• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Education in the future will be more technology-driven, inclusive and personalised

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In this insightful conversation with Mrs. Tolani Aderounmu, Managing Director of Lotus Bloom Preparatory School in Lagos, a beacon of innovative education in Nigeria. Our conversation explores the school’s unique blend of Nigerian and British curricula, their holistic approach to student development, and the integration of project-based learning to foster critical thinking and creativity.

Additionally, we explore their commitment to teacher development and the pivotal role of technology in enhancing educational outcomes. She spoke with Stephen Onyekwelu. Excerpts

Lotus Bloom Preparatory School has a history of producing well-rounded graduates. Can you elaborate on specific examples of how your rigorous academic curriculum and holistic approach have contributed to these educational feats?

The curriculum adopted in LB Prep is curated from a blend of Nigerian and British curriculum emphasising on critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity which has led to exceptional results. We place emphasis on each child’s interest and talents while focusing on the growth and the health of each child. Activities such as playing games, storytelling, group projects and interacting with friend’s fosters curiosity, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and independence. Moreover, our focus on character development, social responsibility, and emotional intelligence has shaped empathetic and compassionate individuals.

You mentioned adopting the latest methods to engage and challenge staff. Can you share some specific examples of these methods and how they translate into improved learning outcomes for students?

We have a dedicated budget every term for professional development, workshops on cutting-edge teaching techniques and technology integration. Also we implement collaborative planning, peer mentoring and coaching to foster a culture of sharing best practices. Also, our flexible and adaptable curriculum is designed to address emerging trends and student needs. These methods have led to increased student engagement, better academic performance, and enhanced critical thinking skills. Our teachers are empowered to be creative and responsive, ensuring our students receive a world-class education.

Balancing academic rigour with physical, intellectual, pastoral, emotional, and social well-being is crucial. How does Lotus Bloom Preparatory School integrate these aspects into your daily curriculum and school environment?

We achieve this through, interdisciplinary projects that combine academic subjects with physical, intellectual, pastoral, emotional, and social learning. Integrating extra-curricular activities and clubs that cater to diverse interests and talents. We also have pastoral care programs that focus on mental health, well-being, and social responsibility. By balancing academic rigour with holistic development, we nurture students who are not only academically accomplished but also confident, resilient, and compassionate individuals.

Your focus on a stringent recruitment process and ongoing staff development is commendable. Can you elaborate on the specific criteria used in teacher selection and the types of training provided to ensure top-notch teaching?

We subject candidates through a screening process which includes written tests, class delivery, psychometric tests and interviews to assess the candidate’s teaching expertise, passion, and alignment with our values in LB Prep. Reference and other background checks are vital, since we are dealing with young impressionable minds, the children’s safety and mental health can be greatly affected by hiring the wrong personnel. The academic achievements and qualifications of our teachers are crucial. Teachers must have at least a good first degree and must be registered with Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

Our staff development programmes include: Induction and mentoring of new teachers. Regular training and workshops on best practices, technology integration, and student well-being. Performance management and coaching to support continuous improvement. We attract and develop exceptional educators, thereby ensuring our students receive the best possible education and support.

Lotus Bloom offers a unique blend of the British and Nigerian curriculum. What are the key advantages of this blended approach, and how do you ensure it caters to the specific needs of students in the Nigerian context?

Offering a blended curriculum offers several benefits, including: Cultural exchange and understanding: Students gain insight into both cultures, fostering global citizenship and tolerance.
Combining curricula provides a more comprehensive education, exposing students to diverse ideas and approaches. Academic rigor: Blending the Nigerian and British curriculum enhances academic standards, preparing students for international assessments and higher education. By offering a blended curriculum, LBPS provides students with a unique educational experience that prepares them for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

In today’s world, technology plays a vital role in education. How does Lotus Bloom Preparatory School integrate technology into its curriculum to enhance learning and engagement?

Teachers use interactive whiteboards to present multimedia content and facilitate in-class activities. We have a fully equipped IT Lab, and digital learning aids in each classroom which is a valuable resource. Also children in primary classes come to school once a week with their laptops or tablets which aids to develop research skills as well as personalized learning and presentation/communication skills. Children are also introduced to robotics in the co-curriculum.

A strong partnership between parents and teachers is essential for student success. How does Lotus Bloom foster open communication and collaboration with parents to ensure their children thrive in your school environment?

We utilise several communication platforms like emails, electronic messages, newsletters, school portals, phone calls and parent-teacher conferences to ensure that parents are informed about their children’s progress, upcoming events and opportunities for involvement in school events. Parents’ contributions, criticisms and commendations are welcome and valued.

The transition from primary to secondary school can be challenging. How does Lotus Bloom prepare its students for this important next step in their educational journey?

We help our students prepare for standardised tests like the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for admission into Junior Secondary School or Federal Government college as well as International Secondary/High Schools. Parents are enlightened on the benefits of children completing their primary education to primary Six and attaining the age of 11 years before proceeding to secondary school. This ensures the children are independent, matured and have the stamina for the rigours of secondary school.

The education landscape is constantly evolving. What are your thoughts on future trends in education, and how is Lotus Bloom preparing to adapt and stay ahead of the curve?

In my opinion education in the future will be more technology driven, inclusive, personalised, practical and driven by data. LB Prep is already on course and evolving, preparing our children for jobs that ‘don’t yet exist,’ leveraging on tech i.e virtual games, visual/ interactive media, educational platforms et cetera. We practice differentiated learning, which is the bedrock of individualized learning which tailors each student’s learning style, speed, and goals.

I am a believer of inclusive learning. At LB Prep we implement Individualized Education Programs (IEP), this is an individualised plan designed to ensure non neuro-typical children receive appropriate educational support and services. It outlines specific goals, accommodations, and strategies to help the child succeed in school.

At LB Prep we are big on project-based learning, this approach focuses on in-depth learning and critical thinking through relatable projects and applications. Finally, Artificial Intelligence will play a bigger role and teachers will be trained on the skills required to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum and provide better insights using data on better personalized learning of each child.