Creating the Infrastructure that Fosters Growth and Curiosity

Education is a process of exploration, seeking, questioning, and learning. Parents and teachers come together to create inspiring experiences in an environment of love, caring, and joy. Through these experiences, the child finds the confidence to try, discover, experiment, fail, reflect, and try again in a different manner.

For effective flowering and unfolding of the child’s potential, Klorofeel School has created an enabling infrastructure where teachers and students are empowered to teach and learn.

Klorofeel School is housed in an expanse of 22 acres that would allow students and teachers enough space to explore and experiment. While the classrooms are extremely attractive, they’d appreciate the world outside the classroom is as important for education – creating an ideal ambience for learning with Head, Hand, and Heart.

The size of the campus also implies both the school and the students have enough room to grow. Klorofeel will evolve into the education hub of the eastern region where students, teachers and leaders will congregate for discussions, workshops and competitions – resulting in disproportionate exposure and learning opportunities for Klorofeel’s students and teachers, giving them an enhanced edge over others.

Safe and Attractive

In the first phase of the school, we have two buildings. The first building has 17 rooms, nine in the ground floor and eight in the first floor. This building has 26,000 square feet of carpet area (34,000 square feet of built up area), classrooms are 678 square feet each, enough space for children even during restrictions of physical proximity.

The writing boards in each classroom are 18.4 feet in length and 7 feet in height, positioned such that the youngest student can write. Infrastructure sends the subliminal messages on the “why” and “how” of education. The airy, naturally lighted, spacious and colourful nature of our classrooms in alignment with the easy accessibility to writing on the blackboard together fulfil the intended need for the child and her curiosity, that are central to our infrastructural design.

The Classroom diagram above demonstrates that with a restricted re-opening of schools, our classrooms are designed for 15 children with recommended physical separation of 6 feet among students. This implies that with two classrooms for 30 children, Klorofeel can run a regular timetable with no compromise on students’ learning while being fully committed to their safety.

Education must build the sense of interconnectedness in society, and respect the concerns of students, parents, teachers, and school – and Klorofeel design addresses that. Such design thus not just meets needs of current Covid-19 crisis (demonstrating agility and social responsibility) but also carries the larger messages of interconnectedness, caring, inclusion and access as our children develop into responsible citizens.

Colours of Klorofeel

The sense of colours in our design, in the walls of our classrooms and corridors as well as floors, as also in our seating and writing spaces for our children are meant to attract our children to the Klorofeel learning environment – a place they’d love to come back to every morning, week after week. Being attractive to the children is the first step in their learning journey and the aligned design of our indoor spaces attempt to achieve that.

The Library is designed to be another attractive space. Children will come to the library to enjoy books, toys and tools, and borrow these as needed. Our Library will feature not just books but any toys, tools or instruments that may trigger their imagination and catalyse their learning processes. Promoting play and reading, debates, discussions and quizzes, will be among the critical facets of Klorofeel’s learning mission, with this environment as a key enabler.

Education is a collaborative effort and Klorofeel School is designed to enable learning from one’s peers. The three pictures in this page demonstrate the collective nature of this learning journey. These chairs are unlikely to be immediately useful just after post-Covid reopening but then education is a long journey, and all of these will accelerate the child’s learning processes when in just a few months’ proximity will no longer be a threat as it is now.

Designed for Curiosity

In progress is the Curiosity Centre, it will be ready well before the new session starts. The Curiosity Centre will have 65,000 square feet in three floors with space for laboratories, experiments, dance and music, debates, and quizzes. We will have an AV room with space for 100 children and adults, allowing us to be the hub for cultural, arts, competitive programs, learning, and education meets and sports competitions in the environment around us, not limited to children in our school. And of course, our students will get enriched from the exposure with a variety of talent.

The top of the Curiosity Centre is designed to house a telescope with which students will observe and explore the skies in the evenings in the appropriate seasons. Viewing the constellations and the planets, the moons of Jupiter or the rings of Saturn, will not just nurture their interest in astronomy but also set their imagination on the vastness of the universe, and trigger their curiosity and seeking.

As they grow into middle school they will also learn about lenses and mirrors, refractors, and Newtonian telescopes. They’d also learn about Copernicus and Galileo, and how, much before them, seers in our country were aware of our heliocentric existence.

Integrated with Technology

The campus and classrooms are WiFi enabled. Students and teachers have access to internet and digital media. Inside the classroom, teachers will use the blackboard, internet, digital media, peer discussions and quizzes as needed to enhance learning experience.

Use of computing and internet will also help the teacher to organize, track and analyse student progress and create individualised analysis and progress plans.

Our technology enabled Curiosity Centre facilitates a rich learning experience in the labs, library, clubs and AV room – combining experiments, practice and collaboration with access to digital media. Apart from enhancing the learning experience and effectiveness, our students will get adept in working with computers.

Beyond the buildings – Play, Plants and More

Our playscapes are planned. In the initial phases we begin with a football field, a skating rink, and two basketball courts. There will be a trampoline for the children to prance around, have fun, and relax. When the new session begins, we will have modern and attractive play areas for our Kindergarten students that will make their commute worth it. Our children will want to come to school every morning!

Two thousand plants, with rich biodiversity, will be part of the greenscape in the first phase. As the functional part of the campus increases, we plan for two thousand more. A shallow pond within the campus, while being safe, will expose the students to aquatic flora and fauna.

Children, organized in five-student groups, will take ownership for 100 square feet plots of different geometrical shapes, where they’d experiment with growing their own flowers or vegetables. The purpose is not limited by the thrill of growing your own vegetables or learning concepts of geometry. Children will have the freedom to decide what they will grow and how – and be able to compare progress of their “farm” versus their friends’. Thus, they will appreciate biology experientially, learning what enhances the growth of their plants and what inhibits. They will see for themselves how more care and rigour can achieve better results than those unwilling to go the distance. Children will be encouraged to explore with different approaches, observe progress objectively and refine methods based on past results – their own results and their peers’. Besides, they would also learn how to work in teams. Many of the 21st century skills and success factors will be activated through such exercises – collaboration, communication, persuasion, mutual respect, objectivity, planning, tracking progress, refining approach, creative thinking, as also openness to learning from experiences.

A Weather Station will expose children to measure weather parameters and connect with their physical environment of seasons, livelihood, socio-cultural and economic activities, flora, and fauna.

The Amphitheatre will provide an opportunity to stage open-air cultural activities and classes to break the monotony of classroom learning.

The farming, the debates and the quizzes, books, toys and tools in the library, the experiments, are not just out of classroom experiences that will inspire them in their learning journeys, but will also enhance their appreciation of what they learn within the colourful walls of the classroom. Experiences linger longer in our memories compared to text or passive listening, these will result in sustained retention of concepts they learn, within and outside. They will also discover insights outside their books, and enjoy creation of their own Eureka moments. Such insights and moments will lead them into the path of thinking, questioning, and inquiry. They will grow into curious young women and men who know how to discover the laws of nature on their own, not limited by the confines of the syllabus.

The Team that Designed it

To create the infrastructure that will catalyse the inspiration of a generation of children, Klorofeel finally selected Ace Group, architects from Bangalore, as the one to give form to our dreams. Ace Group has constructed 88 academic campuses in the country, and they are arguably the best designers in the country. They have given shape to Greenwood High, Indus International and Community Schools, TISB, Candor International, Redbridge International Academy in Bangalore, Dhruv School in Sangamner (Social Architecture of the Year, 2009), Dhruv Global Academy at Pune, JSS International at Ooty, and India International School at Jaipur (Ultratech ICI award “Unique Structure of Rajasthan”, 2008).

Dinesh Verma, the Principal Architect and Managing Director is a celebrated architect, an IIT Bombay Master of Design with 30 years’ experience. Vinay Chandra is our Project Director and Rajesh Narang the Associate Architect. They have been recognised with a variety of awards that includes the Construction Week Award (2019) for the Architectural Design of the Year (Greenwood High International School), Zak Awards (2017 and 2018) for Excellence in Façade Fenestration, BERG Singapore Award (2015) for Best Institutional Architecture, Architect of the Year award as long back as 2005, and lots more.

A school designed in harmony with Nature:

Klorofeel campus incorporates Nature into learning and the integrated approach of indoor classrooms with the Nature outside is a special feature.Curiosity development has been given emphasis in the planning. Apart from this physical development of the child, there are indoor and outdoor games, nutrition and food from a hygienically planned kitchen.

The school has furniture, flooring and teaching aids to international specifications.

The Team that Built it

Powerful concepts are created in the mind. One needs a competent team to decode our education principles and philosophy into a tangible reality. It was imperative we identify the most capable team to deliver the brick and mortar manifestation of our dreams. Klorofeel School, together with Dinesh Verma, our architect, zeroed in on the Tuscon Group to deliver. Over the last 48 years, Tuscon has created structures in multiple industries, including bridges over Narmada Canal connecting state highways, barrages for 126 MW Larji Hydro Electric Project at Kulu and underpass/overpasses on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. We selected Tuscon group, led by Rudra Narayan Choudhury, experienced Civil Engineer from the famed B.E. College at Shibpur, to take on the responsibility.

For every detail, we deliberated who is the most appropriate organisation to deliver, and very often we chose from the best in the country. While interior electricals were from Bangalore, we felt the external equipment is best done locally. Likewise, Gopal Krishnarao Nethani, Indian Army veteran who owned the construction responsibilities for Klorofeel School, liaised well with local vendors and supporters and selected local resources and suppliers whenever that was the most appropriate option. The interior designer came with his team from Bangalore, the windows fittings from Kolkata, the furniture from Madhya Pradesh and most of the tiles from Gujrat. Woven together, we have created a learning environment that will be aspirational for our children.

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