A special programme to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Swaminarayan School in London was held in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj on Friday 29 September 2017 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The Swaminarayan School is an independent day school founded by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1992 to promote Hindu culture, values and way of life. The first independent Hindu school in the West, it was judged “excellent” in all years by the Independent Schools Inspectorate during a full inspection in October 2014. In 2017, the School achieved its best GCSE results with 88% of the grades at A*-A.
Children from the School recited uplifting messages of peace and sang Sanskrit verses during Swamishri’s puja. Swamishri conveyed his prayers for all the students during his morning blessings. He also drew upon the School’s core values of honesty, respect and teamwork, and encouraged parents to consolidate these principles at home through regular ghar sabha.
The evening programme began with the choral singing of Hindu prayers before the opening address by Mr Umesh Raja, Head of the Preparatory School. Mr Raja paid tribute to the dedication of the teachers and touched on the lifelong and diverse learning skills that are imparted at the School. Mr Manani, Head of the Senior School, reflected on the success of the school in nurturing leaders, many of whom had gone on to work in a diverse range of professions all over the world. Alumni Dhaval Mistry, now an entrepreneur, shared the huge contribution the School had made in moulding him during his most impressionable years, while Parth Patel highlighted the spirit of service the School had stimulated in its students. Other members of staff and parents provided a deeper insight into its academic success as well as the benefits of its value-based education. Their testimonies also paid tribute to the guidance and inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
An enlightening video brought these enriching experiences to life and provided a journey through the School’s history from its inception. The presentation also outlined the wider community activities undertaken by the students.
After Swamishri’s arrival in the assembly hall shortly after 7pm, he performed the evening arti. Swamishri then rang the school bell to commence a 'class' with the students and became fully immersed in the pupils’ performances.
A sample of the talents developed at the School was exhibited through a musical performance by children from both the preparatory and senior schools. Year 6 pupils recited Sanskrit verses and pupils also demonstrated various yoga postures. The cultural programme was further supported by a short sketch and an energetic dance, highlighting the diverse skillset that the School fosters.
Swamishri concluded the assembly by sharing examples of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s selfless service of others, a value which is at the heart of the School ethos.