Religious education: Orthodox
In the early 1992, the Parish presented a project entitled Siberian Spiritual Center (Continuous Religious Education and Diaconia in a New Siberian Parish). The project was approved and supported by the Round Table and became an impetus for further Parish work in the field of education and diaconia. Employees of the Novosibirsk Scientific Center, experts in various sciences -- mathematicians, physicists, philologists, economists, biologists, geologists, art historians -- had formed the core and became the most active part of the Akademgorodok Parish. Having children and giving them education in the traditions of the Church, they wanted their children to study in a school of a good ethical atmosphere where, along with general disciplines, they would learn the Word of God, history of the Church, Church art, and other Church disciplines.
The Gymnasium was founded at the Parish Meeting held on Transfiguration, August 19, 1992. A Gymnasium Board of Guardianship consisting of six persons was elected out of members of the Parish Meeting. The Board of Guardianship appointed Principal of the Gymnasium. The Gymnasium was headed by Natalia Georgievna Gorelova, Candidate of Sciences (Technology), a scientific researcher of the Computer Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), who headed the Sunday School, the summer camp, and childrens pilgrimage trips. The teachers and mentors of the Gymnasium were primarily scientific researchers of various scientific institutes and the Novosibirsk State University. From the very beginning, the management of the Gymnasium did not set the new school off the general Russian educational system, working in a close cooperation with State educational bodies.
At the moment of opening, the Gymnasium had five grades (first five years of education). Seventy Gymnasium pupils studied in the classes. In this school year Gymnasium pupils number 139. The highest grade is grade 10. In the school year of 1995-1996, the pupils who graduated from 9th grade were issued State certificates of secondary (9-grade) school graduation. In a year, the pupils of higher classes are to take 11-grade exams. A Chorus School and a kindergarten work under the Gymnasium since 1994. At the moment, about seventy Gymnasium pupils obtain a music education (a curriculum of a childrens music school) in the Chorus School. The Chorus School is primarily oriented to Church singing. Forty children divided into two groups (the younger group for children of 3 to 6 and the school preparation group) attend the kindergarten. Pupils of the Orthodox Gymnasium and the kindergarten take very active part in Church feasts and concerts in the Scientists Club of the RAS Siberian Branch. Each year they give two traditional concerts: on the night of Christmas and on the Day of Slavic Alphabet and Culture, May 24. Older pupils work at the Gymnasium farm where they grow potatoes and vegetables for the Gymnasium and the kindergarten. A significant assistance to the Gymnasium farm was rendered by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
The Orthodox Gymnasium held numerous conferences, seminars and meetings on contemporary problems of Orthodox pedagogics and renovation of humanitarian education in Russia. The Gymnasium carries out appraisals of new textbooks and holds seminars on application of various methods and aids. A support from Diakonishes Werk, a social charity agency in Germany, allowed the Gymnasium to set up a scientific publication complex which essentially turned the Gymnasium into a laboratory of a school where new curricula, methods and textbooks on Russian history, Russian literature, and religious educational disciplines are developed for various types of schools.
Starting from 1995, the Gymnasium has a publishers license. A number of educational programs and aids were prepared for publication and published. Participation in the Renovation of Humanitarian Education in Russia program allowed to publish two schoolbooks -- Russian Literature and Native History -- intended for general Governmental and Orthodox schools. Reforms of the Russian school educational system promulgated by the Law On Education (1992) provided the Russian Orthodox Church with an opportunity to participate in school reforms and in establishing a new system of education in Russia. Various educational concepts are being developed in non-governmental educational institutions. In a traditional Orthodox understanding of the Russian school, education is a formation of a certain image in man. Depending on the view on the image, the educational concept is formed. Various educational concepts may be formulated, as variability, a possibility of choice are important and integral features of the contemporary Russian education. However, any concept should provide a clear understanding as to what the school pupil shall be, his attitude to the world, to Motherland where he lives, to people around him, to knowledge and skill he is to master.
The Orthodox Gymnasium in the Name of Saint Sergy of Radonezh is a new type of school providing general education. The school unites religious-ethic, and contemporary natural-science and humanitarian education of children. In the view of Gymnasium founders and pupils parents, such an approach particularly contributes to formation of full-fledged Russian citizens. Therefore, the Akademgorodok Orthodox Gymnasium, being by its statute a non-governmental educational institution of religious type, has State-wide, rather than specific goals -- renovation of Russian school and education of Russian citizens.
In the most common terms, the goal the Orthodox Gymnasium strives to may be worded as follows: Formation, in pupils, of an integral world outlook and a stable system of spiritual values for centuries kept by Russia, and providing them with practical knowledge to allow the future citizens of Russia to realize their natural abilities in a new social and economic environment. This concept is implemented through the use of the following methodological principles:
Principal of the Gymnasium
Telephone for contacts (3832) 35-78-82
The main goals of the school are: creation conditions for Christian upbringing of children along with providing them with secular education; arrangement of an adequate recreation for children; renaissance of traditional crafts. The school activity is based on the fundamental component of the State standard for primary, general secondary and vocational education and training. Besides the basic component, the school curriculum includes such disciplines as the Word of God, Church Slavonic language, history of the world culture, music culture, lessons on fine arts. The school has an extended foreign (English) language curriculum. In middle grades a second foreign language (German or French) is introduced. To fully meet students requirements, the school organized special courses, such as fine arts, history of the world culture, ancient languages, physics and mathematics. During the three years of education in the upper grades (9-11 years of education), students may listen to several additional courses of their choice. This allows them to extend and deepen their knowledge, providing an additional preparation to enter highest educational institutions.
The school has a number of hobby groups where children may find occupation in accordance with propensity. Much attention is given to applied arts, artistic creativity of students. For instance, a group of church embroidery and a sewing workshop operate on the basis of the St. John Monastery. There are groups for fine arts, religious singing, photography, and a video laboratory. Physical training was not left behind - there is a Russian wrestling sport section for boys. School students may try themselves in literature. It is for the second year now that children and literature teachers publish a Gymnasium Student magazine; the publishing board of the magazine considers literary works of school students of both middle and lower grades. Virtually every school occasion was marked with a theatrical performance. Plays are staged by students of 1 to 11 year of education. There are plays where teachers are casted. Scripts of both classic authors and those written by students and teachers are used.
Much attention is focused on labor education. This year, the school was repaired by students and their parents; labor teams were formed of students of upper grades. Work in sewing workshops and artistic embroidery are aimed not only at development of children but have a specific purpose. Articles made by embroideresses, for example, were used to decorate the St. Vladimir Parish Church and the school. One of the main ideas of the school is its family orientation, that is the school is a common cause of the Parish, teachers, students and their parents. Parents take part in all major deeds of the Gymnasium and the Parish. The school also features links and interaction among parents, class managers, and Gymnasium confessor, and promotes communication through church services. Joint pilgrimage trips to spiritual and historic locations of our Motherland, organization and arrangement of a summer recreation camp, where parents and teachers form a community living by common interests, also contribute to consolidation of students families and teachers.
Today, the school is fully staffed with qualified teachers who mainly have a higher pedagogical education. The school has technological educational facilities -- a video cassette recorder, a TV set, computers, a music center, a slide projector. All these articles were purchased at the expense of the Brotherhood or donated by individuals. The school has signed an agreement with the Electromechanical Middle Technical School and a specialized English-language school which provide us with gyms where physical training lessons are conducted. Instructive excursions on such disciplines as physics, chemistry and natural science are conducted in the Polytechnic Museum. The school maintains links with the St. Tikhon Theological Institute, its teachers regularly give lectures and conduct discussions with students. The school has a library of about 3,000 items of fiction and over 1,000 items of educational literature. Personnel of the school includes a pediatrician; an agreement on medical services has been concluded with the base polyclinic; a dental surgery operates under the Brotherhood Board of Guardianship. The school has a canteen catering hot meals to children.
By its composition, our school is multinational. We have children from Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Tartar, Jewish, and Chuvash families. A large percentage of students comes from incomplete families and families with many children. Our goal is not to prepare students to enter a theological seminary or a monastery; we want our children in this life to be highly ethic, spiritually rich and well educated.
Director of studies
Telephone for contacts (095) 925-79-56
It is for the second time that the Gymnasium has undergone a strict inspection of State educational authorities, obtaining a State license and an accreditation with the State. The license grants the right to teach and issue state certificates to graduates. Following accreditation, the Gymnasium obtained a partial subsidy from the State. Besides school disciplines, our educational institution teaches a number of subjects that set it off. A church bell (the Gymnasium has no electric bells) gathers children for lessons on rhetoric and choreography, history of arts and church singing, solfeggio, stage art, icon painting, liturgics, theology, Biblical history. One of the main features of the school is an extended study of the English language. Daily English lessons start from the first grade; starting from the third grade the lessons are subdivided into reading and oral practice and are taught by different teachers. Starting from seventh grade, a second foreign language of childrens and their parents choice is added - German of French.
All teachers in the Gymnasium work in departments. There is a strong Russian language and literature department where teachers work by individual curricula. All curricula are discussed at Teachers Councils and defended during the year. Interesting courses on F.M. Dostoyevsky, Selma Lagerlof, Lydia Charskaya, Christian literature have been developed. The school has an extended number of academic hours to study the Russian language; the curriculum provides for Russian language studies till the end of 11th grade. Such a serious approach resulted in victory of our children in two regional competitions -- they won prizes and took first places in competitions devoted to Lermontov and Dostoyevsky. Our students often take part in regional competitions. It is in this year alone that children participated in Historic and Mathematics Olympiads; successful was an exhibition of drawings on Biblical themes held in a regional exhibition hall. Among children choirs, the Gymnasium Church choir and the boys choir are in good repute.
However, an especial commendation is given to participation of our Gymnasium students in the theatrical life of the city. Performance of the Gymnasium Orthodox Theater on the major stage of the Regional Drama Theater two times a year has become a good tradition for us. Our children give Easter and Christmas performances for municipal and regional school students. The repertoire of the school theater includes scenes on Biblical themes, the Christmas Night by Ershov, works by Simeon Polotsky. Little actors pay Oven Performance by Simeon Polotsky in the Old Slavic language. In this year, King of the Jews, a beautiful play by Konstantin Romanov, enriched the repertoire. This is a diversified development that the Orthodox Gymnasium provides for its children. They act on stage, sing and draw, write verses and play one of four music instruments (piano, accordion, guitar or violin), and, along with that, succeed in school disciplines. Such an amazing result is easy to explain. It is contributed to by competitive selection on entrance, the Gymnasium students life style, and their education through the Church.
Principal of the Gymnasium
Telephone for contacts (08122) 2-06-84
Traditional Gymnasium of the Orthodox Charitable Brotherhood in the Name of Savior the Merciful (Moscow)The Traditional Gymnasium was founded in 1992 by the Orthodox Charitable Brotherhood in the name of Savior the Merciful as a non-governmental non-commercial educational institution. I.V. Artamkin, Candidate of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics) is Principal of the Gymnasium. The Gymnasium holds license from the Moscow Education Department for carrying out educational activity and underwent accreditation with the State, which, among other things, grants the right to issue State education certificates to graduates.
Traditional nature of the system being developed in the Gymnasium is defined by the following major principles:
The Traditional Gymnasium was founded on the basis of a settled group of highly qualified Orthodox teachers (many of them being graduates from the Moscow State University) with many years of experience in joint work in Moscow schools and off-school educational institutions. Some of them combine teaching in the Gymnasium with work in various scientific or higher-educational institutions of Moscow; 8 out of 40 teachers of the Gymnasium hold doctorate degrees. During the first three years of operation, the collective of the Gymnasium teachers developed and partially probated curricula on most disciplines (including literature, history, history of art, mathematics, informatics, biology, and chemistry), prepared methodical workouts and teaching aids on a number of sections. Among other things, an optional, literature curriculum for 5-8 grades recommended for secondary schools and gymnasia was published in the First of September periodical and positively commented on. At the moment, publication of the second revised edition of the books intended for a wider circle of schools is under way. A teaching aid on optional course of mathematics for 8-10 grades was put to print.
At the moment, the Gymnasium has grades from 1 to 11 where 180 children aged 7 to 17 are taught. About two thirds of them are parishioners of churches included in the Brotherhood of Savior the Merciful, although no formal restrictions of the kind are imposed on children admitted to the Gymnasium. We accept Orthodox children from any parishes as well as those who are still on their way to the Faith. A major part of students of our Gymnasium are children from low-income families, including: 82 children from large families; 30, from incomplete families (of them 30 orphans); 2 refugees. It is with the orientation to such families that the Gymnasium was founded; it operates on a non-commercial basis in order to provide an opportunity to study to all capable and willing children, irrespectively of incomes in their families. We believe this is essential, since a widely spread expensive education affordable only to the rich inevitably decreases national intellectual potential. Therefore, the Gymnasium cannot impose fixed fees on students parents and has to operate on voluntary donations. With respect to large families, it is the duty of the Gymnasium to compensate hard conditions of education (home duties, hours missed due to a necessity to baby-sit younger brothers and sisters when parents are ill or busy, psychological overloads) with individual assistance, an increased attentiveness, and a flexible system of knowledge level control. Free lunches and breakfasts in the Gymnasium canteen are a noticeable help to such families. Unfortunately, the number of students the Gymnasium may accept is limited, since we still do not premises of our own.
At the moment, renting one floor from a music school, the Gymnasium is experiencing an acute deficiency of room. This year over 50 children applied to be accepted in the 1 grade, of which we could take but a half. In future we expect more applicants and less vacancies. In 1995, after three years of pleadings and appeals, the Government of Moscow transferred to the Gymnasium a half-ruined building of the former Morozov almshouse with a house Church in the name of Saint Princes Fedor of Smolensk and his children David and Constantin, the miracle workers of Yaroslavl. However, reconstruction of the building requires a significant time and an enormous material expenditures.
Meanwhile, the Gymnasium still has no permanent sponsor. The founder of the Gymnasium - the Brotherhood in the name of Savior the Merciful - can render only an insignificant assistance, as it implements several other costly programs (the St. Tikhon Theological Institute, a charitable canteen, summer camps, etc.). From the moment of its foundation, the Gymnasium has no required sources of financing. Besides voluntary donations and the help from the Brotherhood, the Gymnasium, due to its accreditation, receives State subsidies for education and catering of a part of its students; unfortunately these are insufficient, come irregularly and not in full. Funds thus collected are hardly sufficient for the educational process and teachers modest salary which never matches that of their colleagues in State-owned schools. With all that, we managed to arrange free meals for students two times a day. It is in these hard conditions that the Traditional Gymnasium exists for 4 years now.
Out of 37 graduates from the Gymnasium, 30 have entered the highest educational institutions: nine of them, the Moscow State University; twelve, the St. Tikhon Theological Institute; four, the Medical Academy; one, the State Pedagogical Institute; two, the Moscow Institute of Physical Engineering; one, the Russian State Municipal University; and one, the Moscow Institute of Geodesy and Map Graphics. The rest of graduates entered music, art, and medical schools. These figures demonstrate that four-year efforts of the Gymnasium collective were not in vain. There are good grounds to believe that more favorable financing conditions and timely support would have led to even more impressive results.
Principal of the Gymnasium
Telephone for contacts (095) 299-27-44
The Gymnasium accepts students irrespectively of their adherence to the Orthodoxy, although it deems its duty to make the applicants parents aware of education specialization and have their agreement for education of the child in accordance with curricula adopted in the Gymnasium. Besides the basic component, the curriculum includes a number of innovative courses: Fundamentals of spiritual culture, Church singing, Liturgics, the Ancient Greek language, the Church Slavic language, Antique culture and rhetoric, Political science, History of Arts, Introduction to culture, Life of the Earth, Study of local lore of Moscow, Results of the XX Century. The curriculum is aimed at a comprehensive development of inter-disciplinary links. Educational Concept. Teaching in the Gymnasium is aimed at giving students a comprehensive humanitarian education based on the Christian ethics.
Profile disciplines in the Gymnasium are: ancient languages (Latin and Greek, within the scope of a university program), history, and Russian literature. The Gymnasium thereby offers its students a special humanitarian education, oriented for entrance into humanitarian institutes. Its essential goal is ethic education and spiritual disclosure of students personalities, formation of a conscientious sense of civic duty and patriotism. These paramount pedagogical tasks are implemented through lecturing students on systems of Christian philosophy and moral that encompass all the best achievements of general human culture. It is teaching of the discipline on religion studies (Fundamentals of spiritual culture), along with courses on literature, culture of antiquity and Christian Europe, that makes up the spiritual potential that common schools pitifully lack. A profound study of ancient and new languages lends the education its classical nature, revealing all riches of spiritual and secular culture to students. A special attention is paid to teaching the history of Motherland, a discipline greatly contributing to spiritual, ethic, and patriotic education. The course of literature largely facilitates this complex task.
Lecturing students on the fundamentals of Orthodox spiritual culture, the Gymnasium strives to teach the young generation to maintain in the world the Gods Truth in the struggle with forces of evil. The main principles of organization of the educational process. Submergence of students into spiritual environment of the epoch being studied constitutes the main innovative technique of education. The Gymnasium curriculum is based on development of educational tasks.
Courses of each school year are grouped around one central (dominant) subject: a dominant subject of the VI grade is Ancient World. Students learn history and culture of antiquity, the ancient Greek language (grades VI to X) and the Holy history of the Old Testament; a dominant subject of the VII grade is History of Kiev and Moscow Russia (prior to Romanovs reign). Western Middle Ages and Byzantine religious culture form a historical background. Among the main subjects are: ancient Russian literature and art culture, the Church Slavic language, liturgics, and study of local lore; a dominant subject of the VIII grade is The New History of Western Europe. In XVII-XVIII centuries Russia turns to the West, and Russian history may be understood only in the context of European culture. Much attention is paid to physics, a symbol of West European culture. The Latin language is introduced; a dominant subject of the IX grade is Dialog of Russian and European Cultures around which arranged are courses on Russian history, history of Europe and XIX-century America, and courses on classical Russian literature; a dominant subject of the X grade is Social Utopia. The central part here is devoted to study of a controversial heritage of the XX century, the century of great temptations and religious poverty. Isolated from social utopias are the following three: - communist doctrine, - fascist and national-socialist theories, - a concept proclaiming the technical and material progress to automatically improve public moral. The main subjects here are European languages; study of classical languages, Russian and West European history, and the Russian literature of the XX century (from Chekhov to Solzhenitsyn) comes to an end. The XI grade is devoted to comprehension of the materials studied and purpose-oriented preparation for entering a highest educational institution to obtain the qualification of choice. A dominant of the XI grade is preparation of students to enter the public life. Students are taught Christian Anthropology, Results of the XX Century (comprehension of contemporary status of the mankind), and law.
Figuratively speaking, the structure of the curriculum suggests that the Gymnasium teaches but a single subject - history, and but a single art - the art of understanding. Since many subjects were introduced into the Russian secondary school curriculum for the first time, and in a number of cases approaches and the very educational content (courses on history and philology) underwent a dramatic revision, workouts made by teachers of the Orthodox Classical Gymnasium have become widely known in Russia and republics of the former USSR (they are used in humanitarian schools in Moscow, Ivanovo, Dubna, Feodosia and other cities).
Telephone for contacts (095) 423-51-22
During vacations, children make pilgrimage trips, and spend their summer labor practice in parishes and monasteries. Besides, the Lyceum is oriented toward a deeper comprehension of Russian national culture. This is provided for by a system of special courses on the Russian language and literature: Introduction into Russian Language Studies, Russian Onomastics and Toponymics, Ancient Russian Literature. There are also courses on classical Russian literature. The Lyceum invites leading experts for lecturing on specific problems of Russian culture and history. Virtually all graduates of the Lyceum (who graduated in the previous four years) entered the highest educational institutions, including the Ecclesiastical Seminary, the Theological University named after St. John the Divine, and the St. Tikhon Theological Institute. Unfortunately, Lyceum capacities to accept students are limited at the moment. This is related, first, to the lack of funds that necessitates to take fees from students, thus restricting acceptance of the poor, and, second, to the lack of own premises, which limits expansion and development of the Lyceum in general.
Deputy Principal of the Lyceum
Telephone for contacts (095) 923-71-15
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