FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ACADEMIC SESSION 2016 – 17
1. FOUNTAINHEAD SCHOOL : The Basic Facts
Q. Which grades will you have in the new session?
A. The Fountainhead School campus will have grades from Nursery to Grade 12 from June 2015. Fountainhead Preschool at Parle Point will continue to offer Mother-Toddler Classes, Playgroup and Nursery.- Ask Jasmin
Q. How many students will have you in every section and how many sections do you plan to have?
A. We maintain the 20 children per section ratio till Grade 8. However, from Grade 9 onwards as there will be some electives offered that could be quite popular, there could be more than 20 students per class.
2. OPERATIONAL AREAS : Transport, Fees, Food, Timings
Q. Will the school provide transport in all parts of city?
A. No, we do not provide transportation in all parts of city. There are specified pickup points. To optimize the route planning, no door to door service is provided. The transportation expense is included in the annual fee and is only for the given routes. Transportation may not be provided for a location falling outside of the planned route. If the school offers transportation to such a location, then additional fees will be charged.
Q. Why is transportation compulsory? If for some reason we are not using the transport, will there be a refund of fees?
A. Transport is compulsory for locations on which our bus routes are running because it ensures safety of children as well as time discipline. Moreover, it ensures that children have sense of equality and commonness. Only in special cases (mostly for medical reasons) where children may be allowed to travel on their own. In certain medical cases, helpers will be allowed to come in the buses but will be charged extra. Refund of transport fees shall be given only in those cases in which the school is not offering a stop which is 2 km or more than 2 km away from your residence.
Q. Will there be an increase in fees?
A. Year on year fees within the same year levels are likely to increase by 6-10%. In case of change from early years to primary years, and then from primary to middle years and then to senior school, there are slab changes, which are as specified in the current fee structure.
Q. What is the typical vacation schedule?
A. We have a 3 week vacation in Oct-Nov starting 3-5 days before Diwali, a 7-8 week break in the summers, starting end -April to mid – June, 4 – 5 training holidays on working days and about 7-10 public holidays throughout the year.
Q. I am looking for admission in a grade for which you currently do not have vacant seats. What should i do?
A. We have a maximum of 8 sections per grade. If you are looking for admission in a grade where currently there is no seat availability, we have a waitlist system. We recommend that you complete the admission procedure for your child which includes attending EFT workshop, student appearing for the admission test and submitting all the required documents.We will process your application and assign you a waitlist number based on certain predefined criteria. Apart from the basic criterion of parents having attended the EFT workshop, we will look at criteria like:
|For Early Years||For Primary, Middle and Senior Years|
|Child of staff working at Fountainhead School||Performance in the assessment test|
|Younger sibling of a student studying at Fountainhead||Student’s past academic performance|
|Fountainhead Preschool students||Child of staff working at Fountainhead School|
|Girl child||Girl child|
and then all other factors like extra curricular activities etc. Once we have seat availability in that grade, we will release these seats in order of waitlist number. We will call you and inform you of seat availability. You need to be prompt in taking up the seat when it is released (deposit admission fees) . If we do not receive fees within 3 working days, we will cancel the student’s name from wait list and assign the seat to the next waitlisted student.
Please note that the waitlist number given to you is only for academic session 2016-17. If you do not get admission this year and wish to reapply next year, you will have to do the admission process all over once again.
For academic session 2016-17, we do not have seat availability in SK and grades (1 – 4). However, we encourage you to apply as due to transfers etc, we may have some seats being released.
Please note that no lobbying, name dropping or other pressurizing tactics will be tolerated for admission. This will lead to immediate disqualification from the admission process.
Q. What are the school timings? Will the school timings change over the years?
A. The school works 5 days a week from Monday – Friday. The timings for the coming academic session (2015-16) are given in the following table. The school timings will change (minor : +/- 15 min or major changes) as per the needs of the students and the school and to adjust different transport routes as per the grades.
|Grades||Start Time||End Time||Duration|
|JK & SK||10:10||3:30||5:15|
|Grade 1 to 6||7:30||2:00||6:30|
|Grade 7 to 10||8:50||4:50||8:00|
|Grade 11 & 12||8:50||4:50||8:00|
3. FOUNTAINHEAD SCHOOL : Educational System
Q. Do you have any parent teacher meetings? How often?
A. We consider parents as valued partners in the child’s education. Apart from the new admission workshop, parents are required to compulsorily attend the New Parent Orientation Seminar at the beginning of the academic year in June, so that they know exactly what the school will offer over the year.
The school also conducts Parents Teacher Meetings (PTM) thrice a year to update parents on the role of parents through parenting modules in every meeting as well as discussing new initiatives and other important processes that parents need to be involved in the school. We also have Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC) / Student Led Conferences (SLC) 2-3 times a year so that parents are updated about their child’s performance in school, open house day thrice a year to meet the single subject teachers and a series of parenting workshops throughout the year. Apart from PTM & PTC/SLC, parents need to come to school to encourage their children for various events like Sports Day, student performances, Exhibitions and dramas related to their curriculum.
The parent however is free to seek an appointment from the teacher if there is any issue, which needs to be dealt with immediately.
ar to update parents on the role of parents through parenting modules in every meeting as well as discussing new initiatives and other important processes that parents need to be involved in the school. We also have Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC) / Student Led Conferences (SLC) 2-3 times a year so that parents are updated about their child’s performance in school, open house day thrice a year to meet the single subject teachers and a series of parenting workshops throughout the year. Apart from PTM & PTC/SLC, parents need to come to school to encourage their children for various events like Sports Day, student performances, Exhibitions and dramas related to their curriculum.
The parent however is free to seek an appointment from the teacher if there is any issue, which needs to be dealt with immediately.
Q. What sort of parent involvement do you expect? Does the school give homework?
A. Homework helps students develop self-reliance and work skills. Typically, the amount of homework increases as the student advances in age and grade levels. However, homework need not necessarily mean written work. It will include reading assignments, preparing for class, collection of material for projects, conducting interviews etc. Details of our homework policy will be made available after admission.
Q. How does your school focus on values that are important for children to learn?
A. Fountainhead School has implemented the Leader in Me© program. The program aims to develop students who can lead their own lives with responsibility, who can work well with others and who do the right thing even when no one’s watching. Students throughout the school are now exposed to the 7 Habits© of Highly Effective kids©/ teens© so that they can learn these habits from a very young age. The IBO’s Learner Profile attributes© (Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators¸ Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, Reflective) help us make our students international minded, who care for the world around them. Value and character building is at the heart of everything we do. We do not treat this as a separate subject, but as something that each teacher and individual in school must role model, and must teach in their interactions on a day to day basis with the students.
Q. Do you have co-curricular & extra-curricular activities during the school hours?
A. At Fountainhead, we integrate a wide range of activities within our overall educational programme. The following are part of the curriculum for the children: Visual Arts, Dance-Drama, Music, and Physical Education. Duration of each period is 45 minutes.
Over and above the compulsory periods of these, children also have to choose one sports and one performing arts in which they specialize:
For Sports, we are currently offering Skating / Karate / Football/ Basketball/ Athletics/ Volleyball/ Adventure challenge/ Yoga/ Hand Ball/ Frisbee (Ultimate)
For Performing Arts, children have to choose between Vocal Music & Keyboard, Guitar, Tabla / Drums and Dance (Bharatanatyam) and Visual Arts / Drama.
Some of these options are charged extra.
Q. If our child shifts from State Board or Gujarati medium or National boards, will s/he be able to cope up?
A. An assessment of each child taking admission from Grade 1 onwards is taken before admission is granted. We make sure that that we admit the child only if she will be able to cope up with curricular requirements. In a very few cases, we recommend a lower grade than what was applied for or else for special support in school and at home to ensure that the child is able to cope up.
Q. Are there any examinations conducted at the end of the year? If no, then how will you assess students?
A. We do not believe in “ENDPOINT EXAMINATIONS” up to Grade 6. We follow a system of Formative (Continuous) and Summative Assessments. We believe that examinations only help in assessing the knowledge children have rote learned and fail to gauge the overall personality and growth of the child. In our school the child’s progress is constantly monitored to understand the difficulties the child faces in learning. We retrace footsteps and modify the teaching methods to suit the child’s learning style. Child’s progress is shared with parents thrice a year.
Q. Which grade onwards exams will be taken and will they able to cope up with exams?
A. Students from Grade 3 onwards give timed test like ASSET. School Examinations will be held from 7th grade onwards. As for coping up, we strongly believe that doing well at examinations is a matter of confidence and conceptual clarity rather than just practicing giving examinations. In any case, children will get enough practice at examinations to ensure that by the time they come to Grade 10, they will be competent at giving examinations.
Q. Can the student shift easily to schools offering other boards – in terms of academics and in terms of recognition?
A. Shifting to schools offering other boards is subject to that school’s admission process. As far as recognition is concerned, before the Grade 10, the school only requires a certificate from the District Education Officer of Surat saying that the school is authorized to run the primary years. Fountainhead School already has this certificate and a few of our students over the last 4 – 5 years have shifted to other schools in Surat and outside without any issue.
Q. If we shift, then will we get preferential admission in International Schools?
A. The IB and CIE regional offices work closely with schools to ensure that students of all ages can transfer without problems. A student coming from an IB or CIE school is likely to be welcomed by other International schools. However, each International School has their own admission process.
4. TEACHER RELATED QUERIES
Q. Where do you get good quality teachers from? Are your teachers trained? How do you ensure retention?
A. We pay our teachers amongst the highest in the sector. This ensures that we attract a good talent pool. We see teachers as co-constructors of curriculum, so all teachers involved have to be trained at workshops in India and abroad. In addition to this, we have a continuous & rigorous in house training as well as external trainings programs for teachers.
We recruit teachers, who thoroughly understand our ideology and also agree to abide by our norms and commit to remain with us at the time of signing an agreement. We do our best to provide teachers with a healthy growth environment to ensure long-term commitment with the organization. We invest a lot of time, energy and resources in training our teachers and would not like to see them leave. Apart from this, teachers are also provided facilities like subsidized fee for their children day care facilities, loan for laptops etc. But sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances, they may leave. Our experience in the last 6 years has been that Fountainhead teachers don’t leave to join other schools – almost all the teachers who have left us have left for personal reasons such as marriage, pregnancy, transfer of family / husband, ill-health. Therefore, we are quite confident of retaining our teachers to the extent possible.
5. BOARD OF EDUCATION RELATED QUERIES
Q. What board of education does Fountainhead School intend to follow over the years?
A. Fountainhead intends to follow two International Boards of Education (IB & CIE) which are well-recognized in India & abroad. These boards are known to be the best educational systems in the world (the table showing the structure that we intend to follow is given next).
For official details refer to the following web sites:
International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO): http://www.ibo.og
University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE): http://www.cie.org.uk/
The diagram below shows the path that the school has chosen for its students. This is a tried and tested model which a number of other schools in India are also applying to provide both the best quality of education while fully addressing the Indian necessities of Board Examinations and local university recognition issues.
6. ABOUT THE EARLY AND PRIMARY YEARS
Q. What is the Primary Years Programme?
A. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) by the IBO is for students aged 3-12. It focuses on the development of the whole child, addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs, while giving students a strong foundation in all of the major areas of knowledge. The PYP strives to help children develop an international perspective—to become aware of and sensitive to the points of view of people in other parts of the world.
Q. Why have we chosen the IB-PYP?
A. Any school doesn’t necessarily need an affiliation for the primary years. Fountainhead made a choice to become a PYP school because of the highest standards of education that the IBO ensures through rigorous training, consultations, authorization visits and support. The PYP is an ongoing educational system that has been developed after research into the best educational systems across the world and continues to change for the better.
The IBO is a body which has a clear mission statement towards what they want to achieve through education. The PYP reflects that mission statement and in fact is closely aligned with our own mission statement. We truly believe that with the PYP, we are helping our students become equipped with those tools that will help them survive and succeed in their lives ahead.
Q. What is the method of teaching for the PYP?
A. Our teaching methodology and the way we deal with the curriculum is very different. We offer an integrated, enriched, sequentially developed curriculum that ensures lifelong learning. When subjects are taught in isolation only through textbooks, the content is shallow and focused on straight jacketed facts. Most of the content is memorized or learnt by rote. We have distanced ourselves from a content based rote learning system. Our principal method of teaching will be through structured inquiry by giving the children an opportunity to ask a lot of questions. Secondly, we will have a trans-disciplinary approach towards the curriculum. This means that subject like Social Sciences, Science will not be taught in isolation but in an integrated manner. Subjects like English, Maths, PE and Music will have stand alone components as well as logical integration with the units of inquiry.
Q. Compared to other boards is the IBO difficult? Will students be able to handle it on their own?
A. IBO is difficult only in terms of the rigour and application-orientation that it requires. Majority of our new students are able to complete their project /academic work. However, it requires a significant mindset change for student coming from conventional schools where the onus of learning lies completely with the teachers; whereas here students from an early age are expected to take partial responsibility for their learning. Parent’s co-operation is expected and teachers will help out as and when required.
7.ABOUT THE MIDDLE AND SENIOR YEARS
Q. What is the teaching method in the Middle Years?
A. The CIE-IGCSE program is a program that challenges learners to understand, apply, analyze and evaluate learning that happens in all the subjects. Each of the subjects is geared towards helping learners appreciate the importance of its subject matter in real life. To teach the curriculum, we use a variety of strategies and tools such as activities, group discussions, experiments, real life simulation activities, presentations, research and surveys etc in the class. We ensure that students are asking a lot of questions all the time, and that they understand why they are learning what they learning.
Q. Which boards do we offer for Senior years?
A. For Senior Years, we have Diploma Programme of IB board.
Q. What is IB Diploma Programme?
A. The International Baccalaureate Diploma programme is a two-year rigorous and prestigious pre-university qualification for students aged 16-19 years. It is equivalent to 11 and 12 of Indian Boards. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students.
Q. Is your school certified for the IB – DP?
A. We are authorised to run the IB-Diploma Programme.
Q. What are the major differences between the IB and CIE Boards?
A. Here follows a detailed understanding and comparison between the two boards that the school has on offer.
|History||Founded in 1968, the IBO currently works with 3,874 schools in 148 countries to over 1,218,000 students.||The CIE runs in more than 10,000 schools across the world. The CIE was founded over 150 years ago.|
|Offices||Headquartered in Switzerland and UK, the local regional office for Asia-Pacific is in Singapore with a liasioning office in Mumbai.||Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, the local office is in Delhi.|
|In India||111 schools are currently offering at least 1 of the 3 IBO programs. The first school offering an IBO program in India started in 1997.||Over 300 schools are currently offering the CIE programs in India, the oldest of which is more than 20 years old.|
|In Gujarat||8 schools in Gujarat are already offering IBO programs (5 in Ahmedabad, 1 in Surat, 1 in Vadodara and 1 in Rajkot)||Over 24 schools in Gujarat are offering the CIE programs.|
|Grade 10||Has the Middle Years Program and is equivalent to Grade 10 Board Examination of Indian Board.||Has the IGCSE certification program which is widely recognized by schools / pre-universities for entry to the Grade 11|
|MYP now recognized by (AIU) Association of Indian Universities. We may consider taking MYP in future.||The IGCSE is very well-recognized by schools as well as pre-universities across India as a passing certificate equivalent to Indian boards of education for entry to the Grade 11|
|Same as above.||The Gujarat government has issued a specific notification accepting the IGCSE as valid to a Grade 10 board examination. You can ask for details from the admissions coordinator.|
|The MYP is of course recognized by all the IBO schools offering the DP as well as by a host of other International Schools offering similar programs.||The IGCSE is very well recognized outside India and any student wanting to take admission in Grade 11 outside India will in fact have an advantage as the CIE is far better recognized outside India in comparison to the Indian boards.|
|Grade 12||The Diploma Program (DP) is academically challenging and balanced program of education that prepare students for success at University and life beyond.|
|The examinations are common across the world and the papers are checked by certified examiners giving this certificate a world-wide validity.|
|The IB-DP has been recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and a large majority of the deemed and autonomous Universities which represents the large majority of universities in India. All the major Universities of Mumbai, Delhi, Karnataka, Pune to name a few accept both these examinations. The specific requirements for admission to various courses have been laid out by the universities. If you wish to see a copy of the requirements for specific courses as well as a detailed list of colleges that accept these two boards, you can ask the admissions coordinator.
Please note that recognition of IB board doesn’t preclude the necessity of appearing for a Common Entrance Examination such as the JEE, AIEEE or PMT as applicable. There are also some concerns related to late declaration of results, which are solved by producing a Provisional Certificate which is given by the school and is accepted by all the major colleges for the purpose of admission. Typically they give a cut-off date of September end by which both the IB-DP declare their results. IB provides a clear guideline of converting grades into percentages for the benefit of students applying to Indian colleges.
|All colleges in Gujarat are also bound to accept the above recognition. However, the quota given by Gujarat colleges to the state HSC (as in many other states) makes it difficult not only for IB students, but also for CBSE & ICSE students to get admission. Since, there’s no fixed percentage declared by the state for the quota of non-state board students, it is difficult to give such a figure. However, at no place can we expect the quota to be more than 10%.|
|IB board is much better recognized outside India than the Indian national or state boards and offer an advantage in the admission process to the top-notch Universities which always look at not just the academics but a holistic picture including co-curricular and extracurricular activities.|
8. ADMISSIONS : KEY DATES & POLICIES
Q. What is the admission process like and what are the key dates?
|5th to 9th October 2015||Forms available and submission of documents for Junior KG|
|10th to 12th December 2015||Forms available for other grades as per seats availability|
Q. What are these assessment tests for? Are these admission tests? Will you also hold an interview or an interaction?
A. There will be interaction for admissions and assessment tests for Grade 1 to Grade 9 & Grade 11. Please note that admissions for Grade 1 to Grade 9 & Grade 11 will be confirmed only after the assessment tests. These assessment tests are a tool for both the school and the parent to get a genuine assessment of the where the child stands and if there are any particular areas of weaknesses that needs to be focused upon.
Q. What is the age criterion for admission to Fountainhead School for the academic year 2016-17 starting in June?
A. The age criteria are as follows and there is absolutely no relaxation in these dates till Grade 2. Beyond Grade 2, only if the child has completed the previous grade and if the child does exceptionally well in her previous classes as well as in the assessment tests, then only he/she will be admitted in the next class.
Q. Is your education system inclusive, i.e. will you include students with special needs?
A. Yes, Fountainhead intends to be an inclusive system of education over a period of time. However at this point of time we have limited capabilities and we will take a call on the admissions on a case to case basis. If your child has a known special need (dyslexia, lack of interest in writing, slow learner etc.), please disclose complete details of the same while applying for admission. Failure to do so will lead to cancellation of admission. Please note that for a candidate with special needs, the admission process is different and maybe lengthier.