Born out of a social project in India, Focus High School aims to make high-quality IB education affordable and maintains a keen focus on promoting holistic development in students.
The school’s joint director (curriculum), Mr. Mustafa Zaidi shares, “We’ve always believed that quality and affordability should go hand-in-hand in education, and we were glad to see Toddle reflect our school’s values so well. On top of being more affordable than most learning management systems, Toddle has understood and responded to our teachers’ needs like no other. We now use Toddle to design our curriculum and unit plans, and it has had a profound impact on our understanding of the IB and our journey towards authorisation!”
“We finally shifted our focus away from procedures to actual planning!”
With all their teachers new to the MYP, the team at Focus High school was in a very unique situation, and needed to learn everything about the curriculum together. After using the G-Suite for a few months, the team realised that they needed an LMS that was more tailored to the IB, and therefore moved to Toddle. Mr. Zaidi explains, “Planning in the MYP is a very detailed process and requires referring to a lot of documents, especially when the entire team is new. With the G-Suite, we had to manually identify the lesson objectives and assessment criteria for each unit, and lost so much time just going back and forth between the planner and all those IB documents. And the fact that we would sometimes not know whether we were referring to the latest version of those documents only added to our worries.”
“Toddle’s planning templates on the other hand, made our work so much easier and more effective. We didn’t need to build the planners from scratch anymore – all we needed to do instead was select the objectives and skills for our unit, on an already beautifully built, visual planner. What’s better was that we could access stepwise IB guidance from within this planner. For instance, we were able to learn about the best practices for key concepts or the SOI, as and when we drafted them for a unit. We couldn’t have asked for a more organic way to grow our teaching practice!”
Mr. Zaidi goes on to share, “Another big takeaway was how easily we could switch between different sections of Toddle’s planners – an invaluable feature for an intricate curriculum like the MYP! For instance, when we were identifying related concepts for our unit – one of the most tricky ideas to plan for – we could easily pull up the SOI or global explorations that we had planned before, and this level of flexibility has helped us make our units a lot more cohesive and meaningful.”
“We watched the power of collaborative planning unfold through Toddle”
Toddle’s planners helped teachers at Focus High School foster deeper collaboration during the planning process. Mr. Zaidi explains, “Before Toddle, our unit plans were scattered across multiple platforms. We created subject overviews on Google Sheets, unit plans in Google docs, and then converted them to PDFs and shared them via Gmail with the rest of our school community. This meant that during our collaborative planning meetings, we had to first update each other about our units and the changes we had made and sift through many complex documents and tables before we could have any meaningful discussions.”
“On Toddle, all our unit plans were automatically visible to the entire school community, that too in real-time. And since we were already aware of any changes that teachers made to unit plans, we could use our meetings in more effective ways, like to ideate on how best to implement these units with our students”
Mr. Zaidi adds, “We also loved how Toddle facilitated realtime collaboration right within the planner. For example, if we wanted to suggest a change to a fellow-teacher’s central idea, we could simply leave a comment or even an audio-note right next to it. What used to take us many back-and-forth emails or messages, now happens in seconds, that too more contextually – thanks to Toddle!
“Toddle’s curriculum insights helped us be more intentional about IB’s mission”
Real-time curriculum insights on Toddle helped the teachers at Focus High School keep a closer track of the horizontal and vertical alignment of their curriculum. Mr. Zaidi recalls, “While planning on the G-Suite, we had to manually dig through multiple documents to know which concepts, ATLs, and objectives we were covering in each unit. This was particularly difficult for the MYP team since we had to make sure we were covering each objective twice a year. There was always a margin for error.”
“With Toddle’s planners, we could access curriculum analytics across grade levels, at the tap of a button. We could see which objectives, concepts, ATLs, and learner profile attributes we were covering, how many times, and in which grade, all in one quick glance. Such easy access to real-time curriculum analytics not only saved our leadership team a lot of time, but also helped us develop a better understanding of how closely we were integrating our academic content with the ATLs and the IB learner profile.
Going forward, the MYP team at Focus High School also plans to explore evidence collection on Toddle. Mr. Zaidi indicates, “We have just started to explore the Toddle journal, and our teachers are amazed by the value of collating evidence in one place! We’re now looking forward to helping students create their own journal entries on Toddle, which will have a strong impact in supporting student agency and making our teaching and learning more engaging.”
Toddle is an all-in-one teaching-learning platform for IB and other progressive schools. Loved by 30,000+ educators around the world, Toddle empowers teachers to work together and better for curriculum planning, student portfolios, assessments, reports, and family communication – all from one intuitive interface.