We talk to accomplished singer and pianist Nitya Vaz about the Garden Academy in Paris, the benefits of an immersive learning environment and the benefits of the Orff Approach of music education.
Nitya Vas is the deputy director of Garden Academy and the head of music.
Nitya speaks 13 languages and is passionate about immersive education.
The Garden Academy schools in France teach an American-style curriculum, while respecting the French national curriculum, for pupils ages 2 to 12.
Nitya says the French education system can be ‘generic’ and ‘square’ and so The Garden Academy in Paris, was set up in 2016, is an innovative learning environment that cements strong English language acquisition through immersive learning.
Teachers are multilingual or bilingual and hail from America, Canada and Britain.
The Orff Approach, developed by German Carl Orff in the 1920s, is an approach to music education for children from ages 3 to 5 as an introduction to music.
Children are given percussion instruments and encouraged to make sound effects while a teacher chooses a poem or a story, with each instrument representing a character in the story or a word.
(3:20) MumAbroad – What is the philosophy of the Garden Academy and what makes it stand out from other pre schools?
Nitya: We believe in positive learning and positive reinforcement. That means children learning through play and hands-on experience in activities and in a no pressure environment. That means fun-oriented. Children are learning English through immersion: through books, through words, songs, activities like dance and theatre. These are all aspects of education that is unique to the Garden Academy; I haven’t come across another school providing education in such A manner. We at the Garden Academy are not just about learning in an immersive environment but to let children discover their own way of expression.