St Patrick's Academy Bangalore reviews: Why did we choose St Patricks Academy for our children
We started our research about 2 years ago for the best schools for our kids. In this post, I will discuss the criteria we had for choosing a school and why did we chose St Patrick's Academy, Bangalore.
We started talking about returning to India about 3 years back. Our initial tentative plan was to return during summer in 2010. However, we did not discuss the specific details to anyone since we were prepared to give an extra year to work out lot of things including the school for children.
Our plan was to move to Bangalore (instead of our home town Kochi) so that we can provide better education for children. We started looking for schools in Bangalore. While choosing the schools in Bangalore, some of the criteria we had in mind were:
1. We wanted to send our kids to the best school for them and not to the best school in the city.
2. We prefer a Christian school for the value based education they offer.
3. We do not want a school where only the top layer of the society goes. We want our kids to see children from various levels in the society. We wanted them to learn to deal with different types of people in the society.
4. We do not want a school which offer extra comfort for the kids like air conditioned class rooms and school buses. We want them to learn to survive anywhere they go.
5. We want a school where majority of the students are non-local people. This was highly important for us not because we do not like locals, but because we wanted the kids to speak English as primary language in the classes. Also, having a lot of local people in the classes would affect the discipline of the school.
6. Reasonable fees: We did not want to spend all of our savings for the primary education for the kids. Rather, we would save them for their higher education.
7. Syllabus: Our first preference was CBSE syllabus since we were afraid that our kids may not be able to take the challenge of ICSE syllabus.
8. Location: We preferred Sarjapur road area in Bangalore since that area of the city was less congested and was close to prime IT destinations like Whitefield and Electronics city.
When we started our research for best schools in Bangalore for our kids, we very well knew we cannot find a school that meet all of our expectations. But continued our efforts to find a good match that meet most of our expectations.
St Patrick's Academy, Bangalore
One fine day, we heard about a new school coming up in Sarjapur Road, Bangalore. The name of the management - "Patrician Brothers" made us look in the details. I started doing a lot of research about the management. We studied details of other schools managed by the same management. We were very impressed reading about the other great schools run by them, especially the St Michaels Academy, Chennai.
I spent several weeks researching for more information about the upcoming school. I kept an eye on the satellite view of Google Maps for the area to see the construction progress. I read about their future plans for a school in Bangalore in one of the newsletters of Patrician brothers. We were keenly watching the progress of the building construction. In less than a year, they built a huge building for the school. By this time, we had almost made up our mind that this will be the school for our kids. (In the meantime, we considered moving to Kochi in Kerala as well, but we finally ended up in Bangalore itself, probably because of St Patrick's Academy).
Did St Patrick's Academy, Bangalore meet our criteria for the best school for our children
We were really excited to find St Patricks Academy in our search for best schools in Bangalore for our kids. To our surprise, it met almost all of our criteria for the future school for our kids after we return to India.
1. Best school for our kids but not the best in city: So far, we do not regret. St Patrick's just look great for our children. Of course there are better schools in Bangalore, but they do not meet our other criteria.
2. Christian school: St Patrick's Academy is a Christian school, offering Christian as well as value based education. Whether you are a Christian or not, the school offers great value based education to build a better citizen for the country and a better member for your family.
3. Children from all layers of the society: A good number of children in the school are Malayalees, which does not really influence our rating for the school. But what we rate high for the school is, it has a good mix of kids from all levels of the society and from various cultures in the country. Also, there are several NRIs who returned to India similar to us.
Overall, children are from good families who want a great value based education for their children, which is really important. If a kid is not disciplined, school can easily train him/her and tune according to the rules of the school. However, if parents do not have a similar culture, this is going to fail. No matter how much efforts the school puts in, the kids will remain the same. So, choosing a school were most parents expect their children to have good manners, culture, education and values in life are very important.
If most kids are from very rich families, kids can be easily spoiled. If most kids are from low-income layer of the society, it may become hard for the school to convince the families to spend money for various events and extra curricular programs. Also, you could experience the expectation problem. Many poor families have a different expectation from kids. Many of them just want to prepare their kids to somehow complete the education and go for a job to feed the family.
But Patrick's is really good in this aspect. Most families who send their kids here are from IT field or with some other decent earning jobs. They can afford to spend money for extra curricular activities. They have great expectations from their children.
There are children from poor family background as well. The school is giving lot of scholarship to such children so that their low income do not affect their study in the school.
4. No extra comfort for students: St Patrick's is a normal school offering reasonable comfort for students. There are no air conditioned class rooms. There are no indoor games. Kids have to attend the sports outdoors in the sun and rain like all of us did in our schools long ago. They spend hours in the play ground, get tired and sometimes faint. If a kid faint in the assembly or during sports events, they would simply sprinkle some water on their face, make them feel comfortable and push them back to the ground. (Unlike US schools, there are no 911 calls, no school nursing rushing to the scene and no alarming phone calls to the parents. I am sure this is same in all other schools in India, except were the really posh schools were the kids were grown up like fish in the aquarium with regulated air and water)
5. We wanted a school where majority of the students are non-local people. St Patrick's have a good mix of students from all other parts of the country. I think majority of the kids are from Malayali families who generally prefer Christian schools for the value based education.
6. Reasonable fees. The fees at St Patricks is very reasonable (about 30,000 per year, but varies slightly based on the class). In fact, I felt like suggesting the school once to increase the fees a bit and provide more infrastructure. Later I learnt, it is not the lack of funds, but it is just a matter of time they are building up all the infrastructure.
7. Syllabus: Even though we preferred CBSE due to the relatively lower work load, we ended up choosing the ICSE syllabus since this school offer only ICSE syllabus. This is the only criteria we could not meet in St Patricks.
8. Location: St Patrick's Academy is located in the best location I can think of in Sarjapur road in Bangalore. It is away from the dust and pollution in the city, but still very easily reachable. The school is located on the side of the Sarjapur main road itself, with a beautiful view of the huge building from the road. There are several other schools in the area, but none of them are in the prime location like Patricks Academy.
Summary: St Patrick's Academy is the best school for our kids
Overall, St Patrick's Academy met 7 out 8 criteria we had in mind while looking for the best schools in Bangalore. This is really great. We were very happy that we found St Patrick's Academy. The school came up just in time when we were planning to return to India from USA.
However, meeting the criteria to choose the school is very different from meeting our expectations from the school after joining. I have a lot to share within the first few months itself, but I will keep it for another post.
The best school for our kids may not be the best school for your children. If you are searching for schools, I suggest you define your criteria first. Then make a chart of various schools and see which one matches your criteria best.
Meanwhile, if you are in this page looking for information about the school and have any questions, feel free to post your queries here. I will be more than happy to share any information I have. Also, the St Patrick's Parent Group will be a good place to learn more about the school. Another great place to see some photos is, St Patrick's Parents Facebook page.
Thank you for sharing the details of St Patrick's school from a parent's perspective. In fact I couldnt find detailed info regarding this from anywhere else.
Please answer my following queries on the school.
1. As you mentioned we are also ina confusion of Syllabus Vs School. But as we observe all our preferred institutions(Christian, not-profit-making) follow ICSE syllabus. At the same time we dont want our child to be over burdened with heavy syllabus. Can you please share how do you experince about this. I mean how tough/easy will it be for people like us(both are working)to support our child's day to day activities in an ICSE school.. Let em be clear on something I dont want to sit with her and spoon feed for all the learning needs, but I am asking about a reasonable level of help/guidance in her daily activities.
2. What are the other type of expenses we have to meet other than the admission fee. Will uniform, books expenses come under the specified fee.