Shriram Matriculation School, Chennai
Shriram Matriculation School, (SMS) Thiruneermalai , is located
in a calm rural milieu at the foot of the Thiruneermalai hills with the famous Sri Ranganatha Perumal temple at the hilltop. An English medium school, SMS is affiliated to the Matriculation Board, Tamil Nadu and offers the Samacheer Kalvi
(Uniform Syllabus) program.The school caters to 800 children and provides quality education for students from pre-primary to Class X. Established with the primary purpose of providing quality education to the underprivileged sections
of the local community, the school has children belonging to families working as daily wage labourers , stone quarry workers & factory workers in the Thiruneermalai community. The school boasts of the highest enrolment in
the whole Town panchayat .Class IX was introduced during academic year in June 2015 and Class X from June 2016.
The school commenced work in 1995, with thatched-roof classrooms. In two decades, the school has grown organically and today has fully constructed buildings with well-equipped classrooms in its campus. This organic and steady growth has been possible because of the participation and support of the communities in Thiruneermalai, Thirumudivakkam and Pazhanthandalam
The school has a dedicated team of 45 well-qualified and experienced teachers, and a Pupil Teacher Ratio of about 20:1. SMS follows the Montessori Methodology for pre-primary students (3-6 year old students).The school values its teacher resource and strives to equip them with the best facilities, tools and aids for effective classroom instruction and interaction. Teacher education initiatives and continuing professional development includes regular teacher support programmmes encouraging skill updation, reinforcement and adoption of cutting-edge pedagogies and teacher meetings ensuring democratic participation in the decision-making process. Teacher training also covers a wide range of subjects including Child rights and child safety.Teachers are encouraged to come up with new ideas, be creative, show initiative and suggest progressive measures. The teachers are ably supported by a team of efficient and dedicated non-teaching staff. SMS also partners with Teach for India(TFI),the countrywide teacher support program, which provides an additional pool of teachers for the school.
Approach to Education
The management at SMS, Thiruneermalai, acknowledges that holistic multi-faceted development is the end of true education. It recognizes that growth and success are wedded to happiness. It acknowledges that the Happiness Quotient of students, which depends on the bonding and culture at home and in school, the opportunities given to them to pursue their passion, the space to demonstrate their worth and win appreciation, the recognition of their talents and skills, will eventually impact their intellectual growth, academic success and all-round development. While the school keeps its doors always open to parents and takes efforts to counsel and guide them on parenting, it also constantly looks for ways to improve its existing resources, programmes and strategies to make the learning experience at school as impactful as possible. Educators work together on everything from instructional planning, professional development and enrichment programs and have autonomy in deciding what’s best for their students.
A powerful multi-pronged programme of Student Empowerment, Teacher Empowerment and Resource Development & Utilization is being drawn up to provide the necessary thrust to all aspects of the teaching-learning process. Focus is on building individual student talents, besides assessing curiosity, creativity, communication and cooperation too aiming that the child actualizes his potential.
To enhance student learning the school also encourages co-curricular programmes like music in collaboration with Rhapsody Foundation, dance & an arts & craft programme besides a well-equipped computer lab which is the pride of the school. Rhapsody’s unique curriculum and content helps improve learning skills, like building memory, a sense of pattern and rhythm, and also reinforce subject knowledge and teach values through lyrics. Vocational training emphasis at SMS provides exposure to different real world skills and to enable opportunities for students to discover their hidden talents and latent interests, SMS offers facilities for simple age-appropriate exposure and skill building for students in crafts like needlework and embroidery, pottery and carpentry.
An important component of the co-curricular activity at SMS are the field trips. Every year, students from classes 1-8 are taken on to different places of interest on field trips. These trips are popular with students and also provide an enriching real world experience.. Sports impetus at SMS has students responding with enthusiasm and participation in games like kho kho, kabaddi, handball, athletics, discus throw, shot put, javeline throw etc. A regular complete well-laid out sports curriculum is the pride of SMS. Regular karate classes are also held and girls & boys both are encouraged to learn the skill for self-defence. Students are also trained in the traditional martial art form Silambam and some of the talented students have made commendable progress in this demanding art form.
Living in India, a democratic republic, SMS also aims for the school children to get a sense of participative democracy and self-governance. The Children’s Parliament at the school has members who are invested with responsibilities and initiated into essential life skills and leadership skills in the course of their one year tenure. Students from classes 5 onwards experience the process of democratic election of representatives. Replicating the actual national election process, students put up candidates for different posts in the Students’ Parliament, canvass and campaign for their candidates, and vote in model voting booths. All the ministers take an oath of office, hold regular meetings, get sensitized to local and national issues and chart their own action, which they undertake under the guidance of staff members. The Children’s Parliament members have taken up various roles and responsibilities such as overseeing the maintenance of the school campus, cleanliness, checking the tidiness and punctuality of students, checking for and preventing food wastage during lunch hours, keeping the campus plastic-free and undertake community outreach activities such as sensitizing people and underataking cleanliness drive in Thiruneermalai community.
Facilities and Care
In the mornings, all students are given a cup of sweetened porridge when they reach school.Also SMS collaborates with Akshaya Patra Foundation for providing nutritious noon meals for all the school children. Every afternoon children of all classes are provided a sumptuous and nutritious hot meal of rice, side dishes and vegetables.
The school is furnished with well-equipped labs to further inquiry into physics, chemistry and biology. The Agastya Foundation has set up a full fledged Science lab in the School.
The SMS school library is well stocked with a wide range of books to suit students of all reading levels. The books have been sorted into different categories based on their difficulty levels and a comprehensive and continuous reading programme encourages students to utilize the facilities in the library to the best possible extent.
Activity based learning classes are regularly organized for classes I to IV using the Resource Centre funded by Cognizant Foundation. The Resource Centre contains materials to further self-paced learning and group work in all subject areas.
A well ear-marked Display Zone outside the Library is a dynamic energy zone and several soft boards with newspaper extracts, creative work, riddles, quiz, puzzles and trivia attract students to it every day. They drop off answers for the quizzes and puzzles in the Drop Box installed in the area and names of students giving correct answers are called out in a Roll of Honour at School Assembly every week.