Every Grade gets an experience of spending a night out at school doing different activities like-: Bonfire, Dance, Playing Games, etc…
We are organizing night camp so that children learn to be independent, bond well with their peers and educators and also enjoy new activities. We encourage every student to be present for the night out, it’s an event that children really enjoy and savor.
To address why it is being insisted that we sleep in the open at night, even when it’s cold.
The Night out is meant to be an event which is fun & adventure and encourages bonding.
For the youngest kids, even sleeping away from their parents is an adventure (and an exercise to build independence).
The original night-out concept came from Eklavya school’s Night out – where students probably don’t have a dance party at night, but they certainly camp out in tents on the ground. When we brought the night-out to school, we wanted to encourage sleeping outdoors – but we were short on tents; which is why the option of sleeping in a more comfortable environment was latched on to by some people.
In fact, when sleeping in the tents, there aren’t mattresses either. Just sleeping rolls which are used during camping. And that’s because “night-out” is meant to be a simulation of a camping experience! I regret that over the years, we have allowed the “night-out” to become primarily a fun event which is comfortable.
However, that’s not the original concept. “Night-out” by name and definition means an experience of outdoors at night. And while I have been insisting that even the younger children should sleep in the open, but there has been resistance to that. At least this year, what has been done is that sleeping in the classroom has been stopped completely. All grades till now have slept in the Assembly, which is almost as cold as the Skating rink – the venue for today’s night out.
We have also made it clear that it is colder at school than in the city, and perhaps 7-10 degrees colder from the warm room at home when sleeping outdoors. It means that students and teachers have to be physically and mentally prepared for this. You need to have thermals, warm jackets & sleeping bags / thick blankets. And once everyone’s clearly aware of this, it’s a choice that students & adults make when they come for the night out.
Being an adventure, the night-out is meant to take you outside your comfort zone. It isn’t meant to be a warm cozy homely experience. And fortunately, the temperatures is Surat are not at all severe that a night-out can’t be done. If we were in Ahmedabad, Delhi or Kashmir, then it would be a different matter. In fact, we would still want to sleep outdoors, just that it needs to be better protection and preparation.
We need to redefine the night-out as purely a fun and bonding experience. It is very much an adventure with uncomfortable parts (mosquitoes, cold, dew, darkness etc.). And this has a lot of learning value for students (and adults). And we must ensure the same.
Guidelines for Night Out:
- All staff members are responsible for the students during the night out, not only the HRT’s.
- Safety monitor is assigned who will ensure that the safety process should be followed and should be vigilant and take care of students. The ratio should be 1: 50, The objective is primarily to look after the safety of girls. The safety monitors will be over and above the normal HRTs accompanying the students and will be selected from Acad + Admin team / SST/ admin department – their prime responsibility will be to ensure safety of girl students and see that the policies are followed and it is reported by SMS and also on the end of the trip.
- Only allocated staff will be allowed to stay for a night out. No one else will be entertained.
- Visiting faculty is not permitted to attend the night out.
- The adult student ratio will 1:10. This is inclusive of HRT, SST, Admin and support staff.
- Up to grade 4, the sleeping area is assembly. beyond grade 4 it will be in skating rink. If the temperature drops below 12 degrees, event in charge can take a call and sleep indoors
- Classrooms or any other place will not be allowed to be used for sleeping.
- Staff members (including admin) should be accompanying students for sleeping.
- No Junk food is allowed to be carried in the night out.
- Students are not allowed to join the night-out late evening/night. In case any student was out-station and came directly to school then it is acceptable. But other than that, late joining is not allowed otherwise many parents will be tempted to use this for various reasons.
- Students leaving early in the morning can be acceptable in some cases: medical, emergency, or if they have a train etc. to catch.
- Leaving early in the night is not allowed it’s a genuine case.
- Students have to spend the night in school otherwise, they will not be included for evenings too.
- No last minute requests for leaving early for attending functions etc. not to be entertained.
- Students are responsible for discarding the disposable glasses and plates (if it is used) and not leave it on the table after having their meal.
- If any student has their birthday during thenight out they cannot have a cake cutting ceremony or get any cake/cupcake/treat for the entire grade.
- Birthday’s can be celebrated as per the celebration policy. The teacher will lead it and make the birthday of the student a special day by a meaningful celebration in whatever ways they can e.g. by giving a birthday card to the student, other students singing a birthday song for the student etc.
- Parents are requested not to send cake/any treat (for the entire grade) to celebrate birthdays during night out.
- Tents will be placed on grounds
- Allocation of tents to be done by Tl’s and Hrt’s
- One adult should be there in each tent
- Students can carry a sleeping bag for tents.
Safety monitor will ensure:
- Driver is on call
- 2 SMS to be sent to the parents (night / next morning)
- Emergency vehicle is available
- Visitors / Parents not allowed.
- Staff on duty not allowed to go out during the night out.
- Areas/rooms/venues which are not being used should be locked
- Security guard on move during night out (all sleeping areas)
- Attendance by teachers at frequent intervals
- Staff/nurse who is trained to give first aid should be available (if possible)
- Students/staff not allowed to wander in school premises
- Staff/ teachers to sleep with students during night out and accompany students to washroom during night
- Fogging before dinner in case of mosquitoes/insects
- Students to remain in groups at all times
- Morning walk has to be done.