Set over 95 hectares in the serene countryside of north-eastern India, the Assam Valley School is a unique institution, which pledges that “education should be the biggest and best adventure in a child’s life”, according to its Head Of School, Sonya Ghandy Mehta. “We envision creating citizens beyond boundaries,” she says, “by building strength of character and preparedness of life.”
This residential school caters for boys and girls aged 10 to 19, and was founded in 1995 by the Williamson Magor Educational Trust, using profits from the tea trade. “The aim was to give back to the north-east region, and to create excellent schooling in the area,” says Ghandy Mehta. In its young life, the Assam Valley School has won numerous accolades. According to EW India School Rankings 2016, it is considered Eastern India’s number-one coed boarding school, and its ethos combines the region’s unique cultural heritage with an international scope, designed to nurture the next generations of “global citizens”.
“We look at the Indian curriculum in a whole new light, incorporating a lot of technology in the classrooms and active learning,” says Ghandy Mehta. “We try to make learning applicable to the students’ everyday lives. Our children also do a lot of collaborative learning, which has been really successful in all our classes. We look at the whole education, including the vital element of academic excellence. Although there is an admission process, we are also one of the few residential schools here that embrace children with learning difficulties. We have a special educator on board, to ensure that we are inclusive.”
The school’s grounds and stand-out facilities are key to that expansive approach; its sports facilities include a 25 m swimming pool, a multi-use gymnasium, and outdoor activities ranging from all-weather tennis courts to volleyball, international-standard basketball, squash and equestrian training.
“We have a very rich performing and visual arts and sports culture,” says Ghandy Mehta. “This region is creative by nature, with great traditions in music, arts and crafts. We can give our students scope to develop and explore their strengths.”
Such strengths are set to flourish further at Assam Valley School. “We ensure that our students are given a voice, including their place on representative councils,” adds Ghandy Mehta. “Our mission is to develop young people who make their mark on India and the world, as the talented and fearless yet humane and sensitive leaders of tomorrow.”