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Dr Graham’s Homes today

The “Children’s City” in the hills is now more than 100 years old

 

Dr Graham’s Homes is quite unlike any other school

On a hillside in Kalimpong, a unique cosmopolitan town where India meets Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan and Tibet is on the horizon, spread over 500 acres is the day and boarding school of Dr. Graham’s Homes accommodating around 1500 students. The very youngest are only three years old and have been plucked from the streets of Calcutta to begin a new life in the Lucia King kindergarten. At any one time there will be 250 such children supported by our committee progressing through a cottage system started by Dr Graham more than 100 years ago. After school, they will be given the opportunity to attend college and lead a fulfilling life.

 

The Cottage system of Boarding

dgh2bThe Cottage System of boarding is unique and quite unlike other residential schools. There are seven Cottages for girls and ten Cottages for boys, along with two Hostels for the senior students. Each housing 35-45 students, the Cottages are a home away from home – children refer to the Cottage staff as ‘Aunty and Uncle’, and are encouraged to help with chores just as they would do at home. Our sponsored children are housed in these cottages where we strive to make their lives indistinguishable from the fee-paying students.

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Life

dgh3bThe Homes is recognised by the Indian government as a Christian establishment with a focus on, but not exclusively so, of Anglo-Indian children. The school is independent and receives its income from school fees and the sponsorship money we, and others like us, send. Our committee is proud of the infrastructure work we continually fund ensuring standards remain high.

Children are prepared for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, and at Grade 9 choose to follow a curriculum based on a choice of Science, Commerce or the Humanities. The teaching medium is English, but many local languages are taught including Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, Tibetan, Dzongkha, Khasi, Mizo and Thai. There is also a place for less academic subjects such as Home Science and Technical Studies.

 

Inter cottage competition

dgh4bThe highlights of student activities at the Homes are the wide variety of inter-cottage competitions ranging from gardening, singing and drama competitions to swimming, football, cricket, basketball, badminton and table-tennis tournaments as well as athletics and cross-country races. Children are encouraged to take an active role and participate in social work through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

 

The School Choir

dgh5Music has always been a special strength of the School. The Choir performs each Christmas at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta and at other venues. The “Children’s City in Concert” is a much looked forward to event in Calcutta’s social calendar.

In 2007, the Choir was invited to tour the U.K. and received rave reviews. A group of Homes’ violinists visited Japan in January 2006 at the invitation of the Japan Committee to play alongside children of the Miyazaki Junior Orchestra.

 

A Caring approach

Our sponsored children are offered an education in a Christian caring environment. The school chaplain conducts regular services and we employ a local sponsorship secretary to mentor our children.

 

Dr Graham’s Vision

Dr Graham’s vision has stood the test of time. The boys and girls of the “Children’s City” are still set apart by the unique practices of Cottage life instituted by Dr Graham so many years ago.