❖ Pre-Primary (Ages 2.5 years to 6 years)
The Pre-Primary consists of four large rooms, each of which is stocked with a full set of Montessori materials. The rooms open out into a common space where the children come together for snack time and other activities. The curving ramp above these Montessori environments offers windows through which adults can observe the children without disturbing the classroom.
The heart of the Montessori method is the motto "Help me do it by myself." Children ages 2.5 years to 6 years are guided through developmentally appropriate activities, depending on their interests and abilities. Without pushing the children at all, we find that by the end of Senior Montessori, the children have learned to read, write in running hand, speak English well, and can write Tamil and Hindi words. In addition, they have a strong grasp of geometry, colours, and numbers, thanks to the Montessori materials which engage all the five senses. This strong foundation, laid with patience and kindness, leads to academic success in later years. Little Montessorians also enjoy farming, dance, PT, story time, art, music and other activities.
❖ Grades I to VI
Grades I through III mark the introduction of formal learning. Concepts in all subjects are covered through Montessori materials and as per the ICSE curriculum. Two teachers handle all the main academic subjects so that the children spend less time settling in and more time actively engaging with the topic at hand. There are 4 Mixed-Age-Group classrooms with children from Grades 1, 2 and 3 in each classroom.
Grades IV and V work together in one separate classroom.
Samskaara's integrated learning style means that the same topic is covered from various angles. For example, if students are studying aquatic animals, they will read about them, write about them, discuss their sizes and shapes, and study where they live and what they eat. They may never realize that they have covered the necessary topics in English, math, science, and social studies that were planned for the year! Samskaara teachers plan the curriculum as a team, working backwards from what they know the students should cover by 10th standard.
From Grade III onwards, students start to experience examinations and more formal study, including text books and Saturday classes.
However, at Samskaara, we find no need for the stress and fear that these normally involve. All exams are surprise tests; the child's true knowledge is tested, rather than the knowledge "mugged up" from the night before.
Moreover, the students are given an opportunity to evaluate themselves as the teachers go over the answers. Finally, the teachers go over the tests and mark corrections with explanations. No fear, no shame, no stress. The children say they are not afraid to make mistakes. This is where true learning takes place.
❖ Grades VI-X
As children get closer to the board examinations, they also develop the maturity to take responsibility for their work. Teachers spend more time with assignments and tests, carefully explaining each error until the student understands. Instead of the sharp red "X" on a wrong answer, you will find a sentence or more written in blue ink or in pencil. Instead of disheartening a child who has put a lot of work into an assignment, the teacher is there to encourage and support him or her.
❖ Samskaara ERP
Through Samskaara's ERP, parents can receive up-to-date information on the child's academic progress. Teachers routinely post notices about the next month's topics so that parents can stay on top of the unit and help their child as necessary.
❖ Extra Help
At times, some children may need extra help in some area. This is why Samskaara's class size is kept at 20 or fewer children. When class time is not enough for a child to understand the concepts covered, the teacher may spend one-on-one time with the child while the other children are at their extracurricular activities. If more time is necessary, children may stay after school hours for a short time. In no way are children punished for not understanding or for not "performing" as we expect. However, we give all the support we possibly can to help the child achieve his or her potential.