(Part 1) School hunt: Standard 1

(Part 1) School hunt: Standard 1

[Since this is a very detailed post, I will be splitting it into two parts.
 Please check back for updates]

The Quest:

August 2011-It was time to start looking for schools again.

Gy had spent a little over 3 years at PHK (Podar HappyKids) and we were very happy with the way she had taken to school, enjoying it a good deal by the time she was in nursery. Towards the end, it became obvious that she had made some very good friends and loved her teachers. For that, we were grateful to the amazing staff of PHK. School was never a chore for her and PHK played a huge role in ensuring that!

 Gy would be eligible for Grade 1 by June 2012. This year(2011), V had made the decision to move out of his current role and move into another one which would involve less travel. This meant moving base to the Electronic City office, far away from our residential location at Sarjapur road. After some discussion we decided to scout for schools in the South Bangalore area.

The Process:

The process , in a nutshell, involved these steps:

  1. Make a detailed spreadsheet listing various criteria (given below)
  2. Decide on a set of schools, based on above criteria
  3. Narrow down our choices to 6, maybe 7, schools for a personal visit
  4. Shortlist three schools
  5. Scour the Net/ Speak to other parents for reviews on chosen schools
  6. Work out the admission process for each of our chosen schools

The Criteria:

As parents, we want the best for our children. To a large extent, what we want is shaped by what we have experienced first-hand. It helps if you jot down certain broad parameters, cross-check these points with your spouse and decide what works in your favour.

Both of us were keen on a school which would encourage a healthy mix of academics and extra-curricular activity. We hoped that the school would contribute towards learning and not mere erudition.

 We drafted an excel sheet, listing all the parameters here and cross-compared the final three schools in our shortlist.

 *Please note, the board offered by the school and competitive exam preparation are listed at the end, since we were not too worried about either criterion at this stage of her education.

Location/Proximity of school:
We were very clear that Gy should not be travelling for too long, to and from school, if we could help it. Living on rent worked in our favour, since we were not constrained by residential location.

Mode of learning:
Application-based/ Interaction across classes/ Community outreach and social service/Learn by teaching

Infrastructure offered by the school:
Class size( number of students)/ Play space/ Labs/ Environment/ Sports facilities

*Most schools offer a 25:1 ratio these days in terms of student-teacher situations. I , personally, have been in schools where the ratio has always been 35: 1 or more. The same can be said of my husband. How important is the ratio is a personal choice, but it can also depend upon the quality of the teacher.

System/Policy followed by the school:
Discipline/Flexibility/Working hours

*While we need discipline in schools, we are definitely against regimentation.
We were so used to the idea of the Monday to Friday work week, that working Saturdays was a point that weighed in when we looked at schools.

Cultural Aspects:
Music/Dance/Shloka/ Yoga/ Pottery/ Sanskrit/ Kannada

*This is something we were very keen on, since nurturing the creative aspect of children enhances their ability to interact in the real world.

Extra-Curricular:
Sports/Inter-school competitions

Reviews about the school:
Alumni network/ Teacher quality/ Parent opinion/ Student quality/ Homework

*Knowing how a school fares in the realm of public opinion contributes to our decision. This is especially true if you are new to a city and its schools.
How much homework a school dishes out is something that will depend on its curriculum.

Other services:
Food/ Daycare/ First-Aid

* A useful thing to consider, especially for working parents.
Food prepared and served by the school is a definite plus, since it ensures warm and fresh food for the hungry child.

Board followed by school:
 CBSE/ ICSE/ IGCSE/ IB

 Competitive exams preparation:
IIT/CAT/GRE/GMAT/NTSE/ASSET/TOEFL/IELTS

*To us, it didn’t really matter much which board she would be studying, since this is something that may change a few years down the line. She may also opt to choose another board midway through the education process.

It is to be noted, however, that CBSE trains students for the exams offered by the Central Board such as IIT-JEE and ICSE targets students who aim for international competitive exams.

There is a proposal to streamline all curricula into one mainstream model, some time in the future. But, when and if that will happen is a question open to debate.

The List of Schools:

So, after hours and weeks and days (and did I mention days???) of searching, we FINALLY had our list for consideration.

These are the schools which we decided upon, for our list of preferred institutes. Clicking on the school’s name will take you to its home page or its admissions page.
These were relatively newer schools which we had heard about and decided to visit:
Other schools which we were looking at, but did not visit, included:

=======================================================================

{This is the end of Part 1.

In Part 2, I will outline the details  below:

The Personal Visit/ Interaction

Our Shortlist- The final three

Other Reviews

The Admission process}

{DISCLAIMER}

  • The views expressed here are solely those of the writer. 
  •  Fees/admission processes/ facilities mentioned here are relevant to the time this post was written and updated- (August 2011- September 2013).
  • The writer will not be held accountable for any decision regarding admissions/ opinions of the school.
  • This is not meant to either laud or undermine any school. All notes mentioned here are relevant to us and what we experienced in our personal interaction with each school.

280 total views, 0 views today

Comments

comments

0 thoughts on “(Part 1) School hunt: Standard 1

  1. Hi Shailaja,
    Loved the post, the method and the details 🙂 Looking forward to the next one in the series. BTW, did you check out Treamis World School in Ecity by any chance?

  2. Thank you,Simran! We didn't explore schools in Electronic city, since we were planning on residing in the areas surrounding J P Nagar, Jayanagar or Kanakapura road.

    Treamis has been reviewed elsewhere though. Let me source the links and send them across.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this:

Parenting and Blogging Tips by email? Sign up here.

Once a week, you'll get a new post and once a month, a newsletter with features and updates.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.