An Open Ended Year

And here we are again, in the blink of an eye, at the threshold of another brand new year knocking at our doors. It is a mix of excitement and nostalgia for us here at Shiv Nadar School. The excitement surfaces each time we think of the brilliant, innovative, engaging plans we have in place to pursue with our students as soon as they come back to school in January. The nostalgia arises out of introspective silence we observe while looking back at our successes, achievements, learnings and all situations which surprised us, or simply left an impact on us. The year 2014 itself witnessed a mix of the good and bad in terms of events and incidents, and we made every attempt of keeping our students abreast with how the world around them was changing. It is a fond juncture to sit at and think about it again, just one more time.

Since a while now, we have made it a habit of engaging in conversations about our value system with all stakeholders of our organization. This interaction acquires intensity and discursive nature when conducted with students and employees within the school premises. It is the same depth we aspire to achieve in conversations conducted online. It is hence that we decided to adopt ‘Openness and Transparency’ as the theme for the month of December, and bring to fore the importance of open communication in our organization.

Right from our CEO, to the Principals – Ms. Shashi Banerjee and Ms. Monica Sagar – everyone insists on the observation of honesty and transparency in all our engagements. These are not merely values we teach our students, but we also maintain that they should be followed as a principle by everyone. It is said that children might forget what you teach them, but they never forget who you are. Values when practiced seldom require preaching.

A number of initiatives and activities are instituted in our system to consistently emphasise on a culture of Openness and Transparency. These include the Cheers to Peers programme, which was held on 24th December, 2014. Cheers to Peers is an annual Reward and Recognition event, organised by the HR teammore about which can be read here.

An interesting discussion on our Value System was conducted with the Student Council members, to gain insights into how they perceive different values. Many interesting ideas were mooted by students, and very unconventional definitions of our six core values suggested. An example is the following idea of Openness and Transparency as articulated by Charita, a seventh grade student of Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon.

We have always maintained open and responsive channels of communication with our parents. Information about schools experiences and activities are shared with them and feedback encouraged. We value parent feedback very highly, and hence, an annual parent feedback survey is conducted, the salient observations of which significantly impact the school policies. Besides, counsellors in both our schools work actively to eliminate anxieties and offer support to parents looking at discussing issues related to pedagogy or parenting. We have always asserted and believed in the fact that parents are key stakeholders in the organization, and it is only when they have faith in our methods can we excel at building the beautiful world of learning we constantly aspire for.

To conclude, we would like to share with you these lovely words by Rupa PalChowdhury, Teacher at Shiv Nadar School, Noida.

“Openness and Transparency lies at the very core of any learning institution. It’s like opening your window to the freshness of the breeze and the light. You should be ready to receive, to make space within your heart, to accommodate new ideas, adapt to changes and in turn be brave enough to show your weakness as much as your strength.”

On that note, we journey on to the next year. Wishing you the best!

Dec 31, 2014 by Shiv Nadar School Faridabad

Community,  Constructive Education,  Education,  Education For Life,  Experiential Learning,  Faridabad,  Festival,  Gurgaon,  Holistic Education,  India,  Lifelong Learning,  Progressive Education,  Shiv Nadar School,  Students,  Universalism,  Values