The goal of every childhood education should be to activate child’s own natural desire to learn” -Maria Montessari
Sowing seeds is a place where children are not taught but nurtured; where education is not delivered but gifted softly. It focusses on the overall development of child with extensive techniques, child-centric teaching methodologies and focus creating tools. The teaching is done keeping in mind the softness of the childhood following the criteria of ‘simple to complex’.
Here’s a brief introduction of the school from the mouth of the very dynamic and dynamite personality -the Owner and Principal of school- Diksha Aswani. The interview was taken in the school campus itself to have a close feel.
Q1. Diksha Ji, I have heard a lot about your passion towards the school. The curiosity has brought me here. First of all, I would like to know about the foundation of the school.
A1. I always wished to do something in the education field but I was so engrossed in the upbringing of my two boys that I couldn’t. Since they are grown up now to take care of themselves, I am able to focus on my mission.
I started the school four years ago. My school is a Kindergarten school with Principal’s office, four classrooms with natural light, one activity zone with extensive tools, one play area and a big auditorium hall. We also take the advantage of the adjoining park for the physical activities. I have ensured that the floor is matted properly so that kids don’t get hurt. I have allowed the natural light to come in the rooms as the tender bodies require Vitamin D and fresh air to grow naturally.
As it is said ‘The journey of a thousand miles start with a single step.’ I also wish that the journey I have started will help me spread the right education strategies to the society. Moreover, my goal is to make it grow to a primary school which is on high demand from parents. “It is not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted”
Q2. Education is a service which always carries a strong vision. What is your philosophy when you laid the foundation of ‘Sowing Seeds’?
A2. The top priority for me is the ‘HAPPINESS’ of the child. I focus on the happiness of the child, the learning will eventually follow. You might have heard, “Don’t educate your child to be rich. Educate your child to be happy. So, they know the value of things not price.”
Q3. What are the key factors focused while the curriculum is designed?
A3. Keeping the focus on happiness, there are multiple things the school works on:
- Overall growth and grooming of the children
- Cover every aspect: cognitive, intellectual, behavioral and physical
- Boost the confidence level
- Create space for the natural growth under guided grounds
- Value based education
You will be surprised to know that little ones conduct the assembly on a small stage with the support of teachers. It helps boost their confidence level.
Q4. Since Pre-schooling lays the base for the growth of the children; just like a tailor, teacher chooses blend of right platforms (fabric), right thread (tools) and right format (curriculum), please tell us what skill formations and activities are focused on in the ‘Sowing Seeds’?
A4. Basically Shilpa, there are three learning styles: Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic. We, at Sowing Seeds, focus on all three styles through developing their cognitive skills, gross motor skills, sensory skills, fine motor skills and last but not the least, Oration.
Teachers facilitate the learning through different techniques – individual attention, small group work, team work and stage performances.
We have built diverse zones – sensory station, pouring station and free play station etc. through which the complex concepts are taught in play way method.
Tiny tots are also put into little innovative games like “Arm to Arm” Race, “Bangle” Circle, Blocks and Placards, Sand cart play fun and Name your favorites etc.
We also amuse them through music and dance, which is again a part of learning. We instill the forgotten traditional values of nationalism, brotherhood, sense of humor and respect for elders etc. through these.
Q4. The place Kamla Nagar, Agra is a hub of Preschools. What makes you stand out in the crowd?
A4. Yes, there are schools mushrooming in every corner. But sadly, valuable concepts are not being acknowledged. Well, I have never been in any race. I am doing my job with complete dedication. Our pattern is completely different though. We have always been pioneer in doing experimental and successful things. We generate a curriculum which is child -centric and value based. Our USP is “Personal Care and attention”. Moreover, Sowing seeds enables the general awareness among children practically.
The knowledge is sought and executed very differently here. We go deep rooted and impart a learning which lasts.
Our mechanism is such that it helps the child become a lifelong learner and critical thinker. While sticking to the roots, we make them grow. Not only that, they easily get admitted to the schools with good remarks.
Q5. The accessibility to real world provides first hand information to the child and a good step towards lifelong learning. Do you believe in enriching children through field trips and excursions.
A5. Very true. The field trips and excursions are always the best tools for providing real education. I do value it and inculcate the same quite often. Further, we plan them and correlate with the curriculum too. So far, we have taken students to the best bakery in the town MKOP where they relished the cakes and a cute demo of cakes.
Apart from that, the fruit and vegetable market visit, park visit, salon visit and post office visit etc. are scheduled too.
Q6. Annual events are the best platform to exhibit the learning and confidence of the child. Parents always look forward to see their little ones performing on stage or showing the physical skills through annual day or sports day. How do you celebrate the completion of the year?
A6. Since the early years of childhood are the years of physical growth. Throughout the year, my team focuses on the physical activities like yoga, games, races and Taekwando etc. So, I celebrate their annual learning and childhood through annual sports day.
Q7. Behind every successful organization, it is the mentor’s planning and team’s execution working in a harmonious pattern.
A7. Well said, Shilpa Ji. My team has always been supportive of my decisions and the curriculum designed by me. They put forward the planning with 200% zeal and enthusiasm. I just adore them.
Q8. Nowadays, technology use is so much in fashion and we see parents or administrators committing the remarks that my child is a whiz with Pads and Gaming apps etc. As an educator, what is your take on the technology intervention in early years?
A8. I strictly stand against the idea of using the technology as a tool of learning. Although, we can surely use them for reinforcement. It is a shame on our society that we are taking away the innocence from the childhood by giving them the gadgets. We are missing the joy of real work, one-on-one conversation, feel the nature, mess up with colors and arranging-rearranging the toys.
There is a lot of exposure to the technology already at home in the form of Tabs, Smart Phones and TV. Somewhere we have to ration it. In the name of gadgets, all I have is one smart-screen which is used authentically and one music system. And I proudly call my school a “No-Gadget” premise.
Q9. You, at Sowing seeds, keep on generating solutions to diverse issues regarding the better growth of children. Recently, You have started a program called “Mommy poppins”. Please elaborate about the same.
A9. SOWING SEEDS play school is very happy and excited to launch a mother toddler program called MOMMY POPPINS.
It’s a program which is specially designed to help toddlers prepare for Pre school .
The activities are very thoughtfully designed to deepen the bond of the parent with their toddler and a guide to help the parents to enhance the learning process , keeping in mind that both enjoy it equally. Children from 12 months to 24 to 26 months is eligible for a mother toddler program. Once they turn 24 months n older they graduate to the play school
“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.” The little ones at Sowing Seeds are being given an education enriched with the elements of physical, psychological, intellectual and vocal skills. Keep sowing the seeds of perfect education and provide a beautiful knowledgeable world to us! Thanks Diksha Ji and all the best!
You can follow Sowing seeds at the following media links:
Few glimpses of my visit to the campus: