How ABWA's A Level program prepares students for the future ?

Twelve years ago we took on the mandate of setting up Aditya Birla World Academy. We started with a small core team of 17 teachers. As we embarked on our exciting journey under the able leadership of Mrs. Neerja Birla one thing became increasingly clear and that was the vision for the school.
The school was conceived to be a place where all children, and I quote from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, “Can lift themselves out of ignorance, can fly as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. They can be free! They can learn to fly” Unquote.
Often through this journey, I have paused to muse over how the field of education at the global level is in a state of constant progression. The shift towards building skills and making students ready to take on challenges, head on, as they step out of their comfortable and sheltered life in schools, is a more than welcome change.
We, at the Aditya Birla World Academy embrace change wholeheartedly especially when we see the potential of a change resulting in opening new opportunities of learning for the students under our care.
It is this exact sentiment that lead us to introduce the A Level Programme at school in the year 2013. We opined that the A Level Programme would offer our students a wider range of curricula to choose from since we were already offering the IB DP. In fact, we are one of the very few schools in Mumbai which offers both the IB DP and the A Level Programme.
The AS Level (Advanced Subsidiary Level) and the A Level (Advanced Level) curricula both set a global standard for education. These are also referred to as ‘gold standard’ qualifications. Each subject discipline emphasises in-depth subject knowledge that stretches, challenges and inspires students. The curricula are crafted to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in critical thinking, making judgements, presenting coherent arguments and handling and evaluating information from a variety of sources.
The International Project Qualification (IPQ) is a wonderful avenue for students to hone their research, reflection, communication and independent thinking skills.
Coming back to 2013 and the introduction of the Cambridge International A Level Programme at the Aditya Birla World Academy. We began with a small cohort of 11 students at the AS level (today we are around 75 students at the AS and the A Level). The aim was to design a programme wherein students are engaged both intellectually and emotionally and most importantly a programme which nurtures them to grow into balanced, happy individuals with a strong value based moral compass ready to take on challenges in today’s fast paced changing world. We knew from the very start that the A Level Programme at school should turn out to be a unique experience for our students. An experience which would enhance not only their cognitive skills but also strengthen their social and emotional quotient.
This led us to make two components namely - Student Social Responsibility(SSR) and Internship integral to the A Level Programme at Aditya Birla World Academy. The social fabric of our school is woven with the thread of Community Service. At SSR students volunteer at various NGOs. The endeavour at SSR is to develop values, empathy and ethics through social service.
The Internship component is aimed at providing students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned in class to a work-place setting. Through the summer of Grade 11 our students are mentored by experts at various organizations. The wide plethora of areas which they explore range from hospitality, media, marketing, design to science and technology.
So now it has been seven years since the inception of the A Level Programme at school. Our students have secured college placements in some of the best universities in the world be it Brown, NYU, Oxford, LSE, Imperial, Vellore Institute of Engineering and Pratt to name a few, earning prestigious scholarships like the Lester B Pearson International Scholarship from the University of Toronto.
It has been so rewarding to have been the wind beneath their wings so that they can take flight towards a life that they have imagined for themselves.
Seven years hence, I still clearly remember Mrs. Mariwala’s words when Javahar (a student from that special group of 11) got admission into Duke University. I quote from her letter of appreciation – “At the end of the first year and a half, to see this kind of top admission in the first batch bodes well for the A level program at ABWA. I cannot thank you and your A level group enough for the putting together a program and an attitude that puts the child’s success first.”
I couldn’t agree more. For us at ABWA, the child’s success and more importantly his/her happiness is at the crux of all that we do at school.

Image source-freepik



Franak Bandekar

Secondary School & A Level Head

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