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Beyond Conventions: Unleashing Innovative Teaching Practices for Student Excellence

Dispel the gloom

Kindle the light,

Give us the strength

Evils to fight.

Bless us to win

The heart of the foe,

To sing in unison,

To stand in one row.

Over be the night –

Truth is at sight

We all B.R.S souls

Will strive for what is just and right.  (The School Anthem)

History and growth

Way back in 1977, equipped with just five rooms, a few dedicated teachers, and some tiny tots, a small school came into being. Nurtured, nursed, and nourished with tender and loving care, Burnpur Riverside School (B.R.S.), Burnpur grew steadily. Over the decades, it has evolved into a comprehensive educational institution catering to students from nursery to the plus-two level. Today, B.R.S. stands tall and strong, youthful and dynamic, boasting nearly two thousand eight hundred students and one hundred and twenty staff members. Burnpur Riverside School, Burnpur, stands as a testament to its commitment to holistic education, blending tradition with modernity to prepare students for a rapidly changing world-order. Our school's vision and mission statements are directed toward this goal: 

“We envision empowering our students by helping them acquire knowledge and understanding, skills and values that will facilitate them to lead life meaningfully, stand up to and meet the challenges of 21st century life successfully and be citizens and leaders of tomorrow.” 

Fostering holistic development

The school, at present, boasts a robust infrastructure that includes spacious classrooms, Smart Classes, state-of-the-art Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Composite Laboratories, Mathematics, Geography, English Language, and Audio-Visual Laboratories; a well-equipped gymnasium; Art, Music, Activity, and Conference rooms; and a fully digitalized communication system. B.R.S. is committed to inclusivity and accessibility in education. It has implemented facilities such as CWSN-accessible toilets, water spouts, ramps, elevators, guard rails, and signage, ensuring that all students, including those with special needs, have equal access to educational resources and facilities. 

Aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the school recognizes education as a cornerstone for achieving human potential and societal development. The NEP's vision for India's education system by 2040 emphasizes equitable access to high-quality education for all learners, irrespective of their social or economic backgrounds. It advocates for the holistic development of students, nurturing cognitive, social, ethical, and emotional capacities. Embracing India's cultural heritage and wisdom, the NEP encourages a balanced approach to education that prepares students not only academically but also as responsible global citizens contributing to a prosperous and inclusive society. Burnpur Riverside School actively integrates these principles into its educational framework, ensuring students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for future challenges and opportunities.

The school wonderfully combines the traditional and the modern. The Music Room is a fine blend of occidental and Indian instruments. The school's sports and games infrastructure caters to both indoor and outdoor activities, including indigenous games. A new addition, the first of its kind in Paschim Bardhaman and among a few schools in the state, is the Rifle Shooting range. The range comprises nine lanes of 10M Air Rifle and Air Pistol Paper Target systems, and since its inauguration, it has been a favourite haunt of students. The Rifle Shooting range not only enhances students' physical and mental discipline but also fosters a culture of precision and marksmanship among the school community.

The school strives to walk with the times, which is why we use experiential and competency-based learning as new-age pedagogical processes. The installation of the FLN station in the pre-primary section greatly aids the curriculum's implementation through new learning strategies. A further step toward experiential learning is the regular organization of bagless days for students. We enrich our students by providing hands-on experiences in vocational crafts such as carpentry, tailoring, photography, gardening, and pottery-making, building their self-reliance and competence beyond academics.

Additionally, the school has implemented the “School Cinema” platform for students from Nursery to Class X. Its curriculum includes ten age-relevant films for each class and films for parents too. The "School Cinema" platform enriches the educational experience by using films as a powerful medium to impart values, stimulate critical thinking, and foster empathy among students, complementing their academic learning with real-world insights. This initiative not only enhances classroom engagement but also promotes a deeper understanding of societal issues and cultural diversity. The curriculum also includes a “My Cinema Workbook” with activities and projects that support learning through action. The ‘Digital Platform’ is supported by assessments and reports and offers 24/7 access.

B.R.S. emphasizes the good health and well-being of its students, and to this effect, a robust Health Services Delivery System is in place. The school has enlisted the services of a leading healthcare provider to offer and coordinate preventive and primary healthcare services through Health-tek Solutions, a Health Kiosk, nursing services, medicines, and health and safety educational activities.

A new initiative in the 2024-25 session is the School Skill Development Programme for students from Nursery to Std. V. Labelled as "India’s Happiest School Program," it aims to enhance motor skills and brain development in children. The programme uses scientifically designed equipment and teaching tools to increase the movement and cognitive abilities of students. Advanced motor skills assessments accurately track the physical development in relation to the child's age.

In all, we aim to provide “the best education to its pupils,” and the journey of excellence shall never abate.

Best practices and innovations

At B.R.S., we believe in the holistic development of its students. To this effect, the school continuously innovates new, age-appropriate teaching-learning strategies, tools, and assessments, and improvises upon its existing practices to deliver the best to its pupils. Below are some of the best practices implemented in the school:

Home visits and individualized instruction: Teachers undertake home visits to better understand the student's home environment. This personalized approach helps in tailoring the instruction to meet each student's unique needs. Individualized instruction ensures that every student receives the attention and support required for their personal and academic growth.

Value-based and appreciation cards: To inculcate strong moral values and a sense of accomplishment among students, the school has introduced value-based education and appreciation cards. These cards are given to students who exhibit exemplary behaviour, academic excellence, or notable improvement. This practice not only motivates students but also reinforces positive behaviour and values.

Regular PTMs, robust feedback systems for students, parents, and teachers: Parent-teacher meetings (PTMs) are held regularly to ensure that parents are well-informed about their child's progress and areas needing improvement. There is also a robust feedback and feedforward system in place that involves regular assessments and constructive feedback for students. This system also extends to parents and teachers, ensuring a collaborative approach to student development.

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) for teachers: The school has a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) in place for teachers to ensure that they continually develop their teaching skills. Regular workshops, training sessions, and performance reviews are conducted to help teachers stay updated with the latest educational methodologies and improve their instructional strategies.

“Framing of Question Papers by Students” initiative: The idea of students framing question papers stemmed from the observation that students often dread examinations. This dread turned assessments into trials of confidence and mental strength, often leading to results falling short of expectations. To address this, we decided to align learning outcomes with assessments more closely. The process began with discussions and debates within the Examination Department and Curriculum Committee about the feasibility and potential benefits of the idea. Selected students, based on their scores and academic excellence, were trained in the question-framing process. Their questions were then sent to a Moderation Committee to decide which ones would be included in the actual question papers. This practice has given students greater confidence and helped many overcome their fears of examinations by involving them in the assessment process.

Examinations based on prepared notes, self and peer assessment: To reduce examination stress and encourage deeper learning, the school implements examinations based on prepared notes. Additionally, the school encourages self and peer assessments, which help students understand their strengths and areas for improvement. This practice fosters a collaborative learning environment and enhances critical thinking skills.

Open classrooms: The school has adopted an open classroom model where learning is not confined to traditional classroom settings. This model includes outdoor classes, interactive sessions, and collaborative projects, allowing students to learn in diverse environments and promoting active engagement and participation.

Arts-integrated learning model of teaching and project-based learning: The school integrates arts into its curriculum, combining traditional subjects with creative arts. This interdisciplinary approach enhances cognitive abilities and fosters creativity. Project-based learning is also a key component, where students undertake projects that require critical thinking, collaboration, and real-world problem-solving.

Play-based learning for primary classes: For primary students, B.R.S. emphasizes play-based learning, which incorporates educational games and activities into the school curriculum. This method helps young learners develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills in a fun and engaging way.

Technology-led education: Embracing technology, the school uses various tech tools, virtual labs, and augmented learning to enhance the educational experience. These tools provide interactive and immersive learning opportunities, making complex concepts easier to understand and keeping students engaged. Virtual labs allow for practical experiments in a safe, controlled environment, while augmented learning tools bring subjects to life through interactive content.

By implementing these best practices, the school ensures that it provides a comprehensive, inclusive, and innovative educational experience that prepares its students for future challenges and opportunities.

Awards and achievements

Steering young lives to glory and greatness for over four decades, B.R.S., Burnpur has become synonymous with excellence. The school has consistently achieved remarkable success not only locally but also at district, state, and national levels. Notable student achievements include Rudradev Basak's international recognition in Mathematics, Ankita Mondal's district-topping performance in AISSCE 2018, and Gourav Nag's accolades as an NCC cadet. Our other notable achievements include:

  • Establishment of a branch at Chittaranjan in 2008.

  • Establishing a new branch of B.R.S. at Asansol.

  • Being the mentor and lead collaborator school in the Hub of Learning (Hub ID: WB0642), comprising 12 schools.

  • Receiving multiple awards from The Telegraph School Awards in various categories, including Excellence in Academics and Courage.

  • Achieving accolades in various exhibitions and fairs, such as the CBSE National Science Exhibition/Fair in 2019-20.

  • Ranking India’s 7th and West Bengal’s 1st Budget Private School in the Education World India School Rankings, 2020-21.

  • Students and staff being honoured with prestigious awards, including the Governor’s Silver Medal for NCC cadets and recognition from the Central Vigilance Commission in 2019.

  • Being adjudged the "Best Academic Institution" for 2022 by Times Ascent, Kolkata.

  • Continuously receiving national recognition for its excellence in sports, Science, and overall academic performance.

  • Commemorating its legacy with the release of a special cover by the Department of Posts, Asansol Division, in 2024.

  • The Director and Principal, Sri Sushil Kumar Sinha, received numerous accolades such as the CBSE Award to Teachers (2019-20), the Top Most Influential Principal honour from the World Education Congress Awards (2022), and the Best Principal Award at the 5th EduLeaders Summit.

Thus, B.R.S. stands tall, basking in the glory of its success. The school's achievements are a testament to the untiring efforts, unflagging zeal, and infinite patience of its teaching and non-teaching staff, supportive parents, bright students, and dedicated members of the School Management. With its commitment to excellence, B.R.S. continues to stride forward, shaping young lives and contributing to a prosperous and dynamic India.

Defining success

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;…

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,…

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son! (If; Rudyard Kipling)

A successful student at Burnpur Riverside School is defined as someone who demonstrates resilience in the face of challenges, approaching setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. They also adeptly manage success and failures alike, maintaining humility in achievements and resilience in setbacks, thus embodying a balanced and mature approach to both triumphs and challenges. They exhibit a strong sense of self-discipline and time management, balancing academic pursuits with extracurricular activities and personal responsibilities effectively. Beyond academic excellence, they actively engage in community service and initiatives that promote social responsibility, demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact beyond themselves. These students embrace diversity and inclusivity, respecting differences and fostering a culture of mutual understanding and acceptance. They are lifelong learners who continuously seek to expand their horizons, staying abreast of global developments and adapting to a rapidly changing world with agility and enthusiasm.

As Burnpur Riverside School continues to grow and innovate, it stands as a beacon of educational excellence and holistic development. The school's journey from its modest beginnings to its current stature is a testament to the dedication of its staff, the support of parents, and the talent and perseverance of its students. By embracing new technologies, nurturing talent across various disciplines, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, B.R.S. not only prepares students academically but also equips them with the skills and values needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Moving forward, Burnpur Riverside School remains committed to shaping young minds, inspiring innovation, and contributing to a prosperous and dynamic India.

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