One of the ways to help students grow academically is to provide them with a platform where they can easily and freely share their deep insights in particular disciplines. One such platform is the symposium. This term St. Al’s organized an internal symposium to allow students to showcase and share their knowledge on various subjects. Students were given opportunities to participate in various disciplines individually or in groups. Those who chose to participate as individuals had to do written exams especially in Chemistry and Mathematics. These subjects were also carefully selected to reflect areas of struggles for majority of students. Each class nominated up to ten students to participate in the written exam competitions. For those who chose to work in groups, their teamwork, strengths and synergy as well as their presentation and communication skills of the students were put to the test. The teachers set and marked the exams for the day and the ranking of students was done by a panel.
The energy and excitement levels for the day were extremely high. The best students and groups in various disciplines were duly rewarded. From the feedback received from the students, they were very impressed with the initiative. For many of them, it accorded them a very rare and special opportunity to share their strengths in individual subjects as opposed to the normal ranking system which gives cumulative results for all subjects. For example, a student who is exceptionally gifted in Biology had a chance to shine! This way, the event ensued that students who normally do well in individual subjects but never get the recognition had a day to be proud of and cherish. It also helped in encouraging healthy competition and cementing class teamwork and cohesion. On a personal level, the event also gave shy students a chance to build their confidence by showcasing their strengths. As a way of fostering academic excellence, students who excelled on the day were rewarded with scholastic material such as scientific calculators, mathematical sets, school bags, school shoes, sports shoes, mathematical log tables, and bibles.