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Ekya / May 30, 2018 Posted by : administrator

With 97% in the Grade XII CBSE Boards, Abhishek Kumar Singh’s score places him as one of Bangalore’s toppers, coming in a close second at Ekya School ITPL behind Kaavya’s 97.2%. We gave him a ring to learn how he pulled off such an impressive score – here are the excerpts from our conversation.

“I remember refreshing the results page as the servers were down from all the traffic. When I got to see my results, I was in disbelief.  I won’t lie; my emotions got the better of me. I was overwhelmed, I was in tears. I got a grip on myself and broke the news to my parents. They were really happy for me.”

Did he expect it? Was it his plan all along?

“I wasn’t expecting this kind of result. I did aim to better my previous score in Grade X but to score 97%, the feeling is surreal.  When I prepared, I went all in. The only thing I had in mind was to beat the 95% margin. I kept this score on the back of my head as I prepped for the Boards.”

“I was neck deep in preparing for competitive exams as well, so I had to make a choice – to focus on the entrances or giving a 100% focus to CBSE. In October 2017, I realized I had to take a decision.

Pre-boards helped me make this decision. I got a taste of how the board examination would turn out. I got to know where I stood in terms of my preparation for the finals. My results taught me what I missed out, and when January came, I knew exactly what I had to work on to improve.”

There is a marked difference in one’s approach towards competitive exams and board exams, as Abhishek notes,

“When you are preparing for competitive exams and entrances, you tend to focus on the quickest way of solving a question. You are constantly looking to better your approach towards hard topics and big problems.

With CBSE syllabus, even the small markers count. Questions that are for one or two marks can help carry your score over the 90-95 mark. I realized this by the time I finished my first pre-boards. Questions with lower marks threw me off. I had to work on finer details”

Solving previous question papers helped him; an advice that came from his seniors and a hack that helped him ace his boards, as Abhishek remarks,

“I put my time in a lot of question banks and question papers from previous years. Solving those helps you get comfortable with the pattern of questions asked. You begin to identify the format of how topics and portions are asked, and you get well-versed with it.”

The idea here is not only about understanding how the questions are asked, but also getting better at answering,

“You may come across several questions that you don’t have answers to while looking at papers from six to seven years ago. When you go searching for these answers, you’ll end up finding answers for two or three other prospective questions.”

This is exactly how he tackled Physics, a subject he least favored. On being asked if he had any advice for future aspirants and how they could tackle their board exams, Abhishek was quick to note the importance of starting early.

“Be thorough with your topics and concepts by February – includes the NCERT, reference guides and extra questions from here and there. Your study break should be set aside for solving question papers. Scour through every exercise activity at the back of chapters in search for potential small markers. This will come in handy later.

Your preparation in February will give you the confidence in March. Don’t save topics for last minute cramming. Finish as much as you can before you give your pre-boards.

Across the country, the month of March is renowned for the exam stress it brings, so we asked Abhishek what was his stress-buster.

“I played a lot of football and badminton until February. During my exams, I turned to Squash, a game that you can play single-handedly. It helped me take my mind off studies; I’d go every day if I needed to. Come back home refreshed from a game, head straight to the shower and back with the books. That was my routine.”

In the papers

And in the age of digital distractions, we asked if he did away with gadgets for the month,

“My parents didn’t put any kind of pressure on me. I quit a couple of social media platforms in Grade 12 but that was a personal choice. There was no self-imposed ban on technology while I was at home.

I’d attribute much of my success to my group of four friends. We had a WhatsApp group going, over which we have shared around 600 images of questions papers and topics. We would exchange questions, discuss answers at length, solve doubts and help each other before every exam. That brought us so much confidence when we headed into the examination hall.”

How did Ekya make a difference? We asked him for his honest opinion, and Abhishek delivered

“The regular unit tests at school helped keep us on our toes. We were constantly preparing. Our teachers kept us grounded throughout the year. They stressed the importance of going into details of our NCERT textbook and other resource materials – something I understood after I wrote my finals. They would cover important questions that came after every chapter, and that really helped.”

And his classmates?

“A competitive spirit always prevailed in class. It was a conducive environment. Everyone was motivated to do well. Everyone was there to support each other – exchange doubts, solve them together. No room for judgment, we shared everything with each other.”

Staying grounded, Abhishek says that his parents’ happiness trumps over all the media spotlight he has been receiving

With the phone lines ringing and best wishes coming from across the country, we asked the boy in the spotlight if he had any regrets,

“Only slight. I scored 95 in Chemistry when I was expecting a centum score. I searched through the question paper to see where I lost the 5 marks. I have made my peace with it though”

Having appeared for a string of competitive entrance exams, Abhishek has set his sight on a couple of universities in Singapore, to pursue an engineering degree in Computer Science.

“I like how you can pick a book on coding, learn it and implement what you learned right off the bat. Python and Java are my favourites at the moment. Ekya picked Python for Grade 12, and I thoroughly enjoyed studying it”

Here is what Ms. Jyothi Menon and a couple of his teachers from Ekya School ITPL had to say about Abhishek,

Hear from our toppers

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Ekya / April 03, 2024

The Power of Learning with Intent: A Guide to Purposeful Education

In a world brimming with information, the art of learning has evolved beyond the mere acquisition of facts. Learning with intent, a deliberate approach to education emphasises quality over quantity, depth over breadth, and purpose over passive absorption. It’s about cultivating a mindset that transforms knowledge into meaningful action and empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern age effectively.

At its core, learning with intent involves setting clear objectives and actively engaging with the subject matter. Whether exploring a new language, delving into scientific principles, or honing a creative skill, intentionality infuses each learning endeavour with purpose and direction. As Albert Einstein aptly said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." This quote amplifies the importance of active participation and hands-on learning, highlighting that true understanding arises from deliberate engagement with the material.

Furthermore, engaging actively with the material is paramount. Embrace challenges and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. This proactive approach not only deepens your understanding but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in any field.

Moreover, learning with intent emphasises relevance and applicability. Seek out opportunities to apply newfound knowledge in real-world scenarios, bridging the gap between theory and practice. By contextualising learning within your personal or professional sphere, you enhance its significance and utility, making it more likely to stick.

In conclusion, learning with intent is a transformative approach that transcends traditional notions of education. By setting clear objectives, engaging actively, prioritising relevance, and fostering a growth mindset, individuals can harness the full potential of learning to achieve their goals and thrive in an ever-changing world. So, embark on your learning journey with purpose, and let each lesson propel you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future.

By Sweta Pradeep Rao

Senior English Educator

Ekya School JP Nagar

Ekya / April 02, 2024

Gadget-free Summer Break

With summer vacation around, I urge parents to explore various ways to facilitate children to make healthy choices during their vacation time.

Last week, when we asked our Early Years to visualise their characters and create a story, most of them came up with stories about ghosts and monsters attacking others.  When we had conversations about what gave them this idea, we understood that these story ideas emanated from their online games. While gaming per se develops specific skills and requires focus, it also stifles the imagination of young children. Since it is visually appealing, children tend to remember those images in their heads all the time.

I often see parents providing very young children (1 year to 3 year olds)  with gadgets as the means to keep children engaged and entertained. I see children watching phones in the waiting areas of clinics, hospitals, school lobbies and banks.

This brings us to a fundamental question “ Should children be engaged by parents all the time?” Not necessarily. What is likely to happen if children were not handed over gadgets at the waiting lounges? What would they do? Some of them may cry, some may throw a loud tantrum, and some may crib. If parents show resilience and allow children to settle down themselves, they will soon find ways to keep themselves engaged. Likewise, during summer vacation. What if this is a “no gadget” vacation and parents do not take up the responsibility to engage their children? What would children do? How can parents show resilience here and facilitate children to make healthy choices? I leave the readers with this thought for this summer vacation.

Mathangi R,

Head of School,

Ekya NICE Road.

Ekya / April 02, 2024

The Eye of the Storm

In the hushed embrace of an Indian evening, our journey began, a symphony of anticipation orchestrated by the hum of jet engines and the flutter of boarding passes. The promise of adventure beckoned from distant shores as we boarded our flight bound for the United Kingdom, our hearts aflutter with dreams of far-off lands and newfound horizons. But as we soared through the velvet sky, a foreboding shadow loomed on the horizon, a harbinger of the chaos that was soon to unfold. In the blink of an eye, the tranquil serenity of our airborne sanctuary was shattered by a deafening crack, a burst of purple lightning that danced across the heavens with an otherworldly fervour. The air crackled with electricity as the plane shuddered beneath the force of the storm, its metal frame quivering in defiance against the tempestuous onslaught. And then, in a heart-stopping moment of sheer terror, the heavens unleashed their fury upon us, casting our fragile vessel into a maelstrom of chaos and uncertainty. The sky darkened to a shade of ominous charcoal as the winds howled with a primal ferocity, tearing at the wings of our faltering craft with savage intent. The cabin was awash with panicked cries and frantic prayers as we clung to our seats with white-knuckled desperation, each passing moment stretching into eternity.

And then, as if mocking our feeble attempts at control, the plane tilted almost 180 degrees, its nose plummeting towards the earth with a sickening lurch. Time seemed to stand still as we hurtled towards the ground, our fate hanging in the balance as the world spun wildly out of control. But just when all hope seemed lost, a glimmer of salvation emerged from the chaos, a beacon of light amidst the encroaching darkness. With a mighty roar, the engines surged to life once more, their thunderous symphony drowning out the cacophony of the storm as we clawed our way back from the brink of oblivion. As the storm clouds parted and the sun cast its golden rays upon the horizon, we emerged battered but unbroken, our spirits buoyed by the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. And though our journey had been fraught with peril and uncertainty, we emerged from the crucible of the skies stronger and more resilient than ever before. For in the crucible of adversity, we discovered the true measure of our strength, our courage, and our unwavering determination to defy the odds and chart our course through the tempestuous seas of life. As we touched down on solid ground once more, I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the world around us, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul.

Arjun Narasimhan Kuppuswamy

Grade 8C

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Topping Grade XII CBSE Boards – Kaavya Srikumar, Ekya School ITPL

Securing 97.2% in the Grade XII CBSE Boards, Ms. Kaavya Srikumar not only topped our ITPL campus but is also one of Bangalore’s toppers. Leading the city’s CBSE results is no easy feat, so we got in touch with her, to understand how she pulled it off. Fresh from the day of the results, the emotions haven’t settled with our topper, who admits her disbelief at the numbers that appeared on the computer screen. “I still can’t believe it. I didn’t expect this kind of result. I remember being very nervous when the results were out. I am extremely happy, the excitement hasn’t settled yet. ” Pursuing the PCMC stream, Kaavya’s reputation as a topper precedes her, as she was one of the school’s toppers in Grade X with an impressive score of 95% “I aimed to do my best. I was among the top three students in Grade X - I can say that’s where the ambition came from. I was determined to better my score and I’m proud to have achieved that.” With her record of academic excellence, we just had to know her secret of topping the boards. “I’d say my utilization of time served me well. I started my preparation pretty early, in fact when classes had just begun. I don’t study a lot, usually. I put in four to five hours of study time every day. I’d cover portions that I knew were important or that the teachers had emphasized in class.” Apart from covering the highlighted portions in the textbook, Kaavya also addressed the importance of revision as a tool that helped her with her exams. “Our teachers were very helpful from the beginning. We started our revision in early November. This helped us refine our understanding of basic concepts and revisit areas of doubt. I think I utilized this time well and finished topics well in advance.”
Kaavya Srikumar
“Balancing my sleep routine and topics to study was a challenge because the portions were huge. During the month of March, I cut down my use of gadgets significantly. I was solely focussed on the next examination and my preparation for it. To be honest, I didn’t study my textbooks extensively. I covered the portions stated by my teachers and those I knew were important from the previous years. You should be confident in what you study.” On being asked for advice for juniors and future aspirants of the Grade XII CBSE Boards, Kaavya noted the downside of rote-learning and the importance of being well prepared.
Last minute cramming never works. I prefer a well-planned preparation schedule. I’d also suggest analysing and solving a number of old question papers. This will help shed light on important and frequently asked questions. CBSE questions are application based, so mugging the textbooks won’t be helpful. Making the best use of the study holidays is a must to score well.
“My parents are elated. They were expecting a good rank but they didn’t see this coming. To see my name in the newspaper, to see them happy, it’s a nice feeling. My teachers from school have been messaging me best wishes. My friends and family have been calling in, to congratulate me. I will have to make a list now, for the sheer number of people I have to treat.”
In the papers - Toppers of Grade XII CBSE Boards
With plans to pursue an engineering degree in Electronics and Communications, we asked Kaavya if she had anything to add before starting her new journey in undergrad, “A big, big, big thank you to my friends, teachers, and parents for making this possible. I’d like to say that my effort made just 50% of what I achieved. The rest is because of the support I have received and I am grateful to each one of them.” Here is what Ms. Jyothi Menon, Vice-Principal at Ekya ITPL and a couple of Kaavya’s teachers had to say about her:
Kaavya is not the only Ekya student to top the city at the boards. Devaamsh Rajesh from Ekya School JP Nagar topped the school and city at the ICSE boards - Read his story here.

Are Exams Needed or Not? [ Parents of Ekya Feature ]

Are Exams Needed or Not? By Rajesh Acharya, Parent of Ms. Dhwani and Ms. Dhriti, Montessori, Ekya School JP Nagar
Pedagogy today has undergone a paradigm shift and educational institutions as much as students have adapted themselves to the changing times. While more and more technology is being used to change the way students learn, I have been ruminating on the way the students are being assessed on how much of the content and skills of the course they have actually assimilated. Examinations at the end of the year, is currently how the students are being assessed, which in my opinion needs to undergo a complete overhaul.
Assessments by teachers should be more inclusive instead of sticking to standard answer keys.
Questions asked in a test paper are limited and have always been following a particular structure from times immemorial where multiple choice questions are asked for objective exams and essay questions for subjective examinations. The stress that is created on the students due to these examinations is rather large. The reason is that the students need to memorize the entire year’s curriculum and ensure that they remember everything on the D-day as that is the only chance they’re given to showcase their understanding of the course material and their future depends on how they have performed in those 3 hours. This leads to all the students having a singular line of thought which restricts the thinking capacity. The essence of these examinations, which, should be to assess the learning, is lost. Teachers who mark the answer sheets, more often than less, use standard answer keys and this does not bring out the actual caliber of the students. The radical change which is the need of the hour is to ensure that the students are assessed in a stress-free environment which will bring out the best in them and also help the teachers assess where the student needs to pay more attention to or requires additional focus. A robust form of assessment is to periodically engage with the child as well as the parent to analyze the progress of learning. Creating a healthy environment for learning, both at home and school without a knife dangling on the child’s head will surely lead to more imagination helping the child in retaining the knowledge imparted. Asking the child to prepare a project on the curriculum will help in practical assessment and also stretch the creativity within the child making it easier for the assessment whilst also making the child confident to face the future. Secondly, assessments by teachers should be more inclusive instead of sticking to standard answer keys. In my opinion, creating tough questions does not bring out the best answers from students. Difficulty has a point of diminishing returns. If a student feels that cramming for extra hours is not going to fetch better grades, they may end up skipping a particular module resulting in incomplete learning. A low score cannot be conclusive – i.e, the questions could have been tough or the student could have skipped the module and hence unable to answer. Answers to questions should be thrown open for discussion in class which would lead to healthy debates and exchange of thought processes. This will increase the confidence among the students as they learn something new instead of being told that their understanding is wrong. This will have a huge psychological impact on the child. So to conclude, I believe that examinations should be abolished and instead, in its place, assessments should be made fun, relaxed and more engaging by conducting projects, plays, practical experiments whilst also assessing the soft and behavioural aspects of the students. A student may be polite, aggressive etc. which will be on display when they’re allowed to showcase their skill in a relaxed atmosphere instead of being pitted against each other in the garb of examinations. The resultant strengths and weaknesses can then be assessed and worked upon by the teachers helping students become more confident and strong in taking decisions for the future ensuring that they have learned and mastered the curriculum and retained most of the knowledge imparted to them.
Mr. Rajesh, parent of Ekya, was invited to be our guest writer on the Parents of Ekya feature. Interested parents who would like to write for us can shoot us a mail on communications@ekyaschools.com

Assessment pattern at Ekya

At Ekya, we have various assessment systems that give children multiple opportunities to express what they know and understand. This is crucial because, in the end, final or term end exams require the application of learning rather than a simple reproduction of facts. Hence, Ekya’s assessment pattern is designed to keep track of the learning pulse of each child which helps teachers fortify learning as and when gaps are observed. – click here to know more about our assessment.

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