What is the history of Shishukunj ?
What are the objectives of Shishukunj ?
What activities do you do ?
Where are the centres (Kendra's) ?
What are the timings of the activities ?
Baal mandir - 11am - 12:45pm for the Autumn term, then gradually extended each term to increase the time baalako spend so that by the end of the summer they are ready for a full morning session in Core Kendra.
Core kendra - 8:45am - 12:45pm
What is age range ?
Baal Mandir - age 5 - 6 years. Baalako must be between 5 and 6 years at the start of the intake period (1st Sept)
Core - 6 years and over at the start of the intake period (1st Sept)
Life members - aged 18 and over at the start of the intake period (1st Sept)
What is the cost ?
Child (Junior) Baal Mandir Membership - Annual £210
Child (Junior) Core Membership - Annual £210 plus tuition and training fees £40 = Total £250
Adult Life Membership - £490, fee increase from 1st April (£500)
What does child (junior) membership include?
Weekly kendra activities for over 30 weeks of the year plus other events e.g. Raas Garba
What dates are you open / closed?
We generally follow the academic school calendar, closing for half term and holiday breaks.
Do you provide food/drink for the children?
There is always a fruit snack served during the morning. Water is available at anytime during the morning from the main choki desk.
If parents/baalako have donated then Nasto (light snack) is given out at the end of session, which is food/drink donated by baalako and parents.
Is there a uniform
Shishukunj uniform consists of the following items: Navy-blue jumper, Plain white t-shirt, Blue jeans or tracksuit bottoms, White socks and White trainers. A single set of small studs may be worn, but all other jewellery is not permitted. Make up and nail polish is not permitted. Long hair must be tied up.
What does a typical Sunday morning look like?
See link for a description of the weekly activities. A typical Sunday morning would include :
10-15 minutes of stretching and warm-up activities to start the day
An hour of Gujrati Classes by trained Gujarati teachers
Typically 40 minutes of Prarthna, Bhajans & Dhoons and a baudhik (children’s moral stories)
1 hour of Gooch activities - depending on the season/weather, this involves a mixture of outdoor games, arts and crafts and other fun, developmental activities, tailored to each age group.
1 hour of Dasta/Samuh activity - games or social activities done all together or in mixed age groups
Do parents need to attend?
For new intake we ask all parents to attend during the first week and also be available over the first few weeks to help your baalako settle in.
Thereafter we ask parents to drop their baalako in the school by 8:45am and pick up at 12:45pm
Some weeks we may ask you to come for any specific suchna’s, to meet the gujarati teachers, for baal saabha or any specific activities we are doing,
We ask all parents to support kendra and Shishukunj by volunteering your time for the various activities we undertake throughout the year e.g. choki desk at kendra, car parking, food prep for events, bhavan support.
What is your policy on siblings?
Please read through our membership policy here which includes our sibling policy.
We don’t speak gujarati - can we still attend?
Yes! Although Gujarati is a core element of our ethos, we aim to provide holistic development of children, regardless of race, language or background. Children are able to learn Gujarati during weekly classes, even if they have no prior experience of it at home.
How many children attend?
The number of children that attend vary by centre, and each year, depending on capacity. We currently have approximately 200 children at each Centre
What is your child/adult ratio?
We always ensure we have a minimum ratio of 1 adult (over the age of 18) to 8 children at each centre, as recommended by the NSPCC. Our regular adults are DBS checked and have taken safeguarding training.
Do you offer trial sessions?
We encourage you to attend our annual Open Day, which is an ideal opportunity for you and your baalak to be guided around our Sunday morning activities and hear first hand experiences of our members.
Do you organise excursions?
Every year, we organise a camping trip for those aged over 10 years called Jeevan Ghadtar Shibir (JGS) which means life-moulding camp. Every other year we organise a camping trip for those aged 6-9 called Shishu Shibir. In the past, we have also had organised trips to Hare Krishna Mandir, and into Central London, which are organised on an ad-hoc basis.