Updated: Mar 23, 2020
Choosing a preschool is a momentous decision for everyone in the family, most of all your little one, but it needs to feel like the right fit for parents, too.
We recently spent a morning with our Pensatore family, Mrs & Mr Malhotra who consider Pensatore as a ‘perfect start’ for their child.
“My son came here, and my husband and I are very glad we took this beautiful step and it has transformed my son”.
What brought you to Pensatore?
I was in search of a parent-toddler programme for my little one and a friend happened to tell me about Momentum (Parent-Child Programme) where her daughter was enrolled. “My daughter Ameerah, is in love with the school from day one”, said Atika, a school parent. When we arrived my child was 18 months, and as a mother I was skeptical that it may be a little early to bring the child to an outside environment. But when I entered the school I knew this was exactly the programme I was looking for my child.
It’s been a beautiful adventure; it’s safe here, and my son receives diverse learning opportunities in all forms, whether it is the development of hand-eye coordination or developing the cognitive skills. In India, the educational system places a lot of emphasis on ‘traditional methods’; however, Pensatore places a lot of emphasis on ‘new methods of engaging the child’ and ‘exploring the outdoors’. I was amazed to discover that Pensatore as a school is a home away from home place and takes that philosophy to the next level.They offer an excellent staff to child ratio of 1:4, which is a big factor for me. Moreover, this is a school that truly lets them be children; they go barefoot, they get dirty, they don’t wear uniforms, and they develop a true love for learning. My son came here and he truly blossomed.
What is it about Pensatore that helped your son blossom?
The best part about the school is that it lets the children be, that is they are free to choose and explore and yet at the same time learn through experience. Everything here is geared toward exploring; developing their curiosity and confidence. They don’t just teach, they also provocate. Everything is very calm, and harmonious. Pensatore’s Reggio Emilia philosophy emphasises creating light, warm and engaging spaces for children.The school takes a gradual approach; students start attending for two or three mornings a week, eventually working their way up to five with an extended day option.
How is the communication between Pensatore and you as the parent? Do you get meaningful information about your child’s learning?
Pensatore Pre-School utilizes numerous tools to ensure that parents are up-to-date learning. Parents are welcomed and briefed about their day’s learning during pick up time. Each child has a portfolio with all their activities, artwork, photos and quotes detailed in it so you can review it and see what your child is doing. In addition to this, the teachers take photos and write about the class activities and upload to the school’s private intranet every day. Child-specific portfolios provide detailed information about your child’s experiences, educators display projects or documentation illustrating children’s work. Parent/Teacher conferences which are held twice annually. It’s a huge amount of work, but very much appreciated in order to see what your child is doing when they are away from you.Through these various avenues, parents receive a well-rounded account of how their child is progressing, and how their social, emotional, and cognitive needs are being met.
Has Pensatore Pre-School lived up to your expectations?
Pensatore has exceeded my expectations because Aadhit is happy and very excited to be in school, he is thriving here. On the days Aadhit is not in school, he asks to go to Pensatore, and he talks about his teachers and learning at home. He also knows the directions to the school when he sits in the car.
What were the most important or deciding factors when selecting your preferred School?
There are a lot of factors as a parent which you have in mind before selecting a school. First and foremost is the approach of the school, hygiene standards, and staff of the school. Second, I wanted to find a place that had a very nurturing environment and was not too ‘school’ focused in the traditional academic sense. Aadhit is still very little, so I also wanted a place that felt fun and safe where he could explore and use his imagination, where he could learn but in an age-appropriate way and this is why I chose Pensatore.
What programmes does the school offer?
Pensatore Pre-School offers both full and part-time child care and educational programs for infants, toddlers, two-year-olds, and preschoolers, as well as Kindergarten, before & after school, and camps for school-age children. It also offers flexible Drop-in-sessions. Parents have an opportunity to work and conduct meetings here while children are dropped off for a flexible Drop and Play session – It’s a place for an exchange of ideas and collaboration. Additionally, it offers Horseriding sessions, and one can host birthday parties for their child. School also offers flexible child based activities as well. Parents can discuss their specific needs with the school team and the school makes sure those needs are taken care of.
What effect has Pensatore Pre-School had upon your child and your family?
“My son has become very expressive as a child. He learns new things at school and ensures he comes back and shares them with us”, shares Mr Malhotra who often spends time with Aadhit at Pensatore during horseback riding sessions.
I’ve made wonderful friends –hanging out here! I love walking through the outdoor ateliers in the morning; they frequently change the layout to keep the children engaged and ask questions based on the needs and interests of the children. My child’s happy place in the school is the outdoors, especially the gardening area where children grow vegetables and Aadhit loves the sand area. It’s such a peaceful place for both parents and children! Overall the school is very well structured in terms of their approach as well as infrastructure. One of the best things about the school is the ‘hygiene standards’ are met very efficiently which is very important for young children.
The school is open-minded, positive, and connected to nature and hence all these things are passed on to my child. My child is happy here and a lot of like-minded parents have enrolled their children here, hence I’ve made so many friends. The approach is just so healthy, and so welcoming, and I want more and more parents like me and their children to ‘experience the magic of exploration’ at such a tender age.