A Day at NUN Primary School
Coming to the School
NUN Schools believe that education is continuous and therefore, learning starts for children not when they come to the school, but before they come there. At the service buses they listen to the music carefully selected by their teachers. The selection of these musical pieces it is aimed that the students get familiar with classical Turkish and Western music, that they can distinguish the unique instrumental and tone differences of both music types and that they accommodate quality music. Sometimes they listen to poems from the poets’ own voices or joyful children’s songs and sometimes they listen to verses from the Koran and their Turkish explanations that will lead them to tranquility.
Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Snack
After the first lesson the student has breakfast with his/her friends and teachers. Breakfast and lunch times are part of “continuous” learning. Teachers and administrators, with whom students share the same tables, are their role models. Each meal time becomes a learning experience with observation, entreating, practicing etiquette rules and receiving open feedback. Students receive an afternoon snack besides breakfast and lunch.
There is No Canteen at NUN Schools
NUN Schools endeavor to make up a suitable ground for students’ healthy nutrition and there is no canteen here; only once weekly a stand is set up to sell homemade products. At the beginning of the term a certain amount of pocket money is specified with the school captain and students may not have more money that that with them. All of them do their shopping with equal amount of petty cash.
The days when the stand is set up have been organized as an important part of the students’ learning experiences. Sometimes the children make the sale themselves at the counter and they develop their communication skills and gain practice at simple calculations. They enjoy sharing with each other and the gentleness of offering their favorite food to their friends.
At NUN Primary School saying grace is multilingual, it is sometimes Arabic, sometimes in the mother tongue and sometimes in English. Grace time is not a moment of words only or when students regurgitate what they hear. These are the times when they think on the benefit of each food, when they remember the owner of each blessing and realize how generous He is and when they gain “goodness awareness”.
Come on, It is Sports Time
Just after the breakfast it is the time for morning sports at NUN Primary School. The students carry out stretching exercises with their teachers. Music is essential for these exercises, they dance and tap out the rhythm of cheerful songs to prepare their bodies and minds for the busy day. They exercise in the garden in good weather and in the special area inside if it is not nice outside.
These sports times help the students to secrete dopamine. Sometimes a student volunteers to demonstrate new exercises for his/her friends and takes his/her place in the middle of the circle. Here it is important to emphasize that there are other benefits of sports than contributing to physical development such as helping the child to overcome his/her social fears, developing his/her leadership skills and increasing the tendency acting as a group; however, the most significant issue is that these times provide that they start the day with fun, high energy and joy.
Reading to Relax
At NUN Schools each morning twenty minutes are spared for reading a book. The doors of all rooms are opened and the instrumental relaxing music or sounds of nature with an effect of therapy surround the whole school. There are no specific locations for the children to read books; they can read anywhere they want to be, sitting on the first steps of the stairs or lying on the rugs in their classrooms, wherever they like. Students who have had fun with sports and who have achieved tranquility are now ready for the busy day.
Class Time at NUN Primary School
NUN Primary School is an authorized IB World School and here classes are conducted accordingly with this as processes, where students adopt the learning experiences and manage them themselves.
The teacher makes groups in the class and her planning of the lesson is with different tasks for each group. Some groups g oto the library for research, some will make an awareness poster relevant to the topic and some groups will list the questions in minds. The groups that complete their tasks in the given time periods meet again to share their findings with their classmates. During these presentations it is the teacher’s task to integrate the different viewpoints of the students on the topic and to turn the issue into a discussion in-depth. In this system, not only the times when presentations are made and knowledge is shared, become part of the learning experiences, but also the times when books are referred to in the library are part of them. In the view of NUN Primary School learning is not accessing knowledge; the process and method of reaching knowledge are learning experiences on their own. There are brief intervals for relief, but block scheduling is very effective in order to expand the topic and to relate the learned content under an umbrella. One day of the students is composed of five different block lessons with continuous learning experiences.
Learning during the Breaks
Another topic NUN Schools regards almost as significant as lesson times is the break time as these are the times when the belief that learning is continuous is felt at the most. Breaks are unique times for the student to approach the teacher on duty and familiarity between them is established, for curiosity to be brought into open and for the student to overcome his/her timidity for asking questions. Therefore, you will see NUN teachers playing together with the children during the breaks and not monitoring them. In addition to this platform of familiarity, the students learn our traditional games, organize their own tournaments, spend quality time and develop social relations with chats in fresh air. They do not have a break from life and learning, just to the contrary, they continue these!
Arts at NUN!
NUN Schools believes “culture and arts” work is a prominent factor in their attempt to raise their students as global citizens, who are aware of their local and national values. Therefore, at NUN Primary School art has been set up to be always “visible” and “a natural component” of life rather than far from the school. You can Access the detailed content of relevant clubs and workshops here. In addition to these, the activity “There Is Art Here” takes place weekly. Each week different student groups share a show with their friends on music, visual and performance arts. Sometimes songs are sung and traditional Turkish poems are read and students share their own musical compositions. Students who do not like their voices are also on the stage and they are not intimidated; they join the rhythm of the performance by clapping their hands or stamping their feet. They learn to laugh at themselves when they confuse the turn of their catchword at drama; Nun students discover the beauty of collaborative production and staging at every condition and situation.
There are no long rehearsals or conscientiously prepared excellent performances; there are only children themselves with all their warmth, joy and excitement. Learning on stage and just performing art naturally is the issue at NUN Primary School and not repeating what they learned and presenting what they memorized.
“Concerts at the Fountain” in the Hidden Town hosts those times when students are really within music. Weekly again, people from inside music are hosted here. Sometimes a parent introduces a musical instrument of his/her interest and sometimes, an expert talks about the history and philosophy of the discipline. These concerts are special times when students are plunging into the depth of music.
Being Action-focused at NUN Primary School
The most significant aspect for NUN Primary School on each day with their students is to discover the in-born talent in the children and to provide opportunities to develop that. The school encourages the students to realize their action skill that exists in children between ages 4 – 10 from nature by carrying out an organization:
A student who likes playing Go can decide on organizing a tournament during a break; you may see the same student preparing the tournament poster on his own in the next break and putting up these posters on the walls with the help of his/her friends in further breaks. In the last break five tables will have been set up and the tournament started. That student knows that his/her school and teachers will help him/her in each organization. S/he does not refrain from producing, offering and sharing as s/he knows that each and every one of his/her “ideas” will be cared about and will turn into a much beter “truth” that has been put forth at all hands.
Reflection time at NUN Primary School
At NUN Primary School the day ends with reflection time. During the last fifteen minutes of each day the students write down their notes about how they spent that day in their reflection notebook. This evaluation of the day is important in terms of the student’s reflecting on his/her feelings, taking the responsibilities for his/her actions and discovering how s/he behaved in his/her social relations. The secondary benefit of this habit of reflection is that it offers an opportunity for the teacher to get to know his/her students much more closely.
In brief, one day of a NUN Primary School student is spent with experiences, believing in his/her potential and trusting his/her school, productively with his/her friends. It is spent with awareness of him/herself and expressing him/herself with arts, sports and science at all times...