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Student Activities

Assembly

Assembly is an opportunity for children to explore their talents and for teachers to know the children more. At Balsam, assembly takes place in two types – one is whole school assembly, once a week and class assemblies on other days. Whole school assembly shall showcase house-wise talents based on a given theme. Class assemblies offer opportunity for every child to participate in various activities. Participating in well planned and balanced assemblies, help children to overcome stage-fear and build their confidence.

Balsam Enterprise

Balsam enterprise day is marked to elicit the organizational skills and the vocational abilities that children have learnt in their work education, hobby and STEM classes. Children make products and Balsam Enterprise is the platform setup to make these products available to potential buyers. The proceeds of the sale go to recognized charity organizations. Joy of giving is what children need to learn to become kind and caring individuals. In addition, children learn to manage finances from a very young age, which makes them responsible citizens.

Celebrations

Celebrations are unique with the motive of empowering and involving children in understanding the essence of the day. To make it meaningful, special days are marked where the entire school comes together in festive spirit with efforts in bringing the community together. The celebration days are marked as no-bag days. These days are filled with colours and joy that culture, tradition, and ethnicity brings.

Counselling Services

We firmly believe that it is imperative for an individual to be socially, emotionally and behaviourally well-adjusted in order to function to his/her complete potential. The focus of counselling is on the preventive and promotive mental health of all stake holders involved in the development of the child. We empower individuals to develop their competencies and draw on resources to effect changes.

Leadership training

The Student Council and the leadership programme helps develop strong leadership skills and give student voice a genuine place in the running of the school. Members of the prestigious Student Council are drawn from Middle and Secondary level and are elected through contested elections. They receive leadership training and work to support staff and students.

Events are planned thoroughly and issues relating to school and student matters are discussed in a focused environment. Regular meetings are held throughout the term and the council report regularly to the leadership team with areas to discuss.

A budget is allocated to the Council which gives them further responsibilities for planning and organisation. The Student Council members are given the responsibility of looking after student welfare and enrichment through organising activities like Sports Day, Culture Celebrations, Assemblies, Awards Day, Evolving Minds, May Day celebration for the support staff, Balsam Enterprise, Newsletter, Community projects and many more.

Life skills and Community projects

Life skill education for adolescent students is crucial for developing psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills, and helps them in making informed decisions, problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication, building healthy relationships and managing their lives in a healthy and productive manner. Life skills and community projects as a formal program begin at Class V and are part of the curriculum until the student graduates from secondary school. The program is envisioned in a way where the skills required for the developmental age, are honed through activities, discussions, inviting professionals, field visits and games. Complementing these are the community projects that are meticulously planned:

  • Zero waste project in school
  • Mosquito control
  • Solid, Liquid and Resource Management (SLRM)
  • Growing fruit trees in surrounding villages
  • Setting terrace gardens
  • Sustainable development programs

Mentoring

The unique quality of every teacher in Balsam Academy is that of a 'counsellor not by formal training, but by experiencing'.

The teachers are 'guides and mentors', who are trustworthy, friendly and approachable.

A 'caring and careful' watch is kept over children who need more attention than others. The main aim being to:

  • Gain confidence and raise aspirations
  • Improve academic performance
  • Improve quality of classwork / complete coursework
  • Reduce offending behaviour and help become less disruptive in School.

This is achieved through a balance of firmness and gentle warmth as the teacher approaches the child as a 'Parent Teacher'

Outbound learning

The major aim of the outing is interactive learning, an experience that goes beyond reading about a concept. Students are able to see elements with their eyes or participate in it physically. It also gives them a chance to be in contact with nature and explore the outside world. Venturing into public places, allows the children to learn more about the world around them. They also learn to interact with others. Hence learning in Balsam Academy is not an isolated experience but one that broadens the horizons for the students, through field trips.

Pods and Clubs

The integration of work and study is the key element in Pods and Clubs. All the students are obliged to gain practical experience in the course of their academic education. The concept of Pods and Clubs is seen as an opportunity for adaptation to life in the group, forming good life long habits and cultivating a voluntaristic spirit. Club activities supplement academics and give the students practical training which they require in day to day life. In the school, various pods and club activities are organized giving an opportunity to the students to display their talent in Visual arts, Performing Arts, STEM, Subject clubs, Hobby Clubs, Eco club, Disaster Management Club, etc.

Project-Based Learning

Project based learning is designed to:
  • align with students' skills and interests
  • content and skills
  • groups of three to four students, with diverse skill levels and interdependent roles
  • team rewards
  • ensure individual accountability, based on student growth
  • Provide multiple opportunities for students to receive feedback and revise their work (e.g., benchmarks, reflective activities)
  • Create multiple learning outcomes (e.g., problem-solving, content, collaboration)
  • Exhibit the presentations that encourage participation and signal social value (e.g. exhibitions, portfolios, performances, reports)

Remedial Classes

The facilitators at Balsam Academy reflect on the teaching-learning process and special emphasis on the units or chapters found difficult is attempted at. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that all students are on a progressive track.

Scouts and Guides

  • The Scouts and Guides regime was introduced in Balsam Academy in the year 2015 falling under the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Vellore district, Arakkonam region with the name Veer Savarkar.
  • The purpose of the movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full potential in social, physical, intellectual and spiritual areas. To be responsible citizens and members of the local, national and international communities. This program helps the child discover the world beyond the classroom, tapping the skill and passing knowledge.

Tests are held at every stage and a proficiency badge/certificate is earned to move to next level.

Special Privileges for Talented Students

Children with high academic ability, skill in sports, art or excellence in any field deserve to be motivated, encouraged and challenged by their educational system or school.

Balsam Academy goes all out, bending over backwards, to help such children realize their true potential and dreams by giving them special permission for practice before school hours, sometimes exemption is granted during school hours with the required documentary proof with parent's consent. For students taking part in national and international events or championships, tests are re-scheduled and notes made available, lessons done individually for those students thereby making them feel valued and motivated. Students and parents of these children shall be recognized periodically and shall be offered a high tea party to build rapport.

Story house in Education

Balsam Academy endeavours to progress in all aspects relating to education and hence the 'magic' – 'Story House in education'. Having been incorporated to play an active part in the curriculum of the Primary School, the unique and beautiful concept of 'Story House in Education' provides every child a 'lively platform' to 'express, explore and experience' an all-important and completely new facet of their personality.

Students' Association for Road Safety

Motto – Speed thrills but kills

Main objective is to render professional traffic training to the students and bring awareness in young minds on traffic and related rules and regulations as per the local traffic organization.

The children are taught that fears should not be harboured and that they have to strive and do their best.

What they also learn are:
  • How to handle busy roads
  • Traffic lights
  • Road signs and what they mean
  • Do's and don'ts in case of fire