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Talking to Moya Smith about SASE (System for Alternative Schooling and Education), the new alternative school that she has helped develop and bring to life is an education in what education should and should not be.


Moya was brought on board at the inception of SASE, and given the freedom to blueprint something pure into reality. SASE is a concept, encompassing personalisation of education and embracing Post – Humanism education Philosophy; with the Early Years having a mixed age classroom (Montessori), an emphasis on nature in learning (Emilio Reggio and Waldorf), it’s inclusive and it embraces variability in ability AKA special needs. As the children at SASE move to higher grades, their learning is nurtured through Post-Humanism education philosophy.

With every tool at her disposal, Moya wants to educate the parent and the child that there is another path to learning, and that every path to learning must begin with a happy child. The idea sounds so simple, everyone, at least on the surface of it, wants a happy child, but scratch that surface a very little bit and many a parent is competing via their toddler! In most preschools Mathematics and Literacy, even writing, are taught earlier than they should be, often under pressure from an inept parent community with the internet as it’s compass. I’ve never heard a preschooler ask for homework, have you? And yet there are preschools that handout worksheets as a norm.

At SASE, Moya expects children to be children, there’s a greenhouse to muck about and grow your own veggies, a treehouse hideaway to scamper into, and a sensorial pathway. Children are expected to spend a minimum of 40% of their time “learning” outdoors. The rest is split between the large spacious indoor “hive”, a room for all to gather, followed by splitting into smaller groups according to the educational needs of the children, only to congregate together again at the end of the day. Children are expected to learn from each other as much as from teachers who are given the flexibility to create a curriculum that suits every child’s developmental progress, treating each child as an individual, unique in their own right, right from the very start.

As a parent the questions to answer about this beautiful idea brought to life as a school are many, but to start, should every parent want a school that strives to provide a child with a childhood? Should the child lead? Should learning follow a path that isn’t sign posted by text books but instead weaves it’s own tale, uniquely able to address the child’s needs without a metered course to follow? And lo and behold the child will arrive where every pre-schooler that followed a textbook did, but the tapestry of experience that brought them to the same place will be ingrained in not just their minds but their entire being. For a child to be what they’ve learnt, it’s the very difference between being programmable and being human.


Moya has worked in the field of education for years. A backpacking trip to India at 18, (straight out of a private girls’ school) in Britain, inspired a move back home to complete her teachers training to return to India and start a preschool many years ago, moving on to work with children with challenges, and various schools across the country in states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, she finally found her way to Bangalore and has also worked at schools like Bangalore International School in Bengaluru. India is home, and she’s had a front row seat at the education round table slash circus as a parent and as an educationist. With a schooling background very different from that offered here, Moya is the true education insider, with a standpoint outside of accepted wisdom and the dint to make it reality. Many mums will remember her as the founder of FB Mums of Bangalore, a goldmine of parenting information and connects when it functioned, work that’s now carrying on in a new avatar in Super Mums of India, a sanctum for all mothers.

In SASE, she’s helped to create a school that will teach the next generation to be kind to the entire world around us, the animate and inanimate, with the awareness that the human race isn’t the centre of the universe but a part of a whole, and with an emphasis on the real-ness of childhood while not discounting technology and the deeper imprint that it will have on generations to come. SASE in it’s essence aims to create a community, the parent-the child- the school/SASE, all connected, a circle with a stake in the future of the world we all share.



Find out more about SASE here

Address: 3rd B Main Road, OMBR Layout, Banaswadi, Bangalore – 560043

Phone number: (91) 88008-83871


All photos courtesy of Moya and SASE

Ranjita is a new (ish) mama, trying to re-find a rhythm, a balance, post a waning, world disrupting pandemic, while discovering the joys of the mundane and the unusual, through the eyes of a tot. Truly convinced that there is magic in the the land of Kohl, colour and fragrant flowers, and happily falling down that rabbit hole. More importantly, she could always have some more chocolate on that ride!


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