India Schools : Good Shepherd International School, Ootacamund
The school was founded in February 1977 by Dr P. C. Thomas, who was backed by his rich experience in the educational field and also his inherent desire to serve the noble cause of good education. The school began with classes from nursery to V and due to sheer hard work, dedication and devotion of the founder and his wife, the Headmistress, Mrs Elsamma Thomas, it has grown into one of the leading residential schools in the country, for students upto Class XII.
Situated in the old Baroda Summer Palace complex, in the most exquisite part of Fernhill, the school campus overlooks the famous Ooty Lake. The vast campus consists of spacious Senior School academic blocks (for Classes VII to XII), five fully equipped Computer laboratories, a gymnasium, a heated swimming pool, auditorium with a seating capacity of 1000 persons, library, music and dance faculties, a hospital and separate hostel facilities for boys and girls. The Campus can accommodate approx. 750 students. The Junior School campus at Muthori Palada, Ooty, (five kilometres away from the main campus) has classes from Upper Kindergarten (UKG) to class VI, and can accommodate 550 students. It has very good infrastructural facilities such as three Computer laboratories (including Multimedia), a hospital with Dental Chair, Chapel, Audio-visual Room, Art room, Library, Roller Skating Rink and turfed playgrounds. An Auditorium cum Gymnasium which can accommodate approximately 1000 persons, a 400 meter athletic track (the only such field in Nilgiris outside the Army Cantonment) are under construction. To cater to the daily needs of the school Mess there is a multipurpose farm in Thorappalli, Gudalur, which grows vegetables and mushrooms, maintains poultry and a dairy with high yielding cows, and also an automatic laundry for washing the clothes of the children.
The academic faculty is well qualified and experienced and the teacher student ratio is 1:8. 90% of the Teaching staff stay inside the campus who attend to the needs of the students any time of the day giving it a feeling of old "GURUKULAM system of education".
There are approx. 1,300 students on the roll of the school. The students are drawn from all parts of India and abroad and range in age from 4 to 17 years.
The school is affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi and prepares students for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (Class X) and the Indian School Certificate (Class XII) examinations in March every year. The subjects offered at the +2 level are from the Science, Commerce and Art streams. The School is also affiliated to the University of Cambridge, London. It prepares students for the "O" level International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the "A" level Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) at the Class X and Class XII levels.
At the time of admission, the fees to be paid are :
- Admission Fee of Rs 6,000/- for all classes.
- School fees as applicable for the class for the first term.
- Caution Deposit of Rs 75,000/- for all classes (refundable).
- Capital Fund and Establishment Charges Rs 6,000/-.
Registration is usually done in the lowest class, UKG. Vacancies are normally not available in higher classes. Children can be registered up to five years in advance of the academic year in which admission is sought. Registration for higher classes is accepted but admission depends purely on vacancies available and qualifying in the entrance test. Admissions are held in April-July every year. Call letters are sent to eligible children in January. Students seeking admission to Class VIII and IX are tested in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography. Knowledge of Junior Science is essential. Children seeking admission in junior classes are tested in English, Mathematics and a Second Language.
The spacious playgrounds allow the playing of games like football, cricket, volley ball, hockey, tennis and hand ball. Regular coaching is given in athletics, gymnastics, boxing, and mass P.T. Regular training is also given to all students in mountaineering, horsemanship and adventure activities. Three full time mountaineering instructors from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi give training to students of Classes IV and above in Mountaineering.
Extra Curricular Activities
Regular weekly meetings are held of the various clubs and activities groups such as the Literary club, Science club, Philately club, Kennel club, Interact club, Rifle club etc. The school has a unit of the Sea Cadets Corps of India and a unit of Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. There is also a full fledged brass band - both Indian and Western. Every student is expected to become proficient in at least one musical instrument during the course of his or her stay in the school and the school is affiliated to Trinity College of Music, London. Indian Classical dance is also an integral part of the co-curricular programme.