Delightful Learning - A Learning with a difference

I don't love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.

Natalie Portman

Learning is not just about the bookish knowledge that one gains with reading. Learning also involves Co-curricular activities that complement the curricular activities and groom the students in the ‘Art of living and working together.’ They are the true and practical experiences gained by students by their own learning.

Extra-curricular activities provide opportunities for students to express themselves in activities and areas depending on their interests, skills and talents. It also teaches students to work as a "unit" and be team players. These activities help reduce many peer pressure related problems. “They enrich the lives of the students, their families and the community. These activities create well rounded children who learn what their interests and talents are because they have been exposed to such opportunities”

Students can use these activities to explore interests they’ve never encountered, exposing them to a more diverse range of interests. Intellectual aspects of personality are solely accomplished by Classroom, whereas aesthetic development, character building, spiritual growth, physical growth, moral values, creativity, etc. are supported by co-curricular activities.

In short, extracurricular activities can arm students with many of the skills future employers will be looking for.  Parents should be aware of the importance of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and they need to support and encourage their children in participating in such productive activities which help in the overall development of the child.

Visual & Performing Arts

Arts education refers to education in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. Study in the arts is integral to our society. Arts is what make us most human, most complete as people. Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational program of every student.  “The Arts enhance the process of learning. The systems they nourish, which include our integrated sensory, attentional, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacities, are, in fact, the driving forces behind all other learning” (Jensen, 2001). There is a universal need for words, music, dance, and visual art to give expression to the innate urgings of the human spirit. (Eisner, 1987)  The premier organizations in the corporate world today recognize that the human intellect “draws from many wells.” Arts education gives access to the deepest of those wells.

Music  Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning, can be relaxing, can develop spatial intelligence, promotes fine-tuned auditory skills and music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity.

Dance  It is far more than exercise or entertainment. It is a powerful medium to express one’s values, thoughts, and aspirations about the lives we live and the world in which we live. Dance is the physical expression through movement and rhythm of relationships, feelings and ideas.  Dance can help restore joy and stability in troubled lives and ease the tensions in a students’ life. It aims to improve social relationships especially among genders and to enrich the culture of the school by cultivating collaboration, respect and compassion.

Drama  Whether children have the opportunity to perform in production or help out behind the scenes, studying Drama not only engages with the creative side of the brain, it also provides an ideal balance in students’ patterns of study. Drama allows an avenue to develop cognitive abilities that complement study in other disciplines. Drama students learn to approach situations in an array of different manners which can help to develop creative thinking and new study techniques. Dramatic exploration can provide students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. A student can, if only for a few moments, BECOME ANOTHER, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to very real problems-problems from their own life, or problems faced by characters in literature or historical figures.

Visual Arts  Students in art classrooms at all instructional levels use their creativity to solve problems and to express their ideas. Art teachers are steeped in the knowledge and skills that foster creativity and they use the visual arts curriculum to enable their students to explore their own creative powers. Learning an artistic discipline helps young people develop character. Students learn habits, behaviors and attitudes that are necessary for success in any field of endeavor. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics is important for the development of the next generation of children as they grow up. One of the most important benefits of arts education for students is that it helps them appreciate and understand the different cultures and values of our very diverse society.  

Clubs

Clubs provide fun ways for kids to play, learn new skills and gain fresh experiences. Club activities don’t just keep restless kids busy or entertained. They can also offer great developmental benefits that will help them academically and socially. The skills and habits a child learns during his or her club classes helps to shape them as better individuals. As a result, club activities that promote everything from healthy-living habits, to leadership skills, good time-management, and better social or academic performance have plenty of advantages to offer. In the school, various club activities are organized giving an opportunity to the students to display their talent. Some clubs focus on a specific area, thus allowing members to develop their skills and interests in that area. 

Brawny Brains  (Quiz / Spell Bee / Scrabble…)
By adding daily brain teasers is essential so that your mind can be in shape. Research has shown that a dexterous brain makes for happier, healthier, people in general. Doing some type of mental exercise, in the form of brain teasers or word and number games can:
  • Boost overall brain activity
  • Increase your memory power
  • Reduce the risk, and slow the decline, of dementia
  • Improve memory and brain processing speed
  • Reduce boredom
  • Improve concentration

Literary Club
This club cultivates a passion for quizzing, Debating, creative writing, literature, Elocution, etc…  among the students.

Objectives:
  • Inculcates among students a fondness for language and enhance their literary skills.
  • Develops self-efficacy and confidence and helps to enhance the general knowledge base.
  • Works in tandem to benefit students in the disciplines of writing and speaking by conducting events that are both instructional and enjoyable.
  • Sharpening the skills of logical thinking
  • It develops excellent communication skills and teaches students to think spontaneously.
Young Innovators Club 
Self-expression, independent research, constructive activities, etc., are some of the opportunities provided by this club. It helps to channelize the energies of students and make use of their skills and talents, which satisfy their instincts and urges and helps in their overall personality development. 

   Objectives:
  • To develop a general interest in science 
  • To inculcate scientific attitude and provide opportunities for training in scientific method
  • To develop interest in scientific hobbies 
  • To develop habits of exploration and creative faculties 
  •  To encourage individual and group activities 
  •  To develop in children a sense of healthy competition 
  • To stimulate active participation and initiative among students in learning process 
  •  To keep the students in touch with the recent advances in science 
  • To provide challenging opportunities to the gifted

Heritage & Culture Club
This club regards students as active seekers of knowledge by providing information on the multiplicity of history and cultural experiences that exist in India. It attempts to whet a student’s appetite for historical enquiry. Cultural values are essential for every citizen. It helps in preserving and reviving a nation’s heritage and traditions. Our cultural club aims to rekindle the cultural pride in each and every student. 

   Objectives
  • To bring history and social science curriculum alive for the students through active learning and doing.
  • To promote awareness and to inculcate a respect for our rich heritage. To take pride in the unique diversity of India’s cultural identity.
  • To care for the past so as to create a better future.
  • To encourage children to learn about national heritage as well as gain exposure to different heritages around the country.
Fitness Freaks (Health & Wellness Club)
Health & Wellness Clubs in schools can favorably influence the habits’, attitude and knowledge relating to an individual and community. These clubs can modify our behaviour towards the attainment of optimum health. Wellness clubs in schools can imbue in children fitness habits and introduce a healthy nutritional system. The club activities focused on creating awareness regarding various aspects that contribute to health and wellbeing of an individual. 

   Objectives
  • The main objective of the club is to inculcate in the students healthy and positive ways of living.
  • Foster healthy development of children in their settings of schools, home, community and peer group so that they can learn, grow and make a positive contribution now and in the future.
  • To favorably influence the habits, attitude and knowledge relating to an individual.
  • Various activities are undertaken to promote health, wellness and hygiene among students.
  • The Club plans to promote nutrition education with the objective of improving students’ health and reducing childhood obesity.
Story Telling Club
Storytelling is a kind of performance, surely the ancestor of drama and creative writing. It is a direct communication and interaction with the listeners, without a stage curtain or printed page intervening.

    Objectives
  • To share the pleasure of hearing and telling stories.
  • Students learn to respond through laughter or noises of appreciation, and answering questions posed by the teller as a part of the telling.
  • Students may find themselves taking on the acting out of characters or dialogue within the tale.

Work Education

The people who do not train their hands and get a normal education, do not have music of life. Every part of their body is not trained. Only bookish knowledge cannot arouse curiosity that he can concentrate on it completely. Education imparted only through words will cover fatigue and child’s brain will be diverted.
Mahatma Gandhi

The real and ideal responsibility of education is to prepare students to face challenges in life. For achieving this goal, it is essential skills related to life, handicrafts and other work skills should be given importance. Such capabilities should be developed through education which enable children to face demands and challenges of life and be helpful in the use of positive development. It is only possible when the students will enter the world of work after coming out of the limits of bookish information.

Work education is considered purposeful and meaningful physical labour, which is organized as the inherent part of educational process. The objectives of work education enthuse children to know the needs of self, their family and society. A very significant objective of education is to develop feelings of respect for workers and dignity of labour in students. It is deemed as the production of meaningful material and community service, in which the children share the experience of contentment and pleasure. Work education emphasizes on including knowledge, understanding, practical skills in educational activities.

Work education can be provided through a well-developed, channeled and structured programme.

Pottery: Pottery, is one of the most creative activities that a child experiences. Its an activity in which there is no template to stick to. There is no right or wrong, there is only self-expression ,they can create literally anything. Pottery is becoming extremely popular with a whole range of health and metal benefits, including better hand eye coordination, stronger motor skills, stronger problem solving skills, to name just a few. Manipulating the clay can be also simple first lesson for children, to help them understand that their actions influence the outside world and the art which they create.

Origami: Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. It literally translates as ori (folding) gami (paper). It’s not just a blank paper. It’s a world of creativity; a world of imagination; a medium to increase dexterity of little hands, the first steps of engineering and learning of great value and catharsis. Research has shown that paper-folding, particularly in the elementary school years, is a unique and valuable addition to the curriculum. For many students, it engenders a patience that leads pride in one’s work, the ability to focus energy, and increased self-esteem.

Master Chef:   Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, and listening. They love activities in the kitchen because they can use all their senses. Cooking with kids provides practical experience with many essential skills such as reading, following directions, and measuring. Getting involved in cooking helps your child to develop fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, and even early concepts of math and science. There are just so many great benefits to cooking with kids. Cooking also provides an opportunity for kids to get hands-on experience with basic science.

Busy Hands (Craft)
Arts and crafts usually involve children working with both hands, and involve them moving their hands in a particular manner. This helps them develop their bilateral coordination and fine motor skills. Arts and crafts activities empower children with positive emotional responses to learning. They understand that they created something, and when you encourage and promote this creativity, the kids enjoy a feeling of self-pride. The various benefits of arts and crafts extends to the development of cultural awareness and improved academic performance as well.

Photography
With all the developments in technology and the advent of specially designed cameras for children, it has never been easier or cheaper for children to get involved in photography. Photography for children can develop their learning across the curriculum and enable them to build an understanding of themselves, others and the world around them. The benefits include: learning a new skill, which can boost children’s self esteem, encouraging planning and presentation skills, allowing children to display their potential through creativity,providing children with the opportunity to be innovative and giving children the opportunity to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Meal Planning and Preparation 
It is an opportunity to meal plan, look for recipes and share ideas on why and how to make meals healthier for the whole family. Forming a positive experience with fresh foods is  important because healthy foods are the foundation for good nutrition. Children also learn basic cooking skills. It is a common saying that one eats first with his eyes and then with his mouth. Hence, planning, preparation and serving are important components of cooking.

Preparation of Specific Items and their Value Addition 
There are various objects which are required in our daily life and can be easily prepared by the students themselves using their skills and imagination. This can then become a very good source of income generation if the project is taken up on a larger scale. Small things like gift wrapping and creating best out of waste products are a source of entertainment as well as leisure time activities.

SEWA
SEWA (SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT THROUGH WORK AND ACTION)
A School is a place where students imbibe the spirit of social-service. It is an ideal environment to foster the essence of sharing and caring. It offers schools an opportunity to teach & encourage students to think about their local community and the impact they can have on others if they volunteered their time to enhance the environment, relieve poverty or bring joy to the community.

Sports

Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life.
Billie Jean King

Keeping this in mind, the school promotes and encourages a number of sports activities. Physical activities and games given due importance in the regular Time Table. Along with this, every  Tuesday, a period is allotted to a specific sports activity. These activities are chosen by the children. Students may opt for any activity from a given list.
  • Basket Ball
  • Skating
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Taekwondo
  • Zumba

Basketball and Football are also taken up as an after- school activity.

Expert coaches, who train these students once a week, bring about in students the invaluable competitive spirit, team work and finer nuances of the game. Students are also encouraged to participate in Inter School Competitions.

Roller Skating is recognized among the best overall aerobic exercises, involving all the body’s muscles, including the heart. It is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits, calorie burning and reduction of body fat and leg strength development.
Basketball Basketball is one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports. It involves: Dodging and dribbling; stretching and shooting! It helps the students to grow stronger, sharper and smarter.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, characterised by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques. To facilitate fast, turning kicks, taekwondo generally adopts stances that are narrower and taller than the broader, wide stances used by martial arts such as karate
Chess is the best sport to exercise the most important organ in our bodies: the brain. A game of chess might not help you build your biceps or tone your abs, but your lifelong mental health can certainly benefit from it.  It helps one relax yet at the same time, sharpens the thinking skills and helps you with your  strategy.
Cricket a game which is equated to a national game in our country, Cricket is a favourite sport activity chosen by the students where in the students are coached about the different techniques of the game and are prepared to participate in any interschool Cricket Tournament.

Zumba a workout which doesn’t feel like a workout: it’s a fun, social dance party – with exercise being the biggest perk! The music is fast, upbeat and contagious, so you can’t help but keep moving. Zumba is by far one of the best ways to get you fit and fine.

Life Skills

‘When children are truly involved in the scientific process of learning, they gain understanding, knowledge, and life skills. They deepen their awareness of what’s going on around them and how others contribute to their well-being.’
Lilian Katz
 
‘Life skills’ is a form of education that focuses on cultivating personal life skills such as self-reflection, critical thinking, problem solving and interpersonal skills. It aims to help children reach their full personal potentials and to prepare them for the challenges of everyday life.
 
Life skills-based education is now recognized as a methodology to address a variety of issues of child and youth development and thematic responses.
Expected learning outcomes include a combination of knowledge, values, attitudes and skills with a particular emphasis on those skills that related to critical thinking and problem solving, self-management and communication and inter-personal skills.
 
In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The dramatic changes in global economies and technology over the past few years are all impacting the education, the workplace and our home life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills to deal with day to day challenges. At DSE, we believe that the primary aim of education is not only to enable students to do well in school, but also help them do well in life.

The ten core Life Skills as laid down by the CBSE is integrated in the curriculum. They are:
1. Self-awareness
2. Empathy
3. Critical thinking
4. Creative thinking
5. Decision making
6. Problem Solving
7. Effective communication
8. Interpersonal relationship
9. Coping with stress
10. Managing emotions

Different methods and techniques of teaching are adopted to enhance Life Skills in students. Activitites like class discussions, demonstration and guided practice, role plays, audio and visual activities, educational games and simulations, case studies, storytelling, debates etc are executed systematically and effectively.