ANNUAL REPORT - 11-12

section is the middle and secondary level school from 7th grade to 10th grade. .... The following projects were planned and completed during the ... My school. • Human body. • Health. • Hygiene. • Senses. • Water. • Plant life ... Solar System.
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ANNUAL

REPORT FOR UDAVI SCHOOL FOR 2011-2012

In this year’s report, I would like to highlight the organizational structure of Udavi School. The academic part of the school is divided into 3 parts namely, the Kindergarten section which is from LKG up to 3rd grade, the middle level section which we call the New building which is from 4th grade to 6th grade. It is located in a very beautiful building designed by Poppo and has running through it a long courtyard, open to the sky with a pond full of lilies. The 3rd section is the middle and secondary level school from 7th grade to 10th grade. These three groups are quite autonomous. There is a coordinator for each of these sections as well as a budget for their running expenses for purchase of stationary etc. and spending decisions are taken by each section separately. There is a weekly meeting of each part of the school convened by its respective coordinator where discussions take place about the issues in that part of the school and the decisions that need to be taken are taken together. Two representatives from each group constitute a core group for the school. The core group includes members from the sports section. It also includes the Principal, Vice Principal, the Manager of maintenance as well as the Director of the school. The core group meets once in two weeks and looks at all issues that concern the whole school. The teachers are encouraged to be aware of the program of the whole school and not only of their little piece. They are encouraged to be part of the big team which is dedicated to put into practice the principles taught by Sri Aurobindo and Mother for higher education. Each term there is a meeting of all teachers. Apart from the academic program, we have a well established Odissi dance teacher who has been teaching odissi dance to our students for over 10 years. She also has her own budget and works quite autonomously. Similarly there is Awareness Through the Body program, a Theatre program, Play of Painting program, Clay Work program and the Carpentry Workshop. All these activities are run by qualified and responsible teachers who function with high degree of freedom and autonomy. In this year’s report, I would like to present excerpts from the reports filed by some of the groups and teachers. 1

ATB program Awareness through the Body Assessment In this report we present a solution of answers given by students about the ATB program. What do you think of the ATB classes? It is fantastic and I really enjoyed it...In this class we had a chance to discover and feel ourself and to feel our body. We also learnt to concentrate and be patient...The class which I like the most is ATB which made me concentrate in every subject and learn to control my mind...It is a class where we can forget about the external world and could learn about ourself. What did you learn in ATB? I learnt how to concentrate when doing any works either simple or complex...We learnt about our inner being and the subtle body. I learnt to be calm and to be aware of things and myself...I learnt that health is wealth. By keeping the body healthy and fit I can do everything I like...I learnt many things especially to realize and feel myself. Everyone thought about the outer world, but not thought about ourself, but here it was the opposite. What have you used in your daily life that you learned in ATB? Self-confidence, safety, and emotional and physical alertness..I learnt not to get angry and to start a new thing with a little silence and a deep breath...confidence and concentration, to keep attention in everything...The first thing is, before doing anything, I first concentrate whether to do or not. And the other thing I realize myself every day with the help of ATB. What is your recommendation for the Xth Standard students? I think the students in 10th deserve ATB classes at least once a week because it will really help them concentrate in their studies and also will be a good class to relax their stress in studies...Tenth should come to ATB. It will be helpful for them. It makes them free and to concentrate in their studies. They can also learn to be calm and how to concentrate on things. Here we also learn how to prepare for certain exams and how to face them without fear...

Drama Program:

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Udavi school drama program continue to grow, and continue bringing together the students creativity and talents. Drama has been a supporting tool to enhance the spoken and reading part of the English language, apart from their usual curriculum. Drama program continue to bring freshness and joy in the mind of students, who are stressed towards passing an exam. Drama program is spread over from the KG to 9th standard, throughout the academic year. Where each class gets an opportunity to attend drama class twice a week, and put up a show at the end of every term respectively. This year the KG children put up a great show, and the parents were very happy to see their little ones speak English and act on the stage. Needless to say, the KG children were swarming around me, even at the lunch break, quickly eating their lunch to have extra rehearsal apart from their regular classes. I was amused by their commitment and interest. Besides KG, the 8th STD put up an outstanding show with a good script of a play titled “The Man who wanted to fly”. The play portrays the qualities of a man, who wishes to part away with his emotions in order to make himself lighter to be able to fly. The play ends, where a bird on a tree witnesses the man being just a stone. The audience got the message that emotions are part of our own being and we will be just a “stone” without it. The drama report concludes with a Tamil play performed by the 9th STD, where the play talked about the values of a good king. All the plays had good themes and great morals. I believe the students absorbed these values to foster their own self-growth in educational journey.

Sports Program: 3PM -4:30 PM, the students enjoy varieties of sports activities provided by the school. This year Edo took up the football and trained the bigger boys. This led the Udavi students to promote football instead of traditional cricket within their Villages. Girls continued to enjoy playing volleyball under the guidance of Allexy, the Russian coach.

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Badminton is the craze for another area where the kids love to play. Murugasen continued basketball.

to

train

a

small

group

of

boys

and

girls

in

A guest student taught, and introduced Frishee sport, which attracted the kids.

From the fitness, the minimal Gym setup helped to put up some muscle and strengthened those who wished to be fit.

There were competitions between Dehashakti, the Auroville Sports program and Udavi. The students of udavi were able to play at Dehashakti and Udavi hosted the Dehashakti students. It was a way to stay connected with Auroville despite being an outreach school.

New Building:

The Primary Section of the School is happy to present a brief report on its activities during the 2011—12 school year. Like the rest of the school, the Section draws its inspiration from the vision and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and their concept of integral education. This means that every single child is a unique being, with his/her own capabilities and his/her needs, and we attempt to create an atmosphere and an environment in which he/she finds opportunities for a healthy growth. The numerous workshops some of the teachers have been able to participate in have been of great help in this regard. The following areas have been integrated into our daily classroom activities: •

Improving concentration



Independent learning / Learning to learn



Skills on the sports field



Physical flexibility, harmony, and stamina

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The following projects were planned and completed during academic year, each tailored to the level of the class concerned. Grade 4

Grade 5

the

Grade 6



My family



Universe



States of Matter



My school



Wild animals



Forms of water



Human body



Butterflies



Plant life



Health



Plant life



Solar System



Hygiene



Boats



Simple machines



Senses



Houses





Water



Gardens

S c i e n experiments



Plant life



Villages



India



M u s i c instruments

a

c

e

l

Activities related to the projects were wide and varied: researching material from library sources, audiovisual displays, use of charts and similar material, field trips, experiments, crafts, and so forth. An open house was held on March 28, 2012 at which students exhibited their work in arts and crafts. The event was not limited to these activities, and there were games, maths quizzes, science experiments, story telling, and other things, some contributed by teachers as well. Parents received a special time slot, and we were pleased to note their happiness at the creative products of their children. Languages The teachers intensified their efforts to improve the language skills of their students, with special stress on reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The overall aim was (and continues to be) to develop creative thinking and expression, and to encourage the reading habit as a means to self-improvement. The classes received a good deal of practice material in the English and Tamil languages. Workbooks and exercises in class work and homework formed the basic structure of these activities. Some new books were added to the library. The titles had been chosen with the specific aim of placing updated reading material in the hands of the students, and we are pleased to report that the selections were well received by those for whom they were intended. 5

Students who were found to be in need of special help in their reading and writing skills were provided with such assistance by volunteer teachers, and we were satisfied with the improvements visible in their subsequent work. Recognizing the importance of Tamil, equal importance was (and will continue to be) accorded to the language alongside English. This is reflected in the time allotted to Tamil in the time table for each class. Mathematics: In addition to the basic arithmetical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, we introduced the concepts of number, fraction, and decimal in the 6th Grade. Timed tables provided a good deal of practice in all three classes. Some of the concepts made use of games, which evoked enthusiastic response from the young learners.

Physical education: In physical education the aim was to develop their strength, stamina, endurance, body flexibility, balance, aiming, speed, correct posture and skills like kicking, dribbling, passing, throwing, catching and develop skills for ball games. Areas of physical education: Football, Basketball, Athletics, Yoga, and fun games. Each group of students encouraged to join in above activities throughout the week. Also every class had day (during sports time) to do a grand cleaning up as part of physical education. Children were very happy to pick up clean their surrounding and also watering plants in the area. Co-curricular: Apart from our regular project-work and lessons in the classrooms children were encouraged to participate in a number of free choice activities that are chosen by ones interest and preferences. The activities are as follows: clay work, swimming, cycling, stitching, drama, dance, and gardening, computing, music. These free choice activities helped the students to improve fine motor skills, life skills, coordination…etc. The students had been noticed to be very creative in their work. Above the activities were planned once a week that is on Saturdays for half a day. A full day trip was organized to go the Vedandagal bird sanctuary, Valluvar Kottam, Chennai Marina beach as outdoor educational tour. Also half a day outings were organized to the Pondy 6

Botanical Gardens, Oostery, several departments in Auroville as a new way of learning things from nature. The Mother’s Mahasamadhi Remembered The Primary Section of the Udavi School honoured the memory of the Mother’s Mahasamadhi with due reverence and solemnity. The thought of celebrating the very special event gained rapid and whole-hearted acceptance among teachers and students alike, and youthful, creative fingers soon got busy creating beautiful posters for the occasion. The message was simple and brief: Silence Today. The staff and students gathered a day before and discussed the details. ‘Today’ was clarified to mean ‘up to midday’. Total silence was enjoined upon all from the moment of their arrival at the school premises, and it was to be observed right up to the time of the lunchhour gong. Students were to occupy themselves in some activity in which silence could be maintained for the designated length of time. Art, incidentally a subject dear to the Mother, was everyone’s choice. A dazzling white replica of the Mother’s emblem at the entrance of the New Building, a paper cut out announcing ‘Silence’, and marigolds placed wherever they could find room. The school session began with silent prayer. The Mother’s blessing and the children’s own determination made this event especially memorable, apart from the fact that it was the Primary section’s first. … The team, New Building – Primary section.

KINDERGARTEN 2011-2012 With the aim of helping each child to grow independently and integrally (five fold education), we teachers worked on various activities based on child’s need. All different activities were formulated accordingly. In this age, each and every thing that we do becomes a learning step for the children. From the day 1 the child starts learning the proper way to eat, sleep, sit, talk, share, relax, etc. As their learning is a never-ending process we aspire that children progress in a better way. Though we have two different levels •

Lower and upper KG



Primary 1st, 2nd and 3rd STD

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We still focused on the five fold education in all the groups. The activities we did were almost the same but were done at a different level keeping the child’s need in mind. We achieved our goals through the following activities. Assembly: We have assembly thrice a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We find this time of the day very special to gather all our energy to start the day with peace and happiness, and to work collectively putting our efforts at our best. Prayers, chanting, singing and celebrating birthdays in the assembly creates a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. We do share short stories, classroom works and discuss common rules and regulation etc., which enables everyone to know what is happening in every section. Circle-time activities: Sharing day-to-day happenings at home as well as at school helps them to improve their conversation (speaking skills) in both the languages. To create a family atmosphere and to develop friendship among the children, we did various activities such as telling stories, singing rhymes, reading flashcards, showing pictures and talking about it, and playing different games. Multiple choice activities: - To bring out their individual talents, to motivate them to choose their work by themselves and to develop hand skills we worked on the following activities using marbles and making pattern works, `Tearing and bit pasting, thermo ball pasting, making models with clay and dough, colouring with crayons and colour pencils, Painting with water colours, poster colour, and natural colours, making cards using finger and vegetable impressions. Playing different wooden games like fixing, sorting and arranging in order, solving puzzles, playing with blocks and in sand-pit. The above mentioned activities were done by mixing the lower and upper KG children and dividing them into four or five groups. Each child got familiar with the others in their group. It developed their helping natures as well as their friendships among themselves. This was happening thrice a week. Similar activities were done in the upper grades at a different level to develop their mental faculties. Taking the children for a nature walk in and around the school campus made them aware of the whole school environment and helped them to become sensitive towards nature. Collecting different things and sorting them, sticking them on paper and describing about it helped them develop their language skills as well as classifying and differentiating skills. (This particular activity also helps them to develop their senses and to cultivate the appreciation for nature and its beauty). In order to sustain this appreciation in them we did a collective cleaning of the whole kindergarten. Field trips: Children were taken to various places like farms, aquarium, parks, beach, lakes, botanical garden, temples, and railway 8

stations, for exhibitions (clay and photo exhibition) and to other schools. This enables them to become aware of different culture, people and behavior towards different atmosphere. This helps them to get accustomed to travel by bus. Above all children enjoy and share happiness with each other. This year we took them for a day to Aranya forest, there we showed the trees and canyon and they learnt about forests. We grouped and included the children in all the activities such as collecting woods, cuttings vegetables, cooking with all the children’s and teacher’s participation. Celebrations: To cultivate a sense of celebration and to share the joy of each festival with each other we celebrated Ganesh Puja, Independence day, Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, Nata’s birthday and Christmas. •

For Nata’s birthday we arranged for a cultural programme. Children performed dance, songs and plays that they learnt in everyday activities.

Projects: Exhibition: For exhibition children’s craft work and other works of their project were displayed. Children were involved in decorating the classroom and organizing the things in order. This enabled the child to become independent and to develop their aesthetic sense of beauty. •

Sensory development:- In order to develop all the five senses we worked on different activities. Activities varied from group to group according to the level and their needs. Below mentioned are few example of what we did;

 Hearing: - children brought match boxes and filled them with various materials (two boxes with the same) .without seeing the matching box they need to identify the same sounding boxes.

 Sight: - by giving 3D picture children were asked to look at the depth of the picture and identifying the right picture in it.

 Touch: - Identifying the different texture of the various materials that they collected in the nature walk.

 Smell and taste: - Finding out the different smell and taste and describing about the difference between each other.

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Apart from the whole group projects different project according to their needs.

each

class

worked

on

Games room activities: This is the room which has the library books, building blocks, games and Puzzles. Here children choose their activity and work independently. Here we also cover all subjects like language, Math and Science. Sports: Children play various games during this time, like skipping, hopping, lungadi, king ball, kabhadi, kho-kho, dog and the bone, chain cut, ring ball, etc. In the playground they learnt how to use the sports materials with good care. They also had athletic events like running, long jump, high jump, ball throwing. They also participated in novelty races like spoon and lemon, frog race, card board walk, balloon bursting, musical chair, water filling and tail pulling. Children also learnt rhythmic movement for the sports day presentation. But this year due to the Cyclone Thane we were not able to present our sports day program. Each group learns yoga-asana once a week. Extra curricular activities: Dances (oddisi,folk) drama, art and craft, clay work, music, play of paint were some of the extra curricular activities that they participated. These are some of the activity which refreshes their minds and helps them to learn better. Subjects: Languages: (English, Tamil) we give equal importance to both languages. Children learn to master their language skills through story telling, rhymes, every day conversation, open discussion, describing things, reading and writing. Apart from these the above mention activities also involves language learning. Math: Children were helped to develop their estimating, classifying and sorting skills. Children learnt counting, addition, subtraction and multiplication using concrete objects. They were exposed to more of practical work to understand the concept and to apply the skills in the day-to-day life. E.V.S.: This particular subject is connected with close environment where they live. Children experience the things around them by exploring their environment. For example children identify the names and the characters of plants by observing them every day. We also adopt ideas from other text books to do project in this subject. Topics like my family, my village, my garden and my country were done to give a feeling of oneness. This year we got Sama chcheer books for every child from 1st STD.

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Volunteers: This year we had volunteers from U.S.A., Auroville. (Vijay, Lisa. Sudarshan ) The children got a wonderful chance to be with those volunteers learning things in a different way with them and were encouraged to speak in English with them. Also they got individual attention in reading English stories. Sudarshan came once a week and told stories and chanted mantras in the assembly, where the children get used to listen as a whole group for about 10 to 15 minutes at a stretch. Workshops: Heidi watts and Jean are our advisors they help by mails and by meeting us whenever they come to India. And also we attend their workshops. (Who had many years of experience in Kinder- Gar ten from U.S.A. ) It enabled the teachers to develop in depths what they have already known. Children and teachers had a wonderful time together learning all these that we have mentioned above. English Report (7th & 8th) For the academic year 2011-12, I had one primary motive. My aim was to reduce my role as a ‘lecturer’ and allow the students the space to be constantly active and involved during the classes. I wanted the children to be constantly involved and working rather than be passive listeners. With this new attitude a undertook the standard activities to learn English . A lot of time was spent in the usual activities of reading, writing, comprehension, grammar etc.

A lot of importance was given to creative writing and helping the children to formulate their thoughts into words. We moved away from the classroom for this activity for example one day we decided to observe nature and write about the same.

For reading, each child had goals of completing a certain number of books form the library. The number of books varied according to each child’s personal level.

This year I was lucky to elicit the help of Malou a theatre person from Germany. With her help we staged a performance mid year. Both 7th 8th grades performed. 7th standard worked on two plays and performed the same. Each child of 8th standard took up a poem and shard with appropriate gestures. That was a fun and happy experience for children and an active way to keep them involved.

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Feedback from student: I like English class very much I learned many different things in English class. I love story book and we read story books at English class during free time and at home. English class is very interesting for me. We do many activities like reading writing and so on. I learned to write poems on my own we also learnt to write about some thing. Writing own stories are very interesting for me. Tamilarasi- 8th std. REPORT FROM DOMINIQUE FOR 12 STD FRENCH AND BIOLOGY I took 12 std class for French and Biology studies- When we decided to start the 11 and 12 std classes, our aspiration was that the children who are used to learning and being in Udavi for at best 10 years could continue to benefit from this atmosphere of peace, freedom and beauty present in Udavi. We believe at 10 std, around 16 year old it is important for the students at this particular time of life to reinforce their ability to think freely and vastly, to develop their critical sense and to choose with great aspiration what their life could be. From my point of view, these five 12 std students are exceptional in many ways- They did their school year like each 12 std students does, knowing that an important exam was coming at the end, for my part I did the courses required, made them work hard, regularly with test etc…… but at the same time I have tired not to be a monster teacher which want results at any cost; it was very clear for the 6 of us that what was important was not the aim to reach but the work we did together day after day as harmoniously as possible. To day they passed their exam; they didn’t score the highest marks yet they are happy and balanced beings- They are all busy doing things they like – They can talk openly and freely with everyone, they have projects for their life, they know what want and what they don’t. They are beautiful young adults and I know that Udavi School has been a very nice and powerful place for them to blossom fully, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to help in this process and have a very strong tenderness for all the students which pass the gate of UdaviSchool. Dominique.

I hope these reports have conveyed some of the flavour of Udavi. There is lots that is not reported lest the report become too long. But we will highlight other activities in the reports of the coming years. We thank all our well wishers of the support given to us without which we could not run the school. 12

SANJEEV TRUSTEE 21.6.2012

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