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Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School
Newsletter 3/2019

Dear reader, here is the history of the school in brief; enjoy reading!

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A Nature School is born

Manifestation of a Vision

Children on the school campus 2016

Creativity is the focus of the eager-to-experiment Shanti Ananda (English Medium Upper Primary) Nature Concept School. Love and Human Values are the basis for our education with head, heart and hand. Children, teachers and parents say that our pedagogy is good...

Founded in 2001, the Nagananda English Medium Primary School was one of countless small simple Indian learn up and memorizing institutions. Within a few years it mutated into the colorful Shanti Ananda Nature School.

How was this development possible?

The Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School is a manifested VISION, thrilling many people inside and outside the project. The commitment to Mother Earth - deeply hurt and not appreciated - motivated some people to donate. Our love-based pedagogy, which respects children's NATURE, touches many hearts.

I am a teacher, artist and social therapist from Germany. 1999 to 2002 I was busy with children in the ashram of the school founder, Swami Nagananda. After his death in 2006, I continued the small school with donations. Creativity was most important for me - I wanted to paint my school as a child and was shocked by the Indian school system. The Black Pedagogy, based on coercion and oppression, is very common. Compulsory education was only introduced in 2010.

Children in the Nagananda School 2007

I developed a school program basing on reform pedagogical ideas (see below) and inspired the development of the school.

Basics

The Shanti Ananda Education Society school board and namesake of the school (Peace and Happiness) - was founded on 18.11.2006. Water and electricity supply, building usage and renovation, teaching materials, school uniforms and school recognition were the foundation. Since 2008, education in human values (EHV), meditation, yoga, handicraft, painting, games and dealing with computers symbolized our education with head, heart and hand. The number of pupils grew from 50 to 180 in 2006 - 2019.

Vision Development

Each castle was once a pipedream; every reality is based on a vision. The ability of vision development is elementary. My first 'official act' was a workshop with the teachers to build a model of their ideal school.

Teacher school model from waste materials October 2006

Teacher Training

The simply trained teacher staff practiced the normal learn up pedagogy. A good standard requires additional training. From 2008 to 2016, a five-day teacher training took place each year; since 2017 there is demand-driven topic-centred training. Creativity techniques, Education in Human Values and kinder garden education were our favourite topics. Guests conducted workshops about music, self-expression, yoga and more.

Kinder Garden

The teachers learned child-oriented, play-way, sense- and movement-oriented methods for the little ones. Play circles, movements and development of the senses are elemental. In March 2009 we published a booklet with 40 games as inspiration for teachers, parents and multipliers.

Title page Kindergarten booklet

Quality teaching

The American teacher Linda Whitaker and the Indian teacher-instructor Mohan Babu, a member of the textbook commission in Andhra Pradesh, led some teacher training on the subject of planning and structuring lessons, methods and evaluation. The teachers qualified themselves independently as well, encouraged by the headmaster. Today all teachers are B. Ed. (Bachelor of Education) with additional training; except the kinder garden teachers. Since 2011, each teacher will be evaluated once every school year. The teaching staff has grown from 7 in 2006 to 12 plus karate instructor.

Paper theatre-Workshop September 2007

Projects

Holistic learning situations (projects) are a condition of pedagogy for head, heart and hand. Since 2009 we carry out annual project weeks; the topics are mostly nature related. Class wise implementation has been replaced by age-mixed groups. Thousands of people attend our presentations. Since 2010 we arranged the 'Nature Day' (monthly project day). Since 2018, bi-monthly mini-project weeks replace the nature day. They offer more space for creativity in mixed-age groups (beloved by the children). There is only one Nature Day left per year.

School day

At 9.00 am the children arrive at school. Before the lessons start at 9.30 am, they play, clean the grounds, pray, meditate and recite the Vedas. Since 2016 one teacher teaches in the morning and one in the afternoon: two double periods each. The unusual timetable consists half of extracurricular activities (meditation, drawing and painting, gardening, cycling and repairing, yoga, games, dancing, karate, sports, free work, books, computers, stories and theater) and half of standard subjects - Mathematics, English, Hindi, Telugu, Science and Social Science. Since 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Russian Irina and the Dutchman Edmund enrich our pedagogical range with anthroposophist form drawing and circus / artistry. Lunch is from 12.30 am to 1.30 pm; most children bring their lunch. The school ends at 4.30 pm.

Health

On 29.11.2007 the monthly Health Camp took place for the first time; a doctor examines the children and uses medication as needed. Since 2015, our children (often malnourished) will receive Moringa Oleifera sweets twice a week, prepared at school by teacher and students. Their health has improved a lot.

First Health Camp November 2007

Parents

Parents cooperation is not common in India; we cooperated closely with the parents from the very beginning. They helped us a lot. Until 2017, they did free service on the school campus three days a year. Twice a year, current topics are discussed at parents' meetings.

Nature school

The "old" school in the Krishna Temple on the railway area had a size of only 300 square meters. Visiting two "Nature Schools" of the TimbaktuCollective inspired the teachers in 2008 to develop a vision of an ecological and life-oriented school. The idea was born to build a new school.

After having nurtured our vision for two years, we received a donation for new school land. In February 2010, we bought a plot of land (9.5 acres) near to the water reservoir of Mudigubba - enabled by Herbert Fruendt and Prof. Dr. Juergen Weyer. At the end of 2016, the basic structure was completed: buildings, three irrigation ponds, water recycling plant, Moringa Oleifera trial garden, over 3000 trees and garden elements. Animals are also included: dogs and horses.

"The education that does not help the ordinary masses to prepare themselves for the struggle for life, which produces no strength of character, no spirit of philanthropy and no courage of a lion - is it worth the name? Proper education is what enables man to stand on his own feet."
Swami Vivekananda

We developed our nature pedagogy: collection and separation of garbage, plantation, watering and caring for trees and plants are the basic elements; the syllabus should also be as nature-friendly as possible.

"Only in harmony with Mother Earth man can lead a happy and peaceful life."

Entrance gate to the area

Architecture

Horst Wagner, social worker, musician and founder of three Indian foundations / societies, inspired a creative and novel architecture, impressed by the famous artists Hundertwasser and Gaudi. The holistic design of the school grounds - based on sacred geometry and philanthropic proportions - was his main concern.

First area plan by Horst Wagner

The spiral is the basis of the area plan. It symbolizes growth and expansion as the most dynamic form of the universe. The children start their school career in the middle of the spiral and move on one house every year. In the 7th class, they arrive at the end of the spiral. After completing the elementary school, they go into "the world" (usually the local High School).

Our buildings are built in octagon shape; each building is surrounded by a veranda and covered with a breathing Kerala roof. This design provides optimal cooling in the hot area. The glass domes on top of the buildings look like gems. Building materials are self-made eco-bricks (according to Auroville standard) and natural stones (granite and round stones). Even the sieving machine was designed and manufactured by us.

Society and construction office, guesthouse, administration building (Head master office, staff room, computer room, library, labs and entrance area), nine class houses, green classroom and watchman / gardener houses with kitchen / toilet section, water tower with washing facilities and toilet house were realized. On 12.6.2013 we moved to the new area; The basic structure was completed at the end of 2016. Until then we had to improvise; the classes 5 - 7 were taught in the administration building. The butterfly-shaped bicycle parcours with playground and the amphitheater were created in 2017. A multitude of mosaics were created.

Google Earth Photo School area

Finances

The Anahata Society, Munich, transferred our donations to India since 2006; after 2010, the Anahata Foundation followed. Our project is based on donations; classes, books and school uniforms are free for the school children. The parents became members of the Shanti Ananda Society and had to pay membership fees. The agreement with our main donors expired with the completion of the basic structure on the site. Since the donations were insufficient, in 2017 we introduced moderate school fees to cover the running costs. But our budget is deficient.

In the meantime, middle-class children are also attending school. Until 2017, it was only for poor children, for which in 2006 the only option was to attend the government school. English was no teaching subject at that time; the Nagananda School took up this shortcoming in 2001. Since the introduction of the Compulsory Education 2010 each school has to accept 20% poor children. Poor children no longer need special schools. Our creative and nature pedagogy should benefit children from different social backgrounds.

Future Vision

School Program
The School Program of 2006 includes a child centred education; holistic learning, creativity, education in human values and a good quality of teachings are the important aims: "The students should learn in a holistic way with head, heart and hands. Beside the normal subjects art education, handicrafts and sports should be taught. Play way nature exploration already in the kinder garden is a fundament for understanding the nature and environmental issues. Gardening, caring for animals and the school area are as important as education in human values. Music is important for self-expression enabling learning; play way English teachings should take place as early as possible. Projects are a regular part of the school life; students and parents should actively shape their school."

Mission
We can survive in peace and harmony with Mother Earth only, our fellow human beings, animals and plants. The students should become loving, independent and creative personalities able to earn their livelihood in a responsible and self-sustainable way respecting the environment and practising human values.

Vision
Love and appreciation are the highest aims in our pedagogy. Our teachers should be dedicated to teaching with head, heart and hands. Besides Telugu, Hindi, English, Mathematics, Social and Science topics like art and handworks, yoga and sports, gardening and growing up plants, caring for animals and forming the school area are practised at our Creative Nature Concept School. Play way methods and experiences are fundamental in our education. Projects should replace step by step the traditional methods.

 

 

Mit herzlichen Gruessen,

Helga Shanti Fruendt

+91 9989453528

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www.natureconceptschool.org

www.natureconceptschool.org/donate.html

www.facebook.com/natureconceptschool/

www.facebook.com/Shanti-Ananda-Education-Society-German-428415470880268/

 

Donation Accounts

 

Foreign Funds

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Andhra BankMudigubba Branch

Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India

Account No: 185410100007532

IFSC: ANDB0001854

 

Indian Funds

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch

Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India

185410100193769

IFSC: ANDB0001854