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Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School (Central Board)

Rukmini Devi set amidst trees on the extensive Kalakshetra campus, the Besant Arundale School, has 500 children who study in classrooms open to the sunlight and the breeze. When the weather is fine, classes are often held outdoors under the trees, with the children in touch with the earth. They are encouraged to explore the school grounds, to climb the trees and to play a variety of games and sports. Instruction is imparted in a spirit of kindness, for both the educationists, whose names the school bears, believed that no learning was possible in an atmosphere of fear or repression.

The Besant Arundale School was founded in 1973 by Rukmini Devi. "The greatest service we can give the world is through the young. . . Dr. Besant believed that the freedom of India for which she had fought must be built by preparing the younger generation to take up responsibility. She believed that real education based upon spiritual values, ancient tradition and reverence for all life, realised in integrity and self-respect was most important. Her chief lieutenant in all this was Dr. Arundale. . ." In establishing the Besant Arundale School, Rukmini Devi sought to fulfill the aspirations of both Annie Besant and George Arundale, by nurturing children in an atmosphere of kindness and creative exploration, and providing them a holistic

education, which included an appreciation of nature and an exposure to the arts. Rukmini Devi specified that the Besant Arundale School would have small classes, encouraging robust teacher-student relationships and a climate of openness in the classroom. Dance, music and other arts would be part of its curriculum, and students would be encouraged to develop their artistic and aesthetic impulses. Rukmini Devi envisioned a holistic education that would develop well-rounded personalities.

From its inception, the Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School (BASS) has been affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum, allowing children to participate in an all- India system. The primary medium of instruction is English. Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi are also taught.

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