Isai Ambalam School is located in Auroville, Pondicherry. We are an Auroville outreach school and work with children in the villages around Auroville including Kottakarai, Alankuppaam, Pattai, Edayanchavadi, Poothurai, Pattannur. We currently work with around 135 children from 3 years of age to about 14 years of age, i.e., Kindergarten through Grade 8. We aspire to be a school based on the ideas of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother to support children and teachers reach their highest potential. We believe in unending education, learning through doing and by fostering a collaborative learning community.
In the past, Isai Ambalam school implemented many alternative teaching techniques including Glenn Doman, Phonics, Rishi Valley. One of them the trans-creation of the Rishi Valley Ladder method in Tamil was well received and over 300 teachers from across TN and Pondicherry were trained at the Isai Ambalam School in the period of 2005-2008 in this method. The method is now successfully prevalent all over TN as the ABL (Activity Based Learning) methodology.
However, a lot has changed in the last decade in terms of schooling around Alankuppam with many schools – both private and govt being available. These have also become accessible and acceptable with various benefits provided to children in schools that are registered. Over the last few years the children at higher grades were joining registered schools and this year the school has become recognized under CBSE as the elementary section of New Era Secondary School (also an Auroville Outreach school). Children graduating from Isai Ambalam school have done well both academically, sports as well as values they have inculcated in their lives. Academically, last year the 10th grade topper at NESS was from Isai Ambalam School.
The schools work not only the students academic needs, but also the needs in critical skills, competencies and values. We believe that working on the foundation of values and critical skills in the context of life and (Education-by-Design) EBD will support both the curricular needs as well as a holistic education that we aspire to provide as an Auroville school. There are over 10 engineers who volunteer at the school working with the children on STEM activities.
We believe that children and teachers should together create a collaborative learning community where both the teacher and children are partners in learning and growth. We have seen this in action through the longer EBDs and we believe the narrow goals of the curriculum can be sufficiently met through theme based EBDs that span over a month or an entire term. We wish to improve competencies in English, Tamil, Math and problem solving and inculcate scientific temperament among children.