The 2013-14 Academic Year at Inventure Academy began as usual with a week-long foundation program called “INVENTURING” which was to orient new and old students to the ‘Inventure way of Learning’. This program attempts to institutionalize the school culture and puts the core values in action. We set the stage for the academic year by rolling out educational approaches that include project work, inter disciplinary learning, team work and of course the Multiple Intelligences through participation in a variety of activities. The faculty gets a better understanding of each student’s learning styles, strengths, preferences and development areas, while students and faculty bond across grades and beyond classroom boundaries.
Inventuring is done with the intention of fostering qualities such as experiential learning, develop respect and love for nature and the environment, understand work ethics, team building with their peers and faculty, interpersonal skills, learn the art and science of reflection, build on their creativity and imagination, time management and to let them emerge as self-learners. This also gives the teachers a time to interact with their students and colleagues. By and large this first week is a time to bond and have fun.
According to Ms. Amina – “It was a great learning experience I ever had working with children in various activities. It was interesting, creative and on the whole I enjoyed a lot.”
Activities planned over a period of five days included Project Time activities, Choice Time activities and Golden Time activities. A quote by Ms. Sona – “I enjoyed a lot, doing projects during Inventuring. It was a good experience.”
The Primary Grades showcased Creativity by making wind chimes, painting dustbins (to spread the message “Leave No Trace”) keeping in mind the waste segregation plan of the school, hence making the students contribute in their little way to school’s waste management system. The activities were planned to enable students to explore and express their Multiple Intelligences. It included activities such as dance, drama, puppet-theater, fencing, tuber farming, yoga, clay magnets, t-shirt painting, tile coasters and cooking without fire and many more. Ms. Anupama agrees that, “The projects were innovative. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I had a Great Experience.”
The Middle & Senior Grades activities included – art, sensory garden, afforestation and gardening, martial arts and much more, which helped them explore their creative side and also brought about environmental awareness in these young minds.
Ms. Ponnu Poovaiah said, – “I thought that Inventuring was a very original concept. It exposed the children to doing things that really stretched the limits of their abilities. The River Mural that we worked on was a challenge, yet the children worked together, even those who thought they couldn’t draw or paint. I personally had a lot of fun and was very proud of the end result.”
They also created a kitchen garden where various vegetables and greens were planted, to imbibe a sense of having a clean and Green Environment and inculcate a sense of self sustenance in them.
During ‘Golden Time’ students across school, wrote letters to their peers about their personal goals during Inventuring, in order to help them channelize their learning and reflections. In class they happily narrated incidents that occurred during Inventuring. Ms. Sabrina fondly recalls her Inventuring days as, “The experiences I have had with the different projects and activities were new and interesting. Working with the enthusiastic children was a learning experience. I have learnt through these few experiences and I am still learning.”
What was more intriguing about the whole five day activity was the fact that the students of Grade 10 ICSE and 12 ISC participated and undertook a restoration project at Dommasandra Urdu School, wherein they extended their support by painting the classrooms, patching the floors to make their friends cheerful every day. They also organized a Book/Stationery Drive throughout the school and donated the collected items them to the students at the Urdu School. Neeti Gunjur and Namrata Ramesh of 10 ICSE coined this motto “With your help we hope to bring a few more smiles into the world.”
The five day extravaganza was concluded with a bang!! – The DRUM JAM led by Roberto Narain, one of India’s leading trained corporate drum circle facilitators, and a team of experienced percussionists. Vasundhara Das, a singer, songwriter, composer and actress who led the vocals, got the entire Inventure audience shaken up and singing! The students and faculty joined them in the DRUMJAM, playing on various percussion instruments adding to the tremendous energy that filled the air on campus. It was a fantastic experience of how team work and unity can create sweet music and harmony! Enthused Ms. Shefali says, “The children were very excited about the activities. My personal experience of the sleep-over is something I will cherish all through my life. The Drum- Jam session was out of this world.”
A bonfire and dance party followed to further up the energy. This is one rare occasion when the whole school (Grades 3 up) gets to let their hair down and dance together. Third graders were so excited about the ‘disco’ that they arrived early to boogie in their jammies!
A new faculty, Ms. Presy Paul remembers her time of Inventuring as– “ Inventuring has been a time of fun, learning and bonding. Being my first year at Inventure Academy, the sleep-over and projects have left memories of a life-time in me. The twisting and turning of the wires during the ‘Wire- Art’ project has given me a new hobby as well.”
The sleepover, which followed, is surely a school event unique to Inventure – A tradition aimed at building a personalized bond between the students and faculty. This ended the celebrations with a promise of an exciting school year to look forward to, with a sense of community and a better understanding of expectations and ways of learning.