Christwood is a school that follows the ICSE curriculum. Located in Ponmar, Chennai, the school began in June 2016. “Christwood is committed to provide a warm inclusive environment in which all feel welcomed and valued.”
Mirra’s objective in supporting Christwood is to enable the school to practise effective inclusive education so that children with differences learn together. The support includes formulating a structured program for the children with needs in the school; providing ongoing staff training in the areas of team building, cooperative learning strategies and techniques and strategies to modify instruction; empower parents of children identified
with special needs by conducting workshops for them periodically to ensure that the program followed at school is carried forward at home to ensure that everybody works towards a common goal. Mirra also supports children from other organisations/Homes that the school extends support in its outreach programs by creating a structured program for learning.
Tatva School, founded by IIM alumni -R Vidyalakshmi and Balasubramanian S currently caters to children from play group to Grade 8. Tatva is a Waldorf inspired school and has chosen to be a certified Cambridge International school.
Mirra has been associated with Tatva Preschool since June 2013. In the first year, Mirra provided support through assessments and remedial sessions at Mirra. The relationship has gradually progressed to a complete partnership model.
The program for each child starts with the assessment which includes discussion with teachers and observing the child in the classroom. Post the assessment, Mirra provides a program to the teachers to promote effective learning of the child in the classroom. Parents are updated on the home program and subsequent follow up is done by the teachers to understand the effectiveness of the program and the challenges faced, if any along with any alterations required to the home program.
In addition, Mirra conducts workshop, as needed, for teachers on understanding the child needs and supporting the child effectively. Mirra has also supported in setting up play equipment and associated training to provide children with gross motor experiences and also meet the mild sensory needs of the children at school.
The key strength of Tatva is the open and child centric approach.
Chettinad Hari Shree Vidyalayam, Chennai and Chettinad Vidya Mandir, Karur
Chettinad Hari Shree Vidyalayam and Chettinad Vidya Mandir cater to children from KG to Class XII. The schools aim at educating individuals to become compassionate, responsible global citizens and contribute towards a sustainable environment.
Mirra has been associated with both the schools since December, 2015. Mirra has been instrumental in setting up resource rooms and systems that included formats for profiling of the children, IEP and recording formats.
Mirra has also been working on enhancing pedagogy. This involves working intensively with teachers, observing classes, providing feedback and conducting workshops. The workshops focus on promoting sensitivity, enhancing class organization skills and generating interactive wall space to promote and reinforce learning.
Parent counselling is also done for children who need additional support. Parent workshops have been conducted on understanding child development and supporting the child at home.
HLC International is a school that follows the Cambridge curriculum. It is run by Vidhyotsahi Educational and Charitable Trust. HLC International has grades from Pre-kg until Grade 12. HLC’s work is guided by a few key principles – Child-Centric Education, Diversity and Transparency.” What makes HLC an amazing environment to promote inclusion is that it “aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
Mirra supported HLC from July 2010 to April 2016. After a year of research on best practices in inclusion, Mirra facilitated the setting up of Elina – HLC’s Resource Centre for special education and inclusion. The main objective of setting up Elina was to make learning accessible to all children. From 2011 to 2014 Mirra worked from within the system and at various levels with the management, the teaching and non-teaching staff, parents and the children to help set up a learning environment for the children with needs.
For effective implementation of the program, there are ongoing parent-teacher meetings and teacher-therapist meetings. At the end of every year, the impact and effectiveness of inclusion, on students as well as staff, is reviewed and the feedback received is used to recommend modifications and plan training for the staff. Awareness is constantly built in the neurotypical children in the mainstream classes to ensure that inclusion is made a reality. Parents are involved in the inclusion process through an opportunity to volunteer in classrooms to facilitate children with needs.
WGS (White Field Global School) , Bangalore
Whitefield global school, a Chalasani Endeavour, runs from pre-primary to high school and follows CBSE pattern. Mirra has been associated with WGS from 2012 to 2015. The program started with the assessment of the children followed by one-on-one support to enhance learning. Support was given exclusively in Reading and Math. For other needs such as communication, OT and perceptual skills, they were referred to appropriate professionals.
During initial interactions with the school and children, it was identified that 60% of the children with speech, communication delays was due to gaps in promoting language development and readiness in 3Rs . Hence, the first year of association with WGS was devoted in formulating a curriculum for pre primary (Nursery, KG1 and KG2). The pre primary teachers were trained on learning and teaching processes in the classroom for effective teaching of language, early math and reading. Once the foundation skills were established, the challenges in early primary lessened.
APL (Academy for Personalized Learning) Global School follows the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) program. APL offers three streams of teaching-learning structures which cater to different kinds of personalized learning needs – Formal Stream, Flexible Stream and Easy Track.
Mirra worked with APL for three years from 2011 on all aspects of inclusion. It worked with the management on policies and resources needed to promote inclusion. It supported the Easy track and special education support needed for mainstream classes. It also worked with the teachers on reaching out effectively to the special needs in the classroom. Mirra was also involved in the development of curriculum, teacher training and providing remedial support for children in the Special Needs Group. Mirra extended its support to train physical educators in equipping children with readiness in sports, physical agility and enhancing attention.
Redwood and BVM group of schools
Mirra supported Redwood and BVM group of schools in 2013. Mirra supports these schools through on call school visits for assessments, providing strategies for supporting the assessed children in the classroom and also conducting workshops for teachers/parents on a need basis.
Vruksha Montessori caters to children in Toddlers, pre-primary and Primary age groups. Its pre-primary environment has been certified by Indian Montessori Centre. Vruksha has been registered with the Tamil Nadu Government up to fifth standard.
Mirra has started worked with Vruksha Montessori in July 2014. Mirra supported Vruksha by observing the children, interacting with the teachers, providing strategies for assisting the children in the classroom and by referring to any outside support, if needed. Mirra did a series of workshops for teachers during that year to empower them to understand the process involved in development and learning. This was expected to enable the teachers to handle subtle difficulties and seek assistance only for children with intense needs. In addition, it was to help the teachers ascertain through a CPL (current Performance Level), the strengths and the needs of a child.
Amelio Day Care Centre
Amelio provides customised daycare solutions to companies. Amelio is dedicated to providing high quality employer-sponsored early childhood education and day-care services. They develop day-care solutions for companies in India, so employees can be closer to their children, and watch them learn and grow.
Mirra worked with Amelio right from conception in formulating a curriculum for teaching/learning processes and implementing it. Lifestyle changes are leading to a lot of subtle difficulties in children, for example, in fine motor skills, motor planning, attention, speech and language, etc., which surface in pre-primary and early primary classes as difficulty in reading, writing, attention in a group and independent work skills. To address these issues, Mirra conducted parent/teacher workshop on child development. These sessions focussed on promoting holistic development in children and aimed at bringing in the right stimulation at home and at the centre.