Statement of Philosophy

Hiking at KIS

Kodaikanal International Schools seeks, through its education programs, to expand the younger generation’s understanding and appreciation of their relationship with the natural environment. As an educational institution that strives to be a school the world needs, we see our students as changemakers and caring humans who possess the knowledge and compassion that is required to safeguard our planet. We enable students to see themselves as part of nature, and to think critically about the impact of our individual and collective actions on the environment.Our location is central to our identity. The Palani Hills, which are a significant part of the montane habitat of the Western Ghats, provide a perfect backdrop which steadily feeds into the larger outlook that students imbibe while they are at KIS. The proximity to mountains, valleys, waterfalls, clean air, wild animals, lakes, and meadows, is intentionally built upon by the school in the form of hiking, camping, outdoor sports, art, and Social and Environmental Education. This complex web of a naturally gifted world biodiversity hotspot provides students with unique learning opportunities outside the classroom.

Through our outreach programs and field visits, we familiarize our students with the biodiversity of the Palani hills.  KIS is likely the only school in India that can boast of having its own dedicated campus for outdoor education. Our Poondi campsite’s 135 acres are home to rich flora and fauna and is the perfect getaway for a weekend of fun, adventure, bonding, and learning.

Although KIS is located in a breathtaking setting, Kodaikanal and its biorregion is not short of environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss and pollution. With an emphasis on experiential learning, discovery, and problem solving, our school takes these challenges head-on as learning opportunities for students, where they are exposed to local social and environmental issues, and collaborate to propose solutions. 

KIS is part of several initiatives like Green School Alliance, which champions creating healthy and sustainable schools. We have embarked on an ambitious project of being India’s first few carbon-neutral schools. The KIS Center for Environment and Humanity (CEH) is envisioned and positioned to be recognized internationally as well as within India as a leading establishment in environmental education, activism, and research. Collaborations with elite institutes like Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) have enabled KIS students to work with top Indian scientists studying the environmental damage in regions around Kodaikanal.

The nostalgia of sun-filled blue skies that school days usually have for most children, when filled with meaningful experiences in the environment, builds a sense of closeness to nature during these highly formative years; the effects are sure to be long-lasting and heartfelt. As decision makers of the future, our graduates develop an environmental ethic, awareness, and sensitivity so that they can construct a sustainable future for all.