St. John’s High School: Exploring and Embedding Overall Social and Academic Development of Students
St. John’s High School
St. John’s High School

Every popular city in India has a few schools that have a special place in the hearts of both students and parents for the effectiveness it provides in the overall development of the youngsters. Those schools are often not new but have been established a long time ago. Since their inception, such schools have been making constant progress in their academic eco-system and other facilities that they provide.

One such school located in Chandigarh; the capital city of Punjab is St. John’s High School. It was established in 1959 by the Capital Project, and the Christian Brothers were invited to take charge of the school. The school opened on February 1, 1960, with its first batch consisting of 41 students.

Today, St. John’s High School provides more than just formal education from Kinder Garten to Class 12. Before switching to CBSE in 1993, the school was affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. The first batch to appear for the ISC examinations was in December 1963.

Mrs Kavita Chatterjee Das took charge of the school as Principal in April 2007. Under her able guidance, the school has improved its ranking and made a place for itself among the top schools in India. Under her supervision, CCE was introduced, and later the school went on to become a Senior Secondary School. As of today, the school is responsible for educating over 2000 students at a time, which is a huge achievement considering its first batch had only 41 students in the year 1961.

The Perfect Infrastructure

The best part about St. John’s High School’s infrastructure is that it is 100 % solar-energised. The school is spread over an area of 30 acres with the perfect infrastructure for the overall growth of its students. The campus houses three major academic buildings, namely – the Junior Wing for Primary students, the Middle Wind for Upper Primary students and the Senior Wing for High School students.

For students to get an actual laboratory experience, the schools also built various labs for Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer, Mathematics. A Special lab for Multi-Skill Foundation Course and a Geology Museum is also present to help students explore different vocational fields. This provides the young, growing minds with a perfect space to grow and be practically ready for the future, even before pursuing higher education.

Apart from the classrooms and labs, St. John’s High School has also provided its students with excellent sports facilities on its campus such as an International Standard Skating rink, Pistol Range, Science Park, Open Gymnasium, Indoor Gymnasium, Adventure Park, two Basketball Courts, two Cricket Fields, three Football Fields, Squash Courts, a Hockey Field, two Lawn Tennis Courts, a Volleyball court and a Kho-Kho area for the overall growth of its student.

Value-Based Vision and Mission

The school has embedded four core values as its foundation, and those values act as a stepping stone for the school’s vision and mission. Also known as the four cornerstones of St. John’s, the school’s core values are Spirituality, Inclusion, Justice and Advocacy, and Compassion.

The school is on a mission with a vision task to bring out the best in every individual, along with helping them in recognising their dignity. The school aims to form a community of students, teachers, parents, management, and other staff, living by the precepts and teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Prioritising RTE- Right to Education

St. John’s is relentlessly working towards the holistic development of children. It has created an environment on its campus that stimulates and encourages students to develop important life skills like critical thinking. The school has planned its education policies based on the National Education Policy introduced in 2020. However, the school had already embedded a majority of the policies in its eco-system, like Sustainable Development Goals, even before the introduction of the NEP.

The school is generating a lot of educational material for children to enhance their Critical and Creative Thinking and reasoning based skills in the languages, Sciences and Mathematics.

St. John’s High School believes in providing education to every student. That is why for the last 25 years, the school has been actively incorporating Indradhanush Children—children under the Economically Disadvantaged Group (EDG)—as equal shareholders in the school, which allows them to enjoy all the rights and privileges as a member of St. John’s family.

The schools have also started a Foster Parent Programme, a unique initiative that helps establish a good rapport between teachers and students. Under this program, every teacher adopts three EDG students as their children in school and looks after their overall performance.

An Ingenious Leader

“I see children as a blank canvas; unique beings, ready to explore the different facets of the world. I, as a teacher, have merely mediated in the learning process of my children as a facilitator, and helped them to explore the unbound potential hidden in each one of them so that they are able to paint the canvas of their lives thoughtfully and ultimately reach a level of self-actualization,” says Mrs Kavita Chatterjee Das.

Being the Principal of the school, she is responsible for taking St. John’s High School to new heights. Shedding some light on her teaching style, she says, “The purpose of my existence is rooted in my spiritual journey of teaching and learning. I believe a teacher is a facilitator who nurtures the talents and inherent skills of the children by providing them with the right kind of environment. I draw from the educational philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore”.

Sowing the Seed of Values in Budding Minds

St. John’s High School organises activities like Unique May Day Celebrations, Class Canteens, and community involvement activities. Every class from KG to 12th is associated with one organisation that helps in the growth of the community. E.g. Class 1 will be associated with an animal adoption program, whereas Class 10 will collaborate with GRIID (Government Rehabilitation Institute for the Intelectually Disabled) and Class 12 with the Transgender community, to make society a better place.

Apart from that, despite being an all-boys school, St. John’s High School was one of the first schools to support the cause of girl children. In fact, the theme when celebrating the school’s golden jubilee was ‘Empower the Girl Child’.

The school arranges activities throughout the year like club activities, Just Fair – a free fair organised for special guests and students from NGOs, A Fistful of Rice – donating food for the needy, Sports Academies, an Annual Athletic Meet, SJOBA Debates, etc.

Once a Johnian, Always a Johnian

St. John High School prepares its students for a bright future, and the students’ relation with the school stays intact even after they pass out from the school. The school prepares its pupils for the future by adding industry experience to its curriculum. Special guest lectures, field trips, mentoring programs, internships, and vocational training are arranged for the students so that they can get real-time experience to help them get an edge over the competition in the future.

For the last 25 years (well before the RTE was even conceived), the school has been actively incorporating EDG Children, as they are very much a part of the school and are given every right and privilege they deserve as members of the St. John’s family.

Notable Achievements

  • 1st prize in SWACHH SCHOOL under SWACHH SURVEKSHAN 2022.
  • Ranked among the top 10 overall national schools by KVSInfo.
  • Solar School Award by the UT administration’s Technology Promotion Society (2021).
  • TOP 3 Best CBSE schools in Chandigarh by the ThreeBestRated organisation (2021).
  • Recognized and awarded as an Earth Day school, ONE of the six in the country by (2020-21).
  • Ranked no. 1 in India by the Education World School Rankings in 2020.
  • Award of Appreciation from the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights for the KINDNESS TREE for being a child-friendly initiative.
  • John’s was declared the top school in India in the Boys Day school category by the Education World Rankings 2020.
  • Ranked 2nd in the country under the Boys Day School category by the EW India School Rankings for three consecutive years (2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20).
  • John’s bagged the TOP School award (2nd in India, 1st in Punjab and Chandigarh) presented by the Education World India School Rankings, 2019-20.
  • John’s was awarded a Platinum rating under the School Health Accreditation Project of the Education Department, Deptt. of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER Chandigarh.

Frontline Warriors in Educational Sector During COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the most devastating effects of COVID-19 was on the education space across the world. The closing of schools and colleges worldwide restricted the development and growth of young minds. However, the St. John’s high school courageously took this opportunity to grow and become the frontline warriers in the education space. It ensured that even the EWS children were able to join the Online classes thanks to its alumni who gifted the school with enough mobiles to ensure that every child could attend class online.

Launching various programs like उत्थान, जागरूकता, आशीर्वाद, आनंद, संग्रह, that focused on spreading awareness through various mediums, providing rations to the needy and helping people who hadlost their jobs during the pandemic with placements. The school initiated a program with teachers and students to spread happiness by reaching out and taking care of the senior citizens and others.

A Multi-Skill Foundation Course was launched for children on online and offline platforms, which focused on developing essential life skills like learning, carpentry, cooking, etc. On the eve of Christmas, the students donate food grains to the needy under the traditional Johnians program, A Fist Full of Rice.

Continuing the Miracle Saga

‘2021 has been a year of never-ending miracles,’ said the principal, scanning the year and looking forward to the future of the school. ‘An extraordinary year with the steepest learning curve I have ever seen! We leapfrogged from reluctant traditionalists dragging our feet, straight into a set of professionally competent, digital avant gardes’ added Mrs Kavita Chatterjee Das.

Being a teacher and principal, she emphasised learning by saying, ‘We learnt that the human spirit is indomitable and that we are better than we think we are. We learnt that “impossible” is just a word. And, most of all, we learnt that compassion, kindness, and sacrifice are written into our very DNA’.

With these words, she focuses on continuing the miracle saga that started in 2021.

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