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New Sikh free school opens its doors in Coventry

September 15, 2014 | By

Coventry, UK: Members of the Sikh community who felt let down by Coventry schools when they were children have set up their own school to try to do better.

The new Seva School has begun with 130 four to seven-year-old pupils, with plans to increase to 1,450 four to 16-year-olds over the next five years.

The newly opened free school is temporarily housed in a former special school in Tiverton Road, Wyken , ahead of a move to a permanent home on a site yet to be announced.

Sewa School Head Teacher

Sewa School Head Teacher

Deputy head Suneta Bagri said: “The trustees are born and bred in Foleshill in Coventry and want to give something back to the community.

“They left school with low aspirations in life. They achieved anyway and become professionals but they want better for the next generation of children. The Seva School ethos is that every child can and will achieve.”

Head Devinder Riat said: “We are not full yet but numbers are increasing as word is getting out. Parents are being given an alternative which is a very exciting time.”

The school is using a maths curriculum based on schools in Singapore, where pupils are regularly ahead of those in other countries. Like many primary schools in Coventry the school is following the International Primary Curriculum, and teachers are using Kagan strategies, a method where pupils work closely together in groups and help each other.

The school day begins at 8.30am and finishes at 4.15pm. The last hour of the day is spent in assembly, doing homework under supervision and after school sport and art clubs. There are future plans for extra classes at the weekend as well.

Pupils wear a smart uniform of striped tie, navy cardigan with school badge, white shirt and grey trousers. Girls are not allowed to wear skirts for fear skirts won’t keep their underwear covered while sitting on the floor.

Pupils all arrive by bus to prevent congestion in Tiverton Road . Most are Sikh with a handful from other faiths.

Each day there is a religious assembly mid afternoon when children are invited to join in prayer and reflection. At intervals through the day Sikh religious music is played through loud speakers in the corridors.

The Seva School is one of three newly opened schools in the city, alongside free school the Muslim Eden Girls School, in Foleshill, and University Technical College the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Mitchell Avenue, Canley.

Source: New Sikh free school opens its doors in Coventry

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