The school programme is based on the values, traditions, and spiritual educational practices drawn from the ancient knowledge of Sanatana Dharma and Amma’s teachings. The design of the school curriculum is largely guided by
Amma’s existing Balakendra and Amrita Vidyalaya School programme.
The curriculum is designed in a modular format, and formal assessments are undertaken at the end of each module.
The AAAS programme involves four distinct modules and 6 levels of study that comprise content from all four modules. Please see Appendix or the full curriculum design.
Overview of Curriculum Design
The approach to curriculum design is based on providing students an understanding of spiritual principles and showing them how to bring these simple teachings into their daily lives through scriptural studies, workshops and related activities such as devotional singing and chanting, story-telling and cultural study of the meaning of festivals and Hindu mythology. There are four modular themes of study:
1) Sanskrit Linguistics – Sanskrit language is an Old Indo-Aryan language in which most Hindu scriptures have been documented in such as the Vedas. Students will learn basic Sanskrit.
2) Scriptural Studies – Understanding the basis of Sanatana Dharma and Hindu scriptures such as The Upanishads, Puranas, Vedas, the Mahabharata, and Ramayana. Students will learn prose and poetry. Mythology classes at AAAS will take the children to an interesting world of value-based narratives through stories, skits, and roleplay.
3) Vedic Chanting – Oral recitation of Vedic mantras has been the oldest tradition of passing over spiritual knowledge to generations of seekers. Chanting classes at AAAS will encompass learning of Vedic compositions like
Durga Suktham and Sri Suktham, Bhagavad Gita chanting, and the study of other scriptures like the Devi Mahatmyam, Bhaja Govindam and more.
4) Devotional music (vocal & instruments) – Amma herself sets an example of how forgetting oneself in singing Divine glory is a means to become one with the Divine itself. The classes are an opportunity for children to learn
many of Amma’s devotional bhajans and get involved in soulful singing.
Workshops and activities
Students can regularly participate in cultural and religious festivities and learn about their spiritual and cultural significance. The children will be encouraged to both enjoy and appreciate the purpose and deeper meaning and significance of such festivities.
Students will be guided in undertaking social projects and will gain opportunities to learn about the interconnections between the environment and mankind and undertake selfless service (also known as ‘seva’). At AAAS, this will mean an emphasis on the importance of conserving and respecting Mother Earth, respectful co-existence with nature and fellow humans, growing organic food, sustainable living and more.
“AAAS offers cultural, and spiritual teachings for children. My children enjoy attending the classes and activities. They look forward to learning Sanskrit language, devotional bhajans, and stories. The teachers at AAAS are very helpful with the various activities, performances, and educational needs of the children.” – Parent of AAAS students
At the completion of each module within a level of study, as well as successful completion of a given level of study (i.e. level1, 2, 3 etc), the students will receive certificates of completion and proficiency, and of participation where appropriate.
1) Assessments are undertaken based on a modular format
a) Modules I and II – Sanskrit linguistics and scriptural studies
1. In-Class regular Quizzes
2. Term-end written tests
3. Term projects – Individual and team
b) Modules III and IV – Vedic chanting and devotional music
1. Oral recitation/singing tests.
2. Weekly Quizzes
2) Assessment difficulty will also vary based on cohort groups.
a) Pre-Junior: Participation and activity-based assessments.
b) Junior to senior: Skill-based assessments (oral, written and project work).
All students who pass the assessment of a given module, or a level of study, receive a certificate of completion. Where appropriate, a certificate of participation is given.
Certificates will specify the type of module and level of study. Some examples include:
- ‘AA…has successfully completed Beginner level in Scriptural studies at AAAS’.
- ‘AB…has successfully completed the Intermediate level of study in Devotional music at AAAS’.
- ‘AC…has successfully completed the Advanced level of study in Sanskrit linguistics at AAAS’.
Students will be distinguished by four cohorts, classified under age groups as shown in Table 1. Further, the six levels of study is presented in Table 2.
Table I. Student cohorts by age group
I – Pre-Junior 4-7 years
II – Junior 8-11 years
III – Senior 12-15 years
IV – Intern 16-17 years
Table II. Student study levels
Level 1 – Beginner
Level 2 – Elementary
Level 3 – Pre-intermediate
Level 4 – Intermediate
Level 5 – Pre-advanced
Level 6 – Advanced
- At AAAS, each level constitutes a 2-year programme (Year I, Year II)
- Successful completion of a Year and level of study is certified for each module.
- A total of 6 levels of learnings are offered.
AAAS graduates are offered an internship opportunity, where they can exercise their capacity to share knowledge, provide teaching assistance and thereby sharpen their skills.
- Formal classes
- At AAAS, classes are conducted twice a week (Saturdays and Sundays). The main classes (such as Scriptural and Sanskrit Linguistics classes) will run on Saturdays, followed by classes for pre-junior and practice sessions on Sundays.
- There are 4 terms and each term on average runs over 10 weeks
- Events, activities, and workshops
- School events and activities such as celebrating festivals, development of plays and other activities e.g. school retreats are also held on festival days and school holidays. Training and Practice sessions will be held on week-days as necessary.