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News from Sangam!

Here is our news from the past few weeks and months and years, working backwards! You'll see more if you go to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sangamprojects/ Let us know if you have any news you want us to include, or links to updates and blogs from your groups visit to us!

Our work

Monsoon rains fill the lake at the bottom of the field. October 2017

I can't help but post about how the amazing, wonderful monsoon rain this year has completely filled the lake just at the bottom of the field below Sangam/the Land. We always start our programmes and visits by walking past this lake and usually we reflect on the issue and problems of water in the locality... We are going to have to change the tape!!! Lakes in our area have not filled in this way since 1986 apparently! It's spectacular. X Have a look at our facebook page and you'll see a picture.

Culture and wildlife in South India. August 2017

This visit began by looking at patterning, block printing, and textiles traditions in Bangalore. We then set off north by overnight train, rickshaw and ferry to explore the wonderful rocky landscape, rivers and temples of Hampi, then south by another overnight train to Mysore, on to the elephant forests and tiger reserve of Bandipur, and up into the forested mountains of Coorg in the monsoon swept western ghats! Fianlly back to Bangalore to cook and relax. I think this journey should possibly be renamed 'How many modes of transport can you use in South India in two weeks?': Train, car, rickshaw, ferry, cycles, metro overground, jeeps, trekking, and coracles, (by night)!! How did we not fit in a bus ride?

Music and the expressive arts of South India. July- August 2017

It was a huge pleasure to watch this visit unfold with outings to music/dance specialists each morning and masterclasses each evening in tabla, vocals, flute, harmonium and konnakol rhythm techniques. We looked into both the Hindustani classical traditions and the Carnatic traditions. Our group was a mix of specialist interest from headteacher, deputy head, head of music, SENCO, chaplain, and student! We set off to Hampi to explore for three days before our concluding concert was under the Banyan tree at Sitavanam. An inauguration of Anjali Sahi's wonderful stage, and an exceptional evening of brilliant musical skill. A truly fabulous way to end this study visit. It's been an extraordinary visit and definitely to be repeated!! If you have a look at our Facebook page you can find lots of photos and a film or two which will give you a good idea of what we all did.

The Institute of Education, University College London's Agile Digital Skills and Drama Workshop. July 2017

This was a wonderful process to witness and facilitate, with tutors from the fabulous UCL's IOE with us for two weeks, working with three schools local to our area. They enabled them to develop story telling skills, which they dramatised, filmed and then edited using ipad and movie maker technology. This was a skillful and enabling process and thankyou to all involved! You can see the post on:https://www.facebook.com/sangamprojects/ if you scroll down a bit!

A chapter in a book! Sahi, I. (2017). What makes intercultural study visits meaningful? A look at the Pedagogy of study visit experiences. In Catlin, S. (2017) 'Reflections on Primary Geography. The register for research in Primary Geography.

Imo has always been a pedagogist ("enquiry, enquiry"!!) and this year her work was published as a chapter in a book, much to her absolute delight. This was the result of a few years of research using our visiting teachers and students as an empirical study group. Imo presented her research as a paper during a fascinating research conference at Charney Manor that she attended earlier in the year, and the paper formed an chapter in the book edited by the wonderful Simon Catlin. Thankyou to all of you for responding to my surveys and for being so reflective with your interesting replies. Happy to share the chapter if anyone wants to see it! XX

Sheffield University PGDE Enrichment experience abroad, India option. April 2017. (Our 2nd year with them!)

The staff and students from the PGDE 2017 cohort came in April for their enrichment experience with us. They worked closely with Parikrma humanities foundation at their Sahakaranagar centre, working on enrichment and extension activities for a group of 80 children who had been selected to encourage and congratulate them on hard work through the academic year. They ran Science and Biology activities, chemistry , History and organised and ran in-the-field action research activities. It was the last week of term for them so it was very hot and very summer-y already! In the afternoons they spent their time with the girls from Baale Mane working with them on craft activities and creative projects.  A wonderful way to end the academic year here in India.

The students then travelled south, with Kiran leading and guiding them, in order to understand the changing local context and to gather updated case studies. They went to Sravanabelagola Jain monestary, Bylacuppe tibbetan buddist settlement, and finally arrived just before dark at the forested mountains and coffee estates of Coorg, They spent two days here trekking and exploring waterfalls and the forests, before heading back north to Bangalore, with a stop in Mysore and much time spent understanding the sericulture, sugar cane processing, and water issues along the way. Looking forward to next year! Here is a link to their blog. (Coming up...)

Wide World Article- Bangalore addressing the challenges of a developing city. Jane Ferratti and Kiran Sahi. We are delighted to be offering this case study article, published in the 2017 spring edition of Wide world GCSE Geography magazine. Let us know if you would like to hear or read more about this case study and its details.

The University College London, Institute of Education, alternative school experience. March 2017 (Our 6th group of students!)

It was great fun to have the IOE back with us this year. Although we missed Tessa! The PGCE students this year spent their alternative school experience with us in three different schools. The Delhi Public School (DPS) North Bangalore, Sita Vanam in our own village, and Baale Mane. At Sita the students worked with 15 children from a range of ages, some with SEN needs, on projects which involved drama activities, craft, and music. The cup song was a big hit! At Baale the students undertook the most wonderful two week project which focused around international women's day. Each day we looked at different rights of the woman, and rights of the child, conducting activities which developed that right and explored it through music, sports, artwork and discussions. The project ended with a wonderful party back at The Land, all the girls came, everyone performed, including the most amazing uniquely all female performance of Dolle Drumming. Finally there was a film showing of the whole project which brought us all to tears. Thankyou to everyone involved in this amazing project. Here is a link to the film that we made: (on its way!)

Sustainable Scrap Science and Biology training. March 2017

We were delighted to be able to continue to offer this course once more this spring.  Sustainable Scrap Science is an ongoing project which we have been developing since 2004 and have taken it to schools, worked on it directly with children, and during teachers CPD training. This year was a Biology focus.  Info and images coming up.

Francis Parker High School San Diego February 2017 (For the 3rd year running!)

This years Francis Parker project was a fabulous story telling collaboration, and we were lucky to be joined by a wonderful shadow puppetry troupe from North Karnataka. The students worked with Sita school children and the girls from Baale to develop stories of their own, inspired by the shadow puppets, and then created a huge mural landscape as a backdrop for the puppets. The students travelled north to Hampi and then south to Coorg, learning together, reflecting and listening to each other, gathering case studies about the issue of water. The whole collaboration and project was documented by Ire Gowda who edited it into a short for us. (To be added.)

Oxford Brookes January 2017 (for the 7th year running!)

For the last 7 years we have regularly been hosting and organising the annual Oxford Brooke's "Yatra" project which involve a journey of learning, researching, and visiting areas local to our centre, Bangalore, Hampi, Mysore, Pondicherry, Bylacuppe, and Melcote. Each year culminates in a presentation of academic posters around a theme of choice.

Karel de Grote January 2017 (for the 9th year running!)

Ten students joined us this year from Karel De Grote Hogeschool- School of education in Antwerp. This is always the start of a three month process for them as they spend their teaching practice working with the Parikrma Humanity foundation schools. We arrange an orientation programme based from our centre for the first ten days of their time in India, and they have some time to recover from their journey, have some quiet in a rural setting, before heading off to the city for their placement. They take some time to get to know something of the local cultural context of the area, understanding where PFH fits within the broader educational context, and we arrange that they visit some sites of local interest. We organise their school placements for the three month term, taking them up to April when schools close here. It was a pleasure to have then again and we look forward to following their progress through the coming 3 months.

Environment group January 2017

Last year ended with a birding group and 2017 began with another one! Lovely. This time the group began with us and then set off for the mountains, forests and backwaters of Kerela. Lovely to have so many very very familiar faces in this group! (Facebook pics to be found here)

Wildlife Conservation Foundation Annual Conference 2016

The wildlife conservation foundation came to our centre to run their annual conference this winter. It was lovely to be able to support, sustain and enable them by giving over our space for the week.  www.wcfindia.org.

Birding group- November 2016

The year ended with a really fabulous birding tour, visiting both the amazing rocky valley and vast ancient temple complex of Hampi in North Karnataka and then down south, by train to the Royal city of Mysore for the wetlands birds at the Ranganathittu Heronry, on through the deciduous elephant forests South on Mysore, ending in the semi tropical forested mountains of Wyanad in Kerela. They stayed in a wonderful resort on the edge of the forest and spent long days walking. They continued on to Coorg and trekked along the peaks above the coffee estates. Then back to Bangalore, Nandi Hills, and the Hessaraghatta grasslands. A wonderful way to end 2016!

The Value of Personal International connections. Tessa Willy and Imogen Sahi. Primary Geograper. Autumn 2016.This was an article that Imo and Tessa wrote together, reflecting on the impact and potential of making connections, working together, collaborating, and developing shared projects, across continents. I am very grateful for responses to my survey which gave so many ideas and thoughts. You are all wonderful.

Newport girls high school in India- November 2016

In November 2016 15 students and 3 staff from NGHS Newport arrived with us. They explored the local farms by cycle, examined the developmental change and sustainable development solutions of the vast city of Bangalore, through city walks, train rides and bus rides, explored Markets, temples in Myspre and visited a Buddist settlement of Bylacuppe. The highlight was a long morning trek up the peaks of the forested mountains of Coorg. Images to be found on our facebook page and at this link: NGHS Newport in India.

Screen printing elective at The Land. September 2016.

Roshan has invited a large group of students from Shristi school of art for a month long programme of screen printing at The Land.

Textiles and Enquiry visit- summer 2016

This visit evolved over the course of time to become a textiles and craft exploration and the group were a mix of Headteachers, teachers of art, textiles designers, and students four of which had visited us before on previous less art-based programmes. The journey took them to Hampi and then down to Mysore, visiting weaving communities, a two day hands-on block printing workshop and followed the silk industry from the fields, to the cocoon market, weaving factory and shops.

Baale Mane craft activities take a pause.. Summer 2016

Imo has been working with the extraordinary girls at Baale Mane since 2006.In the last two years on a weekly basis as a saturday afterschool intervention. It has been work that she has loved, and has been sustaining for her. She involved them in the Sustainable Scrap Science project in its early years, and then on a series of skills workshops which aimed to develop in the girls transferable skills: Focus, concentration, collaboration, care, precision, design innovation, problem solving.. Most of these activities were craft based: Weaving, embroidery, jewellery making, pottery, applique, macrame. You name it, we made it. It has been a labour of love, and a great priviledge to be part of the girls lives. We will be back in the spring to work with them with our student teachers, but for now the weekly sessions will take a pause as Kiran and I travel to the UK for a little while.

Easter study visit 2016

Cathy Bushill, Deputy head of St Vigor and St John's primary school in Chilcompton, Somerset came to us for I think the 5th time! This time she brought colleagues from nearby Bishop Henderson Primary school, The Prince of Wales school in Dorchester, and Birch Copse in Reading. They had a fabulous meeting with their link school, gathered artefacts, resources and even had a quick excursion to Bandipur Tiger Sanctuary.

Sita School Science activities come to a close... April 2016

We have been working closely with Sita school for a very long time now, and have absolutely loved the opportunity to work alongside Jane Sahi and her team of teachers and Children. We have all been involved in different ways, through the years. Imo has been working there every friday running a range of science based activities. Topics have included Space, Heat, Colour, Light, Plants, The human body, and much fun. We are sad, beyond words, to be pausing this work as they evolve and change into their new life and work as "Sita Vanam". We look forward to working there in the future with the teachers and trainees. X

The University of Sheffield!! Joined us for the first time. (April 2016)

We are delighted that the University of Sheffield have joined us for a secondary PGDE teaching experience enrichment option for the spring term. They came in full force with 14 students from the science, maths and geography departments. They worked with the Parikrma students on a post exam bridging enrichment week which was absolutely wonderful for all involved with hands on practical activities which used simple materials. They came incredibly well prepared and were delightful to have here. We very much look forward to 2017!

University College London, Institute of Education, School Experience 2 (UCL,IOE, SE2!)(Year 3) March 2016

The brilliant students from the IOE never fail to amaze. This year they are working in three schools/contexts, Delhi Public School in North Bangalore, Sita School and the Baale Mane. Their project involves music, art, science and patterning at Sita school, and a craft fundraiser project. Images and updates to follow!

Bishops Grosseteste Lincoln University, February 2016

The UBG students have a collaboration with Sarah Tucker college in Tiruvinelli, Tamil Nadu so they journey to visit them each year, via a few days here with us for orientation. Students from both colleges are staying together, travelling together and working on common projects as part of a partnership collaborative learning experience.

Francis Parker San Diego, California (Year 2) February 2016

Long awaited, the group of students arrived from Francis Parker High school in February. They explored mountains, forests, rivers and cities of south India before embarking on a fabulous collaborative book making workshop involving two local schools. They talked together, told stories, listened to each other, wrote stores, illustrated, made three wonderful books, and of course played together! All of the work was based around the theme of landscapes. Whilst doing all of this they were collaborating, problem solving, creating, communicating, learning from each others context and situation. They were meeting on common ground, solving shared problems, working together and learning from each other- despite extraordinary differences they became authentically the best of friends as they worked together to create. This is the best example of where these things work really well. It was an absolutely delightful project to be part of and we very much look forward to the next one! Pictures to be added!

Oxford Brookes University: (Year 6!) January 2016

For the sixth year running the students from Oxford Brookes University UK came for their "Yatra" project. They take up an area of research which they then develop during their time with us and present on their last day here. Always a pleasure and great fun with many ideas, energy and action. We need a holiday after this one always! Facebook pics to be seen here.

Karel De Grote: (Year 8!)

Our year always begins with an orientation programme with students from Antwerp's KdG University, and so this year was the same! The girls are now working at Parikrama foundation with the children there and are having a fabulous time. This is the eighth year that the KdG students have come to us, and its always great to have them. Picutures to follow.

Sacred Heart School, Redcar, Middlesborough- Partner Schools Worldwide Programme

October half term project this year is the endlessly enthusastic and energetic students from Sacred Heart. They are making puppets and collaborative students on human and child rights with the Baale Mane Girls, and working on a playground project at Sita school. Action! See our facebook album about this programme.

PitStudio- A Pan India Architectural Programme.

We are proud to be hosts and fasciliators of the second studio location of The Pan India Travel Studio "PitStudio." This is a rigorous 4 week architectural program in August 2015 that includes 3 design exercises with 3 different mentors in 3 very different parts of India and culminating at Studio Matharoo's Architects office - 'Pool' in Ahmedabad. The mentors this year include Mona Doctor-Pingel, Rajesh Renganathan and Gurjit Singh Matharoo; all distinguished professionals and academicians, and the 3 studio programmes will occur in Auroville, Bangalore (Silvepura) and Udaipur. The group includes a diverse cultural mix of meritorious students and young architects who are enhancing this unique studio experience. To read more about this programme please check the website: http://www.pitstudio.in/

The Institute of Education, University College London, Summer Option Teaching experience.

This years IOE (now part of the UCL) summer programme again just wonderful to be part of. They were primarily working with the Parikrama Humanity Foundation, supporting and helping out with classroom teaching, and  resource creating. They shared their skills and ideas for teaching and learning methodologies by initiating an SEN teaching support booklet. The afternoons of the first week was spent in our Sita school doing string mapping, organic sculptures/ art to develop maths work, and playground games. Their time there ended with a wonderful music session using natural materials, drama, and performance. The afternoons of the second week was at Baale Mane, where they made paper beads, face painted, finger knitting, and sock monkeys. What a lovely bunch of people. See our facebook entry about this project.

Collaborative learning between schools.. Primary Geography articles- Spring and Summer!!

We are just delighted to have been featured in the Primary Geography magazine for both this years spring and summer editions. The summer article highlights the collaborative learning that we facilitated between TVS school Hosur and primary school teachers from West Sussex in the UK. Here is the link to an extract of the article: Reciprocal learning in the Indian Sunshine The full article will be in this summers Primary Geography Magazine. This partnership work is so great, and it is a pleasure to have introduced these schools to each other and to facilitate their ongoing collaborations..

Summer camp 2015 Baale Mane. May 2015.

Our 2015 summer camp for the Baale girls was based around birds. We began with creating two applique tapestries, one based on flowers and one based on birds. The results were gorgeous. The second week we created costumes for their forthcoming 10K run, for the costume competition. We made t-shirts and wonderful wings. The theme was "empowerment!" along the lines of the issues of womens empowerment that the girls felt was important to them. They won second prize!! It was a great result from a wonderful process. The images can be found on facebook: Summer camp 2015.

Easter Study visit for teachers - April 2015

A wonderful group of 12 teachers came for the Easter holidays for our annual CPD Easter study visit led by the dream team of Caroline Smailes and Sarah Wheatcroft of St Vigor and St Johns Primary school, Chilcompton, Somerset. They visited their partner school in Tumkur, near Bangalore, created amazing sock monkeys with the Baale girls, and had a wonderful excursion to Mysore for the Easter weekend. The visit focussed on developing creative ideas for teaching about India and included student teachers, TA's and an interested Dad!

The Institute of Education, University College London, UK. March 2015.

This is the third group of student teachers that have visited us from the IOE on their "SE2" alternative school experience. It is a pleasure to have them with us again. They are doing brilliant cricket and football coaching, robotics activities and tie and dye at Sita School,  and are working with the Baale Mane girls on scenes from "a midsummer nights dream" which frankly is a very moving experience to witness. Photos coming up!  Here is a link to a wonderful article that was written by last years students: "Making use of learning from Bangalore"

University of Bishops Grosseteste, Lincolnshire, UK. March 2015.

The UBG students have a collaboration with Sarah Tucker college in Tiruvinelli, Tamil Nadu. Students from both colleges are staying together, travelling together and working on common projects as part of a partnership collaborative learning experience.

February 2015- Like a circus!

February was a crazy month for us this year, in the best possible sense. We had evenings where the pizza oven was churning out pizzas, music playing, the firepit a-flame with a bonfire, table tennis tournaments causing much uproar, and of course our new favourate- Aunt Sally in the moonlight. We had guests from John Donne School in London, Teaching faculty from KdG in Antwerp, Friends and family of the KdG students dropping by for evenings, A fun reccy visit from PSW in Cornwall, UK, and our January visit of American students from Fireflies. Much laughter and interactions. Good times.

Oxford Brookes 2015 (Jan 2015)..

For the fifth year running the students from Oxford Brookes University arrived en-mass. Their research project this year has taken them to Pondicherry, Auroville, Mysore, and Srirangapatnam. Pictures of their research as academic posters coming soon. Our year has already been enriched through the introduction of the traditional oxfordshire game: "Aunt Sally" which we are now sharing with all who visit. Truly a cultural exchange!

Annual arrival of the KdG students (Jan 2015)..

For the seventh year running the students from Karel De Grote University college Antwerp arrived for an orientation programme with us, before beginning their internship and final teaching practice in Parikrma. As ever a delight!

Block printing workshop with the Baale Mane Girls at Tharangini- December 20th

On the 20th December every year Padmini from Tharangini block printing workshop organises a workshop and lunch for a childrens organisation in Honour of her late Mothers Birthday. This year we collaborated with her and I took the girls from Baale Mane! it was a wonderful day and a wonderful end to the year. Photos of our regular sessions with the girls are to be found on facebook.

Traditional skills in a changing world! A wonderful exploration of craft traditions in Karnataka. November 2014

We had a great ten day process of exploring craft traditions and traditional skills in South India, accompanied by a delightful group of people, mainly from South Somerset, but also London, and Philadelphia! The visit was led by Alexandra Ostroumoff and facilitated by us at Sangam. Pictures from this visit can be found on this facebook album. We are now gathering a group for the 2015 craft and textiles tour! Click here for info.

Birding tours coming up! (Posted in November 2015)

We are really excited to be putting out the information about our 2015 birding tours. Please check the birding page if you are keen or know people who will be!

October half term 2014- Stella Maris Staff CPD- Values.

This years October half term teacher study visit was unique and an absolute first for us: Tony Holdsworth, headteacher of Stella Maris school (Kent, UK) brought his primary class teaching staff with him, on a school CPD visit with a focus on Values in education. It was a courageous and exciting thing to do, and we thoroughly congratulate him, and the whole group. It was wonderful to facilitate this process, and to enable them to meet and share with their partner school in Bangalore. They were a wonderful group- truly an outstanding school! See their facebook entry.

Weaving, Clay, and Chickens- September 2014

Through the north east monsoon period this year we continued with our regular series of craft workshops at Baale and Sita. Baale Mane are currently weaving mats from waste cloth and I am thinking of beginning quilting as they are so very keen on this new textile angle. The classes at Sita have moved from music and drama to clay work and story telling. Will add some images when there is time! We have returned to our love of chicken keeping and whilst the vegetable garden is flourishing with more basil and badnaikai (aubergines) than we can eat, we have built a new chicken house. And what rain we have had! Hessarghatta lake is full again! Hooray!

Summer study tour- August 2014

This summer's study tour was led by Helen Martin, Headteacher of Graffham Infant and Duncton Junior Schools, West Sussex. The theme was primarily on Geography and understanding water, particularly the river Cauvery. The group consisted of Headteachers, teachers, trainee teachers, and TA's. We worked closely in collaboration with the TVS academies, running collaborative CPD training on Forest school and Geographical enquiry, and the study tour involved a journey with teachers from both countries down the river Cauvery to the forests of Coorg where the river rises. It was a wonderful process of working together, learning as a team, collaborating and questioning together. Helen is planning to repeat the process in the summer of 2016. Please let us know if you would like to join us then.

Geography Skills and Enquiry CPD teacher training day- 6th August 2014. (This day deserves a paragraph to itself!)

On August the 6th we had a wonderful day where 7 teachers from the TVS schools joined a group of 6 teachers from the UK for a CPD training day on Enquiry and skills of questioning in Geography. It was an absolute delight to be conducting such an authentic and exciting collaborative programme. So many ideas, such energy. Huge thanks to the TVS group for their involvement and ideas, and to Helen Martin for sharing her expertise. It was a Sangam, in the truest sense. Here is the link to the images of this day in our facebook page.

The institute of Education in London- Summer PGCE option- July 2014.

In July (2014) we were joined by a group of outgoing PGCE students from the Institute of Education in London. They spent their mornings working with children from the Parikrma Humanity Foundation, an organisation for children from the slum areas of Bangalore, and in the afternoons they divided their time between Baale Mane girls home, and our own Sita school. They worked on curriculum related resources and ideas for teaching and learning in the mornings, and in the afternoons ran an afterschool club which encouraged craft skills of care, patience and creativity: weaving, play dough, origami, pom poms, friendship bands, construction, kites, planting using waste bottles, and of course loom bands! (I wonder if they can be held responsible for bringing the craze to Bangalore!?) Click here to see pictures from our facebook page.

Archbishop Mitty High School

After a break for the summer holidays here in India we were happy to begin the monsoon months with a visit from Archbishop Mitty High school  California. The school brought their entire ethics class with them, on a journey which took them both to the south and north of India. It was the sixth year running that they have visited us. The group of 30 students began the time with a rangoli workshop, then spent time with Jyoti hearing about indian symbolism, and developed into a series of large group Mandala paintings.

Easter 2014 Teacher's CPD study visit

12 teachers from the London area and the South West of England joined us for a ten day study visit, led by the delightful Cathy Bushill of Chilcompton federation schools, Somerset. The group had a shared focus on development of resources for enhancing and enabling the teaching of topics relating to India, which meant that the whole project had a wonderful cohesive context and structure. Water became a further point of interest for some, for others development of existing and new partnership links. Here is a link to the images of this project in facebook.

Enquiring Minds and Unique places. Primary Geographer Article by Ruth Potts!

We are more than a bit excited that in this springs edition of the Primary Geographer magazine there is an article on enquiry written by Ruth Potts who attended the Geographical Society's study visit to us in 2012, and by Helen Martin, chair of the primary GA committee and one of our brilliant leaders. Here is the link to the article..

Teachers' study visit. February Half term. 2014

This years study visit brought us teachers and higher educationalists from Wales, Sheffield, and Wiltshire. The programme was quite diverse with interests in folk dance, religions and forming partnerships.

Francis Parker High School- Collaborative story project. February 2014.

Steve Cook and his art department from Parker High in California USA joined us for  a weeks collaborative story project. The 12 students from America joined 15 of the Baale Mane girls from nearby Gopalapura village, and they all worked together to create a series of amazing books. The process involved initially storytelling and sharing stories from their different backgrounds, exploring stories, the monomyth, and concepts within folk stories. In groups they then worked on a common story, which they story-boarded and illustrated. We spent a day exploring skills of illustration and from water colours to acryllics, pop up, three dimension and tunnel books. The groups then turned their stories into amazing books- creating an entirely new concept of the "box book" and wonderful three dimensional pop up trees. The programme finished with the teams dramatizing their stories, adding sound, and actions. We visited three schools with the book performance including the girls own primary school. It was an amazing process which we felt privileged to facilitate. We look forward to next year! Read their trip blog!

The Institute of Education, London. Alternative teaching practice placement. February 2014.

We are delighted that this year Tessa Willy, the PGCE tutor for Primary Geography at the IOE collaborated with us to create a two week alternative teaching practice programme. The students were placed in an international school in Bangalore for the mornings, our Sita school here in Silvepura in the afternoons, and Baale Mane girls home in the evenings. During the afternoons and evenings their project was on maths resource development using limited resources. The students rose to the challenge brilliantly. They were committed, focussed, energetic and delightful. They had an unusually high level of subject knowledge and academic capability, and showed excellent understanding of current changes to primary subjects and pedagogy. It was a vibrant programme to facilitate and we very much look forward to the next placement this July and to next years spring programme. Read this article in the TES about this programme!!

Oxford Brookes University. Study Programme. January 2014.

For the fourth year running we had OB with us for a two week study programme. Their project involved research and development of a personal project which ranged from understanding of the symbolism of Siva Natraj, to alternative educational perspectives in our locality, to folk and traditional pattering and motifs. It was as ever a very good programme, and we enjoyed the process, and the company!

Karel De Grote University, Antwerp. January 2014.

This year was the sixth year that KDG has worked with us on this programme. After an orientation programme here at Sangam tyhe delightful group of girls were placed in Parikrama Humanity foundation for their three month internship. They thrived there and will be sorely missed!

Recycling and Weaving

We have begun to work with the standard 8 children from the Sacred Heart school on a rubbish awareness recycling programme. This is with the hope that the idea of rubbish separation and reuse might slowly spread... We will give it lots of time, and are ready to keep the weekly sessions going. The month ended with ideas about weaving, plaiting and making christmas decorations. Image links to follow.

Seed Christmas cards- Baale Mane.

The month of November has seen us developing concepts for Christmas cards with Baale Mane girls home. About 40 girls were involved and we divided them into ten different groups. Quite a few of them drew rangoli's designs, and so this developed into a theme. We talked about the meaning of Christmas as new life, and then when we were thinking of how to fill and colour the rangoli's the idea of seeds emerged. This seemed to fit with the idea of new life, and so our card concept was created: Seed Rangolis- Celebrating newness and life.

October half term study visit- England!

Richard Culham, Headteacher of Birchfield Community Primary School, (Yeovil, Somerset, UK) joined us for a ten day teacher study visit with a group of colleagues from across the county. The group were enthused equally by birds and buses, and were keen to partner with local schools. Anna Winch Deputy head of Stanchester Academy in Yeovil wrote this wonderful report. (To be linked)

October half term study visit- Scotland!

Phil Halewood of Garrowhill primary school in Glasgow bought a group of colleagues from his learning community in Glasgow. It was a good process which started off with a brilliant day with Phils partner school - TVS Tumkur. The project continued with many activities for learning about the locality, looking at resources for teaching comparative studies, sharing case studies, and finally exploring the markets and mountains of Bangalore!

Thinking and Doing Science!

Scientific enquiry questions with practicals using simple materials.

At the end of September we had a group of 19 teachers visiting from the CVM school in Chennai and HSV school in Karur Tamil Nadu. The challenge was to develop ideas about questioning in science, the use of simple found objects and household materials for practicals, so that we might teach scientific concepts using scientific enquiry questions. The programme culminated in a day of sharing ideas where each teacher had to showcase a practical and talk us through it using questioning. It was a great process, not least the singing around the bonfire in the evenings! Thankyou to all who participated. We hope to do more of these projects. A page of pictures will follow!

New developments on our Website

We are currently updating our site to reflect the changing facilities at the land, the diversity of different CPD projects that we are offering to professionals over the coming year, and the range of activities that we are now running. New pages also include our leaders page, which is growing as our leaders send us their info. Please do have a fresh look through our website.

Summer study visit- Sunderland!

This year's summer study visit was led by Simon Marshall, Head of Highfield community primary school in Sunderland. He and his staff and colleagues joined us for ten days exploring schooling in our area, and setting up partnerships.

Archbishop Mitty High School

For the fourth year running we had AMH joining us. They worked on four large group paintings which explored mandala patterns and Indian traditional symbolism.

Summer school 2013

This year our summer school programme was  run by Roshan. Drishya came for a two week programme of understanding clay, they created objects, bowls and 3-D sculptures, learnt how to glaze them, and fired them in our raku kiln.

Developments at the Land!

We spent much of May, June and July this year working on a conversion project of one of our studio buildings into a kitchen dining space. It has been a great project to work on, and has changed the way we can cater for residential groups.

Easter study visit 2013

This years Easter teachers study visit was led by the excellent Helen Martin of the Geographical Association. Helen visited us in the summer of 2012 as part of the GA study tour, and worked with us during the Easter visit in preparing the group for travel, enabling them in thinking through educational skills, resources and ideas that can be developed from the study visit, and supported the group as they travelled. The group of teachers come from West Sussex and from Northampton.

Bishops Grosseteste 2013

For the fifth year BG arrived in full force, with an unusually large number of lads. The students were from the Theology and Geography departments, and were particularly interested in the issue of water in this part of India, and for Bangalore particularly. They visited their link colleges in the South and the temple of Madurai as part of the programme in India.

February teachers CPD study visit 2013

Our annual teachers study visit was led this year by Gyles Morris from Natures Base Education Outreach Centre, in west Wales. The teachers were all from the private school sector, and had broad interests from forest school, to ITE, to arts and crafts in India, as well as the regular focus on development of ideas for teaching about India. A highlight for us was that Gyles helped us to build a pizza oven in the garden- and much pizza has been enjoyed from there since!

India Ancient and Modern

This year we saw two groups arrive with us for a 12 day programme and learning journey to understand change and development in rural and urban south India alongside an understanding of the ancient religious and spiritual traditions of the south. The first group came in late Jan and the second in mid Feb 2013.

Oxford Brookes 2013

The students from Westminster college came again in Jan, and this year they spent three days in the programme of study in Hampi exploring the ruins by bike. The topics for research this year were as diverse as ever with interest in: rituals of femininity within a traditional rural culture, to religious epic narratives in their geographical contexts, and exploration of classic Indian culture and the feminine form within Indian art.

Karel De Grote- University of Antwerp

This was KdG's fifth year with us. This year they were all secondary teaching students in their third year of their BEd course. After a 10 day orientation process with us here they joined the staff of the Parikrma Humanity Foundation for a nine week teaching practice, working in three of their four centres in Bangalore. They worked on art classes, conducted music and guitar lessons, developed a dance performance, and conducted support classes for children with SEN. During their placement they were able to explore Hampi, Goa and Kerela, and did a week of travelling once the placement was over. Parimkrma staff were delighted with the support they gave, and wish that they could have stayed for longer. The students were sad to leave, but left for Belgium in early March. We enjoyed the company of Herman Coene their lecturer from the University this year towards the end of the placement.

October teachers CPD study visit 2012

Our annual October teacher study visit from the UK was this year led by Jane Talbot, of WISE DEC. This was her third visit as a group leader! The group were all primary teachers, from across the south west of England. They were mainly early year teachers and so their main focus was in developing experiences and resources for putting together a Ks1 scheme of work on India.

Bosch- management in the Landscape.

In the summer 2012 we strayed into the world of corporate training by conducting a day with the management from Bangalore Bosch office. They spent the day forming landscapes in the garden, developing stories and creating mythical creatures.

Drishya summer school 2012.

The children from Drishya joined us for another summer programme this year. They worked mainly on large scale star shaped lanterns and candile structures made from Bamboo, made tie and dye t-shirts, and knotted friendship rakis.

Baale Mane- Art and Craft programme.

We conducted a craft summer school for the girls from Baale Maane home during the summer of 2012. The main project was embroidery and through the programme they each carefully created a colourful bird on cloth. They also made origami cranes and strung them into screens, hanging lanterns which we painted with coloured inks, and raki friendhip bands by knotting embroidery thread. Since then we have continued the programme conducting craft and art activities in a regular Saturday slot. The first project was a jewellery project which lasted for three months. We then prepared for christmas by making cards, window stars, and candle holders. The most recent project has been on the home, and we explored the home through outdoor activities, and completed the project through heiku poems and drawings about homes. We are now into a project about trees which we will work on through 2013 will culminate with a large tree mural on the new hostel building.

The GA study tour- August 2012.

The 2012 India study tour involved 10 members of the Geographical Association arriving here at Sangam for some home based activities, looking at our rural and urban case studies and conducting the associated field work. They visited schools and explored farms and villages by bike. One of the highlights was the initiation of a school partnership with TVS school Hosur. They then continued on to Wildlife Sanctuaries in the western Ghats, on to Mysore, and then finally back to Bangalore.

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