BIS is a parent co-operative which firmly believes that education is a combined effort of teachers and parents. Parent participation is sought in all the non-academic areas of running the school, and parents must have the will and inclination to contribute to the school. Co-operation between parents and teachers is the key factor and determines the degree to which the educational approach of the school would be effective. To this end, parents contribute time and effort in various areas of school functioning and become part of Committees that work for specific purposes.
The Sports Committee’s primary role is to assist the school’s Physical Education(PE) Instructors in fulfilling their goals. It also acts as the channel of between the parents and school as recommendations from the parent body are communicated to the school with regards to all activities connected to Sports. The Committee works with the school PE instructors to help prepare the School’s inter-house sports calendar, in order to synchronise it as much as possible with the MSSA (Maharashtra State Sports Association). The Committee also works to liaise with clubs or other viable venues for tie-ups with the school to hold inter-house events for sports that are held annually outside the School premises like Swimming, Athletics, Badminton, Squash and Tennis. Members also assist PE Instructors with inter-house events that are held on the School premises. There is continuous monitoring and review of all external resources currently being availed of by the school to ensure, that terms of service, facilities, communications, collection of forms, payments are streamlined as well as feedback and/or concerns, if any, are addressed.
The Committee invites or responds to new external resources for sports not already being offered through the School such as Badminton, Athletics, Cricket, Swimming, etc. and evaluates the same.
The BIS Library is a vibrant, vital part of our school. Stop by any day and you will find a happy bustle—some students browsing, others reading or studying and other activities in progress. This wonderland of information and imagination was set up in 1963 by a few BIS founder members like Gladys Kothawala, a professional librarian from the University of Illinois, Rohini Oomman and Padma Khara. Their aim was to build an open-access library – one of the first such school libraries in the city –where children could pull out and choose books for both pleasure and academic purposes. The BIS Library never believed in keeping books locked away and inaccessible in a cupboard.
The BIS Library prides itself on the wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books in English, Hindi, Marathi, Spanish and German. It has a variety of resources – everything from maps, charts on various topics and CDs, to the academic ICSE, IGCSE, and IB review books. There are two school librarians as well as a teacher-librarian who ensure the smooth functioning of the Library and its activities. Assisting them is an involved parent-run Library Committee, who conduct readings and activities for children and help with the administration and housekeeping areas of this space.
Every week, each class visits the library to choose books. If a theme is in progress, the students are encouraged to borrow books pertaining to that, and so to broaden the scope of their reading. These themes range from Folklore to Mystery, from Sci-Fi to Humour, from the Classics to the new age of contemporary Indian writers. The “library mothers” make theme-based charts and plan activities. So, for example, students may be asked to compare folktales from different regions, or to create their own fantasy villain.
Every year, the Library Committee holds a book fair where vendors (Scholastic, Media Star and Creative Learning to name a few) bring new and exciting titles. This allows students, teachers and parents to get acquainted with the best new books and authors in the market. Each year, guest speakers are invited to address parents, students and teachers on various topics related to reading. The students are also an important part of the Book Fair, and the IT and Business Studies students design a website, questionnaire and lottery to create awareness. Others design charts during art class.
The librarians, library moms, teachers and the Principal all work together to select new books for the library during the Book Fair, and we also receive donations from students and parents throughout the year. Whether you are looking for a fun space for students to engage in an activity, somewhere to show a film to an eager audience, a meeting place to do some research or just a quiet place to explore a new book – the BIS Library has it all!
The BIS kitchen is possibly the best-known school kitchen in the city. It has been part of the school since its very inception in 1962. The aim has always been to provide wholesome, nutritious and fresh food to the students and staff. The kitchen is parent-run. So parents volunteer their time to plan menus, supervise the cooking and serve the students. Over time, the kitchen has changed, catering to far greater numbers. So there have been significant renovations to make it more efficient. Also, there are constant attempts to experiment with new menus and recipes.
Presently, 60 parents (yes, some fathers too) come to BIS in the course of the week to run the kitchen, with the help of two or three helpers. Kitchen conveners oversee the planning of menus and other essentials and ensure that in the course of the week, the meals are balanced. A nutritionist is also consulted to ensure that the food served is interesting, healthy and easy to put together. Lunch is served in two batches with the Junior School coming in at 12.30 pm, the Middle and Senior School along with the DP students at 1.00 pm.
Children from all over Mumbai come to BIS, and most are able to avail of our efficient bus service.
At the moment, our bus services cater to 80 per cent of the children studying in the school, and ferry children to and from central and south Mumbai.
The school uses two vendors to ensure reliability and consistency of service and standards of delivery. A Bus Committee ensures the smooth functioning of this service. The volunteers on this committee serve for a minimum period of three years. Two of these members function as conveners. The objective of the committee is four-fold:
- To ensure safe, consistent and timely transport for our children; - To ensure route planning in an optimal manner so that a maximum number of children are accommodated, within reasonable limits; - To ensure that rates charged to the school, and in turn parents, are transparent, and comparable with those charged to other school bus users in the city - To ensure that bus routes are planned such that children spend the minimum possible time commuting to and from school and traverse the shortest possible distance between the two locations.
The bus services extend to locations as far flung as Five Gardens, Wadala and Parel in Central Mumbai, and TIFR and Cuffe Parade at the Southern end of the city. The routes cover Byculla, Peddar Road, Carmichael Road, Nepean Sea Road, Prabhadevi and Worli among other locations. There are 13 routes, and each of these is managed by a committee member who is responsible for route planning and the addition or deletion of stops, vendor-related issues, and any grievances that may arise.
Committee members are supported in turn by Route Mothers, who frequently ride their buses on the bus routes and are aware of timings at stops, day-to-day issues involving space constraints, quality of driving, cleanliness and the absence or presence of bus attendants.
As with all things at BIS, the safety, security and comfort of our children is of paramount importance. The parent-run Bus Committee monitors its vendors’ services regularly and is at all times alert to possible risks and inconveniences that our children may face. Parents are requested to be vigilant and feedback is sought and acted upon swiftly and on an ongoing basis.