As part of Inventure Academy’s week-long foundation programme, ‘Inventuring’, students were oriented into the school culture via a series of special workshops and projects. New and existing students from Grades 1-12 conducted a series of activities, including:
- Adorning the benches in the school’s Zen Garden with mosaic art
- Making wooden shoe racks from scratch
- Constructing a Treehouse and Rope Course
- Making and donating high-visibility jackets to the neighbouring villages
These projects, among others, contributed to developing the children’s creative thinking and problem solving skills. Additionally, they were taken through a special workshop on meditation and mindfulness by Karma Yeshe Rabgye, a western monk practising the Kyagu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
The highlight of Inventuring was the ‘sleepover’, a privilege reserved for students of Grades 3 upwards. Students stayed on in school on Friday for the Sleepover and returned home on Saturday morning. It truly was an exciting, fun, and for some – a liberating experience. It was also very beneficial, as students had the opportunity to learn to be independent, to bond with classmates and teachers, and feel comfortable in school.
Through the week, a students’ typical day included ‘Choice Time’, when children picked activities and groups based on their individual interests. Activities included art, pottery, music, dance, photography, slam poetry, public speaking, mime, and theatre, to name a few.
Golden Time was a time of reflection on the day gone by and learnings gleaned. This year’s sessions were enriched by sessions on Mindfulness by Karma Yeshe Rabgye.
All the projects / activities offered were programmed to help develop and strengthen a variety of skills during the week. Old and new students bonded with each other and team-work was an essential component of the event. Physical strength was challenged in some projects while in others, mental acumen, and application of concepts learnt. On-the-spot innovation, creativity, eye and body coordination, spatial skills, and patience were some of the other important aspects that students were given the opportunity to explore and understand, while the adrenalin levels were kept high as the activities were conducted in a fun manner.
Shivani Mashru, a new member of staff said, “I was very impressed and honestly quite surprised with the attitude of the students, who did not require any force or coaxing to get involved. Not only were they extremely enthusiastic but immersed themselves in the projects wholeheartedly. They brainstormed for ideas and their creativity was infectious.”
Samyukta of Grade 11 said, “I am a new student this year and the Inventuring week has been a revelation. I wasn’t even aware of the kind of activities that the students were involved in until now. The students have displayed so much of talent and creativity with the different projects like Abstract Geometry and Dream Catchers. It’s been a fun experience with a lot of learning.”
Gurnahar of Grade 5 said, “This was my third year of Inventuring and I always look forward to this week. I really enjoyed my Choice Time activities which were Cooking and Graphic Art and my Sleepover was very exciting.”
This year, Inventure Academy added some more exciting experiences to its Inventuring portfolio. With the year’s theme being Mindfulness, Karma Yeshe Ragbye (A Western Monk in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism) joined the school to conduct workshops on mindfulness and meditation. The breathing techniques and other calming exercises he taught were powerful tools to help students deal with any stress they may encounter, and also increase their focus and concentration.
A Nutrition workshop had students learn about healthy eating and the importance of paying attention to what they eat. During one of the workshops, Parjat of Grade 6 wanted to know the reason why Italians were thin despite eating so much cheese! Another student from Grade 5 wanted to know what ‘0% cholesterol’, as advertised by certain brands, meant.
The screening of the movie ‘Screenagers’ for the Middle and Senior School students was another addition to Inventuring week. An award winning documentary, it drew insights from authors and brain scientists on how we could empower kids to deal with the effects of the digital world.
Charmaine Alexander, a Grade Teacher at Inventure Academy said, “The movie was a great eye-opener for the students of Grades 9 – 11. Today’s youth is under the misconception that spending too much time on the net has no impact on the mind, and if at all, it is temporary. However, one of the startling facts the movie revealed was that permanent damage to the nerve cells can happen – which was quite scary to learn. The documentary addressed every aspect of media and its impact on netizens. The negative impact is not restricted to just the youngsters but has an equally detrimental effect on adults who indulge in too much of screen time. A very thought provoking documentary and the discussion/review that followed with the classes was equally insightful.”
The last day of Inventuring showed an amazing display of talent, creativity and a lot of hard work by students and faculty alike. Inventuring week ended with an evening of fun and merriment; members of the theatre group performed a mime and a skit, followed by slam poetry, and then music and dance performances, interspersed with refreshment breaks and snacks. The students were sad when the week finally got over. From this week onwards, they will have to show the results of their hard work in another field!
Ms Meenakshi Myer, Head of Middle and Senior School who joined Inventure Academy last year and has a career span of more than 25 years as an educator, summarized it all when she said, “A week of self discovery, mindfulness, hands-on skill building, ideation and creation, discovering hidden potential and finally a display of mesmerizing talent! All this, added to the sleepover at school, made the Inventuring experience all about readiness for life.”