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Marudam Farm School

Our day begins at 8.30, where we all focus on our duties. which range from attending to the farm and vegetable gardens, cleaning the toilets, garbage collecting to preparing for snacks. This is usually followed by some physical activity- gymnastics, outdoor games, skills practice, yoga or team sports. We then gather for a little snack - fresh fruit with "school baked" biscuits or Ragi kanji, before splitting into various study groups with focus on academics.

Academics focuses on English, Tamil, Math and Environmental studies, according to different ages and levels. For the older ages we expand to Geography, History and Science.

We break for lunch at 12:30 after which there is some free play time. The lunch is made with our organic farm products, and we take great care to have a balanced and nutritious meal.

We assemble again at 13:30, when children either continue their academics or have a variety of craft classes, as well as theater, arts, circle times and music. The day ends at 15:30, though many kids chose to stay behind later for games or other free style activities.

One day a week is dedicated in full for a walk on Arunachala hill. We highly value the merits of that day, when we can learn about and connect with the environment in such a direct manner. There are ample lessons to be had about animals and plants; physical challenges to overcome; senses to be fine tuned; and time to spend together in a non structured and fun way. This is also the day we connect with the work of "The Forest Way", join in for planting when its season, help fill packets with soil for the nursery, do surveys and try our hands with landscaping.

Once a week we maintain a school teachers' meeting. The agenda for these meeting is made up by whoever is attending. It can address a specific issue which came up during the week or a round of sharing about how/what people are doing/feeling. This would also be the time to do child studies, or work out an event or plan a trip. At times, workshops or ideological discussions will be the center of those meetings. As we are a teacher-run school, all decisions are taken by the teaching staff. As a group, we work in a non-hierarchical and cooperative environment. Decisions are not made on a 'one person, one vote' basis but rather through dialogue and consensus.