FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ACADEMIC SESSION 2019-20
1. FOUNTAINHEAD SCHOOL : The Basic Facts
Q. Which grades will you have in the new session?
Fountainhead School has grades from Nursery to Grade 12. Fountainhead Preschool at Parle Point & Adajan will continue to offer Mother-Toddler Buds / Blooms Classes, Pre-Nursery and Nursery.
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 the city?
A. No, we do not provide transportation in all parts of the 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. Please have a look at the bus routes before deciding on admission.
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), children may be allowed to travel on their own. For certain medical cases, helpers will be allowed to come in the bus but will be charged extra.
Refund of transport fees shall be given only in those cases where in 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. Yearly, the fees within the same program (Early years, PYP, MYP or DP) are likely to increase by 6-10%. In case when a student shifts 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 i.e. starting April-end to mid - June, 4 - 5 teacher-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 a vacant seat. 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, let the student appear for the admission test and submit 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
and then all other factors like extracurricular 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 in case there is 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 the wait list and assign the seat to next waitlisted student.
Please note that the wait list number given to you is only for academic session 2019-20. 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 the academic session 2019-20, we do not have any seat availability in SK and grades (1 - 5). 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 entertained for admission.
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 (2019-20) 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.
JK & SK
Grade 1 to 6
Grade 7 to 10
Grade 11 & 12
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) twice 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) 1 time a year / Reporting Days once a year so that parents are updated about their child's performance in school, Open House Day once a year to meet the single subject teachers, Parent Teacher Interaction (PTI) for parent and teacher to interact with each other and understand the child better 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 and exhibitions 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 the 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 & extracurricular activities during the school hours?
A. At Fountainhead, we integrate a wide range of activities within our overall educational programme. The following is a part of the curriculum for children: Visual Arts, Drama, Music, and Physical Education. Duration of each period is 55 minutes.
Over and above the compulsory periods of these, children also have to choose one sports and one performing arts in which they specialize:
Q. If our child shifts from State Board or Gujarati medium or National boards, will s/he be able to cope ?
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 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.
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 would the exams be conducted and will students be able to cope up with exams?
A. 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 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 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 office works closely with schools to ensure that students of all ages can transfer without problems. A student coming from an IB 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 10 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 International Board of Education (IB) which is well-recognized in India & abroad. This board is known to be the best educational system in the world (the table showing the structure that we intend to follow is given next).
For official details refer to the following website:
International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO): http://www.ibo.org
The diagram below shows the path that the school has chosen for its students.
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 the 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 different viewpoints 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 students 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 cooperation is expected and teachers will help the students as and when required.
7. ABOUT THE MIDDLE AND SENIOR YEARS
Q What is Middle Year Programme (IBO)?
A.The Middle Year programme (MYP) by the IBO will be for G 7, 8, 9 & 10 students. It encourages students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, preparing them for success in further study and in life. The MYP aims to develop active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning.
Q. Why have we chosen the IB-MYP?
A. IB is a better philosophical match for FS. MYP is better preparation for the DP, and is a better continuation for the PYP. The programme empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers. MYP is equivalent to grade 10 Board Examination.
Q. What is the teaching method in the Middle Years?
A. For G 7, 8, 9 & 10 we follow IB-MYP. It is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. The MYP provides a more rigorous and highly flexible framework that powerfully integrates with local educational requirements.
Q. Which boards do we offer for Senior years?
A. For Senior Years, we have Diploma Programme of the IB board.
Q. What is the IB Diploma Programme?
A. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year rigorous and prestigious pre-university qualification for students aged 16-19 years. It is equivalent to Grade 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. Yes, we are authorised to run the IB-Diploma Programme.
Q. What is IB?
A. Here follows a detailed understanding of the board that the school offers.
Founded in 1968, the IBO currently works with 4,655 schools having more than one million students worldwide.
Headquartered in Switzerland and UK, the local regional office for Asia-Pacific is in Singapore with a liasioning office in Mumbai.
151 schools are currently offering at least 1 of the 3 IBO programs. The first school offering an IBO program in India started in 1997.
7 schools in Gujarat are already offering IBO programs (4 in Ahmedabad, 1 in Surat, 1 in Vadodara and 1 in Rajkot)
Has the Middle Years Program and is equivalent to Grade 10 Board Examination of Indian Board.
MYP is now recognized by (AIU) Association of Indian Universities.
Same as above.
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 Diploma Program (DP) is academically challenging and balanced program of education that prepares 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 in India. All the major Universities of Mumbai, Delhi, Karnataka, Pune to name a few, accept both IBDP & CIE 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 exclude 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 IBDP 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 the IB students, but also for CBSE & ICSE students to get the 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 Boards 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 also to 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?
27th August 2018
Availability of forms and submission of documents for Junior KG
17th December 2018
Forms available for other grades as per the availability of seats
Q. What are these readiness tests for? Are these admission tests? Will you also hold an interview or an interaction?
A. There will be interaction and readiness tests, for admissions, 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 readiness tests. These readiness tests are a tool for both the school and the parents to get a genuine status of where the child stands and highlights 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 2019-20 starting in June?
A. The age criteria is 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 the previous classes as well as in the assessment tests, will he/she be admitted in the next class.
Born on or before 31 May 2016
Born on or before 30 September 2015
Born on or before 30 September 2014
Born on or before 30 September 2013
Born on or before 30 September 2012
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 the admission. Failure to do so will lead to cancellation of the admission. Please note that for a candidate with special needs, the admission process is different and maybe lengthier.