School Selection Guide
July to September is not just the monsoon season in North India, its also the season for nursery school admissions. In Gurgaon, we are spoilt for choices as far as number of schools are concerned. But choosing the right school for your young one can be tricky. As your child gets ready to take his or her first few independent steps, the one thing that you want to ensure is that the choice of the school where the child will spend the better part of the day is ideal. Here is a handy guide of aspects that you need to look out for, in making your decision:
Safety and Security
First things first; having a child is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. There is no way, therefore, that you would want to compromise on the child’s security. This involves checking for a number of factors such as:
- Does the school conduct a robust background check of its staff?
- Does it have CCTV cameras and is live streaming available?
- Do they have adequate COVID-19 protocols in place?
- Is the staff fully vaccinated?
It will be good to be able to go and visit the school and witness a lot of factors for yourself. In fact, if the school transparently allows you to interact with teachers and if you can approach its senior management, it is a big plus in favor of the school.
Choice of board
Ever so often when you are beginning the child’s academic journey, you do not tend to focus on the choice of board that the school offers. This, however, needs to be a major factor on which you need to make your choice. CBSE undoubtedly has wide acceptability in the Indian context and a progressive CBSE school can do wonders for your ward. On the other hand, International Boards are known to offer concept-based learning. However, you need to make sure that their execution is also world class, as it can otherwise mar the child’s experience. International Board schools are also expensive and can cost you almost twice that of a comparable CBSE school.
Distance from home
This is a non-compromisable aspect as you cannot have a young child undertake a long commute. Depending on your city, of course, a good rule of thumb is that the travel time should not exceed more than 45 minutes by school bus.
Pro tip- Do check to see that the school transport is GPS enabled, so you are assured of the child’s security. The distance to the nearest pick and drop point is also an important criterion.
Availability of daycare
With working parents, this is one factor you cannot choose to ignore. However, it isn’t enough to check that the school offers daycare facilities, but also to get into the details to see what kind of activities are offered during these hours and whether they add to the child’s holistic development. Very often daycare hours could mean only homework support.
Focus on sports and co-curricular activities
While you sure want the school to focus on academic prowess, there is no way you would want to compromise on the child’s all-round development. To this end, it is important to check what kind of sports facilities does the school offer. With the weather being unpredictable and often extreme, it will be good to check if there is an adequate indoor area for sports. It is also prudent to check for what kind of share of timetable is allocated to sports and other co-curricular activities.
It is worthwhile to check if the school provides meals. If so, are the meals designed to take care of the child’s nutritional requirements? In case your child has any food allergies, is the school equipped to customize the menu?
Overall Progressiveness of the school
Lets face it, AI is ready to change the job scenario of world. When our young ones go out of college, we don’t know what kind of jobs they will be looking at and what kind of skills will be required. We cant expect our kids to be prepared for such a scenario while still mugging up dates of history and facts of science. Most schools today claim that they are a progressive school, use project based learning and other buzz words. So differentiating a truly progressive school may itself be a challenge. You sure want a school that offers an overall progressive experience. That means checking for factors such as:
- Focus on socio-emotional learning
- The quality of teachers and the kind of training provided to them
- A healthy teacher: student ratio
- Use of audiovisual aids in pedagogy
- Intra-disciplinary projects
- Pedigree of School Management and Leadership Team
Here’s to you making the right choice of the school and the child making the most of what will be an enriching journey!