchises in India, Millennium Schools believe in student-centered learning. Rated as the top CBSE schools in India, they focus on giving meaningful and relevant educational experiences to children to engage them and develop their skills. Emphasis on holistic development is given in all Millennium schools, situated in more than 40 locations pan India. Being the top schools in India, they promote the millennial way of learning for the new age millennial childrenwith the goal to make learners future-ready through student-centric learning.

Empowered Teachers

When we think about schooling and learning, many questions pop up in the mind. What is the ultimate purpose of schooling? In the age of information technology and freely available information on the internet, are schools still relevant? Do we need teachers for schooling and learning? Can’t learning happen at home? Is homeschooling better than formal schooling? Well, the list of questions can go on and on. There are different schools of thought when we try to find answers to each of these questions. The fact is that formal schooling is still an essential part of our lives and a school in incomplete without teachers. So, rather than thinking about the future as of now, let’s focus on the present.

One of the most critical questions regarding teachers and schools is, ‘what value does a teacher add to the school or the learning process?’ While, many will roll their eyeballs on this question and say the obvious answer – a school is not a school without teachers! Rightly so, but do any type of teachers will make the schooling experience meaningful for children? The straight forward answer to this question is NO. Teachers are much beyond giving lectures in the class, reading from a book and using chalk and talk method to teach students. Mostly everyone must have noticed some time or the other that when children start going to school, they begin to listen to their teachers more than their parents. Teachers have a great influence on children and their words are set in stone for children. Not even their parents can change anything about it. Children start idolizing their teachers from a very young age. And this is a huge opportunity for schools to lay the foundation for learning for children.

If schools recruit the right kind of teachers, more than half of their battle is won in every aspect. Dynamic and compassionate teachers will nurture children like them. Children imitate adults around them and imbibe behavioral traits from their surroundings. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to give a safe and healthy environment to children at home and especially in schools that nurture compassion and responsibility in children. The role of tecahers in a school is way beyond just teaching academics subjects. They become the role models and trendsetters for children. They can inspire children beyond imagination. Thus, empowered teachers mean empowered children. Schools must realize this and make efforts to empower their teachers.

Millennium Schoolscall their teachers as facilitators because they believe that teachers facilitate the process of learning. The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools pay close attention to development of their teachers. Continuous training programs, workshops, online and offline courses and other ways are adopted by these top CBSE schools in India for developing their teachers’ skills. One of thebest CBSE schools in India, Millennium Schools believe in empowering their teachers to empower their students. They want to create life-long learners and responsible citizens in their teachers as well as students who ready to face challenges of the unknown future that lies ahead.

Millennium Schools – Adapting in the Corona Times

The year 2020 brought with it a new virus that has shaken up the entire world. The Coronavirus has hit all major countries of the world, including India. The pandemic is taking a toll on people’s health across the globe. COVID-19 is a contagious disease and therefore different countries around the world, are left with no other option than to enforce lockdown with only bare minimum essential services operational. With such a health scare, social distancing seems to be the only way to beat this virus as the world is still struggling to make medicine or vaccine for the disease.

As a result of this entire lockdown and prevention from spreading the disease further, all schools were shut in early March 2020. Children as you know are highly energetic and with all the time in the world without having to go to school and unable to go outside to play, are struggling quite a bit. Asking children to sit at home is a huge task in itself. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, children are being deprived of their childhood. Caging them indoors is not good for their childhood and development; however it is necessary and unavoidable in such circumstances. Here, where the role of the schools, teachers, and parents comes in.

Millennium Schools, having presence in over 40 cities across India, are doing every bit to connect with their students and keep them engaged. Thank God for the advancement in technology, several exciting things are being possible. Teachers at The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools pan India are conducting virtual classes for their students. Daily morning SMS with tips and measures to stay safe in this health pandemic time connects students and educators of all Millennium Schools across India.

Facilitators of the Millennium Schools are sending worksheets and video notes to students who have just entered classes X and XII. Skype sessions are being conducted for discussions and assignments. Many Millennium school leaders are writing poems and curating interesting activities that can be done at home to engage children and develop their skills at the same time. Different online tools and social media platforms are being used for enhancing the virtual teaching learning processes at the Millennium Schools.

The focus is not only on academics as is the philosophy of one of the best CBSE schools in India. To help children take care of their physical fitness, videos and activities on exercise and healthy eating are also being shared on a regular basis. The Millennium Schools also emphasize on social and emotional well-being for which different stories and videos for meditation are being shared with students too. To nurture the talents of students, videos and activities related to arts and crafts, and other talents are also being shared by educators at the Millennium Schools. Teachers’ professional development is a regular feature of the Millennium World Schools and The Millennium Schools and with the use of technology, it is still continuing. Teachers too need motivation at this time and training and support to handle the online world of teaching and learning. The Millennium Schools family is doing its best and making the best use of technology to meet all its objectives. Millennium Schools are truly one of the top CBSE schools in India.

What is Holistic Development?

Why do parents send their children to school? Is it only for studying a set of subjects and getting marks in examinations? The main purpose of sending our children to school is for their overall development. It is a well-known fact that overall development is beyond academics. Many schools these days are making efforts in the direction of the overall development of children. Even the government schools are trying to make their teaching and learning more holistic. Let us first understand what holistic learning means.

Holistic development entails three main types of capacities – mental or intellectual, psychomotor or physical, affective or socio-emotional. Usually, the schools tend to focus more on developing mental or intellectual capabilities mainly through teaching subjects. Physical aspects are somewhat taken care of by sports activities that most good schools have these days. However, the socio-emotional capacity building is the least thought of in schools. The schools are more inclined towards disciplining the children rather than nurturing their human emotions. While discipline in itself is not bad but somewhere the strict rules and sole focus on maintaining discipline with punishment system negatively affects the children. And children do not get opportunities to express what they feel and manage their emotions.

Mostly, intelligence is thought of as being synonymous to scoring high grades. However, according to the popular Multiple Intelligences Theory propounded by Howard Gardner, every individual is intelligent. Each individual has different set of capacities which are more dominant than the others. So, the individual is intelligent in those areas. We all keep hearing that each individual and each child is different and unique but we hardly follow it in schools. We judge the capability of every child the same way. Not every child may have the interest or ability in mathematics. However, the same child can be linguistically very strong. The main aim of the schools should be to discover these innate qualities of every child and nurture them further. Teaching the same subjects the same way and expecting all children to perform well in only one type of examinations is quite unfair. Also, it does not lead to overall development at all.

There are very few schools that actually focus on finding the innate potential of every child and giving them exposure to build on their capabilities. Millennium Schools are the perfect example. The philosophy adopted in The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools is to nurture the innate potential of every child. Their curriculum is designed in a way that each child gets multiple opportunities to enhance their talents and abilities. One of the best CBSE schools in India, Millennium Schools have developed a unique and research based curriculum called Millennium Learning System. They have won many awards for it too. Their approach to teaching and learning is truly holistic that focuses on developing all three capacities – mental, physical and socio-emotional. A lot of importance is given to children for understanding self and their emotions. Their aim is to create responsible citizens who are life-long learners and are ready for the future. Millennium Schools are rated as the top schools in Indiaand they have more than 40 schools across different regions in our country.

Qualities of Good Schools

QOne of the most stressful decisions for parents nowadays is that of school admission of their child. There are numerous schools available these days and it has become quite a difficult task for parents to select a good school for their children. The range of options available with parents is so wide that it confuses them in taking an apt decision about their child’s school admission. Selection of a good school requires thorough research and comparison of different schools. This research and comparison of various schools has to be based on certain parameters. This article lists certain parameters on the basis of which parents can compare different schools and take an informed decision.

Curriculum

The primary purpose of a school is to provide quality education. Every school has its curriculum which includes content to be taught in different subjects, pedagogy or the way the content is to be taught, activities and experiences to promote and develop different skills in children. The kind of learning experiences of a school provides to children defines their approach towards teaching and learning and outlines its vision. A good school will focus on holistic development instead of learning for examinations.

Teaching Faculty

A school without teachers will be a place where the primary goal of education is not being fulfilled. The learning experiences that are provided in a school are done by teachers. Teachers are the ones who deliver the teaching and learning experiences and motivate children to nurture and grow. Teachers are the ones who interact directly with students as well as parents. Hence, it becomes very critical to have the right kind of teaching staff with apt qualities who will be able to translate the vision of the school into a reality. A good school has excellent teaching staff with apt qualifications, brilliant subject knowledge, passion for teaching and learning, love for children and life skills that help in becoming role model for children.

Safety and Hygiene

Parents are utmost concerned about their children’s safety. A good school is one that takes care of the safety measures in detail. Every little aspect is taken seriously and all safety measures are in place for a good school. Another important factor that makes a school a good school is the hygiene. A good school should be able to provide clean drinking water, clean toilets and hygienic environment.

Growth Mindset

A good school has leadership with a growth mindset. The focus of the school shifts from high achievement scores to wellness and development of children. Children can rote learn and still score good marks but what is important is that children get such learning opportunities that promote and nurture holistic development.

These are some of the main parameters on the basis of which a school can be judged as good or not. There are several other factors that will contribute in making a school good and in turn influence parents’ decision. Millennium Schoolsacross the country are examples of schools that stand out in the above mentioned parameters. Trusted by parents throughout the country, they are one of the best CBSE schools in India. The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools are ranked as top schools in India. To know more this leading chain of schools, you can visit their website.

Learning-Centered School Campus

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A very old saying goes ‘first impression is the last impression’. While it may not be entirely true, first impressions do hold certain value. The physical appearance does make an impact in the onlooker’s mind. The school building or campus is its physical appearance which helps in forming the first impression in any visitor’s mind. Of course, the school building is much beyond just the physical appearance. Let’s read more about school buildings and campuses.

The way utmost care is taken when we build and decorateour house, similarly thought is put into every aspect of the school building and campus. School campuses speak volumes about the vision and philosophy of the school. Top schools in India have huge and beautiful school campuses. Take the example of Millennium schools across different regions in India. Visiting a Millennium School in any location is a wonderful experience in itself. The entire campus speaks the vision of the schools which is to create leaders.

The Millennium School buildings are unique that radiate warmth and make you feel welcomed. The lush green playgrounds take you back to the memories of your own childhood. The spaces in and around the schools are aesthetically and scientifically designed to promote learning. The reception area welcomes you with bright, colourful and happy art work created by children. Every art and craft piece displayed at the reception area reflects the creativity and imagination fostered in the children at school.

The classrooms are too designed scientifically and aesthetically to foster a healthy, safe and happy learning environment. The furniture is thoughtfully selected to make it most comfortable for children of every age group and also promote activity-based and cooperative learning techniques. The walls and floors of the entire school talk to you and reflect the vision of the school. Project work and art work done by children of different ages are displayed across the school which exude a sense of ownership that children possess towards the school.

All the campuses of The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools exuberates positivity and a zeal for learning. Children here are bound to fall in love with learning at Millennium Schools. The environment is stimulating and nurturing where children are encouraged to discover and develop their innate potential. The campus is learning-centered that promotes development of different skills and not only academics. All three kinds of capacities – mental or intellectual, physical or psychomotor, and affective or socio-emotional are nurtured through the environment. Millennium Schoolsare ranked as the best CBSE schools in India for a reason.

Warm, cheerful and positive vibrations strike a chord with you as you enter the main gate of the Millennium school campus and remain with you throughout. The air in the entire campus is filled with joy that rubs on you too. The school premises are kept absolutely clean and hygienic with all basic amenities in place. You feel safe, secure and happy. The joyful feeling motivates you to learn and grow as an individual. You do get a feeling and desire to become a child again and make Millennium Schoolyour second home!

School Infrastructureand Learning

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The maximum time of the day of a child is spent at school. The way every aspect of one’s house is taken care of to make it comfortable for children play, learn and grow, the same way, a school also has to be designed to promote development of children. Studies reveal that school infrastructure is one of the key factors that contribute in building the child’s perception of the world around her when she grows up.

Schools can be considered as second homes for children. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that a school serves numerous purposes in the life of a child. The primary purpose of a school is of course learning. However, do you think learning can happen in a place that is not clean, hygienic, safe or comfortable? While, on an idealistic level it can be argued that learning is beyond all these factors and if an individual wants to learn, then it can happen anywhere irrespective of the physical spaces. However, this kind of zeal for learning is not found in all people and children. Further, school is not a place merely for academic learning. Different skills and values are also taught to children in school including cleanliness, hygiene, safety, respect and so on. Thus, the physical space of the school should be example of all this.

It is a known fact that children learn better when they get a safe and favourable environment. Right temperature levels, proper ventilation, enough light, clean and green spaces, open spaces to play and move, safe and secured boundaries of the school, premises, clean toilets, clean drinking water, comfortable furniture and so on are some of the basic facilities that make the schools environment favourable. However, the environment is not only created by the physical resources but also by people. The role of teachers and other staff becomes very critical here. The way they interact with the children and the values they promote through their behaviour creates an environment accordingly.

Good schools make an extra effort to create an environment that promotes all round development of children. Good schools pay special attention to wellness of children – mental, physical and emotional. Classrooms are designed in ways that promote development of all faculties in children. Spacious playgrounds with adequate sports facilities enable children engage in different sports and other physical activities. Libraries, laboratories, resource rooms, multipurpose rooms, auditorium, and medical room are some other facilities in a school. It is a well-established fact that the school infrastructure has a direct impact on learning and development of children.

Even though most school owners know the importance of good school infrastructure, they do not put much thought into it. And even when thought is put, the school buildings are often just made fancy to attract parents and not really meant to promote learning. There are certain schools like Millennium Schools in India that give importance to every aspect of school to foster learning. The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools are located in more than 40 cities across India and each of their campuses is worth visiting. Every campus is scientifically designed to promote learning. Millennium Schools are one of the best CBSE schools in India. To know more about their learning-enabled infrastructure, visit one of their campuses or their website.

Schools – Then and Now

SFormal schooling has been around in India since centuries now. However, there is a vast difference in the way the schools were run in 1950s to the way they are run now. Many aspects have changed over a period of time. Though, many schools still run in an old age traditional way, there are several other schools that have updated their methods with the changing times.

The way the classrooms looked back then and the way they look now is vastly different. The classrooms usually had a blackboard, table and chair for the teacher, desks and chairs for students. At the most some schools had the privilege of having bulletin boards in their classrooms. The classrooms of today look much different. There are many resources available in the classroom. The blackboard in many schools has been replaced by smart boards. The walls are no longer blank and bare. There are colourful paintings or charts on the walls that enhance learning experiences. In many schools, there are strings hanging from one wall to the other displaying students’ work. There are other teaching learning resources that hang from the ceiling as well in some classrooms. In a nutshell, the classrooms these days are more vibrant and colourful and add value to the learning experience of children.

Just like the classrooms, the school premises and infrastructure has also changed over the years. The new school infrastructure has more amenities and is tech-enabled. While many big schools have huge fancy buildings, good schools have thoughtfully designed their premises. A good school infrastructure is one which provides all amenities at ease and facilitates the process of learning. Merely having fancy buildings and huge spaces is not a sign of good school infrastructure.

Another major thing that has changed in schools over the years is the methods of teaching. In the earlier times, teaching was more lecture-based and mainly done through books and blackboard. It is popularly known as the chalk and talk method. While now teaching is done using different resources. This shift has happened in good and aware schools and is slowly happening in other schools that are realizing the importance of changing the traditional methods of teaching. Book is just one resource these days. Topics are taught through activities using different kinds of teaching learning materials. Technology is also increasingly being used in the teaching learning processes. The schools these days have shifted from one-way teaching to activity based and two-way teaching. The latter of course is more beneficial in engaging children and enhancing their learning ability as well.

The changes that have occurred in the schooling system over these years are based on scientific studies and evidence. It is important to know and understand how students learn and make learning meaningful and relevant for every child in school and not only for the so called ‘intelligent students’. While largely most schools realize this fact, not all schools actually follow these practices. Reputed and experienced schools such as Millennium Schools are an example of schools that base their curriculum and teaching methods on in-depth research. Their practices make them the best CBSE schools in India. The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools, both follow a global approach and focus on making learning more meaningful for every child. Millennium Schoolsare rightly rated amongst the top schools in India.

Beyond Academics

BThe usual thought process equates a school to academics. Well, academics is certainly a core part of any school but not the only part. A school is much beyond academics. A school is a place where children are given education. Education is also thought to be synonymous with only academics generally. However, education too is way beyond academics. Education is about holistic development of children. Holistic development means development of three main domains – intellectual, physical, and social and emotional. Education is complete only when these three are nurtured in school through different learning experiences.

The usual norm in most schools is to prepare children for examinations. But again, the purpose of education is not exam preparation rather life preparation. Rote learning of topics from the books and writing the same in examinations can earn a child good marks and high grades but she may not have developed apt skills for life. All topics taught in different subjects in school are not of much of value in life. Even those topics that are important for life will be useless if an individual is not able to apply her learning in real life. Mugging up topics is a futile exercise which can only get marks but application part will be missing and thus of no importance in real life. On the other hand, conceptual understanding of topics, application based learning and development of skills add value to a child’s life.

The main purpose of school education is to prepare a child for life. Skill-based education is what schools need to focus on. Though, many schools are trying to shift their focus from only academic achievement and examinations to overall development of children, we have a long way to go in India. Even boards of education, particularly CBSE board, suggest holistic education and have given guidelines to schools to follow. There are some schools that have set an example of giving holistic education in India. One of them is the Millennium Schools. Ranked as the top CBSE schools in India, they are located in more than 40 cities across our country.

The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools offer world-class curriculum that is very unique. The curriculum, based on research of more than ten years, promotes holistic development in the true sense. The curriculum has won several awards and accolades from different international and national educational organisations. Millennium Schools focus on discovering and nurturing innate potential of each child. These schools with a difference actually go an extra mile for developing different capacities of each child in their schools. These schools are rated as top schools in India for the quality of education and other facilities they offer.

Millennium Schools have a global approach in their curriculum. They understand that the world is changing at a fast pace and we need to keep up with it. Therefore, they offer education beyond academics that helps children become 21st century learners and future-ready. They have also integrated technology in education in a way that millennials are able to learn in a millennial way.

Characteristics of Successful Schools

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Every city, particularly bigger cities and metropolitans have numerous schools. Every school caters to a specific section of parents. While some schools attract the elite class, other schools find their customers in the middle class families. There low-budget schools as well that cater the demand of parents in the low-income group. However, irrespective of the size of the school, budget of the school, segment of parents that they cater to and so on, any school can be successful in its own right. Effectiveness and success are not just for bigger and fancier schools. Any and every school can become successful if they have certain specific characteristics. This article explores main characteristics of effective and successful schools.

Leadership & Vision

The first characteristic of a successful school is its leadership. Strong leadership steer organisations and institutions in the right direction. Schools with principals and school management as effective leaders are more successful than the others. The vision and goals of the school tend to be clearer and the path to achieve the goals is also paved collaboratively which contribute positively in the success of the school.

Aiming at Excellence

Several studies reveal that the schools that have high expectations from their teachers and students are more successful and effective than the others. High expectations do not mean unrealistic expectations that put in more pressure and act negatively on people. Here, high expectations mean offering challenging yet positive situations and environment to enable students and teachers to grow and nurture their abilities more. Schools that aim at achieving excellence in every aspect will certainly get translated into effective practices leading to success.

Reflection and Growth Mindset

In order to grow, an organisation has to reflect on different aspects and learn from experiences. Reflection is a powerful tool that provides feedback, both positive and negative, to the schools in various aspects. These become opportunities for the school to analyse their challenge areas and work on them. Continuous reflection process with a growth mindset will ensure success to schools.

Positive & Nourishing Environment

Every individual grows better in a positive environment. This is especially true for children. They perform and learn better in a safe, calm, secure, positive, and a nourishing environment. Schools that focus on creating a healthy and happy environment grow more and are more successful.

There are many characteristics other than the ones mentioned above that contribute towards effectiveness and success of schools. However, only a few schools are able to stand out with such qualities. One such chain of schools that have proven to be effective is the Millennium Schools. Rated as the topmost CBSE schools in India, The Millennium Schools and Millennium World Schools demonstrate these characteristics of effective and successful schools. Children at the Millennium Schools are happy and they get the opportunities to learn their way. Millennium Schools are global in their approach towards learning and their focus is on making children ready for future. With strong leadership abilities, the principals, school management and the Millennium management share a common vision and work towards it relentlessly. These characteristics and other aspects make Millennium Schoolsfeature in the list of best CBSE schools in India.