Avalon Heights International School
Avalon Heights International School is a private English-language school in Navi Mumbai.
The educational goal of the school is to develop the student's personality and to guide them on to a path of global reach in the age of space, IT and biotechnology. The school is critizising the way most Indian schools are teaching, focussing on rote learning which according to Avalon Heights doesn't stimulate individual thinking. At Avalon Heights, learning should be fun. The pupil should be more important than the portion, learning more important than teaching, and thinking more important than memorizing. The motto is "Aspire, Attempt and Achieve". Avalon believes in the power of dreams and the power of imagination. As knowledge takes one to what one already knows, imagination leads one to the discovery of unkown things we are yet to create. Striving towards the delivery of skills, the school tries to awake the immense potiential of young children, which in public Indian schools according to Avalon Heights largely remains untapped due to the rigid rigmarole of the Indian education system. Avalon Heights gives children access to a wide variety of topics that they can explore themselves without readymade guidelines and the Do's and Don't of teachers. The teachers at Avalon Heights are rather seen as facilitators guiding and leading the children to let them discover facts for themselves. Teacher training is of utmost importance, and the teachers have to be warm, affectionate, aware and informed individuals. This is the philosophy of Avalon's founder and current director, Mrs. Simi Sharma, who is trying to combine the best from a variety of educational schools of thought such as Waldorf and Montessori.
In 1998 she started an innovative play pre-school named "Blooming Buds" in her own house, which due to an increasing number of children soon had to move to a bigger building. In the year 2000, the parents of the preschool children asked Mrs. Sharma if she couldn't also run a primary school for their children. A real school building was required for this. Mrs. Sharma initially faced the problem not to get a license to build a school, as in India schools have to exist for at least 7 years to be allowed to build a new building. For this reason, Mrs. Sharma used her own personal savings and bank loans to buy an existing 6-floor office building and changed it to a school building.
Today, Avalon Heights hosts a kindergarten for children from 2-6 years, which has the purpose to encourage children to think independently in a relaxed environment devoid of pressure. A maximum group size of 30 children supports each child's individual development. Children begin instruction in phonetics and basic numerical tasks.
In the elementary school (Grade I-V) - age 6-10 years, the subjects of Hindi, English, Maths, Social Studies and Science are being taught. The children's communication skills are being trained, just as creative writing. Mathematics is being taught focussing on practical use, including counting, calculating, understanding of simple statistics and solving problems related to measurement, money, temperature, time and geometry. Mental maths is being trained. The science program has the main aim to stimulate the ability of analytical thinking. Social studies include multidisciplinary projects based around themes that appeal to children. One hour per week, the subjects of music, drama, gymnastics, dance, arts, handcrafts and athletics are being carried out. The maximum class size is 30 pupils.
In the "Middle and High School" (Grade VI-X) the children can choose which curriculum they want to follow, either the Indian ICSE (Indian Counsil for Secondary Education) or the international IGCSE (CIE) curriculum. Avalon Heights' A-level is recognized by the Cambridge International Examinations Board. Besides English, from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computing, psychology, sociology, business studies and economy, students have to opt for 4 subjects to be tested in the A-levels.
The school's classrooms are well equipped and modern, all with data projectors. There is a computer lab and well equipped laboratories for chemistry and biology. The school further has indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a shooting range, a stage for dance and drama, and a music studio. In arts, the focus is both on internationality to make the pupils global citizens, and on Indian values and traditions.
Volunteers and interns can teach either individually or together with an Indian teacher.
Students of psychology please look here.
Location: New Mumbai, India
Duration: Minimum 2 months
needed: yes, student or training in relevant field
Costs: Trouble-free package is mandatory
Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Not included
Included: The whole range of services which is part of the
trouble-free package is included
Not included: Travel to India, health insurance