Sai School of Harrow
A Saturday school for pupils aged 3 – 16 teaching the values and stories of the Hindu faith in such a way that the children are able to apply them in their lives. The ethos of the school shows how Hinduism can be integrated in a multifaith and multicultural society.
The school was the vision of Ranu Metha-Radia who established it with a volunteer group of qualified teachers in 1995. From that time it has gone from strength to strength. It is still run by volunteers. Many of the younger teachers were pupils themselves, showing how the developing sense of responsibility and commitment of each student builds year by year.
The curriculum, originally from India, is based on the Hindu teachings and how they can be lived out in practical ways in local diverse communities through the five universal human values:
Every morning begins with an act of worship where children and staff gather to offer prayer for the day. The prayers include remembering other faith traditions.
The classes follow the standard pattern of school years so the curriculum integrates with weekday schooling. In year six the focus is on English and Maths, providing extra support for students preparing to move to secondary education. In years nine and ten the focus is on studying Guajarati for GCSE examinations. Each class chooses a charity to support.
‘Sai School is the very best thing for my children’; a comment from one parent of a Christian-Hindu marriage, and echoed by many, many more.
The school models the very best in volunteering, delivering a highly regarded and professional service. The distances some families travel every week demonstrate the success and regard with which the school is held. Some families have even moved home in order for their children to attend.
Sai school shows how a grounding in faith gives young people confidence to stand for faith based human values and live them out in very practical ways. The grounding is essential: ‘When you know you are cared for, you are more able to care for others’. Care permeates the school from the moment you enter the car park. Care is tangible in the way the children and staff treat each other and the world around them.
I was warmly welcomed when I went to visit the school, and visitors are encouraged. If you would like to find out more look at the website: www.saischool.com
Jane Winter FbRN
Stanburn School, Abercorn Road, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 2PJ