My baby is growing rapidly….questions that many parents reflect on is, which is best preschool in Gurgaon for my child?
The early years are most critical in terms of brain, IQ& emotional development and sets the foundation for the entire life. So in the preschool & early school years – just care & safety is not enough….active engagement with the child, multiple developmental activities, some outdoors& fresh air, engagement with the elements, music, tactile development, story time with time for reflection & dialogue including with other children,are all very important in these early years – rather than learning the 3Rs or pedantic rote learning stuff, viz,learning numbers, letters, homework, etc.,which helps in limited doses in the early years – and becomes somewhat more important(to some extent) in the later (primary& middle) years, to reinforce and strengthen the learning process…(i.e. practice does help).
So how do I deal with some of the following questions?
i. There are so many schools in town – which are the better ones and how do I ensure I get a place for my child in one of the best?
ii. CBSE or CAMBRIDGE or ICSC or IB? – It’s all so confusing?
iii. What’s an International school? – what’s a global school ?….while I do want my child to have the flexibility to go abroad – I don’t want to prejudge & pre-decide at this stage weather my child will go abroad or not …for college, work or god knows what …too early to decide….and yet I want the flexibility and not get excluded from this option ?
iv. Some of the campuses are so big & daunting – how will my little one deal with such big buildings- all alone?
v. And then some of the great visible brands are schools, are so far away from my home? Travel time will be long ….is it fair for my child??
vi. We’ll also need daycare – as both of us are working – so once school gets over(early afternoon) how will the child be looked after till evening?( as we will be in a position to get back home from work only by 6 or 7 pm ) ? So how do we juggle school, daycare& the logistics in between …- can I find a school &daycare in the same campus? - whew all this is getting rather complex L
Here are some thoughts which may help.
Well first of all the early years engagement of children in a good pre-school is very, very important – as this is a time when the brain is exploding with development &growth & the child has the capability to learn very fast &the early years to lay the foundation for the rest of his/her life ….and so choose a good pre-school carefully….preferably one nearby … A good pre-school is not a creche – where all that happens is just care, largely by maids– with rather limited to NIL engagement & activities with the children.
The Board of Education is important – but frankly becomes relevant only in the later years of schooling – as these Board’s of education are essentially examination & testing Boards – and while they provide a lot of guidelines and macro inputs to schools on school operations – the nitty gritty of what happens daily on campus and in the classrooms & playgrounds is largely determined by school management, the specific teachers, etc, etc – so particularly in the early years including Primary school years – say up till class 8 – please don’t get carried away by the Board Of Education and fads like technology in the classrooms(smart class boards, etc) – which don’t really make a material difference…So just choose a good top 10 schools in Gurgaon– not the Board of Examination.
Some other inputs worth considering as you evaluate a good school for your child!
· Distance from your home : avoid sending your child to a school – with a big visible brand – but which is so far away that your child is spending 45 minutes to 1.5 hours or more(one way) just to travel to school & get back home. Not worth wasting so much time daily – an utter waste of time - for a so called awesome play school in Gurgaon. A reasonably good or decent school or search daycare near me (say within a radius of 8 kms or less) – where your child is not wasting much time(max 30 minutes or so one way) to and fro – is worth considering favorably.
· School with a daycare in the same campus: not too many of such schools which provide this flexibility – but given the logistics & intra-day time saved of taking/dropping your child from a school to a daycare – it’s worth looking out for such a school -cum-daycare – so you’re saved the headache of figuring out how to engage your child in the afternoons/evenings?
· Look for small campuses, rather than big daunting imposing campuses in the early/primary years. We want your child to enter a campus that is in tune with the elements, is child friendly – not built like a big, big, sprawling imposing (adult like) building & campus over acres & acres of land …which are more relevant for the secondary & senior secondary years…at this stage smaller buildings, with lots of green areas & compacter play & engagement areas are not just sufficient – but just right for our growing child. Nursery & primary schools globally are smaller & compactor child friendly campuses – for good reasons.
· Everything seems to be changing, so the education & learning process also needs to be newer and adapted to our fast evolving world – where everything that we learn today (i.e. the existing knowledge framework) may get outdated in a few years. So a good school inculcates the right ability to enjoy learning – so children develop the skill & interest to remain lifelong learners.After all, in today’s world where there’s tremendous change & volatility …and newer operating models/disruptions/ organisations are emerging every few months (from years& decades earlier-many sectors like film cameras, photocopying, traditional cab services – have just disappeared thanks to major transformation & disruptions )…. So In times like these – it’s worth reflecting that the way schools operate also need to be different from the traditional models – so children are prepared for the rapid change that is on today & the fuzzy future.This period of cataclysmic change is being described by the world economic forum as the 4th industrial revolution !
So in times like this – when what we are seeing & doing is likely to be disrupted or radically changed in a matter of a few years – and when the future is fuzzy– should we be preparing our children in schools with a fixed subject curriculum& fixed education models or should the school of future prepare children to continuously learn, make continuous learning a habit& adapt to today’s fast changing environment of the 4th industrial revolution! This can only happen, if students enjoy “learning”, and we develop the behavioral competency of continuous & lifelong learning, as if every day in the school is a day of discovery – “i.e. anaha day” …i.e. of a wow daily, and deep &enjoyable learning! Thus in the school of the future,teachers & learning/intellectual infrastructure will ensure that each day is igniting &continuously re-igniting the “joy of learning “–i.e. the Sixth element!
Is the role of the teacher to teach or to bring learning magic into the class room/learning spaces – by experiential learning – so our young fast growing learners get a wow !every day !!
Climate change is the other key trend that is impacting the planet in many ways – with changing weather patterns, unexpected storms, unexpected heat & cold waves often proving the weatherman wrong& pollution levels rising! Climate change is also impacting agriculture, air quality, water availability, forest & green cover’s in unexpected ways – and it does appear that there is a urgent need to restrict the high energy consumption organisations, economies and develop sustainable practices in our societies, economies, villages, towns, agrarian practices & industries – as otherwise our earth may not be in a position to sustain the steady increase in carbon emissions, widespread increase in plastic usage, lack/reduction in tree cover, etc.. So shouldn’t schools take the lead in illustrating & championing green practices? Sustainability is a concept much broader than “fighting climate change by green infrastructure & practices” it’s inclusive enough to make our children sensitive to other genders, diversity in age, disability, income levels, beliefs, etc…
So for the school of future (i) learning how to enjoy learning lifelong, (ii) leveraging experiential practices& mentoring in the classroom by teachers, and (iii) ensuring that our children become acutely conscious of the environment & sustainability aspects and also instilling the right values & morals are critical –all of which we believe in the school of future - the Sixth Element green experiential school@tataPrimanti.
Here’s what a few smart children said will be the school of future
Hope this helps you to locate the best school for your child.
Thoughts? do share/let us know your perspective on what you think are features of best schools & day-cares and please do not hesitate to ask us any questions on any residual matters that you might have and we’ll be glad to help….
-Team – Sixth Element – the only nursery, primary, Sr School & daycare in Gurgaon!