We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings

by Sadhguru Schools
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
We Nurture Wonderful Human Beings
Hand washing using Tippy taps
Hand washing using Tippy taps

What such an exciting momemt to see everyone back to school after a full year of staying at home. All the children look beautifully grown can visibly see parental love was in action during the lockdown. We are following all the SOPs to ensure that everyone keeps safe and that learning happens in the best way possible. As you can see from the picturess, one of the child from early years is acting as a policeman maintaining the COVID-SOPs guidelines in the market. The child is also taking temperature of the people coming to the market.

Drumming and more

We had a wonderful one full week of drumming at the begining of term one. We have attached few pictures and a link to a short raw video with the Rockies Troupe Uganda crew at their best  - training our children. It was such a fun moment for everyone.

What such a joy that amidst all this COVID situation, Lily and Maureen joined the Sadhguru School team; with Lily overlooking the academics and Maureen taking care of montenssori learning with the early years.

Early Years back in action

Speaking about early years, the little ones were explorinig such an interesting topic “Me, My Friends and Family”. They had an opportunity to role play in different places with multiple scenarios. They each visited a school, a market, a hospital, a home among others with friends and family. The children were individually involved in  setting up of a market, others acted as sellers in the market and others as buyers, teachers and pupils.

Buddhist Thangka Painting from Tibet

In Art class this term, children from Years 2-5 were excited to learn that their Yoga teacher possesses a talent for Thangka Art: Yogesh has been studying under the tutorage of a Master painter and shared his impressive works with each class explaining how the intense focus required by the painters is in itself considered a form of meditation. The children learned about some of the symbolism within the paintings, the stories behind the artworks and the grid method employed by the artists to ensure that the characters featured can be passed down from generation to generation without losing integrity. They were amazed by the detail achieved by Thangka artists and enjoyed creating individual elements of Thangka paintings themselves, before combining these together to create a colourful, collaborative artwork!

Science experiments with Year 5 children

Through inquiry based learning, Yr 5 class carried out various physics and chemistry experiments. The children were able to identify variables in each experiment, make informed predictions and note down their observations. They also learnt about P.H levels and determined the P.H levels of the solution in their experiments. We cannot wait to see them in action at the next level.

In science, they did a simple experiment about flying sycamore seed helicopters as one of the experiments. The major aim was for them to learn how to write up a scientific investigation focusing on: planning an experimentt, making a prediction with reference to what they already know, carrying out an experiment and recording accurate results as well as drawing a conclusion from results and discuss the degree of trust. 

We all explored that Sycamore seeds are designed to catch the wind as they fall and 'fly' far away from the tree in order to grow a new tree. the air pushes upwards towards against the 'wings' of the seed (and the arms of the helicopter) pushes them in opposite directions, making the seed (helicopter) spin. Children found out that the size of the paper helicopter influences how far it can fly and how much time it takes. Small helicopters flew for a short period of time whilst big helicopters flew higher for a longer period. Flying period was recorded in seconds.

Talking about SOPs, we are keeping our masks on
Talking about SOPs, we are keeping our masks on
Montessori market: Thermometer gun,hand sanitizer
Montessori market: Thermometer gun,hand sanitizer
Reception and Yr1 Market day
Reception and Yr1 Market day
Drumming lesson
Drumming lesson
Dancing lesson
Dancing lesson
Talking about SOPs, we are keeping our masks on
Talking about SOPs, we are keeping our masks on
More dancing
More dancing
Look at that detail
Look at that detail

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The Unschooled Magazine launching mid December
The Unschooled Magazine launching mid December

The Unschooled

While schools have been closed, we've been looking for alternative ways to support the school into the future. The Unschooled online magazine began as a seed of an idea, dreamt up by one of our resident yoga teachers with the goal of funding the education of our children whilst sharing our love of learning and discovery of our world, with the world.

If you haven’t guessed already, the subscription-based magazine is named after our founder, the ‘Unschooled’ Sadhguru, who as a young boy would find in every puddle and ditch, a laboratory, and in every tree and bush of the jungle, a library. 

Living off-the-grid naturally invokes a process of hands-on learning of ‘basics’, taken for granted in cities and developed countries; at the same time we're surrounded by a riot of birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, forests and landscapes which all clamour to be drunk in. The Unschooled aims to lead you into this magical yet practical interior, while placing it in our local context of culture, geography, folklore and beyond. We hope that children around the world will find it an adventurous learning resource. The Unschooled launches in mid December through www.theunschooled.org (currently under construction).

 

Home Workbook Learning

How do you keep learning going in a rural area when schools are closed, and parents do not have the financial ability to access the internet for their children, and still maintain social distancing protocol? Middle and upper income families have been able to continue their children's education though meet platforms and chat applications like Whatsapp. For families around Sadhguru School, even a phone call can be a challenge due to lack of phone charging facilities, and the natural priority given to planting and harvesting can further reduce the chances of catching a family 'in reception'. 

We started by broadcasting a range of carefully chosen stories morning and afternoon on local radio, but soon realised this was not having enough reach. So we created the home workbook learning programme, while still being able to follow the mandated safety operating procedures. Teachers have been designing multiple booklets covering maths, literacy, geography/science and art which we have been delivering to each home. Through all weathers we have kept up regularly visiting the children to help them with these carefully designed workbooks, and to continue the Montessori learning 'in the field' of reception and year 1.

We are the only rural school in Uganda to have offered such support under the more challenging conditions presented by no internet.The images below are a small testimony to the past few months. 

 

What Words Can't Capture

It is with tremendous gratitude we would like to thank you all for maintaining your support for the school during this extremely difficult period for everyone; we have been deeply touched that during this time not a single recurring monthly donation has been curtailed, much to our surprise and joy. While fundraising has almost come to a standstill, these have been our lifeline. Wishing you all the necessary ease and flexibility to sail through whatever challenges the coming, still uncertain, months may bring.

We made in-the-field Montessori learning kits
We made in-the-field Montessori learning kits
Beginning of class: tidily rolling our our mat
Beginning of class: tidily rolling our our mat
Did you know - children have a mathematical mind?
Did you know - children have a mathematical mind?
number recognition activity: we can do it alone!
number recognition activity: we can do it alone!
Fully involved
Fully involved
Children can concentrate & find joy in working
Children can concentrate & find joy in working
Completing our sums
Completing our sums
Working on handwriting
Working on handwriting
Working in collaboration to complete additions
Working in collaboration to complete additions
Tidying up at lesson end is part of the process
Tidying up at lesson end is part of the process
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During Assembly, Josephine sharing about AI
During Assembly, Josephine sharing about AI

Artificial Intelligence comes to Sadhguru School

In this blog, we bring to you some free-flowing prose in the form of a sharing from Josephine, whose family roots are in Western Uganda. Baring in mind we are amid rolling hills and farmland with sparse electricity, she inspired our children with her lesser-known career during school assembly - Artificial Intelligence.

Meanwhile, scroll to the bottom for two elevating video links of performances from our two-weeks early closing assembly in March - the result of the sudden closure of schools due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: (1) Anandhi, a music therapist and former teacher of many years at Isha Home School leading Bob Marley's Don't Worry About a Thing, and (2) Amooti with a spoken word performance of his A Poem The Dark Child composed by him especially for Sadhguru School children.

 

'Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.' (Ibn Battuta) 

Often I seek a ‘state’ of calm. That bursting-out-of-your-chest feeling of wonder, awe and gratitude. An act of stepping out of my world literally and figuratively, simultaneously embracing that sense of oneness and ‘disconnecting’. 

The trip begins

I had decided over the International women’s day weekend that I needed inspiration, a change in scenery. Travel has always pushed me to see the forest for the trees. There is something magical about hitting the road and experiencing. A friend’s work trip to Fort Portal provided a perfect opportunity. The fresh upcountry air cleared my mind and energized my spirit. Little did i know at the time that our odyssey was just begining.

We arrived in Fort Portal at 11:30am  and went about doing my colleague's work. Having a similar professional background meant that my presence was relevant. It felt refreshing to hear/speak familiar terms and contribute from an outsider’s point of view.  

Two hours later, I am sitting with my other hilarious friend, as she narrates her weekend escapade to Queen Elisabeth national park. I met her in the corridors of knowledge at the University of Cambridge. A million laughs later, we are still going strong! She has been telling me about Sadhguru school where she has been working from early this year. Like many Ugandans, before her employment, I was unaware of this oasis of peace, enlightenment and sanity, a little bit off the beaten path.

Discovering Sadhguru School

Sadhguru School is built on Ndali Estate, 24 kilometres from Fort Portal town. It is a stone’s throw away from Ndali Lodge that is also on the same estate. The estate’s valley location affords a picturesque view of the surrounding mountain slopes and crater lakes. Mildly tamed flora obscures the school, serving as a subtle embellishment for a sight for the sore eyes, that is, the school grounds. As our driver and I marvelled at the view, my other colleague quickly wanted to introduce me to the school administration before her 3pm meeting.

True to her character, she made levity the exercise of meeting the school administrators. And within minutes we were exchanging jokes at my friend’s expense. The good-natured banter concluded with an invitation to speak to the children about Artificial Intelligence, an area of my work. 

What better way to be inspired than to inspire future leaders

Maktub – my first thought! To look into faces that represent a very young version of yourself and explain the concept of designing and using algorithms to imbue machines with the human capacity for contemplation, judgement, and intention. 

Choosing to use ‘training a dog’ as an analogy for  artificial intelligence, I was happy when a pupil asked, ‘dogs understand, what happens if the machine does not do as commanded?’ The young lad through imagination and uninhibited curiosity had grasped the concept well enough to ask a very crucial question in the Artificial Intelligence/ machine learning debate. At that moment I was reminded of my childhood curiosity for life and the power of imagination. Also, two of Sadhguru’s quotes about education came to mind. The first one is,  “Education is about making a child grow with an uncluttered intelligence”. The second is,  “Education can never be a profession – it must be a passion.”

My interaction with the children and staff of Sadhguru School spoke to those two quotes. Speaking to one of the third-generation owners of Ndali estate and overseer of the school, you get to understand that passion. She will be the first to tell you that she is no expert in education. And yet she has put together a passionate team to provide holistic education in a rural setting - ensuring that each pupil’s spiritual, intellectual and physical development needs are met. Listening to one of the Directors speak of her research for the school’s current and future strategy; to the Art teacher (a professional photographer), and to the school's IT specialist pointing out pupils that want to build computers, I got that floating-above feeling of seeing one’s life as part of a wider tapestry.

I was in awe of my surroundings; grateful for the hospitality and the opportunity to be inspired; and in the wonder of my purpose in the Sadhguru School odyssey.

A clown performs during another assembly
A clown performs during another assembly

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Yr4 learning to research via the internet
Yr4 learning to research via the internet

Learning using the Montessori Approach

With the support of a few individuals, we have introduced the Montessori method this year to Reception and Year1, alongside our ongoing activity-based role-play learning. The images below show the meticulousness and intensity with which our 4-5 year olds are continuing their self-directed learning using dedicated Montessori learning materials. Montessori exercises the children's capacity to choose, through them freely selecting their work area in a disciplined, calm but absorbing atmosphere, while also enhancing their social skills. We look forward to a life-long love for learning being ignited early for these little ones.

More Martial Arts in Action

We had an opportunity to host Maciek for two weeks at school - a highly competitive and knowledgeable Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner from Poland. Maciek funded his way to school with no previous knowledge of Uganda or Africa at all. Inspired purely after hearing about our project, and with a strong desire to spread knowledge of martial arts throughout the world. Through his intense style of teaching, the team strengthened their fundamental understanding of the game and learned new details and training methodologies, surely bringing our talented athletes closer to future championship possibilities.

Our Growing Team

Nine people joined our teaching team from all walks of life in January. Leaving the city, home luxuries and family behind to join us here in the countryside does not come with a lot of ease. We celebrate the dedication of  Max, Lydia, Frank, Isaac, Sophie, Daniel, Julia, Samantha and Denis in some of the images below.

Yr3 during a class activity
Yr3 during a class activity
A group from Yr4 using the internet for research
A group from Yr4 using the internet for research
Yr1: working together with a Montessori pyramid
Yr1: working together with a Montessori pyramid
Reading lesson
Reading lesson
fully focused learning using Montessori materials
fully focused learning using Montessori materials
Montessori tactile animal learning board
Montessori tactile animal learning board
Maciek demonstrates jiu jitsu move
Maciek demonstrates jiu jitsu move
Jiu Jitsu in action
Jiu Jitsu in action
The young Jiu Jitsu team in the making
The young Jiu Jitsu team in the making
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Our Open Magic box to the King
Our Open Magic box to the King

Magic Boxes to the King of our Kingdom

Year 4 had just 5 days (!) to prepare to meet our beloved King of Tooro. This was no ordinary meeting: His Majesty, King Oyo had invited Sadhguru School to perform on the 24th anniversary of His coronation, at the Royal Palace in Fort Portal - less than 30km from school. 

The children wrote and performed a poem dedicated to the protection of the beauty of their Tooro Kingdom, hiding safely all those things precious to them in their magic boxes which they offered to their king in the final verse. One of our volunteers, a master craftsman (fine cabinet maker), made a beautiful wooden box jointed with dovetails and hinged with handmade brass studs, which the children decorated with their artwork. 

A little snippet about our King: at the tender age of just 3, The Prince made global headlines, entering the Guiness Book of Records as the youngest prince in the world to be crowned king, ascending the throne to the Tooro Kingdom at the death of his father, on 12th September 1995. See the video in the link below to discover what was inside the magic boxes.

Red Hen Bread & Indigenous Food Fair

Reception children, as young as four - baking? Yes! Inspired as part of their Red Hen project, a story that they worked on for a few weeks, the little ones learnt how to make bread like the Red Hen. Led by a volunteer, the little ones learnt a skill in such a joyful and fun way, baking together and enjoying the yummy bread just like the Red Hen.

If we are going to talk about baking, we should at least know the source of the ingredients: our Nutrition Club participated in the Rwenzori Regional Indigeneous Food and Seed Fair, where they enjoyed learning about native seeds, cultural tools and methods used to farm in the olden days. The food fair focused on sharing ways to utilise indigenous food and seeds to end hunger. Our children also performed a skit that was carefully prepared for the event.

Stalagmites and Stalactites

Recently Year 3 and 4 were learning about stalagmites and stalactites. As part of their studies, they visited the famous Amabere caves and waterfalls near Fort Portal. They were in awe when they found out about the scientific reasons behind all the legends that they had heard about surrounding the caves. Added to this, they found out how waterfalls are formed and how to make maps, and they listened to cultural and tribal stories - all in one place on a fun-filled field day.

Jiu Jitsu

Do you remember from an earlier blog our children beginning to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? At that time our students had started out wrestling and grappling on the lawn... Recognizing the effort of the team and the risk of injury involved while wrestling on hard surfaces, a few people from the USA contributed wrestling mats to make wrestling an on-going possibility at school. We now have a batch of eleven wrestlers competing in their very first competition as I write! Look out for our next blog to see how these little angels fare: though small in stature, our students are strong in stamina, vigour and intensity - a natural offshoot of the physicality of their rural backgrounds, which the school is trying to nurture and direct for their wellbeing through disciplines such as jiu jitsu.

Performing the Poem at the coronation ceremony
Performing the Poem at the coronation ceremony
The King and Queen Mother
The King and Queen Mother
Magic box
Magic box
One of our pledges
One of our pledges
Inside the Magic box
Inside the Magic box
Reception baking
Reception baking
In the Oven
In the Oven
Preparations in progress
Preparations in progress
We made it..
We made it..
Matching during the food fair
Matching during the food fair
Performing a skit at the food fair
Performing a skit at the food fair
Checking out food varieties
Checking out food varieties
A walk around the caves
A walk around the caves
Learning session
Learning session
At our best on the new Grappling mats
At our best on the new Grappling mats
Here we go
Here we go
At the waterfalls
At the waterfalls

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Organization Information

Sadhguru Schools

Location: Fort Portal, Kabarole - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @https://youtu.be/xxUcvaJaPto
Project Leader:
Bliss Grace
Fort Portal, Kabarole Uganda
$86,005 raised of $200,000 goal
 
692 donations
$113,995 to go
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