Unveiling success: GIIS IBDP alumni share their thoughts on holistic education

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Jun 23, 2023
Holistic development

Holistic learning — learning that addresses various facets of a student life — is key to preparing young people for the future. In holistic learning, students focus on academics and beyond. The education happens inside the classroom, on the sports field, school garden, inside the art studio, music lab or any such place where learning is possible.

Holistic development addresses a student's academic, physical, emotional, and mental growth. In other words, it provides a well-rounded experience for student success where no one element is more important than another. At GIIS, the focus has always been on holistic development. It's why we've put in efforts into creating immersive learning spaces for students that encourage them to experiment with their ideas. 


Understanding the value of 9GEMS framework

A well-rounded education is essential, especially at the elementary and secondary levels, because it gives students glimpses into their own abilities. It fosters self-esteem and courage. It creates a school experience that's dynamic and rewarding. At GIIS, the  9GEMS model that addresses students’ needs on every level includes:

1. Academics

2. Sports

3. Visual and performing arts

4. Personality development

5. Innovation and creativity

6. Leadership and entrepreneurship

7. Universal values and ethics

8. Community and care

9. Skills development

GIIS success stories

Students who focus on 9Gems become well-rounded, successful adults. And it's primarily because of the experience they'll carry with them into adulthood and beyond. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some of our top talent from IBDP Class of 2022 has to say about their GIIS experience. We spoke to two of our top IBDP performers – Sreejana Basu and Prachur Khandelwal  –  on their school experience and how it shaped them into who they are today. 

‘It’s about how you make the most of the opportunities’

Sreejana, a graduate from IBDP Class of 2022, attributes her success and enjoyment of school to the many opportunities she found at GIIS. She came to GIIS as an 8th grader and soon became active in a variety of extracurricular clubs and activities, such as Interact club or GIIS Medicine and Veterinary club. 

She remembers the accessibility of the GIIS faculty and facilities at the SMART Campus as the reason she was keenly active in school. She also performed very well in her IBDP exams while pursuing many other activities. All of which together, she believed, enriched her overall learning experience.

“I really learned how logistics and operations work (during my school years). As a  Student Council member, I learned a lot about media. I stayed in the control room for half my two years of 9th and 10th grades, and it was one of the best experiences. 

I don't think anyone else, at that time, would have gotten that experience but because of GIIS, I could. It was nothing short of awesome. As a 14 or 15-year-old student, we were meeting celebrities who  came for the Leadership Lecture Series.

I think, without such opportunities, including podcasting, I wouldn't have gone ahead and established my own podcast or spoken for other podcasts or volunteered for different organisations or done internships,” Sreejana said.

Sreejana excelled in entrepreneurial and leadership roles. Additionally, she has achieved milestones like hosting the podcast "Welcome to the New World" with international speakers and establishing the non-profit company "Toothbrush."

‘School has given me plenty of opportunities’

Meanwhile, Prachur who got top scores at the 2022 IBDP exams has always been motivated by the numerous awards he’s accumulated over the years in school and beyond, including the bronze and silver certificates in the National Youth Achievement Award. 

From his first volunteer experience with the World Wide Fund for Nature and Animals to his eventual interest in Red Cross, ACRES, and the Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children, Prachur has always found satisfaction in serving others. 

Still, he managed to find time to engage in other passions, which included photography, music and classical singing, all while scoring well in his IBDP coursework.

When we asked Prachur how his time at GIIS sculpted him into the exceptional person he is today, he was quick to cite the many opportunities the school presented to him, including the ECA activities, the many assemblies and the Annual Days that allowed him to showcase his musical skills to real audiences. 

“The school has given me plenty of opportunities. The GIIS EC (extracurricular) programme is how I first got interested in classical singing and keyboard. And, I would say that it was essential for me at the time, because when I was young, I didn't have too many hobbies, but this allowed me to get a few. 

The assemblies at GIIS that each class would hold, and the Annual Days were the perfect opportunities for us to showcase these talents. Our teachers always motivated us to better them.” he added.

Also read: IB's emphasis on academic integrity: Why it matters for IBDP students

Leadership opportunities

GIIS offers a host of leadership opportunities to students in secondary school. From clubs and activities to student bodies, students have the opportunity to lead. More specifically, GIIS students may benefit from participation in a variety of clubs intended to foster a holistic education, including TEDx Club, Co-Op Club, GIIS Law Society, and more.

School-led events, such as the Leadership Lecture Series, present more opportunities for students to learn leadership skills. And then there's Model United Nations, Jhankaar, and Global Indian Stars which foster public speaking, dancing and singing skills. These are only some of the examples of the many dynamic and engaging examples of the holistic education students receive at GIIS.

If you are interested in learning more about the many ways GIIS provides a well-rounded education, please don’t hesitate to contact our admissions counsellors.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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