One of the core philosophies of this new school was beautifully summarized by the founders. “…We welcome children of all races, religions and castes. All children are equally loved and no child is compelled to do anything against his or her creed. We have neither a religion class nor a cult which emphasizes a particular faith, but we try to teach religion through the atmosphere of the school life i.e., to be good and kind towards others, respect and love others”. (CGS Annual Report 1938).
Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh, the founder of the Andhra Mahila Sabha, and an eminent social worker was their neighbor; and remembers these early years. She wrote “Among our neighbours in Dwaraka were Dr. V.N. Sharma and Mrs. Ellen Sharma. Their house adjoined ours in Dwaraka. They also started developing a regular school for the children and the school has now become one of the most leading institutions in Madras. It is a high school now, but is still called by its old name the Children’s Garden School. (Deshmukh 1976).
The Sharmas wished to draw out the natural gifts of a child-creative activity, full of fantasy and imagination. They aspired: – a) to develop the child as an individual, drawing out all the best and highest it has in itself; and b) to educate and train the child as a member of the community sharing its life with others and helping comrades as a preparation for wider and fuller services in the world. To bring out leadership and organisation in work and play was a part of what they saw as a true education.
In one of their early writings, the Sharmas laid out their vision; “The school will provide all possible opportunities for the expression of the most varied activities of the child. Hand work, music, dancing, eurhythmics, drawing and painting, clay modeling and paper cutting and many of the latest educational toys and materials specially made for the training of senses and mind as well as for the development of social responsibility will be utilised. The Directors (the Sharmas) will watch the activities and interests of the child, keeping careful records of its psychological and mental reactions. Thus they will lead gradually from the often neglected play world to the domain of mere intellectual training in reading, writing and arithmetic. (V.N.Sharma and E.Sharma , An Appeal,Madras.1937)