A unique teaching methodology: Gyan Bharati School
The land on which the school is built was a jungle when it was given to us in the 1970s,” said RC Shekhar, director, Gyan Bharati School.
Thirty years later, the school and the area around it — with PVR Saket a stone’s throw away — look far from a forested area. Gyan Bharati School claims that the one thing that has not changed, however, is the value-system on which the school has built itself.
“With so many professionals in the area, it became important to have a school that was down to earth and could cater to their thinking,” said Shekhar.
The school has taken a lot of unique initiatives. It has mentoring programs, in which students of classes eleventh and twelfth take the responsibility of mentoring primary students every week. The school feels that such activities enhance the leadership skills of students. “Ours was the first school in Delhi to have no prescribed books up to Class 3, and the pedagogy is totally based on experiential learning,” Shekhar said. Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur and model/ cricketer Angad Bedi are alumni of Gyan Bharti.
A child-centric school: Amity International School
Amity International School has worked hard to become a child-centric school that pays close attention to teacher recruitment and to maintaining a healthy student-teacher ratio – one teacher for every 17 students. It has also made yoga a part of the curriculum for all its students from class 1 to 5.
The school also has an impressive list of achievements in the field of sports. Students of the school have participated in national level sports competitions in cricket, tennis, chess and skating. Apart from sports and co-curricular activities, the school also scores high in academic rigour.
“Initially, I was a little apprehensive about enrolling my son in Amity because I felt it was a relatively new and inexperienced school,” said Aakriti Singh (35), whose son is studying at the school. “But when I spoke to the teachers and went on their website, I was surprised to find detailed information on things like their teaching methodology in which they had highlighted how the teaching methodology needs to change as the child moves from pre-primary to senior classes.”
*Amity International did not participate in the survey. Its ranking is based on extrapolation of data from the perceptual survey
A truly international exposure: DPS International School
Established as recently as in 2003, DPS International School, Pushp Vihar is one of the youngest members of the DPS society. However, the DPS brand name alone isn’t responsible for the success the school has seen in such short a time.
DPS International tries to give a truly international exposure to its students. Students are introduced to foreign languages in primary school itself. Students of junior school also have environmental studies, computers, music and dance as a part of their curriculum. The school follows the international Cambridge board — University of Cambridge International Examinations.
“The increasing demand for an international curriculum from both Indians and expats was one of the reasons behind the establishment of DPS International,” said Amita Mishra, principal, DPS International. “However, we have ensured that we don’t develop ourselves as an elite international school.”
An air-conditioned school, it has its junior branch in R K Puram. The small size of the class with 18-20 students per class ensures greater attention per student and that’s why the school has done well. The students keep themselves constantly engaged in activities organised by the various clubs, such as the Life Skills Club, the Environment Club, the Public Speaking Club and the Consumer Club.
The school has a well-equipped language lab to supplement and support the teaching of English, French, German, Spanish and other foreign languages. A counsellor is also available to help and support students as well as parents in finding solutions to behavioural and personal problems of the students.
Impressive infrastructure: Apeejay School
Established in 1976, the school is spread over 6.5 acres and has come a long way because of innovative teaching methods and an impressive infrastructure for sports. The school boasts of having a swimming pool, skating rings, basketball courts, football courts.
“We give each primary class student a trophy saying ‘I am a winner’ and an appreciation trophy to students from class I to V,” said A P Sharma, principal of the school. Some of the initiatives taken up by the school are Competition with Self, Project Eureka (motivating students for engineering and pre-medical tests competition), Project Garv (team effort building initiatives).
Apeejay has a fully air-conditioned auditorium as well. The students are involved in many social responsibility activities such as project Naman, which makes students in the project interact with senior citizens every Thursday. “Youth is certainly going through a transitional phase and because of working parents they have a vacuum in their lives,” said Ritu Sharma, English teacher at Apeejay for the past 14 years. “This has led to parents and students having a bigger relationship with the school”.
The school has computer aided learning to make the teaching and learning process more effective. It is equipped with six computer labs housing 160 computers with multimedia facility including LCD lab. Apart from a well-equipped infirmary and a fulltime nurse, Apeejay also has a counselling centre that address all sorts of emotional and other problems faced by children.
The school invests greatly in teacher training as well, with its teachers attending regular workshops.
A journey of self-discovery: Birla Vidya Niketan
Birla Vidya Niketan was established in 1982 under the aegis of the Birla Academy of Art and Culture. The school scores high on parameters of social-accountability, value for money and competence of teachers.
The school houses two buildings — the junior block for students of Nursery to Class 5, and the senior block, for classes 6 to 12. It has performed well consistently in academics. The sports infrastructure at the school includes a swimming pool, badminton courts and multi-purpose gymnasium and a skating rink. Birla Vidya Niketan is one of the few schools in Delhi to have lockers for all classes in order to save children from carrying heavy bags to schools.
The school also concentrates on life-skills education and that’s why students of different classes are given training in first-aid, table manners and on the phone. Nursery students are encouraged to learn about the environment by participating in activities such as no-trash day. Regular trips and excursions are organised for the students, across the country and abroad.
Democratic to the core: The Indian School
This 14-year-old school starts its days with interactive assembly, in which there are interactive sessions, visitors from varied walks of life and quiz on current affairs. “We want to ensure that our children are exposed to different concepts and ideas,” said Tania Joshi, principal of the school.
“This is why the school has a democratic election of the school council in which the candidates present their manifestos and the teachers don’t interfere in the process.” It’s one of the few schools which have a dedicated program for the security of the school.
Each classroom has a close circuit TV for security purposes and fire drills are regularly held at the school. “We want to help each student realise his/her potential, which is why we have unique programs such as the self-discovery project” said Joshi. The school has well equipped air-conditioned and computerised libraries, with over 16,000 volumes.
Self-discovery project is a unique project at the school in which students try to discover themselves by writing about themselves and by taking up other self-introspection activities.
High on safety, hygiene: K. R. Mangalam
Established in 2004, the school has risen to compete with much older schools in south Delhi and has great aspirations. Apart from air-conditioned smart classes, great infrastructure on a 5-acre campus, the school also ranks high on safety and hygiene of students.
The school has a unique curriculum.
“We have all our children learning robotics, chess, taekwondo, tennis and skating till class 8th as a part of the curriculum,” said Jyoti Gupta. “It’s difficult to find such facilities in a day school.”
The school does lag behind in academic rigour but claims it has seen a 12% increase in academic performance since last year. “We don’t pressurise our students for a 90%, but we encourage those at 75 to aim higher and those at 90 to get a 100,” said Gupta.
The school has tie ups with five countries including Australia and France for student exchange programs, in which students from those countries stay with families here for three weeks. The school lays great emphasis on sports and extra curricular activities. SPIC MACAY has a tie up with the school and hosts events.
Other Schools to watch out for:
Don Bosco School: This all boys Catholic School in Alaknanda is from KG to Class 12 and follows the CBSE board and charges approximately R22,080 annually for nursery.
Tagore International School, East of Kailash: The school has interesting co-curricular clubs such as taekwondo, adult literacy, French club and project citizen club and workshops on themes ranging from film-making to best usages of waste material and the relevance of newspaper in classrooms. The school charges R2,600 per month in its junior wing.
Cambridge Primary School: Established in 1931 Cambridge School located in Srinivaspuri is up to class 12th and charges about R29,220 annually.
St. Mary’s Public School: Located in Neb Sarai, on an 1.5 acre campus, St. Mary’s Public School follows a CBSE curriculum and offers great value for money at an annual tuition fee of R11,880 annually.
Manava Bharti International School: The school is built on an eight-acre campus in the heart of south Delhi in Panscheel Park South. It is from KG to Class 12 and offers boarding facilities as well. The school lays special focus on performing and creative arts. It charges approximately R35,000 annually for students from KG to Class 5.