The 2020-2021 pandemic has carved a way for itself in our future history books and will probably be referred to as BC and AC – Before Corona and After Corona, and even though it threw the world into chaos it has taught us numerous lessons.
With multiple lockdowns, schools, and offices being closed, the world was forced to consider alternative methods for life to go on. Similarly, Bangalore International School (BIS) took up this challenge with bold steps and has learned that ‘adaptation’ did not only solve problems but created new learning opportunities and facilitated a whole new approach to education.
With schools being physically shut worldwide, every institution came up with different ways to beat this pandemic. Similarly, The Indian Silicon Valley’s Bangalore International School was no exception, and the staff at BIS had to graciously adopt the online teaching model. Imparting education was imperative to ensure the students continued to learn. Apart from learning, emotional and mental support for the community, encompassing students, teachers, and parents was vital.
Given the unexpected changes, the teachers managed to have a minimal turn-around time to adapt to the new & relatively unfamiliar online mode of learning. Despite the challenges online learning presented, BIS’s teachers proved that it is not a hindrance. Online classes are conducted every day of the week, adhering to a regular school day schedule to retain some semblance to being in school on a daily basis.
This helped the students continue to learn despite the situation. Online classes were not just modes of delivering academic content, but they also motivated, coached, and mentored through this time. Even the youngest, the elementary and early years students had regular classes every day, except in this instance, BIS brought in a slight modification to their schedule to accommodate children’s sitting tolerance and give them frequent breaks from being in front of the camera.
The school entertained their high school students back on campus for a while to help them prepare for their examinations. BIS maintained all the required protocols and ensured the students had a safe experience whilst on campus. They also hosted events for the students like football matches and karaoke night, which allowed for a much-needed social interaction.
The younger students were taken on campus picnics that included activities like art, music, games, and some of the much loved and missed BIS food! This social interaction is an essential aspect of life that everyone has missed out on in these trying times.
In spite of the circumstances, BIS boasts particularly outstanding results from their students. Given that all the classes were virtual with minimal in-person interaction with the teachers, BIS students have performed exceptionally well in the Cambridge IGCSE and AS/A level examinations. The school now holds 100% results, with students who have cleared the exams with flying colours.
At the IGCSE level, 73% of the total grades awarded were As and A* with the toppers Gautam Krishna Belur & Kunyang Kim securing 8A*s each. In a cohort of 26, there were 145 A* and A grades, and not a single D or E. In the AS levels, 50% of the total grades awarded were A, which is the highest achievable grade; verily the topper Geonyeong Kim proudly holds 5As. In the case of A-Levels, 53% of the total grades awarded were As and A*. Shoshanna Sunil Attavar & Dhanush Katam Reddy topped their batch with 4A*s and 1A each. A phenomenal 89% grades awarded at AS and A level were C and above.
BIS is also known to offer an IB curriculum in Grades 11 and 12, where topper Karan Vellor Jayakumar scored perfect 45 points out of 45 in the IB with 40% of the class getting 40 or more points. The IBDP class of 2021 had an average of 39.13 points. This is an exemplary achievement that even exceeds the previous highest average by more than 4 points.
Apart from excelling in academia, BIS also prioritizes the mental well-being of their students, thus organizing several workshops with in-house counsellors and external speakers to motivate, help and be there for the entire student community. The programme included students, teachers, and parents and catered to different topics ranging from anxiety to stress given the circumstances. Lines were open between the counsellors and students and parents to cater to their requirements.
BIS continues to follow its chief goal to ensure that all students learn inside and outside the classroom, thus promoting and practising holistic learning, and adhering to its motto of being a Caring Connected Community.