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At Aster Elementary, origami or paper folding is a unique and valuable addition to the curriculum. It is not only fun doing, but it is also a valuable method for developing vital skills during their school years. It helps children to develop patience, concentration power, and self-esteem. Origami helps children to understand the importance of cooperative learning. Transforming a flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional figure is a unique exercise that develops special reasoning in children. Through hands-on activities, children learn the concept of symmetry and to manipulate basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles which improves their maths skills. It is also a great module for community building in the school. Folding a thousand cranes, hanging them in the school library exemplifies the power of collaboration and the satisfying achievement of a group objective.
We have introduced cooking as a module at Aster because we strongly believe that cooking with children in schools promote the lifetime skill of healthy eating at a young age. A kitchen is a learning lab for children that can involve all of their senses. While kneading, tossing, pouring, smelling, cutting, and feeling foods they have fun and learn without being aware of it. The best way to give nutrition knowledge is through experiential learning or hands-on activities associated with food preparation that involves handling food and cooking equipment. In the cooking module at Aster, our students learn lifetime skills through practicing basic math skills such as counting, weighing, measuring, tracking time; they also gain social skills by working together and communicating in the kitchen.
We believe that school gardens are a wonderful way to use the schoolyard as a classroom, reconnect students with the natural world and the true source of their food, and teach them valuable gardening and agriculture concepts and skills that integrate with several subjects, such as math, science, art, health and physical education, and social studies, as well as several educational goals, including personal and social responsibility. In this module we have introduced garden-based teaching methodologies that addresses different learning styles and intelligences.
At Aster, we aim to prepare our children for the future in the best possible way. Therefore, we have introduced entrepreneurship module for our students from Grade 1 onwards as it is a critical part of ensuring success in a rapidly changing world. This module teaches children the basics of entrepreneurship, business, and finance in a hands-on manner. This project based learning (PBL) program gives children the opportunity to learn first-hand how to start and operate their own business. Working individually, the young entrepreneurs start, fund, and run their own company.
At Aster, we believe that in a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The dramatic changes in global economies over the past five years have been matched with the transformation in technology and these are all impacting on education, the workplace, and our home life. In our life skills module at Aster, we focus on teaching happiness skills, strength skills, resolution skills, emotional skills, skills for being present, interaction skills, relationship skills, self-management skills as well as empathy skills.
At Aster, we strongly believe that educating students in STEAM subjects prepare them for life, regardless of the profession they choose to follow. STEAM teach students how to think critically and how to solve problems — skills that can be used throughout life to help them get through tough times and take advantage of opportunities whenever they appear.
An important part of STEAM educational approach at Aster is that students are not just taught the subject matter but they are taught how to learn, how to ask questions, how to experiment and how to create.
Drama gives children opportunities to explore, discuss and deal with difficult issues and express their emotions in a supportive environment. It enables them to explore their own cultural values and those of others, past and present. It encourages them to think and act creatively, thus developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied in all areas of learning. Through drama, students at Aster, are encouraged to take responsible roles and make choices – to participate in and guide their own learning.