School is a structured environment where students make new friends and develop social skills that help them prepare for their future careers and personal lives. Boarding schools, especially, provide students with the unique opportunity for personal growth and independence. Peevees Public School under the strong leadership of Sreedevi Menon, the Principal, has set out to achieve this by preparing its students to be 21st century global citizens and to develop a strong sense of community entrepreneurship.
Mrs. Sreedevi Menon with 30 years of academic instruction experience has established her presence in the global scenario in 5 different countries with Peevees that envisions the inculcation of skills like communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation among its wards. Before stepping into the position as Principal, she worked as the Asst. Director Programs at Peevees group of schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With a history of 30 years and vast experience in the entrepreneurial sector, she has a well-structured training programme that helps students attain goals, fulfilling their dreams.
The School’s Forte
Since the Peevees School management team has diverse businesses like Shipping, Logistics, Medical systems, Mercedes Benz & Maruti Dealerships, Schools & Colleges and other social entrepreneurial establishments, The Bridgeway Leadership Academy, is another feather in their cap, handling day to day business, social issues and team empowerment initiatives aimed to build a knowing and growing environment for all involved. There is a perfect learning platform created in the name of Bridgeway Leadership Academy, which handles day to day business, social issues and team empowerment initiatives.
Mrs. Sreedevi holds the view that “women can withstand much pressure, mentally as well as psychologically” and that “women can manage better because of their genetic reasons”, when prompted to share how she faces problems in the education industry. Her strategies also stem from the overseas experience gathered from her roles as Assistant Director (Programmes) and School Director (Programmes & Innovation). She also self-identifies as a social entrepreneur, monitoring developments in the educational field, following latest trends to overcome any challenges or difficulty. As a result, she navigates through the gender equity concerns with profound aptitude and mature judgement.
Camaraderie Among Interpersonal Connections
Mrs. Sreedevi Menon embraces diverse backgrounds among both students and teachers building an international community within the premises. She facilitates accommodation for staff members in her residential setup at PEEVEES strengthening their competencies with a 70 hours training period. She also believes in the continuous empowerment program for teachers and conducts online training in a global scenario where they put forth their perspectives by interacting with people from various divisions. In addition to formal structured training, she ensures that they also have a conversational session – ‘An Evening Talk’, on topics or incidents from in and around schools and chart out solutions for it.
A family of career-oriented people have positively impacted and advanced her teaching and administrative experience. Her determined commitment to her school has consistently upheld the significance of an understanding family and feels grateful to have had a supportive mother in the early phase of her professional journey. Despite the geographical distance, Mrs. Sreedevi professes to be emotionally and mentally connected to her children and husband. They, as a family, ensure to stay linked whenever possible through video connectivity and also prioritising quality over quantity in time spent on holidays.
Infrastructure and an all Inclusive Learning Environment
Mrs. Sreedevi has specially designed the campus with all amenities and programs – swimming pool, football academy, martial arts training, rifle shooting, horse riding and a fantastic fine arts centre which runs film festivals every year, a mandatory event for all to enrol in by shooting films and applying for awards. As someone who does not believe in child assessment through entrance tests and so channels them in the paths of their choice taking them in as they are. And they are later assessed based on innovation, creativity and communication.
Under the care of a mentor who is referred to as the ‘Life Coach’, she takes measures to ensure that the students are motivated and kept engaged throughout the academic year. This coach acts as a foster parent in the school and as a one point source of communication to parents, usually a triangular conversation with the presence of the student making the inclusive education work well.
Overcoming the Pandemic
With the pandemic on the rise, Mrs. Sreedevi smoothly transitioned academic learning at PEEVEES to digital learning and online instruction. The revision of the evaluation process narrowed the learning process down to 3 criterions. The school during the pandemic focused on attendance and participation, enriching learning opportunities and well-being of students. The teachers planned and delivered distance learning provisions, monitoring and assessing learning. The emphasis was laid more towards leadership agility and contingency also maintaining resource and communicational engagement. In consideration with these guidelines, PEEVEES had formulated the complete evaluation of a student during the course of this period.
Initiatives for Parent Empowerment and Student Development
Peevees follows a novel system of Home-School Partnership for Life since it is a residential campus and believes that parent empowerment is equally important as teacher empowerment. “Our school has a strong alumni presence, where the students will be allotted an external coach from the alumni members to guide him toward the career goal. School is truly an alumni driven community”, exclaims Mrs. Sreedevi. Moreover, Mrs. Sreedevi resolutely shoulders the responsibility to train the life-coach more than teachers as they are the ones that fill in for the child’s parents and arranges for a special report to be sent each month from the life coach on the child’s overall activities which keeps their parents connected.
“Unfortunately, distance always plays a villian” shared Mrs. Sreedevi Menon, Principal, on a personal note. To overcome this hurdle, she has thoughtfully set up video conferencing on all Sundays that ensures children spend quality time with their parents. Also, a 7 course healthy meal as opposed to the 3 course meal system has been introduced to make certain that her wards get the right amount of nourishment.
Implementing Innovation and Technologies
Being a 3rd Generation Pioneer, PEEVEES has set up facilities like AI: Robotics and is into media, innovations and integrated projects training children from primary classes preparing them for their futuristic dreams. With such provisions made available, Mrs. Sreedevi Menon actively contributes to their formation and aids in designing their own programs. This, in turn when implemented, benefits the school community as a whole thus developing a positive climate for learning. In further conversation, she adds that their main focus for the next 3 years is to develop an entrepreneurial community in the school and that as a learning community, they intend to have students trained for the unknown challenges of the future making them financially independent with their innovations and creativity.