I recently visited The Green Acres Academy at Wagholi, Pune. A brand new school that is just 5 months old and is already making waves for all the right reasons. The Green Acres Academy started its flagship school in Mumbai. They now have three campuses in Mumbai and one in Pune. Here is my review of the school.
The Wagholi campus is a huge campus of 1,60,000 square feet. One building is ready and fully functional, the school plans to have 2 more buildings in the coming year. I was fortunate to have a school tour and then discuss the facilities and philosophy of the school with one of the school founders – Mr. Aditya Lohana and Head of Admissions Mr. Santosh.
The Wagholi campus of Green Acres Academy is currently functional and accepts admissions from Nursery to 4th for this year and they will continue to add new classes every year.
My views about The Green Acres Academy School
I was taken around the school and one of the first things that caught my attention was the huge playground. They have a fully equipped basketball court and a football court. The work for cricket pitch for net cricket was underway. Likewise, when I entered the classes I was pleasantly surprised to see all the classes getting ample sunlight. In today’s times when more and more schools are boasting about AC classrooms, this school seems to have taken their green initiative quite seriously. It was lovely to see children studying and doing their activities in natural lighting.
Minimizing the Carbon Footprint
- Maximum natural lighting and ventilation in classes
- No or minimum paintings to avoid pollutants from paints that can harm the respiratory system of kids.
The school offers multiple options for extracurricular activities. They have a dedicated room for each – Indian and Western Music, Indian and Western Dance, Indoor play area, Gymnastics, Yoga, Self-Defense and more. The school has built-in one hour of extra-curricular activity every day in their school timetable. This is by far the longest time offered to children in any school for extra-curricular activities.
Currently, the school follows a CBSE curriculum. They plan to add the ICSE syllabus as well at a later stage. Their commitment to education stems from the first-hand experience that the founders had when they realized the difference in Indian and Western teaching methodology. This realization led to developing a methodology that helps children get holistic development.
The school follows a unique 8-4-8 methodology to ensure the all-round development of a child. They believe that the child learns from various avenues and hence they not only teach children but also empower the parent to better educate and nourish future citizens. It enables the teachers by year-round training and development programs to help them better educate their students. The whole program functions by keeping the child at its core.
There is a lot of focus on teachers’ growth and grooming. A dedicated cell headed by Mr. Anuj Iyer focuses on innovations and learning. The teachers are initially trained for around 15-20 days. Apart from this, there are yearlong training programs that are specially curated for the teachers to help them get tools and facilities to groom this future generation. They also have a teacher’s discussion every fortnight to understand the situations faced by teachers in class and possible solutions for it.
Though the campus is huge, there is a great emphasis on security. The school has two entrances. Once it is for visitors, parents, staff, etc. while the other is exclusively for children.
Every floor has CCTV cameras to monitor movement and security
The windows do not have grills but they do not open more than 30 degrees.
The bathrooms are equipped with sound sensors, which activate when there are any high pitched sounds like a screech or a scream.
All the staff is police verified
Everyone coming to pick the children need to produce their Id card that the school has provided.
No child is handed over to a third person.
About the group behind The Green Acres Academy
During my interaction with Mr. Lohana, he informed that the school is founded and backed by Apurva Natvar Parikh group which has been a pioneer in logistics and transport. They have now diversified into transport, real estate, hospitality, and education as well. Apurva Natvar Group always believes in innovative and intellectual work – be it logistics or construction, hence when they got into education, it was no surprise that they came up with innovative mythology and a large vision.