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HT Top Schools survey: The 10 best schools in Mumbai

education Updated: Sep 10, 2014 17:53 IST
Hindustan Times
HT Top Schools survey

Hello readers, we are very pleased to present the sixth HT Top Schools survey.

Parents give a lot of thought and time while selecting a school for their child. Curriculum, teaching standards, school infrastructure, fees, location, safety — all these factors are crucial while making that choice.

Earlier, there were few options in curriculum and a small list of old and established institutions to pick from when choosing a school for your child. Now, new-age campuses and legislation, such as the Right to Education Act, are revolutionising school education. With an explosion in the number of schools and a wider choice of Indian and international curricula, the task of finding the best school is tougher than ever.

We hope our list of the top schools in Mumbai will help you arrive at that important decision.

The methodology used to select the city’s top schools (detailed below) involves a formula that has proved its efficacy since 2009, when HT first gave you a list of Mumbai’s best schools. Over the years, some of your suggestions have been incorporated in the selection process.

This week, we will list the best schools in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Apart from the rankings, we will have profiles of the top institutions in each zone, followed by a series of reports next week that will track the trends and developments in the fast-changing world of school education.

The 2014 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools survey gave scores to each school across 18 parameters, from academic rigour to sports. Here is the list of schools that topped our rankings:

1) Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East) | Website: www.da-is.org

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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 leading universities worldwide, with many students winning scholarships. This includes universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, MIT and Harvard. The school has programmes such as TEDxYouth@DAIS, DAIS Leadership Series, Model United Nations (MUN) conferences and community service for students’ holistic 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) The Cathedral & John Connon School
6, Purshottamdas Thakurdas Marg | Website: www.cathedral-school.com

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History: The Anglo-Scottish Education Society founded in 1860, later became The Cathedral & John Connon School. It became a co-educational school in 1965.

Unique Features: The school boasts of a mix of old and new. It has a beautiful heritage façade, but is teeming with new technologies ranging from IT-enabled smart classrooms to state-of-the-art music and art studios, and libraries with 35,000 books. It was the first school in India to hold an MUN, which is in its 18th year. The school’s 80-member choir is one of the city’s oldest.

“We strive to give our children every opportunity to be the kind of people they can be. In this day and age, it is important to focus on the emotional quotient as well.” — Meera Isaacs, principal

Highest ratings for: Teachers, academic rigour, selection process

Boards: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC

Annual fee: Rs. 90,000 (from pre-primary to Class 12)

Students: 2,000 boys and girls

Student-teacher ratio: Between 10:1 and 38:1 (depending on the class)

3) Campion School
Cooperage Road, Fort | Website: www.campionschool.in

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History: Campion School was founded in 1943, by the Jesuits and Father Joseph Savall was the founder principal. The school started with 23 students, before shifting to Wellesely House and Arthur House in 1948.

Unique Features: The school is technologically well-equipped with 140 computers connected to an internal network of projectors in every classroom. Most of the teaching staff has been given laptops to help them prepare their lessons and to use in class. Learning is made fun through various activities and project tours.

“We are committed to the philosophy that each member of the school must have the opportunity to reach his full potential. We help students realise talents are gifts to be developed not for self-satisfaction or self-gain, but for the good of society.” — Paul Machado, principal

Highest ratings for: Teachers, selection process, value for money, Academic rigour

Board: Class 10 — ICSE

Annual fee: Rs. 70,000

Students: 779 boys

Student-teacher ratio: 19:1

4) Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School
JK Gram, Thane (West) | Website: www.singhaniaschool.org

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History: Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School was founded in 1968 by Gopalkrishna Singhania, in memory of his wife Sulochanadevi. The school started in 1969. The board of governors of the school is headed by Dr Vijaypat Singhania, Chairman Emeritus — Raymond Ltd.

Unique features: The school has a global curriculum and adopts innovative methods of teaching. It routinely undertakes teacher and student exchange programmes. It is located centrally in Thane and has a 12.8-acre campus.

“At our school, we focus on an all-round, holistic approach towards education. We teach our kids life skills, and the school is rooted in values. The basic philosophy of the school is broad vision and incorporating skill sets in everyday life.”— Revathi Srinivasan, principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, teachers, value for money

Board: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC

Students: 6,600 boys and girls

Annual fee: Rs. 30,000

Student-teacher ratio: not available

5) Jamnabai Narsee School
Narsee Monjee Bhavan, JVPD, Vile Parle | Website: www.jns.ac.in

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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

6) Bombay Scottish School
Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim | Website: www.bombayscottish.in

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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, including shooting, and 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

Boards: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC

Annual fee: Not available

Students: 3,000 boys and girls

Student-teacher ratio: Not available

7) JB Petit High School For Girls
5, Maharshi Dadhichi Marg, Fort | Website: www.jbpetithighschool.com

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History: Established in 1860 by an Englishwoman, JB Petit School was originally known as Miss Prescott’s Fort Christian School. In 1946, the school was renamed the JB Petit School for Girls.

Unique features: The school participates in the conflict resolution camp Seeds of Peace, held in the US every year, which aims to empower young leaders with skills for advancing reconciliation and co-existence. It was the recipient of the International School Award from the British Council, for the international dimensions in its curriculum.

“JB is a dynamic, diverse, vibrant school. There is a pervasive, tangible sense of freedom and intellectual challenge that is so exciting; and a sense of family that makes JB ‘home’ for staff and students.”’— Binaifer Kutar, principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, teachers, value for money

Board: Class 10 — ICSE

Annual fee: Not disclosed

Students: 900 girls

Student-teacher ratio: Not available

8) St Mary’s School (ICSE)
Nesbit Road, Mazagaon | Website: www.stmarysicse.com

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History: St Mary’s was established by the Jesuits as a Catholic orphanage in 1864, and very soon was opened to students from all castes and creeds.

Unique features: The school is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. It has one of the largest campuses in south Mumbai, with two sports grounds, an auditorium that meets international standards and two gymnasiums. An inter-school cultural programme, Immaculata, is organised by students. Azim Premji, Zubin Mehta and Boman Irani are among its famed alumni.

“School education must draw out what is best in each student, so as to develop him or her to his/her fullest potential. The school atmosphere must be so happy that children want to come to school.”— Father Kenneth Misquitta, principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, value for money, teachers, selection process

Board: Class 10 — ICSE

Annual fee: Rs. 43,000

Student strength: 1,450 boys

Student-teacher ratio: 25:1

9) RN Podar School
Jain Derasar Road, Santacruz (West) | Website: www.rnpodarschool.com

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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

10) Podar International School
Saraswati Road, Santacruz | Website: www.podarinternationalschool.com

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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

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