About Us

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Genesis and Philosophy

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.

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School Culture

At Poorna, learning is child-centric and all children’s voices are important and their inputs are sought and welcomed in decision making. Whether it is formulating rules for the classroom or adopting measures to make the school safe for all, students participate actively during the student parliament.

Children at Poorna are encouraged to be unafraid and curious while being empathetic and respectful of diversity in culture, people and their abilities. Poorna advocates a non-competitive atmosphere in all activities where learning is for oneself and not in relation to others’ performances.

At Poorna, we have a practice of naming classes based on a chosen theme that is voted on by students instead of assigning grades I, II, III and so on. Over the years, we have had themes ranging from galaxies to words like peace in different languages to gemstones.  

Poorna’s philosophy and practice is that of sustainable and ecologically conscious education and living. Setting up a rainwater harvesting system and re-using grey water for gardening, using chemical-free detergents and soaps for washing and cleaning needs, recycling paper, waste segregation, composting and working towards being a zero waste campus are efforts in this direction.

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The Poorna Community

The Poorna community comprises of around hundred and fifty students and their parents, thirty teaching and support staff, trustees and alumni.

Even before the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009 came into force, Poorna has been supporting children from all socio-economic backgrounds. An inclusive community, 1% of each group or class at Poorna comprises of students who have special needs.

We believe that a community of teachers, staff, parents and children from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds adds to the growing and learning experience of all, and, is a microcosm of society. We continue to encourage and accept children from all backgrounds.