How's 'The School KFI'

948 replies, Page 1

saigee 2009-05-05 13:53:46


Hi All,

I just wanted any of your inputs regarding 'The School KFI'.

How good is this school and whether  the children who study in this school have any problem adjusting to the competitive environment in Chennai?




shobha 2009-05-06 23:36:53


Our child goes to the school KFI and we are very happy with the school. To them every child is different and special, they are not compared or graded against each other. This is very important to build their self esteem. Also, they work with every child at their pace. They are able to do this because of small class sizes. There is no grading or ranking till grade 8. We believe that stressing the kids too much will not necessarily prepare them to be competitive. From what we have seen the students from this school are out of the box thinkers and don't have any problems adjusting into any competitive environment seamlessly.
You can read more about the school here.


Lavanya 2009-05-07 07:45:09


Hi Shoba

I was looking for more information on KFI when I found this post. My daughter is only 16 months right now, but as you know, we have to start thinking about school right now these days :) and anyway, she will have to go to prekg next June.

For this year's admission, I saw on the KFI website that eligibility is 5 1/2 years as on on June 1st for I std. But as my daughter is Dec born, she will fall short of 28 days on June 1st when she is up for admission. When I mailed the school, I got a blanket reply that the child must satisfy the age criterion. But I believe that the school wih its philosophies (middle age group till 7th) cannot be bothered about a 28 days gap. Would you know more about this?

Did you join your kids just now ? Any help in this regard would help! I am highly interested in my daughter joining this school. However, i equally don't want her to waste a year as well !






madhu89 2009-05-07 08:28:40


i feel KFI is ok. but they have there minus points too. you will never understand there admission proccess. why they take certain kids n why reject others. i have a friend whose kid use to go to KFI but she is not all that happy as they both are doctors and kid is developing interest in carpaintory. he doesnt do anything all day but just into it. so if you have lotssa money and shape your kids future then you hsould go to this school. normal people who want their kids to servive in todays world n have carrier shouldnt be thinking of this school.


saigee 2009-05-08 09:41:59


Thanks to you all for your response to my query. It sure is helpful to hear from parents who have their kids in this school.

Lavanya, my daughter turns 5 in May but she has to start std I next year coz of their 51/2 yr stipulation on June 1st.



Lavanya 2009-05-08 14:07:14


Thanks, Saigee for sharing that information.

So, you do not mind waiting for a year? Would you mind sharing your thoughts on that ?


saigee 2009-05-08 14:37:46


In my view I feel it'ld be ideal for her to be in Std I next year. We moved recently from Overseas so that would give her an additional year to adjust  to our setting.


shobha 2009-05-10 08:04:47



I don't have any personal experience on this, but I know a parent whose child was short of 10 days, from the cut off date and the child was not taken in.
Good Luck,

saigee 2009-05-22 12:04:28


Hi Shobha,

How early do we need to start for admissions for the academic year 2010-2011?

in KFI?





shobha 2009-05-27 06:33:30


Hi Saigee,

Usually they post the application in their website around January of that Academic year. So look out for the application in January of 2010 for the academic year 2010-11

Hope this helps,



saigee 2009-05-28 08:50:52


Thank you for your response Shobha.


Kumsreks 2010-03-01 13:20:26


Hi shoba,

  We got interview letter for us on next monday..My only problem is if I get admission commuting from  velachery..Do they have trnasportation or do you know people coming from velachery thr car pooling sharing any taxi..Becase I got admission to my younger one in navadisha...So I have to stay in velachery for her..Can yo update me..ple


Kumsreks 2010-03-01 16:34:23


I got it in mail shrees..Did u check your mail..But I heared as they are strict about the age criteria..Do yo have any idea about transportation..?


Rimom2401 2010-05-18 15:39:20


Hi Shobha,

Glad to hear that you are happy with KFI :) I am also interested in knowing more about the school and their admission process. My daughter is still an infant but somehow the topic around town seems to be about how there is no such thing as ' too soon' when it comes to school admissions.

Does KFI accept registrations 2-3 years before the child is ready to go to school. I do know  confirmedly that Sishya - Adayar admits children very early ( as early as in the womb) !!!

I have been going through their website and looks like they start only from Std 1. Do they have a Pre-KG, LKG and UKG option ?

Thank You


Anais 2010-05-18 19:27:51


Hi  Kumsreks,

I am very new to this website. We are also planning to move to Chennai next year .

I am also having the same question, is their any transpotation from Velachery to KFI? Do you find out?

I like to know  more about Navadisha for my younger  one.

Thank you


sparent 2010-05-18 23:33:53


Even i would like to know the commute from velachery to KFI? Is there a transportation available? any input in this would be very helpful/ 


Srihamsa 2010-06-04 12:16:32



1. KFI has no prior-to the academic year admission process. Admission process begins by January every year. Keep checking the website. Only if there are vacancies, will admission for a class be offered. (We waited for 4 years since the present Class 5, to which we got admission, was moving up in full strength from LKG. Hence no vacancies and no admission).  Admission process involves detailed interviews with parents on their views on education, a separate, friendly chat with the child, elaborately written application form, etc. Any inconsistency between application, what the child says and what the parents say could spell trouble. No respect for position one holds in society.  A few famous actors got their kids rejected. This year, a CEO got his application for his daughter rejected. Reasons for rejection are never told. Any effort to contact the KFI trustees will spell trouble. I teach in KFI occasionally but never breathed a word that I had applied for my daughter's admission. Only when I had to face the fellow teachers for the Interview, did they get to know that we had applied!  

2. There is a car pooling arrangement. There is also a school bus. It is not a neighbourhood school. People living in as far as Kilpauk send children. However, the school bus is a small one. You might want to explore car pooling and the school does help in getting details of parents in a location.




Srihamsa 2010-06-04 12:22:25


 Forgot to mention that they are quite rigid about the age criteria. No exceptions are made even if the child is born only a few days after the cut off date for a particular class. However, they don't mind if one sought admission to the same class again, because if age criteria. Some parents don't mind their children "repeating" a year since it gets sorted out in the vertical grouping pattern later.



sujethrasaravanakuma 2010-07-01 12:25:28



we r residin in son is in chettinad vidhyashram and is there any private van facility from madipakkam to adyar?if anyone knows abt this,pl post me



aarthyyuvaraj 2010-08-24 12:18:13


Hi Srihamsa,



   You say you were teaching there. Any insights you can give us on what the teaching in the school is like.


I have a five month old daughter, who was born in March. How and when can we get admission? Any kind of advice and details will be helpful.

Is there a prekg?




Aarthy Yuvaraj




Srihamsa 2010-08-24 17:00:23



1. It is not entirely revolutionary. Some boring elements do exist perhaps as a mark of compulsion to follow ICSE Board. But lots of freedom to teachers to conduct the lessons the way they want. So for an innovative teacher, it is a boon. Regular teachers do their job well with help from text books, etc. (For instance, in my case, I have a topic in mind, have a plan on how to deal with it, and go about it exactly that way, without anyone questioning my method. I have not even seen the text book). There are several unwritten rules - for eg. senior teachers never answer questions with answers, they answer questions with more questions and let the students figure out answers. Students are encouraged to think creatively and in mixed age group classes (Classes 5-7 for example), allowed  - rather encouraged to teach other children. Children can use library to the hilt. Group work is encouraged. 

Not much emphasis on homework. Homework could be asking your child to sit quietly for an hour and write what all she thought! 

Constructivism is broadly how I would decribe the KFI method. 

2. Your child should complete 5 y 6 m by June 1 of the year when you seek admission to class 1. There are no KG, pre-KG classes. Ardent KFI followers homeschool their children till the age of 5 and then seek admission and try their luck.





shravan 2010-08-24 18:07:37


Thanks for your detailed post. Being not a traditional school, parents are hesitant to enroll their kids in a Non-traditional school not knowing what to expect out of that schooling system.

If KFI were open enough about their teaching metholodogy, admission process,the above questions would never come up.

Same with me as a parent too... I am skeptical about whether my kid would get adjusted in that environment. More than adjustment, it is the question of studies wise, when he comes out of KFI world and enters the world of competitions, marks , engineering , medicine etc :

1)would he abe able to handle that kind of pressure , marks pressure,

2) would he be able to get admission in  a decent college as there is no KFI college  where he can continue in a non-traditional mode.

Hence these above questions and doubts...Sorry !


Gayathri(Shravan's Mom)






Srihamsa 2010-08-24 19:47:08


1. This is huge myth that KFI is not-traditional. KFI is not as non-traditional as people think. (There are several schools modeled after KFI which are too non-traditional and follow National Open Univ exams), Please understand that they do follow the ICSE board, ask students to cram and sit for the 10th and 12th exams, and many students do well in terms of scoring marks. Just that if a student who passed out were to go to KFI and say that he or she came first in the country, there wont be any celebrations. They will simply ask him or her what he /she plans to do. The senior teachers are aware of the short term significance as well as the irrelevance (in absolute terms) of marks. Many of my students from non-science stream found their way to some of the well-known institutions such as St. Stephens. Many scored 90 plus. What differentiates KFI is that the school wont put pressure on the child to get that .5 % to get past some arbitrary cut-off mark. 

Schools have become pretty much irrelevant to admissions in good institutions such as AIIMS, IIT, NIT, NID, etc. What is required to crack them is to go thro a rigorous pattern-cracking coaching, which many children do. FIIT JEE actually announces that it doesnt matter which school you go to, join them and get into IIT.

2. I heard from my wife's friend that her daughter, who went to Rishi Valley, got admitted to IIT Madras. I have friends who have done extraordinarily well in regular, business-like environment after coming out of KFI. It is simply as good (or as bad!) as any other school in that respect.  

3. KFI students typically (are expected to) think out of the box, pursue their passion (energy engineering is what one boy chose recently), argue well, be themselves, etc. If well-embedded, and if not destroyed by parents or colleges, these traits come handy through life - that includes career.

4. I would think KFI has to go a long way to become non-traditional! Hope they keep traveling that path.

5. Many savvy parents supplement the academic rigour in KFI with after school classes, programmes such as,, etc. So the child gets to enjoy the relatively stress-free school ambience, learn to talk & question a lot, while managing to keep some marks-oriented "learning" going on the side. That way, ultimately, the school does leave a lasting impression in the child's development. 

So for most students, admission to some decent colllege, good marks, etc are certain possibilities. Some students do drop out after 12th, take a break, work as apprentices somewhere or the other, before figuring out what they should be doing next. Which is not a bad idea either.









shravan 2010-08-24 20:33:58



I have been trying to get a clear picture of what KFI is , how is it different, what is their teaching methodology, why vastly varied opinions etc etc. etc.  Today I have gotten a somewhat convincing answer from you.

Thank you



aarthyyuvaraj 2010-08-25 10:02:50




Thanks a lot for the clarifications. Your mail was detailed and managed to give us all a peek preview of the school. Thanks once again. It was nice of you to take the time to explain things so patiently, to us. Your clarity of thought and the reply are really admirable.  I am sure the school will make sure kids enjoy the learning process, instead of looking at it as one long challenge, out of which they have to come out with a certain result.


I have always been convinced of making students learn under a stress free atmosphere. It is important that they gain knowledge and find their passion, rather than get marks and follow the trend to get a high paying job. Marks are not the start and end of student life.

I am not saying that it is not important that your children earn well, but if they find their passion, I am sure they will manage to earn well and also be very happy (content). 

I would definitely prefer that my child doesnot enter the rat race. let her define her own path and do what interests her.

My one worry is, what do I do till she is five and a half.  Actually by the time I can admit her she will be six and a quater. Does this mean we put her in another school first and then transfer her to this school when she gets admission. If we do not admit her in any other school and only try for KFI, isn't the risk too high (i.e. if she doesnot get admitted in KFI, then what happens to her?). How do parents solve this problem? [also we are both working parents who may find it difficult to keep the child at home till she is six.]

Any ideas?


Thanks once again.



Aarthy Yuvaraj




Srihamsa 2010-09-10 23:31:57


 Hi Aarthy,

1. Till class 6, you could either homeschool or send the child to a least stressful playschool. There are a few like SEED in Adyar that are quite ok and don't expect a toddler to fully understand the basics of any subject. KFI is absolutely fine with homeschoolers applying.

2. There are a few  - would be KFI parents - who have started their own groups. One of them, a former KFI teacher, even runs a school called THE LITTLE SCHOOL, a very informal school, till the child manages admission in KFI. 

3. There is no guarantee that you would make it the first time in KFI. You just might, or might not. If you have to wait for a couple of years, then it becomes a tough choice, whether to put the child in a regular school and switch when vacancies arise in KFI or consider homeschooling as an option for many years, till the child manages to get through to KFI.







Lavanya 2010-09-11 09:17:00


 Hi Srihamsa,

Thank you for such a detailed input on KFI. Many parents, like me, have been struggling for months to get a clear picture about KFI. Your post, as a starters, has made it some what easier for us to make up our mind either way. Thank you very much.

Would you be able to give a little more info on THE LITTLE SCHOOL ? A search in Google takes me to a San fransisco based school. In which locality it is ? Do they have a website ? Or else their contact numbers? 

Thank you very much in advance




Srihamsa 2010-09-11 12:24:26


 Hi Lavanya,


WIll give you the details of Little School as well as other options within a day. 

BTW, there are a few others who run schools broadly on a stree-free education approach, if not a K-school approach. These are connected to K-School in some way or the other. Good Earth School near Tambaram is run by someone who retired from The Valley School in Bangalore (a KFI School). The Director of Chennai Education Centre - KFI, Gautama, is on the board of this school. Headstart School, is run by an ex-Valley School teacher and her son, a former Valley School Student. ( Headstart is, interestingly, affiliated to IGCSE, Univ of Cambridge, which offers a supposedly better curriculum in senior school compared to Indian boards. 




Lavanya 2010-09-11 21:11:11


Thank you very much Srihamsa for the prompt response. Have already heard about Good Earth School many a times. Headstart is new to me and will check it out as well. 

Like many parents have already stated before me, I am looking for a school which will bring in all round development and also mold her well to face the reality of life. Marks are not the beginning and end of life. I want her to progress in something that she loves and make it her career as well. But then the problem for me is the distance as most of these schools are quite far from where I live. But then I realize thats my personal problem and will have to sort it out myself based on our priorities. As she is still only 2 1/2 years, i take solace in the fact that I still have some more time to work it out :). 

Thank you again for your inputs and 

Meanwhile, will wait for the details of Little School and other options that you had mentioned. 

Regards Lavanya  

UmaNaren 2010-09-14 12:46:07


Must I say "KFI Demystified"?? Thanks to Srihamsa.....



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