Interested in something other than mainstream education? Never fear. This list of Bangalore’s alternative schools will set your mind at rest.
School admission time can always be a bit worrisome, we know. But if you are looking at Alternative Schools in Bangalore, you’re in luck. We’ve just put together a comprehensive list of these schools in the city, exclusively for you.
Bangalore’s education system has evolved so much that alternative schools are now part of mainstream conversations. Here are 21 schools in Bangalore that offer a fresh take on education.
Shibumi specialises in hands-on, experential, peer-based and multisensorial learning. While it focuses a lot on the spiritual development of the child, the children do challenge themselves intellectually in many ways and we’re not just talking books here.
Like the Valley school, Shibumi is a J. Krishnamurti school. They also have a post school program for children who finish school. Apprenticeships form an important part of the educational programme between 17 and 19.
What we like: Their progressive outlook. Back in 2008, when alternative schools were still not as popular as they are now, Shibumi was doing everything that new age schools now pride themselves in accomplishing.
Website link: Shibumi
2. Prakriya Green Wisdom School
One of the most popular schools in the city, Prakriya Green Wisdom school follows the ICSE syllabus in a wonderful and creative way. Prakriya looks at education as being more than factory schooling and is also known for its excellent teaching resources. The school varies its teaching methods to appeal to all kinds of learners.
The school is deeply committed to sensitizing children to the environment and ecological education. Children have organic farming as part of their curriculum. The school also has an excellent water harvesting system and the children eat the food from the farm on campus.
What we like: Their mixed-age classrooms till grade 4. Children from grades 1 to 4 study together in groups of 18 in each classroom, giving the children access to a variety of knowledge and learning curves. In fact, one parent told us that because of the mixed age classes, his son learned both Hindi and Kannada in the younger classes!
Website Link: Prakriya Green Wisdom School
Pramiti is headed by Savitha Ravi, who is a certified trainer in Inclusive Education, Early Intervention and pre-primary Montessori education, apart from having worked at Headstart and been on the panel discussion for Inclusive Education at The Valley School. Pramiti is a school that provides an environment for children to explore, create, realize and co-exist in harmony. The school, which will shift to Kanakapura Road this year, offers four programs — the toddler program, the House of Children, the elementary program and the Adolescent Community.
What we like: The variety of activities that they offer the children. From Carnatic music and dance to sports and even carpentry, children are exposed to many wonderful skills.
Website Link: Pramiti
Ohana was started in June 2015 by Arthi Saktheeswaran, Chithra Rajagopal, Prerna Kaul, Nandini Ram Mohan and Ravi Chari, who between them have years of expertise and diversity as educators. Ravi Chari is the founder of a well-known preschool, Magic Puddles. The idea of Ohana was born as an alternative space that created different learning opportunities for children. In the words of the founders, “The idea of our new school was born as we grew more aware of the current trend in today’s fast-paced world. We feel that knowledge is imparted quickly to young children and as a result, they are subjected to an academically-focused program at a tender age, thereby losing their other abilities to question, explore and think.”
What we like: The founder is a special educator and uses her expertise to pluralize learning to suit different kinds of readers.
Website Link: Ohana
5. Centre for Learning (CFL)
Started in 1990 by 10 passionate educators, some of whom worked at Valley, CFL is a semi-residential school that was envisioned as a community-driven education space that is deeply humanistic. The school is also influenced by the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti. At CFL, children don’t just seek knowledge and academic excellence, but try and understand themselves, their values and their interests in life. In 2000, the school moved to Vardenhalli, and the school is surrounded by nature in every sense, located in a twenty-three acre land adjoining the village.
What we like: As part of its education project, CFL has roped in the people of the village and its ‘green’ campus also exposes children to rain water harvesting and ecological preservation.
Website Link: Centre for Learning (CFL)
The Buddhi school’s curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Children are encouraged to look at knowledge organically, instead of categorizing them as ‘science’ or ‘language.’ Instead, these areas are integrated into play.
With Reggio’s emergent curriculum, the children are given access to a range of options and choices when it comes to their education. Children are encouraged to approach a text or a learning resource with a questioning mind. The Buddhi Primary & Lower secondary school curriculum prepares students for the IGCSE & CBSE programs, which is an excellent framework for educational success of students and prepares students for progression to high school.
What we like: The early learning curriculum, until age 9, is based on New Zealand’s ‘Te Whariki’ guidelines, where the educators, parents and children weave together a curriculum best suited to the child’s childhood experiences, knowledge and abilities.
Website Link: Buddhi
7. Poorna Learning Centre
Poorna was started as a home-schooling experiment in 1993 and is now one of the most respected schools in the city, revered for its inclusiveness. Poorna doesn’t follow a specific syllabus and it is a good mix of formal and personal education. Textbooks are used but are just one of the school’s many resources. The curriculum is based on a child’s age, interests, and inclinations, and the school keeps pace with each child’s learning style and ability. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves and take control of their education. Poorna’s students have taken the National Open School (NOS) Secondary Level Examination and a few have also opted for IGCSE.
What we like: Poorna is one of the most socially inclusive schools in the city. At present, well over 25% of its children come from economically weaker backgrounds.
Website Link: Poorna Learning Centre
8. The Valley School
Established in 1978, the Valley is one of the most popular J. Krishnamurti schools and is constantly ranked as one of the best schools in the country. Surrounded by a sprawling campus filled with flora and fauna, the school is affiliated to the ICSE and ISC boards. They are equipped with excellent teaching staff, fantastic resources and use many creative teaching methods and ideas for engagement, including multi-age classrooms till class 4 and a variety of sports, activities and experiences.
What we like: In 2015, Valley exposed its kids to the traditional Indian sport, Mallakhamb. They are at the forefront of creativity, always bringing in a variety of activities and sports to the school.
Website Link: The Valley School
9. Bangalore Steiner School (Trust)
Based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of education, Bangalore Steiner School is one of the premier Waldorf schools in the country and its founders have adapted the Steiner philosophy to suit the Indian culture. In order to fully grasp the wonders of the Steiner philosophy, we encourage you to attend G. Mannivanan’s ‘The Art of Parenting and Teaching’ workshop, which will tell you in simple and lucid terms what Steiner education can do for your child.
What we like: In Bangalore Steiner School, as with all Waldorf schools, the grade teacher stays with the same group of students for 7 to 8 years, establishing a deep connection and relationship between the teachers and the students. This personal connection and rapport is sorely missing in schools today.
Website Link: Bangalore Steiner School (Trust)
10. Advaya Shaale
Advaya Shaale is the grade school initiative of Promise Centre, 25-year-old Waldorf kindergarten. Much like Bangalore Steiner School, has adapted the Steiner philosophy to the Indian context. founded on the contemporary interpretation of an Indianised version of Steiner Waldorf philosophy. The school holds regular open days and visits, wherein the teachers help parents understand the curriculum and how it will be taught.
What we like: The school brings in some of the world’s best Waldorf practitioners to conduct workshops at their premises.
Website Link: Advaya Shaale
A community-driven school that focuses on both the academic and spiritual development of the child, Creative driven by the passion of its students, teachers and parents. Founded by B. Ashok and Jayashree Ashok in 2010, Creative aims at providing a good foundation for children. Creative school encourages its children to be creative and not simply pursue academic goals, but embrace experiences, read, observe, wonder, think and use all their senses to the fullest.
What we like: Their ‘the Joy of Teaching’ curriculum gives teachers creative freedom and the ability to make a difference in the children’s lives.
Website Link: Creative
12. Abheek – School for Holistic Education
A school that was created to encourage the inherent goodness in each child, Abheek is inspired by the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti. The school aims to make children self-directed learners and independent thinkers. It also follows a flexible approach, unlike the excessive structures that many schools impose on the children.
What we like: Abheek has been offering very creative takes on education. It is one of the schools in the city to experiment with the micro school model.
Website Link: Abheek – School for Holistic Education
13. La Wisdom
La Wisdom Academy was founded by IITans, who were both parents and educationists and who wanted to break away from the factory mold of mainstream schools. Supported by the Valley School, La Wisdom is an inclusive space that constantly brings in new teaching resources and talent to the classroom. Students are encouraged to explore academics in a multi sensorial manner, to think creatively and to also set personal goals.
What we like: Its project-based, research-oriented and interdisciplinary curriculum.
Website Link: La Wisdom
Started by a special educator, Viha follows the Reggio Emilia style of schooling and focuses on personalizing education for its students. The school aims to make children self-reliant and to truly enjoy going to school. To foster this love for learning, they create a stimuli-rich environment, where children are piqued to explore many interests and passions, both academically and creatively.
What we like: Viha follows the Reggio Emilia approach and to extend this approach to higher grades will produce incredible results.
Website Link: Viha
15. Roots Academy
An institution with a progressive view of education, Roots Academy comes from Roots 360, with its network of popular Montessoris in different parts of Bangalore. Affiliated to the ICSE board, the school is the product of the vision of Mr. Pruthvi Banwasi and Ms. Pranothi Banwasi, the Founder Trustees. The campus is designed with ample space and keeping the children in mind. The school aims at creating a stress-free learning environment for the children and a creatively fulfilling atmosphere for the teachers.
What we like: Their beautiful campus and the innovative way in which their classrooms are designed.
Website Link: Roots Academy
16. Aurinko Academy
Founded by Chetana Keni, Aurinko Academy is one of the most popular schools in the city, a progressive learning space that integrates education, art, science, sport and spirituality into a flexible program that values and respects the child. The curriculum is inspired by the Co-Constructivist theory, the Universal Laws of Karma, Teachings of Great Gurus, Indian Ancient Gurukul System. and a widely researched and successful approach devised by its founders. With the school’s training, students are encouraged to take the NIOS and IGCSE exams.
What we like: The founder’s passion, expertise, creativity and her commitment to the students.
Website Link: Aurinko Academy
A free-spirited and progressive open school that believes in children taking control of their learning, BeMe believes that education is constant and that we are always learning. BeMe’s environment consists of various learning components — outdoor education, self-reflection, basic skills like reading, writing and numeracy and much more.
What we like: A typical day at BeMe is one of the loveliest things we have ever seen. Check it out here.
Website Link: BeMe
Jigyasa the School is a popular preschool in Indiranagar and it has now opened its primary section. The curriculum at Jigyasa Primary draws on Montessori and Reggio inspired practices until Grade 3 and will then transition into IGCSE in the higher grades. At Jigyasa, Anuradha Chadha heads a group of excellent educators. Chadha has more than 20 years experience as an early years educator and has designed curricula for early years settings for the last ten years.
What we like: The curriculum is one of the most remarkable aspects of Jigyasa. It is implemented through projects and thematic units, which integrate cross curricular learning and provide opportunity to revisit and apply concepts and skills to real life situations.
Website Link: Jigyasa
19. Nurture International School
Nurture is founded by Dr. Sunita Gandhi, PhD, Cambridge University, UK, Co-Founder, Council for Global Education, USA, daughter of the founders of CMS – City Montessori School, Lucknow. Dr. Gandhi has more than 38 years of experience in education and the curriculum at Nurture motivates a child to learn, succeed and look at himself or herself as a citizen of the world.
What we like: Their motto of getting the children to ‘compete with themselves’ also translates to their unique modes of assessment!
Website Link: Nurture International School
20. Bhavya School
Set up by the Bhavya educational, social and charitable trust, Bhavya community’s goal is to facilitate a meaningful and freeing education that brings out the best in every child. At Bhavya, children will find themselves in a free environment that is not riddled with the structures of competitions, exams, homework or grades. Instead, they are encouraged to motivate and challenge themselves and to become independent thinkers.
What we like: Their curriculum mixes the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy with high order thinking skills and creativity. Find out more about it here.
Website Link: Bhavya School
Located in Tathguni Village, Vikasana is a non-formal learning space started in 1977 by M.C. Malathi as a result of her training experience with David Horsburgh and her experience in working with rural children. Based on the educational philosophy of David Horsburgh, Vikasana aims at making learning enjoyable.
What we like: The school caters to children of the rural poor, landless farmers and migrated families. It brings quality education to children from these backgrounds and also preserves the children’s own indegenous backgrounds and identities.
Website Link: Vikasana