Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pallavan, Sohna Road

As I mentioned in my previous post, we had been on a preschool hunt for our son. The one we ended up selecting after talking to a bunch of parents and visiting a few schools is Pallavan at Sohna Road. It’s located right behind Omaxe mall and can be approached through any of the entrances to Uppal’s South End.

I’ve been waiting to write my opinion of the school because I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was happy with our decision to put him there. Now that he’s spent a month in their one hour program already, I’m happy to state that I still like the place! (They also have a 3 hour program for kids over 2 and a half years.)

I’ve come to realize that a lot of things one does/chooses as a parent are based on instinct or a “feel” for things and sometimes it’s hard to really pin point and define what you like or dislike about something or why you’re making the decisions that you are. That’s how I was with Pallavan too…the first time I went in, I just liked it. It felt like the right place for my baby and so I just stopped looking elsewhere and decided that this was it. Luckily, my husband felt exactly the same way and we were quite aligned on our decision, so that made it a lot easier.

Here are some of my impressions (good and bad and in no particular order) of the place based on the last month:

  • Pallavan looks like a school…the kind of school I went to when I was growing up. I went to several different schools, but what most of them had in common was big, bulky buildings, wide, breezy corridors, large, basic classrooms, and large playfields or spaces that all added up to give a schooly feeling that I remember and love. Even though this is just a preschool, the building also houses Pallavanjali, which is till class II and the overall place has this feeling.
  • Just because it looks like an old school doesn’t mean it behaves like one. I’ve found the staff to be very approachable and the school systems for things like regular communication with parents to be very good. For example, my kid now has an email ID and password, using which I can login almost everyday to look at pictures of what they did in school and read comments from his teachers. This isn’t really an attempt to be fancy, just to keep parents involved and it’s working well for me. My kid isn’t at an age when he can clearly tell me what he did in school and I love the little window the daily pictures give me into this new life of his.
  • They don’t have air conditioners in the classrooms. This is a big plus point for me. I just don’t want my child to grow up in his little air conditioned bubble and complain or fall sick when the temperature goes above 25 degrees. We live in a hot country and he has to get used to it and be able to deal with it just like every other child. He has to be able to go out and play in the sun at 4 in the afternoon and love it just like I did and I like that Pallavan isn’t making him too delicate for that.
  • The classrooms are pretty well set up…they have a lot of interesting toys and activities to keep kids busy. Also, they’re clean and cool and comfortable.
  • The neat thing is that there are different rooms for different activities and the children move from room to room for each activity instead of sticking to one classroom for their entire time there. I was a little sceptical of this initially because I thought it would be too much to move kids from one room to another after every 15 minutes and still expect them to actually get anything done because the logistics of keeping track of all the kids and settling them everywhere would be too much. It turns out they seem to have figured it out pretty well and the kids don’t seem rushed or unsettled at all. Of course, the constant moving means they don’t really have the freedom to keep doing what they want for as long as they want…they do have to keep moving with the teachers and other kids. This is part of the structure of the program and it doesn’t bother me much because I didn’t see it really bothering any of the kids in his class.
  • They have a lot of open space for the kids to play in…there’s a large sandpit and cycling track and area with swings and water tables for the summer. Also, when it gets too hot for them to be out in the sun, they move all the toys and tricycles to a large open basement sort of area which is very cool and breezy.
  • One of the things I think they need to improve is their process for watching the kids. They have three people (two teachers and a maid) watching over a class of max 12 kids, and yet they don’t seem to have a very clear idea of which attendant should be watching which kid. I would think the easy way to do it would be to allocate 4 kids to one attendant who would have overall responsibility of their whereabouts and activities. This would help when the kids are out playing in the sandpit and running all over the place, for instance. Right now, they seem at a loose end sometimes especially when they’re in an unstructured setting such as the sandpit, which can be avoided quite easily.
  • The place is quite pricey…in fact, I think it’s more expensive than pretty much all of the other schools I’ve seen or heard about. For the one hour program, the fees is Rs. 4000 a month and for the three hour one, it’s about Rs. 4500 a month. In addition, there’s the usual one time and annual stuff that adds up to quite a bit.
All in all, I chose Pallavan for the fact that they’re experienced and confident that they know what they’re doing; they have a nice set up; they’re nice to the kids and make it a fun place for them; and they’ve managed to give their school the right “feel.” I hope I continue to be satisfied with our choice to send him there. I know there will be small things I’ll probably be dissatisfied with off and on, but since I’m on my way to building a good level of trust in the school, I think that’ll be fine.

Please do feel free to share your experience and thoughts on this space about Pallavan or any of the other preschools you’ve had reason to visit, and of course, leave a comment if you're looking for more information.

66 comments:

How do we know said...

aah.. we've been thinking of Pallavan ourselves.. and this seems like the perfect review.

Allrite then, to Pallavan we go.

Dolon said...

How did they handle the settling in? If you could describe the first few days and how fast your child started to look forward to going there without a peep?

Manika said...

For the first week or so, I was asked to be with him through his activities while he built a level of comfort and familiarity with the teachers. Then, I started going in with him but leaving somewhere in the middle and waiting at the reception. He was pretty close to settling down by that point, but unfortunately he got sick around this time and had to take off for 3-4 days, during which he got pretty clingy and cranky. I went in with him again for a couple of days when he went back and after that started leaving him at the gate, where his teachers would pick him up. He would get a little teary eyed at the gate for about 3-4 days, but would be fine once he went in. It helped him to know that I would be waiting at the gate for him, which I kept reassuring him of. Within about 20 days of joining and all this happening, he's at a point where he doesn't bother to say bye to me and just runs in happily as soon as he gets to the gate. In fact, now he insists on going to school even on the weekends!

Things are different with every kid though - I've heard some other parents tell me it took their kids less than a week to settle, while some have taken upwards of a month. Lots of factors like the child's age, how much he/she is used to being without the parent, whether he/she is going through any other major changes at the time etc seem to make a difference.

Hope this helps. Let me know there's anything else you'd like to know.

Dolon said...

wow that sounds fantastic .. All the best to you and your son hope he has a wonderful stay there till it's time for Big School.

Would have loved to have had a look at the place but is too far from our place .. In fact I am fast realizing that all the so called good schools [lovely buildings and acres of lawn and well designed child friendly environs are quite far from our place .. Except Anand which is a small set up with a huge wait list for now :-( Heard much but not seen for myself).

Manika said...

Thanks! If you do go to Anand, I'd really appreciate your review of it...just leave a comment here or send me an email or something. I've also heard good things about it but it's too far from where I live and I didn't even want to go look! Also, I was bugged when I heard that they don't let you go see the place when the kids are actually there...just on Saturdays with a prior appointment.

Dolon said...

hmmm .. I did not know that [that they don't allow a look when the kids are there] .. couple of my friend's kids are joining there this Monday .. I am eagerly waiting to get some feedback on their first day coming week.

Yes will definitely post my impressions once I get a chance to view. The lady in charge there has put my name on a visitor list .. What I liked was she was upfront about the fact that her wait list was full and till there were openings she did not want to waste anyone's time giving them a tour.

Dolon said...

Ummmm .. You are right about the Anand policy. Not only do they NOT allow a peek into the playschool while the kids are going about their day .. they also believe the 'snatch and separate' on day one policy like many schools.

I guess it works in some Behavioral Modification model for altering responses in kids. At this age they are evolutionarily wired to keep close to the family herd and not be usurped by strangers - they will flail hard like their life depended on it. It's a response they cannot help. It's a response they will grow out of as they get older when they begin to develop the sense of judging other herds friendly to him and his people, when he needs to woo other herds because they have something of value he could use to better himself and his family. And I am not one who is comfortable with interfering in a natural process of a child learning about who to trust and where to hang out safely and how to negotiate in this complex urban mish mash of people intersecting. At two plus they have a pretty strong emerging sense of self and identity and budding vision of the world .. they are beginning to trust and use their own inner sense of judgement and trust to figure out the world .. I personally don't see the point in breaking that natural growth and pruning it down in some forced manner .. Not that I believe it will damage them irreversibly, but am not willing to risk something my gut does not go with.

A playschool is not an asylum or a behaviour modification programme for me, nor is it a place I wish my child to learn academically, it is not a daycare place for me, it is an extension of home into the larger world full of friendly to the tribe adults and children .. When they see and judge for themselves and feel confident enough the separation is not traumatic .. The rite of passage is easier - but ofcourse there is some belief that rites of passage need to be traumatic and seared into memory.

Frankly I can't even begin to understand why a playschool that is a stand alone playschool would keep parents out .. like the plague to be avoided .. some lack of creativity on their side seems to warrant that the only way you could get the kids to bond with you is if they delink the mom and family .. WOW .. some strange lesson that. I wonder if the the kids don't grow up with some larger Stockholm Syndrome their entire lives, growing to love and empathise with their "captors" who may come in different guises.

I am sorry I am getting so carried away with all this .. I guess being an older parent makes it difficult to NOT judge a lot of systems in our society .. sieve through the lens a lot of stuff that many handle with greater ease .. After all who died from going to playschool ;-))) And more frankly who's got the time most days ..

P.S. I just ticked Anand off my check out list. A place that does not trust me to be a part of my child's growing up experiences and allows me to savour it is not my cuppa ;-)) Why this military bootcamp attitude for such tender years??
P.P.S. I am now further puzzled and scratching my head off about HOW HOW HOW did this place get to be the TALK of the TOWN??? What puts it ahead of other playschools that do the same?

Sonia said...

Pallavan also has a school in Anandgram on MG road. My daughter was there for close to a year and has just left for 'Big' school. I agree with everything you said about Pallavan. We have had a great experience with wonderful caring teachers. I've seen my daughter gain confidence in a quiet unassuming way without changing who she is. I agree with your feedback on keeping a track of the kids. It was a little nerve racking at first, however they do have a system which works and the kids just seem to know what they have to do. There is no question of where I will put my son this July. Pallavan it is!

Gruvyruvy said...

Hi Dolon, Love your "herd" analogy. You hit it on the nail!
Ok, so if I may quote you, you said “After all who died from going to playschool” in your review on Anand. Let me share my own experience as a youngster when I was first put to play school. I still remember that day vividly. I was sent to play school at 2.5 years. My parents were starting their careers and for many other reasons, were unable to accompany me on my first day to school. However, I was taken by my older sister and trusted driver.
I was left at this school, the teacher took my hand, my sister gave me a kiss and wished me well, and left! My world shook!! I remember running after the car along the road (which had a deep drain next to it… lord knows, I could have fallen in…. may be a part of me wished I did). I can’t tell you how traumatic that experience was for me. I did die a little inside that day. Remember, I was only two and a half years old. This is arguably my earliest memory in life that I can recall. Can you just imagine what it must have done to me?
So although you may not physically drop dead, there are other ways of killing a little something inside for your little one. I’m pretty disappointed with this 'snatch and separate' policy of Anand (and I think Ardee has a similar policy, if I’m not mistaken), at this day and age. I mean, do we not know better. I so can’t believe they do this to kids. They are only 2.5 or 3 years old!!.... and parents?? You’re on a waiting list… for this?
Plus, parents need to remember play school is not a must. In fact, kids are only required to go to school from kindergarten onwards (4 years plus), so play-school is just a fancy thing for one party to make money and the other party to expose their kid to other kids and ‘keep them occupied’. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the play school system. It did wonders for me and my son. But choose the right one!!
How to pick the ‘right one’? Here’s my advice.
• Choose one that holds your values (ie, flashy, not flashy, safe or not, school’s objective and vision, etc).
• A home away from home (this is incompliance with the ‘herd’ principal mentioned by Doron).
• Choose something that has an ‘open door’ policy. Where you can see what your child is doing and that lets you get involved, rather than shutting you out. Remember your child is your heart; you need to know what they are doing to it!
• If the school and the staff intimidate you, even the slightest, pick your kid up and run for your life. The intimidation only gets worse.
• Observe other kids in the school. Are they playing like kids or are they zombies. Remember play school is only for 2.5 to 4 year olds. They shouldn’t even know the concept of ‘law & order’.
• And most of all follow your gut-instinct. You are a parent and you know your child better than anyone else.
DON’TS:
• Do not ever pick a school because your neighbor’s kid likes it, or because you heard good reviews. You have to make your own judgment. Reviews and advice is only guidance. I say this because, what works for me is not going to work for another. We are different, our kids are different, and our needs in play-schools will also differ.
• Don’t let the school sell to you. In fact, if they do you should be put off straight away. (Again, pick your kid and start running)
• Don’t get carried away by the building, the interior, equipment, etc. These will fade away.
Hope this helps.

Manika said...

Hi Ruvy! Thanks for your comment and tips...agree with everything you said and totally see where you're coming from:-)

Dolon said...

Dear Gruvyruvy, where did your child go for playschool? Just curious.

Am hard-pressed to find a place that makes me happy .. Am almost ready to quit hunting and wait for him to grow his social antlers - typical age is 3 to 3 and half and then walk him into those hallowed walls that will be his school - rearing to go .. when the pull of social enquiry into other creatures his size is stronger than any homeward bound pulls .. Trusting my gut instinct as a mom that such a time is not far off.

Risky endeavour I know .. many people tell me that I will not be able to secure a seat for kid in Big School if I withstand common practice :-((

Gruvyruvy said...

Dear Doron,
My apologies for not writing sooner, I’ve been traveling!
My son goes to Palavan, and I absolutely love it. To me they feel like a proper school rather than a colorful shoe box! My kid loves it. The teachers are experienced and great. Very homely and most importantly they know what they are doing and don’t need to sell themselves…. If you know what I mean.
I know what you mean about sending him straight to a school after your kids 4 years. But here are my thought about it. Pre-school helps the child mingle with other kids of his age. When we were growing up we didn’t really need this as we would stay playing with others in the neighborhood, plus I remember our house way always full of people. If I were to keep my kid at home till 4, I feel he would be bored out of his head.
Plus, this is a gradual transition for them, rather than be lost in a big school straight away. It’s easy for them to adopt at an early age. How old is your son? Personally I think 2.5 years for two or three hours is a good break for them.
Hope this helps.
Cheers

Gruvyruvy said...

Dear Doron,
My apologies for not writing sooner, I’ve been traveling!
My son goes to Palavan, and I absolutely love it. To me they feel like a proper school rather than a colorful shoe box! My kid loves it. The teachers are experienced and great. Very homely and most importantly they know what they are doing and don’t need to sell themselves…. If you know what I mean.
I know what you mean about sending him straight to a school after your kids 4 years. But here are my thought about it. Pre-school helps the child mingle with other kids of his age. When we were growing up we didn’t really need this as we would stay playing with others in the neighborhood, plus I remember our house way always full of people. If I were to keep my kid at home till 4, I feel he would be bored out of his head.
Plus, this is a gradual transition for them, rather than be lost in a big school straight away. It’s easy for them to adopt at an early age. How old is your son? Personally I think 2.5 years for two or three hours is a good break for them.
Hope this helps.
Cheers

Gruvyruvy said...

Dear Doron,
My apologies for not writing sooner, I’ve been traveling!
My son goes to Palavan, and I absolutely love it. To me they feel like a proper school rather than a colorful shoe box! My kid loves it. The teachers are experienced and great. Very homely and most importantly they know what they are doing and don’t need to sell themselves…. If you know what I mean.
I know what you mean about sending him straight to a school after your kids 4 years. But here are my thought about it. Pre-school helps the child mingle with other kids of his age. When we were growing up we didn’t really need this as we would stay playing with others in the neighborhood, plus I remember our house way always full of people. If I were to keep my kid at home till 4, I feel he would be bored out of his head.
Plus, this is a gradual transition for them, rather than be lost in a big school straight away. It’s easy for them to adopt at an early age. How old is your son? Personally I think 2.5 years for two or three hours is a good break for them.
Hope this helps.
Cheers

Gruvyruvy said...

Dear Doron,
My apologies for not writing sooner, I’ve been traveling!
My son goes to Palavan, and I absolutely love it. To me they feel like a proper school rather than a colorful shoe box! My kid loves it. The teachers are experienced and great. Very homely and most importantly they know what they are doing and don’t need to sell themselves…. If you know what I mean.
I know what you mean about sending him straight to a school after your kids 4 years. But here are my thought about it. Pre-school helps the child mingle with other kids of his age. When we were growing up we didn’t really need this as we would stay playing with others in the neighborhood, plus I remember our house way always full of people. If I were to keep my kid at home till 4, I feel he would be bored out of his head.
Plus, this is a gradual transition for them, rather than be lost in a big school straight away. It’s easy for them to adopt at an early age. How old is your son? Personally I think 2.5 years for two or three hours is a good break for them.
Hope this helps.
Cheers

javauser said...

During my never ending quests for a good preschool for my 3 year old I came across Dihika- Life Wisdom School...I liked what I saw on their website and will probably pay them a visit. Meanwhile any opinions are truly appreciated about the school.

Thanks.
Meghna

Dolon said...

Meghna, did you pay a visit to Dihika - LWS

I just looked up the website and am curious too .. Just to see how the reality and the web page match up

Dolon said...

Gruvyruvy I just now saw your reply .. So missed a lot of stuff here .. and had not checked my gmail box where I receive these mails ..

Firstly curious to know which Pallavan school is your child attending? Anandgram or Sohna Rd one?

Dolon said...

FEED BACK ON DIHIKA:

After reading of the school here, I was most curious so went and checked out the website .. MOST IMPRESSIVE and wonderful sounding .. I was like how come no one ever mentioned this place .. Of all the numerous moms I have met and chatted to with young kids this name never popped up .. and here on this website is splashed this most wonderful idea of a school ..

A talk with the school revealed the mystery .. It was JUST LAUNCHED .. this July .. 7th July 2009 they admitted their first couple of kids in playschool at a makeshift house in DLF Ph I [B20/1.

The school site is yet to be completed .. it's coming up in DLF Ph III ..

Seems like they have a great vision .. so those with newborns might wanna go back and see how far they have come in two-three year's time.

It was a friendly eager voice on the other side of the line .. I myself might go have a look next year end because they have plans for KG and Class 1 too. If that comes up and looks like a good thinking of parking the sonny boy there for a while till he is ready enough for a more factory-environment

;-P

vikas said...

Hi Manika

Know, am late in the day, but just to let u know, we are miving i Gurgaon from Mumbai and was looking for a pre school for our daugther (20 months) and in the process happened to go through your blogs.
Must say, the blogs are extremely informative and detailed.

We'll based out of Sohna road and after reading your blog , have already finalised Pallavan (though haven't even seen the school building). Just want to know the following:

a) Had a Mother Pride pre school, and what was shocker for a Mumbai ite like me, is that "Mother Pride" negotiates for monthly school fees. Is Delhi/Gurgaon really so commercialised.

b) Do they negotiate for school fees at Pallavan also (Though strange, but guess anything is possible in that part of the country)

c) We intend to finalize "Orchid Petals" for rental purpose - Any views on that.

Am sorry, if I am trobling you, but please do answer my queries in your free time

Manika said...

Hi Vikas,

Thank you for reading my blog:-)

My son has been going to Pallavan since March this year, and I still love it. You might have some trouble getting your daughter in there right away though, since I think they take kids starting at 2 years. Maybe that's a little flexible though, so I guess you could check...till 2.5 years, she will need to go to a 1 hour class, which is nice for her to settle in but a bit of a problem for parents since it's too short a time for them to use that time productively for work or anything else.

And no, they don't negotiate on fees, which is a really ridiculous idea! I'm amazed that Mother's Pride does this. How did you find out? (just curious)

I don't know much about Orchid Petals - we had checked out the sample flat a couple of years ago and really liked it. It was our second choice after Vatika City. We chose Vatika bec it was ready at that time, and also bec we really liked it. YOu could consider checking it out if you're just renting anyway.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Manika

Gruvyruvy said...

Hi Vikas, Hi Manika,

My son goes to Pallavan too and I absolutely love it. Its not fancy and glitzy.... its a very 'traditional' institute and they do things in a very systematic way. Since your kid is under 2 you can also look at Intellitots (www.intellitots.in... I think!). They have a parent-toddler program from 9 to 11am. Its a program for both care-giver and toddler and its incredibly interactive. I take my 14 month son there and I can’t tell you how great they are. You try Shivani on 9990800892 for more details.

In regards to Accommodation… Have you tried Nirvana Country? These houses/villas and are so great for the kids. There are many parks and play areas for the kids and the nirvana community organizes many festive events. I see many vacant houses around the colony and am sure you can negotiate a good detail... specially since the market is still a bit slow.
Hope all this helps.
Good luck.
Cheers
Ruvi

vikas said...

Hi Manika, Hi Ruvi


Thanks for a prompt response. Yup, school fees negotiation is the most ridculuous thing I have ever heard.

How did I come to know ... Well, I called up Mother's pride for general enquiry and an hour later they called back and started enquiring about my occupation background. They said they give x% discount to business families and y% discount to professionals (Some innovative way of negotiation)

They explained me the discounted fees structure & since I was sounding hesitant, they offered me further discount.

Both me n wifey got the shocker of our life and decided that come what may, we'll not put our kiddo in Mother's Pride at least.


This is where your blog came handy and we shortlisted Pallavans


Ruvi - Thanks for the info. I really liked intellitots, but guess it is really far from sona road.. Dont want the kiddo/wife to travel on a daily basis.

Even I have heard good things about Nirvana - Pl let me know if u know someone who is willing to let out his flat . - We'll be shifting around 10th December

Am coming from Bombay, oops Mumbai, hence would prefer flat over floors.


Manika, Ruvi : One small help.

Both me n my wife ar gym addicts - We have excellent club house n gym in our building . Gurgaon building gyms are not great, so just want to enquire if they have any good Independently operated gym on sohna road wherein we can enroll ourself - Actually, sohna road has all other facilites (Groccery, Multiplex, Play group etc), so just want to enquire about this last bit (gym) before I zero down on the building - Petals/Nirvana


P.S. : I just love net/Google - U can interact with so many like minded people, get unbiased review, first hand information at the click of a button

Guys, Thanks again for all the useful info.


Take Care

Vikas

Gruvyruvy said...

Hi Vikas,
Intellitots has a branch in Nirvana. They conduct a program in Shalom Hills School premises. This is very close to Sohna road. I take my son there. Personally I think this is a way better option for toddlers. My son has a blast and with the comfort of always knowing I’m there…. And now he really doesn’t care if I’m there or not as he’s gotten use to the “out-doors”. I took my son for a free session to try it out. You should call them and request for a session when you guys get here and try it out. I wish I had this option for my elder son. Hands down….best option!
In regards to the vacancies in Nirvana, there are so many empty houses I wouldn’t have a clue where to start giving numbers. We have a neighbor who’s also into real estate. May be you can give him a call. His name is Vikas Sehgal 09811106006. Nirvana is also building apartments in the area and I think some of them are ready for occupation.
As for “good” gyms in the area….. you don’t have much options yet. If you do live in Nirvana or South City 2, you can join the South City 2 – south Patio club. They are pretty decent and the rates are pretty low for residents (even for tenants). I do believe they do not give membership for non-residents. Nirvana is also building their own club (which should be open sometime this month….fingers crossed) and is suppose to be a really fancy place with an excellent gym, pool, squash courts, tennis court, Kids area etc. Vikas would know all the details and might be the best person to help you around the area in regards to real estate. He too lives in Nirvana… so he knows all the benefits and problems.
Cheers
Ruvi

Manika said...

Hi Vikas,
As Ruvy said, the southcity gym is one good option, though i don't know their membership details. Another option is Club Florence - will be about 8ish kms away from you if you're in Petals. It's quite good...and they offer couple membership at a slightly reduced price.
I'd encourage you to take a look at Vatika when you come here for a visit before you decide where you want to live. It's a great place and they've recently opened a fantastic gym - one of the best colony ones i've seen. in fact, their club is due to be inaugurated this week - i saw it for the first time yesterday and was super impressed - has a restaurant, a lounge, a really nice kids room, etc. all in all, very nice and definitely worth considering.
anyway, good luck with your move and feel free to ask more questions!

manika

Abha RT said...

I have admitted my 3 year old to Dihika Living Wisdom School, and am surprised not to find any discussions on the net about them. I have taken a huge leap of faith here and would really appreciate some validation! Does any one else have information on this school?

Their Education for Life approach seems to have taken best practices of modern nursery and preschool education and tweaked them through what they call principles of Yoga Vedanta… or is it the other way around? I really liked their American Principal Sandy Mcdivitt and the 2 staff members I met were trained in California and seemed very sincere and really motivated. As I am a working mother, their comprehensive Daycare program really appealed to me.

Their building is impressive enough and well equipped, with large play areas.... but that was not my main consideration.

At first I thought their fee structure was a bit high, but then I discovered it was almost the same as most other schools.

vikas said...

Hi Manika

We are shifting from Mumbai to Gurgaon by this weekend - Need small help in terms of deciding school for my daughter.... Am confused between Shallom Hills (Near Unitech Colse) & Pallavans (AS recommended by u) & based on the school, intend to decide the building where we'll stay... Options - Petals & Close


Would be really helpful, if I can have ur number, alternatively if u can call me on 09324682469 - This is slighyly urgent


Regards/Vikas

Manika said...

Hi Vikas! Tried calling you but I didn't get a response. Would you call back? It's the 89541...number.

Gruvyruvy said...

Hi Vikas,

Don't even bother with Shalom Hills. Pallavan should be your only option. Pallavan is far better in every sence and is a much superior school.

Cheers
Ruvi
PS: obviously its only my opinion!!ha

harish said...

Hi
Was following this blog and threads for sometime as reference. Initially i was against the concept of playschools, i was havin an opinion that its just overhyped hing and people just get emotionally blackmailed by these schools. As you dont want to take any chances for your kids growth so you accept all the tantrums and illogical demands of these schools. Same like hospitals, you dont want to take any chance about the person being sick, and doctors emotionally blackmail you.
In another way i still feel i am steeling away his childhood innocence and forcing him to be a part of mechanical lifestyle. Feels so nice to see him like a free soul, and all unmanipulated natural growth. But .... slowly i realised things have changed from my childhood to his, and also not all playschools are robot houses.
We are residing near Sec 10A, and my son is about to be 2.5 years old in couple of months.
Since a month I am hunting down playschools.
Have been to Mothers Pride, Little Footprint, 6th element, Pallavan and Pumpkin house at Sohna Road.
Now I finalised Little Footprint initially, but they were not able to provide transportaion till sector 10A. Then I thought about Pumpkin house, they too had reservation for providing transportation. Pallavan was way too better option, but they simply dont have any transportation facility of any sort.
Mothers pride, I am not interested.
I tried to find some nearby playschools, but couldnt get any credible option.
So I am posting here on blog, for guidance.
My office is in Okhla Ph III, Delhi, so its anyways not a viable option for me to pick and drop him. Also as we have only one car, which is used by me, so wife too cant help in this regard. The public transport is more of like animals transport in Gurgaon. So I need some playschool which can also provide transportation.

Fellows kindly provide suggestions on some alternate playschools nearby sec 10A.
As I presume we are already late by 3-4 months, so I don't want to waste more time.

Thanks and Regards
Harish Raghav

Moushumi said...

Hi

Thanks for all this information. It's quite helpful. I liked Pallavan too.
It's so large and spacious and inspires confidence in a parent.
But I need transport. Do they provide transport?

--MM

vikas said...

Hi Harish

Probably we are going thru the same pain & have lot to share... Am also looking at play schools at Shona road . I actually read Mainka's blog& had decided on Pallavan even before moving to Gurgaon - Visited the school today & must say its by far the best of the lot.

My only viewpoint - Are playschools ( For Play Groups & Pre nursery classes) all that important that one need to look at the best possible one around. Was wondering that should we compromise & opt for EURO KIDS (At Shona Road - New branch) or for FAST TRACK (One which is around Unitech Nirvana Area )

Would really appreciate your views - Or may be we can speak - I am reachable on 9324682469


P.S. :Visited Shalom hills today & outrightly rejected the same


Regards/Vikas

Manika said...

Moushumi,
Pallavan doesn't offer transport. I believe they have another branch opened at Phase I now as well. Need to confirm this though.

Manika

Moushumi said...

Hi

Oh that's such a pity! Ayyway, DLF Phase 1 would be too far away.

I went to Pumpkin House today on Sohna Road. They offer transport. The school seems fine -- nice and sunny..

But, you're right! Pallavan gives you that totally "right" feel.

But then, logistics is also a significant issue.

--Moushumi

harish said...

Hi Vikas & Moushami,

My only point why I am going for the play school is non academic growth.
And that he takes the later on pressures of School life normally (not in overhyped way, as I did in my school days).
Like to understand world in its unhyped form.
But again still I am not at all 100% convinced about the play school concepts.

As what I can make out is 3 of us are facing issues regarding the transport. What if we can hire a cab collectively, which can pick and drop the kids of all the three of us.

Regards
Harish

Moushumi said...

Hi Harish,

Thanks for the idea of a cab. But I'm not sure whether it'll be a workable idea. Actually both Pallavan and Pumpkin House are very close to my office. So I can drop my son to school every morning. The problem arises in the afternoon. It'll be difficult for me to get off in the middle of the day everyday. Therefore, my search for a playschool with transport.

Which means, I would need transport only in the afternoon.

Gruvyruvy said...

Hi Harish,

Have you looked into MMI (mordern montessori International)? Its i think in sect 40 or so. I'm sure they provide transport.

Its a pretty decent play school. Its an international establishment and is very organised. Structured child development based on international educational standards and the principal is a very good friend of mine.... actually she was my son's first principal but is such a nice lady that we developed a friendship and is in touch even to this day.

You should go check it out.
Cheers

Nidhi said...

Hi Manika,
I was just going thru the Pallavan reviews...and found out that u r staying in Vatika City. I am also in Vatika(Primrose) my son is goign to be 2 in May and after reading your blogs I have finalised Pallavan. Please share your number or email address so that I can contact you and meet you.
Nidhi Sharma

Soumya said...

What an informative exchange over playschools!My child is turning two this Jun-end and I am looking forward to sending him to either Pallavan / iPlayiLearn since I stay at Sohna Road.

A lot has been written about Pallavan and I loved the school premises from what I could see of it from outside but I work and my current babycare maid will probably leave around Dec'10 so needed a daycare attached to the school.

Pallavan does not have it but iPlayiLearn has-this in itself is a Bangalore-based chain and appears good but has someone tried it out of heard of it?

Dispersed said...

Hi Gruvyruvy,

The school itself got shifted to DLF-1.

Am still hunting.

Anita said...

Dihika Living Wisdom School in DLF Phase 3 opened on March 22nd It has classes running till grade 2 and also has transport facility They have children coming from Sohna roadDo check it out

Dipti said...

Hi,
Can anyone tell me how is pallavan in DLF phase 1. I'm planning to put my 2.2 yrs old daughter there.

Dipti said...

Hi, Can anyone tell me how is pallavan school in DLF phase 1. I'm planning to put my 2.2 yrs old daughter there.

Kanchan said...

Hi, We are moving from Bangalore to Gurgaon in August and my daughter will be 22 months by then. We were looking at playschool options for her and a rental option closeby accordingly. I have read a lot of good things about Pallavan. The other option I was researching was ibambini. Can anyone share your thoughts regarding the same?
Thanks a tonne.

Kanchan

Chetan said...

Am considering putting my going to be 2 year old in DIHIKA. Does anyone has any feedback? ABHA - did u put your child in dihika? N how did it go?

I was super-impressed by the quality of teachers n the people in charge there.

Well if I, as a 30 year old, can look upto the playschool teachers I met, I am sure my 2 year old would be in right hands.

Regards

Chetan

Chetan said...

Am considering putting my going to be 2 year old in DIHIKA. Does anyone has any feedback? ABHA - did u put your child in dihika? N how did it go?

I was super-impressed by the quality of teachers n the people in charge there.

Well if I, as a 30 year old, can look upto the playschool teachers I met, I am sure my 2 year old would be in right hands.

Regards

Chetan

meenakshi said...

About Dihika School - I started to think about giving my baby good values and in the process I stumbled upon a book named "Education for Life" - Preparing children to meet the challenges by Swami Kriyananda. I just fell in love with the ideas shared in the book about joyful learning and how the education should be experiential and not merely theoritical. This Education for Life (EFL) system is being followed by Living Wisdom Schools located throughout United Sates. I just wished we had such a school in India too so that my son could get some "real" education for life.
In about three weeks, I came across a newspaper pamphlet informing about DIHIKA which is based on the EFL concept and is soon to be opened for admissions in Gurgaon. Was I overjoyed?

I went to the school in DLF phase 3 and found the teachers and the environment very warm and friendly. They are really passionate about children and teaching them in a tender and loving manner which moved my heart.

I am more than happy now because my son is going to join Dihika next week.

Anuj said...

Many schools are based on some Philosophy...but the really good thing about Dihika is the teachers there are qualified, have maturity, wisdom and depth. They are the kind of teachers you wish to have.

Surabhi said...

I have a 3&1/2yr old who goes to Dihika Living Wisdom School. It is a wonderful school,my son loves to go there, infact when he was not well he still wanted to go!!!
The teachers are highly trained both in the US as well as in India. It is a really good school for those who are either returning to India or somebody looking for a new way of teaching. The principles of EFL give a new meaning to education. One can visit their website to find out more on EFL.
I really like the school because of the personal attention my child gets there. It is like sending him him to a family. He is really loved....and I have seen him bloom in just these past few weeks.

jyoie said...

Hi,

I just moved from Mumbai to Gurgaon in Feb. My son will turn 2 October and I wanted to put him in a play school only when he turns 2 and a half.
Unfortunately, I live in a place where there aren't many kids and he does not have company. He is reserved, shy, hates to share his toys when his cousins come in and has recently been getting addicted to TV.
I wanted to put him in a mother-toddler kind of programme or a family programme, so that he gets to interact with other kids. I checked out IDA as its the closest to where I stay which is MG road. Did not like it too much though. They do have a mother-toddler programme for children below 2 years. Is there any other school offering that?
I spoke to 3 friends they recommeded me Anand for pre school but after reading this blog I am a bit confused. One of them recommended me Pallavan as well. How is Panchatantra who have recently launched the pre two year old programme? does anyone know about it?
How is Dihika?
Ps: Mother's pride is not a school but a money minting children's factory. I fell into their stupid baby show racket and had to pay rs200 to register into it. Both me and my husband wasted one sunday there and each child got a prize. They got a data of numbers and are hounding us till today, will never send my child there!

Abha RT said...

Chetan, I enrolled my son in Dihika. I cannot tell you how sorry I was when my husband was posted out within 50 days of coming to Gurgaon and I had to withdraw him. Every experience I and my son had there was beautiful. I see you have taken the plunge and you are so right about the teachers. Wise,human, down-to-earth and so, so caring. They are so committed to the Education for Life approach. I wish they had a branch in Hyderabad too.

Abha RT said...

Jyoie, my son was there for just over a month, and I was happy about every aspect. Okay, there were some infrastructural teething issues though they have an excellent building with large well equipped classrooms. What I liked most was that they follow the Education for Life approach so sincerely and all teachers are constantly being trained in it. They have the correct mix of professionalism and loving care. My son used to want to go to school on saturdays and sundays as well. I keep checking online to see how they're doing. And I keep counting the days before we get to return to Gurgaon.

Vikram said...

We have shifted to Gurgaon current academic secession. Looking for a school for my 6yrs old I was advised about 'DEHIKA' by a friend.
Our son is now studying in this school and we are very happy and satisfied with the decision.
Little bit about the school-
.It has started this year with class from play school level onwards.
-It is a day boarding and the child is back home by 3 pm.
-The most important aspect is the attitude of the teachers towards the child. They appear like a family with the child at full ease with them. At the same time we have noticed a definite change, for the better, in our child towards sharing and discipline .
-Regarding acdamics there has been very appriciable progress in this short time
-A regular update of school and child's activities is mailed to us.
-Another thing that we found different about this school was the interest of the teachers to know the likes and dislikes of the child, his behavioral pattern and so on, so as to be able to bond with the child.

In all we are very satisfied with the progress of our child.

We would highly recommend this school.

Mrs and Capt Vikram Sharma

Vikram said...

Sorry for spelling it wrong, the name of the school is 'DIHIKA' and also the school is as of now upto class 5th. My son is in class 1st. They plan to increase it to class 12th.

jyoie said...

I visited both Dihika and Intellitots, both were good in their way. Even though the street outside was water-logged, the minute I entered Dihika, I got a very positive vibe from the place. I met the principal and she gave me lots of time and patiently explained to me the philosophy on which the school is based on. I also met the teachers and found them to be very warm and caring. I can describe the place as open, fresh, calm yet buzzing with children, lots of friendly dogs and people. I loved the small garden on the balcony of the first floor.
While, i also attended the mother-toddler trial class at intellitots, Jimmy the course coordinator is a gem of a person and my child was observing more, rather than participating-ofcourse it was his first time in a class. They had a different method, more to do with a routine and a set pattern.
They both are good in their ways. But I have made my decision and I am going ahead with Dihika as there is something very different yet engaging that I see there. Also its closer to home and convenient for me to pick and drop him. But in their way, intellitots is brillant as well. Its heartening that there are so many choices paerents have nowadays, especially in Gurgaon.

Kartik said...

Took advice of all those who said Pallavan was a great preschool,made the greatest mistake of my life.Imagine your little 2year old child not being ever cuddled their when he is in his settling process,never being greated warmly by his teachers. The guard told me he is just crying all the time...My little one did not settle for two weeks...While my friends child who joined at anand said her child was taken by the teachers at Anand school gate and bonded with the teachers within 2 days and loves going to school..she is greated every morning by her not only the teachers but also the director who stands at the gate...she is always happy and looks forward to school even on sat and sundays...i regret my decision of leaving my seat at Anand school because of being influenced by this blog. I belive they only take 30-40 kids every year as they want to give those kids the best when they have a waiting list of 300-400 hundred.

Manika said...

Hi Kartik,

Sorry that you had such a bad experience...I'm surprised really because in our case, we were allowed to be with our kid for as many days as it took for him to settle down and only got him into school fully over several days. Do you think you could talk to the principal/admin coordinator and teacher to figure out if there is a specific reason your little one is crying so much?

Manika

Yogita said...

My child passed out from ibambini this year and I can say that I have had a wonderful experience with this school. The school is first to introduce the Reggio Emilia approach in India and follows a Project based curriculum. The teachers are also very supportive and give personal attention to all the children. The parks adjoining the school provide ample opportunities for outdoor play. They also have many Exhibitions to give the parents an insight into their child’s works. The school also has an impressive Amphitheatre where children do role plays that really boasts their self-confidence. On the whole a very good school to help develop the creative interests of children and make them independent. Their website is www.ibambini.in

Harpreet Bagga said...

Hi Manika,

Which pre-school does your daughter go to finally ?
And what about your son, which school he goes too....It feels I will go crazy hunting and reading reviews deciding ona good school for my 20 mnths daughter :-)

Preeti

Ashwani said...

I need to send my daughter to pre school and have narrowed down to Pallavan Sohna Road after reading Manika's comments and hope it is still enjoying the same reputation with the parents? Any comments

Rohini said...

Hi Manika

Can you let me know which preschool does your daughter go to? Also which school does your son go to? I am looking for a pre school for my 2 year old daughter. Just can't decide. Thanks

Divya said...

Does anyone know anything about good preschool and daycare in DLF ph3. I saw a new place called sswings. Has anyone had any experience

nidhi praveen said...

I am confused between the shriram early years,sohna road and pallavan,sohna road for my kid who is 2.6 years old. I would love to hear parents reviews on both schools

nidhi praveen said...

I would love to hear from parents about two schools that i have zeroed on for my kid.
A)the shriram school of early years,sohna road
B)pallavan,sohna road

Ritu Gajabi said...

Guys,I need help in selecting preschool. I heard Shri ram Pre school and Pallavan is very good. Please let me know your views

Amrita Dhindsa said...

Folks, this is a really helpful forum. I've started to research where to put my twins when they turn 2 and had a couple of questions.

1.My pediatrician recommends putting them in pre-school at 2 and not before. Has anyone had any bad experiences with putting them in before that? I've heard they pick up great socialization skills after about 18 months...

2. I'm leaning towards Pallavan or Anand. I live close to the Pallavan DLF Phase 1 campus but heard great things about the Anand Gram campus which is further way. Don't mind doing the drive if there's an upside. Any feedback on either of these campuses?

3. I'd like to put them into a place where they can spend a couple of years. Pallavan keeps children until 4.5 years which works out to Nursery stage, I think. How difficult is it to get into other schools like Sriram Early Years with Nursery, kindergarten and junior years in Gurgaon? You heard horror stories about Delhi..

Thanks!
Amrita