Seven factors to consider when searching for the best school in Gurgaon 22 Jun 2022 Priya Kapoor, Vega Schools

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One of my friends (let's call her Shipra) moved to Gurgaon last year and asked me for advice on‌ ‌finding‌ ‌a school for‌ ‌her‌ ‌son. ‌Since‌ ‌I‌ am a parent and work in the education sector (full disclaimer: I work at the Vega Schools, Gurgaon and have interacted with a large number of parents),‌ ‌I‌ ‌gave her‌ ‌a‌ ‌gist‌ ‌of‌ ‌the information I have gathered from my experience and asked her to use her judgment to decide‌ ‌what‌ ‌is‌ ‌best‌ ‌for‌ ‌her‌ ‌child. 

She had come up with a long list using the internet, social media, and a few friends, but felt ‌ ‌ lost ‌ ‌ in ‌ ‌ the ‌ ‌process. In the past, choosing a Top school in Gurgaon was relatively easy because the choices were limited and the only criterion for judging a school was how hard it was to get into it. ‌ There was a general assumption that when every parent is moving mountains to get their child into this school, then‌ ‌it‌ must be the best. 

Now there are so many new age schools that are taking over from their older counterparts, choosing has become harder.

Today with so many boards and different curriculums available,‌ ‌she‌ ‌was‌ ‌caught‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ middle ‌of ‌ a ‌dilemma. ‌What should she choose?: ‌IB,‌ ‌ICSE,‌ ‌IGCSE‌ ‌or‌ ‌CBSE? ‌Does she give more weight to the school's reputation or to its teaching methods? ‌Which factor is going to guarantee her child's happiness and success?

What to look for in a school?

Her ideal situation would be to find a school that offers everything she needs - great teachers for all subjects, a well-designed‌ ‌curriculum,‌ ‌fun‌ ‌teaching‌ ‌methods,‌ ‌modern‌ ‌infrastructure and ‌‌the‌‌ ‌‌best‌‌ ‌‌sports‌ ‌facilities,‌‌ ‌‌all‌‌ ‌‌within‌‌ ‌‌walking‌‌ ‌‌distance. ‌‌In her search, she found that only two or three of the above criteria were met at a single school. Therefore, she wasn't convinced. ‌However, she will have to make that decision when the time comes. Each of us goes through this grind knowing this decision will have the greatest impact on our child’s future life and we make the right decision,‌ ‌but‌ ‌how?

How important is it to visit the school?

‌First‌‌ ‌‌of‌ ‌all,‌ ‌we‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ be clear about ‌what‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌looking‌ ‌for‌ ‌here. Is it‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌school‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌city‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌best school‌‌ ‌‌for‌‌ ‌‌our‌‌ ‌‌child? ‌They are really two different things. ‌Ideally, we should begin by researching all our options based on fees and travel time, consult with existing parents of those schools personally or on social media, and, most importantly, visit the school in person. While visiting, observe if the students appear happy and well-mannered, whether the staff smiles at you and is able to answer your questions, does the classroom look lively and is the work done by learners proudly displayed on its walls,‌ ‌and‌ ‌whether‌ ‌the‌ ‌learning‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌appear‌ ‌skilled‌ ‌and‌ ‌passionate. ‌Prepare a sample list of questions before you visit a school so you can compare ‌based on some fixed parameters.

There are endless parameters parents can use to choose a school, some are general and some are very personal. We have tried to narrow down these parameters into five categories, hope it helps.

Happy child

However cliched it may sound, please select a school that will make your child happy. ‌ There is a good chance that your child will spend the majority of their waking time at school during the ‌weekdays. Do you want her to spend it happily sailing through school or be struggling to keep up with the classwork and homework? Whether a child is learning to add or mastering dribbling in basketball, she will give it their all if she is happy to do it. Best schools in Gurgaon follow interactive and modern teaching methods to pique their interest and make learning fun and more meaningful. ‌There is research proving that learning is most effective when done with a relaxed mind. 

Teachers and Pedagogy

After‌ ‌you,‌ ‌your‌ ‌child‌ ‌will spend most of the time with their teacher, so it is vital that they are kind‌ ‌and‌ ‌nurturing. ‌Trust is the primary basis of the relationship between teacher and student. ‌ When a child feels safe and comfortable with their teacher, she quickly settles down at‌‌ ‌‌school. ‌Furthermore, the teacher needs to be hands-on with the school curriculum but also be inspiring and encouraging to lay a good ‌groundwork for early education.  

While‌ ‌we‌ ‌select‌ ‌different‌ ‌boards‌ ‌for‌ ‌our‌ ‌own‌ ‌reasons,‌ ‌selecting‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌pedagogy‌ (teaching method) ‌is‌ ‌equally important‌ ‌or‌ ‌perhaps even more so. The teaching method should go beyond the prescribed textbooks.‌ Children should be allowed to express themselves, have discussions that spark their imagination, and be given time to think, explore, and come up with‌ ‌solutions‌ ‌independently. 

Parents complain that the children have short attention spans and get bored very easily. Look for a school that allows and encourages little learners to work in groups to complete a project. Not only will that keep them hooked to the topic on hand but also develop their empathy, negotiation and leadership skills. 

Travel time

School commutes should be quick and easy for the learners. ‌‌Find a school within 30-40 minutes of your house so your child doesn't have to spend half their day to get to the‌ school which gave us the one off state topper last year. Of course you may stretch the time a little if you find that all parameters on your list are checked in a particular school.

Infrastructure

Children need a place that is completely safe, with spacious learning zones, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, creative classrooms, ‌modern‌ ‌labs,‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌welcoming‌ ‌library. ‌In evaluating the infrastructure, it is important to remember that we are not looking for a hotel, so we should not be swayed by the grand reception area since our child won't use it. Focus on the areas that the school has created and maintained for its learners. ‌In‌ ‌short,‌ ‌infrastructure‌ ‌should‌ ‌facilitate knowledge transfer, project-based learning, fair assessments, physical development, and mental well-being of children. 

Well rounded development of your child

Top Gurgaon schools will focus equally on sports and other extracurricular activities like music, dance, art and theatre. ‌ As part of the evaluation, it is also ‌crucial to find out if the school incorporates social emotional learning as an integral part of its curriculum in order to build a good value system for their learners. ‌ Ask if the school has a community program where learners are active participants in‌ ‌real‌ ‌life‌ ‌issues. 

I wish happy school searching to all the parents of little toddlers out here! Go on and explore. If the school environment feels like a place you will be happy and unruffled sending your child to, you have found your child’s school. Have faith in your instinct and judgement, for you will select what is best for your precious one. 

 

For more information on the above subject, write to us at info@vega.edu.in.

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