Archive for the ‘RDF Matendla School’ Category

An Interactive Experience

Silver Oaks, an International school in Hyderabad has been RDF’s education partner for over 10 years! What has remained the same over this decade has been their commitment and dedication to help RDF’s rural, underprivileged children in myriad ways to help with their development and potential success in school and beyond school. What has changed is how they continually evolve their work with our school, based on what’s happening in our communities and the school and using this feedback to add to or modify their interventions. This makes their work with us very contextual for the students and teachers, something we are very grateful for!

Matendla School was honoured with a visit by 36 students and 4 staff members from the school. From our end, we wanted exposure for our students to interact with new people and feel confident to exchange their views and ideas. The Silver Oaks team observed activities such as the ‘Balamela’, ‘Marks for Sports’ and other cultural activities. Through the day, the students exchanged ideas about academics and other areas.

Both groups felt enriched by the experience as the Silver Oaks students also understood the very different life and circumstances that rural children lead and the effort being made by the school, with Silver Oaks’ support to create a rich curriculum that allows for learning to be fun and meaningful. RDF children enjoyed meeting their city counterparts and learning from them.

 

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On Your Marks!

Sporting activities have got a new angle at Matendla School.  A new perspective has been brought in through the ‘Marks for Sports’ programme that was introduced by RDF Director, Mr. Andrian Kennedy. The aim is to encourage children to improve their sports skills by treating sports as a regular subject and allotting marks.

Marks for Sports is a 5 star fitness programme. It has been introduced and implemented in Matendla School before being taken to the other schools. The process was started by testing the students in 5 categories viz. Shuttle Run, Toe Touch, Standing Jump, 9 Minute Run and Speed (50 metres) Run. Student performances are recorded and a star rating system is assigned for each test – the stars are equivalent to the performance based scores in the tests. Any student who doesn’t qualify can attempt the test again in the next academic year.

The students are enjoying the new system and are pushing themselves to perform better. It is hoped that not only will the students improve their sporting skills and enhance their performance, but that they will receive the benefits of taking up sporting activities such as improved coordination, flexibility, stamina etc, regardless of their marks.

This is yet another way to engage our students productively and gives them an avenue to participate in interesting activities to develop their skills. We are glad that they have taken to this programme and are thoroughly enjoying themselves!

Buzzing about Quizzing!

Quizzing brings such a buzz and though competitive, it does lead to an atmosphere of healthy competition, honing awareness and analytical skills and tons of fun! RDF children love their Saturday programme that involves many interesting activities such as theatre, debate and declamation, music, games and quizzes!

The reason to do this simple – making learning fun and engaging for the kids by encouraging them to improve their skills and knowledge in different areas. Students of classes 3 to 5 in Matendla School participated in a quiz competition that tested their general knowledge, reasoning abilities and analytical skills. We were delighted to see how sharp the kids were! It was wonderful to see them ruminate on the logic and reasoning questions and come up with the right answers!  It also provided them with an opportunity to build confidence by honing their presentation skills by speaking in front of an audience.

Our teachers work hard to create a good learning environment for our first generation learners. It’s great to see the hard work pay off through the kids reciprocating these efforts by putting in their own effort and everyone having fun and learning so much through the process!

Books are our Best Friends

Much is lamented on these days about the loss of reading skills among children and adults alike. While high use of technology and screen time replacing other activities such as being outdoors or reading is still an urban phenomenon, it is reaching rural areas too, mainly due to high mobile phone penetration. However, life for rural children is vastly different to their urban counterparts and books are a very valuable resources for these children. Books open up their minds and their world, plus providing them with crucial reading and literacy skills too.

RDF wellwisher, Mr. Madhav Reddy from Vandemataram Foundation donated library books in Telugu, Hindi and English for Matendla School. Given our schools’ high focus on reading time and book discussions among students and teachers, it was natural for the children to show a lot of interest in reading these new books. Every Saturday and in their free time, children can be found reading these books! Some students have also shared the stories during morning assembly, which shows the benefit and impact the stories have had on them!

In our schools, reading has shown to have considerable impact in improving student’s reading abilities and comprehension of languages too. The stories show them creative ways of writing and an introduction of genres. Their repertoire of stories has certainly increased! By discussion and talking about the stories, they also enhance their confidence and presentation skills. A win-win all around!

This goes to show how the simple activity of book reading has been helping our students in myriad ways and is providing them with the scope to develop themselves in different areas, all of which will support them in their educational and career goals.

Theatre is Fun!

Theatre is a wonderful way to engage children and adults alike. As a medium, it brings texts and contexts to life to children and is adaptable to kids of any age and acting ability. Performances also gently prod children along the path of confidence and self expression. We have seen, time and again, how much children enjoy theatre and take ownership of the entire production process – the dialogues, memorization, practice and performance – they really come into their own with the magic of theatre!

Class 7 and 8 students of Matendla School got the fantastic opportunity to participate in a District Level Science Drama Festival that was organized by Sadaran India Science Drama Festival 2018. It was first conducted at the Mandal level in Siddipet in which our students won first place and were selected to the District level! They performed on the theme ‘Digital India’, portraying the plight of farmers and farming being affected by the onslaught of technology. The kids enthusiastically put up a brilliant show, along with a song.

The children really got into the skin of the characters and brought the story to life – so it wasn’t just about the acting, but about emoting and expressing themselves too. It was also a great way to delve deeper into the social cause of environment conservation and plight of farmers – issues that are directly impacting their rural communities.

We are proud of the encouragement RDF schools give their students to go beyond classroom learn and explore their talents, skills and environment in more creative ways!

A Dash towards Creativity

Adarsh had never really seen himself as an artist, though he drew well. But his school, RDF Matendla School, with its focus on holistic development of children, encourages creativity in all shapes and forms such as music, art, craft, theatre, sports, teaching activities etc. So, we can see how Adarsh was influenced by the creative spirit surrounding him.

Using waste materials and recycling them to encourage sensitivity towards the environment is another strong focus area. Adarsh meshed the two and focused on designing showpieces from discarded material at home, starting with old wedding cards. With intense focus on the creative process, he designed a stunning showpiece which occupies pride of place in the school. The idea came from him and was encouraged by his teacher. To see his idea come to life really brought a leap in confidence for this quiet boy. The stunning design also inspired his peers who saw how an idea could be fleshed out to create a visually appealing design. It again brought home the point of recycling as much as we can and that everything can be put to good use!

A Special Birthday

Blow candles, cut a birthday cake, play some games with friends and feast on good food either cooked or ordered in – sound familiar? It’s a routine birthday celebration! But RDF schools encourage its students and staff to think beyond themselves to celebrate their special day.

Smt. and Sree Sudarshan whose son, Harsha, studies in Matendla School, decided to do something special for his birthday. RDF actively promotes social awareness and youth initiatives across its schools, so his parents planned to show their respect for this planet and the environment on Harsha’s birthday. With the entire school watching and helping them, they planted 3 guava trees – to shower its blessings and fruits as it grows each year.

After all, the human species lives because of the resources of Mother Earth, so it was fitting that Harsha’s parents reciprocated this blessing by planting trees in the school. It also shows the regard that the parent community has for the school, so it was very touching for everyone present.

By witnessing such events, students understand not to take our planet for granted and have the social responsibility to do their bit to conserve it. It also made them understand the true importance of birthdays and to celebrate it in a much more special way, rather than the self indulgent way that its normally celebrated. The Headmaster of the school offered his heartfelt thanks to the parents on behalf of the entire school.