The month of November saw the students return to school after the Diwali holidays. The second term began with submission of the holiday homework that had been assigned to the students. Each Grade/Department had assigned homework based on the academic curriculum/activities for the students.
The school received very positive feedback about the experience of completing the holiday homework, from the parent of Siddhant, a student from the Hospitality and Catering department. The mother wrote to thank the school for giving the students an interesting project of making a dictionary related to culinary items and terminology. The mother described how Siddhant, during his holiday in the US, began the groundwork as a game with his 10-year-old cousin, to see who could suggest the maximum number of keywords related to food and culinary matters. This exercise was a great learning experience and helped Siddhant to learn many new things, as well as to clarify ideas he had already learnt before. Another skill that the project helped him to improve his writing skills and speed, and focus on alphabets that were difficult for him. He learnt about various ingredients and cooking methods and the special cuisines of various regions. Above all, the mother felt that it helped her to learn how to train her child.
The entire Vocational Section attended the Naval Symphonic Band Concert, a spectacular event organized as part of Navy Week - 2022, to showcase the versatility of the Indian Naval Band which has won accolades for their performances all over the world. The performance was organized on the morning of Thursday, November 10, at the Capt. M. N. Mulla Auditorium located in Navy Nagar, Colaba. The performers were renowned professional musician sailors of the Indian Navy. The students and staff members were mesmerized by the music and found it a truly enriching experience.
The Formative Years celebrated Children's Day on 14th November, with a series of fun games. The games organized for the children were selected in order to enhance their waiting for turns, as well as group participation. The games fostered a great deal of inter-class interaction and the teachers were pleased to see how well the students of different classes interacted with each other. The children thoroughly enjoyed the celebration, which embodied the true spirit of Children's Day.
An ex-student of S. P. J. Sadhana School, Shahnoor Riyaz Sayed received the Smt. Nandini P. Divatia Rural Rehabilitation Award for the Disabled for the year 2022, from the Rural Development & Management Institute, (RUDMI) Ahmedabad, on 3rd December 2022. The award comprised a cash award of Rs. 15,000, as well as a certificate. It was indeed very heartening to see one of our students being felicitated by this prestigious institute, and extremely satisfying to receive recognition of the training imparted by the S. P. J. Sadhana School.
The students of the Sacred Heart School, New York, visited the school on 5th December 2022. There were 11 students of the age group 15 to 17 years, accompanied by 3 staff members. The students were guided around the school, introduced to the various departments, activities and training programmes/therapies in the school. The visiting students and staff found this exposure to be a very enriching experience.
The IASE - International Association of special Education Team, represented by Ms. Iris Dower and Ms. Mary Gale, visited the school. The IASE Team has regularly helped and supported the school. This year they have provided equipment including:-
- Filing Cabinets for the students of the Office Procedures Class, to help train them in filing important documents and methods of storing in alphabetical order and retrieving files at short notice. This would provide experiential learning to train them to work in an office set up.
- NX Audio 12 Mixer for the Music System to enhance music therapy and to train students to speak in the presence of an audience on various occasions.
- Sports Equipment such as basketballs, hurdles for younger children, hoola hoops and agility ladders. This equipment was particularly necessary to re-train the students in sports and physical activities when they resumed physical school after the pandemic, with the goal of training them to participate in the Special Olympics.
The school is very grateful to the IASE Team for providing this help and support, which will enable our students to further develop their skills.
As a part of Anjali International Children's and Youth Festival 2022, Ms. Usha Venkatraman, Founder of Mumbai Storytellers Society and Festival Director of Gaatha Festival 2023, hosted a storytelling cum puppetry session at the school on 9th December. Ms. Venkatraman is organizing an International Storytelling Festival in February 2023, and has partnered with Dr. Sruti Mohapatra of Anjali International Children's and Youth Festival to create awareness about the Festival in Mumbai ADAPT Schools. On the occasion of the 20 years celebration, Swabhiman, the State Disability Information and Resource Centre, has partnered with Ms. Venkatraman to host the programme for children in Mumbai. The programme was very well received and proved to be an enriching learning experience for the students and staff of our school.
Adarsh Jain students of Visual Arts & Craft participated in and auditioned for WWAD-Walk with a Difference, India's first of its kind and biggest Fashion Pageant for the Differently Abled, on 12th November, 2022 at Science City Auditorium, Kolkata at the Heritage School. WWAD is a social initiative by AIMS Media to discover the hidden talents of persons with disabilities. S. P.J. Sadhana School received recognition for their contribution and participation in WWAD and was given a memento as a token of appreciation.
Yet another honour was received at the EW - Education World India School Rankings 2022-2023. S.P.J.Sadhana school won an award and was ranked 6th in India, 2nd in Maharashtra, and 2nd in Mumbai in the category of Special Needs Schools. It is indeed heartwarming to receive recognition for the efforts and hard work that go into the training provided by the school.
The School Exhibition was held on 16th December 2022. Through this annual event, the school showcases the abilities of the students of the Vocational Training Courses, including the Hospitality & Catering Department, the Office Procedures Course, the Visual Arts & Crafts Department and the Wood Art & Handicrafts Department. It is a reflection of the holistic and creative teaching and training that the truly dedicated teachers provide. For months the school has been buzzing with creative energy and enthusiasm, preparing for this day. After an introductory speech by one of the students, the Inauguration Ceremony began with the welcome speech by the Principal, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi, and the introduction of the Chief Guests, Mr. Adeesh Nahar and Mr. Amish Kothari of Rosentiques Fine Jewellery. This was followed by the lighting of the lamp and the inauguration of the exhibition by the Chief Guest.
Next the students of the Office Procedures Department presented a 2D animation created by them, entitled "Back to School". In creating this presentation, the students used a range of skills that have been taught to them, as part of a recently introduced course on Graphics and Animation, called the Ability Enhancement Multimedia Program (AEMP). The OPC Department has partnered with AIMS Media Delhi, to introduce this course, which has been developed by multimedia professionals in order to educate, enable and empower people with disabilities/diverse needs through multimedia art and technology based skill development programs, which eventually help to build sustainable and independent livelihoods. 6 students of the OPC Department were selected after passing an entrance test with flying colours, and are enrolled in this course. They are currently learning to use complex software like Adobe Illustrator, and 2D animation on a specialized Adobe Animate Program. Their presentation "Back to School" was very well received by the audience.
Next the Chief Guest, Mr. Nahar, released the school magazine Sadhana Times Volume XXVI, along with a digital version of the magazine. This was followed by the address of the Chief Guest to the gathering. The Chief Guest and other visitors were then escorted through the exhibition which comprised three zones.
The Food Zone on the 3rd floor presented items for sale prepared by the Hospitality & Catering Department, including sauces grounded masalas, ready to cook pastes and chutneys as well as food items such as...... Mumbai Masala Sandwich with Tomato Soup, Three different types of Corn, Palak Papri Chaat, Idli with Vermicelli and Coconut Chutney, Falafel Platter, Bhelpuri, Deserts and Beverages.
The Shopping Zone on the 4th floor had items prepared by the Vocational Departments, such as mugs, mouse pads, trays, resin coasters, hand painted napkins, spectacle chains, Table Mats and puppets and much more.
The Fun Zone on the 5th floor had a range of enjoyable and educational activities, including cognitive games such as Spin the Phonetic Wheel, Find the Word, Phonetic Games, etc. There was also a Photo Booth, sponsored by Rosentiques Fine Jewellery, which proved to be very popular. ‘Minute to Win it’ these games had an overwhelming crowd.
One of the highlights of the Fun Zone was a Puppet Show entitled "The Night before Christmas" by the teachers of the Formative Years and the Intermediate Level Classes. The puppet show depicted a story about children longing for Christmas gifts from Santa, with the deeper message of sharing love, which is the true meaning of Christmas.
The Exhibition received very positive responses and feedback from guests and visitors, and brought out the best talents of our students.
And after all the hard work that went into the Exhibition, it was time for Christmas fun. On 21st December, The Baker's Dozen, one of India's largest artisan bakery brands, collaborated with Sadhana School for a Secret Santa activity. They associated with the school to spread love and happiness among the students with their products. The students thoroughly enjoyed the Secret Santa celebration, and the day was filled with smiles and cheer.
The year ended with a fun-filled Christmas Party for all the students, teachers and staff, hosted by the Parent Teacher Association 2022-23. On 22nd December, they organized a rollicking, joyous afternoon of fun, Bubble Show and dance, followed by lunch and gifts from Dear Santa.
And so S. P.J. Sadhana School closed for the Christmas holidays, with students, teachers, staff and volunteers enjoying a well-deserved break to return rested and refreshed in the New Year.