There’s nothing more essential to life on Earth than water. Yet, people across the world are struggling to access the quantity and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing, handwashing, etc. Access to clean water changes everything; it’s a stepping-stone to development. Water connects every aspect of life. In order to understand the availability of freshwater, its shortage & its conservation, learners of grades 5 & 6 were introduced to the topic,‘Water: Around the World’.
In the launch stage, learners’ inquiry revolved around how water reaches our homes and our taps. Purification of water and the role of freshwater was also discussed. Different water resources were identified and the water channel from various resources to our taps and back to the source was explored. Various videos, articles and discussions led to better understanding. Learners were given time to identify and calculate the exact amount of water they used for certain basic day to day activities by conducting primary research. They then had to use a limited amount of water given to them for the same activities and present it in the form of a bar graph for their assessment. It made them realize the amount of water they recklessly wasted everyday.
During Deep Dive, water problems faced around the world and the factors that lead to water crises were discussed. Documentaries, TED talks and videos on water scarcity around the world were shown to the learners. Certain case studies were chosen from various countries around the world facing the water crisis. Learners were asked to present their understanding on the case study given to their group through presentations. Learners creatively wrote on a few hypothetical situations framed by educators for their assessment.
In coda, learners understood the necessity of water management and then explored different ways and methods to conserve water. Different methods such as: rain water harvesting, borewell recharge, redistribution of water, sewage treatment plant, grey water recycling, etc were explained to the learners. Group presentation on one method of conservation was to be given by the learners for their final assessment.
By the end of the exploration, learners understood the importance of freshwater availability and water crises around the world.
The term ‘food’ refers to what we eat and what nourishes our body. Some of our knowledge of what early man ate comes from archaeological studies of cave drawings of food and preparation activities. Primitive men collected their food from wild animals and plants. To understand the evolution of food over the years and to explore origins, development, diversity of food around the world; the topic of ‘Food: Culture, Traditions & History’ was introduced to our 3rd & 4th graders.
In the launch stage, learners defined the word food & what it meant to them personally. They learnt the origin and evolution of food from the prehistoric times till date. Learners explored the development of agricultural skills/ farming over the last few centuries resulting in change of diet patterns over the years. They understood how today in our diet, traditional foods are being replaced by fast foods with advancement in technology. Learners conducted primary research on the food preferences among different generations of their family and presented the data in the form of a bar graph for their assessment.
For deep dive, learners inspected various foods and flavours from different regions of India. They could truly taste ‘Unity in Diversity’. They were acquainted with the origin/history of various Indian cuisines. They understood why certain food dishes belonged to a certain region on the basis of their climatic conditions. Learners were shown a few documentaries, blogs, podcasts on food to get a detailed understanding. Each learner had to create a vlog on any Indian regional dish of their choice for assessments.
Finally, in coda stage, learners learnt how food connects the world around them. Learners explored the origin of various food dishes around the world. They also found out how global influence is expanding its reach on Indian food dishes. They watched an advertisement named, ‘Bhujia Ghum Aai Duniya’ for a better understanding of the influence of the global/western culture on Indian food. Learners were asked to prepare a food journal for their final assessment. It was a great experience for both the learners and the educators
The Northstar School is one of the few schools in the country providing truly international experiences. We believe that our learners should be global citizens and should have the skills and knowledge to understand different cultures. Our Global Language Experience Program is aimed to provide experience of different cultures through languages. We provide opportunities and platforms for our learners to interact with people around the world making them globally competent. A multicultural learning environment from a young age benefits children later on in life. Our kids have learnt with educators from the USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Armenia, and many others. Such experiences foster international understanding.
Conflicts and Resolutions are a part of our day to day life. Every conflict has a solution. Conflict in general terms can be referred to as disagreement between two or more individuals arising whenever individuals have different values, opinions, needs, interests and are unable to find a solution. The topic of 'Conflicts and Resolutions' was introduced to the learners with an aim to foster awareness.
In the launch stage learners defined & discussed conflicts and resolution according to their perception. They were accustomed to different types of conflicts. Conflicts were categorized and assessed on the basis of three levels: Personal, Local & Global. For the assessment, learners were given with a situation on personal level and case studies were given for local and global level. Provocative questions were asked to the learners based on the topics provided to them.
Deep Dive was conducted for the learners to understand the five attributes of resolution which are: Negotiation, Arbitration, Peace making, Diplomacy and Mediation. They watched two movies: ‘Bridge of Spies’ and ‘Raazi’ to identify the five attributes discussed earlier. Different conflicting situations were given to the learners for which they had to make scripts finding resolutions.
By the end of the topic, learners were also able to identify the consequences of resolution. Facts and reality of World War 1 & 2 were very well discussed and explained to the learners by our guest speaker Dhrupad Bhatt, team leader at The Northstar School. An expert session for creating comic strips was taken by Meeta Ma’am, high school educator at The Northstar School. Learners presented situations covering up the conflicts, resolutions and the consequences of the resolutions in the form of comic strips for their assessment.
Farewells always leave you teary eyed, for not only do they remind you of the inevitable parting but are also a constant reminder of the wonderful time spent together. With a plethora of emotions brimming in the hearts of the Northstar family, we recently organised a farewell party to bid ‘adieu’ to our pioneering batch of learners, carrying the Northstar spirit to the universities around the world. It was a proud moment as our beaming young adults are ready to step out in the world, even as we were troubled by the pain of the parting. Joyous faces hide the sadness that fills the hearts of both those leaving and those sending off. As each one cheerfully walked down the corridors, welcomed by the Principal Ma’am, the audience stood up applauding. Their journey and the messages given by educators at The Northstar School were presented by learners of grade 11 in the form of a beautiful video. The venue added charm to the whole event. Under the open sky, the beautiful vines falling over the courtyard added to the ambience. Graduates then tied knots of thread with a bell in the harbinger of hope and wrote their hearts out in the postcards, leaving behind their memories. With interesting games, valedictory speeches, video of their journey at The Northstar School, and colourful presentations, Farewell 2021 evoked a strong sense of solidarity among The Northstar School family.
History is much more than dates and events. Our past is the foundation of our present & our future. Learners of grade 3 & 4 explored the topic “Past: The foundation of Present.”
In the launch stage, learners were introduced to the term ‘Past’. They also learnt the significance of our history. They discussed and understood the difference between the terms ‘recent past’ and ‘far past’. Furthermore, they explored various sources such as movies, books, artifacts, photographs, articles, paintings from which they could derive information about our history/past. Learners showed their understanding for the topic by preparing beautiful timeline booklets on various topics.
For the Deep Dive stage, learners explored the topic in detail. They explored how our past/history influences our present and can influence our actions and existence in the future. Learners presented a report sharing their opinion on how historical events and personalities influence our present and can influence our future.
They concluded the topic by discussing how humans have evolved with time in their behavioral practices considering some common practices such as family structure, food habits, travel, communication, etc. Learners then made a comparison matrix selecting a few practices of their choice considering how the practices were undertaken earlier and what changes have been made. All in all, learners learnt how people and societies behaved in the past and how practices evolved with time.
At Northstar, we recognize that learning happens everywhere and from everyone, not just during “school time”. We are happy to have an engaging, dynamic and cooperative parent community. It is very important for parents and educators to be on the same page for a child's holistic development. It matters to us how we involve our parent community meaningfully to provide learners with an authentic learning environment. Regular interaction between educators and parents about learners’ learning experiences allows parents to get a closer view of their child’s growth in all the domains. At Northstar, education is not about acing a test, but about personal growth through a deep understanding, and the language we use reflects that. Parents gain a more qualitative understanding, when their children’s learning and progress becomes visible in comparison to a grade or mark system. In fact, not just parents, we believe that the whole family offers immense love and guidance, impart wisdom, and contributes to a child’s wellbeing. We not only host parental workshops frequently on different topics but also strive to create various opportunities like Celebrations of Learning, Annual Events, Parent-Educator Meetings etc for the whole family to become a part of their child’s learning journey.
As a part of the poetry week at The Northstar, the learners explored different and exciting ways of celebrating the richness of poetry.
Northstar Explorations Program learners indulged in several activities including, reading and understanding soulful and powerful poetry by famous poets from different eras such as Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Sarojini Naidu, Robert Woods, etc. In addition, they also explored works of Gujarati and Hindi poets namely Narmad, Makrand Dave, Zaverchand Meghani, etc. Different genres from Sufi to Bhakti poetry were also touched upon by reading the works of Amir Khusro and Kabir. Besides, they even learnt the basic elements of poetry, or deconstructed its meaning through the elements learnt. They were even familiarized with the idea of inclusion of poetry in cinema and commercials to add to the richness of it. Finally, they learnt to compose different types of poems from ghazals, couplets, acrostic, to found and black out poems.
Learners of Northstar Early Years Program celebrated poetry week by expressing their thoughts & feelings in the form of poems, action songs and rhymes in different languages. It was a whole week of listening, speaking, singing, dancing, inculcating the art of recitation, learning and expressing their hearts out. Learners performed various activities like illustrating, dressing up as a character, discussing and analyzing based on pictures and attempting tongue twisters.
Exploring and understanding of all these activities was a gateway to immerse into the richness of poetry, leaving us all enchanted and happy.
Learners and educators breathed, lived and enjoyed poetic freedom in the Poetry Week at The Northstar School!