One of the areas that we are very keen in developing in the child during the primary years would be ‘love for reading’. It is our strong faith that with avid reading comes immense possibilities – thinking skills, exposure, vocabulary, general knowledge, linguistic talent, a hobby and many other things.
Writing is seen as a means of expression and not a process merely to master spelling, sentence construction and so on. Therefore creative and organic writing is encouraged a lot in addition to teaching children to write independently with accuracy and speed.
Poetry, Drama, Public Speaking are other integral areas of linguistic development and have an equal place like that of reading and writing.
The content is chosen is such a manner where various genres of literature, various cultures, epics, fairy tales and fables all become a part of the curriculum.
The approach with Arithmetic is to introduce concepts through learning aids such as games, materials, activities and then when the concept becomes clear the child moves to abstract processing on paper. Fluency and speed is built during YT fundamentals on the concepts that are built in the Main Lesson.
YT Fundamentals comes from two basic beliefs that we hold.
Mathematics and English are fundamental subjects
At Yellow Train, two subjects namely – English and Mathematics – remain at the core of the curriculum, especially during the primary years. This focus comes from our belief that these two subjects are fundamental and mastery of the same will enable greater academic functioning and build competence in the child to approach many related subjects such as history, logical reasoning, analytical skills, problem solving etc.
Practice, practice and more practice alone leads to skill building.
While teaching the subject in experiential ways leads to deep understanding of the subject, you develop skills in application only with practice. During the YT Fundamentals time every day, children are expected to practice on the concepts taught individually thereby gaining practice on an everyday basis.
The word Project can connote many things and often times misleading. The distinguishing features of our approach to projects are the following.
Scope for Individual styles and expression: Project is a subject that allows for each child to demonstrate their interest, knowledge of the subject and themes around the subject in their own language and style. The depth and length that they want to cover is left completely to themselves. It often reveals the interest the child has on the subject.
Doing driven as opposed to Information driven: The idea of the projects is learning by doing. When children work with the theme of ‘Birds’ for instance, the project involves for them to look at birds, observe, make drawings, compile it into a book, collect feathers, nests etc. When ‘recipes’ is given as a project, the idea is to make different recipes, bring it to school, make a food fair etc. Academic skills such as writing, compilation, research are built into it, while the primary focus is on doing.
Self-Learning and Self-Teaching Potential: The theme is not taught much at school except providing some guidelines, references and inspiration. The work of each child in the class is often shared to create reference points and further inspiration. Therefore the impulse for the work comes completely from the child and the standards are often much greater than the teacher lead activity.