Just teaching core subjects is not enough. Core subject learning needs to be supported with a strong set of co-curricular activities. At Walnut, we have an intricately thought out co-curricular program, which integrates all of the things which “should” be taught in schools. Here are the subjects which we call the “Walnut Advantage”. These subjects get a weightage of 45%, whereas the core subjects get a weightage of 55%! This is only possible at Walnut School! Let’s look at what subjects we have under co-curricular activities.
Students need to be systematically taught how to put their thoughts into words. This is what we do in the Language Arts subject. Developing this skill has amazing benefits. Students can write longer answers in their own words when they know the points – whatever subject it is. They do not need to rote learn or go for tuitions for this reason! This greatly reduces the stress of learning, doing homework and studying for exams.
Another extremely innovative subject is our reading program. We start this program right from Nursery, where we start with a non-standard way of teaching the alphabet. This activity continues into higher classes as a reading theatre activity, where students read special books out aloud, bringing in intonations, and clarity in speech. Students who are with us right from Nursery have shown tremendous improvement in their reading skills!
Not being comfortable with Mathematics is a worldwide problem. So, at Walnut we consciously try to increase the students’ comfort level with this subject. We get students comfortable with reading a word problem and understanding what they have to do. Calculations come later. This is somewhat similar to computational thinking where we first ask students to break a problem down into smaller chunks and then piece together a solution.
Separate from the Science and Math theory classes, this subject starts right from Nursery! In this class, the students get to prove or disprove different theories they are learning about. They work with their hands and actually try things out. They learn that experiments can go wrong – you have to figure out what and try and get back on track. Oh, and did we mention that there are regular demonstrations of these activities on our Electric Saturdays? 🙂
We all know that it is important to teach our children to think fast, take calculated risks, not be rattled by a dynamic environment – but they are still kids! How do we do all this in a safe space?
Negotiations, failures, comebacks – we do all that and more in the Strategic Thinking subject!
Speaking / Debates
Our kids are growing up in a world where it is important to be able to impress. Whether you are working in an organization or as an entrepreneur, being able to sell your idea is a very important skill. This is a mixture of many skills and we are working on building those in the speaking and debates subject. Starting right from Nursery, Walnut students grow into impressive and super confident young adults with this activity. There are periodical demonstrations of this too!
Analyzing and interpreting data and transforming information from one form to another is a skill that nobody formally works on. It is perhaps the most important skill that is needed to handle large amounts of content that they come across as they grow older. As the information becomes more and more complex, it becomes even more important to have the power of transforming information from one form to another.
Walnut started teaching Computational Thinking long before it became an important part of the National Education Policy (NEP). Here, we teach students how to understand a problem statement, break it down and solve it. Programming, patterns, abstract thinking, algorithms are just some of the topics which they study in this subject. All Walnut students have an edge as they step out into a world where this knowledge is just as important as any other.
This is a subject in which the kids learn more about the world around them – about things that are not covered in their curriculum in any way but are still kind of in-their-face all the time. So they don’t do stuff like countries – capitals – flags – currencies type of general knowledge. They learn more relevant information like logos and advertisements, staircases, police, cars, roads, phones, money etc. Sounds interesting?