Pune: The Bishop’s Schools in the city are facilitating the emotional, physical, social, cognitive and academic development of children, especially with developmental delays, either due to psychological or physiological reasons through a venture ‘Sparkles’ for the past 17 years.
It aims to promote emotional well-being that will strengthen a child’s coping abilities to counter environmental stress, enhance academic success, reduce school dropouts and provide preventive and therapeutic mental health. In a multi-level approach, students are identified, assessed and provided with appropriate intervention.
Children with special needs may have mild learning disabilities or profound mental retardation, food allergies, terminal illnesses, developmental delays that catch up quickly or remain entrenched, or serious psychiatric problems. A diagnosis is useful for directing appropriate school resources and getting a holistic understanding of a child. Once identified, mental health professionals in schools liaise extensively with parents, teachers and other health specialists to develop effective partnerships between parents and educators.
A child with severe visual concern because of which academics was an issue and with all the help in Sparkles, using magnifying glass and writer, audio tapes and a buddy to look after he got through ICSE Class 10 board exams with flying colours
Cases with clinically diagnosed depression were monitored closely by the Sparkles team with intensive therapeutic counselling and academics help which saw them through the board exams
The Sparkles project operates on three levels which include preventive mental health, identification of the problem and intervention. Along with it, children are also provided assistance in the following areas - resource room for play therapy and remedial work, computer aided interactive learning, monitoring and progress feedback, note taking assistance, exam accommodations and magnifying glasses, enlarged worksheets etc as the need arises
Sparkles, therefore, aims at providing students with process oriented learning. Emphasis is put on the importance of collaborative work between teachers, parents and students with a hope of constructively engaging students themselves to bring about positive transformations.
Henry Soggee, Headmaster of Bishop’s School, Undri said, “The Bishops has gone the extra mile to ensure that through Sparkles we are focused more on creating achievers than non achievers and our records prove it.”