Nirmal Chhaya: The VOICE of TRUST

Nirmal Chhaya, our centre for families helps build a circle of TRUST between parents, teachers and families.

Going beyond the usual PTMs and PSA meets, the initiative enables us to learn more closely and intimately about the home lives of our students, develop a rapport with parents and thereby truly reach out and cater to the specific needs of each individual child and family. It encompasses a wide variety of intensively planned events and initiatives each of which encourage parental participation in varied ways.

Informal and ‘fun’ community events are organised by the team for families on weekend mornings and afternoons. Taking the form of heritage walks, community cook-outs, adventure camps, and kite-flying events, they provide important opportunities for teachers to interact with families in a relaxed, informal atmosphere and build bonds of openness and trust with them.

A special community meet is ‘Masti Ke Ghol’. Organised at the beginning of the academic year, it encourages teachers to break the ice with new parents by joining hands and jointly organising a fun event for students (a play, a cook-out or even a cricket match!). As new parents visit school, planning and brainstorming together with teachers, they begin to lower their defences and develop mutual understanding and respect.

The annual curricular workshop – ‘Learning to Learn’ is another noteworthy feature of the Chhaya programme. As part of the workshop, teachers and students attempt to make teaching and learning visible, explaining and demonstrating the Aham-Sah Way of teaching and learning. This helps to familiarise parents with our curricular approach. More specific workshops relating to particular subjects or concepts are also conducted, for example, a workshop on Phonics Teaching’ has become an annual feature. As part of other curricular interactions, parents are regularly invited to view assembly presentations and class project displays.

To help parents further broaden their perspective, the team organises workshops and seminars on topics such as child development, parenting and conflict management.

As part of the Saathi programme, parents with special skills or resources are invited to participate in parent-sharing activities or to volunteer their time on a part-time basis.