Why an international education?
In the twenty first-century global marketplace, the generation next will have unprecedented opportunities, but to realizethese fruitfully, they require a cosmopolitan skill set and mindset. International schools expose students to people from myriad backgrounds, talents, languages, ethnic groups, cultures and religions. An educational background with international mindedness at its core will challenge students to be open-minded, tolerant citizens of the world seeking to make positive contributions to their own communities. Following a globally recognized international curriculum will allow students to study anywhere in the world after their experience at Harvest International School.
Harvest – a Learning Community
The ultimate goal of Harvest’s rigorous and multihued academic programme is for students to embrace lifelong learning and become international-minded global citizens. This is progression towardsbeing an extra-ordinary human being, andliving a life of consciousness. As members of the Harvest Community, students, teachers, staff, parents and stakeholders will be challenged at all times to demonstrate Global values and the core values of the Harvest Learner Profile to help students reach these lofty goals. In and out of the classroom, Harvest teachers serve as both instructors and mentors for their students, helping them to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually during their educational journey. Harvest parents serve as crucial partners in this process, and there is consistent dialogue between home and school so that we can work together to help our students reach their full potential. Many times throughout the year, the community comes together to celebrate the learning outcomes of Harvest students. By enrolling students at Harvest International School, parents are also pledging their commitment to Harvest’s mission, core values, and goals.
One of the key pillars of our mission at Harvest International School is to empower our students to become lifelong learners. In order to achieve this goal, students must know how to learn and how to learn the best.
Research confirms that teachers have a significant impact on students’ learning. However, the teacher-centered practices of the past do not cultivate the creative and critical thinking skills students need inorder to be successful in the 21st century. Teachers at Harvest employ a wide range of teaching strategies that invite and encourage students to play a central role in their own learning. Rather being seen as the main conduit of knowledge in the classroom, Harvest teachers are facilitators, challenging students to develop a deep conceptual understanding of the curriculum in their own unique ways and learning styles.
The core pedagogical philosophy of an international curriculum from early years to school graduation is an inquiry-based approach to learning. Children are naturally curious to learn, and this curiosity kindles the hunger for learning new things. Teachers at Harvestintend tomaximize that very curiosity to involve them each day in the learning process. When teachers design a unit of inquiry, they start with the students’ queries on the concepts being examined and challenge students to find well-informed answers to their questions, in a dialectal manner, so that by the end of each unit, students would have developed a much stronger conceptual understanding than they would have, if the teacher had led them step-by-step to a predetermined goal.
At times, a unit of inquiry challengesthe students to examine real-world problems. During this process, students and teachers work together to organize their background knowledge and ideas to define the problem. They also identify what they yet to know and need to learn in order to understand a problembetter. Collaboratively, they determine what the most important unknown aspects of the problem are and how they would uncover this information. When they have made a plan on the ways to proceed, they would gather this information using various methods and meet again later to share what they have learned. This may happen a number of times until students collectively feel they have arrived at a deeper and a broader understanding of the problem, besides realizing there is always more room forlearning.
This is another common learning strategy that Harvest teachers employto challengethe students in order to engage them in long-term projects, which are centered on units of inquiry and our curriculum. Through this process, teachers facilitate learning by making thestudents develop focused questions, design effective project plans, and present their projects to a larger audience outside the classroom. This enables the Students to develop key critical thinking and research skills as well as a much deeper understanding of the concepts under study. Further, they would receivea critical feedback from teachers, fellow students and external experts along the way to help them revise and improve their projects and theirunderstanding.
Technology-based learning plays a key role in our students’ education from grade one onwards. Harvest plans to adopt tablets and laptops in order to introduce the students to Information Computer Technology (ICT) and produce influential projects, such as movies, websites, and digital portfolios. Harvest would also adopt Google Apps for Education® to streamline its educational programming and communications within the school among other web-based platforms. Students are to be exposed to Microsoft Office® programs and other software that would play a vital role later in their various career pursuits. In due course of time, Harvest hopes to equip most classrooms with interactive whiteboard technology as well. Through Harvest’s technology-based programmes, students wouldlearn to use technology competently and responsibly.
Technology-based learning will not be confined to computer use alone.This would in fact spread its wings offering students state-of-the-art science labs, music rooms, art rooms and a world-class media center to enhance our curriculum. Students would be endowed with an opportunity to explore various technological developments during their visits to regional leaders in business and industry through after-school programs.
Library &Media Center
The Library and Media Center is a crucial hub of learning at Harvest International School for all students, teachers and parents.
The Primary section of the Harvest MediaCenter strives to instillthe love for reading in students with access to English-language books for all primary grade levels. Besides participating in literacy programs students woulddevote their time each week to explore the Media Center, check out books, and develop basic research skills. In view of promoting international linguistic diversity, students also have access to books of languages other than the ones they were originally exposed to.
The Middle and High School through the medium of Harvest Media Center aspires to help students develop crucial research skills in all forms of media: print, news, magazine, online databases, film, etc. Students will have access to these resources 24 hours a day via the online library platform we will eventually adopt. Students will also have access to resources in all languages offered at Harvest as well as in their mother tongue on demand.
Teaching & Learning Support
There are many pathways to the same goal, and each student learns in his or her own way. Harvest has implemented a teaching and learning support program to help facilitate individualized instruction for students and teachers. These programmes will focus on high-achievers as well as students with diagnosed special needs.
As the primary language of instruction at Harvest is English, students who enter the school in need of brushing up their language skills will find themselves sported by a range of programs available. For students withmeager proficiency in English, there is a stand-alone immersive English programme available that will slowly mainstream students into the academic programme. For students with some English experience, in-class and withdrawal support will be provided based on students’ proficiency levels. In the later grades of lower secondary, it may not be feasible to accommodate students with little or no English experience in Harvest International School.