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NANDANAM

Nandanam is a crèche plus kindergarten located in Centre Field for up to 60 children
between 2 to 6 years of age. Nandanam, which means ‘garden' in Sanskrit, is
Auroville's second kindergarten started in 2003.
We begin with the understanding that the “first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught” and
that “the teacher is not an instructor or a task master but a helper and a guide.” Keeping this in mind we
work towards the integral development of the children focusing on their physical, mental, vital and psychic
development, following the guidelines given by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

We work a lot through projects since we feel that it is a very effective and holistic tool, starting with topics
that are close to the children and widening the horizon each time.

We essentially and strongly feel that the children should have the freedom to explore the world within and
around them and to grow at their own pace and in their own way, trying always to come in contact with
their psychic being and being guided by it. We have at the same time realized that to prepare them for
this sometimes a guiding hand and even a planned and structured activity can help. So, we try to balance
between these two ways of working as we also try to balance between group activities – where they learn
to coordinate with their friends and develop social qualities – and individual activities where they have the
freedom to do things in their own way.

In order to do this we have both classroom based activities and center based activities.Sometimes the
children work with their own age group in their classrooms and part of the time they work with mixed age
group in activity centers/corners.

We have craft center, drama center, block center, science center, cooking and gardening center, quiet
room, reading corner, games corner.

We believe that once a child has acquired a thirst for knowledge and a need for self-perfection he can
take charge of his education himself and the teacher can just be a guiding presence when required. We
humbly aspire to do this to the best of our capacity.

We begin with the understanding that “The first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught” and that “The
teachers is not an instructor or a task master but a helper and a guide.” We work a lot through projects since we feel
that it is a very effective and holistic tool, starting with topics that are close to the children and widening the horizon
each time. We essentially and strongly feel that the children should have the freedom to explore the world within and
around them and to grow at their own pace and in their own way, trying always to come in contact with their psychic
being and being guided by it. So, we try to balance between these two ways of working as we also try to balance
between group activities - where they learn to coordinate with their friends and develop social qualities - and
individual activities where they have the freedom to do things in their own way. In order to do this we have both
classroom based activities and centre based activities - part of the time the children work with their own age group in
their classrooms and part of the time they work with mixed age group in activity centres/corners. We have craft
centre, drama centre, block centre, science centre, cooking and gardening centre, quiet room, reading corner games
corner. Now that the campus is finally complete we would like to focus more on bringing stability to the school, work
on teachers training and have regular study circles so that, by growing in understanding ourselves, we can actually
offer more valid support to the children. As we have said before research in this field is unlimited and unending!

We work a lot through projects since we feel that it is a very effective and holistic tool, starting with topics that are
close to the children and widening the horizon each time.
We essentially and strongly feel that the children should have the freedom to explore the world within and around
them and to grow at their own pace and in their own way, trying always to come in contact with their psychic being
and being guided by it. We have at the same time realized that to prepare them for this sometimes a guiding hand

In order to do this we have both classroom based activities and center based activities. quiet room. Nandanam is a kindergarten for children between 3 to 6 years of age. We have craft center.Sometimes the children work with their own age group in their classrooms and part of the time they work with mixed age group in activity centers/corners. m. It also aspires to accommodate the individual needs of the children and provide them space for free exploration so that they may gradually take more initiative for their learning experience and feel the joy of self discovery and the discovery of the world around them. This is an International township in making in south India with residents from about 30 countries of the world. reading corner. science center. and is a project that is very close to the Studio's heart. Leaders & Team The teachers in the school are Aurovillians. So. we try to balance between these two ways of working as we also try to balance between group activities – where they learn to coordinate with their friends and develop social qualities – and individual activities where they have the freedom to do things in their own way. community members are invited to the school to share with the children their skills. Location:Centerfield. The built-up area of the school is 570 sq. History and today’s organisation: Nandanam Kindergarten started in 2003 as a need of the growing community of Auroville.and even a planned and structured activity can help. drama center. Newcomers and some long term volunteers who resonate with the Charter of Auroville and attempt to manifest it in their lives according to their understanding and their capacities. As the architect of the project. The community of Auroville is like a big family where children are always welcome. The different buildings of the Kindergarten were done in Phases in 2006. cooking and gardening center. The children with the teaching staff prepared material (written and visual) which was exhibited and debated on. The Kindergarten is located in the Centrefield Area in Auroville. it has evolved to a beautiful building and campus. There are many field trips where the children explore their community and also. We humbly aspire to do this to the best of our capacity. but the campus was not big enough to hold both. Nandanam kindergarten moved to a little hut with very basic infrastructure.in/photo-space/10069/nandanam-entrance-space (for pics) KINDERGARTEN Architect Narrative The Kindergarten is for 60-65 children of 3-7 years of age belonging to different nationalities.tfod. The main . It already existed sharing the space with another Aurovillian primary school. games corner. Vision and Missions: Nandanam Kindergarten aspires to provide an enriching environment and offer activities that may help the integral development of the children. block center. The kindergarten had functioned for almost 8 years out of temporary huts. I participated in some of these exercises. so finally when a complex was to be designed there was an active input from the teachers and the children in designing process. Auroville Internal affiliation: Under SAIER url : https://www. We believe that once a child has acquired a thirst for knowledge and a need for self-perfection he can take charge of his education himself and the teacher can just be a guiding presence when required. 2009 and 2013. sometimes. Nandanam Kindergarten can accommodate 60 students. and thanks to tremendous fundraising efforts over years.

In the large circular central space one wall is devoted to a large bulletin board where volunteers arrange every week an attractive display to illustrate a concept. The physical activity and the energy needs of the young are well accommodated. A swimming pool provides opportunity for welcome relief as the days grow hotter. like the classroom doors. Education. The playground. circular entrance cum assembly hall. has swings and a large climbing apparatus. with the 4 classrooms. The building is of warm red sand bricks with deep window seats and accents of wood. The design that emerged was layout of rooms around a central space to the scale of a child to lessen the trauma on his/her first experience of spending time away from a non-domestic environment without an intimate adult around. building activity and nature projects. All the teachers get to interact with all the children at some point during the day. otherwice children may be in there playing their own games. This helps to create a sense of wholeness and integration in the relationships between the teachers and the children. Antioch university. and is located in the city area. and was later renamed New Creation Bilingual School as classes were given in both English and Tamil. The craft and art areas have been successful. allowing large or small groups to work.” The atmosphere in the school is warm and loving. url: http://www. dining room. Work from the near to the far. one story building. Children learn by doing. Director. On the other wall there is a very large aquarium at the child’s eye level where fish float dreamily amongst the underwater ferns. A natural friendship develops between children of different cultures and nationalities thereby promoting a sense of human unity. Behind the orange door you will find the Orange group and so on. music and theatre takes place in the multipurpose space that flows out through the little reading room to the central assembly. It is a large. Flowers and small child planted gardens surround the buildings. The sizes of the rooms were designed such that it allows the children to use it in a non-structured manner. The furniture is all floor seating with cushions and low tables that could be moved around. library. The teaching process as put forward by the teachers and the children when the design guidelines were formed was “the rooms should allow a free progress system of teaching which allows each child to learn at his/her own pace”. The pin boards are placed between deep windows that double as seats where 2-3 children can sit.design guidelines that emerged was: the spaces of the classroom should allow multiple usage pattern as there was to be no teacher-student hierarchy. painted in bright colors. a children’s toilet room and large open activity area opening off a central. not by being taught. It is truly a kinder-garten. Most children are from economically disadvantaged families. each class room should link to a central space that would act as a assembly and the circulation space between classrooms. this makes these spaces become spaces of interaction rather than only display. with classes from pre-crèche to grade 8. Originally it was a small boarding school for children from the traditional and impoverished village of Kuilapalayam. Heidi Watts. The large activity room sometimes has dance or movement class. The body awareness and expression activities of dance.auroville. Ph.org/contents/1068 ( neriya psychology info irukku check karo ) AIKIYAM Aikiyam School in New Creation serves 260 children from the villages near Auroville. designed to their specification. and the third important element was that every space in the complex would physically link to the landscape outside. In terms of accommodating the program of activities we have attempted to structure the whole complex into an informal layout for flexibility and this is well appreciated by the range of activities within the spaces. There is a washing area and a large contained outdoor sand area for sand play. . The theater and music activities in this space is easier on the child as the space is fully open to the gardens taking away the feeling of being watched by the rest of the class. The fact of having personalized green space attached to each classroom has allowed the kindergarten to develop further their program of gardening. (She is a regular visiting advisor to the Auroville Kindergarten from USA) e kindergarten is housed in a new building. The educational facility includes more than the reading/writing and play. It was then called New Creation School.D. a children’s garden. the children feel very secure and at ease. Aikiyam School started in the early 1980s. There are around 20 children in each class. Mind must be consulted in its own growth. airy. in the back of the building. The Auroville kindergarten resonates with the three simple but profound principles: “Nothing can be taught. in fact they use the new art and craft room for marathon block building sessions organized by the children as they find the space challenging. In this the design of the classrooms has fulfilled its brief as the users find flexibility within the built environment that allows them a wide range of usage. Dr.

an Auroville-run CBSE high school for children from both the villages and Auroville. Avoiding the concept of ‘classes’. plus a regular budget for some of the costs. Classes are small and the majority of permanent teachers are Tamil. One of these classrooms is used for children who need supportive learning. In 2008 we were able to build a kitchen and dining area. Later this affiliation was extended until March 2016. Being a CBSE school means that the children will no longer have to sit for State Board exams based on rote learning in grade eight but will write exams approved by CBSE in grade ten at New Era Secondary School (NESS). by bicycle.where the only mode of transport besides walking was by bullock cart. We are now in 2015 and are in the process of constructing a 2-building project which will give us more classrooms. while the emphasis on outdoors and physical activities quite literally puts intelligence into the children’s hands. for the better off. especially for developing fluency in English. The other is for the 8th grade. We feel truly blessed TLC This small informal school is based on the understanding that life and learning are essentially an adventure. . dancing. music. material and some of the other expenses. The school relies partly on help from international volunteer teachers. an office and a teachers’ resource centre. and anyone who has skills or enthusiasm to share. Thanks to some of our friends and the social service department (known as BMZ) of the German Government. which allowed us to turn the previous 8th grade classroom into an art room. TLC involves the children into the local environment. the school has been able to make some significant additions and improvements to the campus. with a few international teachers as well.000 and Rs3. Aikiyam School is entitled by CBSE to give a recognised school transfer certificate. In 2011 we added an assembly space above the dining area. With informal ‘campuses’ spread out over several of Auroville’s communities. The CBSE program promotes creative education at all levels through the application of learning by doing. The school also has a program for children with special needs. Parents are expected to make a donation of between Rs2. carpentry and crafts. For the rest we depend on donations. and created a special playground for the kindergarten block. For those children who want to go to a State Board high school instead of continuing the CBSE curriculum at NESS. or. more toilets. Since 2005 the school has a management team that works in close collaboration with the school’s principal and teachers. In 2007 the school received provisional affiliation for a period of three years from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). physical education. and the community at large is a school. Two years later we completed a building which houses the library. Today both the village and the school have changed. computer education. science lab and two classrooms. Presently. Aikiyam School is a day-school under SAIIER’s Auroville Outreach School Board. TLC acknowledges that Auroville has already acquired a wealth of communicable skills in many fields. is invited to participate in the evolving project. Auroville contributes by covering the maintenances of Aurovilians working in the school.000 per year to cover books. The curriculum includes all of the standard academic subjects as well as art. Also in 2010 we renovated and enlarged our original “UFO” buildings. TLC is presently attended by about a dozen children in the broad age group of 7 – 14 years.

This is especially important in a time of drastic changes where it is the learners who inherit the future.  We would like to follow the individual needs of the child as they emerge out of their experiences. while the learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. develop faculties.  We would like to create a space where the child especially can keep the sacred. each having a specific gift to share. Background of Project a. b. Relevance to Auroville: It enhances the quality of life in Auroville as each environment becomes a place where different groups. to perfect and transform their instrument (body. magical feelings and perceptions he or she has naturally. We would like to establish a methodology whereby the community of Auroville becomes a real world environment to awaken a desire for life-long learning. children and adults. To move from this half-conscious life to the level of integral living through a growing understanding of what is Integral Education is central to our beliefs. As spirituality means ultimately that every individual has his own religion. . creating a space for a united consciousness to emerge within our collective. More than 2000 people are gathered here attracted by this ideal and the Charter of Auroville. next to the collective experiences. As Auroville is the place for research.  We would like to address the aim of life not as a formal subject but as a latent question inspiring every experience.  We would like to take the personality integrally into the working field. and invite him or her to express and explore this sense of connectedness and feeling everything alive. We don’t want to create a brilliant student but a living soul. We hope it will lead us to bring more awareness in what we do. could grow larger. and will be able to create their own conditions for growth and happiness. education would mean that every individual has his or her own way of learning. We see the community of Auroville as a school in itself and we believe that by the exposure to these different environments. life and mind) into the light of the spirit. We see Auroville as a place where children and adults have access to a great variety of different environments. children will naturally engage in a process of learning. using Auroville’s richness and conscious research as our main learning resource. We would like to make a very concrete step towards having Auroville as the learning field and open the doors of the classrooms into the wider community. ASDF Specific Aims The aim of TLC (which began in 2009) is to create a space where children and adults by living and working together can grow more conscious of their inmost being and learn to know. In Mother’s words the purpose of education is to foster the children’s bright spontaneity that makes learning a joyous discovery. we feel drawn to explore an education that engages us in every part of our lives and of our being. of the community meet in a process of learning. We feel that experiments in small groups of people are also important and if successful. Description of the need in the context of the location: Auroville is an international city in the making with the purpose of realising human unity.

Future Progress Today we are forced to ask how our educational systems can be transformed into one that is truly appropriate for our time. individual and national differences may be seen as complementary strengths. Howard Gardner notes that “we are as much creatures of our culture as we are creatures of our brain. and an emerging learning society.” Cultures where most people are actively involved in the arts. It is important to see that our DIFFERENCES CONNECT. environmental. teachers and children. communities. technological. and cultures where survival skills are essential to life produce populations with different skills and abilities that have been learned in different ways. and countries must find better ways to collaborate on learning about and helping to solve critical ecological. In The Unschooled Mind. educational. Of course. The formation of such models is essential today as we see increasing needs for greater interpersonal and international understanding. how can people of all ages learn how to learn. learning and non-learning times allowing flexible schedules  Caters to individualized curriculum based on specific interests and drives of each child  Fosters the personal growth of all involved – parents. and health challenges. let us look at new possibilities for individuals. Unique Contribution of TLC to the Entire Educational Sector  Provides an educational structure that is community based  Uses the outdoors extensively as a primary teacher  Dissolves the barriers between home and school. Few would question that individuals. Since lifelong learning is now essential to survival. When these differences are understood and valued they can bring people together in ways that may form the basis of learning communities. such diversity exists within cultures as well. In their “Paedeia” everyone was a learner and everyone was a teacher. Viewed from a different perspective. and relearn? How can they develop skills to deal with complexity and challenges that have never before existed? How can schools that were created for another time meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students? Can schools alone meet these needs? In considering these questions. Learning of a whole community is a vision for our future. cultures where academic achievement is most highly valued. economic. unlearn. and the whole community was responsible for the learning of its people. The ancient Greeks had a word for such organizations. creating a learning community  Promotes mixed age groups. learning communities. .