Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Heritage School, Gurgaon

Last year, this time, we were trying to figure out which “big” school to put our son in. For a lot of parents, this can be a really stressful time not only because it’s a difficult choice and you just don’t know if you’re picking the right school for your kid, but also because even when you’ve made your choice, you still have the admission procedure ahead of you! Fortunately or unfortunately, we had a lot of other stress going on in our lives at the same time last year – so this problem seemed really small by comparison. I remember thinking in an odd moment how strange it is that I’m not worried or stressed about my son’s BIG SCHOOL ADMISSION when normally I would put in so much time and research into it.



Anyway, I’m glad that even with minimal research and prep, we ended up making totally the right choice for him. I’m very instinct driven on most things, and just knew that the two top schools on my list were Shikshantar and Heritage. My husband and I just liked the vibe from both those schools and could see our little boy happy in that environment. Our backup school was Ridge Valley, simply because it was a new school at the time and we knew admissions wouldn’t be difficult. So we figured if we didn’t make the lottery on either Shikshantar or Heritage, that’s where he would go. Of course, this was because we really did like the school – we just had some inhibitions about it because it was so new. (And of course, we’re the crazy parents who didn’t even put Shri Ram on our wish list! Snap judgement maybe, but I didn’t like their attitude.)


He finally made it to Heritage. It’s been a year since the admissions process and about 6-7 months since he joined school. I’ve been holding up my review because I wanted to be sure of what I’m writing. At this point, with what I’ve seen so far, I’m confident that this is a really good school and it’s already doing wonders for our son’s confidence and skills. In no particular order, here are some observations:


- The school is very easy going and non-aggressive. I was happy even on day one, when my son didn’t want to be left in a new class and was crying and clinging to me, his teachers were very easy about it. They asked me to leave my not even two year old daughter in class with him since they saw that having her around helped him feel a little more secure and comfortable. So I left her in there for almost an hour till he was settled. It made all the difference to how well he settled that day.


- They have a really good way of teaching. It’s probably not unique, but their theme based learning is very effective. They use their themes very broadly and innovatively so before you know it, your kid is coming back home with stories and knowledge about a whole gamut of things that you didn’t expect. For example, they used Goldilocks and the Three Bears to teach kids about all sorts of things such as families, relationships, sharing, relevant letters of the English and Hindi alphabet, numbers, and all sorts of other stuff.


- They’re not hung up about teaching in the “traditional” way…they never do the typical “A for Apple and B for Ball” sort of stuff. They don’t even teach the letters in sequence – instead, they teach the letters that are most prominent in the theme going on so they kids hear that sound all around and are slowly able to identify with it and apply it to other words as well. As a result, when my son learnt B, he was able to point out about 30 words starting with the letter B with hardly any effort just over the lunch table. He had just learnt what B sounds like and was easily able to apply it. It’s the same with Hindi letters. They’re learning to identify, read, and write letters as applicable in the theme – not in sequence. Eventually, they’ll learn all the sounds well and will have a pretty strong base in both languages. I know phonetic learning is not unique to Heritage – just that I obviously didn’t learn this way and am loving what I’m seeing with him.


- The school focuses on a lot of things other than the “curriculum.” One of the big things I notice is the spiritual bent they seem to have. The kids know their prayers, meditation, basic yoga, time of silence, etc. and take it very seriously. I really like this, though so far I’ve seen a strong Hindu focus on the prayers and stories. I’m hoping this is because of the festival time and that other religions will come up as those festivals come too. For now, I’m just happy that they’re being taught to give thanks and to breathe quietly once in a while! There’s also a lot of focus on our culture and heritage – as much as possible at such an early age at least. This is really helping build a sense of interest, curiosity, and even pride at such an early age, which I hope we can sustain.


- They don’t have a lot of homework and even what they do have is quite well thought out. Even at an older age, from what I’ve seen of friends’ kids who go there – the work they’re asked to do constantly challenges them to observe, think, create, and apply, and not just memorize.


- They seem fairly progressive and proactive in how they deal with kids. For example, I know of a kid in another class who, it was noticed, was becoming very quiet in school which was unlike him as he is a very outgoing and confident kid otherwise. They school was proactive in appointing the school counsellor to observe him and chat with his parents and teachers to try to figure out and resolve what was going on.


Overall, I’m just happy with the way my son is doing ever since he started going to Heritage. He’s much more confident, easy in group settings (which was a definite challenge earlier), and happy. At this stage at least, that’s all that matters to me.


I’d love to hear your experiences, good or bad. Hope this helps!


26 comments:

Priya said...

Hi Manika- my son Aarav is going to go to Heritage in April and i am so glad that this review came at a time when i was really confused as to whether we have made the right choice or not! Your review reassured me! Thank you so much :-)

Living in Gurgaon said...

Priya, glad to hear it! I hope your son loves it too:-)

Bhavna said...

Hi. I have 2 kids - both at heritage..son is in 1st and daughter in KG ( and a niece in 1st...don't ask). Totally agree with your review. My kids have become so confident, knowledgeable, eager and cool. Well- the HW increases definitely. But the amazing stuff remains..and I am as crazy as you are..didnt put SriRam on my wish list ( and from feedback received..I'm glad I didnt). I am sure the kids would have coped but am sure I could not have. I love Heritage and what I love is that they are young enough to want to try new stuff but old enough to know what will probably work and what wont.

Jass.. said...

Thanks for the review.. I heard so many mix feedback for about the school. my son is still in pre-school & need to start shortlisting few good schools this year.

ReachingOut said...

Guys,can you please tell is it good for older classes as well?

ameena said...

hi maneka. i loved your write up on heritage and totally relate to it. my daughter is in nursery too and seems to be liking it. and, yes, i feel they could've given some importance to other faiths as well..keeping in mind their Dharmic principle of 'Inclusion'..so as to make all children comfortable and feel confident abt themselves.

Sensible said...

My kids were in Heritage.This School is changing for the worse.They are being arrogant with a 'DON'T GIVE A DAMN' attitude.The Principal is a PUPPET and wants a shoulder to cry all the time ,an 'EMOTIONAL WRECK' Good-for-Nothing'.Transport deptt is a BLACK-SPOT known for 'Get Lost' spirit.Suggest do not opt for this school,a complete No-No for high achievers and sensible class.

Sensible said...

My kids were in Heritage.This School is changing for the worse.They are being arrogant with a 'DON'T GIVE A DAMN' attitude.The Principal is a PUPPET and wants a shoulder to cry all the time ,an 'EMOTIONAL WRECK' Good-for-Nothing'.Transport deptt is a BLACK-SPOT known for 'Get Lost' spirit.Suggest do not opt for this school,a complete No-No for high achievers and sensible class.

世界很大我很小 said...

Hi maneka, does Heritage has a lot of international students? I'm just wondering if Hindi is compulsory, we don't understand it at all as an expat. I would like my 7 years old son to join this school but don't know how difficult it will be.

Sike

Natalia Khandelwal said...

Hi! I absolutely agree with " Sensible". My son is in class 8 and I'm rushly looking for another option for him. School is pretty good only for small children. But...how U will price the fact that the heritage is fist opens after summer break? It is too hot here and poor children forced to go to school. We did not have enough time to compleet the HW, I'm even not saying about any rest. Secondly, they are not having uniform at all now. Children are having competition with branded cloths, they lost any discipline with it. AC in our class room is not working (can U imagine for these hot days?), buses-do not ask...

Natalia Khandelwal said...

Hi! I absolutely agree with " Sensible". My son is in class 8 and I'm rushly looking for another option for him. School is pretty good only for small children. But...how U will price the fact that the heritage is fist opens after summer break? It is too hot here and poor children forced to go to school. We did not have enough time to compleet the HW, I'm even not saying about any rest. Secondly, they are not having uniform at all now. Children are having competition with branded cloths, they lost any discipline with it. AC in our class room is not working (can U imagine for these hot days?), buses-do not ask...

Natalia Khandelwal said...

Hi! I absolutely agree with " Sensible". My son is in class 8 and I'm rushly looking for another option for him. School is pretty good only for small children. But...how U will price the fact that the heritage is fist opens after summer break? It is too hot here and poor children forced to go to school. We did not have enough time to compleet the HW, I'm even not saying about any rest. Secondly, they are not having uniform at all now. Children are having competition with branded cloths, they lost any discipline with it. AC in our class room is not working (can U imagine for these hot days?), buses-do not ask...

Silence said...

Hi Manika -
Am considering Heritage for my son who starts Nursery in April next year. I see some negative reviews on this post as well about the school. Any comments which you would like to share about the school? Do you think it has changed since the time you wrote this post?
Thanks

Sanjana said...

The inference I could make out of this discussion is that this school is excellent for primary classes.
But as children grow and go in higher classes, there are soem shortfalls in school.
Need to know what is the issue with higher classes?
How are Heritage 10th and 12th class results.

Sanjana said...

The inference I could make out of this discussion is that this school is excellent for primary classes.
But as children grow and go in higher classes, there are soem shortfalls in school.
Need to know what is the issue with higher classes?
How are Heritage 10th and 12th class results.

Priyanka Singla said...

Hi, my daughter is in nursery in suncity school. I was always keen that she goes to heritage but we didnt make it in lottery last year.

I am particularly keen to know insights on how heritage is for older children. any views are welcome.

Chhavi sharma said...

Hi
My son got selected for.nursery in Heritage, but we still have a chance with suncity. Please suggest which is a better option

chaahat kanwar said...

hey
i m a student of d heritage school
i study in 7th grade
there is no problem with d school in higher classes as well
people just say that bcoz we dont have exams until 8th
but thats not the case we r having a more better learning by weekly evaluations , rich class discussions and detailed assessments by a third party
also we have chapter wise assessments too.
as we say heritage is an experiential school which makes one base clear.
now the uniform case who says that uniform makes a us disciplined ?
our school follows freedom but with responsibilities
we are taught to be unique and one of a kind
for me the heritage school gets a double thumbs up

Swaran Uppal said...

A message must go to the people to avoid sending their children to schools like Manav Rachna International, Gurgaon. And shame on the principal of Manav Rachna, Dhriti Malhotra, she says the incident is old and she took action. One needs to remind her that 4 out of the 5 days one out of these 10 spoilt kids were suspended were school holidays. Somebody needs to monitor how these prinicipals work or if they are under any kind of pressure, they must resign. This is a responsible position at which decisions and actions need to performed. In the age of technology all this principal has to offer is to get the video removed and that is punishment. This needs the intervention of the law, how can such an incident taken so lightly, we cannot encourage hooliganism in schools or elsewhere especially where the schools are the foundation. And the parents of these children, they are imbibibing this culture in thier kids without realizing theat their kids may be in the same situation anytime. I think the the commissioner must look into this incident and set a good example for such spoilt kids. Is is this boy who held is nerve and showed maturity and restraint but what about other kids. This needs escalation, you are playing with the career of the bright youth of today. This needs national attention and intervention of the education ministries so that we can control it at national level. Swarandeep Singh 9560800559

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Classmates-shoot-boy-in-school-toilet-upload-objectionable-video-on-Facebook/articleshow/22150344.cms

Pooja said...

Dear Manika and All Parents- i have to decide between Heritage and Lotus Valley school in Gurgaon. What are your suggestions? Is Heritage good for primary as well as senior classes? or should i go with the tradtional schools like Lotus valley?

hoping high said...

Reading all comments on this post, I feel heritage is good for primary & middle classes. . Not as for senior wings. This inference make me think to pull out my kid after 5 .. then will he be of academic stds as that of other traditional schools? ??
What are results of 10 and 12

Vivek MDIGurgoan said...

Hi ! I have my son studying at The Heritage since past 2 1/2 years ( from nursery onward). The first year was not impressive, we had huge issues with the teacher ( who did not even care to open the school diary to read our feedback and we complained to the Principal. The principal did not even care to get back to us on action taken, this was bad. The second year the teaching staff was excellent and my son began his journey well. Now he is in 1st standard, and here I am in agreement with the blog that the language capabilities are developing well, teachers are very hard working concerned and very attentive to individual students. Doubts remain as my son does not share much of his routine. I would like to see his interests develop in the activities encouraged by the school, like Jodo Gyan concepts, music, sports. This is WIP. Overall it is a not a bad experience experience as being suggested by Sensible.

Aarti Ahuja said...

Thanks Priya for the detailed and a very well written review :) Any idea if Heritage has a playschool or is associated with any play school? TIA

vm said...

Heritage is a fantastic school - check out the class 12 results this year - best in the country
https://www.facebook.com/notes/vishnu-karthik/the-relevance-of-irrelevant-grade-12-board-results/10154217091130641

Concerned parent said...

Not satisfied with the school. How shall the children face the tough competition ahead with such slow pace of learning. How many children actually clear the tough competitive exams?

Bharat said...

My daughter is in 1st grade of lotus velly school gurgaon I have applied for heritage recently for 2nd grade any suggestion to change or should I continue in lvis only ?