A High School perspective
Priyanka Trehan – Coordinator High School
Head Start Educational Academy
Our High School Programme encourages students to imbibe the philosophy of each discipline––be it Humanities, Commerce, or Science, we constantly come back to the seminal questions: what makes us human? What are the connections between commerce and development? What are scientific ethics? What is a multidisciplinary perspective? High school has an atmosphere of co-learning where the teachers and students are engaged in interactive discussion-based sessions. When one walks past our classrooms, one notices an air of rigour in learning, yet extreme ease in the process: students have a choice to wear uniform or clothes of their choice, seating arrangement is more informal and intimate, akin to a friendly dialogue between two disciplines. From presentations, role plays, and lectures, to discussions, activities, and experiments (both social and scientific), it is quite an animated and inspiring space.
Our pedagogical practices reflect this and we encourage our students to contextualise their academic learning to their everyday life in wider society. It is not a trite observation to see our students, batch after batch, write research papers, conduct social experiments, discuss new scientific breakthroughs, and critique national and international politics and refugee crises. These classroom discussions seamlessly take beautiful form in theatre, for instance. The students’ play, “Better than the Real,” was a commentary on the educational system. The spirit of tolerance and justice, built into the school philosophy and honed through multidisciplinary approach in high school, is reflected in the ease with which a student studying Accountancy is also studying Sociology or a student studying Chemistry chooses to study History; this ease also flows into the sports that our students continue to play every day, even in high school.
The one thing that our high school community takes pride in is the fact that we are not result obsessed. Resonating the school philosophy, the focus is on deep and embodied learning. As a result, our students bag stellar grades, and do exceedingly well in sports and theatre, including playing international tennis. Our students have got admissions into top Indian and international universities. HSEA is indeed a second home––come vacations, we have our alumnus visiting us and sharing their academic journeys with us and encouraging their juniors.
Our students have a sense of environment and community responsibility. For instance, high school students mentor the younger ones admitted under the Right to Education Act. When one observes their interactions with the younger students, one sees the making of lifelong friendships and bonds. You will often find high school students grooming and walking the school dogs, Jade and Ella.
We aim to nurture well rounded young adults, equipped to embrace life in all its forms. Both in our classrooms and outside, we constantly strive to help students gain multiple and independent perspectives through rigour, inclusivity, inquiry, and passion; from an academic topic, to theatre, sports, research projects, or community work within the school premises and outside, we encourage our students to be lifelong independent learners.