The Annual Report 2012 – 2013 was presented by Mrs. J. Jaibala, Principal of The Schram Academy, at the Annual School Day celebrations held on April 26, 2013.
Creativity is the bedrock of our civilization beginning with the concept of the wheel, through to the steamboat, the airplane, nuclear power and space travel. All the milestones of great inventions, discoveries, literature, drama and all forms of artistic expression have depended on creative thinking of the highest order.
We at The Schram Academy believe that the progress of civilization and humanity's present evolutionary stature are essentially due to creative thinking and innovation.
“Excellence in Education” being the motto of The Schram Academy, the school aims to impart quality education that incorporates thinking and learning skills of the highest degree to build a work force of future citizens who can create a model world where humans know to respect and value the creations of the Almighty, where people can treat one another with respect and where problems could be tackled creatively.
It is with profound pleasure and a sense of utmost pride that we present our Annual Report for the academic year 2012-2013.
This academic year has been just as unique and rewarding as the many wonderfully productive years that have gone by and we attribute this success to the commitment and dedication of the entire family of The Schram Academy that believes in the adage 'Efforts are rewarded and Perseverance pays.'
This academic year needs special mention as it was indeed some good planning and implementing of a high-quality instructional programme that aimed at innovation as its chief aspiration. The year 2012-13 was initiated with a clear philosophy for TSA with a set of overarching goals that aim to transform it into one of the 21st century schools also termed as Professional Development Schools.
TSA has paved the way to reach the pinnacle in academics and extracurricular activities through its core values. These values are outlined in the basic curricular framework: What to do, how to do it, when to do it and how to know if it has been achieved. Our school emphasizes on learning and promoting children as autonomous learners.
Kindergarten and Lower Primary Levels
The curriculum framework at the Kindergarten and Lower primary levels is child-centered and comprehensive, adopting a play-based strategy.
The Kindergarten curriculum includes individual and group work in addition to those activities we think of as traditionally educational. Creativity is an integral part of each day at these levels; it is part of circle time related to storytelling, colouring, picture reading, public speaking etc.
Developmentally appropriate classrooms at TSA encourage the growth of children's self-esteem, their cultural identities, their independence and their individual strengths. These children develop control of their own behavior through the guidance and support of warm, caring teachers. At this stage, children possess an innate curiosity and are already eager to learn. Our teachers with a strong background in early childhood education and child development provide what the children need to grow physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Upper Primary and Middle School Levels
The curriculum at the Upper Primary and Middle School levels considers all types of learning styles. Children of these classes are exposed to materials and activities that encourage their creative exploration, divergent thinking and curiosity.
An integrated, holistic curriculum is designed around a thematic unit of study that contains a coordinated series of learning activities involving all of the content areas – Reading, Math, Art, Social Studies, etc. The integrated curricular framework enables the students at these levels to experience learning as a whole and also permits some flexibility to differentiate instruction which maximizes the standard of work of each individual.
Children are also offered an extensive array of co-curricular activities like dance, music, swimming, roller-skating, taekwon-do and field trips that provide a stimulating, productive and cooperative learning environment. This strategic interdisciplinary approach helps foster the progress of every child. Computer-aided learning gives added exposure to students in modern technology.
Secondary & Senior Secondary Levels
At the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels, we offer a variety of subjects with well-equipped laboratories catering to the need of these students for a hands-on experience. The curriculum is based on the NCERT syllabus and the framework aims at providing a creative system to prepare children for the challenges of the real world. The principal focus at these levels is on academics, communication and life skills. Children also gain some insight into competitive exams and career counselling.
TSA has gained popularity, holding high its reputation for incorporating an exclusive curriculum framework at all levels of learning. The learning areas form the components of the curriculum framework at TSA which is designed for construction of knowledge, development of skills and for inculcating values and attitudes.
The building blocks of every school are the efficient and dedicated teachers who work tirelessly for the cause of good education. We appreciate the sincere efforts of the faculty members of TSA which have been instrumental in bringing about the innovative changes in the assessment patterns and teaching techniques. They are a source of inspiration to children at all levels allowing them to work at their own pace and encouraging them to be self-directed.
The dedication with which they plan their lessons and design the formative and the summative assessment patterns helps the teachers observe the process that leads to the originality and creativity of every child.
The Morning Assembly provides a good opportunity to get together at the start of the day. Symbolic of unity, it also cultivates in students a sense of belonging to the school, trains them to behave well and learn to respect and appreciate what others have achieved for themselves and for the school. The students realize the importance of a spiritual bondage with the divine Creator. This strengthens their faith and trust in the Almighty.
School Assemblies end with a rendition of the National Anthem. This spirit of patriotism is developed in them at a very young age and is bound to remain an integral part of their life. The Assembly offers an interactive platform to showcase some important messages through short skits, news headlines, interesting facts, and a thought for the day using audio-visual aids.
Schooling is an important phase of life where children discover their identity. TSA offers a wide range of individual stimuli that help define interests and allow bonding experiences for students to achieve their future goals. They obtain increased interpersonal skills which help them build healthy self-esteem. Lasting and lifelong friendships made as a result of clubs and school activities allow them to be transformed into vibrant young adults.
The Schram Academy takes every effort to identify and develop the inborn talents and skills of all the pupils. The school uses well-designed and structured methods to help children exhibit their skills and talents. An hour every week is allotted to facilitate the functioning of children's clubs.
The clubs are categorized as Reading, Theatre, Science & Mathematics, Social Studies, IT, Dance, Art, Singing, Orchestra and Taekwon-do. Some of the clubs conduct practice sessions for the various performances at important events like Independence Day, Republic Day, Teachers' Day, Children's Day, Founder's Day and the various religious festival celebrations.
Highlights of the Club Activities
The Theatre Club needs a special note of appreciation for the various dramatic presentations during the academic year. “Slappy Hooper” was one of the plays that was staged by our young theatre artistes. The script was written and edited by the playwrights of Classes VII & VIII and the art directors played an exceptional role in creating the settings and backdrops for the play with their own hands.
The Reading Club on Tuesdays has encouraged the brilliant young readers at TSA. One of the students of Class I, Maduravoyal Campus read the Bible and delivered the message of the Birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas Celebrations.
The Dance Club of Maduravoyal Annexe performed a vibrant dance number during the Christmas Celebration that was choreographed by the children with the help of the teachers who trained them during the club activity hours.
The singers and musicians of TSA contribute much to the spirit of celebration at all the school functions.
The Nature Club had some very special occasions. The children made their own attractive paper bags and sold them at the Fancy Fete in support of the slogan, 'SAY NO to PLASTIC'. The children also planted saplings in the school garden marking the importance of 'WORLD SCIENCE DAY'.
Moments to Cherish
The students of TSA have a wonderful opportunity to showcase all their learning through the REVIEW DAY that is held every year for parents to witness. Children of classes K-IX from all the four campuses put up an engrossing stage show presenting a variety of talents with maximum participation.
This year the event was made more exciting and eventful as the school combined the celebration with the Annual Socially Relevant Project in the form of a Fancy Fete. Students of Classes VI – XI put up a variety of stalls of Art and Craft prepared by themselves and thus contributed whole-heartedly to make the day a grand success. The proceeds of this year's Socially Relevant Project, an amount of Rs. 2,00,000 was given to the Tambaram Branch of SOS Children's Villages of India.
Four students of Class IV, Ishika Goel, Riya Nair, Nidhi Pradeep and T.R. Monisha participated in the Musical Concert titled, 'Memories are Made of This' in aid of charitable projects of 'Poor Children's Educational Relief Society' that was held on 15 September 2012 and performed the Hawaiian Dance. Their efforts to help the underprivileged children were appreciated in the write up in 'Chennai Plus' with their photographs.
Some Joyously Celebrated Days
In India every region and every religion has something to celebrate. The festivals of a region reflect the vigour and life-style of its people. Vibrant colours, music and festivity make the country come alive throughout the year. TSA takes pride in celebrating all the three kinds of festivals - national, regional and seasonal.
Independence Day was celebrated with the flag hoisting ceremony and a cultural programme was organized by the students of the various clubs. The special feature was the flag hoisting by Mrs. Nandhini Krishnaswami, daughter of freedom fighter, N. Ramakrishnan. The children were attentive to the tales of her days during the struggle for independence when she was five years of age.
Teachers' Day was celebrated on September 5 to mark the contribution made by the teaching fraternity to society. This year, like every other year, students presented a variety of programmes such as dance recitals, speeches and poems to honour their beloved teachers.
TSA also celebrated Onam, Kerala's harvest festival that characterizes the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali, with a traditional Kerala dance performed by some of the teachers.
November 14, Children's Day was celebrated by honouring students who participated in various competitions like art, creative writing, logical thinking etc. that were conducted during that week. Teachers enthusiastically performed a traditional dance to entertain the children. A book for every child' -- was the chant that specially marked Children's Day. TSA took pride in distributing a book and merit certificate to all the students who took part in the various competitions.
Diwali is celebrated every year to welcome the light of knowledge into every child's life and this year the festival of lights was celebrated with great enthusiasm with beautiful coloured diyas and decorations that were made by the students of the Art club.
This year again, Christmas was celebrated with great zeal. The children were most happy to be led through the celebration by the melodious singing of carols by the school choir and the Nativity scene depicting the birth of Christ. Tiny Santas sent their flying wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Founder's Day and Pongal, the harvest festival was celebrated on 12 January. Beautiful rangolis adorned the entrance and children were glad to receive cake and pongal on this occasion.
Republic Day was celebrated with patriotic fervour. The flag hoisting, parade and cultural programmes were the highlights of the day. The function was presided over by Wing Commander A. Ramanababu, Government Helicopter pilot who addressed the young students and enlightened them about the bright career path in Aviation Engineering and also about the service of future citizens in the Air Force.
Educational Tours & Field Trips
Field trips provide students an opportunity to relate classroom learning to real world experiences, helping them to build vocabulary and conceptual understanding and stimulate further interest in learning.
On the basis of their classes, children were taken to various places like the Archaeological Museum at Egmore, Birla Planetarium, Anna Centenary Library, Concept Bakers, a fire station, a post office, parks and super markets etc.
A five-day international tour was organized for Classes VII and above to different places of importance in Singapore and Malaysia. They were accompanied by our Principal, Mrs. Jaibala, Mrs. Christy Punitha and Mr. Sathish who organized the trip meticulously.
Students of Classes XI & XII also enjoyed a break from their serious study sessions. They enjoyed the journey to Pondicherry and had a lot of information to share about the culture, cuisine and cleanliness of the Union Territory through this one-day trip.
The Tenth Annual Sports Day
The Tenth Annual Sports Day was held on 18 August, 2012 at The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Mr. K.Shankar, IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police, West Zone, Greater Chennai Police, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He took the salute at the March Past, hoisted the School Flag and declared the Sports Meet open. He also addressed the gathering and distributed the prizes. Rack and field events were conducted for Classes I-XII under different categories such as Sub-Junior, Junior, Senior and Super Senior. The Rembrandt House won the rolling trophy for the March Past while the Ramanujan House won the overall championship shield.
The Annual Sports Day for the Kindergarten was held on the same day in the afternoon. Mrs. R. Meenakshi, Principal, Vael's Billabong International School, presided over the function and shared her valuable views with the children, parents and the teachers. She also distributed the prizes to the winners of the various events.
Spectacular cultural programmes were presented by the students at each meet.
TSA Interschool Table Tennis Tournament
The Schram Academy conducted the fourth Interschool Table Tennis Tournament at the Maduravoyal Campus on 17 November 2012. 120 students from 20 schools participated in the tournament. Mr. M. Dharani Balan, Former National Table Tennis player and Manager (Retd.), Indian Overseas Bank was the Chief Guest and distributed the medals and trophies to the winners.
TSA Interschool Swimming Meet
The fourth Interschool Swimming Meet was conducted by TSA on 7 December, 2012 at SDAT Dolphin Swimming Academy. Dr. Sadayavel Kailasam, Vice President of Tamil Nadu Aquatic Association was the Chief Guest. 275 students from fifty schools in Chennai participated in this event.
START The Schram Teachers’ Academy for Research and Training
START is a faculty development programme that aims at empowering teachers to attain the pinnacle of teaching using best practices from the latest educational findings.
The focus of the START programme for the year 2012-13 was on Academic Innovations. Experienced external resource persons enlightened the teachers of our school on the following topics: Principles for redesigning of schools, Innovative ideas for teaching techniques, Experimental activities and project-based learning in keeping with CCE, and Handling hyperactive children and slow learners.
Dr. Vimala Punithakumar, our Educational Advisor along with two eminent experts in the field of Teacher Education, Dr. Radha Mohan and Dr. Andal Raghavan, and experienced teachers of TSA Mrs. Navaneetham, Mr. Charles, Mrs. Gowri Shankari, Mrs. Padmini, Mrs. Padmavathy and Mrs. Susan were the resource persons who conducted many orientation sessions to finetune the teaching and learning processes at TSA.
Visiting Foreign Faculty
Drs Willem Bustraan, Senior Lecturer at the University of Professional Education, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has played an integral role in the professional growth of the faculty of TSA. His consistent efforts during his visits for the past seven years have enabled this paradigm shift in the academic streams of TSA. In the near future, his chief focus will enable TSA become 'A Professional Development School of the 21st century.'
Drs Johan Elgersma, Senior Project Manager, ING, The Netherlands, our advisor and guide to the faculty of the administrative sector, has also contributed his services to frame the Educational Innovation System of TSA.
The Third International Seminar on
‘Planning, Administration and Management of Educational Institutions'
This interactive international seminar, the third of its kind, was organized by TSA on 9 & 10 November 2012 at the school auditorium. Academicians from a number of schools and colleges benefitted from the thoroughly well-researched lecture sessions.
Dr. Joke Voogts, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Dr. Adam Handelzalts, Asst. Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Mr. B.S Ponmudiraj, Asst. Chief, National Assessment And Accreditation Council, India
Dr. Harini Rawal, Manager Programmes, Centre for Learning Resources, Pune
Dr. Srinath and Dr. Anantha Padmanabhan, Directors, e-learning and content development, Sabari IT Solutions, India
Dr. Mrs. Valli Alagappan, Managing Trustee of MR Umayal Aachi Educational Trust
Highlights of the first day
The Inaugural function of the International Seminar was presided over by the revered Tamil Scholar and Orator par-excellence, Padmashree Dr. Avvai Natarajan. Drs Willem Bustraan analysed the methodology that would help improve managing of professionals, their learning and growth-curve more effectively.
Dr. Joke Voogts presented her ideas on the potential of Educational Design and Research in Sustaining Innovation. Dr. Harini Rawal elaborated on her experiences of working with 'Pratham', an NGO in Ahmedabad and her innovative approach to solve problems faced in designing training modules for para educators. Drs Johan Elgersma defined the finer aspects of Financial Management in Educational Institutions.
Highlights of the Second day
Mr. B.S Ponmudiraj provided useful insights on the theme 'Quality Planning in Educational Administration', especially with respect to institutions of higher education. Dr. Mrs. Valli Alagappan gave a thematic presentation on the dynamic role of trustees in educational institutions. Dr. Adam Handelzalts presented his views on 'Managing Curriculum Innovation Processes'. Ms. Sripriya Kalyanasundaram highlighted the need to equip oneself for future employability.
The guest of honour for the closing ceremony, Shri. Sudarshan Rao, Regional Officer, CBSE gave away the certificates to the participants. In his speech he emphasized that, in spite of the technological inputs that we now seem to focus more on, the basic role of the teacher has not been altered.
A New Venture of START PG Diploma / Diploma in Nursery & Primary Teacher Education
The Schram Teachers' Academy for Research and Training (START) that aims to empower teachers with in-house faculty development programmes felt the need to extend these programmes to prospective teachers and teachers of other schools. The importance given to early childhood education globally and the unique features of the Kindergarten and Primary curricular and cocurricular framework of our school gave the confidence to introduce the PG Diploma / Diploma Programmes in Nursery & Primary Teacher Education.
The launching of the PG Diploma / Diploma Programmes in Nursery and Primary Teacher Education on 30 July 2012 at our Park Road Campus gave a new beginning to prospective teachers.
Mrs. Ignatius, Trustee & Treasurer of The Schram Academy cut the tricolor ribbon that depicted the school colours and symbolized the prime focus of the school to provide the teachers of today with the skills that laid the basic foundation for the holistic development of young learners.
This venture of TSA provided the gateway for eight teacher trainees to be benefited from the PG Diploma Programme that aimed at fostering young teachers to acquire knowledge about Planning and Management of Nursery and Primary Schools, different Methods of Teaching, Child Care and Welfare. The programme aimed to educate the trainees on the Philosophies of Early Childhood Education and also expose them to the curricula of Primary Schools in other countries. The very special package included the modules on English Language Teaching and Teaching aimed at Special Children. Intensive training was also given in ICT-enabled teaching.The curricular framework of the programme was carefully designed and taught by eminent and experienced faculty in the field of Teacher Education.
Mrs. Sheila Prasad, Academic Administrator In-charge of this programme rendered support to the trainees by conducting Creative Art classes and projects related to Socially Useful Productive Work that form an integral part of Nursery and Primary teaching methods and serve as resource materials. The trainees participated in the programmes of the school and planned and organized various activities for the children at different grade levels. Besides getting trained in designing the curriculum framework and planning of lessons using different methodologies, they had some hands-on experience in conducting cocurricular and extracurricular activities for young children. Research and Extension Work were special features of this innovative programme on Teacher Education.
This premier programme, the first of its kind, enabled eight graduates to complete the course successfully and they feel that this training has transformed them into confident individuals who can impart life skills to young kids.
Exploring Innovation in Education Workshops
Teacher workshops are short training sessions that enable teachers to enhance their awareness of new strategies of teaching techniques to increase the overall achievement of the children. The teaching faculty is thus empowered to create a new learning environment to address the challenges faced in the classroom and make it conducive to achieve optimal performance.
Miracle Maker, a one-day teacher training programme sponsored by Chennai Institute of Technology was attended by Mrs. Gowri Shankari and Mrs. Poornima on 24 August 2012
Pearson Longman conducted a workshop, 'Active Teach', a learning resource empowering young minds. Mrs. Jaibala, Mrs. Navaneetham, Mr. Charles and Mr. Pradeeb attended the workshop on 12 October, 2012
EZ Vidya organised a conference on 'Creating 21s t Century Learning Environments', on 13 October 2012 which was attended by Mrs. Meenakshi and Mrs. Mini.
Head Table R conducted a student leadership forum 2012 on 'Ethical Practice and Transparency', on 3 November 2012. Mohammed Harith, the School Pupil Leader attended the meeting accompanied by Mrs. Jayshree, Vice Principal In-charge.
Madhubun Publications organised a workshop to promote the learning of Hindi language in schools. This workshop was attended by Mrs. Nithya and Mrs. Rajni on 21 November, 2012
Mrs. Muthulakshmi and Mrs. Sulabh participated in the workshop held by SANKALP on the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation pattern of CBSE, on 28 November, 2012
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, in collaboration with the CBSE conducted a two-day workshop on 'Applicability of New Accounting Standards for Schools’, on 5 and 6 December, 2012, that was attended by our Principal, Mrs. Jaibala and Mr. Pradeeb of the Accounts Department.
Career Counselling for Students
American author Napoleon Hill has wisely remarked, “No man can succeed in a line of endeavour which he does not like” and it's indeed very true.
Our children have the potential to flourish if they are provided opportunities related to their aptitude and real interest. Some prefer to pursue their higher education abroad. TSA organised a few career counselling sessions to guide the students of Class XII
Mr. Daniel Berdichvsky, Founder and Director of The World Scholar's Cup organised a workshop on Career Guidance for students of Class X on 11 October, 2012
Mr. George Thomas, Bachelor of Business, Senior Lecturer, Scott's College, Victoria, Australia, gave a presentation highlighting the opportunities for pursuing studies in Australia that was attended by the students of Classes XI and XII
'Pursuing higher education in Scotland' was the topic of the workshop organised by Canam Consultants Ltd in January, 2013 and Mr. Thomas Marr, Senior International Officer made the presentation.
Parent-Teacher Get-togethers are recognized as a key measure of parental involvement to increase the academic success and character development of their wards. They help teachers to communicate to parents about the performance of their children and to discuss methods for further improvement. The parents view the Achievement Records of their wards at the end of each semester. Teachers recommend remedial measures based on the individual needs of the students. Valuable suggestions by the parents are appreciated.
Education is often justified as an investment in national competitiveness and prosperity, producing a workforce that is highly skilled, creative and adaptable to compete in the global scenario.
Schools of the yesteryears delivered knowledge inside a teacher-oriented classroom where teachers were often left alone with significant prescription on what to teach and all the students were taught in the same way.
Today at TSA, we envisage the needs of the 21st century skills: collaborative leadership, critical thinking, life skills that promote a prospective career, and personal and social responsibility that lead to good citizenship.
The Schram Academy believes that the teacher's professional growth is directly proportional to student achievement. We aim to build a committed team that focuses on educational innovation management. By this we mean that the system of TSA will foster young teachers to set ambitious goals for students by providing them with the tools to establish what content and instruction they need to provide to their individual students. Teachers are also to be trained to embrace diversity with differentiated pedagogical practices.
TSA aims to bridge the gap between the education systems of today and the need of working professionals of tomorrow's 21st century world by empowering the teaching fraternity through innovative teacher education programmes.
We visualize an education system that enables individuals to become lifelong learners who can manage complex ways of thinking and complex ways of working through strategic use of resources which ensures the success of every student who enters the portals of this institution.
Excellence in Education is our motto and aspiration. We solicit your prayers and valuable support in our ambitious journey towards a prosperous future.