A Day in the Life of a Flourish student is always new and unique. No two days are alike.
The goal of each day is to be respectful to everyone in the studio. To themselves, and to focus on taking another step on their hero’s journey.
Slot 1: Welcome and circle time (Socratic Discussions)
The day starts at 8:30 AM when the students reach the school and greet the guides and each other with a friendly handshake or a warm hug.
At 8:45 AM is when the day starts with a Socratic discussion. The guide and all the students sit comfortably in a circle on the floor, and the guide starts the day by presenting the topic of discussion.
It could be a current issue, a discussion on lab testing of rats, or even a business problem. For the next 15 minutes, the students discuss the topic at hand. There are no right and wrong answers, and everyone’s opinions are respectfully heard. The guide will never praise or criticise any of the answers. This is a safe space where the students can talk about what they truly feel about the subject and respectfully listen to the opinions of others.
These 15 minutes set the tone for the day.
Slot 2: Core Skills
After the Socratic discussion is complete, the students settle in for 2 hours of core learning (we call these core skills).
Core skills for us are math, reading & writing.
At Flourish, we use a combination of worksheets and math and reading apps to build the student’s core skills. Some apps that we will use are Lexia (for reading) and Khan Academy and DreamBox (for Math).
The students are open to picking up whatever subject they feel like pursuing as long as they are completing their required points. One hour of concentrated effort is awarded 20 points, and students in the Elementary studio are expected to put in about 200 points of effort in a week.
At Flourish, unlike traditional schools, we track both – effort and mastery.
We believe that given sufficient effort, students will achieve mastery of the concept. Some students would take 5 hours to master a concept, whereas some other students may take 20 hours. That is totally fine by us as long as they master the concepts. Only then do students progress to more advanced topics.
We also encourage students to collaborate with other students during this time and seek help from their peers to clear doubts and figure things out.
The amount of effort spent by each student and the concepts mastered is tracked carefully on our dashboard and is available to the guide for review and planning.
Slot 3: Lunch & Free Time
After the core skills part of the day is done, the students break for lunch. Once lunch is done, the students ensure the studio is cleaned up and back in order.
Slot 4: Project time
Afternoons – after lunch, is mostly reserved for project time. This is the time the students spend collaborating with each other and working on a project for the session.
At Flourish, the year is divided into sessions of six weeks. Students will form teams (different teams every session) to work on projects on a topic that the guide presents. These projects are a mix of history (or civilisation as we call it), science, geography, math, entrepreneurship, civics and everything in between.
At the end of six weeks, they present the projects to parents and members of the community.
As we do not have formal exams, the work done on projects reflects the effort and learning that our students have gone through the session. We expect students to produce work that they are proud of. This is often peer reviewed and the teams strive to produce work that will be approved for public exhibition. Not all work may make it to the front.
This means that the students are not only answerable to themselves but to each other as well. They are in charge of each other’s learning. We design the projects to encourage learning in a variety of subjects and give opportunities for students to hone their leadership abilities and other skills which are needed to produce world class work.
The projects are varied and can range from setting up a successful bake shop, figuring out what is the best way to preserve 18th century paintings, conducting research on whether plants need to be green to survive, etc. We have an entire library of these and cannot wait to see what our learners create!
Slot 5: Clean up & Wrap up
Students own studio maintenance and keep their studio clean. Different students every week will be responsible for different areas of the studio and will ensure everything is in its place before the end of the day. (Think checklists).
We close the day with another round of Socratic discussions for 15 minutes where students reflect on the day and what they have learnt, achieved. This will also usually include character call outs by students who receive help and support from their peers.
Other things happening throughout the week
Besides this base-line structure that we follow at Flourish, there will be a few things which will be planned on some days of the week. These are:
- Drop everything and read
This happens every day. Every day, we encourage students to drop everything they are doing and pick up a book from the library and read. Either by themselves or with their friends. They can read whatever they feel like – from encyclopaedias to comic books to fiction. As long as they spend an hour reading.
- Physical Education (PE)
Flourish has tied up with some of the best instructors in Pune to conduct physical education classes twice a week. This would include age-appropriate exercises and games for our students.
- Music & Art
We will work with the best art & music classes in the city to conduct sessions at Flourish from time to time. With everything, this will again culminate in an exhibition that ensures that the students spend time and effort in creating excellent work.
- Language Skills
Besides reading and writing in English, students at Flourish will also spend time every week picking up 2 other languages – Hindi & Marathi. Unlike traditional schooling where students are expected to rote learn answers and essays from textbooks to write in an exam, Flourish will focus on ensuring that students can converse and write fluently in these two other languages and use that knowledge for practical purposes in their daily lives.
Below is a brief video from A Day in the Life at Acton Academy Austin, which we hope to replicate at Flourish.