Part 2- The School hunt- Grade 1

{Check for Part 1 of this post}

The Personal Visit/ Interaction:

V and I realised that it would be practically impossible to visit every school on our list. So, we decided to whittle down the list to 6 schools and based on our opinion, start the admission process.

As we were looking at a residential location in the areas surrounding Kanakapura road, J.P. Nagar and Jayanagar, we stuck to schools in this area.




Jnana Sweekar Public School:

This was the first school we visited one fine morning in September 2011. The receptionist was pleasant and put us on to the coordinator, who personally showed us around the school, pointing out the various features and explaining the curriculum.

Pros:

Cons:

(We had this as our backup, in case nothing else worked out)

Ekya School, J.P. Nagar

This was the next school that we saw that same day. It is tucked away in a residential area of J.P. Nagar, between Bannerghatta and Kanakapura road. To be honest, the reason we looked up the school was because we were impressed by the website.  And, we weren't really disappointed, in that sense. The classrooms looked lovely, as did the cute artwork displayed on the primary school bulletin board.

However, the place for outdoor play seemed limited to a basketball court in the lowest floor and it still wasn't outdoors. Both of us were very keen on open playing space for Gy, so we decided to give the school a miss.

Sherwood High

I had heard about the school from an acquaintance who had admitted her daughter in June 2011. She was pretty happy with the school.

It's a sister concern of the Greenwood High group and had opened its doors in 2009.

Being right on the main road,  just after the NICE junction on Bannerghata road, the school was easily accessible. The day we checked out the school, it seemed like every potential parent had the same idea.  A group of parents were in conference with the principal, who was talking about the curriculum and the school motto.

The receptionist looked harried and waved at a passing man and asked him to show us around the school. The poor chap was not too informed about the rooms and was unable to answer questions. He finally admitted to being the gardener!

Well, that kind of threw us off balance and we dropped the school from our list. First impressions mean a lot and we weren't happy with the one we had seen.

Our shortlist- The final 3!

Podar International

This was pretty high on our shortlist, for the simple fact that Gy had enjoyed her three years with Podar Happy Kids. The school and its ideology were things we were very happy about and Gy was guaranteed admission, as a graduate from PHK :)

Since the campus was about three years old,  a lot of infrastructure was still in the process of getting set up.

The approach road was a bit difficult to negotiate, but it may be better now. We saw it in September of 2011.

Sri sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir

What drew us to the school was its openness. We called ahead. They said we could bring our daughter, meet the principal informally and decide if we liked the school.

The school is off Kanakapura road, a little past the Art of Living Ashram and has a steep approach road.

The principal was very warm and welcoming and asked Gy a few questions to put her at ease. Of course, after saying her name, Gy refused to say anything else, much to my dismay. The principal asked her where her dad worked and Gy merely smiled shyly! The comical thing was my husband trying to prompt her by describing the company logo ;)

Honestly, we felt good about the school. The one hiccup was the fact that they would work Saturdays :(, especially for classes 3 and above.

Sri Kumaran Children's Home (CBSE)

Having heard good things about the school and discussing it in detail with another blogger, Aparna, who'd admitted her daughter in 2011, we decided to check out the campus.

Both of us loved the greenery and the infrastructure around campus. The fact that shloka,pottery, music and yoga were mandatory in the curriculum, sealed the deal for us.

We applied online when the forms came out and waited to make our decision.

Other Reviews:

As far as other parents and their opinions on schools went, I found these on mouthshut.com, parentree.in as well as a few discussions on online forums.

 In this entire quest, I came across certain interesting and relatively common ideas:
  1. School hunt is a nerve-wracking process. It helps if you have a basic list of expectations and work outward. Do bear in mind that not all of these may be satisfied by any one school.
  2. The parameters we hold up, to select a school, can vary significantly from one parent to another.
  3. More parents are open to the idea of alternative schooling and/or homeschooling. Some very good resources on this topic can be found online.
  4. Schools themselves are now becoming more amenable to the idea of learning and wisdom than mere acquisition of knowledge. So, the broad emphasis is now more on vocation-based learning and applied thinking.
The Admission process:

Kumarans sent a mail, acknowledging our application.

Note: The child must be at least 5 years and 9 months as of June 1st of that year. If the child was born on September 1st or later of the previous year, he/she will not be given admission.

A date for interaction was given. Our interaction lasted five minutes. The principal asked us why we wanted Kumarans and asked Gy her name. There was no other evaluation. One week later, we were notified by email that Gy had been selected.


Note: Since 2013, the school conducts a short written and oral evaluation of the children, during interaction. This, according to them, is to gauge the learning level of each child, since they come from varied schools.

Important note! 

This year,  2014, there are no seats available at the Mallasandra campus. All students from the nursery sections at Tata Silk Farm and Doddakalsandra, siblings of children already at Kumarans and the RTE quota have filled all seats.

{DISCLAIMER}

Labels: , , ,