The top 10 schools that ranked highest on 2014 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools survey's from Mumbai’s west zone — this includes areas between Mahim and Goregaon.
1) Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East) | Website: www.da-is.org
History: The school was established in 2003 and has state-of-the-art infrastructure. Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is the chairperson of the school.
Unique features: Its IB Diploma graduates were accepted by 140 universities worldwide, with students winning scholarships. This includes Oxford, Cambridge, MIT and Harvard. The school has programmes such as TEDxYouth@DAIS, DAIS Leadership Series, Model United Nations conferences and community service for students’ development.
“We are extremely happy that, for the third consecutive year, DAIS has been ranked the No. 1 school in Mumbai in the HT Top Schools survey. Every accolade inspires us to do our best to make teaching a pleasure and learning a joy.” — Nita M Ambani, founder and chairperson
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, teachers, selection process
Boards: Class 10 — ICSE and IGCSE, Class 12 — IB
Annual fee: Till Class 7 Rs. 1,25,000, Classes 8 to 10 Rs. 1,33,000 (ICSE), Classes 8 to 10 Rs. 3,20,000 (IGCSE), Classes 11 and 12 Rs. 6,25,000 (IB)
Students: 1,067 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 7:1
2) Jamnabai Narsee School
Narsee Monjee Bhavan, JVPD, Vile Parle | Website: www.jns.ac.in
History: Three brothers, Chatrabhuj, Pratap and Dharamshee Narsee formed the Narsee Monjee Educational Trust in 1970. The school is named after their mother.
Unique features: Its alumni host one of the state’s largest inter-school festivals, Cascade, annually. The school won the Overall Best Co-Ed School Trophy from the Mumbai School Sports Association this year. For the past 12 years, the school has been hosting a sports meet for differently abled children. The school has a resource centre, staffed by 11 special educators.
“The vision of the school ‘Excellence Through Endeavour’ finds expression through value-based education, with focus on academic competence and developing life skills through sports, performing arts, community focus and leadership training.” — Jairaj Thacker, managing trustee
Highest ratings for: Selection process Teachers Academic rigour
Boards: Class 10 —ICSE, IGCSE and NIOS, Class 12 — ISC, IB
Annual fee: Not disclosed
Students: 4,800 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
3) Bombay Scottish School
Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim | Website: www.bombayscottish.in
History: The formation of Bombay Scottish School began in 1847, when the Scottish Christian missionaries established the Scottish Female Orphanage at Byculla. In 1976, the name was changed to Bombay Scottish School.
Unique features: The numerous curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities encourage students and teachers to challenge themselves and channel their creativity. The school excels at sports and has facilities for art, craft, music and gymnastics and holiday workshops.
“Our aim is to ensure that each student leaves the portals of ‘Scottish’ a wise, upright and sensible youngster, grounded in values and able to face challenges and shoulder responsibilities with confidence and integrity.” — Molly Paul, principal
Highest ratings for: Value for money, selection process, teachers
Board: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC
Annual fee: Rs. 48,000; an admission fee of Rs. 1,000 is charged for new admissions
Students: 3,320 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: Not available
4) RN Podar School
Jain Derasar Road, Santacruz (West) | Website: www.rnpodarschool.com
History: While the Podar Group has been in the field since 1927, the RN Podar CBSE School was set up in 1998. The first batch of Class 10 and Class 12 graduated in 2003-04. It is also a centre of excellence, selected by the CBSE board.
Unique features: The school follows unique student-driven initiatives to give them ownership and responsibility of their own learning. It is the first school in the country to have formally implemented the flipped classroom learning model.
“When I see our school’s name on the profile of so many successful alumni, I feel proud. When ex-students drop in to school and when parents say they researched on schools and zeroed-in on ours, it motivates us to get ready to climb yet another peak.” — Avnita Bir, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, value for money, teachers
Board: Class 12 — CBSE, CBSE-I
Annual fee: Rs. 59,780 to Rs. 1,60,050 (depends on the class)
Students: 2,500 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 40:1
5) Podar International School
Saraswati Road, Santacruz | Website: www.podarinternationalschool.com
History: In 1927, Anandilal Podar, a businessman who ran cotton mills, founded the Podar Group of Schools. A trust manages the school, which was founded in 2004.
Unique features: The school will go completely digital in 2015, with the implementation of e-learning across various disciplines. iPads are being used by students, along with 3D technology, in the classroom to enhance the learning process. This year, students have secured outstanding results in the IGCSE and A-level examinations, by topping in the world.
“The school’s vision is aimed at attaining excellence in all spheres, and that has reflected in the classroom practices and students’ progress. I guess that is the secret of our success.” — Vandana Lulla, director, Podar Group of International Schools
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, value for money, teachers
Boards: Class 10 — IGCSE, Class 12 — IB, A-level
Annual fee: Rs. 1,38,000
Students: 2,000 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
6) Oberoi International School
Oberoi Garden City, Goregaon (East) | Website: www.oberoi-is.org
History: The school was founded in August 2008, as a social initiative of the Oberoi Foundation. Currently, students from 35 nationalities are studying at the school.
Unique features: The school has clubs for Model United Nations, Habitat for Humanity and Operation Smile. Students also volunteer for Teach for India, Udaan Foundation and Indian Cancer Society. It is a member of East Asia Regional Council of Schools.
“I am very proud of Oberoi International School and its community. It is a very young school and has achieved a lot, in its own right, for its own merit. We are not better or worse than others, we are simply one of a kind.” — Vladimir Kuskovski, principal
Highest ratings for: Infrastructure and facilities, teachers-student relationship, safety, health and hygiene, teachers
Boards: Class 10-IGCSE, Class 12-IB
Annual fee: Rs. 5,00,000 on an average (except for bus transport and after-school activities)
Students: 1,450 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 7: 1
7) Utpal Shanghvi School
JVPD scheme | Website: www.utpalshanghvischool.org
History: The school was founded in 1982 by residents of 14 housing societies in JVPD, after they found it difficult to get their children into good, co-ed, English-medium schools. IGCSE was introduced in 2005, and A-level in 2008.
Unique features: It is a not-for-profit institution, and charges no donations or deposits for admissions. The campus is equipped with e-technology and IP cameras. It also has a recording studio to engage students in filmmaking and live telecast.
“Ours is an institution where each one gets an opportunity to grow. The management has out-of-the box solution finders for the needs of students. Within the first 6 years, to have 10 world toppers and 48 India toppers at IGCSE and A-levels speaks volumes.” — Abha Dharampal, CEO
Highest ratings for: Sports, value for money, infrastructure and facilities, governance, parent participation
Boards: Class 10 — SSC, IGCSE; Class 12 — A-level
Annual fee: SSC - Rs. 35,000, IGCSE - Rs. 77,000 and A-level - Rs. 3,40,000
Students: 3,100 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: SSC 40:1, IGCSE 30:1
8) Arya Vidya Mandir
St Cyril Road, Opposite St Andrews High School, , Bandra (West) | No official website
History: The Arya Vidya Mandir Society runs the group of Arya Vidya Mandir Schools in Mumbai. The first Arya Vidya Mandir was started in Santacruz, which was followed by the one in Bandra (West).
Unique features: It is a child-centric school and the focus is on the child’s all-round development. Along with academics, the school offers value-based education and spiritual education for children’s holistic growth. A variety of extra-curricular activities are also offered.
Jyoti Kumar, school principal and director, refused to comment.
9) Maneckji Cooper School
Juhu Tara Road, Juhu | Website: www.maneckjicooperschool.com
History: Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School was founded by the Late Jehangir Maneckji Cooper, in memory of his late father Maneckji Bejonji Cooper, an educationist. The school began as a nursery school in 1959 and eventually grew into an ICSE school in 1974.
Unique features: The school conducts numerous scholastic examinations and spelling bees, in which many students have reached up to international levels. The children participate in debates, elocutions, creative writing as well as sports.
“The school provides a solid foundation for positive and meaningful education with values, character building and is not just a building with four walls and a five-star hotel environment, but also building with tomorrow inside.” — Kashmira Gundevia, principal
Highest ratings for: Sports, diversity, infrastructure and facilities
Board: Class 10 — ICSE
Annual fee: Rs. 49,000
Students: 1,900 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 35:1
10) Bombay Cambridge School
Off Sahar Road, Chakala, Andheri (E) | Website: www.bombaycambridgeschooleast.org
History: The school was established in 1993. The school endeavours to develop each student into a global citizen. It encourages students to celebrate the rich cultural diversity in the global environment.
Unique features: The school participates in international programmes such as Commonwealth projects by the British Council and International Youth Progra-mme. The school won the ISA award. It began its Model United Nations club this year, and participates in the Harvard MUN.
“In education there are no teachers and no one is taught, there are only learners. If we recognise this, the relationship between teachers and students becomes more affectionate, filled with love, respect and empathy.” — Savita Venkat, principal
Highest ratings for: Teacher-student relationship, parent participation, life skills, sports
Boards: Class 10 — SSC, Class 10 — IGCSE
Annual fee: IGCSE - Rs. 57,600, SSC - Rs. 28,000
Students: 2,800 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: 25:1