Review - ST Arnold's Central School, Kalyani Nagar, Vadagaon Sheri, Pune
By Madhurie Singh, January 08, 2010
St Arnold’s school had always been a question mark in my mind, whenever I used to visit the vadagaon sheri area in the past. A huge boundary wall always suggested that there is a school or was a school inside somewhere, but could never see any soul inside or outside.
Later when a few site members enquired about it, I realized that the same area I used to wonder about is now St Arnold’s School. So I decided to visit it and review the school.
The school is right in the lane that is opposite to Bishops, Kalyani nagar. The lane is not too wide and has hill station like curves . So when visiting that area, I always find it quite interesting.
So after checking it’s details from the office lady about the admissions, I reached there just a few minutes before the school closes for the day. That way I get to meet large numbers of parents who are more than willing to share their experience with me.
The school is beautiful with pleasing infrastructure. The class rooms reminded me of my school in Allahabad, Bethany Convent School. The class rooms are huge and airy. There were typical school like corridors that in my opinion are very integral part of any school, as they are the most lively place in a school just after or before the classes begin.
The big bathroom was Indian style and ok as far as cleanliness expected just after the school time. Rujuta Dewekar will be very happy. ( Kareena Kapoor’s dietician )
The library room is also big and airy. Someone said good morning Mam’, and I was surprised as there was the same salesman from the Scholastic putting up the books exhibition after DPS.
The teachers were busy getting ready to leave. I had to wait out to allow any one teacher to come out of the staff room. So meanwhile I managed to pick their accent and their concerns. It was report day for the higher classes, i.e. 4th std is the highest as of now :).
Well, the accent was rather good than I expected looking at the crowd of the kids and parents around. The concern seemed to be very encouraging. The teachers were extremely concerned about a student who did not so good due to some reason.
A teacher did walk out and looked smart and asked me if I needed to go to the office. I asked her about the board that they follow and the way they were tackling swine flu caused loss of classes. She was quite confident and knew the way they planned to handle the loss. The other few teachers were also very pleasant and greeted me. I really appreciate smiling teachers even after the fag end of the day. With two kids, I can go crazy managing their energy, but these were the special souls who can smile and yet transfer knowledge! I feel grateful to the teachers who have taught me from the first teacher in Dhanbad Krishna mam’ to Mrs Tikko to Dr NK Singh. Thank you all!
Back to the review.
Well the board is CBSE, so that’s one interesting news to parents looking for another CBSE school after DPS in eastern side of Pune.
The school is quite stable, going strong and seems to be going the right way.
The parents seemed quite happy about the school and the teachers and the studies.
There was a mother whose daughter goes to Bishops, Kalyaninagar. She was very forth right and compared the schools beautifully for me.
The school does not have very hi-fi parents like Bishops. Which was quite obvious from the crowd around. The maximum kids are from the local area, VadaGaon Sheri, which is actually a village turned into a rural backyard now. It’s an extension of Kalyani Nagar. ( Kalyani Nagar fall under Vadagaon Sheri.) There are good housing societies very close to St Arnold’s School, like Nyati Meadows, Brahma Sun City, Splendor, Landmark and all societies in Kalyani Nagar.
Since St Arnold’s is not even two years old school, the reputation based on the passed out students’ results is not there obviously.
One thing I would like to clarify to all the parents. After my observation of the various old and new schools in Pune, there are a few facts that have to be digested.
If a school is new, there will be kids from the neighboring area which includes a mix of villages and posh societies. Since initially, all schools have to be beggars, they are more than happy to enroll just about every one. Conceptually, a few parents who prefer inclusive society would love this kind of school, but others might not.
Well cannot blame anyone, as I always maintain there is no right and no wrong. It’s our perception about a thing, the angle we view from and the past experiences.
Some parents would find it difficult to send their kids in new schools as the crowd is not up to their mark. Well let me tell you dear parents, yes, this school too has similar kind of the crowd, but the learning is excellent.
Infact, I would say, there is better methodologies in this school than some of the best ICSE schools around. The parents I interviewed, said, their younger ones going to ST Arnold’s were better off in terms of the information and education as compared to the older kids going to branded schools. Looking at the books and the class rooms, I was quite pleased too. Each class was showing kids’ art work and chart papers. What is most important part of any school, seemed well taken care of. All tiny tots were conversing in english too. That’s a great news as communication plays a very important part in the success of any individual.
The second thing that all parents agreed was that the Principal was extremely unbiased. There were teachers from all religions. The principal makes it a point to sit down with any parent who has any concern and will counsel after lending his ears to them. Again, whenever the principal is directly accessible and has the power / authority to act, the school turns out to be a brilliant one within a few years.
The school fee is very nominal. Rs 17800/ annum for LKg. Bus is extra, and around Rs 500/- monthly.
The fee has to be paid in three instalments with no linkage to the bus fee.
No donation is accepted and no back door entry allowed :).
Interview for LKg comprises of oral questions based on alphabets, numbers, shapes, colours only.
There is a not much asked to the parents.
One excellent thing that the school has started is a complete general medical test of all students! A doctor checks the general health of each child and sends a report to the parents with advice. Must be a bright doctor’s idea of improving his clientèle.
The play area is humongous. Infact there are two huge grounds! The one which is at the main gate is still not done as there is still some construction happening. There are lots of extracurricular activities too but definitely, the best in Pune for this remains Bishops school.
I personally felt, it’s a good school in the making, with concerned teachers, excited parents, motivating principal and not to forget the enthusiastic students.
The school timings are as follow: LKg / UKg 7:50 am to 12:00 pm 1std to 4th std 7:50 am to 2:10 pm
So in case anyone is looking for admission still, try it. The school’s admission forms will be open from the 9th Jan 2010. Kindly check their website for more details.http://www.arnoldcentralschool.org
Update March 2013
Fees for Nursery is 39,000/-
Age limit 2.5 to 3.5 years.
Timings 9.00am to 11.0am and 11:30am to 1:30pm
LKg / JrKg
Age limit 3.5-4.5 years