Education is about the joy of learning and bringing out the best in ourselves, for our own well-being and for others. How we move, breathe, think, feel, eat, sit, and communicate influences greatly how we learn and interact with those around us. As adults, we have all done courses, workshops, and seminars to learn about ourselves and our connection to others in ways that school never taught us. Why can’t school be a place for learning about yourself, as much as learning how to function in society?
Over the years I have experimented with mediation and yoga with children and adults. I have seen how it integrates the body and mind, deepening and broadening the capacity to assimilate, memorise, analyse, and create. It helps nurture a receptive condition by creating space and calm for learning to take place. It also develops harmonious and meaningful relationships within the classroom where competition is replaced by a spirit of collaboration and sharing. For this to fulfil itself it is fundamental that the school is democratically-run with students feeling that their voice counts and they can make a difference. Developing confidence in your voice, your capacity to listen and your wisdom to make decisions is fundamental for living a fulfilling life.
At the moment I am leading a project to build a school for underprivileged children in India. This school will have yoga, meditation, and community service integrated into its curriculum. It is in a village called Bhandarjhud near Dehradun about 240 km North-East of Delhi.
I want to set up a school here in the UK too and have been looking for a community where I thought these ideas may find fertile soil to nurture them. A project like this needs people who value experimentation, creativity and a holistic approach to education. Hebden Bridge feels like the right place. We want our school to be an integral part of the community, absorbing from it and giving back to it. We are open to hearing from anybody who would like to collaborate with us in any way.
Aside from nurturing personal growth we want our students and teachers to be aware of the interconnectedness of life and knowledge, and be able connect their study to the outside world. As an extension of this, we take exams seriously and will prepare our students to succeed in GCSEs so they may have options in their lives with further study or work. Our approach is to take the best from alternative and traditional education, with our feet firmly on the ground.
Please take your time to have a look around our website, and if you are interested in your children becoming students, come along to our taster sessions. Feel free to go our face book page to leave your comments
This is the beginning of a journey that is going to change the lives of many people in this area, beginning with my own. Learning is the greatest transformational force we human beings have and it brings genuine hope to our lives. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this and very excited about the future.