When a mother has to send a piece of her heart away from her from 2-4 hours a day, she wants it to be to a place where she knows it will be loved, nurtured, and treated with the utmost gentleness. She wants to see it come out smiling. After one terrible playschool experience, as a parent I was petrified and wary. Luckily, a close friend recommended Da Vinci. And the kindness and openness of the principal and all the teachers at the school warmed me straightaway.
My son settled into the school from the very first day, and has a deep love for his teachers who have nurtured him in the beautiful Montessori tradition to be the thoughtful, curious, independent and intelligent child that he is. An institution’s culture is determined by the heart and mind that lead it, and Ms Ashani Hirway was by far the most approachable and friendly school principal that I had come across in my playschool search. Her willingness to answer questions, take and incorporate parents’ suggestions, and address their concerns is reflected in the monthly coffee-and-conversation sessions she organizes for parents. Moreover I could approach her or any of the teachers directly at any other time as well with any concern regarding my child and expect a response within 24 hours! I can assure you that this is most rare in the relatively didactic educational environment of this city. Ashani fast became not just my son’s school principal, but a friend that I could talk to at any time. Also, the regular orientations organized by the school to acquaint parents with the Montessori classroom and way of teaching – be it life skills, language or arithmetic – were greatly helpful. The curriculum is geared towards making children question and understand how things work in the world around them. There is a fantastic emphasis on science, geography and nature from a very young age. I also appreciate the photographs that were sent to us on a regular basis for us to see our children at work, as well as the annual observation session where we got to glimpse our children in action in the classroom. As I watched my son playing and learning happily alongside his friends in the warm sunlight filtering in through the large bay windows in the spacious classroom, I knew I had made the right choice. Thank you, Da Vinci!