Excellence comes easy to this school courtesy its equal emphasis on studies and extra-curricular activities from the time Rev Pettigrew started it 135 years ago. The uniform attention on academics, sports and cultural activities is evident as you walk its sprawling campus. Says principal Dr A. Ebenezer: "We spot talent at the beginning of the academic year and nurture it with scholarships for outstanding pupils. They’re encouraged to participate in inter-school competitions." The school kicked off a national cultural event for ICSE schools in 1993. Last year, 55 schools from all over the country came here for the competition.
The school follows the ICSE system of examinations and has an impressive strength of 5,000 students (from KG up to Class 12) and 235 teachers. It is the first school to introduce multimedia in kindergarten. Some 300 computers have been installed across five computer labs and students access the Net through a lease line. The fee structure seems reasonable—at LKG level, day scholars pay an annual fee of Rs 16,800 while boarders (high school) pay Rs 72,750 (including Rs 12,000 for pocket money).
Dr Ebenezer admits the only drawback has been the inability to restrict the strength in lower classes. "It exceeds 50 up to Class 9 (and maintained at 40 beyond) as we’re under tremendous pressure during admissions. We receive 3,000-odd applications for 300 seats at 9 level," he says.
The pass percentage is cent per cent in classes 10 and 12. Last fall, it figured in the top four schools for Class 12 and finished fifth for Class 10. Says Rahul Dev Roy, who passed his Class 10 in April: "It’s been a second home. The principal and teachers are very friendly. I will be missing this school for the rest of my life."
Plans are on the anvil for two new branches of the school but with co-education, in two areas on the outskirts of Bangalore. In addition, the Bishop Cotton Academy of Professional Management—to offer classes in business management and hotel management, infotech and teachers’ training—would start functioning from next year.