Home is the best place to be for children till a certain age when they need love and attention from their parents, after which the exposure outside the home hastens the pace of learning. It has been a tradition in ancient cultures to send the children to learning centers away from their homes when they are mature enough to take care of themselves. Living away from home teaches them many a life skill in addition to academics. Thus, at Viviktha, children from preschool to 2nd grade will be only day-scholars and 3rd grade upwards all students will be boarders.
Viviktha is an all-girls school. We intentionally wanted to create an environment for girls to express themselves freely and openly. Research studies across the globe suggest that girls do their best in terms of academic success, and in other areas of their lives, with a well-rounded development in an exclusive girls environment. Students who graduate from such schools enroll in colleges much more than those from a co-ed environment. They are more entrepreneurial in nature and accept leadership roles with a natural ease as they are well versed with the skills needed for those positions, thanks to the ample opportunities in their schools that accentuate those characteristics.
With boys around, girls become more conscious of their bodies and not as conscious of their minds. In situations that demand exhibition of leadership skills or when a conflict needs to be resolved or managed, girls tend to take a back seat and let the boys handle them.
But when it comes to a girls school, the girls manage such situations with confidence, ease and comfort because in this kind of an environment, they are inherently clear in their thoughts and naturally in control.
Do you know that girls do better in sports when boys are not around? They feel more comfortable with only girls around.
In a co-ed school, girls are generally underrepresented in mathematics, computers and technology. But in an exclusive girls school they may show a greater interest in these subjects more confidently than when they are in the company of boys.
In a girls exclusive school, the entire school is geared towards girls specific issues all the time.
There is a strong need for alternative methods of education that offer:
- Decreased stress levels in young children and teenagers.
- Increased focus on academics as well as play and fun.
- More time to rest and integrate the lessons learned.
- More time to spend with family and to develop long lasting friendships and relationships.
- Increased levels of tolerance by foregoing instant gratification culture.
- Increased focus and concentration levels leading to abandonment of rote learning system to get higher grades.
- Good eating habits as a result of increased awareness of nutrition values of various foods.
- Limited usage of electronic gadgets and social media.
- More interaction with nature.
- Regular sleeping habits.
- Decrease of addictive behavior incidents due to finding fulfillment in life.
- Reduced suicidal tendencies due to less/no expectations from parents and society.
Thus, there is a need to have a fresh and healthier approach to learning for children offered by alternative schools.
Children need to be with their parents and in their homes until a certain age to learn about family values and traditions in a loving environment. Bonding with parents is needed at a young age. To have a full experience of the school, a child needs to be well equipped physically and mentally. From ancient times when children are sent to places of learning away from their homes (usually to the homes of the expert teachers), to the most modern times when children are being sent to boarding schools, 8-10 years is considered as the most appropriate age to do so. It is suggested that children probably begin to think like adults around 8-10 years of age. If they are allowed to be be on their own around this age, they are noted to develop a strong sense of independence, confidence and self-reliance. Before that age, children may become traumatized by a sudden change of circumstances away from their home and loving family. Thus, at Viviktha, the entry to day school is from preschool (till 2nd grade) and entry to residential (boarding) school is from grade 3.
Cambridge is a curriculum that allows schools to develop their own methodologies. It gives schools the freedom to provide a stress-free education. The Cambridge syllabus has a global perspective. It has been embraced by 12,000 schools across the globe, which provides a huge network to the children. At Viviktha, there is a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern technologies to give the child a unique experience of education and life. With a Cambridge education, the focus is on practicality and is a hands-on approach. With less focus on examinations, grades and ranks, children are more likely to focus on all activities along with academics. Hence, the Cambridge curriculum has been identified as the curriculum of choice at Viviktha.
Children at Viviktha are taught to be in the present moment from a young age. Ancient, time-tested traditions like yoga, pranayama, meditation coupled with nutritious food and sufficient sleep time will prepare the children to be at their optimal best to focus on what they are learning in the class room. Children learn and understand the subjects in the classroom itself. Their teacher starts the next class from where they left in the previous class with a quick recap (or longer if need be). Any topic that needs multiple examples will be taught as such with exercises in the classroom itself, thus eliminating the need for home-work.
The pressure of doing homework must not be allowed to deplete the child’s personal, relaxing, sports and arts time. Children integrate the subject matter taught in the classroom with ease and in depth when they engage in such non- academic activities, and take proper rest. As they are not bothered with academic activity outside the classroom, their enthusiasm and excitement for learning will remain intact and they do not feel bored of their subjects. Some of the children will study in their rooms on their own as they feel like it. When children do things on their own, innovation and creativity result in. This is the whole idea of the spirit of freedom that Viviktha nurtures and grooms in children.
At higher classes there will be suggested exercises which the children are welcome to practice and to prepare for the competitive exams if they choose to (Olympiads, NEET, JEE). Additional help and guidance is arranged for such students.
Today, children are often looked upon as result-producing machines without any choices of their own. They do not always even know why they are doing what they are doing. Parents often dictate their child’s education and the learning processes. “A conscious living” educational model frees these children to make their own choices regarding subjects of interest, career, food, friendships, lifestyles etc.
Sitting on floor is reputed to help in one’s grounding and centering. It may also increase the flexibility of the spine, hips and leg muscles leading to fewer incidences of back pain. It improves digestion, reduces arthritis, and increases blood circulation. It may also contribute to humility and be fun.
Please read our full blog on this topic to get more information on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits of sitting on the floor.
At Viviktha, yoga is not only about physical fitness or flexibility, it is more about living a yogic lifestyle. The children are given a deeper knowledge about a yogic lifestyle, asanas being one of eight limbs of yoga. They will be introduced to mudras, chakras, meditations, kriyas, pranayama, and bandhas. All these techniques help them to remain grounded, conscious and alert throughout their lives. This helps them to be well prepared to experience various life situations that human beings face in the world. On a daily basis, the girls are given a practice of a set of asanas, dhayanas, and other techniques according to their physical, mental and spiritual makeup. At Viviktha, yoga gives a firm grounding to start the day with positive energy. Children also take part in a fire ritual called “agnihotra” which is a fifteen minutes daily ritual at sunrise and sunset.
We have a super computer given to everyone of us by nature, the brain. Each and every human being is gifted with innumerable talents, and infinite inherent powers by nature. Individuals should never underestimate themselves. If we make use of these powers we can take ourselves to great levels. It is scientifically proven that within an hour window of sunset and sunrise there are no UV or IR rays and the sun rays are the source of most powerful energy. When children are exposed to solar energy when it is at its peak, it enables their bodies to harmonize and recharge with life energy and lets them invoke the unlimited powers of their brains effectively.
At regular intervals, people are invited from various backgrounds to speak to the children. While teaching concepts is very important, Viviktha offers the children practical methods to understand these concepts. One of the ways is to invite experts in music, dance, academics, sports, spirituality and a host of other such fields. We host them at the school and let them spend quality time with the children rather than just speak to the children from a stage. This enables the children and the expert guest to freely interact with one another, and for the children to understand the modus operandi of the guests. The guests can freely share their stories, their struggles and how they overcame them. They can share the idea that nothing is achieved without focus and the principles of honesty and dedication toward the chosen field. In this way, the guests are not just guest speakers but are more like guests joining and sharing a few hours of their valuable time with the children to inspire, motivate and mentor them.
Sunday at Viviktha is for outdoor activities. Children are taken to a place of interest every Sunday – a nearby village to serve, an orphanage, an elderly home, a museum, a park, or for trekking. Sunday evenings are exam time. Children are given tests on the syllabus covered during the week. They self-analyse their understanding and will follow up with the teachers to try and fill any gaps they have in the respective subjects.