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'Children learn what they live. Children live what they learn.'
Based on the teachings of Her Supreme Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Sahaja Education, while striving for excellence in an internationally recognized academic curriculum, envisages the development of the child in an atmosphere where the innate qualities, such as innocence and wisdom, are protected and enhanced; where the students imbibe the timeless and unchanging values which come from inner awareness, and are not subject to the vagaries of fashion, religion or national culture.
It is a well-rounded education, with lots of exercise, many creative and expressive outlets, a great deal of collectivity but perhaps most importantly plenty of meditation. In a world where ancient values are being eroded everywhere, the International Sahaja Public School is providing a unique haven where children can receive a vibrant education and still enjoy the precious days of innocence and pure Spirit. As Shri Mataji says: "Innocence is an eternal quality which can never be lost or destroyed”. We strive to preserve it.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Sahaja Education is learning with a difference - the children are nurtured in a loving family environment which strengthens their roots and prepares them for the realities of the outside world. The accent is on developing self-respect which leads to respect for others, a love of Nature, care for the environment, gentleness, nobility, honesty and wisdom; essential assets for the great adventure of life. The child is in surroundings that emit Divine vibrations and enrich the human spirit.
The pupil's curiosity, creativity and imagination are encouraged and stimulated in this peaceful natural environment. In day to day practice the pupils learn to understand and value spiritual and moral principles. Personality and individuality develop in such a way that each child expands their ability to relate, work, share and play harmoniously without competition, in an ideal collectivity of realized souls. The friendships they form here are life-long.
The children are made mindful of their individual and collective responsibilities such as respect and duty towards parents, elders, teachers and fellow students as well as to their countries and to improve the world at large.
In short, while embracing the academic policies of International Education, Sahaja Education preserves and enriches the magic days of innocence and purity. Classroom lessons are an integral part of the overall learning process. Lessons enrich the child's awareness and appreciation of the Divine Creation. The development of the aesthetic sense through expressions of spiritual joy comes from the inner experience of 'Self Realization' through Sahaja Yoga.
The school is situated at Talnoo, Dharamshala, a beautiful spot situated in the lap of the Himalayan ranges called Dhaulagiri. Dhaulagiri means the pure, white and sacred mountain. The school is surrounded by breath-taking views of snow-capped mountains on one side and panoramic vistas of far-below valleys on the other, which not only gives a sense of the protective hand of the Divine, but also enhances the beauty of the school buildings.
Shri Mataji visited Talnoo in March 1985. In a speech which She gave at the site of the school, She said:
'The Himalayas are the Sahasrara that Mother Earth has created for you. This Sahasrara is to be worshipped. This Sahasrara is very great. I don't know if you can see vibrations emitting from it. I am completely engulfed by their vibrations that I cannot see anything else. There are only vibrations and vibrations. Nothing else. Those who are residing here are swimming in vibrations and seem like fish swimming in the ocean of vibrations. You cannot distinguish one from the other. I cannot describe in words the splendor of the beautiful vibrations that are spread here. This is indeed the blessings of the Himalayas.
The Himalayas are the Sahasrara of the whole Universe. They have given the whole Universe so much comfort and joy after which there is nothing more to be attained. With the help of this Sahasrara, I have opened your Sahasrara.’
Shri Mataji has provided young Sahaja Yogis from all over the world with, not only a unique education, but the opportunity to get drenched in those heavenly vibrations, so that the peace and timelessness of the Himalayas settles in them and its greatness penetrates their character. International Sahaja Public School is the concrete form of Her vision.
Talnoo is at an altitude of 2500 m and is 16 km above Dharamshala by road. The area is one of the most beautiful of the Himalayan foothills, and is a well-known tourist centre of Himachal Pradesh, famous for trekking. With its high altitude, Talnoo is cool and pleasant at all times of the year.
The International Sahaja Public School was started in 1990 with twenty children from Europe, India and Australia. This was in response to the desire of the children and their parents for an education in an atmosphere of purity away from the increasing turbulence of modern society. Over the years the three more large buildings have been added to the campus.
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At present the school has children from more than 38 countries.
>> Up to class 1 and 2, we can accept children from non-English speaking backgrounds who have limited ability in English language.
>> From Class 3 onwards, it is essential that all children arriving new at the school already have a good command of spoken English. Parents should ensure that children who are weak in English come equipped with a pocket dictionary of their language into and out of English.
>> An entry-level language test will be set for all new pupils joining the school. Admission tests will be taken in Mathematics, English and Science for new students joining the junior and senior section.
The School prepares students for the Class 10 and Class 12 Indian Certificate of Secondary Education [ICSE/ISC]. The ICSE examination is administered by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations: a board set up in India in 1956 to administer examinations equivalent to University of Cambridge Local Syndicate Examinations.
The Class 10 ICSE Board Examination is a public board examination for students in India at the end of Class 10 and Class 12 (equivalent to GCSE or the four years of High School program.) Seven subjects are taken, of which four are compulsory and three are chosen from different groups of subjects. A syllabus from the board is available for anyone wishing to see it. Similarly Class 12, ISC board examination is conducted for Class 12 which is equivalent to the final year of the GCSE High School Program.
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Meditation is an essential part of Sahaja culture, and ISPS students regularly meditate and learn through practice how to lead meditations, to generate vibrations and how to clear our subtle energy systems. The children are all taught Indian music which enables them to sing the Indian Bhajans and devotional songs, not only with blissful vibrations, but also with classical proficiency. The meditations, havans and Pujas performed are joyous occasions. Puja is performed on Sunday mornings, with more elaborate preparations when an international Puja is organized anywhere in the world. The children and art teachers paint backdrops and decorations for the Meditation Room.
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The School is affiliated with the Council for the Indian Certificate School Examinations (I.C.S.E.) bearing the number H.P: 016. This curriculum was chosen by Shri Mataji as having a high academic standard, while still being quite practical and not too methodological.
Medium of Instruction - ENGLISH
Subjects studied at ISPS Elementary School
- Class 1 to 5 English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Hindi, Sahaja Yoga, and Computer Science. Senior School
- Class 6 to 12 English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History and Civics, Geography, Computer Science, Hindi, Environmental Studies and Sahaja Yoga.
Co-curricular subjects and activities include:
- Music - Vocal and Instrumental.
- Tabla/ Harmonium/ Indian Classical Music and Bhajans
- Dance - Classical and Folk dance
- Woodwork - Wood-carving, toy-making, structural woodwork
- Art and Craft - Drawing, Painting, Paper work
- Sports - A range of sports and games are taught, such as Basketball, Soccer, Badminton, Chess, etc.
Class 10 and Class 12 Study at ISPS
It is assumed that pupils entering the senior school at ISPS will in due course be appearing for the ICSE/ISC Board examinations, which are held in March. This means that pupils completing Class 10 and Class 12 would come in earlier for an additional one month pre-exam preparation, before appearing the Board exam in March.
- Pupils must be registered for the exam whilst in Class 9/Class 11 and the Board does not accept late registrations. Because of this, admission to ISPS cannot normally be granted for new students into Class 10/ Class 12.
- Further information on the ICSE/ISC syllabus and the Class 10/ Class 12 exam is available from the school.
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The School has at present a general library with around 3000 books. With the completion of the new academic block this will be developed further. Books are available to the students according to the age levels. There is also an extensive library of Sahaja books and Shri Mataji's audio and video cassettes. We have a video-cassette / CD / DVD library of academic aids, documentaries and general films considered suitable for young minds. There is a recreation hall where celebrations are held and students watch films.
The school has a 16,000 sq. ft. indoor stadium where games like basketball, badminton and table tennis can be played. This also serves as a venue for pujas/havans and other celebrations.
As a Residential School, food and lodging are provided for all students, teachers, administration and dormitory care giving staff. There are 18 dormitories for the students, with a ratio of one care giver for 10 -15 children in a single dormitory, depending on the age of the students in the dormitory. The dormitory-in-charge takes care of all the disciplines of the daily routine: hygiene, laundry, Sahaja clearing, etc. overseeing the children as a parent would.
The school Medical Unit is manned by a full-time doctor, resident in the school, and is supported by qualified nursing staff. Our Medical Unit is fully equipped to deal with minor illness and first aid. For further referrals, the students are taken to the Dharamshala Government Hospital. The Fortis Hospital in Kangra also maintains a warm line with our school.
Dental checkups are conducted regularly in school, and orthodontic treatment is provided by specialists in Dharamshala.
Braces: Parents must state on the enrollment form if their child wears braces and provide, at the time of admission, necessary documentation for their maintenance. The maintenance schedule should be provided by student's personal orthodontist and should be obtained by the parents before the student comes to the school.
Glasses: Parents should state on the enrollment form if their child wears glasses and include documentation for their maintenance and, if necessary, replacement. All children with glasses should come to the school with at least three pairs. In the case of juniors, these will be kept by the school nurses.
All students requiring medication on a regular basis, for any medical condition, must hand over the same to the Medical unit staff with a regular prescription form the personal doctor of the student. All the details of any health problems of the student must be stated on the enrollment form. In cases where it is absolutely necessary for a child to carry his or her own medicines (serious asthma for example) the school authorities must be informed in writing.
In incidents of mild illness we also supplement with Ayurvedic/Homoeopathic medicines. In certain cases, Antibiotics are administered as per the doctor's advice. Please do inform the school if you do not wish your child to be given antibiotics.
The School Term begins around March 23rd and ends in the second half of December. During the school year we hold 4 tests - 2 unit tests, a half-yearly examination and the End of Year examination. The annual report of the student is based on all these tests together, with some allocation for class-work and projects undertaken.
The School undertakes several excursions throughout the year. Some are treks which are taken by the senior children from the school to places in the surrounding mountains. These trips usually involve one or two nights out in hostels. The junior children generally camp down by the river on these weekends.
We also make outings to water-parks, museums and places of local interest. Occasionally the children attend Sahaja Yoga programs in near-by towns and villages.
The food provided by our kitchen is a mixture of Indian and Continental and Oriental cuisine. Our trained catering staffs consider the balance and nutritional value of the food daily. There is always a choice of main dish.
The school has its own bakery where fresh bread, buns, cakes, etc. are produced.
The school provides a 'Tuck shop' for the children to spend their pocket money. For things the children want mostly sweets, chips and ice creams - but with a few healthier options like live omelets, fruit bars and nuts. This is open at certain times at weekends.
The School is divided into 4 houses: SAT, CHIT, NIRMAL and ANANDA All Senior and Junior children as well as staff members belong to one of the houses. Each house has weekly duties including organizing Sunday Puja and there are inter-house competitions for sports and other activities throughout the year.
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Children who show persistent poor classroom behaviour are put on a Report Card. This requires a signature from teaching staff at the end of each lesson. Report Cards are discussed with the student at the end of the week. Parents are informed when their child is on a Report Card for more than two weeks running.
Reasons for being put on a Report Card include: Habitual lateness, failing to bring books, pens etc. to class, not doing homework, poor classroom behaviour, etc.
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For children new to the ISPS family, there is a mentoring system. All new children are given to the charge of an adult as well as a senior student, who help them to settle into the school. In addition to this:
- All members of Staff on site and are available at any time to help the children and counsel them.
- The child carries a report card. The counsellor daily goes through it to help the children see their progress as well as the parents.
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One video per week is normally screened for juniors and one for seniors at weekends. The choice of films is made by a group of students and an adult member of staff.
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COMPUTERS AND INTERNET
Internet access is available for one hour per week per class in the senior section (class 5 to 12), as an afternoon activity.
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Our vision is of an educational system that harnesses the power of our innate spiritual potential and is imbued with the teachings of H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
Our mission is to create a safe, healthy environment which fosters the pursuit of excellence in all fields and supports students in their development as 'whole' personalities, encouraging them to work towards the fulfillment of their physical, emotional, intellectual and, above all, spiritual potential. Our students are individuals with a profound sense of their own worth yet, at the same time, mindful of their responsibilities towards their family, their community and the world at large.
- Our mission is underpinned by a belief in the following values:
- Innocence, wisdom & purity
- Creativity and spontaneity
- Inner-balance, inner-satisfaction and inner-peace
- Righteousness and self-discipline
- Compassion and fearlessness
- Collectivity and detachment
- Humility and forgiveness