The faculty of the junior school believes that children learn best in a nurturing environment--one that is safe, joyful and intellectually challenging. Development and academic considerations shape decisions about the curriculum, organisation and daily life at school.
At every age level within the first programme, an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning is coupled with special consideration for every individual’s interests. Development of community responsibility is also emphasized.
Positive feedback is given based on a child’s efforts, ideas and accomplishments, help first programme children face challenges with optimism and determination. This way they develop competence, confidence and self-esteem.
Following the guidelines established by NMS the teachers have created a curriculum centred around language arts, environmental studies, and mathematics in conjunction with music, art, science, library studies and physical education.
NMS's language arts program builds on the children's existing knowledge and linguistic experience. We focus on developing competency in fundamental of the language arts, including speaking, listening, reading and writing.
During the first to third programme, children take time to settle. English is a foreign language, but they quickly learn through rhymes, story-telling, reading, and recounting.
Early literacy skills are supported as the children are exposed to a variety of literature. The children are encouraged to keep journals with their own story or group poems. Display boards in classrooms reflect the varied interests of the children, act as positive reinforcement and encouragement from their peers and teachers. Oral skills form the keystone of learning; through vocabulary games, we combine learning with fun.
Mathematics is approached as a developmental sequence, which begins by utilising the children's firsthand experience to form the basis of their learning and understanding. The heart of the programme is based on thinking, analysis and logical thinking.
Problem solving and number relationships are emphasised. Teachers use concrete examples with the students to help apply mathematical concepts. At all levels, students work on the four major operations in arithmetic, as well as measurement, fractions, two/three-dimensional geometry and estimation.
The Social Studies curriculum is a vehicle for discovery and is designed to help develop the children's understanding of themselves as individuals, as members of various groups within society, and as members of a global community. The first grade program begins with exploring the family unit and then focuses on the wider community including the neighbourhood of NMS and other city institutions. In the second and third grade the curriculum is designed to provide a conceptual framework for observing different cultures. Computers are used to map out projects and students visit a variety of cultural institutions on field trips during their explorations.
First programme students go to the laboratory during their weekly schedule to explore, observe, experiment and develop the skills needed for the middle school science programme.
First graders study biology, chemistry and physics specifically exploring solids, liquids and gases before studying the human body and biology. Second graders continue to develop their scientific investigation skills: learning about hypotheses formulation, design experimentation and maintenance of data records. Third graders continue to explore chemical, physical and biological phenomena and concentrate on mastering important experimentation skills through a variety of topics, such as the properties of matter, the water cycle, and more.
The Arts Studio is an exciting place for children. The space is designed to ensure material and tools are easily accessible. As the children build upon their art experiences, they hone technical skills in creative expression.
The goals of the art curriculum include mastery of skills, personal image making, independence, as well as awareness and respect--not only for materials but for each other's work.
Drawing & Painting, Classical Dance & Music (Instrumental & Vocal), Folk Dance, Western Music and Musical instruments form an essential part of the music programme.
Each individual in a class is given freedom of choice of the form he/she would like to specialise in. Each group consists of 5 to 6 children who receive special and focused attention. Parents are informed about the child's progress, and from time to time are invited to special shows.
Theatre plays a significant role in effective communication, expression, movement, rhythm and timing. Operas and plays by classical and outstanding dramatists are a must for the NMS Drama Society. Experts from Mumbai and the National School of Drama are invited to direct the plays. This directorial venture acts as a workshop for teachers who are interested in Drama, who in turn augment imaginative use of language.
As a first programme, children have music classes at least once a week. Movement activities, singing games and the use of instruments introduce the different elements of music. Students also participate in group singing activities. NMS’ first programme chorus for third graders will be performed throughout the school year.
Physical activity is part of everyday life at Neerja Modi School. First Grade students enjoy a curriculum which includes movement education, gymnastics, and team activities. In the second and third grade, they are introduced to team sports which include football, hockey, cricket and volleyball, basketball, badminton. NMS's students physical education classes take place on our large 22 acre campus, and are guided by trained coaches.
Fitness is an integral part of the physical education programme. At each level of the first programme, students participate in exercise routines aimed to increase their flexibility, upper body strength and cardiovascular endurance. The program develops students' skills so that they can partake in and enjoy sports events designed to inculcate sportsmanship, grace and athleticism.