Hyperbole or false analogy - perhaps, but let this rest as an introduction to a fantastic school and some great school leadership. To try to capture all of the impressive elements of learning I witnessed at the school would be a tall order - but the video to the right imperfectly highlights some of them. It shows a short chunk of a longer discussion, initiated by Shriti (Grade III)'s question: in early river civilisations, how and why did the first markets spring up?
Among the notable points, to me, were the teacher's response - to take up the question, invite student response and then tell Shriti - who was disappointed with the lack of focus of the responses on her questions: 'Ask, ask, it's your class!' It's also worth pointing out the high level of conversational English being employed in the discussion.
The school's performance metrics are good - but Rahul said he was worrying less and less about that - and focussing on values. He was also unconcerned about the school's 'shortcomings' in those metrics - saying that the school knows where the gaps are in students' learning, and knows how they will fill them. It was obvious that the school's culture was one of continual improvement and change towards this, as he unfolded the series of changes they had made in initiating self-study time, in response to a need they had noted to develop student skill in working individually.
After only two years as a head, Rahul is going on to face new challenges at a school three times larger in Pune - but he is confident that the school will be fine without him. He explicitly answered one of my favourite leadership questions upfront: 'If I walked under a bus I am quite sure the school would continue fine without me' - a statement achieved through the trust Rahul has shown to his teachers and the work he has done to offer them leadership of the school. It is testament to his leadership that - despite his leaving the school, it's future can seem so assured.