Chennai: Greenery all around, not a tinge of artificiality anywhere. No colourful plastic balls or metal monkey bars. Instead, children here visit spot orchards and Vandalur zoo.
For the uninitiated, this is the Adyar Theosophical Academy (ATA) in Besant Nagar, which began its classes in June and is making waves since then.
“We have had 31 admissions this year for pre-school, LKG, UKG, classes one and two,” said director of ATA, Sonal Murali, adding that the parents who were drawn to the school had a similar mindset.
Sonal hopes that the school sows seeds of self-learning, self regulation (not in terms of discipline) which would help the child be self-aware.
“Which is why it is called Adyar Theosophical ‘Academy’ because the word school has different connotations, while an academy prepares you for life,” she said. Set on a vast 1.6 acres, the school follows the ICSE syllabus.
Apart from a lotus leaf-shaped sand pit and a gardening patch, a unique upcoming feature here is a natural playscape.
The project is being done by members of Parkour Circle.
A senior member of the group, Prabu Mani, said, “My friend enrolled his child here and felt the need of a play area. That’s when we got involved.”
The group is using Vardah-felled trees from the Theosophical Society campus to “create a safe and creative play environment where the children can jump, roll, crawl, climb and learn how to land safely.” According to Krithika, a teacher, the students are given a free space to explore.
“They are encouraged to use recycled stuff for class projects. A student brought a book on dinosaurs which got them excited to visit a museum. Following the visit, the class made a creative replica of it using a recycled thermocol. They also made a book on insects they see in the school premises,” she added.