India Schools : Ashok Hall Girls’ Residential School, Almora
Ashok Hall Girls’ Residential School was founded by Mr B K Birla and Dr Mrs Sarala Birla on June 6, 1993 to provide an excellent all-round education for each individual in its care. In a short period of time, the school has won recognition as one of the premier institutions of the country. It is also the first Indian school to be awarded with the ISO-9002.
The school is spread over 25 acres of undulating countryside at an altitude of 6500 feet in the quiet serenity of the lower Himalayas. The school campus comprises a modern school building, residential accommodation for students and staff, games fields, a sprawling vegetable farm, a bakery, a golf course, a riding school, a school tuck shop and a well equipped school infirmary. There are four boarding houses for the girls and separate residential facilities for the staff.
Residential areas of both students and staff have been designed to satisfy individual and collective needs. The large and airy dormitories are constructed to offer the maximum of light and space, as well as privacy. Each child has a small semi-screened niche adjoining her bed which she can personalise and call her
own. Bathrooms are modern with running hot and cold water. Large, cheerful common rooms provide ideal spaces for students to relax, watch television, listen to music, play indoor games or merely be with one another.
The dining room has pride of place in the campus. A wide open hall, lined with windows and softly lit in golden and green hues by skylights, it is situated on the northern edge of the grounds. Children have their meals under the gaze of the majestic Trishul range of the Himalayas. With its modern kitchen and bakery, a high standard of cuisine is maintained. Vegetarian meals, including eggs, are provided. Menus are prepared with the guidance of trained nutritionists in Calcutta and all the dishes are tempting and well-balanced. Care is taken to ensure that special dietary requirements are also covered. The children are also free to give suggestions and are involved in the formulating of the weekly menus.
Classrooms are airy, well-lit and spacious. Specially designed, modern, ergonomic and attractive furniture is provided in the classrooms. An extensive library has been painstakingly put together and boasts of a wide collection of books, educational films and music. The science laboratories are up-to-date, equipped with audiovisual teaching aids, learning kits and the best apparatus for conducting experiments. An infirmary with modern facilities and 12 beds has been constructed in the school campus.
With maximum of 35 students in each class, the student strength is about 600.
The school is affiliated to the Indian Council of Secondary Examination and offers education between classes IV to XII.
Fees are to be paid in two installments in the course of the year. A fine will be levied for the late submission of fees. Parents are requested to ensure that fees are paid within the stipulated period otherwise, readmission fee will be charged. The children are allowed a nominal sum as pocket money for the entire semester. This money is deposited with the House Mistress and once a month each child is allowed to buy anything of her choice from what the ‘tuck shop’ offers, as long as it is within the monthly allowance.
Registration for admission opens in January. Submission of the registration form however does not guarantee admission. Applicants will be required to appear for an admission test. The date will be intimated at the time of registration and the venue may be either Calcutta, Majkhali, Delhi or Mumbai. Parents are free to choose any of these centres. Selected candidates must produce Transfer Certificates from the school last attended at the time of admission. Admissions start from Class IV, in other classes it is subject to vacancies.
The academic year commences from the first week of February for Classes VIII to X and Board candidates and concludes in the third week of December. For Classes IV to VII, the academic session commences from April and concludes in the middle of December.
Streams offered for Classes XI - XII
Science: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology / Economics /Computer Science
Commerce: Commerce, Accountancy, Mathematics / Geography, Economics / Computer Science.
The medium of instruction is English and the students are required to study three languages: English, Hindi or Bengali and Sanskrit. Computer education forms an intrinsic part of the curriculum. Students are given hands-on training on personal computers. The students are evaluated through assessment of class work and term examination. Promotions, at the end of the year are based on the aggregate performance of the student throughout the year. Students of classes IV and V are evaluated by a process of continuous assessment while those in senior classes are assessed on the basis of their midterm and final examinations.
With many acres of grounds, the school offers excellent and constantly expanding sports facilities to its students. Each pupil takes part in the sporting activities organised under the supervision of trained sports instructors.
The academic year is divided into different seasons for various outdoor games. The students play tennis, throwball, volleyball, basketball and kho kho. Horse-riding, cycling, roller-skating and tae kwando, martial art, constitute a few of the other outdoor sporting activities.
Besides regular athletics, the students also have access to a state-of-the-art gym machine where they are guided through various exercises. Table tennis, chess and scrabble are some of the indoor games that the girls enjoy. The day starts with compulsory calisthenics and jogging. After school, the children are allowed to spend a couple of hours in the pursuit of games they enjoy. Nature walks, hikes, treks and mountain climbing also form a part of the curriculum. These are usually dependent on the weather.
Extra Curricular Activities
At the Ashok Hall Girls’ Residential School, students have a wide variety of co-curricular pursuits to choose from. Their days are carefully structured to ensure that every hour is fruitfully spent. The opportunities to discover their individual talents and develop their capabilities are unlimited.
The school encourages a great deal of musical activity with each student being given classes on Indian and Western orchestral and keyboard instruments, besides singing. Traditional Indian dance classes are held regularly. Students are also given ample exposure to dramatics.
Elocution, debates, art and painting, and needlework, are some of the other subjects the student can choose from. Literary and Science Clubs, NCC, Guides and Community Service programmes besides inter-school competitions are also organised.
The school provides a diverse range of activities for its students, in the belief that the health and development of the physical body lends to the development of a healthy mind.