Poorna began as a home-schooling experiment for three children in 1993 with their mother, Indira, acting as teacher. Indira’s children expressed dissatisfaction with their school at that time, and when home-schooling was suggested as an option, the children were keen to try out this new adventure.
Slowly and steadily, other parents and children who also felt that mainstream schooling was not giving them what they needed approached this new school. These parents felt that learning that didn’t go beyond reading, writing and cramming the children with facts which they may not even understand, did not help them build a relationship with nature and society.
Learning is a part of the natural growth and development of every child, and, adult. Holistic, child-centred, collaborative learning in an atmosphere of fun and freedom lies at the heart of Poorna’s philosophy.
At Poorna, learning takes place in an informal but not casual atmosphere, enabling children to respond joyfully and creatively to learning. Minimum restrictions are placed upon the children and they can move about freely.
Poorna aims at developing intellectual ability, values of compassion, social sensitivity, humility, respect for each other, respect for the earth and all that she offers, adaptability, joyfulness, curiosity for how and why things happen and a quest for excellence in whatever children do. We aspire to work towards helping children develop academic skills, emotional well-being and an awareness of contemporary social and development concerns, helping them become caring, responsible and involved members of society.
The curriculum at Poorna is developed taking into consideration the ages, abilities and interests of the children in each group. Overall learning goals are planned for each group of children, and there is room for working outside of these when children are interested to do so. Hands-on, experiential learning through doing and being is emphasised. For example learning about different states of matter usually involves a trip to the school kitchen to conduct experiments with water- boiling and freezing it while learning about evaporation and condensation! Field trips and excursions are linked to topics being addressed in the classroom.
Textbooks are used as guides where required. However, we do not limit ourselves to the textbooks.