Underpinning our vision of personalised learning in a spiritual environment, we have 8 values. These values give direction to our teachers in terms of what we want our students to learn and they feature these elements as we feel these values are key for the outcomes and the vision that we have for these children.
In a general sense, we want a broad learning curriculum to give our students the ability to experience new spheres and become well rounded British citizens. We want our children to have a variety of experiences in terms of trips, interactions with other schools and the opportunity for devotional activities.
Expression is the ability to communicate ideas and feelings. We feel great students have the ability to express themselves. In this we want to place an emphasis on drama and role play in the classroom; so that children freely debate and discuss to challenge ideas; to be confident in taking risks without judgement and to use art and music as a way to express themselves.
One of the special things about Gurukula is that the children build strong bonds with each other. Historically, Gurukula children know each other for life. There should be a level of comfort and connection between the children and teachers which also encourages parents to play an active part of the school community. Of great importance we want children to connect with the ethos and philosophy of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement.
Bhakti yoga, which is what we follow as Hare Krishnas is the yoga of devotion. We inherently teach this to all the children so that they can naturally develop their own devotion to God. This is manifest in the sweet and caring nature of the children and overall character. We give positive examples to students through Vedic scriptures and extra curricular time is spent in activities like chanting and worship as a means to express this devotion.
Character is important for children to build. This is part of our curriculum offer where children are challenged and stretched. However, it is also present in the activities we do like sports and service. Through service we help the community at large and learn that serving the greater good of other brings pleasure.
This is to give the children a strong academic and spiritual basis so that they all leave the school with strong numeracy and literacy skills as well other skills that will equip them well for life ahead. With spiritual foundations, the children will have some knowledge of prominent Vedic texts like the Bhagavad Gita. Again, this will help them in life by trying to understand the deeper meanings and give students a moral compass.
With a faith and nurture culture at the school nothing should feel forced, especially the spirituality. There should be a natural joy and want for learning and for absorbing the spiritual environment. As part of doing that, children are encouraged to use the outdoor environment as a way to learn and connect with nature. We feel that this gives the children a thirst for learning and provides a key part of our holistic education, creating well rounded children.
Service to others is a key principal for life in general. Students are encouraged to understand the importance of this within the school community and society at large. We ask the children to take pride in their environment at school; to help look after and respect it and do things that benefit other students and not just themselves. We invite members of society to demonstrate the importance of service and to inspire the children to do more for their communities.