Project Awake and Shine

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Child Care And Teaching

Ever since the school started our focus has been on orienting teachers and support staff to care for the children with love and affection. We have selected and trained our teachers in house to create a team of child friendly teachers.

We want our teachers to be dynamic, innovative and open to new ideas. They are expected to care for the children, be able to develop a good rapport with their wards, and communicate fluently in English.

It has been a challenge finding suitable teachers, to come and teach in the village. Urban teachers found it difficult to adjust to the requirements, and they could not build a rapport with village children. We finally decided to recruit teachers from the village community, and ignore conventional qualifications. The ability to speak and understand English was the only prerequisite that we laid down for aspiring teachers.

We took up the challenge of training our own teachers to match our outlook. Mrs Maureen Blake retired head of an infant school in the UK, conducted a training course, to train rural school leavers in spoken English and activity based teaching methods. All those who were suitable were offered jobs in the school.

To improve creative and activity based teaching methods adopted by the school, we are continuously seeking motivated experienced volunteers. 

Mrs Maureen Blake, has been a regular volunteer every year for a period of 3-6 months. She has been guiding, supervising and training our teaching staff. She has organized teachers training, and has been motivating and inspiring our children. The school and teachers in particular have benefited a lot by this association. In 2013, Mrs Maureen Blake was appointed as our volunteer principal, advisor and trainer.

Marget Sherwill, from Australia who is a consultant in teaching English, worked together with Maureen Blake and Agathe Francoise- a volunteer from France, to introduce our teachers to the latest techniques of developing English fluency through stories, linked with activities. Currently she is designing a series of English readers with local characters, and images to enable better understanding and more intimate participation by our children and teachers.

Our activity based learning is dynamic and has undergone refinement with contributions by teachers, visitors and volunteers,

Friends and well wishers, who are members of the Rotary Club of Benalla in Australia, invited two of our teachers in Jan- Feb 2014, to visit Australia and participate in a tailor-made program  of Cultural exchange and exposure to latest teaching methods. The teachers stayed with families, participated in social exchange and visited infant and primary schools. 

The program conceived by the Rotary club of Benalla, was the brain child of Graeme and Joy Budd and Margot Sherwill. It was made possible by active participation of all Rotary members, and was conducted by Margot Sherwill.

As a result of this trip our teachers became more self confident and responsible. The Interaction has helped them to broaden their horizons, improve their English, and gain insight to the techniques of teaching young children. Based on their experiences, we introduced better teaching and class management techniques. 

Child care and Teacher-Parent relations

We have laid great stress on child care and teacher- parent relations. We have strictly implemented zero tolerance to violence against children. Our policy is: No scolding, No punishment, No vindictiveness and No favoritism – only love and affection. This has brought about amazing results in the learning process and is visible in happy children who are cheerful, obedient, and keen to learn. 

Transparency has been maintained by taking parents into confidence about all policies and the school budget. Parents attend regular one to one, and community meetings with the staff. Parent- teacher-children clubs in each class provide close bonds, for social intercourse, community work, and more. 

Parents have attended a bi-lingual workshop jointly with their children on moral values. They have also been motivated to participate in painting and decoration of class rooms, and worked. together with staff and children to organize a school mela for the community

These activities have resulted in a harmonious and happy environment between the school and the community, which has resulted in quality education, innovative ideas, and happy parents and children.

The School has established a reputation as an educational centre of excellence.  In 2010 the school was awarded The Telegraph School Award for excellence.

Our Address: Project Awake and Shine
Samthar Farm House, Basti and Post Office Samthar, Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - 734301
Mobile: +91-94340-47372,E-mail : awakeandshineschool@yahoo.com, gurudongma@outlook.com, gurudongma@gmail.com
For India wide Tours and Treks go to www.astonishingindiatours.com. Mob: +91-94340-62100,