SPRINGDAYS INFRASTRUCTURE – BIOPHILIC DESIGN OF ARCHITECTURE
The outbreak of COVID 19 has created an unprecedented crisis and has dramatically changed our daily lives. While this uncertainty can be unsettling, we believe we will get through this together and emerge stronger.
According to a WHO study, prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary in the coming years to prevent future COVID-19 type pandemic outbreak.
At the time of the conceptual stage of designing the school building, the management had insisted on the importance of natural lighting, ventilation and use of eco-friendly building materials and non-air- conditioned classrooms.
Based on this input, our architects offered a BIOPHILIC DESIGN for the building. They have also designed the interior of the school accordingly, based on the research on the 1918 flu pandemic and the subsequent flu out-breaks in the world. These researches revealed the existence of an ‘open air factor’ that is found in fresh air which kills airborne bacteria or viruses faster than indoor or air-conditioned air. Thus, there is adequate cross-ventilation and fresh air distribution within our school premises.
BREATH TAKING INFRASTRUCTURE
Ensconced in the pristine splendour of 8 acres of verdant woods and occupying 150000 sq.ft., Springdays is a living testimony to the nascent concept of ‘Green Buildings’. The architecture of the school is one of a kind that is inspired from prestigious institutions worldwide and is an inspiration to many.
Springdays is one of the first schools to follow the National Building Code of India (NBC) Guidelines for schools. The building has 10 entries on all the four sides with 8 staircases and ramps criss-crossing the entire building. It has an exclusive fire exit with a fire-fighting pressurized system.
SPECIALLY ARCHITECTED CLASSROOMS
PRIMARY SCHOOL BLOCK (Grade 1 to 8)
Spacious classrooms, each resting on an 850 sq.ft. of floor space, with airy ventilation and thorough natural lighting has been designed to create the right ambiance for research and study. The building expands tree-like with overhanging classrooms and large green areas for out-door, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. All classrooms have specially designed furniture, appropriate to the height of the child, that aid good posture. All classrooms have plenty of space for curriculum activities to be conducted alongside classroom teaching. Classes for LKG to Grade 3 are with attached toilets, washrooms and outdoor space in the Ground floor. Each classroom has three side ventilation, including a vertical light / air shaft opening into the second floor.
HIGH SCHOOL BLOCK (Grade 9 & 10)
Grade 9 & 10 classrooms are situated above the canteen block. It has separate entries, staircases and ramp connectivity. This block also has separate girls and boys rest rooms and staff rooms with attached pantry and restrooms.
SENIOR SECONDARY BLOCK (Grade 11 & 12)
Our Senior Secondary School (Grade 11 & 12) offers a gateway to Higher Education in Engineering, Medicine, Science, Commerce, Accountancy, Law and Liberal Arts, Humanities and many more. The school strives to impart excellence in academics to enable them to stand at par in today’s competitive world.
The CBSE curriculum pattern ensures holistic development of the students by encapsulating scholastic and co-scholastic aspects including life skills, performing arts, physical education and moral values.
Grade 11 & 12 classrooms are located in a separate block above the Library, with exclusive entries, accessible staircases and ramps. These air-conditioned classrooms are about 1200 sq. ft. each with 75 inches LED interactive display board with audio systems. These classrooms have gallery type seating. Even without air conditioning, these classes can be conducted comfortably due to their 16 feet height ceiling and natural lighting.
The senior secondary block has separate rest room, wash basins and urinals. This block has separate boys and girls restroom, wash basins, urinals beside separate facility for teaching and non-teaching staff. There is an exclusive R.O. plant with water dispenser for senior secondary students.
COMMON FACILITIES :
- MULTI-PURPOSE AUDITIORIUM & ATRIUM :
An indoor, multi-purpose auditorium, with 2000 seats along with three separate courtyards serves as spaces to conduct lectures and workshops. Another well-shaped, gallery-style Atrium, that houses 800 children serves a space for common assembly of children during school hours.
- MUSIC ROOM :
The school has separate air-conditioned, acoustically treated music hall and recording theatre to train our children in music and singing. During lunch period, the music room is open for all music lovers to display their talents to other children.
- WELL EQUIPPED LABS :
Springdays also has large labs for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths besides separate Junior and Senior School Computer Labs. It also has an exclusive Lego & Robotics Lab. All the labs are well ventilated with natural lighting.
- UNIVERSALLY ACCESIBLE DEISGN :
All floors and all spaces of the school have incorporated ramps thus making the whole school universally accessible. Additionally the school also has 8 staircases and lifts.
- CAFETERIA AND DINING AREA :
A 6000 sq. ft. canteen space can serve up to 250 children at a time. The modern canteen kitchen, which occupies another 700 sq.ft., is well-equipped to provide the children healthy and hygienic food. The canteen has around 30 hand-washing points and 3 separate drinking water booths to cater to the children’s need during the short breaks and lunch break. The school offers optional lunch and snacks at a nominal cost.
- MEDICAL CARE :
The school has a well – equipped infirmary with an on-duty nurse and separate toilet facility. The infirmary is well-supplied with first aid and primary medical care equipment and medications to attend to minor ailments in children.
- SCHOOL LIBRARY – THE LEARNING COMMONS :
The Springdays Library, called as ‘Learning Commons’, occupies 3000 sq. ft. and is a common area that shares space for information technology, remote or online education, tutoring, collaboration, content creation, meetings and reading. This is a next generation library where information can be accessed not only from books, but also from online resources, peers, collaborative work etc. The school also has a massive collection of books with new additions of classics, reference books, journals and bestsellers. We aim to match the highest library standards of the country.
- STAFF ROOMS :
10 corporate-quality staff rooms with attached pantry facilities and toilet facilities are positioned amidst classrooms for easy access of children.
- PLAYING FIELDS AND OUTDOOR SPORTS FACILITY :
A vast play area with provisions for cricket, basketball, volleyball and football fields, tennis courts and 200 meters running track is provided and matches international standards.
ARCHITECTED FOR THE HOT SUMMERS OF VELLORE :
Every part of the school has a natural vent for hot air thus keeping the rooms cool even during hot summers. The architecture accommodates free flow of wind and breeze thus accommodating the climate patterns of Vellore. High ceilings further add to the airiness of the classrooms.
Roof gardens on all terraces bring down the temperature of the classrooms substantially during the long summers. Doubly-shaded corridors with well-placed benches form cool and comfortable interaction spaces for the children. Three integrated green courtyards with enough shade from overhanging buildings and greenery provide ample play areas for children. A well planned-out landscape with varied flora, water fountains, well-supplied seating and discreet play areas attract birds and butterflies creating a beautiful environment for growth and joy. True to its name, Springdays keeps children in an ‘Eternal Spring’.
FRONT FACADE ELEVATION
The front facade of the Administrative Office building of the school is inspired from Colonial style architecture but also carries through the colours and aesthetics of the Springdays logo. Tall pillars and high ceilings stand as tall as our founder, T.Rajendiran’s vision and passion towards building a world-class institute.
The centrally air-conditioned administrative office building houses a large and inviting reception hall, counselling rooms, accounts office, Principal, Correspondent and Curriculum Director room and two elaborate conference rooms.
SOCIAL DISTANCING :
With the above infrastructure social distancing in the school can be easily accomplished.
Primary block (LKG to Std. 8) has 47 Rest-rooms / Toilets, 50 wash basins, and 46 urinals. Senior Secondary school block (Std. 9 to 12) has 51 rest-rooms, 35 wash basins and 33 urinals besides separate facilities for Teaching and Non – Teaching staff.
The necessity to share the above intricacies of the school infrastructure is to assure the parents that Springdays is in the best possible position to handle any social distancing norms and the precautions the school has to take.
THE ADMISSION POLICY POST PANDEMIC :
Pre KG to UKG : 15 per class
Std. I to Std. V : 20 -25 per class
Std. VI to Std. X : 30 – 35 per class
Senior Secondary : 40 per class.
Admissions are based on personal interview/tests only. The school is in no rush or hurry to fill the vacancies. The school has been designed to cater to a maximum of 3000 students from LKG to Std. 12. Nonetheless, in spite of being well equipped with a comprehensive infrastructure, our deliberate attempt has been to restrict admissions to 1900 only, to impart high quality education and to maintain social distancing in the classrooms. We plan to restrict the total strength of the school at 1900 for the years to come.
SPRINGDAYS EDUCATION DURING THE COVID YEAR 2020
Springdays is one of the few schools in Vellore to provide a comprehensive & quality online education even during the pandemic. We are educators and our duty is to inculcate love for learning, vital skills and values in our children regardless of external circumstances, small or big, like the pandemic. We retailored our entire curriculum and teaching methodologies to cater to the vital needs of children, parents and teachers during the pandemic:
- Loss of socialization for children
- Children’s sudden and increased access to the internet
- Lack of time for working parents
- Front line workers and critical nature of their work.
Secure & Safe Online Platform: Microsoft Teams:
We use Microsoft Teams as our chosen platform for online education. It is safe and secure with end-to-end encryption where children or parents do not have to worry about unauthorized entries or loss of privacy in their child’s online meetings. Teachers were trained to use the platform effectively to impart education online. They were trained to understand the needs of the children through the online platform and design their method of teaching dynamically. All our teachers are now a “Microsoft Certified Innovative Educator”.
Live Online Classes for all Grades
At Springdays, we believe in live online classes rather than recorded session. Live online classes enable children to connect with teachers and their peers better. Children need to feel as a part of class of learners for their education to be effective. During online classes, much focus is given for the teacher to firstly connect with each child.
Learning kits were curated and put together for every grade level from PreKG up to Grade 2. This was then sent to the children’s houses. This enabled children to have a hands-on learning experience during online classes. The online classes became more exciting as children had something to touch and feel, as they learn. Teachers used the learning kit effectively to reach children even if they were physically not accessible to them.
For PreKG, LKG & UKG, apart from the learning kit, teachers plan their lessons to be imparted using house hold items available at children’s home.
Eye exercises are conducted regularly as part of the online classes. This is keeping in mind the strain on the eyes of children due to increased screen time and relieve them of the same.
Every Friday, the focus is on Fitness. Children together with the teachers discuss of physical and mental fitness. are made to do age – appropriate fitness exercises and are then encouraged to practice that at home.
Every class starts with a quick morning meeting as the class comes together to start the day with positive vibes and togetherness. Morning meetings enable every day to start with socialisation among children and a sense of community. It also acts as the perfect medium to teach important life & leadership skills in children.
Asynchronous Co-Scholastic Activities:
Co-scholastic activities were conducted in an asynchronous mode for the children. Every week, recorded content was sent for Lego Building, Science Experiments, Zumba & Physical Education, Storytelling, Art & Craft (for lower grades), Scratch Programming (for higher grades) , Singing, Drawing (for lower grades). Children could optionally participate in this. It helped keep children engaged and creatively occupied.
Two parent surveys were conducted during the academic year to elicit feedback from parents on our methods of online education. We are happy to say that we got an overwhelmingly positive feedback from the survey. Based on feedback many course corrections and refinements are being done.
Lessons on Online Bullying & Mental Health
One week was dedicated to bring awareness to children regarding online bullying and how the to prevent bullying. This is important as children need to be taught not just on how to use the internet but also on how to use it safely. Children released 2 short films on Mental Wellness: (1) Eustress – how to manage stress (2) How to handle depression.
Online Theatre Classes
Theatre is an essential part of our curriculum as we use it for art – integrated learning. Live theatre classes were conducted for children of Grade 4 to 9 as part of our online education.
New Programs for Online Education
The curriculum methods and programs done in a physical school cannot be replicated as-is for an online education as the medium & the needs of the children differ. We introduced many different online programs for our children, as mentioned below:
- Chaos Cafeteria: For children to casually chat with each other while having lunch together. This provides a way for children to socialize with each other and have a social peer-to-peer interaction online.
- Throwback Session – At the starting of the academic, we had many throwback sessions that enabled children to connect back with their previous year’s teachers and classmates. Since the last academic year ended abruptly with the sudden lockdown, this gave a much-needed closure for children.
- Audio podcasts – English lessons were recorded as audio podcasts and distributed to children. Children could listen into lessons that does not contribute to increased screen time.
- Augmented Reality – Augmented Reality was used in daily lesson to excite the children and break online fatigue. Some teachers also used it for storytelling.
- Grandparents Day – Kindergartners celebrated Grandparents with much fun fare as it was telecasted live on YouTube enabling all grandparents to view the program from the comforts of their home. Every kindergartener participated in this program.
- Children’s Day – Children were entertained with a variety of songs, dance, skit performances from teachers. Teachers went out of their with their show of skill and love for their children.
Support for Frontline Workers & Working Parents:
Keeping in mind the critical nature of work of front-line workers and other working parents, lower grades had evening classes. Class teachers support the needs of the working parents on a case-on-case basis as necessary.