Early Explorer 2020 - FAQs

What are the age/ grade (and other criteria) for the 2020 Early Explorer Program?

The Early Explorer program experience is designed for students who will have completed Grade 4, 5 or 6 in 2020. In the presence of a sensitive, experienced teacher, the mixed age classroom (that mirrors child communities in real life) is a superior environment that enables children with different interests to break out of the limiting perception of being in the “5th class” mode, and reach out and learn from each other. There are no other criteria for children seeking to register for this Program. A sample of their work will be sought (among other things) closer to Program start, to help us better understand the child's interests, and strengths.

What is the Program duration?

The whole program is designed as a 2-week offering - the three broad domains of learning (Education, Exposure, Experience) and the five curricular tracks will be explored over the two weeks. We present STEM and HUMANITIES content, every other week; which is why, it would be in the child's interest to absorb the breadth on offer. However each week presents content that is entirely modular, so first-time parents are most welcome to commit to one week to start with, before deciding on the second! In our experience, students make this choice to extend their participation towards the end of their first week; please keep those dates free, should this happen to your child too!

How is the Program different from other Summer Programs?

Key factors presented below, have been extracted from this blog written by a GenWise mentor:

  • Learning to Learn - possible in the presence of world-class mentors
  • Thinking Critically - Asking Vs Telling, Socratic Method, Guesstimation Techniques are omnipresent in our classrooms!
  • Feel Connected (without devices) - our programs are device-free (for the most part); our entire focus around Learning by Being is oriented towards the child feeling connected to herself, to a group of peers, working with older mentors, interacting with business/ social sector leaders via the Evening ADDA, residing in a green campus with loads of opportunity to get familiar with, and closer to, Nature (we have a series of Tree and Bird Walks planned for the various weeks)
  • Making New Friends - In 2019 alone, we had students from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, St Marys, JBCN, Ascend International, Avalon Heights, Bombay Scottish, CNM School (all Mumbai), Inventure Academy, Vidya Niketan, Vidya Shilp, Greenwood High, The International School Bangalore (TISB), CMS, Primus, Silver Oaks, Brigade Millennium Schools (all Bengaluru), Orchid International School, Sahyadri, Vidya Valley, DLRC (all Pune), PSBB, APL Global, Velammal International, KC High, Chettinad Harisree Vidyalaya (all Chennai), in addition to Riverside, Anand Niketan, Cygnus World School (all Gujarat), and homeschoolers, (among others), attend our Programs...
  • Be Independent and Take Responsibility - Our children live well-cared-for lives and it is understandable that, at times, they might take things for granted. Here is a guided opportunity for them to learn to keep track of what they eat and where their things are, sleep away from family (usually a first for several of our Early Explorers) and take their first steps towards developing their independence.
  • Child always within eyesight or earshot - A safe and exciting residential learning experience

What does a typical day on this Program look like?

  • She will wake up at 6:30-7:00, have a morning physical activity (Nature walk/Yoga/Body awareness) before breakfast.
  • Academic excitement for 4 hours - with breaks for mid morning snack and lunch.
  • An hour and a half of "beyond-academics" sessions, followed by snacks, and then two hours of games/sport/outdoor activities
  • Dinner will be followed by a quiet indoor activity or an evening ADDA with accomplished authors/scientists/sportsmen etc…
  • Finally, facilitated Journal writing/Dialogue and a half hour to call home and lights off at 10 pm.

My child has attended Early Explorer in 2019. Does it still make sense for him to participate in 2020?

Several EE participants have attended programs in successive years. If your child has attended our Program in the past, we are reasonably sure he would want to be back with us! We see this late elementary/early middle school years as one band; while our underlying approach remains steady, our content is always fresh. For example, to reinforce the Scientific Method, density experiments from last year, may be replaced by gravity experiments this year. Our mentors are very sensitive to differences in ability and context amongst children, and can manage children with widely differing interests, abilities and contexts. A couple of years in the Early Explorer Program helps the child become more ready for the more-rigorous approach of the later years. If you would like to speak to parents whose children have repeated programs with us, please let us know and we will connect you.

How does GenWise ensure the safety of my child?

All of our participants' safety is of paramount importance to us:

  • Active Supervision means that the students are always within our eyesight or earshot; even while visiting bathrooms.
  • One Residential Counsellor (RC) will have 7-8 students of the same gender under his or her care.
  • Students are never allowed to be alone except when they are in their rooms or using the restrooms in the academic building. Even then, the TAs or the instructors must wait in the corridor and keep the restroom in their line of sight.
  • Students are not allowed to be in a building or go from one building to another without supervision.
  • Attendance must be taken at the very beginning of class (in the morning, after lunch, and at the evening session), as well as before and after every activity.
  • Student count will be taken at regular intervals especially during activities and free time, or when moving from one place to another.
  • Student handovers will always happen face to face; e.g. when our RCs bring students back to class to from the residential building, they must do a student count, drop the students and have an actual EYE CONTACT with the mentors while handing over the students.
There are many other specific processes that have been implemented, thanks to the experience of our Residential Team (with experience at several summer schools abroad, including Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth).

How will medical emergencies be handled?

Before Program kick-off, we seek information about any allergies, disabilities, ongoing medical care, schedule for taking medication (if currently underway), and any other information you think we must have, through a Medical Form. We will have ready access to First Aid kits; a Trained First Aid Administrator within our team, and a 24X7 Hospital (Svastha), close to the program venue. Svastha Multi-Speciality hospital, is a 5 minute ride from the campus. The hospital has been informed about our program and are on standby to support us if needed. In the rare case a student needs to be taken to the hospital, s/he will be accompanied by a GenWise staff member. The student’s medical form will be taken along for any medical consultation. We will try to ensure that the attending doctor speaks to the parent before starting any treatment and explains the situation to the parent along with course of action. However, in case of an emergency, we will notify you as soon as possible, of any diagnosis or treatment provided.

What facilities/ services are available at the Program Venue?

The Program Venue, Ecumenical Christian Centre, is known to be extremely child-friendly. We have conducted programs there previously. It is one of the training hubs for Barcelona FC. The Director, Fr Mathew, goes out of his way to ensure the safety, and the comfort of our participating children. Separate hostel facilities for boys and girls, cots (with mosquito nets) with clean sheets, bathrooms (shared by 2-4 children), hot water, and laundry facilities are some of the features. More details of the Venue are available in this link.

My child is a fussy-eater. I am worried!

Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner will be provided at the campus to students and staff together. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options will be available at every meal. If you have special requests such as Jain, Vegan, or if your child has a specific food allergy, do let us know (we will collect this information closer to Program start). We believe that good nutrition is critical to a child’s development and hence make every effort to provide balanced, tasty and varied meals. We will also be happy to connect you with other Parents (from previous programs) who have had great concerns prior to Program start, and were delighted with the on-the-ground execution. Do let us know.