Headstart Elementary started off as a pilot project in 1993. Since its inception, it has taken great strides and has grown to nine hundred students across five campuses. Working in close partnership with parents and students is at the heart of all curricular and co-curricular development at Headstart Elementary, and we believe that students can be most effectively supported in their academic learning and personality development, if school and home work closely together – with the fullest cooperation from both sides. At Headstart Elementary, every child matters, and we take the academic, social and emotional development of each child very seriously. We look forward to working with parents in a long and successful partnership that spans six precious years of each student’s life – from Grade 2 to Grade 7.
The school has a very strong curriculum backed with resource material for all of its subjects. The school takes pride in its teachers who work devotedly to bring out the very best in their students, balancing a rich and effective curricular, co curricular and extracurricular programme.
The school offers Robotics, Chinese Language, Computer Studies, Music, Sports and Arts, in addition to English, Urdu, Mathematics, Science, Islamiat, History and Geography. Students are encouraged to get books issued from the library as and when they require, and to read as often and, as widely, as possible.
As students learn about each subject, they not only learn new concepts, but they also learn how to learn. Students learn to develop and polish skills that can then serve them through a lifetime of learning and development. Through an interactive and collaborative learning environment, they also develop the attitudes and dispositions essential in today’s world.
The school uses a yearlong theme to keep students motivated, develop the right attitudes and increase their achievement. All teachers incorporate that theme into teaching and learning practice to inculcate the practical value of the theme. Keeping with this tradition, this year’s theme has been called Read in, Read out; Breathe in, Breathe out.
The school has a strong co-curricular programme, enhancing and enriching the regular curriculum during the normal school day. Activities are designed to meet the needs of, and to stimulate the interests expressed by students, as well as to cover a broad range of abilities. Equal opportunities are offered to all students to participate in such programmes. These include Annual Class Plays, Cultural Day, Sports Day, Reading Week, Debates, Field trips, Robotics Fair, Science Fair, Kangaroo Competition, intra- and inter-school football and cricket matches, etc.
Extracurricular activities that broaden the educational experience, and take place beyond the normal school day, include after-school taekwondo classes, football classes, keyboard and guitar classes, and art classes – enabling students to mingle. Through such activities, they get to know other students who may share similar interests. It may also help students to get to know people outside of their comfort zone, and the classroom. Such activities prove to be great for enhancing confidence and building interactive teambuilding skills.
Ongoing professional development, aligned with the school’s common focus and high expectations to improve the performance of all students, is critical to our school. Currently, all teachers are enrolled on an INSETT Course, being conducted by Ms. Hareem Atif Khan, who received her Master’s in Education from Columbia University, and who works closely with Lucy Calkins at Columbia University, New York. She helps in the development of a writing workshop curriculum, which is then rolled out in the United States of America, and internationally.
The training sessions are focused and informed by research, and classroom-based assessments. Appropriate instructional support and resources are provided to implement approaches and techniques learned through professional development. Teacher training ensures that students are taught with research-based teaching practices that maximize learning.
All teachers are encouraged to pursue clearly articulated and understood common goals, based on the fundamental belief that all students can learn and improve. The teachers provide a supportive learning environment and strive to develop positive personalized relationships with all students while engaging them in effective and meaningful learning.
Regular coordination meetings are held on a weekly basis, in which sharing of ideas takes place among subject teachers and subject coordinators. These reflective sessions provide teachers opportunities to reflect on their teaching practices and learning outcomes, and allows them to learn from each other.
The school has a system of continuous assessment. Teaching and learning are continually adjusted on the basis of data collected through formative and summative assessments that indicate students’ progress and needs. The assessment results are interpreted and applied appropriately to improve individual student performance and the instructional programme. Multiple assessment methods are developed to address the student learning objectives. Parents are regularly informed about their children’s strengths and areas that need improvement, along with suggestions about further improvement and enhancement. Remedial classes are conducted for students according to their individual learning needs. Each and every student’s achievement is celebrated, heartily, with the sole purpose of inculcating a sense of achievement and pride in these future leaders of the world.