frequently asked questions

Q1. What sets Heritage Xperiential Learning School (HXLS) apart from others?

HXLS believes that the process of education is all about nurturing, in each child, a life-long love for learning. To this end, we deliberately eschew the traditional schooling and learning processes, focusing instead on individual pedagogies and narratives that are intrinsic to truly progressive schools. We actively encourage questioning of conventional mental models and assumptions. At HXLS, we believe in project-oriented class work, hands-on experiential learning and an integrated curriculum, which underscores the relationship and inter-dependence of diverse people, places and ideas.

Q2. Which board is the school affiliated to and how is the curriculum framed?

Parents have the option to choose for Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) or an International Programme Curriculum.

CBSE: HXLS is affiliated with the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) up to the senior secondary level (Grade 12). Our curriculum is based on the recommended curriculum set by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and it takes into account the recommendations made by the NCERT in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005). It is designed by our own teachers with the guidance of experts from all around the world. You can visit the NCERT website at www.ncert.nic.in to familiarise yourself with their recommendations.

International Programme: This year, as part of our International Programme, we have introduced the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), for ages 5 to 11, and International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), for ages 2 to 5, in our new International Primary Programme (opening with Nursey, Kindergarten and 1st Grade in 2019, and then extending to the 5th grade). From Grade 6 to 10, students follow the Cambridge Assessment International Education curriculum (taking the IGCSE board exams in the 10th Grade) followed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme for Grades 11 and 12.

For more information on IEYC visitfieldworkeducation.com/curriculums/early-years

For more information on IPC visit
fieldworkeducation.com/curriculums/primary-years

For more information on IGCSE visit www.cambridgeinternational.org

For more information on IB visit www.ibo.org

Q3. At HXLS, one has the option to choose between the International Primary Programme and CBSE ? What aspects should I consider before choosing a programme?

The choice of programmes depends mainly on your and your child’s individual needs however some of the aspects you could consider while choosing a programme are your child’s learning style, the curriculum philosophy and content, programme objectives and the desired learning environment.

Q4. What are the benefits of the International Primary Programme?

The International Primary Programme (IPP) brings together the best instructional practices globally in literacy, numeracy, and interdisciplinary experiential learning (learning by doing!) to support our children to become deep and flexible thinkers who understand diverse perspectives and develop the essential skills to thrive in a global society. IPP is a small, nurturing programme (class size of 26 with two teachers, through grade 3) . With only two sections per grade level, the International Primary Programme intentionally focuses on community building and positive supportive relationships within classrooms, at each grade level and within this entire early years program.

The International Primary Programme will utilize innovative designs for classroom instructional spaces that facilitate various modes of active and inclusive learning, including group work, presentation spaces, buddy work, individual, flexible seating, and more.

Q5. How will the International Primary Programme emphasize experiential learning?

Experiential learning remains at the center and heart of the International Primary Programme. We design experiential learning expeditions (or units) which enable students’ learning to go beyond just one subject but instead integrate and link students learning and explorations across multiple disciplines that are connected to the real world, beyond the walls of the classroom, through authentic purposes for students’ work or a real audience beyond their classroom. The structures and resources of Expeditionary Learning and the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) are key elements of this work.

The IPP designs these real-world learning expeditions with a greater emphasis on understanding our global context, as students learn from the diversity of our own students and teachers, and also from the diversity of the current population of Gurgaon. We strive to create powerful, passionate learning in both our local and global community to create thoughtful, active citizens for our future world.

Q6. Is IPC and IEYC recognized by other schools in India and abroad?

IPC (for 5 years to 11 years) is used across 730 schools in 92 countries across the world including India and is recognized by all schools. Moreover, the HXLS International Primary Programme curriculum is designed on internationally recognized standards so students will be able to seamlessly move to other schools and curricula if necessary.

IPC is an interdisciplinary, thematic curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals mainly in science, social sciences, arts and technology. It also develops international mindedness and encourages individualized learning.

IEYC (for 2 years to 5 years) is a resource used by over 140 early childhood programs in 47 different countries. The IEYC uses international best practices, holistic enquiry and play-based approaches that cover all curriculum areas as well as social and emotional learning.

Q7. Can students switch from one curriculum to another?

Students can opt to move from CBSE to the International Programme or vice versa in appropriate transition grade levels.

Q8. How are assessments done at HXLS?

As with any other component of learning, assessments should be authentic and meaningful for students and, most importantly, the assessment process itself should be a learning experience for every student. The purpose of assessment is not to merely measure, but to improve learning. We believe that assessment should be ongoing and lead to improvements in student learning, by providing necessary inputs to make informed decisions at class curriculum levels.

Assessments therefore must be developmentally appropriate and designed to allow students to succeed by showing what they have learned—never designed to force them into “proving” that they have failed to learn.

The process of consistent feedback helps in making assessments a more continuous and enriching process. Several tools—which include rubrics, teacher/parent observations and self and peer evaluations—are used to assess learning. The focus is on assessment for learning rather than on learning for assessment.

Q9. How are your Board Exam results?

At HXLS, our focus is on learning as opposed to attainment and we believe that the focus on true understanding leads to exceptional results. Year on year, our CBSE Grade XII students have proved this belief by scoring in the range of 90-93% (best of 5 subjects). In the International Programme, 54% of our IGCSE Grade X students received Distinction with 55% of them scoring A* and A. Our IB students scored an average of 35.4, placing us amongst the top IB schools in the country.

10. What is the school’s approach towards competitions?

In essence, the school likes to draw a clear distinction between building competence, excellence and competition itself. At HXLS, we focus on building abilities and capabilities and categorically resist the “winner takes it all” mindset. The students learn from each other, learn together and explore the immense possibilities that open up on the heels of a so called ‘failure’.

More specifically, for the Junior Programme students, we do not advocate competition or comparison of any sort. For the Middle School, we introduce platforms for group and individual events, which are principally geared towards participation and not towards one-upmanship. In the Senior School, the focus is on specialisation and achieving excellence for which we again create opportunities for children to push themselves towards the realisation of their highest potential.

11. What is the approach to annual days, functions and celebrations?

We have a strong culture of celebration of events that provide platforms for different forms of student expression. While we do work hard to bring standards of excellence into anything we do, we also recognise that there is a fine line between performance and exhibitionism. Therefore, we do not endorse large performances to showcase individuals or glorify the achievements of a minor group, nor is it valid to make children miss learning time for months of practice to stage a massive show where they have minor walk-on parts. We invest the students’ time wisely in organising non-competitive festivals, which are driven purely by the motive of student learning. The events and presentations are opportunities for children to share things they do and learn as part of their daily curricular programme. One such example is our yearly art festival that is a celebration of our students’ work done during the year.

12. Does the school use prescribed textbooks?

We sincerely believe that the entire world should be the textbook for children. Hence, the Junior School children are taught through thoughtfully designed learning units, as well as carefully chosen workbooks and supplementary materials, that reinforce skills and concepts. These are supported by material from class libraries, teacher created resources and a graded reading programme that includes age-appropriate literature.

In the Middle and Senior Schools, textbooks are introduced as reference books alongside primary source documents, supplementary reading materials, research projects and real-life examples.

13. What is the role of outdoor learning expeditions at HXLS?

Various outdoor experiences or expeditions are designed for students regularly within the projects and themes they work on and are directly linked to the grade-level learning goals. In contrast to ‘school trips’, these expeditions provide real hands-on opportunities to learn about people, places and cultures, to see how things work and to develop a systemic understanding of different habitats and systems.

These learning opportunities begin in the Junior Programme and continue through to Grade 12 and may also include experts who conduct seminars and workshops as well as trips off campus for service projects and other community-based activities, including wilderness excursions that bring students in contact with the natural world as well as diverse communities.

14. What does inclusion mean at HXLS?

HXLS believes that, as a learning community, it is our responsibility to support each of our students in reaching their own goals at their own pace and according to their own highest purpose for which their unique talents and abilities best equip them. At the same time, we expect students to respect and appreciate what is unique in each of their classmates, learning to work collaboratively to ensure that each student is allowed and expected to contribute positively to the community.

Inclusion does not mean that we treat all children the same; on the contrary, supporting each child means that while we treat all children equally, we also recognise that neither do children develop at the same rate nor do they achieve success according to one standardised definition. We work from the fundamental belief that children reach understanding or mastery of the same concept or skill at different rates and that this is not only normal but also desirable.

15. What is expected from parents to build an understanding of the Heritage approach and how do they support the children at home?

Clearly, parents are critically important and their support will make all the difference. At its most fundamental level, the parent-school relationship has to be based on trust. Hence, it is imperative for parents to understand the school’s philosophy and teaching methodology.

We recognise that most adults have gone through the traditional system of education and that our approach challenges many of their mental models about education. We try to redesign the mental models and align them more to our world view by organising interaction sessions and workshops for parents. We hold around three to four workshops plus four to five individual and group interactions per year. Participation in such workshops and interactive sessions is mandatory.

Parents are also invited to contribute by volunteering for different events in school such as outbound trips, story week, classroom support, co-curricular activities and more.

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Disclaimer : All efforts have been made to exclude photographs of children whose parents did not grant us permission, any inclusion is inadvertent and regretted

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