moving back to india

38 replies, Page 1

myths 2010-04-16 01:45:43



I am planning to move back to chennai next year after 10 years in boston. Makes me very nervous. Could anyone please tell me the best CBSE and International schools around adyar and velachery area for my daughter. She will be going to 6th grade next year.

Also what is the age requirement or cutoff date in chennai schools?She was born in september 1999.



Srihamsa 2010-04-16 22:07:02




I would recommend 


1. The School KFI - very, very difficult to get admission, whoever you are. But do apply in Jan 2011. No recommendations. Great school, good teachers, children love it.

2. Sankara School - CBSE

3. Headstart - a bit far, on the OMR. Great management. Ok teachers. Very flexible. IGCSE of Cambridge offered.

4. APL School - on the OMR - IGCSE.

5. MCTM - near Mylapore - IGCSE and IB


American International School is unaffordable even for NRIS. So am not suggesting that. 


mlaks 2010-04-17 14:04:55


Hi srihamsa,

read your reply and am wondering, why you haven't included Vidya Mandir Mylapore in your list.

I'm trying for schools in Chennai after being in Dubai for 10 years for my 2 kids, any feedback about Vidya Mandir?

Thanks, mlaks



myths 2010-04-17 22:57:20


Hi srihamsa,

Thanks for the info. I will try to contact the schools in june and get all the info. How about Sishya? Is that good?

Does anyone know good property builders around velachery, OMR or Adayar area? please suggest me.

I read about BVM Global Bollineni Hillside school in OMR in parentree. They are also building residential properties in that area. Does anyone know if they are good?

I recently joined parentree and i find this very useful and informative.




Srihamsa 2010-04-18 07:02:23


 Hi Mythreyi,

1. Sishya Adyar is a very hep school. "Good" or not depends on your perspective on education. For e.g. you may not be able to consider both The School KFI AND Sishya to be good schools. If you prefer the latter, you should not go anywhere near the former. 

Sishya is surely a mainstream school, with the usual focus on academics. Lots of extra-curricular activities, uniforms, house-based competitions - a legacy of the first principal's background in St Lawrence School in Nilgiris, etc. Most parents have 2 cars with one kept away for ferrying the child to and fro the school. And I believe, I could be wrong, that only such parents are preferred. Take a look at the car part before you enter the school!

2. Getting admission to Sishya is difficult. Bookings happen at the birth of the child. Try the one on the OMR in Thoraippakkam, a new Sishya. Things might be easier.

3. Vidya Mandir Mylapore has a very decent reputation. Lots of focus on academics. 

4. BVM has a decent reputation except for that of the Senior Principal or CEO or whoever. The guy appears to have a reputation for being arrogant, boorish, etc. I have had many friends express acute displeasure. But he may not be in charge of BVM Bollineni. Parent school Vidya Mandir's management and that of BVM are not in good terms - they split. So dont mention VM when you are talking to BVM.

5. If you are looking for a school on OMR, besides BVM, consider Headstart International (, PSPB Millenium, (within DLF enclave), Gateway, etc. I could tell you lots about Headstart since our daughter was there till last year before we moved her to The School KFI for locational reasons.

6. No specific info on residential properties of BVM Bollinenin. Enquire with builders in that area like Mantri, ETA Good Life, DLF, etc to get a view of competitors. 

Hope this is useful.  Let me know if you need more.








Srihamsa 2010-04-18 07:12:55




Vidya Mandir was an omission. error in the list. The school has a very decent reputation among mainstream schools. Legacy of encouraging sports, extra-curricular activities, fine-arts, etc. CBSE curriculam. Decent website that you could check



Srihamsa 2010-04-18 07:31:14



As for the cut off 'birth date' for admission to a particular class, each school follows its own norm. Some are flexible and others are not. For example, KFI insists on the cut-off birth date rather rigorously since they cannot make exceptions for one and not for the other. So even if the child is born just a day  after the cut-off date, she/he is not usually considered for admission. There are others, who wont place too much importance on the cut-off date.


myths 2010-04-18 19:55:32


Hi Srihamsa,

Thank you very much for the detailed information on Sishya nad BVM GLobal. I guess i have to be prepared for a lot of things before coming. I did go in to Headstart website and took a look. It looks very good. I was even mentioning it to my husband. But i was trying to find the fee strutcure which was not there. Could you please tell me the Annual fees for 6th Graders and also if there is any other fee(like admission, books etc). Do they have programme for preschoolers too. I have  a 31/2 year old dauther too.Also for KFI.




Srihamsa 2010-04-18 22:54:18


 Hi Mythreyi,

Headstart charges around 35-40 K a year plus a refundable deposit of 10 k for a sixth grader. That would include books, Field Trips, etc. Transport would be extra. Children bring lunch. No uniform so far.

KFI fee structure is on the website

Headstart had pre-KG. But your 31/2 year old daughter would go to Lower KG and not pre-KG.  KFI begins with class 1 at age 51/2 to 6.









myths 2010-04-19 10:05:52


Thanks again for the fee info. Infact i wanted to check about PSBB Millenieum school too. How is that school? Is that in par with the original PSBB in K.K.Nagar?

I think I will shortlist the school and try to contact them when reopen in june.

Thanks again for all the info.





niketan 2010-04-20 00:23:14



I am planning on moving back next year as well. I have a 6 year old son...and i am kind of worried/confused/mixed feelings old are your kids.................

I am planning on trying for some of the impossible kfi, vidya mandir, padma sheshadri, shankara, ps, chennai public school.......not going to try for any of them on the omr............reason being there are all very new and omr is kind of far.....

Actually there are many many good schools.......and unfortunately there are tons of kids...........competing to get in every year...............

all the best.......





Srihamsa 2010-04-20 06:13:20


 Hi Mythreyi,


PSPB Millenium is a different entity under the same management. Doesn't have a legacy like PSPB Nungambakkam or KK Nagar. I have seen the one in DLF Enclave. Decent infrastructure, pleasant admin people. They have not been around for long enough for any comment on academics. But remember, PSPB Millenium Guindy has received lots of not so favourable reviews. Just google to check. 

My suggestion:

1. Check if you want the child to be in a global curriculum or Indian curriculum school - several schools offer IGCSE which is at par with GCSE in UK. Exam are conducted by Cambridge Univ External Exams Unit. (Headstart, Omega International, APL, MCTM, etc. offer IGCSE. MCTM offers IB also)

2. If Indian, then do u want alternative or mainstream school? KFI is alternative school. Focus is NOT on academics. Dont expect your child to crack IIT JEE. But the school has vastly different merits.

After this kind of narrowing down to a few choices, try your luck.


myths 2010-04-20 06:23:22



good lukc to you too. I am also very much worried and confused. My 1st daughter is 10 years old and next one is 31/2. I am worried only about my older daughter. She has to adjust in that school system. As you said getting admission in good schools are very hard. Don't know what i will do if they don't get admission this year. HAve to see.

If you get any inputs on any school, please share with me. I will do the same too.





myths 2010-04-20 06:26:35


Hi Srihamsa,

My 1st priority is global curriculam. If She does not get the admission this year then  i have to keep second choices.

I really appreciate your help in giving information on all the schools. Please update me if there is any other information or changes in these schools.




Srihamsa 2010-04-20 06:55:45


 Will do. I have been involved as a resource person in some of these schools, besides running an education firm. I have a few ideas on these schools, how to go about selecting a school, etc. My daughter goes to KFI since we specifically wanted a school like that.  Shall keep you updated. All the best. 


myths 2010-04-20 07:58:00


Oh..that's great. Do you mind me asking what kind of educational firm are you running?





schoolparent 2010-04-20 10:29:41


Hello Mr.Srihamsa


Would like to know more about the KFI school. You said your daughter is enrolled there, so can you pls tell me how it compares to Adyar Sankara school? Thanks for your info in advance.




Srihamsa 2010-04-20 10:50:42


 Hi Rekha,


KFI is more an alternative school than a regular school. They have a good website Explore it. You may also read articles written by teachers.

Basic features: huge campus, actually a forest, part of the 270--acre theosophical society campus in Adyar, no uniform for children, no encouragement to competition (they dont believe in competition), good organic veggie lunch, snacks, provided by the school, lots of scope to ask questions and seek answers, not much emphasis on academics, exams start only in class 8, etc. They will not produce toppers in exams since they dont regard that as meaningful. But the academic standard is ok since it is affliated to ICSE. Lots of field trips too.

Parents are interviewed extensively, you have to write essays in application forms, etc. Children are tested but not exactly interviewed. Nor are they graded. A gifted child may not get in if parents' idea of education differs from that of the school. Small class sizes  - max 25. Only one section. Vertical groupings. Children from diff classes sit in the same class. In small groups though. They have their own curriculum till Class 9. 

Also check for views of director Gautama. 

You dont have to know anything about J Krishnamurti to get in.

I dont know much about Sankara except that it has a good reputation as a mainstream school. A good CBSE school, going by my daughter's friends who go there.








Srihamsa 2010-04-20 10:52:18


 Make a correction. KFI school website is



Srihamsa 2010-04-20 11:02:10


 Hi Mythreyi,

I run a firm called IgniteMinds. We train teachers and school administrators in a particular approach to pedagogy called Constructivist Pedagogy. We believe children construct their own knowledge, at least most of the time, out of their experience. And for any teaching to become meaningful, what is being taught should first become the need of the child. We have developed, and are still developing, content in Maths, English and Tamil for classes K-5 so far, based on our approach. We have also begun extending help to homeschoolers, but otherwise, focus on rural and semi-urban schools where unlearning process is faster. Teachers in city schools think they know, when actually they dont.  In short, it is an experiment in educating a child in way that the child doesnt know that it is learning. Learning happens sub-consciously.

I hope to be able to post articles on this website on our methods shortly.

My wife takes care of the special education part of the work. She is a specialist in autism spectrum disorders.




drajan 2010-08-16 15:25:04




Are you still looking for some help relocating to Chennai? I know a few people who have also relocated with children. So please let me know if you need any help.






niketan 2010-08-17 03:20:46


Hi Mythreyi...........

I am planning on returning to chennai end of this year........and try for admission for my child in chennai.........I have been doing some research and what i have gathered is is very very imp that we are in chennai atleast by even try for  any school for that matter.................and then if really really lucky.......admission..........:-)

I have gathered a lot from this very parentree is simply the best.........thanks to all parents who have shared their experiences..........

My only concern is how my little one who is 6 will the really really new change.................but i just donot know what to worry my kid will adjust or whether i will get admission or if i get one....will she like is very stressful..........but i guess it is worth every bit of it.............







Srihamsa 2010-08-17 05:31:58


Children adjust pretty fast. As they can be expected to. They simply need some good friends. Once that is assured, rest is all taken care of. It is a different story with parents though. An effort has to be made, I guess.


niketan 2010-08-17 21:34:59


Hi Srihamsa....

What u said is so true.........children as a matter of fact do adjust is us parents who have trouble adjusting if our kids will.......and i think earlier or younger the age the better......but we donot really have that choice........


and certainly good friends make a hell lot of difference altogether for the kids.....and u said u kids go to kfi......if by gods grace i get an admission to that school........we should meet up.....





umakand 2010-11-18 23:11:17


Hi Srihamsa,

Thanks for sharing the information with others. I am interested in getting my son into KFI - Chennai mainly for its non-competitive approach and other non-academic merits. We are planning to move to India next academic year (2011). It will be greatly helpful if you can provide more details on the KFI admissions. I am planning to travel once to India during the first quarter mainly for this admission. Since you are affiliated to this school and also have more inputs to the forum, can you provide guidance?

Thanks again,



umat 2011-01-07 14:49:08



My son is 3.7years,PreKg in sunshine velachery and planing to put in LKG for 2011-2012 in any good school.i dont want to disturb him upto 10th.Please suggest aroung OMR.If possible provide fee structure of HLC for LKG..thanks


Sheelas 2011-02-18 00:52:25


Hi Srihamsa , Maitreyi and others,

This is an interesting  new thread which I came across only today.We are also planning to settle in India from Boston. I am looking for admission for my 1st son in 5th grade preferably in ICSE or international school and for 2nd son in prekg in the nearby locality wherever my older one gets. Looking at KFI, Headstart, APL etc. The fee structures are beyond our range, headstart seems to be fine but the distance is making me think twice.

Anyother good suggestions? Is omega a good one in academics and english in IGCSE? how about MCTM? Arent they very strict? I am totally confused now. We are plannin to apply KFI but unsure about admissio as we wont be in India till june. Also, the children are not trained for academics is it , can you please explain?


Thanks a lot,



 Former member 2011-02-18 14:57:19


all schools in adyar are good at extra curricular acivities.................


pprr 2011-02-25 11:00:48


But Vidya mandir i heard off late is not soo good, both academics and extra circular activities. Instead try P S school, Sivaswami kalalaya school in mylapore. They are far better academically and also in extra circular activities. There is  " The Grove School" in alwarpet.


SunVai 2011-02-25 11:27:02


Hi All,

I am new to this forum...could you please let me know about Chettinad Vidyashram....about th academics and extra curricular activities....


Srihamsa 2011-02-25 12:36:54




1. KFI is issuing applns now. Check out But you have to come for interview mid-March. Requests for change in date are not entertained strictly. 

2. Headstart's admission process  is on too. A friend got his child waitlisted. That speaks for the demand. 

3. MCTM has just started IGCSE. It cannot be too bad but there is no history of schools in IGCSE stream in Chennai. MCTM has a very good principal in Jayanthi Thyagarajan for IGCSE stream. APL produced some excellent results in A levels this year including a world topper - 100 percentiler - in humanities stream. 

4. Omega IGCSE is reasonably well-established. You may have to consider the distance.

5.There are several tutors for IGCSE stream in south Chennai. Choosing one of them could off-set any deficiency of the school but would tax the child heavily, since it will rob all the valuable free time of the child.

Chennai admission scene will be pretty much over if you can only by June. You might consider admitting them in any school where you get admission and then try for a refined choice next year. This, however, would entail losing out on the non-refundable deposit, which most schools charge.



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