Heritage Xperiential Learning School has an enviable student to staff ratio of 9:1, is ranked among the top two day-boarding schools in India and has been certified as a ‘great place to work’ by the Great Places to Work Institute, USA. Manit Jain, co-founder, HXLS in an exclusive interview shares the philosophy of the school and what makes it stand out.
We did away with textbooks and tests, subject boundaries, and embraced depth as opposed to superficial coverage of subjects. We focused on a more humane, real and learner-centric curriculum and pedagogy in nurturing the first truly experiential learning school in the country. We adopted project-based learning methods, with multi-disciplinary themes where students take the lead in their learning and in real life experiences where they manage projects, work in small teams, handle multiple perspectives, learn from successes and failures, deal with conflict, and also focus on design, research and data analysis while working in the real world to solve real problems,” says Manit.
The school is taking active steps in the direction of design and systems thinking.
Founded in 2003, HXLS today is a community of over 3,200 students. Although the school offers 3 curricula (National Board, IGCSE and IB), it attempts to be curriculum agnostic through its own organically developed curriculum.
“Being an experiential learning school, the 3 Rs we emphasise on are: Relationships, Relevance & Rigour,” adds Manit.
We focus on creating world class learning experiences primarily on the following three strands:
- Teachers as self-aware individuals
- Teachers as facilitators and curriculum designers
- Teachers as contributors to individuals
Our mentors and trainers include workshop leaders from Expeditionary Learning System (USA), Big Picture Schools (USA), Boston Teacher Residency, Harvard University, Waldorf Network, National Outbound Learning School (USA), Waters Foundation (USA), Hi Tech Hi Schools (USA), Case Western University (USA) and other leading education experts.
At HXLS, it is educators’ responsibility to reflect deeply on questions that are fundamental to education and its long-term vigour.
The Heritage Sankalpa (Our Vision) underscores:
- Freedom to learn and grow
- Experience – Children learn best by doing
- Reflection – Children examine their learning
- Dialogue – The questions that assail a child’s mind
- Understanding – The child arrives at her destination
Life Skills programs
THE HUMAN FRAMEWORK: Our Social-Emotional Learning Program
Focuses on cultivating for aspects of the self:
- My Swabhav (My Essence): An inquiry of my triggers, my reactions, my emotions, and my yearnings.
- My Relationships: Creating healthy and fulfilling connections, and the capacity to use diverse opinions as strength for problem-solving.
- My Swadharm (My Purpose): A discovery of my values, my strengths, and what gives my life meaning.
- My Context: An exploration of how my context shapes who I am and the way I act.
Integration of the Human Framework in Junior Program (Nursery to Class 3), Middle Program (Class 4 to 7) and Senior Program (Class 8 to 12) through:
- stand-alone classes, like Circle Times, for discussion
- subject classes for application
- subject class content adjustment to include topics fertile for socio-emotional learning
- Thinking Skills: Self Awareness, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Critical and Creative Thinking
- Social Skills: Interpersonal Relationships, Effective Communication and Empathy
- Emotional Skills: Managing Emotions and Dealing with Stress
HXLS is a learning community that approaches both “learning” and “community” with equal commitment.
Heritage Centre for Active Citizenship
This was launched in 2016 with the aim of promoting core values of civic governance, community participation and representation.
- Proactive leadership
- Constructing a problem statement and envisioning a framework to work on it
- Widening our worldview
- Media literacy
- Collaboration and adaptability
- Communication and enhancing social skills
- Liaising with different government and civic action agencies
The students undertaking the Service Learning Project go through the cycle of Investigation, Planning, Action, Communication and Refection.
Some of the projects taken up in the year 2017-18 are:
Projects on Sustainable Environment
• Green Diwali
• Waste Segregation with Green Bandhu
Projects on Rights to Safety and Protection
• Howls for Help- with WWF and PFA
• Projects on Equity and Right to Education
• Miles for Smiles with NGOs Sahapathi and Bhagta Bharat
Associations with external National or International bodies include I AM A TEACHER & DISHA INDIA EDUCATION FOUNDATION TENVIC, FCBESCOLA, Stag, Grand Slam Baseball are expert partners in Physical Education.
- State-of-the-art science laboratories
- Design laboratories for Carpentry, Pottery, Textile, Bicycle, Handicrafts
- Football & Hockey fields
- Basketball, Badminton & Volleyball courts
- Cricket ground with nets
- Skating arena
- Burma bridge (rope course)
- Permanent climbing apparatus
- World class table-tennis stadium
- Indoor gymnastics stadium
- 6-lane indoor swimming pool
- Studios for Painting, Designing, Observation and Recording, Mix Media
- Wi-fi campus
- Enrichment Centre
- Vocational training-multimedia training by AIMS Media
- Creche facility for teacher wards
- Paper recycling, sewerage treatment and rainwater harvesting, and a regular Green School Audit