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5 Areas of Development

The Five Areas of Development is a holistic approach to learning for Cerebral, Emotional, Physical, Social and Spiritual development.

The pace at which the world is changing and will change is unprecedented. During the Pandemic, we saw how quickly established norms of life disappeared. In times like this what we need are individuals who strive to be the best version of themselves and value integrity and the world around them, we need persons of substance. This is why the 5 AOD curriculum is as important as ever.

HundrED 2021


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2021

HundrED 2020

HundrED 2019

HundrED 2018

Web presence






Target group
November 2023
Teachers ask students to demonstrate what they have learnt, transforming learning into something they want to do. Students begin to teach their peers and become leaders in their own right.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Education systems around the world are driven by a curriculum that is very rigid and driven by teachers. The Five Areas of Development allow learners and their parents to share what they want their children to learn and the schools incorporate this into their curriculum. The learning process is also driven forward by Roadmaps designed by the student with support from their mentors.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Students and teachers collect inputs from their communities such as food recipes, indigenous games, patterns, songs, dances and language as well as expectations which become an integral part of the curriculum. These expectations are added to the students Roadmaps designed in the Five Areas of Development. A sample of a student Roadmap can be accessed here A collection of student Roadmap becomes the group Roadmaps. The Domain (subject) Heads incorporate the insights from group Roadmaps into the Domain Roadmaps. The Domain Roadmaps are used by the Five Coordinators to create Area of Development Roadmaps.

There is a strong focus on assessing students against themselves, not each other through the creation of individual Roadmaps. Indicators of success outlined in the Roadmaps, along with anecdotes from self and teachers form the basis of assessment.

A short video from the innovator, Mr Arun Kapur, can be viewed here - https://swiy.io/Innovator_hundrED

How has it been spreading?

This innovation has been adopted by Pallavan School, Jhalawar, India and Paradise Valley school, Oman, and 22 schools in Bhutan.

In 2021, the Ministry of Education, Bhutan adopted the Five Areas of Development as the driving force behind the Education Reforms in Bhutan. To this effect, the innovation is transitioning to the Five Areas of Development in Dechencholing Higher Secondary School and Wangbama Central School. The Five Areas will be adopted in 20 more schools in Bhutan in 2022.

In September 2021, Five Areas of Development has been nominated as a finalist for Falling Walls 2021 in the category, Future Learning.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

School community collects aspirations from the students and teachers. Roadmaps are created by the students, groups, domains and Areas of Development. This could also include stories, indigenous games, recipe, etc.

The Roadmap in the Five Areas of Development guides the assessment of the students in the Five Areas.

Qualitative reports are generated based on indicators of success of the Roadmaps

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

5 Areas of Development is a practical, multi-dimensional model aiming to address the needs of students through changing the focus of education. The concept, ideas and intention of the 5 Areas of Development could be easily used and adapted in other schools around the world to enrich any school curriculum.

HundrED Academy Reviews
The holistic approach of this innovation can have a huge impact on student wellbeing and learning. It is also a low tech solution, which increases the scalability in low connectivity regions.
I believe simple things as training for teachers are the greatest innovation! And the 5 skills are really very important for kids, for humans and humankind!
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Integrate the 5 Areas of Development into the school's learning framework
Before adopting the 5 Areas of Development, a mindset shift at the school may be needed, along with some practical preparations.

The very first step is for all teachers at the school to understand the 5 Areas of Development. Five teachers are needed to act as the main coordinators for each of the 5 areas. Each area then needs to be integrated into the learning framework of the school, so that they are central to the school's vision and philosophy going forward. 

Create individual roadmaps
These roadmaps set out the plans and visions of each individual student and teacher at the school.

Every member of the learning community creates an individual roadmap. At the Royal Academy, this is done through a mentorship programme. Each teacher is a mentor to several students, depending on the ratio at the school. Mentors help their mentees to map out individual learning journeys. The design of the roadmap can be varied, but should address the 5 Areas of Development; where the learner is now, goals for progress, indicators of success, a timeline and actions to be taken. Roadmaps are reviewed weekly and refined throughout the year as the learners make progress. 

Create a roadmap for the whole school
Begin the process of combining individual roadmaps to eventually create a whole school roadmap.

Within groups, individual roadmaps are combined to identify common themes. Department heads then create department roadmaps from the group roadmaps, and finally a whole school roadmap is created by combining the department roadmaps. The whole school roadmap incorporates the 5 Areas of Development and the needs identified by the learning community.  

Incorporate the 5 Areas of Development into the curriculum
Sports, reflection and contemplation are included in the curriculum every day, and nature retreats are organised twice a year to give students a different kind of learning experience.

Every morning the Royal Academy starts with physical activity and further sports sessions are incorporated throughout the day. In between breakfast and the first class, learners are given 20 minutes for quiet reflection, with the freedom to spend this time as they wish. Students are also encouraged to complete reflection journals in the evenings. Nature retreats are organised twice a year, with the aim of connecting the students with the world they live in and developing valuable social and practical skills. 

Redesign assessment methods

Through the 5 Areas of Development, a range of methods are used to assess learners' progress.

There is a strong focus on formative and anecdotal observations as opposed to quantitative assessment. Through weekly reviews of learners' roadmaps, assessment is immediate rather than summative and interventions can be made quickly to ensure students are on track with their roadmaps. The philosophy behind many of the assessments is to allow the learner to demonstrate what they have learnt in the way they feel most able to, such as through crafts, writing or speaking. 

Technology must play an integral role in collection, analysis and reporting of assessment. The motherboard (https://rigpa.pangbisa.com/) developed by The Royal Academy will be accessible for all schools who affiliate to the Five Areas of Development to keep track of the growth of the learners

Continuously evolve the curriculum
The curriculum is dynamic, with a focus on skills and processes over content.

A key feature of the 5 Areas of Development is that the curriculum can be adapted to cover the interests of the students and teachers. The focus is not only on the content being taught, but the ways in which students are learning and developing. The goal is to emphasise that learning is a journey.

Spread of the innovation

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