Special Features of the Total Education Program

Bringing Out a Child’s Innateness

“Every child has a gift, it is up to us to unwrap it”.

This sentiment by School Founder, Vijayadev Yogendra, concisely expresses the School’s emphasis on the individual child. This is a place where everyone is important.

Small class sizes (one teacher to 12–13 children) mean that no one misses out on attention — no one “slips under the radar”. Valuing everyone means that no matter what a child’s apparent academic or other abilities, they are considered in the school program.

The challenge for teachers and parents is to observe each child, trying to understand what it is that speaks to their individual self-expression.

It may be something in the academic field like writing, science, history or mathematics. It could be a creative pursuit such as art, drama, dance or music. Or it might be something we don’t normally notice at school, but which is nevertheless meaningful to that child.

This gift, whatever it is, is what we mean by “innateness”, and the teacher will try to cultivate this — to give it a chance to grow and be expressed.

Often a child whose creativity has been stifled at home or at another school may have no idea where their particular talent or passion lies. Hence the school has a weekly Special Interest Program which enables children to explore their interests with teachers and students who share those interests. Groups include students from many year levels and each student can choose which group they wish to join. The choices they make will provide a clue to their innateness.

Bringing out a child’s innateness doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to pursue this area as career. But it can often lead to the release of a child’s creativity and a sense that they are good at something and are valued for their individuality. This in turn can help release learning inhibitions in other areas such as academic studies.

An important element of the philosophy behind the school is the support of the innateness of each child. There has been a lot of thought put into the various approaches the school takes to achieve this. Our family experience is that the way in which the school works is successful and children are supported for who they really are. This helps them to approach the world in a confident manner and enhances their ability to become real contributors to society.