What Makes Sancta Maria Different

Our Vision – “To be a globally renowned institution of enduring greatness nurturing responsible leaders”

At Sancta Maria International School, we celebrate each child’s uniqueness and stand proud to follow our only guiding principle: to create an environment where the mind is without fear.

In order to meet the educational, emotional and social requirements of all students, a progressive education is imperative. At Sancta Maria, we pride and portray ourselves to be not just a school but also a community. Apart from meeting and fulfilling students’ requirements, we foster all round development and excellence of students to ensure that they grow up into balanced and responsible adults.

From welcoming creativity to self-development, to nurturing new talents and new friendships, we offer our students an incredible environment of joy and love wherein they get to develop their individual character and prosper academically whilst discovering their passions.

Our school offers exclusive Cambridge Curriculum and no other integrated curricula, from Primary to AS & A levels, fostering all round development for excellence in life. At Sancta Maria, each student is cherished as an individual and is provided with the skill set, knowledge and mental resilience in order to succeed in whichever path they select.  Our ultimate aim is to develop and encourage our students to reach their full potential to become winners in their respective fields.

Sancta Maria International School acts as connecting bridge between imparting the best education to its students and assuring parents of academic excellence. Keeping student empowerment as our primary focus, we offer a well balanced proportion of academics and co-curricular activities.

Our teaching approach involves motivating students to get inquisitive about their subject areas so as to gain an understanding of the way in which various subjects work, thereby building a clearer understanding of the world around them. Our teaching staff works holistically to offer extensive cross-curricular learning on the basis of ‘hands-on’ experience, enhancing the educational journey of our students, with a strong academic focus.

 

CBSE vs. Cambridge Board: A Broad Comparison

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is India’s national board, both for public and private schools.

Cambridge is in short used for the curriculum offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE). As a department of the University of Cambridge, it provides education programmes and examinations in over 170 countries, which are recognised globally.

CBSE prescribes books published by The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), a resource organisation set up by the Government of India. The core subjects offered and tested up to grade X are English, Second language, Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences. The students of grades XI and XII can opt for subjects of their choice from about 70 available options. Board examinations are again conducted at the end of grade X and XII based on the books prescribed by the Board. Questions test the knowledge, understanding and application skills of the learners with only about 20% weightage for the latter.

The CAIE curriculum on the other hand focuses on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science for learners up to the age of 14. The curriculum is divided into 9 stages. The schools can introduce other subjects as per the local needs. At the end of every stage starting from stage 3, Cambridge provides progression tests along with marking schemes for teachers to test the learner’s proficiency. Students can take Primary Checkpoint examinations and Lower Secondary checkpoint examinations at the end of stages 6 and stage 9. There are detailed curriculum framework and Schemes of work available for teachers along with other support materials, which can be utilized for effective teaching in these subjects. There are books which are endorsed by Cambridge [and not prescribed] and the schools have the liberty to select books best suited for them.

For learners of age 14 to 16 years comparable to grades IX&X],  IGCSE or ICE is a 2 year program with a flexible course of study and choice of 70 subjects available from 5 groups. Most subjects offer a choice between core and extended curriculum, catering to the needs of students of different aptitude. For learners of 16 to 19[ equivalent to grades XI and XII] years of age, there are 55 subjects available from five groups for AS/A level Certificates. Board examinations are conducted at the end of IGCSE/ICE program, AS and A levels.

The Cambridge Assessments encourage practical approach to teaching and learning. Students need to be thorough with the concepts and rote learning is not required. The questions require students to apply the concepts to real life situations, strengthening analytical and critical thinking skills. Students of IGCSE/AS & A level can bypass the IELTS/TOEFL requirement for university admissions.

Professional Development @ Sancta Maria: How We Support Our Teachers

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           – William Arthur Ward

Teachers opt to enter the field of teaching not by accident but because they are passionate about touching lives and building a community of better people. As teaching is a lifelong art, learning becomes a process of life. Once a teacher, always a learner! With this philosophy, our teachers at Sancta Maria International School make an honest attempt of evolving themselves through various trainings as it helps them continuously improve their skills.

To support this growth mindset, we at Sancta Maria create professional development opportunities that promote learning through focused training programmes.

Following are 5 highly important attributes that Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) recommends for its teachers:

  1. Confident
  2. Responsible
  3. Reflective
  4. Innovative
  5. Engaged

Following are the training programmes that our teachers are highly encouraged to undertake, in order to build required competencies in the attributes mentioned above:

  • Cambridge Training Programmes – CAIE drives various professional development courses for the Cambridge teachers wherein expert facilitators from Cambridge, UK, conduct focused training sessions.Teachers at Sancta Maria are nominated to attend these sessions. Teachers are also recommended to join these trainings on their own behest too, if not nominated so as to enhance trained teacher base for the institution. The objective behind such training sessions is to achieve international benchmark of excellence in teaching in terms of improved quality and outcome of the facilitation techniques.
  • Knowledge Sharing– Teachers who attend Cambridge training programmes, come back and conduct a formal knowledge sharing session with their peersthrough presentations & interactive discussions.
  • In-House Training Programmes –Various training programmes are arranged throughout the year by in-house experts on topics such as – how to prepare lesson plans following the Cambridge guidelines, differential learning/planning, how to identify such learners, IT trainings etc.The main focus of such in-house trainings is to continue to train our teachers on how to build strong working relationships with their students while honing their skills as professionals.
  • On-the-job Training –Teachers at Sancta Maria are given complete freedom for designing their curriculum to suit their learners’ requirement. In order for them to achieve this, they are aided by in-house experts as well as they have access to the Cambridge teacher’s support website. This approach helps them achieve the desirable outcomes.
  • Buddy Programme (Mentor-mentee programme) – With the help of this programme, the mentors help the new teachers immerse themselves gradually into the system. They make sure that the new teachers are acclimatized to the Sancta Maria culture, core philosophy, team building & collaboration, getting acquainted with the Cambridge curriculum etc. This helps mentees (new teachers) develop their skills and competencies, thus ensuring their seamless entry into the school environment.
  • In Pursuit of Higher Education –At Sancta Maria, we encourage and actively support our teachers to opt for Post Graduate (PG) programmes, which in turn helps them to enrich their personal profile.

In summary, at Sancta Maria International School we believe in providing world class opportunities to our teaching staff. We further believe that by providing proper support & encouragement at opportune times to our teachers, it helps our ecosystem immensely,which in turn is reflected in our teachers commitments to provide our students with the best learning opportunities through proven teaching techniques.

 

Cambridge IGCSE: How IGCSE Curriculum Can Benefit Your Child?

The New technology and the electronic independence provided by it have crept into the remotest corners of the world. The rate of growth of technological advancements far exceeds the limits of our imagination. The education of today should equip students to adapt to change and learn to unlearn and relearn. The skills and learning behaviors required to successfully tackle imminent challenges in this world of growing uncertainty include:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration which transcends geographical boundaries and embraces different cultures
  • Flexibility and nimbleness
  • Effective communication skills- written and oral
  • Ability to analyse and assess information
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Entrepreneurship and leadership
  • Multilingualism

The IGCSE Curriculum (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) or ICE (International Certificate in Education) Curriculum offered by the Cambridge Assessment International Education is designed to arm students with the requisite skill sets for the future. It is for this reason that it has been adopted by over 10,000 learners across 160 countries. While having the international flavor and incorporating international best practices, it is flexible and can be adapted to learner’s requirements based on local needs, culture and ethos. It is accepted worldwide by schools and colleges, providing international opportunities to students. Transnational character of the program paves the way for international understanding, economic and environmental sustainability.

The curriculum is structured to encourage learners to come up with new ideas and resources. The teachers need to provide the foundation of the syllabus while students are expected to analyse the subject matter to develop a better understanding of the same rather than getting lost in rote memorization.

We know that the method of assessments also decides the methodology of teaching. The assessment practicesof IGCSE/ICE curriculum check skills such as problem-solving, time-management, practical and oral, initiative and application knowledge, and understanding of the learner. This promotes development of higher order thinking skills in students.

IGCSE English builds proficiency in English as not only as a language for communication but also for bulds skills for reflection, analysis and evaluation of text. IGCSE students are allowed to skip TOEFL and IELTS test of several universities which are otherwise mandatory for other curricula students.

IGCSE curriculum plays the dual role of instilling cultural awareness simultaneously with ability to view the global issues with local lens. The inquiry based and exploratory approach helps in developing the requisite 21st century skills.

 

 

Tripura Meenakshi Vithala – March 2018 IGCSE Topper – Secured 6 A*s and 1 A

A spectacular achievement, indeed! We are immensely proud of your academic triumph and wish you the very best of luck as you face brighter horizons and new challenges and hope you continue to bring laurels to our institution.