Archive for the ‘RDF Matendla School’ Category

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!

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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.

Teachers bagged it!!

It’s a unique quality when teachers put in effort in order for their students to feel at comfortable and happy in school. At RDF, we pride ourselves in creating an enriching and invigorating environment in our schools, which has come about due to our belief in a holistic and nurturing approach to education, which applies equally to teachers and students! Since the teachers feel cared for, its natural that they do the same for the students too.

A fun balancing act!

Fun in the playground

In Matendla School, teachers conducted a day full of surprise activities for the children. The only hint they gave them was to say, “Don’t bring your bags to school tomorrow!” The kids were agog with excitement! Mr. Rajireddy, a teacher in the school was put in charge to organise ‘funny games’ for Primary school. He spent several days planning and designing funny games, putting in a lot of effort! The students participated in the funny games amidst a lot of laughing, giggling and talking, which created a buzzing environment in the school!

For the High School children, the school conducted 3 different activites in Telugu, English and Maths. In Telugu and English, groups of students were given short story books, which they had to analyse and make interesting questions in an allocated time of 1 hour. Then the students had great fun posing their questions to one another. It was interesting that many students created questions that needed higher order thinking skills, rather than answers which could be easily found in the story. In the Maths round, the teachers conducted an MNS (Minimum Numerical Skills) test which was introduced by the Vandemataram Foundation. Again, the kids were very curious and solved the problems eagerly – a nice sight to see!

In this way, the team strives to create a positive impact for the children and the community. On this ‘no bag’ day, children were exposed to a variety of new information using interesting games and techniques. Every student enthusiastically participated in all the activities and they showed their prowess at problem solving and creative thinking!

Well done to all the teachers for inspiring the students to show their best and putting together a fun day of learning and play! In this way, RDF schools are always giving scope to children to learn new information and implementing it in their lives. Learning from textbooks and rote education are stifling to learning and creativity. Teachers seriously endeavour to go beyond textbooks and as an NGO, the schools are really working towards building each child’s innate interest, quality and talent!

Ripe for Skype!

Do you all recall the thrill of 1st using technology and being able to live call and chat with friends and family? While in urban areas, technological advances are growing by leaps and bounds, our rural counterparts are trying to catch up! Lack of public resources has only given us more impetus to help rural, underprivileged children studying in RDF schools achieve some tech advancements of their own! So we have left no stone unturned to set up computer labs in every school, with the gracious support of individuals and corporate sponsors who believe in our vision and truly want to help these children achieve their potential.

Our education partner, Silver Oaks, has been helping our teachers and students through onsite review and coaching visits, including visits by our teachers to their school. However, we felt that this support structure can be further strengthened through using technology and we arrived at ..Skype calls! Though city dwellers are intimately acquainted with Skype, it is brand new for rural children and they were understandably very excited by this!

The Silver Oaks team set up a Skype call between some of their students and RDF students who wanted queries on leadership skills and electoral processes answered and the team was more than happy to help! RDF children were thrilled to see the Silver Oaks students live during the video call and marvelled at the technology that enabled them to speak and see others live – it was a milestone moment for everyone!

Our aim is to always show them ways that anything they want to learn and know is within their reach and go beyond textbook education. We feel so heartened at this level of ongoing support and care that we receive and know how much this impacts our children in many positive ways!