We have been with GVM for 4 years now, with one or both of our kids enrolled . They both joined in the Penguins class, and continued to Dolphins, and Turtles. Knowing the school over all this time, helps me to give a more balanced review. This is a breakdown of why I would give the school 5 stars overall! Hope it helps..
1. Trust and safety- The most important aspect as a parent of a preschool kid to me was trust in the care-givers and safety of the kids. That is one area where GVM definitely scores. During the years that i have known and seen Ms.Selva as director, I have complete trust in her management and faith that she will make the right decisions for the kids. In case of any concern/issue, her response has been always swift and empathetic, and this for me was a big reason to keep going back to the school every year. As far as safety and transparency, I like the open layout of the school and the fact that i can see my kids settling in to class/playground , visit the class at pickup, see the materials they have been working with, chat with the teachers about their day, etc. I have never had reason to worry about the safety of my kids with respect to teachers, materials, playground,etc.
2. Curriculum - Though Montessori-based, the curriculum is more of a mix of traditional and Montessori approach. Kids learn at their own pace and work with the material they prefer. At the same time, they are exposed to a wide-range of concepts during circle-time and do activities based on that . In the younger classes, there is a lot of art and craft work, songs and dance, yoga and movement. In the Turtles class, while kids are free to choose what they want to work on, the teachers encourage them to do rotate and do a variety of jobs.
3. Events and activities - At GVM, things are always kept interesting. There is always a theme for the week, arts, crafts based on that, field trips , onsite performers/shows, so many celebrations where kids perform for parents throughout the year(mothers day, fathers day, lunar new year, diwali, halloween). There are other events celebrated as well like valentines day, easter egg hunt, thanksgiving feast, etc.The highlight though is the christmas and graduation events. The graduation event is of a very high standard for a preschool, so much effort goes in by the teachers and students to pull it off in style year after year. These are also good opportunities for the little ones to get an experience of performing on stage, gain confidence, etc.
4. Teachers - In every class in GVM, there is one teacher who has stayed with the school since the 4 years i have been associated, and they are all stellar. Ms. Kat in Penguins, is so good with the little ones(2-3 year olds), holding them, easing their transition into school, helping and working with parents during potty training, and has an easy, natural ability to bond with each child. Ms.Ishrat in Dolphins (3-4 year olds) is a semblance of calm and patience, always measured in the way she deals with the kids, enforcing the routine and order in the class, which I think helps the jumpy, hoppy kids of this age. Ms. Ada in Turtles (4-5 year olds), is so loving and naturally good with kids, they get attached to her like a magnet and easily follow her every word. Apart from these teachers, there are amazing teachers like Ms.Joy ,Ms.Trixie, Ms.Shivangi (the former two unfortunately left the school) who made their mark and positive influence on the kids. Overall, the teacher replacements are selected with great care and very rarely have i seen a teacher that does not seem like a good fit. The support teachers/ part-time teachers need their own mention. There are gems like Ms.Doreen, Ms. Sophia, who have such a positive , caring attitude and and are often the ones who connect to parents giving daily feedback, working through issues with eating, potty, discipline etc with so much pro-activeness and involvement, that i have felt lucky for their influence on my kids! GVM has been doing a great job in trying to adapt to these uncertain times caused by COVID and had online classes setup for kids. I was amazed at the ease with which the teachers and kids started following this routine. For an entire hour, they listen to the teacher, do some writing, reading words, story time, sometimes some craft, or show-and-tell. They are constantly trying to re-invent the learning process given the challenges,while trying to ensure quality is not compromised.