NEW AGE SCHOOL FOR THE FUTURE
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Enable Learners, Not Preparing Them

We did not start the school wanting to be India's first Ashoka Changemaker School, or being the best school in Chennai or the first organisation without CBSE/ICSE affiliation to become an NIOS Acredited Institution. We didn't even start out by thinking about who will choose Headstart Nursery and Primary School for their children. We didn't have to. The reason everyone (Harvard Graduate School of Education or Tata Institute of Social Sciences, AndraPradesh and Delhi Govt or Luzembourg and Bhutan Govt) celebrates us is because we enable children, not prepare them.

FROM THE SCHOOL TO A SOCIAL INCUBATOR

We too began as the school, but we quickly realised the school system, by and large, is doing the wrong things rightly. Schools everywhere are all still preparing young people to do mundane work without rebelling, which is the original purpose for which mass schooling was set up. But that was needed 200 years ago. We understand this by looking at schools closely: Uniform (to look alike, aka factory workers), bell (to follow orders), everyone doing the same assessment (quality control in manufacturing plants), and graduating as batches (even Britannia biscuits are manufactured in 'batches').

Instead of preparing children to be a part of an assembly line or a workforce that requires no thinking skills, society must enable the children to pursue their passions. From 2006, we started imagining ourselves as a centre of centres, and putting together different initiatives that were all united in a common purpose: to provide the world’s learners with a wide variety of opportunities and experiences to get a glimpse into the many directions in which their lives can go and to be excited by the diversity of choices they have. Our learners learn with freedom and fun and explore multiple interests, in ways that enable them to live fulfillingly.

My first experience of HLC was as a parent. Through the care of highly committed and attentive teachers, my daughter, then aged 15, settled quickly and happily into a new cultural experience after relocating from the UK. A year later, we transferred our younger son to the school so he could benefit from the same experience. As students, we were delighted that they had the opportunity to pursue a holistic education, focussed equally on academic and personal growth. I started volunteering with weekly story sessions and was very happy to be invited to take a more active role in the school, delivering English and Global Studies to Primary classes. Across the classes, the children were eager to learn and their enthusiasm and interest made them a pleasure to teach. I found the management of the school to be supportive, encouraging a creative approach to teaching and with an open-mind to initiatives and ideas to enhance learning. After two years, I was very sorry to leave the school when my family relocated back to Europe but will always be thankful for the opportunity I was given to join the HLC family.

Kate Nash

An Enabler of Children

Testimonials

From Learners That Are Enabled, Not Prepared

At HLC, it was not academic knowledge alone that I received. I received an education. I wasn’t taught Physics and History alone. I learnt tolerance, acceptance, teamwork and self-confidence. Though I’ve been to different schools both before and after, HLC will always be my school. Just like every other student, I was, am and always will be a proud Headstarter!

Yash Rajeshwar, in 2009

High School Teacher

I have studied in HLC since LKG and the school has played a vital role in building me from ground zero. Even after 14 years of the same place, I still can’t get enough of it – I’m in school so often even after graduating; it’s just because I can’t come to terms with the fact that my time here is up. At least as a student it is.My time in HLC has been extremely memorable and I would do it all over again if I got a chance to, without changing a thing! Signing off with a deep sense of gratitude.

Abhay Menon, in 2019

@ New York University

The thing with my school is that it pours rains of opportunity down at us constantly in the hope that at one point, the student sheds the fear of getting soaked wet and begins to raise her hands to catch the rain. That’s when people like me learn to embrace life and grow. By the end of the school life in HLC, you’d discover who you are and that is the greatest gift anyone can receive.

Laya Shankar, in 2019

@ Symbiosis University

HLC cares about every student. I really felt that in my classes. It seemed like the teachers actually cared whether I did well or not, which was a huge change from my previous experiences. The teachers and their teaching styles are devoted to making the knowledge easy to understand and take in for every student, which means that all the students have the opportunity to succeed. The students are able to be themselves and work at their own pace; this attitude towards learning also means that HLC is inclusive when it comes to children with learning difficulties. Overall, my experience was positive and it was a shame to leave.

Naomi Nash, in 2011

Home Care Provider, Radfield

One of the best parts of HLC is the learning environment. Although my time at HLC was short it was a period which I will never forget in my life.I grew both as a student and as a person and my friends became my family. We graduated successfully and completed high school after a long journey even though the paths were different for all of us. The school nurtured me and helped me develop my ideas. I am proud to have been a part of this school and it will always hold a special place in my heart along with the friends I have made here.

Sanjit Sudarsan, in 2019

@ FLAME University, 2019

Raji aunty and Naveen uncle have been great mentors to me and I know their advice and guidance will be available to me at all phases in my life. HLC made it a point to educate people that life is beyond competition but rather a pursuit for excellence. I could go on forever about HLC but if I were to say one more thing, might as well end it in a quote. “HLC is not the place but the people that make it feel like home.” Thank you HLC for incubating my leadership and public speaking skills. I am very excited to see what the future holds for me and it hurts that I have to move on.

Sanjay Sudarsan, in 2019

@ Ashoka University

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This quote is what brought me to HLC, waiting to be nurtured into a more confident being. I fit in well with my peers and learnt to accept their way of life. As I hailed from a simple background I held strong ideologies about how an international school would be like, but I kept it to myself. I watched in shame and pride as the staff and the people around, proved me wrong. It is in HLC that I understood the art of true hard work and determination that gave me the strength to move forward and face other battles that lay ahead for me. It was at HLC that I learnt that the big bad world is really a place where hope could bloom. It is through HLC that I developed an infuriatingly optimistic attitude and that of being patient. This school, being a close knit community brought out the 5 year old kid in me and let me live again. Because living this life, is much more valued that surviving it. I would love to thank all my superiors who are to my great pleasure, my friends and family, for giving me an important lesson not only for my studies or exams, but also for life. I am ever grateful for what you’ve done, and will never forget a second of this journey. I only hope that I get to relive this journey once more someday.

Aayushi Srinivasan, in 2014

Edinburgh University