GEORGE ABBOT SCHOOL
MAHARAJA SAWAI MAN SINGH VIDYALAYA
George Abbot School and Boxgrove Primary School
were awarded the British Council International School
Award in September 2003. We were then linked with
Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya (MSMSV) in
Jaipur by the British Council in December 2003. We
were asked to act as mentor schools for MSMSV as part
of initiative to launch the British Council International
School Award in India.
MSMSV was one of seventeen selected schools in India.
These will be the first schools outside the UK to apply for
the International School Award as part of the newly
George Abbot and MSMSV launched elearning projects in 2004 in RE,
Geography and also began work on other subjects such as French, History and
Sport topics. George Abbot launched a Creative and Expressive Arts course in
Drama, Dance, Music, Art and Textiles on the theme of India in September
2004 with the help of ‘Trishul Dance’
Year 7 Creative and Expressive Arts course
‘India’ – Dance and Textiles
In January 2005 MSMSV Headteacher Neera Mathur and
International Coordinator Ritu Sharma visited George
Abbot and Boxgrove Schools
Picture below – Mr Moloney, Ritu Sharma, GAS governor Mr Owen and Neera Mathur
Neera Mathur helps with a Drama lesson on the Mahabharata as part
of the year 7 Creative and Expressive Arts ‘India’ course
Neera Mathur with Mr Moloney in Year 7 Assembly
Neera Mathur and Ritu Sharma with George Abbot Students in the
school library and meeting year 13 student Francesca Freeman for an
interview for the George Abbot International Newspaper
In February 2005 five George Abbot staff and four Boxgrove staff visited
MSMSV in Jaipur. Eight teachers were funded by TIPD. SEMLAC and CILIP
and the British Council contributed funds for the additional place for George
Abbot’s Head of Information Centre to join the trip
Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya (MSMSV) opened in 1984, it
was started by the Sawai Ram Singh Shilpa Mandir Society, a trust
set up by the Late Highness Maharaja Sawai Man Singh.
It is an English Medium Co-educational Senior Secondary School
affiliated to the Central Board of Education in New Delhi.
The school has approximately fifteen hundred students aged from
three and a half to seventeen years of age.
Staff saw a variety of lessons during their visit and had the opportunity to talk to
staff about the curriculum and school management. George Abbot and
Boxgrove staff were impressed by the high standard of teaching and innovative
projects taking place at MSMSV
Conservation is an important theme at MSMSV, this links to a number
of lessons. It is an increasingly important theme in India and it is of
considerable international importance. Students have not only
designed, but put into practice several innovative conservation
Water conservation schemes had been put into practice.
There were schemes to enhance the frequent
recycling of soil.
Fabric remnants are recycled to make paper. Hand made paper is then
used by students to make folders and bags. The use of polythene bags
is not allowed in school
Visiting staff were given a demonstration of paper making
and asked to take part!
Students were keen to talk about their projects and
explained their work to visiting staff
Staff were visited a number of lessons, in this lesson students were
working in groups on an article for a newspaper
MSMSV students are outgoing and ready for
MSMSV students have been working with George Abbot
students using the Digitalbrain facility on the George Abbot
More traditional methods of teaching are also evident, in this lesson
students recap on the previous lesson’s theory on hydrocarbons in
Visitors were shown textiles lessons using traditional Indian wooden
blocks for printing, and students also had ‘hands on’ experience in
construction in wood
MSMSV students have a varied curriculum and
take an active interest in current affairs, they
are encouraged to express their own ideas,
support one another, work as a team and take
on many responsibilities.
There was one initiative that particularly
impressed visiting staff and we would like to
support this project.
MSMSV has a commitment to support a village
school on the outskirts of Jaipur.
Lalitya Kumari Bal Niketan
The village school at Jaggo ki Bawri
• The Jaggo ki Bawri village school Lalitya Kumari Bal Niketan has 320
students and offers classes up to the equivalent of GCSE level, but with few
facilities and teachers life is very different. There are many talented students
at Jagaonki Bawadi but they have few of the advantages that students have
at MSMSV in Jaipur or those of George Abbot and Boxgrove in Guildford.
• Life here, as in many villages in India, has hardly changed for hundreds of
• The village school was started in the 1980’s by MSMSV’s chair of
governors, Her Highness Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur. Until recently girls
did not have the opportunity to continue education beyond the age of ten but
now boys and girls learn together up to the age of about fifteen. MSMSV
students teach at the school as part of their citizenship programme. The
girls have played a particularly important part in setting an example and
raising expectations for girls in the village who would previously have had no
opportunities other than an arranged marriage at a young age.
Visiting staff from the George Abbot and Boxgrove were welcomed by
students at Jagaonki Bawadi singing and dancing
George Abbot and Boxgrove staff are invited to join in the
Jagaonki Bawadi does have some computers, although these are not
connected to the internet. Boys may leave the village to look for jobs,
but girls are still expected to stay in the village.
MSMSV has equipped a workshop with sewing machines so that the
girls and the women of the village can learn to produce and sell textiles.
MSMSV would like to equip Jagaonki
Bawadi with further opportunities such as
a weaving workshop and gem cutting
facilities, but there are no funds to do
George Abbot staff met almost all the students at Jagaonki Bawadi, but
particular greetings were given to the youngest students in the form of
pencils to represent the importance of education. We hope to work with
MSMSV to support them and provide a few more opportunities in the
This little village school offers a real opportunity for its students. Life in
the village has not changed for hundreds of years.
However in recent years there have been
serious problems with the water supply, water
shortages are becoming an increasingly serious
issue in India and in Rajasthan in particular.
This stepped well used to supply the water for the village,
but it has dried up.
There is another well in the village but this too has dried up. There are
government water deliveries to the tank (below right). This is for the
whole village. There is enough water for approximately one and a half
litres per person, every other day.
The only other general water supply now is the village pump. Supplies
are very limited indeed. The water table is dropping so although there
is rain after the monsoon season, the supply of water is very low at
other times of the year and is in danger of running out.
Water is carried home, cooking is done using traditional
There is not enough water to use for washing up so this has to be done
by rubbing sand into the pots and pans to clean them.