Springdales started as a small nursery and kindergarten at the home of Mrs. Rajni Kumar, the chairperson of Springdales Education Society and her husband the late Mr. Yudishter Kumar, Barrister at Law and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court. Today, the school – with three full fledged campuses at prime locations in New Delhi and a fourth one fast taking shape at Jaipur – is symbolic of a progressive educational movement inspired by Beaconsfield in Britian, brain child of Bertrand Russell, Badley’s Bedales and A. S. Neill’s SummerHill as well as the educational philosophy of our great Indian educationists like Mahatam Gandhi and Rabindra Nath Tagore.
Springdales epitomises vibrancy and freshness, dovetailing much of the ethos of the new post-independence India into its educational program and philosophy. Privately managed, the school is a secular co-educational one integrating into its curriculum concern for the environment, the spirit of community service and international peace and brotherhood.
Besides spacious classrooms and playgrounds, we have fully developed facilities for each department, with Maths and Science laboratories, a Computer Resource Centre, well stocked libraries, an auditorium and open-air stage, and a Teachers’ Learning Centre. At the end of class X and XII the students appear for an All India examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education.
“Vasudhaiv Kutumbkum” which translated from Sanskrit means “The World is a Family” is the motto of Springdales and indeed is deeply etched in the heart of every Springdalian. It is a concept which greatly influences the thought process and value system of all pupils –past and present – as they look upon the school, the community, the nation and the world as a part of the whole family of the mankind.
It all started in Delhi, at ½ East Patel Nagar on September 1st, 1955, when a small nursery and kindergarten wastarted in the home of Mrs Rajni Kumar and her husband the late Mr Yudister Kumar, Barrister at Law and Senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India. Many years prior to this, while Mrs Rajni Kumar was a student at the London School of Economics, she had been attracted by the progressive education movement in Britain particularly Beaconsfield founded by Bertrand Russell, Badley's co-educational school Bedales, and A. S. Neill's Summerhill. So, when planning to open her own school in Delhi, she struck on the name ' Springdales', symbolic of the freshness of Spring and inspired by the progressiveness of Bedales. The school was born soon after India attained her independence. It was in the context of Nehruvian politics, International peace and brotherhood, and the Non-aligned movement that Springdales took shape and burst upon the educational scenario with vibrancy and freshness, dovetailing much of the ethos and culture of the new India, into its education programmes and philosophy Springdales attracted the local community from the very start and it grew rapidly. In 1959 it obtained recognition from the Educational Authorities of the state and from that date onwards was affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. Later it sought affiliation from the Central Board of Secondary Education. Up to 1979 it prepared its students for both the Indian School Certificate Examination and the Higher Secondary Examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education. Since 1979 it prepares students for the All India Secondary Examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education at the end of Standard X and for the All India Senior Secondary Examination at the end of Std XII.
The Birth of Springdales Education Society
In 1956 the Kumars set up the Patel Education Society, a registered Charitable and Educational Society to run the school. Ever since the original building at Patel Nagar became non-existent, the name of the Society has been changed to Springdales Education Society.
Pillars of Support
When first establishing the school, Mrs Rajni Kumar was ably assisted by a group of very committed and dedicated like-minded people such as Ms Parvati Krishnan Member of Parliament, political leader and trade Unionist;; Mr Prem Sagar Gupta, Mr O.P.Gupta, Mrs Sheila Sandhu, Mr P.N.S Bedi, Mr Satish Khullar, Mr Rajender Dhawan, Mrs P.Loomba and Mrs Chetan Basra. Other early associates were Dr and Mrs Yudh vir Singh, well known freedom fighters; Dr Gyan Chand economist and his wife Anusiya Gyan Chand, a well respected women's leader; Prof Mohinder Singh, Dean of Delhi University; Dr Baldev Bhatia Child Psychologist, Mr R.B Seth, Retd College Principal; Mr Niamat Rai, educational administrator and Dr Savitri Verma, the school's first medical doctor.
They were later joined by renowned educationists such as Dr K.D.Saiyidain, former Secretary of Education to the Govt of India and a liberal thinker Dr V.S.Jha, philosopher and Educational Consultant to the Ministry of Education Mr K.P.S. Menon, man of letters and India's first Foreign Secretary;. Prof Nurul Hassan. Others connected with the school were well known economists, political scientists and jurists of the country such as Dr Rais Ahmed, Prof Moonis Raza Dr Shib Mitra, Mrs Muriel Wasi, Prof. Rashidudeen Khan, Dr P.N.Srivastava, Justice Mrs Leela Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh and the present Attorney General of India Mr Soli Sorabjee who served the school as its Chairperson for six years. A number of Service Chiefs have also been associated with the school as Chairmen or members of the Board such as the late Gen P.P. Kumaramangalam, Chief of the Army Staff; the late Admiral Pereira, Admiral Ramdas and Lt General Candeth. (Retd)
Consolidation and Expansion
Milestones in the growth of the physical plant of Springdales came along in quick succession.
1962: premises at 1/2 East Patel Nagar, 13 West Patel Nagar, A/12 East Patel Nagar, A-44 and A-45 KirtiCampuses at Kirti Nagar, Pusa Road and Dhaula Kuan Nagar.
Allotment of land at Pusa by the Union Ministry of Works and Housing. Initially Mr Y Kumar built the temporary wing. The first and main wing of the building was designed by the well known architect Mr Jhabwala.
1968: Inauguration of Pusa building by Dr Zakir Hussain, the President of India in a very colourful ceremony. The President's meaningful words "Be proud of your building but let the building be proud of you" are still remembered by those present on the historic occasion.
1974: Addition of playfields, stage and stadium steps along one side of the field.
1980: Laying of the Foundation stone in Dhaula Kuan by Admiral Pereira, the Chief of the Navy and Chairperson of the School Governing Body, along with the school children, and dedication to Shri Y Kumar the founder Manager.
Mrs. Rajni Kumar retires 1983: completion of the first wing of the new building, with students from Standards 2-7.
1988: emergence of the Springdales at Dhaula Kuan as a full-fledged Senior Secondary School under the dynamic leadership of its Principal Mrs Jyoti Bose, an Old Springdalian herself. Retirement at Pusa Road of Mrs Rajni Kumar, the Founder Principal after 32 years of educational leadership.
Both Mr Yudister Kumar and Mrs Rajni Kumar shared the same progressive egalitarian viewpoint and International outlook as other founder members of the school, and this gave expression to the schools' ethos and philosophy.
Vision of Education
At Springdales, education is looked upon as a holistic learning experience, helping each child to develop those attributes and qualities of heart, head and hand which will make him/her a self-reliant citizen and a fine human being, socially aware and humanistic, compassionate and kind, having pride in his country and belief in the concept of international brotherhood and peace, a person ready to work as an agency of change for building a more socially just and equitable society.
Logo and Motto
The ethos of the school is deeply embedded in its motto "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam'.' which means, "The world is a family:" It is a concept that deeply influences in greater or lesser degree, the thought process, the value system, and the way of life of its pupils - past and present, as they look upon the school, the community, the neighbourhood, the nation, and the world, as a part of the whole family of mankind.
The concept of international understanding and friendship among the children of the world was born almost with Springdales itself. The motto of the school and allied activities are ample proof of it. The school has been an associate member of the UNESCO scheme for Education for International Understanding since the sixties. It has interwoven into the curriculum, the study of relevant topics, exhibitions and projects.
There are many ways in which the ethos and philosophy promoted, through various activities in the school as well as school-to-school exchange programmes.
Education at Springdales
Springdales is known in educational circles for the innovative ideas and practices it has introduced into the educational process, and which now form part of the curriculum in many progressive schools of India.
The curriculum is multi-dimensional including an academic programme of high quality, a wide range of co-curricular activity, a comprehensive programme of sports and physical culture, training in manual skills and education for social awareness and action. The students participate in music, dance, drama and debate competitions and wherever they go they make an impact. The school itself hosts many contests in the field of poetry recitation, quizzing and science symposia during the school year. It is a point worth noting that in spite of the heavy programme of co-curricular activity our academic results are excellent and in the top range of schools anywhere in the country.
The school provides a pleasing learning environment with a spirit of sharing and caring and with close bonds between teachers and students. At Sringdales, education is looked upon as a holistic learning experience to help children to develop those attributes and qualities of heart, head and hand which will make them self-reliant individuals and fine human beings, socially aware, compassionate and kind, having pride in their country and belief in the concept of global citizenship, people who are ready to work as agencies of change for building a more socially just and equitable society.
The quest for excellence is not only in academics, but also in all aspects of school life. All students participate in a multi-dimensional curriculum.
The Academic Programme provides intellectual stimulation and curiosity, rational thought and maturity of mind. Students are taught the value and equality of all subjects, and encouraged to pursue a mix of the sciences and arts. Regular visits to museums, and film shows supplement classroom teaching.
Springdales is a strong believer in the value of Pre-School education and has built up a very attractive Nursery Department that caters for children from age three to five years. The school has adopted its own curriculum and methodology, whereby children learn hrough the play way method, with no formal instruction or text books.
Co-curricular activities encourage personality development and draw out creativity and talents, and provide opportunities for leadership and character building, with the idea of 'EVERY CHILD A PERSONALITY'. Literary, cultural and artistic competitions are held regularly, and the school participates in a wide variety of competitions and workshops held in the city. A variety of clubs operate within the school.
Computer education has made rapid strides and both the schools have impressive computer departments equipped with the best Pentium computers and computer peripherals. All students from class three upwards have computer
education as an integral part of the curriculum. The department has a team of professionally qualified teaching staff, and is in the process of providing training to all its subject teachers to become computer literate, so as to introduce computer-aided learning in all subjects.
Physical Culture at Springdales develops the spirit of sportsmanship, cooperation, team spirit and courage. The emphasis is on SPORTS FOR ALL with the slogan "DO YOUR BEST- WINNING IS NOT EVERYTHING." Sports facilities include basketball, football, tennis, basketball, athletics, table tennis, and special coaching for swimming, cricket, skating, gymnastics, karate and taekwando. The school organises an Annual Sports Meet and Swimming meet, and regular mountaineering and trekking expeditions.
The performing and visual arts develop the aesthetic senses and appreciation of our national and world heritage. Painting and Art History are offered upto the +2 level. Folk dancing and choral singing, drama and street plays are organised to provide opportunities for students to express their ideas, talent and creativity. No function is complete without the sets and d?r produced in the art rooms. Wall magazines on all sorts of subjects decorate the corridors of the school.
Socially Useful Productive Work
Socially useful productive work assures the learning of manual skills, appreciating the dignity of labour and the value of the working people, resulting in articles of utility and beauty. At the secondary level, the school offers a variety of choices like Interior Design, Batik, Tie and Dye, Theatre Craft, Sculpture, Photography, Commercial Art, Electronics and Tailoring as socially useful productive work. In the middle school activities vary from soap and candle making to gardening, bookbinding and repair of electrical gadgets.
Community Service and Social Work
Community service and social awareness programmes involve students' participation in linkages with the community. Literacy campaigns, and work in hospitals and slums, sensitise them to the life of the community around them, to the deprivations suffered by others, and the need to contribute to the building of a more egalitarian and socially just society, and for the eradication of illiteracy. Senior students visit hospitals, Institutes for Children with Special Needs and Institutes for the Blind. They become their amanuensis for their examinations and take them out on excursions. Students prepare plays on social issues, to bring about social consciousness, help as Teacher's aides in the Nursery classes, and help maintain the school premises. They also carry out various duties on a rota basis in the school, manning the reception, office and library. Students keep a record of their work, and are evaluated four times a year.
Value Education does not form a separate dimension of the curriculum but is integrally interwoven into the entire fabric of the curriculum. Stress is always laid on developing a self disciplined approach to life and work; to have a discriminating mind, the courage to tread new paths, and to follow the dictates of one's own conscience even if it means being different.
Besides English, which is the medium of education, a variety of languages are taught, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Spanish, French, German and Russian.