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Avanti – A Growing Family of Schools

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 30, 2015

The motto of the Krishna Avanti Schools.

The work of Avanti Schools Trust began in 2005 with the objective of establishing the first state-funded Hindu faith school in the UK. This pioneering project came to fruition in 2008 with the opening of Krishna Avanti Primary School in Harrow. Since then, this landmark school has deservedly benefited from national and international recognition as it journeys from strength to strength. The trust now operates five schools in Greater London, one in Leicester, and is currently awaiting the approval to open two more. 

From the very beginning, the Avanti ethos has been inspired by the example and teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Today, the Trust’s family of schools remain committed to the same ideals that Krishna Avanti strives for: educational excellence, character formation and spiritual insight. Guided by a clear set of values, yet open to pupils of all backgrounds, Avanti schools are dedicated to providing education of the very highest quality – for the all-round development of the child, so that she or he will take their place in society as confident, thoughtful and skilled citizens, aware of their own needs and those of others

The Krishna Avanti Primary School, Harrow

Offering the Vaishnava perspective

Alongside teaching the full national curriculum, Avanti are unique in offering practical, 21st century spirituality, in line with Vaishnava teachings. Class meditations, values-led lessons and yoga encourage reflection and are proven to aid a child’s learning and sense of well being. This particular aspect of the school’s offering is delivered via a bespoke curriculum subject called ‘Philosophy, Religion & Ethics’.

Academically, lessons comprise learning from and about different faiths, alternative belief systems and philosophic theories and approaches to asking and answering the ‘big’ questions in life. Whilst rooted in the Chaitanya tradition, the intention is to learn comparatively, so that there is dialogue about the similarities and differences across different faiths and other world-views, including humanist, naturalist and atheist.

Students at the Krishna Avanti Primary School, Harrow

Teaching in an Avanti school

The Trust is currently building a team of educators to assist in the development and teaching of curriculum materials for the course. A number of full and part time positions exist in Harrow, Redbridge, Croydon and Leicester – all offering a competitive salary and negotiable start dates. 

A distinct character and atmosphere pervades each Avanti school – something that is always commented upon, whether by members of the public or school inspectors. The behaviour of students is acknowledged by Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills – a non-ministerial department of the UK government) within all of the Avanti schools to be “outstanding”, which makes teaching all the more rewarding. Healthy vegetarian school lunches are compulsory and enjoyed by both students and staff. This undoubtedly contributes to the already calm atmosphere, as do the school deities, worshipped each morning as a regular part of school life and culture.

Anyone wishing to share their love of Vaishnava theology and practice with young people is invited to contact Avanti Schools Trust. The organisation is convinced that while progressing on ones own journey of self-discovery, teaching at an Avanti school is the perfect way to help others begin their journey too. 

Full details of the various opportunities on offer can be found here: www.avanti.org.uk/careers

A recent magazine article reviewing the PRE curriculum (as practiced in an Avanti school in London) can be viewed here: http://issuu.com/avanti-schools-trust/docs/avanti-life-2015-16-autumn-edition

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The motto of the Krishna Avanti Schools.

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