Fairy-land Children’s Center for Creative Learning – Pune School

what you see – This Pune Children’s Center is housed in a beautiful old colonial bungalow surrounded by abundant foliage and vines. It is a real delight at first sight. The school has two levels. On the ground floor is the playgroup class, while on the first level is the mini-kindergarten and toddler class. Each classroom is decorated with posters and the walls are painted with popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, alphabets and numbers. Despite its proximity to the busy Deccan Gymkhana, this venue seems blissfully devoid of noise and pollution.

what you get – This Pune Children’s Center was started by Neelima Ranade who is the director and owner of the school. He has vast experience in teaching and also has a degree in child psychology from the United States. The center has four programs to offer. The first is the toddler group, which is for children in the age group of 15 months to 2 years. This is a transition stage from homes to the first school experience, so the focus is to get children used to the school environment. The children are assisted by their mothers who are part of the various games and learning exercises. We noticed some children who were trying to get sand out of the ground in their buckets with the help of the teachers. We were informed that this helps in motor coordination and concentration of the child. Classes take place on alternate days – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – from 10 am to 11 am.

We were then able to take a look at the playgroup class for age groups of two and up. These classes are held Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The class begins with traditional prayers such as gayatri mantra Prayed Saraswati Puja. They told us that, in addition to regular English rhymes, they are taught Hindi and Marathi songs to give them a better understanding of local languages. After the initial learning lessons in which the basics of the alphabet and numbers are taught, they are given some replica kitchen toys. We saw some boys rolling chapattis like their moms and girls making tea for their teachers. Children also learn to go to the bathroom in these classes.

The mini-kindergarten classroom is the largest and most brilliantly decorated of all. This class includes activities that would help them easily adjust to larger schools. They are taught creative toys, building blocks, drawing, alphabet matching, stamp crafts and more. The books for all this are prepared by the teachers. They even have a library of 500 books where children are read stories. These classes are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Every Friday they have a sing-a-song routine where the children sing their nursery rhymes to the sound of their music teacher’s instruments such as the table or the harmonium. This session brings a lot of joy to young minds.

The last program is the Young Achievers program for children between the ages of four and six. It is an after-school parenting program that involves instilling manners, playing interesting games, fostering reading habits, and more. Neelima Ranade believes that up to the age of six children have strong grasping power and the things learned at this tender age stay with them forever. This after school program is from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

our verdict – The school does not believe in a fixed curriculum. So there are new developments in their programs continuously. Its motto is to unite fun and learning, and the school seems like an extension of the home.

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