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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hyderabad Preschools: Strawberry fields - Review

We did not see a chance for a quick move from Hyderabad, so we began looking for preschools. The very first school to check was Strawberry fields.
SF is another popular network in Hyderabad. I just learned that they have started a new school in Paradise circle.

Why Strawberry Fields? 
  •  Personally, I am very much impressed their curriculum. Honestly, this is something which I have been looking for. Perfect curriculum. 
  • Affordable- not very costly not very cheap. Mostly focusing on middle class and high class families. They run a separate business for lower income group (butterflies) and another for highest income groups (polka dots). So, fitting to middle of the band people.
  •  Because my boss was sending their kid in SF, West Marredpally and were having a really positive experience with SF. This inspired me to give a try.
Strawberry fields, Paradise, Secunderabad

We visited the school on a Saturday. 

Pros:
  • Very hygienic, pleasant class rooms and premises.
  • Child friendly teachers and caretakers- they spoke to Liya and tried to make her feel comfortable. The center head gave her biscuits and treated her and us very nicely.
  • Spacious class rooms
  • They have very few kids as of now. So child:adult ratio is very impressive. Though, it would go up into 10:1 shortly. 
Cons: 
  • Located in the most polluted area of the city. I wonder if they could find more polluted area than this in Secunderabad. Not just air pollution, but noise pollution is a bonus. Situated in the S.P road, Paradise circle. 24x7 kids will be tired of honking noise. This was the only reason we put off by this school. For noise pollution, they had sealed the walls and blocked all connection with outside. This made the school more suffocating.
  • No A/C backup
  • They don't have a big play area. But a clean one, with nice spongy carpet spread in the floor for kids to play safely. They have lot of toys plus a splash pool. But play area is all sealed. Not an open area.
  • Two storied building so summer heat might beat kids without a proper a/c backup.
  • No sunlight at all in the classrooms due to all suffocating sealings

* This not company owned branch, this is a franchisee.

Strawberry fields, West Marredpally

I loved this school in all sense. They had a great curriculm. The center head was very sweet woman who explained everything in detail. She explained every small bit of how they run the school, about their learning methodology and showed us a lot of their activity sheets. They showed us all class rooms. It was a multistory building with the basement and terrace entirely turned into play area. The basement had a pool, role play stations, gym etc. The terrace was completely dedicated as outdoor play unit.  For the safety of kid, they had sleaed the walls of terrace plus has a nice spongy carpet in the floor. 

No uniform except on field trips. They conduct field trips every month. The classrooms were spacious though they were not very big. They had a small but nice library with a good collection of books and a clean kitchen. They provide food for kids which they cook in-house.

They do not have A/C backup but yes have centralized air coolers, which is good. 

Fee Structure:

Nursery: Including registration and admission fee it comes around 36-40k per year. Out of this Rs. 1000 goes for meals for an year. Pay as three terms, it come around 10k per term. Registration and admission fee is one time. They offer transport with an added billing. 

Daycare : 3500 per month. Pay monthly.

We would have gone for this school if we were planning to continue in Secunderabad area. With sudden changes in our plans for Hyderabad, as we see that we would be staying here for a while, In Sha Allah, we found it is difficult to manage our life - with J working in one end of the city and I working in the other corner. One of us would end up traveling around 3-4 hours in a day. So, I spoke to my boss, she was more than kind to offer me full-time work from home. So, we decided to move from Secunderabad area to somewhere closer to J's office, which is in Hitech city. That's when we began searching for schools in that area. 

Disclaimer: I am just a parent not an expert in childcare. Whatever, I scribble here are my personal experiences or views which may be contradictory to yours or may not hold good for you. You have the freedom to speak out and if you a parent searching for pre schools, you are the decision maker. All the opinions I express here are purely personal and honest. Princess Liya is my personal blog not a commericial place and so none of my opinions are influenced by any offers or biases. 

4 comments:

  1. This sounded like a really nice place, but it did need more sunshine! It's good that your boss is letting you work from home - transportation sounds very complicated there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so happy with your blog site, it contains all the matter with regards to preschool and playschool Good luck to you and your well performed job. Thanks for keeping us updated with the latest information for preschool and playschool.
    Regards
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    ReplyDelete
  3. The same chairman runs another school called Polka Dots which his like business class of Strawberry fields. They claim lots of things but there is no individual attention which is the USP, there is nothing such, if kid is intelligent and learns , school takes credit. If kid finds it hard to learn, no one bothers. They just recruit parents when teacher quit without any training, the whole year is gone by the time the teacher learns how to handle kids. Huge attrition, the entire staff changes in one year. Kids are shouted on in front of parents too, imagine in class. Kids get terrified to go to school and ask parents to sit with them. They cant control bullying kids also and even ignorant and don't care if your kid is a meek one and gets bullied daily . The director speaks of parents spending more time in school campus, but all doors are closed and indirectly told not to spend. They cant retain good teachers. totally disappointed, avoid this high ranked and high cost school!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Same with the new school in Miyapur/Madinaguda. They set up a new one at rainbow Vista and completely ignored this school. As they had an unexpected strength, they just took this set up easy. Parents are hired as teachers and the staff is very unstable, and the management is hardly seen after admissions are done. They have new admissions coming in all year long and the total atmosphere of a class is disturbed.

    ReplyDelete

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