Vidya Vanam has three events through the course of the year to showcase the students' activities and accomplishments. The three pillars of growth and development encompass the development of the scholastic, the aesethetic and the physical.
Scholastic progress is presented at Project Day usually held in the last week of November or first week of December in the second term. The entire learning in the junior and senior school revolves around a chosen theme. Children display models, charts, present songs, dances and plays based on the chosen theme to the visitors and parents.
The exposition of the aesthetic is through the Annual Day celebration. Music, dance, and drama play a predominant role in showcasing the cultural heritage of the local communities.
Sports Day highlights the physical needs of the children. Apart from regular events like the 200m race and relay, shot putt, javelin throw, the school has evolved games like Collect Your Partner, Kangaroo Race, Scissor Cut, Tying Yourself into Knots that combine athletic ability with loads of fun. The competition is not with others but with bettering oneself.
Every alternate year, Vidya Vanam hosts a National Conference on Education with a specific theme. Teachers, educators and anyone interested in children and education are invited. The conference has had eminent speakers like scholar and former Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile Samdhong Rinpoche, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India Dr K VijayRaghavan, politician and author Shashi Tharoor, activist Aruna Roy, educationists Rajan Gurukkal, Anil Sadgopal, Santhya Vikram, and Banu Nagesh, academicians AR Venkatachalapathy, Sambaiah Gundimeda, Gita Jayaraj, social workers Chintan Girish Modi and RS Praveen Kumar among others.
EVENTS OF 2018
· Mr. Harsh Valechha living in an off-grid environment following a sustainable lifestyle visited the school to talk about sustainable practices and different ways to grow food organically.
· Project Day-Arivu 2018 was on 15th December 2018, Ms. Nalini Thimraj, Principal of Monarch International College of Hotel Management , Ooty honoured as Chief guest.
· Ms. Sujatha, Montessori trainer from Bengaluru conducted a workshop for Montessori and Junior school teachers.
· Ms. Prema Rangachary presented the story of Vidya Vanam: Evolution of Transformational Education at the 25th International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) held in Bengaluru.
· Our students and teachers spent a week at the CFL (Centre for Learning), Bengaluru and interacted with their students and teachers and also those from other schools.
· Mr. Rakesh Raghunathan, a Food Blogger and a Food & Travel show host visited the school to talk about his journey through food.
· Students made chekutty dolls for the community of Chendamangalam weavers in Kerala that was badly affected by the floods in the state.
· K. B. Jinan, a social worker, an activist designer, teacher, and researcher, conducted workshops for the junior school teachers.
· Two of our students, Dejashvi and Prakash, participated in a National Workshop on "Crafts of India-Gond Painting" organized by Department of Apparel and Fashion Design, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore.
· Ms. Shantini Rajkumar, a Farmer, and a Food Blogger visited the school to share her valuable inputs about food, health, and lifestyle.
· Prema Rangachary inaugurates Avinashilingam University's English Literary Association with well-received talk on Literature and Life
· Eminent educationist Amukta Mahapatra visited the school and interacted with the teachers, talking to them about education practices, teaching and child development
· Vidya Vanam, in collaboration with Coimbatore's Udalveli and Theatre Akku, brought the Therukoothu-based play Adavu to Kondanur village.
· Students and Teachers from CFL(Centre for Learning), Bengaluru visited the school and spent a week interacting with our students and teachers.
· Parents meeting happened at the end of 1st term.
· Mr. Kasimbhai Inamdar from Vigyan Ashram, Pune, spent a couple of days with our DBRT students to show them how to construct low-cost dome.
· Vidya Vanam hosted the meeting of 35 teachers from Tamil Nadu Alternative Education Network. Over two days the teachers and educators shared their ideas and struggles in establishing alternative schools.
· The third batch of Std X students clear the EdExcel IGCSE exams
· Students learn about spinning with organic cotton in a workshop conducted by Shivakumar and Aishwarya from Tiruppur
· Vidya Vanam's Volleyball team particpated in the K Venkatesalu Memorial District Level Volleyball Tournament
· Artistes from the Kanchipuram's Kattaikuttu Sangam visited Anaikatti and showed the children what the ancient art form was all about. VIdya Vanam's students also showed them a sample of the koothu performance in and around this area.
· Vidya Vanam played host to a day-long event to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5. Organised by the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), the programme was on the theme was Beat Plastic Pollution. Over 700 children from various schools in Coimbatore participated in various competitions like painting, elocution, just-a-minute sessions, games and quizzes.
· Prema Rangachary, Vidya Vanam’s Director, spoke about Vidya Vanam’s methodology at a three-day education conference held at Vedavalli Vidyalaya, Ranipet. Four teachers from Vidya Vanam attended the conference. Vidya Vanam’s students performed a tribal dance during the conference.
· Three students from the DBRT course went for a six-day training programme to Vigyan Ashram, Pabal, Maharashtra in the second week of June. They were accompanied by C Sridharan, the DBRT coordinator. DBRT stands for Diploma in Basic Rural Technology and is offered by NIOS as a livelihood training course for students who have completed Std. VIII. At the Vigyan Ashram programme, Paramasivan, Satish and Bharat learnt to take measurements using Vernier Calipers, about the basic tools of electrical work, to measure wires using the wire gauge, to calculate electricity bills, about circuit wiring (simple, parallel and series) and how to set up wiring for a staircase and gowdown. In the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry section, they learnt to calculate the animal's age, how to measure its weight and height, to prepare a vermicompost pit and bio-pesticides. In the Home Science class, they learnt to make biscuits, jams and pickles and also how to market these products.
· Vidya Vanam’s third National Conference on Education was conducted on May 25 & 26, 2018. The theme was Peace in Education. The conference was inaugurated by Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, former Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, and the Keynote Address was delivered by Dr K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Other speakers were eminent author Perumal Murugan, academicians Prof AR Venkatachalapathy, Gita Jayaraj, Dr N Markandan, Prof Sambaiah Gundimeda and V Vasanthi Devi, eminent musician and public intellectual Vidwan TM Krishna, former IPS officer and social activist Dr RS Praveen Kumar, peace educator Chintan Girish Modi, neurologist and researcher Dr Subramaniam Sriram, educationists Santhya Vikram and Banu Nagesh and Vidya Vanam’s Academic Coordinator TM Srikanth and some of the school’s students. The conference was attended by over 100 teachers and educators from across India. The conference included workshops on the role of language in conflict resolution, inclusivity, living in sync with Nature and reflective writing facilitated by Dr Kathy Ganske, Prema Rangachary, Dr Sanjay Molur and Dr Neeraja Raghavan.
· Padmarekha Anjan, a Montessori trainer from Bengaluru’s Jnanagamya, conducted a 10-day refresher course for Vidya Vanam’s junior school teachers. The programme reiterated the Montessori philosophy and its efficacy in early childhood development. TM Srikanth, Vidya Vanam’s Academic Coordinator was one of the delegates at a National Education Conference organised at the Mahatma Gandhi Hindi Vishwa Vidhyalaya at Wardha, Maharashtra. The theme was Schooling in the 21st Century: Changing Dimensions, Interventions and Emerging Alternatives. Srikanth spoke about attitudes to education and Vidya Vanam’s work.
· TM Srikanth, Vidya Vanam’s Academic Coordinator, and Sarbamit Choudhury Senior Science Teacher, participated in a science communication workshop organised by Zoo Outreach Organisation, which dealt with simplifying science for students and common people alike and to create an interest in science. A group of Vidya Vanam’s students accompanied by Srikanth were part of the Kids Ask Scientist programme by Mango Education. Children from different schools interacted with B Hariharan, scientist from the Cosmic Ray Laboratory, Ooty, and Dr Sanjay Molur of Zoo Outreach Organisation. Srikanth wrote about both these programmes for The Hindu MetroPlus Coimbatore edition. Links below:
· Vidya Vanam hosted the cultural extravaganza Svanubhava, which had over 700 students from Coimbatore and Tirupur. The programme comprised Irula dances by Asad Kala Sangam, Tholpavaikoothu by Ramachandra Pulavar and troupe, Oyilattam and Paraiattam by Chennai-based Nanbargal Kalai Kuzhu, a nadaswaram recital by Kollengode Subramaniam, Yakshagana by a troupe from Purna Pragnya Yaksha Kala Kendra from Udupi, Kuchipudi by Kishore and Padmavani Mosilakanti, a rhythm ensemble and a street play by the drama club of PSG College of Arts and Science. There were also stalls showcasing Irula food, Toda embroidery, Kota pottery, Kurumba paintings and Rajasthani lac bangles. This event was covered in the Coimbatore edition of The Hindu MetroPlus. The first day's report was written by two of Vidya Vanam's students, Nitha Pullooni and P Divya
· Students from Coimbatore’s DJ Academy of Design visited the school for a camp. Led by a consultant from Netherlands and Joghi Panghaal from Ahmedabad’s National Institute of Design, they constructed a wood-fired oven on Vidya Vanam’s campus. They also trained our kitchen staff to bake bread.