Living in an era of immense digitalization, the classroom of today is radically different when compared to the classrooms a few years ago. Technology has taken the center stage in this era of continuous metamorphosis. A significant change we are seeing in the schooling system around is the emphasis given on skill-based curriculum and learning, via digital methods. Many innovations and techniques which enhance self-learning among children are on the rise, thereby schools and institutions are pushing towards a complete digitalization of the school and the classrooms. Also, considering the various curriculums available for children in today’s time, the IB Curriculum clearly stands out, when compared to CBSE and ICSE, in terms of making children stand out when compared to their peers as all-rounded practical individuals. Moreover, foreseeing the changing needs of education and keeping in view the requirements of a 21st-century school and utilizing the IB Curriculum to its maximum, The Cathedral and John Connon School (CAJCS) was started in pursuit of providing quality educational programs, with high standards of teaching and learning.
A school that has been a shining example for its harmonious blend of tradition and innovation – at CAJCS, education, and its power of driving generations has always been the core motive of the school’s functioning. Standing tall when compared to other renowned schools and institutions in Mumbai’s Fort Area, the school in its 150+ years of academic excellence is known for its traditional values, real-world context, and a zest for preparing students for a better tomorrow. Founded by the Anglo- Scottish Education Society in Mumbai, in 1860, the then humble establishment now has its roots deeply implanted in a student body of 1,960 boys and girls.
Boasting of a beautifully constructed building, named after Mr. John Connon – a well-known philanthropist and the Chief Registrar of Mumbai, today, the school houses 5 sections, namely – the pre-primary, infant, junior, middle and senior. Progressing each day on the path of imparting the finest International Education to the masses, the school has set its standards high, and thereby, the results and the accolades regularly being received, are living proof of the school’s excellence. Practicing an integrated approach till Grade 8, and thereafter offering the choice of the national curricula – ICSE and ISC, CAJCS opens out to the interested with its international curricula, particularly – the IGCSE, IBDP, and AP curriculums.
A hub of high moral values & matchless education
Staying well in sync with its mission statement, CAJCS aims towards providing holistic growth to all its students, by empowering young minds to reflect on issues of local and global importance. “Moving one step closer to societal upliftment each day, collaboration and cooperation guide our school towards combined success and development”, quoted Mrs. Meera Isaacs, the current principal at CAJCS. Enlightening us on the ongoings at the school and helping us and budding students get a real-world view into the working ethos present at CAJCS, Mrs. Meera addressed all the necessary points and questions a 21st-century student would ask. Adding to her earlier quote, Mrs. Meera stated – “Classrooms are driven by discussion and debate, and every attempt is made to make learning relevant, immediate, and lifelong”.
Acting as the main backbone of the school, the teachers across various disciplines collaborate on lessons and skills, so that students can acknowledge, compare, contrast, and appreciate different perspectives and ethical concerns. Thoroughly understanding the pace at which the world is moving, and clearly ensuring that challenges our youngsters face today are addressed, pastoral care is also provided at the school. “It is important for teachers to be aware of not just the student’s aptitudes and interests but also their mental and emotional well-being”, stated Mrs. Meera, telling us how important individual attention has become in these gloomy times of uncertainty revolving around us, and how the teachers act as guaranteed mentors cum gurus to the students. Moreover, not only do the teachers help students grow as all-rounded individuals, but the senior students also serve as advisors and junior mentors, involving themselves in weekly learner support classes. Furthermore, qualified counselors are assigned across all sections of the schools, who ensure that they have a real-time track record of students and their emotional needs.
Also, focusing heavily on skill-based and inquiry-based learning procedures, an atmosphere of participation and inquisitiveness is felt across all the corners of the school. Utilizing project-based learning, flipped classroom techniques, Socratic seminars, peer reviews, regular student feedback, and so on, clearly help the school understand students better and in turn become that haven, which the parents and students blindly trust in. Additionally, students are given the agency to choose their learning methods and even topics where possible. Not just teaching, but assessments too are differentiated to recognize individual strengths and challenges, and a range of oral and written formative assessments are conducted to inform the teaching and learning process.
Education for a better cause
With the absolute plethora of information available today, as we all know digital media literacy has become the key. Thereby, as an institute that has been imparting sheer academic excellence since its inception, the school effortlessly embraced the challenges of fast-changing technology. Plus, a multimodal approach being carried at CAJCS not only helps students engage better but also enables differentiation giving both teacher and student more options.
Overall, having learned a lot from the pandemic and having understood that there is no going back to the way things were, The Cathedral and John Connon School have adapted completely to the Hybrid model of classes, as it is the way of the future now. Innovating and making use of a range of learning practices, the school, and the whole management is working rigorously in reassessing the teaching techniques, in turn, trying their best to collaborate in ways like never before, right in its pursuit of transitioning towards the change, and always staying well prepared ahead of the incoming challenges or hurdles.
Mrs. Meera Isaacs – Principal
An expert academician and a unique educationist, Mrs. Meera has a wide range of degrees credited to her name. She has also had the honor of representing CAJCS as the first lady principal of this 160-year-old school. A prime recipient of several awards and laurels, among which, winning the – ‘Asia One Black Swan Women Empowerment Award’, ‘Women Achievers Award from the Maharashtra CM’ & getting honored with a ‘National Award for Teachers – 2004, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development,’ are her biggest achievements. All in all, as a talented educational reformer she puts in all her brilliance to grow into an assured, yet confident personality, abled enough to work towards evolving strategies and skills, needed to deal with the ever-changing environment.