Nothing illuminates like knowledge does, and the brightest flame of knowledge can be attributed to that which is realised by doing, understanding and learning things yourself. The Funkaar Week is one such concept dedicated to experiential learning, where students engage in multiple activities designed to achieve curriculum objectives without using textbooks and classroom teaching techniques. Not only this, Funkaar is also a time to collectively explore aspects of our arts and heritage which have somewhat taken a backseat in the contemporary scenario.
The activities and engagements of the Funkaar Week held at Shiv Nadar School, Noida, culminated in a day long mela, called ‘Jyotirgamaya’. Falling on the last working day before the Diwali break, it was made memorable by wholehearted and enthusiastic participation of not only our teachers and students, but the parent community as well.
Let us take you on a brief walk through it then.
Arts at Play
Theatre is said to be the most complete form of art. It combines poetry, literature, music and dance to create a wholesome effect on the audience. Based on this premise, the Arts and Play programme was conceptualised by Sanjana Kapoor – the well-known film and theatre actor. Junoon, her theatre company, was physically present in the school throughout the Funkaar Week to give a very nuanced instruction in theatre to the students. “Theatre combines all forms of art effortlessly, but rarely do we experience it so. The Arts At Play programme not only teaches theatre, but builds conversation with students around the process of creating performances”, reveals Manjima Chatterjee, our theatre teacher, who was instrumental in getting Junoon to the school.
Curriculum in Practice
On the day of culmination of Funkaar Week, school students could be seen dressed in white kurtas with colourful dupattas, purposefully moving around to showcase their weeklong learnings to parents. The buzz of exhibition began with a display on early communication systems, involving pigeons and letters, and carried on with each grade exhibiting practical knowledge on aspects picked out of the curriculum. Children understood preservation by making pickles and jams, which were bought by parents in no-time! Spices, waste-management, ancient civilizations, Indigo rebellions – all found manifestation either in dialogues, models or exhibits, displayed along with reflection folders which carried the personal learnings of students.
Where There is a Wheel, There is a Way!
At Shiv Nadar School, Noida, there is always a conscious effort to create something during Funkaar Week, which is of enduring value to the school. While last year students got together to make a well, this time a wall-mural themed on ‘wheels’ was created just in front of the pre-primary section. This was done to mark the Funkaar theme for Grade 1 – “Wheels are all around us”. Students, teachers and some very enthusiastic parent volunteers got together to use their art and craft skills, and depict the evolution of wheel over time. Hailed among the most important discoveries of mankind, the wheels on our mural carry the message – “where there is a wheel, there is a way!”
The final aim of Funkaar Week is illumination and confluence. Students, while sharing their learnings, also spent time understanding what other grades have learnt the entire week. Skills of patience, perseverance and precision are acquired by practicing the arts of Mughal woodcraft, and weaving of a chowki. It is also a time for teachers to learn and share skills they are fond of, beyond their domain expertise in school. The final day of Funkaar Week saw a stunning fusion of three different forms of dance, led by the dance teachers, who gracefully combined their experience with the exuberance of their students. The Funkaar Week ended with literal lighting of diyas by each parent, contributing their bit in illuminating the heart, mind and the school.
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