What you see – Fairy-land Children’s Center is housed in a beautiful old colonial bungalow surrounded by abundant foliage and creepers. It is a true delight at first sight. The school has two levels. On the ground level is the playgroup class while on the first level is the mini kindergarten and toddlers’ class. Every classroom is decorated with posters and the walls are painted with popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, alphabets and numbers. In spite of its proximity to the busy Deccan Gymkhana, this place seems blissfully devoid of noise and pollution.
What you get – Fairy-land was started by Neelima Ranade who is the principal and owner of the school. She has vast experience in teaching and also holds a child psychology degree from America.
The center has four programs to offer. The first being the toddler group which is for kids in the age group of 15 months to 2 years. This is a stage of transition from homes to the first school experience, so the focus is to get kids accustomed to the school environment. The kids are assisted with their mothers who are a part of the various games and learning exercises. We noticed some kids who were trying to scoop sand from the ground into their buckets with the help of teachers. We were informed that this helps in motor co-ordination and concentration of the child. Classes takes place on alternate days - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - from 10 AM to 11 AM.
Then we had a glimpse of the play group class for age group of two years and above. These classes take place between Mondays and Fridays from 9.15 AM to 11.15 AM. The class starts with traditional prayers like the Gayatri Mantra or Saraswati Puja. We were told that other than the regular English rhymes they are taught Hindi and Marathi songs to give them a better understanding of the local languages. After the initial learning lessons where basics of alphabets and numbers are taught, they are given some kitchen replica toys. We saw some boys rolling chapattis like their moms and girls preparing tea for their teachers. Kids are also potty-trained in these classes.
The mini kindergarten classroom is the biggest and the most brightly decorated of all. This class involves activities which would help them to adapt easily to the bigger schools. They are taught to handle creative toys, building blocks, drawing, matching alphabets, stamp craft and more. The books for all of this are prepared by the teachers. They even have a library of 500 books where the kids are read stories. These classes are from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 11.30 AM. Every Friday they have a sing-a-song routine where the kids sing their nursery rhymes to the tune of their music teacher’s instruments like the tabla or the harmonium. This session brings in a lot of joy to the young minds.
The last program is the young achievers’ program for kids between the ages of four and six years. It is an after-school nurturing program which involves instilling manners, playing interesting games, encouraging reading habits and more. Neelima Ranade believes that till the age of six years children have a strong grasping power and the things learnt at this tender age remain with them forever. This extra-curricular program is from 4 PM to 5.30 PM on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Our verdict - The school does not believe in a fixed curriculum. So there is newness in their programs on a continuous basis. Their motto is to bring fun and learning together and the school does seem like an extension of home.
Anytime between – 9 AM - 5 PM