“At Kanakia International School (IB), we lay a key emphasis on ‘Social-Emotional Intelligence (SEL)’ within the framework of the IB Programme. Our team of educators recognise the need to attend to the emotional dimensions of teaching and learning, as students’ success is closely tied to their social and emotional quotient.”- Rupal Kanakia, Chairperson, RBKEI
The role of social-emotional learning in a student's educational journey!
February 08, 2024
For elementary, middle, and high school, Kanakia International School (IB) offers the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme, three of the IB’s excellent educational programmes. Our expertise stems from offering stimulating educational experiences that foster inquisitiveness, inventiveness, and self-assurance, beyond these programmes’ usual recommendations. Our school embodies an ethos of connectedness, where human emotions and vulnerability are acknowledged, warm teacher-student and student-student relationships are fostered, and differences among individuals are celebrated. This nurturing environment is essential for effective learning.
Here are five ways in which social-emotional learning plays a crucial role in students’ educational journey at Kanakia International School (IB)!
- Foster physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development: In the early years, as students embark on their educational journey outside the family cocoon, they learn how to interact with adults and peers. Our learning spaces are intentionally designed to facilitate their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. For instance, in our Play Studio, children explore colours, shapes, and shadows at the light table, engage with picture books in a cozy tent, experiment with various types of paper to understand textures through our paper atelier classes, and discover rhythm through musical instruments. Their creativity blossoms during the free play sessions as they mould shapes from clay, construct stories with blocks and story stones, and take photographs through the cameras. Our especially curated culinary sessions enhance gross and fine motor skills and teach them about nutrition, but more importantly they help foster a positive relationship with food through the aesthetically appealing healthy dishes they make.
- Promote collaboration and effective time management: In the Primary Years Programme (PYP), students are encouraged to work collaboratively with their peers, manage their time, explore the broader world, develop a love for learning, and adapt to diverse situations. This year, we have adjusted our timetable to promote outdoor playtime after lunch, allowing students to build social skills and release some pent-up energy. Regular circle-time discussions address classroom issues, school expectations, procedures, and social-emotional skills, fostering an environment where children can express their feelings and learn how to navigate social interactions. In addition, teachers check in on students’ feelings using the Emoji Meter and help them share, understand, and deal with their feelings.
- Nurture self-esteem, personal values, and responsible social behaviour: The Middle Years Programme (MYP) can be a tumultuous period, marked by hormonal changes and a growing need for independence, along with peer pressure and the desire to fit in. To support our students everyday during homeroom time we have sessions focused on wellness- like on Mindful Mondays you can see students participating in some activities to develop mindfulness, on Wellness Wednesdays they practice in yoga/stretching exercises, on Thankful Thursdays they are engaged in activities to foster a sense of gratitude etc. The school counsellors conduct regular SEL lessons that help them cope with these challenges, boost self-esteem, develop personal values, and cultivate responsible social behaviour. Extracurricular activities like sports, music, dance, art, and STREAM provide avenues for self-expression, social relationships, and the discovery and refinement of individual strengths. Participating in events like Model United Nations (MUN), Interact clubs, CAS/SAA, and mother tongue clubs and competitions enhances their skills and further develops their emotional and social quotient.
- Strong cognitive development: Reading not only empowers young children on a social, creative, and literary level but also fosters overall cognitive development. It enables them to process new information more quickly, learn valuable skills, and retain knowledge about various topics.
- Preparation for academic success: At Kanakia Kids, we prepare young learners for academic success by cultivating a love for reading. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well when they reach their period of formal education.
- Enhance personal growth: In the Diploma Programme (DP), CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) offers students the opportunity to step outside their comfort zones, explore new areas of personal growth, consider the ethical implications of their choices and actions, and learn the value of collaborative work as they navigate their way through a number of school-initiated and student-initiated CAS experiences.
- Improve mental health and overall well-being: We place a central focus on affective skills that promote the mental health and well-being of our students, understanding that these efforts have a positive impact not only on their mental health but also on academic achievement. Each year during “Mental Health Week” in October, through various activities, we encourage students to practice mindfulness, develop self-confidence, perseverance, and resilience by being self-motivated and regulating emotions.
Our school based Social Emotional Learning programme aligns with family and community values, attitudes, and behavioural expectations. We encourage parents to spend time discussing mental health and well-being with their children, fostering open communication so that their children can turn to them whenever they need support during challenging times.
Author- Shuchi Shukla, Principal, Kanakia International School (IB), Chembur
MS. RUPAL KANAKIA
Committed to giving people across India access to education and literacy, she is extremely passionate about her vision. It is through education that Ms. Rupal Kanakia wants to enable women and the youth of today to progress tomorrow.
MS. NIYATI KANAKIA
Determined to create a world-class atmosphere for early childhood learning that is balanced and encouraging. Ms. Niyati strives to usher young learners onto the path of learning eternal values and develop them to reach the best of their potential.