We are very pleased to present to readers the fourth HT Top Schools Survey. As we did last year, we have refined the methodology to reflect our own deepening understanding of the issues and by incorporating sensible suggestions from readers. See ‘Methodology’ for further details.
We hope that the survey will help parents with one of the most significant decisions they will take on behalf of their children: selecting a school. Along with the rankings, we have profiles of the top schools in each zone followed by a series of articles that capture key education trends in the city.
We think that the entire series will help not only newcomers to Mumbai but also parents who have lived here all their lives. This is because city schools are rapidly transforming.
First, over the past year, Indian policy makers have ushered in radical changes in curricula across boards to make it more student-centric and less marks oriented. Second, international boards are rapidly making inroads in to city schools, raising the cost of education but also ushering in innovative and wider approaches to learning and teaching. Finally, many of today’s generation of highly conscious parents want to be closely involved with their children’s lives at school: they want a lot of information about what goes on at school not only before sending their children there but also afterwards. They would like a school that suits these aspirations.
This series takes into account these key shifts in schooling and parenting.
1. The Cathedral & John Connon School
6, Purshottamdas Marg, Fort
Website: www. www.cathedral-school.com
History: The Angelo Scottish Education Society founded in 1860, later became the Cathedral and John Connon School. In its early years, the school was closely associated with St Thomas’ Cathedral, from which it takes its name. Cathedral became a co-educational school in 1965.
Unique features: Cathedral was the first school in the country to hold a Model United Nations (MUN), which is now in its 16th year and entirely organised by students. The school’s 80-member strong choir is one of the oldest school choirs in the city. Originally providing choristers to St Thomas’ Cathedral, the cathedral with which the school has been associated and from which it takes its name, the choir performs every Christmas and Founder’s Day. Students are selected on the basis of highly competitive trials.
“We strive for excellence in all fronts and keep students at the focal point of all activities. As educators, we recognise the need to ‘walk the talk’ in order to make a lasting impression on young minds.”
— Meera Isaacs, principal
1. Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
History: The school was opened in January 2003 and is housed in a seven-storeyed building with state-of-the-art laboratories. Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is the chairperson of the school.
Unique features: Its students have won scholarships from Stanford, Princeton and Yale, among other international universities. It has
hosted the pan-Asian Inaugural International Sports and Cultural Fest.
“We are absolutely delighted that we have been ranked the number one school in Mumbai in the HT Top Schools Survey. As a young school established just nine years ago, this accolade is a tribute to our commitment to provide a world-class educational experience to our children and will inspire us to set new benchmarks of excellence year after year.”
— Nita M Ambani, founder and chairperson
3. Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School
JK Gram, Thane (West)
History: Gopalkrishna Singhania established the school in 1968 in the memory of his wife, Sulochanadevi Singhania. The school started functioning in 1969. It is located Thane and has a lush campus of around 10.6 acres.
Unique features: Their approach towards education is unique. Till class 4, it follows the thematic teaching pattern, which is designed by the faculty. Students don’t have to carry any notebooks. From class 4 to class 7, they follow a policy called ‘one textbook’. The Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad has made a case study on their teaching policy.
“We prepare students for life and not merely exams. We constantly innovate with teaching-learning processes to develop skill-sets rather than merely disseminating information. A balance between scholastic and non-scholastic skills and value-based education makes Sulonians what they are.”
— Revathi Srinivasan, principal
4. Bombay Scottish School
Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim
History: In 1855, a group of Scottish missionaries began Bombay Scottish Orphanage School to educate orphans. In 1976, the name was changed to Bombay Scottish School.
Unique features: The school is strong at sports, which includes shooting. Every student travels to school by bus. The school has facilities for art, craft, music and gymnastics and holiday workshops. It has distinguished alumni, such as Ranjit Hoskote and Rahul Sharma.
“The school has excelled, for over 166 years, in providing fine education. We endeavoured kindling a fire in young minds of and preparing them for tomorrow.”
— Melanie Chandrashekar, principal
5. Jamnabai Narsee School
JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle (West)
History: Brothers Chatrabhuj Pratap and Dharamshee Narsee formed the Shri Narsee Public Charitable Trust in 1959. They established the Narsee Monjee Educational Trust in 1970. Jamnabai Narsee School is named after their mother.
Unique features: The school has a resource centre staffed by 11 educators for children with special needs. The school also has a career guidance centre for its IB students. It hosts an annual inter-school festival, ‘Cascades’. It has teams for football, basketball, rugby and swimming. It also hosts a sports week for children with special needs.
“We believe in child-centric education and every policy of the school veers around the optimal resource utilisation for world class facilities for our children. We hope our students will ably shoulder responsibilities in the future, with true accountability to their country, and with empathy for the greater good of the world.”
— Sudeshna Chatterjee, principal
6. Delhi Public School
Sector 54, Nerul
History: The Navi Mumbai branch of the Delhi Public School, one of the largest schooling institutes in India, began in 1996. Delhi Public Society is a not-for-profit organisation, whose schools are affiliated to the CBSE board.
Unique features: Students from the school participate in various national level competitions such as National Olympiads, National Math Olympiads, International Informatics Olympiads and so on. More than 50% students who appeared for Class 10 and Class 12 examinations last year secured over 90%. Many of them were awarded the CBSE Merit Certificate at the All India Level.
“We attempt to equip our students with life skills and academic skills through delivery of integrated learning programme in tune with international standards, thus creating Life Long Learners ready to meet the constantly changing challenges and need the world around them.”
— PC Chhabra, principal
7. Hiranandani Foundation School
Hiranandani Estate, Thane Website: www.hiranandanischools.edu.in
History: Hiranandani, a group of property developers, have set up various schools for residents of its townships. This school was established in 1999 and is fast becoming on the finest co-educational English medium schools in the region.
Unique features: Following their motto, which means a sound mind in a sound body; students are provided with best facilities. In the past one year, 60 classrooms were equipped with educomp software. The school has set up one more computer laboratory and has topped in basketball and football at the national level.
“The child of today needs to be a happy child, that’s what I believe in. We try to create an environment where children get a rounded personality, with very good infrastructure and great opportunities.”
— Neelu Lamba, principal.
8. Campion School
Cooperage Road, Fort Website: www.campionschool.in
History: Campion School was founded in 1943, by the Jesuits. The founder principal was Father Joseph Savall. The school started out on a rented ground floor at 45, New Marine Lines with 23 students and shifted its quarters to Wellesely House in January 1948.
Unique features: The school has 140 computers connected to an internal network of projectors in every classroom. Most of the teaching staff have been given laptops The school launched the Jesuit Certificate Programme last year for classes 7 to 10. It an optional programme through which students can earn credits through extra-curriculars.
“We are committed to the philosophy that each member of the school community must have the opportunity to reach his full potential, enhance self-esteem, and become a successful part of a changing
society.” — Paul Machado, principal
9. JB Petit High School for Girls
5, Maharshi Dadhichi Marg, Fort
History: Established in 1860 by an English woman, 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 after the man who gave it a new lease of life.
Unique features: The school won the International School Award from the British Council for the international dimensions it has fostered in its curriculum. Students participate in the conflict resolution camp, ‘Seeds of Peace’ held in the US every year that aims to empower young leaders from regions of conflict with skills for advancing reconciliation and coexistence.
“There is an incredible buzz at JB Petit. We emphasise creativity, instill a sense of confidence and are not concerned about churning out academic robots. Ours is a happy school.”
— Binaifer Kutar, principal
10. Oberoi International School
5, Oberoi Garden City, Goregaon (East)
History: Oberoi International School began in August 2008 with a vision of providing excellent infrastructure and services that complimented the curriculum offered. It is an initiative of the Oberoi Foundation to provide world-class education focusing on the holistic development of young learners. The school is a contemporary urban school and a part of Oberoi Realty’s integrated township, Oberoi Garden City.
Unique features: Knowledge, respect, social responsibility, creativity and celebration of accomplishments are the core values which the school adopts as a part of its identity. Students from almost 16 different nationalities contribute to the cultural diversity of the school.
“OIS is a young school on a roll. We are about education and collaboration and not competition. We strive to develop the full potential of students and celebrate all achievements, big and small.”
— Vladimir Kuskovski, head of school