Holistic learning is a crucial aspect at DLRC and this is integrated not only in academics, but also in the activities, games and extracurriculars. It is widely promoted through sports, which advocate short-term fitness and long term goals. This in turn helps practice dedication and instills a sense of balance. As a teacher mentioned, sports is an acronym for: S-specificity, P-progression, O-overload, R-regression, T-time and types, S-self confidence. Aside from this, sports help build discipline and punctuality. They teach us to get back up, dust ourselves off and fight again. Together, these help build one’s character, personality, behaviors and mannerism, to an extent.
Several sports are team games which require team spirit and strategy. When they fail, students can learn and rectify their mistakes to achieve better success next time. Sports teach us that failure and feat are common, preparing students to dabble less in disappointment, and more in the skills they are honing. Further, they need to make decisions in a fraction of a second, and this helps in confident decision making. The goal is not a medal. It is to be their best self. These values are taught to the students everyday in their sports lessons, across all grades. By growing up with such values, not only are they applied to their sports lessons, but to life itself. They are routinely told to not let victory get to their head and failure get to their heart.
Similar to sports, the design lab at DLRC caters to the needs and requirements of children in a different way, while imbibing values that they can hone and use for many, many years to come. The design lab is a space where different types of activities are conducted such as origami and making crafts from different materials, so that the students’ fine motor skills, eye hand coordination and basic skills are developed. It helps refine such talents, in tandem, creating new ideas. To implement these creative ideas, innovative ways are explored and dealt with by students across age groups.
The design lab can be integrated with every aspect and interest of a child, and that is what we do at DLRC. What kids learn in playing, is what they will remember for the rest of their lives and this can easily be used for their day to day activities. The design lab’s thoughts are very basic, yet visionary. For many problem solving questions, children use the lab as their medium, as they can visualize difficult concepts (in the form of models sometimes), making them much more tangible and not abstract. This, in turn, also promotes hands-on learning. Once children look at the experiments from their own angles, they are then able to explain it simplistically in class. Every kid takes a lot of pride and happiness in this, while learning with equal rigor.
For the activities to be as sustainable as possible, materials which are easily found from home are used. These things teach the children to go from creating waste-to-best products and they learn more about recycling and processes to reduce the landfills. This way, responsibility, mindfulness and stewardship for the environment and their surroundings are sculpted among the children.
Surprisingly, when kids first come to DLRC, they are sometimes not even able to cut paper neatly. But after many months, these same kids use all these tools, sustainable models and games to create innovative designs and creative models.