The focus of HHMS is on holistic education.
We all say that we want our children to be exposed to learning as much as possible; we want them to absorb information and arrive at an understanding on their own. But how does that usually happen? In a classic urban family setting, the only thing that the child is exposed to is angry, stressed, demanding adults – at home, at school and outside. Even new research about early brain development has led to a crazy rush for parents to give ‘exposure’ to their children. The idea is that maximum brain connections happen in that age. Probably true, but what is dangerous and detrimental is that most of this exposure is limited to only information gathering.
For learning, exposure has to be effortless and spontaneous. Only then can the child be a ‘sponge’ and absorb knowledge which results in understanding. We want our children to be vibrant and versatile when they grow up. That includes qualities like risk taking, problem solving, being courageous and daring, creative and imaginative. How can these attributes develop unless we allow them certain liberties? Hidden behind syllabus, textbooks, marks, grades, exams and competition pressure is the requirement to be standard and repetitive. HHMS breaks free of all these constraints and exposes the kids to a lot of ‘activities’ which focus on developing all those qualities that the standard education system seeks to kill! And all these activities result in multi-dimensional learning – learning in a lot of different areas.
Students even play games where they have to use strategy, discipline and competitiveness. Lot of on the spot decisions, strategies, optimization and planning happen while playing these games, with vocabulary building being a side effect.
Even traditional activities have amazing learning potential. On Diwali, as the students form groups to build Rangoli, Diwali cards, they have to make blueprints, gather resources and plan. They gauge their own strength and figure out how to do things more efficiently. After the first day they have a better idea of the tools they need, the references needed and how to go about it because of all the new learnings and new decisions.
So, it’s really amazing as to how much students learn and develop during all these activities. And they are not a one-off thing at HHMS. They are integrated into the timetable and happen on a regular basis, just like core academic subjects. Thinking, analysis, problem solving, risk taking etc., are few of the parameters that can be developed and measured here. That reinforces what we do here and as you can see again, students learn as much outside the classroom as they learn inside it!