The International School Awards (ISA) project has been initiated by British Council. Our school has taken up the project for recognizing and celebrating exemplary practices of internationalism on global peace and harmony. It is a benchmarking scheme that accredits schools having an outstanding level of support for not only enriching teaching and learning but also nurturing global citizenship in the young people. It is a leadership challenge which fosters team building, innovation and project management.
This ISA project opens the window to other countries and cultures giving teachers and pupils a new outlook on the world. It not only prepares them with skills for life and work in a global economy but also opens their eyes to new opportunities.
Despite having different boundaries and cultures, the world is united by the beliefs which are the basis of its existence. These beliefs give us the required exposure, teaching us that all over people are same and respect each other for peaceful living. With that perspective ‘Curriculum Activity Number 2’ titled: “Domain of Supernatural” was taken up for classes 11th and 12th. The existence of “supernatural” is a universal phenomenon. People all over the world over believe in the existence of supernatural, which is reflected in the novels written by British authors with ample references in Indian writings as well. Movies made on “supernatural” elements justify the belief.
Two such novels have been taken up in classes 11th and 12th – ‘The Canterville Ghost” and “The Invisible Man” on the basis of which the activity has been conducted. It is integrated with the curriculum of classes XI and XII.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITY: The activity aimed at finding out the beliefs prevalent about supernatural beings and elements all over the world. The students worked on certain aspects to highlight the fact.
RESEARCH AND COMPARATIVE STUDY: In their home assignment the students engaged themselves in research work and comparative study of the supernatural beliefs in India and Britain. The research report and data were submitted for analysis to the teachers.
SHOWTIME: Based on the novels in the curriculum; ‘The Canterville Ghost’ for class 11th and ‘The Invisible Man’ for class 12th, movies were shown in the school auditorium to enable the kids to have a better understanding of the existence of supernatural. This phenomenon probably helped them change their perspective about the supernatural.
DEBATE: An inter-class debate competition was organised by the school under the ISA project activity ‘Domain of Supernatural’. The students debated on the topic ‘Supernatural vs Science’. The participants put forward their arguments both in favour and against the motion convincingly. The interjections put forth were also interesting and the debate was an eye opener for everyone.
CREATIVE FLIGHT: STORY WRITING: The students indulged themselves in writing stories on supernatural activities and supernatural experiences. The classroom discussions on the existence of the supernatural were distinctively highlighted in the stories and were assessed and evaluated by the respective teachers.
STAGE SHOW: The stage show under ‘Domain of supernatural’ exhibited different ghosts from various plays of British authors. It was an endeavour to understand the mindsets of the people on supernatural elements and analyse the change of perspectives pertaining to supernatural existence.
The entire activity was quite informative and entertaining. It opened up the minds to a very universal concept which probably has never been discussed openly. This indeed helped in clearing various misconceptions.
By the end of the activity, the students were able to gain understanding of the relationship between science and supernatural through the study of novels written by British and Indian authors. They were able to build interpersonal skills, communication skills, collaboratively working skills and organizational skills. The students have learnt to respect different perceptions and acknowledge the interconnectedness of the World.
Experience of the Activities: It was undeniably a novel experience to delve into the “Domain of Supernatural” and execute number of activities related to it. As soon as we got approval from the British Council for ISA Activity, the excitement spread through the classrooms of classes XI and XII. At first, there was skepticism and lots of ifs and buts related to the phenomenon of ghosts, but all was put to rest as more and more discussions were held on the topic between the students and the teachers. We all realized that it was a mysterious realm of innumerable synergies, with no fixed answers.
It began with the study and research on supernatural beliefs in India and Britain, with astonishing facts unfolding in the comparative study about ghosts. As the students intensified their research, they were eager to watch the Movies based on science and supernatural elements, so “The Canterville Ghost” and “The Invisible Man” witnessed full attendance and eagerness. Students could now distinguish between good and evil and an invisible man playing God or rather Demon. They could also understand the consequences of being evil and the power of peace and forgiveness.
With so much study material and movies shown, they were now ready to build up stories based on ghosts. Though all sections had divided themselves as either believers of ghosts or non-believers of ghosts, the validity of their beliefs could be noticed in their stories. This led to the heated debate on the topic “Supernatural vs Science in the Domain of the supernatural. The debate proved to be the determining factor of their thorough research and study on the subject. The audience and the teachers were equally enlightened and it was very gratifying to see the enthusiasm and the “Spirit” of the participants in the discussion.
Last but not the least, we organised a stage show (A Play) “Power of Peace” with the team of ten students and three teachers. It was quite challenging to bring about the depth and understanding of the characters of such magnitude as “Hamlet” and “Banquo” from Shakespeare in the performances. But with time and rigorous practice, the Final Act received thundering applause from one and all, leaving the whole team of actors, musicians and script writer exultant and satisfied. There was a repeat performance on demand.