We believe education is based on acquiring core skills and knowledge taught through integrated experiences.
Our academic programme is designed to provide a creative space and means for students to delve deeper and beyond syllabus. The institution has a diverse mix of teaching faculty and is geared to utilize innovative tools and methodologies to ensure academic excellence. Sports, art, dance, music, drama, yoga asanas and the ancient martial art form of Kalaripayattu are an intrinsic part of our programme. Children are trained scientifically; in keeping with the latest educational and technological trends. The school is one of the progressive ICSE schools in Andhra Pradesh, affiliated to the CISCE Board (www.cisce.org). At present, the school has classes from Grade 4 to 12.
From grade 4 – 8 we focus on developing the fundamental skills – Explanation, Interpretation, Application, Perspective, Empathy and Self Knowledge. The emphasis is on collaborative learning rather than direct teaching, which is student centric. Students are taught spoken Sanskrit – as the language is the cultural base of all Indian thought.
From grade 9 – 12 the course becomes more rigorous. There is a greater focus on the board examinations. Students make use of multi-media facilities, a comprehensive library and well-equipped laboratories in their efforts to research, understand and excel in subjects.
A variety of assessment tools are used which may be formative, diagnostic, summative, evaluative or informative. When a concept is taught, the objectives are clearly specified and assessed using national/international benchmarks. At the end of each term, parents receive a comprehensive report regarding the progress of their child. In every area, we stress on critical thinking and an open approach to explore multi-dimensions.
We believe that learning isn’t restricted to classrooms. Therefore hands-on activities are considered an integral part of our academic programme.
Camps & Treks
Grade 11 and 12 are taken for a night camp to the neighbouring hillock where they set up tents, build a fire, cook a basic meal and learn to live frugally in the outdoors. Once a term, students of all grades are taken for a half-day trek.
The school runs a rural outreach programme which includes garbage segregation, tree planting, waste recycling, bird watching, rain-water harvesting, pollution control, rural education, bio-diversity studies.
In each grade, students are taken for handpicked excursions around the country to expose them to the cultural diversity of the country. They get to interact with the locals and learn to live sustainably.
The school supports The Satsang Vidyalaya, a rural-school for children of the low-income communities of Madanapalle, located an hour away from Campus. There’s a constant exchange between the two schools through teacher-training, coaching, participation in events and interactions.
The school offers regular counselling to guide students to take career decisions. Based on comprehensive tests of aptitude and information of the prevailing opportunities, counselors help the students to choose courses, set goals and decide on their future vocation.
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Our 1:6 teacher-student ratio creates a familial atmosphere.
Children flourish in an atmosphere of trust and openness, where they are cared for, supported in their creative pursuits, and encouraged to develop their inborn talents. Our teacher-student ratio is one of the lowest in the country, which allows for rapport building and individual attention. House parents are more like friends and older children often play the role of mentors. We have an informal setting conducive to spontaneous outpourings, such as bed-time stories, letter writing, castle building, star gazing, treasure hunts and day dreaming. In the absence of gadgets and daily city commute, children gain on time. They cultivate skills, pursue hobbies, discover talents, explore surroundings, learn to share and live together in a cross-cultural diaspora.
NOTE FROM FOUNDER
Children are sensitive, open-minded and vulnerable. They need to be shown ways and means to gather knowledge and understanding, and learn for themselves. And since learning is associated with space (both internal and external), at The Peepal Grove School, we include experiences like outdoor classes, bird-watching, trekking, painting outdoors (instead of only within the four walls of the classroom) all of which we feel are crucial to the growth of young minds. Here teachers play the role of friendly guides who inspire students through dialogue and discussion, instead of ‘spoon-feeding’ them.
That this vision, of learning how to live and learn together in harmony, will be taken forward into the future, we have no doubt. The younger generation of both teachers and administrators have participated in several dialogues and training programmes where they have learnt that to live the philosophy is more important than mere verbal communications.
De-learning or de-conditioning is an important part of what the guides/teachers learn and this is how they stay open to learning new ideas. I am confident that the ideas I have about education will be taken forward organically and not just seen as a ‘mission statement’ to follow. My younger associates who will see the school forward are like students themselves in their desire for learning and personal growth. They are to a great extent successful in bringing young minds together under the Peepal trees that grow abundantly in our campus.