orchid international school humbled to enter the league of top ten residential schools of india
On learning that Orchid International School has been ranked ninth most respected residential school in the country by the C-FORE Education World Survey, September 2011; its Principal remarked that he feels humbled to be in the group of the ten most respected residential schools of the country which is led by the Rishi Valley School and The Doon School. The survey also ranks the school as the third best in western region and the best in Maharashtra state. He also expressed happiness that the simple and earnest endeavour of providing extremely rich and interesting learning spaces to the children has been thus recognised at a national level although the school prefers to keep a low profile.
In the pre-technology days, we explored and learnt about the capacities intrinsic in us. A deeply interactive relationship with the surroundings makes us interdependently alive with the environment.
Both the founding Principal and the present Principal are faculty members from these two venerable and adorable institutions and the essentials of Orchid International School are influenced significantly by these two institutions.
The school has been rated within the first five schools in four of the fourteen parameters of Excellence, viz. Academic Reputation, Disabled Friendliness, Sports Education and Value for Money. In six other parameters, viz. Competence of Faculty, Individual Attention to Students, Teacher Welfare and Development, Parental Involvement, Discipline and Life Skills Education, Leadership and Management Quality, it has been ranked within the first ten schools.
The school believes that every individual is an integral part of the cosmos and that she is truly unique. It is the responsibility of an educational institution is to help every child bring out his or her own unique talent. The timeless Indian values and modern scientific thinking are brought together through carefully and innovatively designed educational approaches. The school would like the children to be sensible, sincere and sensitive human beings who live beautifully in the complex and fast paced world. The Pre-Primary section offers child-centred, activity-based all round education. It provides the scope and depth of learning through play and creative expressions. The school timetable provides mandatory exposure to all children of the nursery and primary school to the basic multiple intelligences like music, dance, arts, crafts and a host of co-curricular activities.
The school assigns the critical function of house parenting to teachers who relate affectionately to the children. The house parents provide the required emotional and psychological ambiance for the child to feel at home. The boarders are exposed to interesting and enriching exposure in the weekends, including special art, craft, star gazing, carpentry, craft and technology club and many other exposures. The house parents play an active and parental role in understanding and providing the right ambiance to the boarders so that each child has space for himself. ‘Home-sickness’ is a word that is heard or thought of only for a short while even when the students have just joined the school. Morality, integrity and righteousness are imbibed in the tender minds to the extent that these values emerge in the children quite naturally.
In the middle and high schools the children are oriented towards the ICSE. There is a wide choice of subjects offered so that even children weak in Mathematics can take up other enriching subjects and develop themselves well. In the secondary section OIS offers a range of specialized subjects to equip students for higher education and the professional world. Marathi is offered as a second language for neighbourhood children and specially designed vertically grouped academic program enables children without strong base in English to take up the English Language based ICSE and ISC curriculum with ease and making their parents proud within a couple of years.
The school educational philosophy is to make all domains of the school deep learning experiences for its children. OIS deliberately moves away from the traditional, rote learning mechanism. Instead, it makes classroom teaching-learning processes more interesting and gripping so that children develop intrinsic interest in the subject matter, which in turn leads them to “study.” Some of the general characteristics of the progressive system of education followed in the school are that children should experience, discover, have fun and do various activities joyously as part of the learning processes. This approach requires subtle, dynamic and sensitive teacher, who put in a lot of preparatory work prior to meeting the students in the classroom.
The Principal explaining that the strength of OIS is its strong and committed faculty members, who utilise the rich infrastructure productively bringing life to the life of the students. The school has been able to invite educators with sound academic and experiential credentials. They come from more than twenty states of the country so that a pluralistic and rich social community is available for a wide canvas of inputs to be provided to the students. Design and implementation of teaching-learning approaches with an integrated curriculum in mind is one of the key features of the school. In line with the pedagogical approach towards assessment and evaluation is also different. Non quantitative reports are given a lot of importance for understanding children and reporting about them to the parents. There are no examinations up to Class 5 and the child is guided closely by the teachers due to the low teacher student ratio of about 1:5 that the school presently has.
The school provides a host of physical development activities including Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Caroms, Chess, Cricket, Football, Gymnasium, Handball, Horse Riding, Rifle Shooting, Roller skating, Squash Court, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Yogasanas/Pranayama, Slide, swing and see saw for the tiny ones of staff members. In addition to this special Adventure and Endurance Development camps are arranged twice a year for duration of about 4 to 6 days at the end of each of the two terms.
About 45 to fifty teachers are involved in the program which include Adventure Films, Aerobics, Archery, Burma Bridge, Drill, First Aid Training, Horse Riding, Jungle Survival, Kayaking, Map Reading, Military Training, Monkey Crawl, Night Navigation, Obstacle Race, Parasailing, Prone Position Shooting, Rappelling, River Crossing, Rope Wall Climbing, Self Defence, Snake Show, Special athletics coaching, Special cricket coaching, Special handball coaching, Treasure Hunt, Trekking, Valley Crossing and Zummaring.
The school provides an excellent platform for children to explore, enjoy and learn by participating in different general and co-curricular activities like Class Assemblies, Special festival assemblies, Special small group assemblies, Kalaprakash-Fortnightly variety programs, Special occasion programs, Quizzes, Debates, Elocutions, Dramas, Skits, Mimes, Talks and presentations, Annual day function-Orchid Festival usually celebrated in December and the more than thirty Clubs.