Chrysalis High: Bridging Academic Gaps with Pathways of Experiential Learning & Child - Centered Approach

Dr. Sawaldas Jethani, Founder ChairmanBack in 1990s, John Dewey introduced a breakthrough concept ‘constructivism’ in the traditional schooling system. As per this child-centered philosophy, the teacher who understands children’s development can recognize the ‘buds’ of skill development as a prelude to guiding child from a nascent stage to a more mature form of understanding. Realizing the long-term benefits a child attains from such a remarkable process, some top-notch schools nowadays strive to foster high-order reasoning and create autonomous learners by infusing constructive pedagogy with teachers taking ownership of child’s academics and development. Going well beyond these standards to keenly prepare every child for future with specific attention is Chrysalis High, a one-of-its-kind international school, creating outstanding pathways between academic knowledge and experiential learning.

The best of the curriculum will fail, if it’s not delivered properly. Understanding this, Chrysalis has implemented a quality audit scheme, which monitors curriculum delivery, teacher’s instructive approach and determines if there is any kind of handholding required. This ensures that its curriculum and the quality of the school as far as curriculum delivery is concerned, is much more than any other International school compared. The brainchild of Dr. Sawaldas Jethani (Founder Chairman), Chrysalis was born in 2011 to unfold the casket of knowledge through its flagship program PUPA(Prior understanding of Pupil Attributes). It concocts a protective, performative and conducive environment for budding scholars where they feel accepted, informed and are thoroughly understood by educators in-charge who undertakes complete ownership of child’s academic and holistic development, even before he/she enters the schooling paradigm. For instance, if the child is very fond of the solar system, the teacher puts that on the softboard on day one and asks the child about the same, which creates an instant sense of belonging in the child. ISP (Individual Support Program), however, is Chrysalis’ personalized initiative to transverse academic gaps with remedial, reinforced classes, right from the foundational years of education.

Where Every Child is a Champion
Shunning the concept of conventional teacher-student lectured relationship, the school takes a step ahead in identifying student’s competencies, cognitive abilities, socio-emotional wellbeing and academic skill-set by following a standardized questionnaire format and scripting diurnal anecdotes for the child’s well-defined future. Post defining the intensity of assistance required, each teacher within the Chrysalis ambit closely monitors the pupil’s progress through assessments and strategic assistance, and ensures that each documented observation is passed on to the next class teacher so that she/he gains prior understanding of each pupil’s attributes. The continuous process in function not only instills feeling of acceptance but also bridges academic gap through innate understanding, right guidance and strengthening their self-belief.

As holistic development & experiential learning is core to Chrysalis’ pedagogy, each student is exposed to the creative stockpile of knowledge through the medium of domain development system, which focuses on step-by-step building of skill-set in foundational years itself. “Be it physical & gross motor skills, fine motor skills, sensory abilities, cognitive language, emotional, aesthetic, social & personal characteristics or academics, we ensure that every child takes right steps in meeting specific milestones in all defined domains,” explicates Indrani Singh, Associate Academic Director – Pre Primary, Chrysalis High.

" Chrysalis has implemented a quality audit scheme, which monitors curriculum delivery, teacher’s instructive approach and determines if there is any kindof handholding required"

A Personalized Vision in Effect
Just when the pre-primary kids are ready to step up to higher grades, Chrysalis’ one and a half month of ‘Transition’ program comes into play. It creates awareness and helps little buds accommodate to sudden changes such as extended hours and introduction to new subjects. This unabridged training for higher classes’ preparations succour students to transit through academic culture and take the next step seamlessly. Besides walking these transition pathways, each student (from second grade onwards) is screened through baseline entrance tests, the sole purpose of which is to access and update child’s academic status. Following the concept of nine periods, teachers utilize the last period for creating individual support program ensuring that every student is at par at his/her grade level, hence bringing in spotlight responsibility-centric methodology. Topping that is Dr. Sawaldas’ introduction of dream period with high school students, wherein he initiates personal conversation with students to help them understand their
key strengths and guide through their career choices. “It's not just taking care of the academics of the children but taking care of the children & what they would become in life,” adjoins Dr. Sawaldas. With 1:12 teacher-student ratio in action, students are endowed with learning experiences through subject matter experts, who not only undertake teaching & learning ownership but also assure expertise edification.

Edifying Futuristic Scholars
With the vision of edifying steadfast learners, Chrysalis’ experiential learning methodology is enriched with technologies that mould theoretical knowledge into practical experiences. Quest Lab, for instance, is the school’s conceptual pavilion for experimenting with scientific concepts that enables students to understand, experience, absorb and collect data from such representations. While concepts like sound are interestingly visualized through models mostly used in research institutes (for higher studies), mathematical concepts and theorems are evidently practiced with manipulatives. Further more, its in-house R&D team develops interesting, informative models for rendering holistic insights through real-life experiences. While all these activities are executed within the campus, students are oft-times taken for field explorations, workshops and camps for developing their social and life skills.

Elucidating on Chrysalis’STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) practice, Dr. Karthikeyan, Senior Manager – Curriculum, Chrysalis High, avers, “STEaM is all about developing 21st Century skills in students. As the 4th Industrial Revolution will focus on Data Science, Automation, AR, IoT & AI technologies, we have extended our curriculum to these areas for students’ holistic and future-oriented development”. Right from availing scientific lab experience to introducing technological coding skills (focused on gaming theory, animation, programming using R, Python, and other,) and learning engineering concepts through robotics kits to handcrafting origami & zentangle artifacts, the educational alma mater ascertains that each student explores experiential calibre in accordance with academic literacy. “In future, we will be having NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Meta-Cognitive Reflective Learning as part of STEaM, which will be implemented from Kindergarten onwards,”proclaims Dr.Karthikeyan.

A Foundation of Fresh Ideas
Unfolding the brilliance of extracurricular activities is Chrysalis’ CHAMPS (Chrysalis High Amateurs to Masters in Performing Arts & Sports) program that encompasses indoor (Chess, Yoga, Martial Arts & Gymnastics),outdoor (Swimming, Basketball, Football & Cricket) and performing arts (Music, Dance & Theatre). Within this module, every student is mandated to choose one activity from each category. On the flip side, Dr. Sawaldas believes that Indian games are instrumental in building team spirit amongst children, lead to gross motor development through physical exertion and certainly are zero investment games as they require no paraphernalia. Hence, all Chrysalis branches have huge playground where students are introduced to Indian games like kho-kho, hopscotch and kabbadi during games period/free play. Undoubtedly, initiation of such activities exhibits Chrysalis’ dynamism and active approach to physical development while building team spirit among students.

Creating a home away from home, Chrysalis’ ace infrastructure is equipped with CCTV surveillance, semi-Olympic size swimming pool, basketball court, rich library, AV rooms and ICT-enabled classrooms. Thanks to its emphasis on children’s safety on road, every student travels the home-school distance(and vice-versa) only in GPS & CCTV equipped buses. “There is one simple rule in Chrysalis that at no point of time a child is left with a male teacher without female teacher’s presence. Be it free play or classroom, a female teacher always accompanies all the children within the campus,” explains Dr. Sawaldas.

"Chrysalis today is a proud institution hosting five international schools and two pre-primary schools across Bengaluru"

Chrysalis has also reserved time for communal participation, wherein students embrace their responsibilities towards society through Community Integration Program(CIP). While a wish tree stands tall in the school vicinity inviting donations for multiple social causes including an orphanage for mentally challenged orphan girls, gifting the ‘box of hope’ is a sensational charity undertaking among students, alongside dream project wherein children have raised over Rs.5 lakh for thalassemia patients. Over the years, Chrysalis has exceptionally taken care of orphans via ‘guardians of dreams’ project.

Integration of Vision, Passion & Quality
Chrysalis today is a proud institution hosting five international schools and two pre-primary schools across Bengaluru. ICSE, CBSE & IGCSE registered, these education sheds are in the process of receiving registration for Cambridge InternationalProgram from Cambridge University, UK. Although housing 6,000 students and 720 teachers, the concern is never quantity but quality. Etching quality education as the prime credo, Chrysalis pivots on the idea of optimum learning where every child is safe and the learning environment is conducive. “Quality matters. We go slow & steady as every child's holistic development is far more important to us,” concludes Dr.Sawaldas.

Key Management:
Dr. Sawaldas Jethani, Founder Chairman
Determined to make a difference in education sector, Dr. Sawaldas is Chrysalis’ guiding light who enlightens little minds with stockpile of knowledge through experiential learning module.

Archana Srivastava, Dean, Chrysalis High, Varthur
Indrani Singh, Associate Academic Director – Pre-Primary
The flag bearer of Chrysalis’ vision, Indrani spearheads the responsibility for pre-primary education. Driven by passion, she seamlessly integrates curriculum, quality and vision for PUPA, ISP & CHAMPS programs.

Dr. Karthikeyan Nallathamby, Senior Manager – Curriculum
Owning to his rich educational experience, Dr. Karthikeyan carefully patterns Chrysalis’ curriculum by blending theoretical knowledge and practical learning with a touch of technological integration.

Garima Sawalani, Sr. Principal, Chrysalis High, Yelahanka
Renuka Nallamalar, Principal, Chrysalis High, Horamavu
Lalita Ganapathy, Principal, Chrysalis High, Kadugodi
Sukanya Maity, Principal, Chrysalis High, Varthur
Selina Jean, Principal, Chrysalis High, Bannerghatta Road
Sukanya Maity, Principal, Chrysalis High, Varthur
Vijaya Iyer, Principal, Chrysalis High, Yelahanka

Location:Bengaluru (Varthur, Yelahanka, Kadugodi, Bannerghatta Road & Banaswadi)

Grades:Pre-Primary to 12th Standard

Key Programs:
•ISP (Individual Support Program)
•PUPA (Prior Understanding of Pupil Attributes)
•STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, arts & Mathematics)
•CHAMPS (Chrysalis High Amateurs to Masters in Performing Arts & Sports)