The Royal Academy
As a fully functioning school at its maximum capacity, the Academy School will have about 700 Bhutanese students from classes 7-12. Approximately 60% of the student body will be meritorious Bhutanese students from economically vulnerable background. These students will be fully supported through His Majesty’s Gyalpoi Tozay scholarship programme. The Academy will promote a culture of excellence in all aspects of student life and this includes emphasis on holistic development of students to help them actualise their innate potential across all areas of development— cerebral, physical, social, emotional and spiritual.
On March 6, 2016, the first batch of students arrived at the Royal Academy. The 60 students came from all 20 Dzongkhags of Bhutan. 60% of the students belonged to economically vulnerable background.
The Learning Experiences at the school is to be transacted through various programmes such as Gomdri (orientation programme), Yardak (booster programme) and Shejun Phelrim (continuous evolutionary learning process). In addition, the students will attend Nature Retreats focused on physical rigour, appreciation of nature, and the continuous bonding between the teachers and the students.
  • GOMDRI (The Orientation Programme)

    GOMDRI (Orientation Programme)

    Gomdri, which took place from the 7th of March till the 2nd of April this year, orientated the students to the learning philosophy of the Academy and the Learning Experiences across the five areas of development (Cerebral, Physical, Social, Emotional, and Spiritual). The focus was on understanding the backstory of students, making their portraits, and creating students’ and teachers’ individual roadmaps and group roadmaps. This together produced a master roadmap outlining the path for the Academy as a whole for the year ahead.
    At The Royal Academy, roadmaps are an important tool of assessment. Each teacher was assigned a group of students and together they created individual and group roadmaps. Students played a big part in proposing indicators of success along their roadmaps unique to their individual aspirations.
    For the entire Gomdri, there was 60 sessions of Learning Experiences, whereby the 12 teachers designed five Learning Experiences each focusing on the five areas of development. Gomdri availed a unique opportunity for teachers to understand each student’s level in the five areas of development, and assessed students’ pre-knowledge gaps in the seven concepts.
    In addition, Gomdri laid out the design and structure that made up the Learning Experiences for Yardak and Shejun Phelrim. The Learning Experiences are not rigid but continuous and evolutionary.

  • YARDAK (Booster Programme)

    YARDAK (Booster Programme)

    Yardak took place from the 4th of April and will continue until the 29th of June (12 weeks). During Yardak, the content of the Learning Experiences changed as the focus was now on strengthening pre -knowledge gaps identified during Gomdri, with the concepts from all domain areas taking center stage. The syllabus/curriculum of Yardak was based on the collection of students’ pre-knowledge of the seven concepts gathered by the teachers during Gomdri.
    There are four Learning Experiences a day that concentrates on the cerebral and aesthetics development of the students, with the fifth session focusing on sports and physical development. Since there is a huge need for students to improve in Mathematics, English and Dzongkha, three of the four Learning Experiences a day focuses on these three subjects. The content for English, Mathematics and Dzongkha has been fed through Science and Social Science. The fourth Learning Experience is divided between Aesthetics and IT (technology). The content of this session has also come from Science and Social Science.
    The emotional, social and spiritual development of the students is based on a mixture of observations during the Learning Experiences and on the student interactions outside of Learning Experience.
    The format is not static every week and changes at least on a bi/tri weekly basis. The subject focal persons for English, Mathematics and Dzongkha are responsible for the decision of how the sessions are formulated, implemented and coordinated.
    During Yardak, teachers have been given a common templated spreadsheet (online) to track progress of all the students in English, Dzongkha, Mathematics, the five areas of development, and essential skills. Teachers need to record progression of all 60 children along with detailed anecdotal notes on a regular basis, which will be collated and graphed every six weeks by the five coordinators. This in turn, will serve as a basis for updating and assessing the roadmap of the Academy. Additionally, it will also help in improving and assessing the teachers’ individual roadmap.

  • NATURE RETREAT

    NATURE RETREAT

    There will be two one-week Nature Retreats, one from the 2nd of May until the 7th of May and the other from the 26th of October to the 31st of October. The Nature Retreats will focus on physical rigour, appreciation of nature, and the continuous bonding between the teachers and the students. The nature retreats will take place across Bhutan and the locations will be finalised together with the students.

  • SHEJUN PHELRIM

    SHEJUN PHELRIM (continuous evolutionary learning process)

    Shejun Phelrim, which will start on the 20th of July until the end of the Academic year, will focus on imparting knowledge on the seven concepts and continue to encompass the five areas of development. It will seek to further enhance the students’ competencies in the three languages, English, Dzongkha and Mathematics, while also strengthening attitudes and abilities such as leadership and discipline.