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Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School, Chennai

LAVRHSS which celebrated its silver jubilee last year has earned a good reputation for providing a free and supportive environment for talented students and for its focus on inclusive education

Sited on a verdant 8.5-acre campus replete with shade-spreading trees and spacious playgrounds in Chennai’s upmarket Harrington Road, the Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School (LAVRHSS, estb. 1987), affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board of Secondary Education (TNSBSE), has earned a good reputation for providing a free and supportive environment for talented students, and for its focus on inclusive education. Last September, in the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2012, LAVRHSS was ranked among the Top 10 day schools in Tamil Nadu and Top 40 all-India. More significantly, it’s the first private school in the state formerly affiliated with the Directorate of Matriculation Schools and currently with TNSBSE, to be highly ranked in the EW India School Rankings conducted by the reputed Delhi-based market research company C fore.

The history of LAVRHSS goes back to 1928 when Justice Sir M. Venkat-asubba Rao and his wife Andalamma founded the Madras Seva Sadan (MSS), a registered charitable and social welfare institution, to protect, teach and help destitute women and children. Under their untiring care, many welfare units were started and currently MSS boasts 14 social welfare organisations including the government-aided class I-XII Madras Seva Sadan Higher Secondary School for Girls (estb. 1930); a women’s home and separate vocat-ional centres for destitute women and children; a rehabilitation centre for women cured of mental illness; a working women’s hostel; Shanti Sadan: a senior citizen’s home and Parivart-analaya, an institute providing  free training to women and children in computer-usage and other skills. To extend education facilities to male children, two schools including the government-aided, co-educational Madras Seva Sadan Higher Secondary School (estb. 1953) and the Sir & Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School (estb. 1960) were started on a 13-acre campus in the suburb of Tambaram.  In 1971, another co-ed school, the Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation Higher Secondary School, was established in T. Nagar. In 1987, LAVRHSS was prom-oted in memory of its late founder Andalamma. The latest to join the MSS stable is the CBSE-affiliated Sir Mutha School (estb. 2012).

From the time LAVRHSS admitted its first batch of eight students in 1987, this preschool-class XII institution has experienced steady growth and boasts an aggregate enrolment of 1,300 students instructed by 62 teachers. “Our prime objective is to create a happy and fearless learning environment for students. The school’s focus is on holistic development of students and we lay great emphasis on sports and games, with our students participating in 23 different sports and winning  laurels in national and international arenas. We also believe in inclusive education and currently 200 students with special needs are studying in the school,” says Prema C. Kumar, great niece of Sir and Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao and correspondent (spokesperson) of LAVRHSS.

Committed to a rounded education experience for its students, the manage-ment accords high status to co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and offers maths and science, quiz, literary, nature, and Juvenoptimist clubs. Students can also choose from Indian and western music, keyboard training and play in the school band.

The outstanding feature of LAVRHSS is the high priority it accords to sports education with modern facilities and arenas for swimming, football, cricket, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and athletics. To encourage students to participate in their chosen sports, the school has tied up with Bangalore-based sports company Leapstart, which has designed a structured sports curriculum for its students. The school is justifiably proud of its national and international champs in rifle shooting, Formula I racing, go-karting, squash, rowing, sailing, golf, karate and equestrian sports. Swimming, gymnastics and yoga are also integrated into the school curriculum.

“The benefits of a holistic schooling experience percolate into academics, and LAVRHSS has consistently recorded 100 percent results in state board exams while topping state rankings in communicative English and German for the past six years. With our management and teachers becoming increasingly aware of blurring national boundaries, LAVRHSS has signed cultural exchange programmes with Yio Chu Kang Secondary School, Singapore and Skive Gymnasium, Denmark, and teacher exchange programmes with MacFarland High School, Wisconsin, USA,” says Shalini Pillai, principal of LAVRHSS. An alumna of Mumbai, Pondicherry and Annamalai universities, Pillai came aboard in 1992 and was appointed principal in June 2010.

This wide range of academic, co-curricular and sports activities is supported by excellent infrastructure. Children in the Montessori preschool are afforded well-furnished play areas, with primary and secondary students availing fully-wired classrooms equipped with Smart interactive boards, a spacious library with over 12,000 titles, several journals and magazine subscriptions, a computer and three science labs. LAVRHSS also boasts an iMinds creative lab with 30 Mac computers set up by Chennai-based digital media training company Image Infotainment Ltd which offers a structured syllabus in gaming, sound recording and design. Other facilities are a grand 1,100-seat Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao auditorium comprising a two-tier air-conditioned theatre, and a crèche (Priyathama) for children aged six months to five years. The school’s impressive sports infra-structure includes a 25-metre six-lane swimming pool, separate courts for volleyball and basketball, apart from cricket nets.

Encouraged by the affirmation of LAVRHSS’ status as one of Chennai’s Top 10 day schools, the management plans to consolidate its comprehensive education model by investing in teacher and leadership training. “We want to build on the reputation we have earned over 25 years and carry forward the noble ideals of our founders. We will also continue our efforts to contem-porise education by embracing new fields and technology, and strive to make school a joyful place for all children,” vows Kumar.

Admission & fees

Admission into all classes is as per state government norms.

Tuition fees: Rs.25,000-30,000 per annum

For further information contact Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School, No 7, Harrington Road, Chetput, Chennai 600031. Tel: 044 28363403.

Hemalatha Raghupathi (Chennai)

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