Originating from our foundational commitment to the spirit of an Aham-Sah community, our team has evolved three distinct initiatives to help us build a culture of sharing, collaboration and reflective practice. Each focuses on nurturing one of the three groups that make up the learning environment for our students – teachers, parents and the community of guest atithis – artistes, nutritionists, story-tellers, thought leaders and more.
Nirmal Pragati: THE VOICE OF PROMISE
Nirmal Pragati, our centre for educators encourages teachers to speak the VOICE of PROMISE. Well thought out professional development sessions help teachers each step of the way as they attempt to excel as Professionals, Reflect on their practice, Observe and know their students, Model and Inspire life-long learning, Seek strength and support with and from each other, and finally reflectively Evaluate their own practice and impact.
Rooted in the belief that teachers ‘teach who they are’, the centre also sets the pattern for personal development. In order to inspire teachers to learn, grow and explore horizons beyond the traditional disciplines, the team organises visits to music recitals, theatre performances, art museums and places of historical interest. In addition, it provides a platform for educators to share their passions and hidden talents with their colleagues as part of an in-school sharing programme.
Every three years, teachers are also taken to a distant location for a rejuvenating retreat to look back and reflect on our progress this far and to plan for the future in accordance with our goals and vision. Away from the daily routine of school and bonding with colleagues in a relaxed environment, the Pragati Retreat offers teachers much needed time and space for deep, reflective enquiry – enquiry that often helps them recommit themselves to their profession and to the vision and values of the School.
Nirmal Chhaya: THE VOICE OF TRUST
Nirmal Chhaya, our centre for families helps build a circle of TRUST between parents, teachers and families. Underpinning its circle is our recognition of parents as valuable Team-players who Responsibly Unite, Share talents and time and are True to the vision of the School.
Going beyond the usual PTMs and PTA meets, the initiative enables us to learn more closely and intimately about the home lives of our students, develop a rapport with parents and thereby truly reach out and cater to the specific needs of each individual child and family. It encompasses a wide variety of intensively planned events and initiatives each of which encourage parental participation in varied ways.
Informal and ‘fun’ community events are organized by the team for families on weekend mornings and afternoons. Taking the form of heritage walks, community cook-outs, adventure camps, and kite-flying events, they provide important opportunities for teachers to interact with families in a relaxed, informal atmosphere and build bonds of openness and trust with them.
A special community meet is ‘Masti Ke Ghol’. Organized at the beginning of the academic year, it encourages teachers to break the ice with new parents by joining hands and jointly organizing a fun event for students (a play, a cook-out or even a cricket match!). As new parents visit school, planning and brainstorming together with teachers, they begin to lower their defences and develop mutual understanding and respect.
The annual curricular workshop – ‘Learning to Learn’ is another noteworthy feature of the Chhaya programme. As part of the workshop, teachers and students attempt to make teaching and learning visible, explaining and demonstrating the key tenets of the Aham-Sah Way. This helps to familiarise parents with our curricular approach. More specific workshops relating to particular subjects or concepts are also conducted, for example, a workshop on ‘Phonics Teaching’ has become an annual feature. As part of other curricular interactions, parents are regularly invited to view assembly presentations and class project displays.
To help parents further broaden their perspective, the team organises workshops and seminars on topics such as child development, parenting and conflict management.
As part of the Saathi programme, parents with special skills or resources are invited to participate in parent-sharing activities or to volunteer their time on a part-time basis.
Nirmal Sutra: THE VOICE OF IDEAS
The Nirmal Sutra initiative helps us build deep and meaningful bonds with a larger community and thereby ensures that our learning environment extends seamlessly beyond the physical space of the School into the world beyond. As part of the initiative, we invite atithi artistes, nutritionists, storytellers, thought leaders and experts to share their talents and wisdom with our students, take teachers and children on study visits and trips, participate in community outreach projects, direct student enquiry towards needed interventions and innovations capable of improving community lives and attempt to build longstanding partnerships with think-tanks, museums and other community based organisations.
The varied programmes undertaken as part of the initiative each speak the VOICE of IDEAS and Inspire Dreams of Excellence, Achievement and Sewa.