Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Greenwood High, Bangalore

Greenwood High is located off of Sarjapur Road near Whitefield on a sprawling campus with wide open spaces and lots of greenery around. It's close to the two international schools - The International School of Bangalore (TISB) and Indus International School - and to Inventure Academy, and is around a hour's drive from Jayanagar. There are only two access roads to the school, one via Sarjapur Road and the other via Airport-Varthur Road.

My son moved from Joshika Montessori in J.P. Nagar to Greenwood High last year for first grade. He had completed 3/4 of the LKG year (pre-K) and the entire UKG year at Joshika. Joshika does not have higher grades.

The most important characteristic I was looking for in his new school was a rounded education with equal emphasis on academics as well as extra-curricular activities. At Joshika, although it was a Montessori school, there was too much emphasis on academics because the kids were being prepared to face entrance tests for first grade in schools such as Kumaran's (note that some parents actually hound the school to pack the curriculum with matter that will help their kids do well in the entrance tests). There was too much emphasis on completing portions and not enough time for anything other than writing reams and reams of paper worth of alphabets, fruit names, animal names, paragraphs on school, friends, family, multiplication tables, number names, and doing subtraction and addition by the time the kids were done with UKG.

Although he was taking piano lessons outside of school while in LKG and UKG, once he moved to first grade there would be no time to drive 45 minutes each way as we did to his teacher's house twice a week. I was looking for a school that would provide ample opportunity for activities such as music within the school curriculum even if it meant him staying back at school a little longer once or twice a week.

Greenwood seemed perfect and it addressed all the concerns I had with traditional schools - class-strength was a maximum of 24 (18-20 was the norm), extra-curricular activities were worked into the school timetable (there was chess, Indian music, Western music, computers, art and sports), the campus had ample lung space and was great for the kids to run around in, the buildings were built with children in mind with child friendly bathrooms, cubby holes and lockers for their belongings and a nurse's station. And to top it all the fee was less than 1/10th of what the international schools charged.

The management seemed eager to help and we were promised that piano lessons would be arranged for him separately so he could continue at his level. We were also promised that since the class strength was low, the teachers would easily assess where he was and give him additional work as necessary so he would not repeat much of the work he had already completed in UKG.

As far as we were concerned, the only drawback was the distance (although we were told kids came to Greenwood from as far away as Kanakapura Road (at least a two-hour ride by the school bus each way) and were none the worse for it) and the condition of the roads (which is abysmal at best).

Based on the administration's assurances regarding the extra-curricular activities and individual attention, our son moved to Greenwood for first grade. School ended about a month ago and I can safely say that he had a far better experience in first grade at Greenwood than in kindergarten at his previous school. He loved his chess classes, the music classes and sports. He did very well in class with an intimate group of classmates and he loved going off in a bus with his schoolmates every morning.

As the school year wore on, I realized that the administration had promised many things at the initial interview that they perhaps had an intention of fulfilling, but were unable to or did not for reasons best known to them. The school is still a work in progress. Much of the facility is still under construction. The swimming pool, tennis courts and horse riding tracks, which were supposed to be functional by the start of the school year last year, are still not complete.

My son never got his piano lessons at school (which had me scrambling to find a piano teacher outside of school which in turn is another story in itself) although he had the general Western music class along with the rest of the students. Repeated following up only received further assurances and the excuse that the school was still in its teething stages and the facilities would improve in the coming year. Moreover, the teachers came from traditional school environments where class strength above 50 is the norm and they are not able to wrap their minds around the concept of individual attention. The teachers find it easier to offer the same lesson plans to each student no matter what levels the students are at.

My experience at Greenwood is only limited to this past year, but I understand that the promises about superior facilities and offerings at Greenwood have been made for the past two or three years with not much to show for them and fees are not discounted accordingly. In fact, parents are facing an almost 25% increase in fees for the coming academic year. I also understand that the Principal has left to join Indus International School and that a new Principal has been hired for the coming academic year.

If you are looking for a well-rounded curriculum and are coming back to India for good or plan to spend a few years here and are willing to give the school a year or two to get its act together, then Greenwood is a great place for kids. It's thrilling to drive up to the school and walk in through the huge entrance to the fields and class rooms beyond and see kids of all ages pouring out the school buses. My son and his schoolmates like the school and the teachers and the admin staff seem genuinely concerned for the kids and their well-being. The Principal is on hand every morning to greet the children as they get off their buses.

The school takes pride in helping children from other countries and other types of school systems (they are called "third culture kids" - mostly referring to children of R2I parents) integrate quickly and effortlessly (on the children's part at least) into the system here. The school is affiliated with ICSCE.

My take on the schools issue is that each school has its own unique set of problems. No school is going to be perfect. But if the school generally offers what you are looking for, then go with it and work with the school - make sure they know you are watching and press for what you want. All you need is an administration that is willing to listen to and work with the parents. On that front, although the school may be struggling in these initial years and may not fulfill all its promises right away, Greenwood cannot be faulted. Which is way more than I can say for some of the other schools in this city.

My earlier posts on Bangalore schools are here.


Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, i like the way you present things, keep up the good work, will be back.

Expect more from you...

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus :- Blog

SWAMI said...

That's a very good post. I found your blog recently and found some of the blogs really useful. The one with tips on travel is good and helpful for beginners (begining to raise kids).

Thanks again.

Some of bloggers like you are inspirations for blogging; though I have not started yet.

Sujatha said...

Swami, you're welcome. Thanks for visiting. I'm glad these articles are useful. :)

Sujatha said...

Please see this post ( for a small dicussion on Greenwood.

satspai said...

i have a son,2 yrs7 mths.we live on sankey rd.i've always been of the impression that early education is extremely important to a child's development. having said that i also think that the choice of preschool must be balanced with other factors such as distance and the child's temperament. which is why i chose shishya (preschool only) which is walking distance. i'm expecting my 2nd child around sept end this yr.we plan to shift residence near HAL in 3-4 yrs & i convinced myself that i wd deal with his admissions for 1st std when the time comes. now as i meet moms going thru admission process i hear of all the horror stories for admission to class1-entrance exams, no vacancies, etc. now, i have begun to hunt for schools towards HAL with pre and higher schooling. i'm very upset with the idea of my son traveling the distance & with the 2nd on the way i'm not sure how it is going to be. i can't figure out if i'm doing the right thing or over-reacting.

SWAMI said...


Looks like you have LOT of information on this blog site. I just tried to read the one that you linked here and it was very good. It takes you another link, from there to another link and good thing is that most of them are relevant and useful.

Being a Bangalorean for a long time, I never realised that there is so much info that I did not know about Bangalore!

Thanks for the enlightenment!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a web link for Greenwood High?? And what is their fee structure??

satspai said...

i know from parents who send their kids to shishu griha that it is an excellent school . but all these kids are young so i could not get a clear opinion on one issue.
that is: are the kids gradually prepared to cope with exams and pressures that go with it?
all said and done about 'not spoiling their childhood' and so on and so forth, whether we like it or not our education system demands working under pressure in the crucial years. the kids need to be taught to deal with such pressures in a positive way and probably take it with a pinch of salt. throughout the early education years they need to be trained to see it as a challenge and not get bogged down or disheartened by it.being parents a part of the responsibility lies on us as well. but i also think that schools need to prepare students to tackle all levels of challenges, be it competition, exam pressure, discipline etc, in a positive way and learn from their success as well as failures.keeping them completely disconnected from the above will not be good for the all round development we expect.
at what age and how this should be taught in schools is best left to the faculty as they are professionals.

Chandra said...

Hi Sujatha,
I agree with others when they say that this is an extremely useful blog & very interesting one too. Great work !!!
I don't have kids as yet but when I hear about kids in UKG etc being taught to write alphabets etc instead of playing I really feel sad for them. I went to a Montessori school in Calcutta called Mongrace way back in 1977 & I still remember with great fondness the time spent there. We had lots of time to play & the teaching also felt like a game becos we were taught colours & shapes through blocks. Everything was done ina very innovative way & the kids were promoted depending on individual development rather than a common "exam" or anything like that. Even when I joined the school from which I passed my 10th std exams, I remember that the 1st year was spent in colouring, learning a few songs, some small rhymes etc. It was such a pleasure going to school. I really feel sad for the kids today who have so much work load and so much pressure from such a young age. Sigh !!!

Sujatha said...

Sathya, thanks for your comments. I know when kids are that age as your child is, parents are struggling to come up with a paradigm of parenting that works for them. For what it's worth, from personal experience, I can say that you are thinking of the right issues and the answers will come eventually. In the meantime, I can say that it's smart to think of the long term in terms of where to put your child. For one, you will not have to go through the struggle of finding a place for your child for first grade all over again and secondly, your child will also be glad for the continuity (although children do adjust pretty fast to new environments). I agree with you that the sooner children realize that the real world will present them challenges that they will have to confront, the better it is for them. It's no use coddling kids when they are young only to find out that they are ill prepared for the long term. Good luck with your search.

Sujatha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks Sujatha. How far is this school(Greenwood High) fron JP Nagar or BTM layout area??? Any idea how are Brigade and Oxford English school???

DG said...

I am going to search for a suitable one for P when I go to Madras this summer. S and I are tempted to go for the traditionally popular, longstanding, Vidya Mandir. But we are also doubtful as to how he would cope with such a vigoursly Indian set-up. Other option is to go for the Ozzie backed Kangaroo Kids. But S fears it might have too many Richie Rich kids and P would get the laa-di-dah airs.

sunshine said...

Great post. I have been struggling with bangalore schools for the past year. Whats your opinion on Prakriya, Green wisdom school, its montessori kind of school, ICSE, 1:18 ratio and closer than Greenwood.

Sujatha said...

Anon, no idea about Brigade and Oxford schools. Greenwood is about a 45 minute ride (each way) from BTM layout.

DG, I know, it is a vexing question, but one that families that have lived in two or more cultures have to face head on. But fear not, you will find the right answer and will do a great jog guiding P through the process. Good luck!

Sunshine, thanks. I have seen the Prakriya bus pick up kids from where we live, but have no idea how the school is. I would suggest visiting the school and talking to the parents that might happen to be there or ask for the contact info of a couple of parents. That's what I did at Greenwood - the school put me in touch with a few parents who already sent their kids there and it was helpful to talk to them before making a decision.

Anonymous said...

hi sujatha
It was a great input about Greenwood high.I have heard they give a leisure period kind of thing to the Ist graders where they can even have a nap.Is that true.Second thing i wanted to know was how did u find the acedemics part, they seem to much slower in it compared to other schools.One does not want the child to be left too....... far behind the rest of the kids.The third thing i wanted to know was how is the faculty in the school and any idea who is going to be the new Pricipal.

Sujatha said...

Anon, the last period every day was a remedial period for my son who just finished first grade. It was meant to enable the children to catch up on something if they were not able to finish it earlier in the day, or read a library book or relax.

The academics part was perfectly all right. If you compare it to schools that cram stuff into kids, yes, Greenwood follows a slower pace, but I absolutely, firmly prefer the Greenwood end of the spectrum.

I hear that the new principal is a gentleman with a military backgroud. Other than that I have no info.

Anonymous said...

thanks sujatha for the quick respose.Actually my daughter is to move to the main school of Greenwood from there preschool.I had been happy with the preschool but am not too sure about the main school.One I find i too far off with a very very bad access road.Two Greenwood has as you have mentioned has not been able to keep up many of its promises made in the past two years about the campus and it's facilities.Three they have been hiking there fee structure too much every year with no betterment in facilities.Now a change in the principal should be taken as a positive or negetive i am not too sure.I am really confused at the way the school is going ahead .

Could u please give me an idea what extra activites your son has been involved in at the school level.because in the preschool i found a deterioration in the activites done in the last year (when she was in UKG)compared to when my daughter was in LKG.

Sujatha said...

Anon, the access roads are being worked on as we speak (or read each other's comments?). The plan is for it to be completed by August of this year. Two stretches of the road are in much better shape than when the school started last year.

The activities my son was in in first grade were (and this is part of the time table for everyone): chess, roller skating, dance, Indian music, Western music, abacus (compulsory until 5th grade). Plus they had library every week (books are sent home with the kids), art projects and one or two projects related their curriculum (my son's group put together a project on monkeys and they did another one individually on Indian classical musicians). They also had two field trips, one to the planetarium and the other to the HAL museum.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

hi sujatha
thanks for the quick respose.your inputs have definetely increased my comfort level.
I got to know of a recent development yesterday that besides the Pricipal, even the director has put in his you have any info in this regard.

Sujatha said...

Anon, hmmm, sorry, don't know about that development.

And you're welcome. :)

Tiniam said...

Dear Sujatha,

Let me start with thanking you for your very informative comments.
i have two daughters studying in class V and UKG. iam planning to relocate to India sometime in April.

iam looking at DPS East as an option.Although i have the necessary contact details about them iam not sure if it would be risky since this is a start up school and also the role of DPS in this school given they have tied up with KK instititution. can you please throw some light on this.

Chaitra said...

Hi Sujatha,

Your blog is certainly a good start point for parents on the lookout for suitable schools. I am one of them. Wanted to understand your take on the Padma Sheshdri School on Bannerghatta Road. I did see a brief mention earlier on your blog but was wondering if you have further updates. My son is 2.5 yrs and will start format schooling in June 08.

Look forward to your inputs...

Anonymous said...

hi sujatha

i went through your blog recently and impressed by the information abt green wood high .Thanks for the INFORMATION.
I am also looking for a good school for my child and interested in green wood. can you pls through some light on fee structure of the school ?
as iam away from bangalore i searched in the net but did not sucseed. what is their website ?
do you have their contact no etc . how is the teachers and their welfare ? . i have experienced in my son's last school as the pay structure of teachers were not good there used to be high turn out of teachers. how is the pay and other facilities for teachers in green wood.

pls inform me at the earlist

Sujatha said...

Chaitra, sorry, I don't have any new information about Padma Sheshadri's school. I hope you were able to contact that school. I think I had put up the contact info in an earlier post. Good luck.

Anon, I think the yearly fees are around 1.25 lakhs at Greenwood. I know they intended to change the fee structure this year.

Their website is

Sujatha said...

About the teachers, from what I saw they seemed happy, but the school is too new and it's undergoing some management changes this year as well, so it's hard to tell how happy or unhappy the teachers are.

Sujatha said...

Tiniam, just talked to a friend who just put her son there. It's directly under the management of the Delhi branch of DPS (if it gives you any comfort) and it's affiliated with CBSE. In the lower grades they have about 32 kids in each class.

My take on this is that you should personally go and visit the school and talk to the management. If you don't like it, you don't lose anything, just don't send your children there. But if you do like it, it's great!

Good luck with your decision.

Tiniam said...

Thanks Sujatha for your valuable comments.As suggested I will definitely talk to the management before I take this forward.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the problems you have faced at Greenwood are typical of all the new "international" schools that are popping up these days. My child attends Inventure Academy (right across the street from Greenwood) and we are still waiting for certain promised facilities (ie pool) to be completed. I think they have their heart in the right place but as you said the teachers come out of the "typical" Indian school system and require a lot of training before they can implement the more child-friendly school. Tuitions are increasing quickly as well as schools try to take advantage of the huge gap between "Indian" schools and "International" schools. We will have to wait and see who rises to the top in a few years.

Sujatha said...

Anon, thank you for your comment. That's a very good assessment of the situation.

Nandita Venkatesh said...

Hi Sujatha,

Yours is a wonderful post. It's given me a lot of inputs about life in B'lore. My daughter will be joining 4th grade when we R2I to BLR in May-June 2008. We'll be in ORR-Sarjapur Rd junction - Sobha ppties there. I've shortlisted the following schools :
2. Greenwood High
3. Cambridge Public school
4. Bethany High
5. National Public School
6 Delhi Public School (East)
Have I missed any good schools in the vicinity ?
I don't want any Int'l schools, only ICSE / CBSE.
And also if you've heard of any pros-cons of these schools.. any input will help me.

Thanks in advance,

Salim said...

Hi Sujatha,

Wondering if you know of any piano teachers in bangalore who would teach a 6 year old.

We live around Airport Road.


Sujatha said...

Hi Nandita,

Thanks. :) I'm glad you found the posts useful.

You might want to check a lot of the newer schools in that area as well, all either ICSE or CBSE, although they may have "International" in their name - Ryan International, Deccan International, India International, Inventure Academy, Deen's Academy. I know a couple of people who really liked Inventure and I had neighbors who sent their kids to Ryan and Deccan and were happy with them.

Sujatha said...

Fatema, I would go to the Reynold's music store near Brigade Road. They have a list of piano teachers willing to take students. I found my son's piano teacher through them.

You should also check with Mr. Das at the St. Mark's Cathedral on MG Road. He takes classes for kids from 6 years onwards.

Good luck.

chezian said...

I am happy to see the apprpriate use of technology and eagerness to share the info.
I am currently in Singapore and planning to relocate to ITPL during the 1st quarter of next year. My son and daughter who are in 6th and 10th here have to move in. It looks quite a few options are there for the son. How about A level? I am also constrained by 2nd Language options for they have taken up Tamil in S'pore. Any suggestions from u. I will be working in ITPL. Any schools around there will be of great help.
Thanks for yr time

Sujatha said...

Chezian, thanks for your comment. I think there is only a couple of schools in Bangalore that offer Tamil as the second language. I'll find out and leave a comment here. I know it's tough moving when your kids are older, so here's wishing you the best. I don't know about A levels though. Please check with the International schools (TISB, Indus, etc.).

Anonymous said...


We have moved back to India for good from USA this year. My son now is 2Yrs8Months old.

I am looking for a school which offers extra activities along with studies. Could you please suggest a list of good schools closer to Sarjapur Rd.
Few Schools are giving the admission forms for academic yr2008.
What should I do if I miss out to collect the admission form dates?

Thanks a bunch!

Sujatha said...

Anon, please read all the school posts (click the label/category Schools on the right hand column) and their comments carefully. You'll be able to compile a list of schools that meet your needs. Good luck.

Sujatha said...

Further to my comment above, the lable is "Bangalore Schools" in the right hand column.

Sujatha said...

...and it's "label". Sheesh!

Anonymous said...


Could you please let me know the difference between CBSC & ICSE? or point to the link if it was already disscussed.


Sujatha said...

Anon (Oct 23), here's an old article from Deccan Herald that discusses the differences between the various school boards. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sujatha, this is a good info.

Anonymous said...


How is Gear Innovative International School? Any reveiws on this school...I am looking for CBSE schools around Sarjapur Rd.
I am in a Confussed between CBSE & ICSE. Don't know which one to follow.


Anonymous said...


We are planning to relocate to Bangalore in Feb/March 2008.I am looking for a good school for my 4 year old son. We are planning to leave in JP Nagar off Bannerghatta Road. I’m looking at TREAMIS located in Electronics City. Would like to know your opinion on this and also recommendations on any other


George Eby Mathew said...

Very informative and useful post and dialogue it generated. Thank you - very beneficial for people new to Bangalore and those like me who have made Bangalore home for a long time but never needed a school till my son needed one. Would you know if there is some resource that compares schools in Bangalore.

I am really peeved by the pressure tiny tots go through in the name of education - I am referring to the homework, comparitive remarks made on individual children by teachers, obsessive focus on academic scores etc. For example.. most report cards have low marks highlighted, in the remarks column nothing is usually written if at all anything, the negative of a child is given undue prominence.

I find parents also part of this child version of the rat race. Give the children a break, let them enjoy their childhood, smell the flowers, and learn life skills rather than becoming show pieces for their parents or whoever. Urbanisation is suffiient pressure on children many of whom have begun to think that 'milk comes from plastic covers'.

I am planning to cover this topic something at ttp://

George Eby Mathew said...

Oops! the correct url for my blog is I suffer from a disorder called blogger anxiety which is a phenomenon where your fingers take a rapid pace suddently and loses co-ordination with your brain just seconds before pressing the 'publish comment' button :)!

Sujatha said...

Anon (Oct. 29), please see the link to article discussing differences between ICSE and CBSE. As for GEAR, I don't have personal experience with that school. Please read all of the posts on schools (under the label Bangalore Schools). Hopefully they might have at least some of the information you are lookoing for.

Anon (Nov 1), I think someone left a comment about TREAMIS. Please see one of the other posts on Schools. Good luck.

George, welcome back. I'm glad these posts are helpful. I don't know of a resource that compares schools, but you might find all the comments from parents to the posts under the lable Bangalore Shools helpful. Good luck with your search and your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sujatha,

Do you have any feedback on Delhi Public School Bangalore south?


Sujatha said...

Anon, sorry I don't have specific feedback on DPS (South).

All, thank you for reading my posts on Bangalore schools. At this point, I'm unable to answer specific questions about the schools. Things are changing rapidly in Bangalore, new schools are coming up and since I'm not there anymore, it's difficult to keep track. I sincerely hope the posts have helped you thus far and that they will continue to serve as a good starting point for your research. Good luck and best wishes to you.


Sumana said...

Hi Sujatha, It was a nice and informative post. I got my son admitted in Greenwoods Nursery for next session. Your blog at least gave some information before I took the decision.

I beleive you are still continuing with Greenwoods high ? How are you finding now with the new principal ? Also do you know if they have got the affiliation for the 10th standard ?

Do you have any idea how good they are in guiding them in later years say 6th - 10th standard for the exam ?

Oreen said...

gosh, that's a huge readership you have here.
was looking for piano classes for my son Aaron, who is 5 and a half . . . and stumbled upon your blog . . .

nice stuff :-)

bindu said...

hi sujatha,
really helpful blog..
thanks for taking the initiative to give all the other parents so much info about schools in bangalore.
i wanted to ask you if you have any info on Roots montessori ,in jayanagr.

Anonymous said...

Good piece. Anybody has info abt Cambridge Public School, HSR Layout?

Anonymous said...

Hello Sujatha,
iam a foreign national working in bangalore and was trying to find out abt greenwood high for my son, read your blog and was sure you could help me wz some useful info,

i need to know howmuch will be the admision fee i have to pay and roughly howmuch should i set aside for the school related (compulsary exp's) exp's for my son per year.. appreciate if you could reply to me to my mail id

Amrita said...

Can someone please let me know how is Bethany High, Bangalore?


leenavaasu said...

Thanks for your review of greenwood high bangalore. Based on your blog report we have almost decided on greenwood high. Your review on the school is 2 years old. How are things now ? Do you feel the same way after 2 years.

We are relocating from Singapore to Bangalore in a months time. Thanks for your help.

Sujatha said...

Leena, you should visit the school, talk to the admministration and the teachers and have your child visit the school before you make such an important decision. I would not just rely on blogs.

To answer your question, we don't live in bangalore any more. So I have no idea about how the school is at this point.

Good luck with the move.

vashi said...

Pl dont decide based on positive blogs. I also decided on the same basis. My daughter started going to GHigh and had to take her out. To cut the long story short, this is the worst school available in bangalore

vijju said...

Can you please add some details around why you opted out of Greenwood?
I am looking for a school for my kid and to be frank, after going through the blog my thoughts are almost inclined towards it. Tomorrow i am planning to visit the campus as well.
Would be glad, if you can share your experiences.

Sujatha said...

Vijju, We moved back to the US. If we had stayed on in India, my son would have most likely continued on at Greenwood.

Good luck with your search.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sujata,

Thanks for all details. This blog is really useful for parents who are searching schools in Bangalore. I am searching for a school in Bangalore for my daughter who is in first grade. She is a slow learner and I am looking for a good environment for her. Teachers should be understanding and help the child to learn better. I live near Jayanagar. Please suggest me some schools. Thanks in advance! -Rama

Law said...

Hi Sujata,

I am a mom planning to put my son in Greenwood high from next session nursery(hes going to be 3.5 yrs by June 2010).

Can you pls let me know about your detailed feedback since now it has been quite sometime since you admitted your son here.


Sujatha said...

Law, I don't have any current information because we no longer live in Bangalore.