So how to select the right school for joining child in nursery, KG, grade 1?
A few researched inputs to consider:
- LOOK FOR A SMALLER CAMPUSES – ENABLES FOCUS ON EACH CHILD
Internationally in most developed countries, schools are smaller compact neighbourhood campuses
This enables optimum focus on “each child” – and also smaller number of children in the campus enables the child to adjust/transition easily and gain the most from the school milieu – with fewer and similar age group children clustered together.
SO ITS IMPORTANT TO LOOK FOR NOT JUST LESS STUDENTS/CLASS; OPTIMUM STUDENT TEACHER RATIO , BUT a SMALL SIZE CAMPUS SCHOOL –WITH VERY FEW TOTAL NUMBER OF SECTIONS PER CLASS
- teacher to children ration of around 12 to 15 students/teacher is optimum
sadly many schools have too many sections /grade – and thus the total number of students in the campus becomes very very high, leading to a “mobs” like, very busy ( at times intimidating ) school environment, not apt for a school – if seen from the perspective of small/young children.
Bullying or lack of self-esteem are sometimes resultant adverse fall outs with too many kids schools (some schools sadly have thousands of children in a campus).
especially nursery & primary school campuses are typically “neighbourhood” campuses with lessor number of children and distinct focus & milieu.
carefully review of “very large” school campuses – with thousands of children – often camouflage multiple operational problems – no visible initially. Schools with a max of of few hundred children, certainly not few “thousand” chaotic schools is therefore best for your child.
safety or security issues also do sometimes crop up, despite systems or best efforts of the school management in such large campuses.
School’s are very complex institutions to operate and manage – so ideally its best to avoid huge “ school chains” – despite the “seeming” advantage of ease of transfer across cities, which in relation to the impact on your child of the good, high quality , well managed smaller institution with good teachers and a well-honed management team. Even in these big chain schools – each campus is usually different – and locals are often aware – which one to completely avoid – as essentially it’s the management team, teachers, processes – together as one team that delivers on quality education and safety.
- DISTANCE – avoid distant “best” schools !
leaving for school at 7 or 8 am, can make a significant difference for both the child & parents, each morning – besides “wasteful daily commute” of say an hour or more, day after day, which can far better utilised in morning/evening exercise, sports, activities, fun time or study.
So ideally look for a good school, within a radius of 5 Kms, of your residence.
A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL IS MORE PRACTICAL & IMPACTFUL FOR A CHILD – THAN THE FAR AWAY SO CALLED BIG BRAND “BEST SCHOOL”
- TEACHER COMMITMENT & QUALITY
is perhaps one of the most critically important parameters to try and assess to choose the right school, dear parent. More than physical school infrastructure, – good, committed, quality “teachers” can immensely “transform” our children. Conversations with some of the school staff may help to understand– as also references from other/ex-parents.
Other indicators of teacher commitment & good school management are parameters like ‘staff attrition”, school culture, class/school upkeep, etc – which during a school visit(ideally when its operating) or conversations with school staff can reveal a lot – it’s a soft, important parameter
- SCHOOL CULTURE & PEER GROUP
A warm, nurturing, positive, friendly & respectful culture can be easily sensed in any organisation, more so in a school – especially during a walk through when the school is operating.
Children emulate other children/adults naturally – so peer/social impact is significant. As an example, if you’re from “say” upper middle sections of society – and if most of the children in the school are from “super rich” backgrounds – used to very expensive dresses, fancy cars, frequent international holidays, etc – can potentially lead to adverse peer pressure, which may not be in the best, long term interest of your child. Each family/parent may thus need to think through this soft but important parameter carefully, even if you can afford such an expensive big brand school.
- CURRICULAM & PEDAGOGY
Curriculum & pedagagy is often classified as CBSE, ICSC, NCERT, Cambridge, IB Boards.
while there are pros and cons of each curriculum – it is important to realise that practically these are all good, continuously improved well-regulated Internationally recognised education frameworks – and in the long run, which curriculum the child has been tutored on – is “not” a material differentiator, for admission to good colleges or success in life.
most of these schooling frameworks are now improving further, under the new education policy(NEP) under roll out in India – which will majorly improve school education in India, going forwards – and thus all these school frameworks broadly work well – especially in the foundational early/primary/middle school years.
As a parent, its worthwhile to keep in mind that differences in these frameworks become material to some extent, only in middle/high schools (i.e. closer to class 10 or 12) – as these frameworks or BOARDS are mainly schooling ability assessment & “examination” bodies.
Moreover, since the new Common University Entrance Test(CUET) is getting rolled out under India’s evolved new education policy(NEP), which is just like the SAT test, the importance of scoring “high marks” in class 12 – for getting admission into college has got diluted. Going forwards – all that will really matter is the child’s CUET score, which like SAT scores will test the child’s core abilities built over years – all across the schooling – particularly the foundation – for which the early, primary and middle years are most critical in the coming times.
- WHOLISTIC EDUCATION – NOT JUST ACADEMICS
This is far more self-evident, especially in these evolving times of CHAT GPT, AI, etc, etc . All round wholistic development is by far, even more important, than just focus on academics, for success in life. This the future of Education – crystallised as Education 4.0 by most education think tanks globally and is a cornerstone of our NEP under roll out in India too. This includes building diverse abilities – such as fluency in communication & social skills, broad spectrum abilities in both STEM & arts, physical flexibility & strengthening, comfort with games, sports, theatre, dance, music, communication, life skills, values, -and new age skills like innovation & comfort of doing things in teams. How all of this is integrated into the curriculum & pedagogy, day, week, month, year plans of the school – can be interesting to discuss and understand at a high level, dear parent, for which a school walk through and dialogue with school staff will help.
- PROJECT/ACTIVITIES LED LEARNING
Rote learning is obviously completely “old” world now.
While some memory strengthening is important, but understanding “Purpose” of learning is more important – as the “why” ignites & retains learning. And hence project work and activities are useful, especially when done in small groups, which illustrate and reinforce the “how” and “why” of learning the subject. This is the futuristic, Internationally benchmarked and & researched method of schooling – Education 4.0 Dialogue/open positive discussion in groups(encouraging children to ask clarifications/questions) help children discover, uncover underlying concepts and learn better. All this is described as “experiential” learning by some schools – which should however “not” be majorly delivered on screens.
SCREENS based learning dilutes focus and makes children addicted to screens. There is enough and more evidence that extensive use of screens impact eyes. So while by high school, some subject level understanding/ discovery via screens will need to supplement learning via books & physical projects – in the early & primary/middle grades screen based schooling is best “completely avoided” !
in many advanced countries like France & Germany – screens based schooling is completely banned by parliamentary law for children upto age 12. so worth reflecting on this important aspect carefully – dear parent.
- VENTILATED, AIRY, SPACIOUS, HYGENIC, GREEN CAMPUS, INFRASTRUCTURE
COVID often seems to be coming back? while we all hope it does not….
Good Ventilation is very “critical for children” and of course us. Airing the classrooms daily and allowing “still” enclosed air to flow out, replenished by fresh air and oxygen (from greenery plants on the campus) is important for health and safety of children.
UNICEF has been repeatedly emphasising the importance of cross-ventilation, by opening windows for a few hours daily, in all schools – during COVID times, as a critical process– to enable virus and bacteria to be aired out. Lots of greenery, including some air cleaning plants – help in mitigating/eliminating adverse impact of pollution – in those months, besides recharging the air and making the environment positive, which plants help. Air is one the five elements, and thus important for the health for our dear ones, visiting parents and staff!
And therefore, given number of hours children end up spending at school, there is a “question mark” on fully enclosed, FULLY airconditioned schools? – best avoided, dear parent!
- NO SCREENS or VERY LIMITED SCREENS BASED LEARNING
Research indicates that schooling about age 12 – should be done without screens. Writing, painting, doing with hands reinforces the neurons and brain-body abilities in ways – which screen based learning simply does not. So learning on IPADs/tablets should be a strict NO.NO there is considerable debate on this matter – and schools are unfortunately split into two camps- with some big brand, expensive schools leveraging IPADS/tablets/screens extensively – with almost everything including writing/painting/creative work done on screens – and the school bag – having a laptop and not workbooks as the major schooling tool?
Considering that many advanced countries like France and Germany have banned the use of screens in schools – upto age 12, it is worthwhile to delay and gradually introduce limited screen based schooling – only by middle & further in high school !
- NO NEED TO LOOK FOR “CRADLE TO HIGH SCHOOL” SCHOOLING AT ONE BIG MASSIVE SCHOOL CAMPUS.
Times are changing. Gurgaon has fortunately got lots of schools. its easy to shift schools here. And since quality standards & parent expectations are so different, many students-parents do change schools later/especially during middle school.
Gurgaon is a fast growing city and has lot of migrant/mobile population, with many parents constrained to move cities – and thus most schools have seats getting vacant/available across classes through the years, every year– as families move in and out. so it’s very easy to change schools here – so dear parent please don’t worry – if your child cannot get into your perceived desirable school, its ok.
maybe you’ll get into that campus in a couple of years. As it is, many of us have studied in different schools and colleges – through our lives – for various reasons – so it does not really matter if your child is not accepted in your so called “dream” school
hope all this helps dear parent! Do let us know your thoughts and please do write to us or visit us, if you have more questions. We will be glad to be of help.
At the sixth element school – we appreciate that “learning” is a natural instinct, just like many of our natural urges like breathing, eating, etc. The innate desire to learn, understand, discover, learn new capabilities, skills, just needs to be catalysed & nudged daily, by various aspects such as great teachers, the right curriculum, cutting edge new age teaching methodologies and green, eco-friendly positive & friendly environment, so “learning & discovery becomes a joy” and children just look forward to going to school.
Our school’s internationally benchmarked learning curriculum – “like in most developed countries” – recognises that the first early & primary grade years up to the age of 12 life especially, is foundational for lifelong well-being, overall growth and development across all dimensions – physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional – which we call – the sixth element , i.e. igniting the joy of learning !
Schooling for the future is not learning a static body of knowledge – rather it’s a lifelong foundational capability – and a high quality modern/contemporary global future ready school recognises this need and builds the same in every child.
Are we forcing children to learn – or are we allowing the sponge like brains of our fast developing children to enjoy learning, discovery & develop their growing capabilities.
learning to differentiate right from wrong, i.e. values & behaviour further strengthens these innate capabilities – and are as if not most important !
@ THE SIXTH ELEMENT SCHOOL WE BELIEVE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF CATALYSING & “THE SIXTH ELEMENT” FOR EVERY CHILD. OUR CURRICULAM IS BENCHMARKED WITH THE BEST INTERNATIONALLY, WHILE DRAWING FROM OUR CORE ANCIENT BEST PRACTICES. THANKS TO ITS 18 YEARS EXPERIENCE AND ITS CORE CHILD DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES DRAWN FROM PIAGET, VYGOSTKY AND BRUNER – WHICH IS INCIDENTALLY THE RESOURCE POOL – FOR THE FOUNDATIONAL YEARS SCHOOL CURRICULUM OF THE UPGRADED NEW EDUCATION (NEP) UNDER ROLL OUT IN INDIA NOW.
the Sixth Element School
the school children love
SOUTH CITY 1 . TATA PRIMANTI (sector 72)
85272-74695 or 97736-32626
limited enrolment available in pre-NURSERY, NURSERY, KG & DAYCARE, grade 1 in 2023
@ Gurgaon’s only single section boutique VENTILATED, AIRY, SPACIOUS. GREEN CAMPUSES