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5 Best Alternative Schools in Chennai

India has a long history of alternative schools. Vedic and Gurukul systems of education during 1500 BC to 500 BC emphasized on acquisition of occupational skills, cultural and spiritual enlightenment in an atmosphere which encouraged rational thinking, reasoning among the students. Hence the aim of education was to develop the pupil in various aspects of life as well as ensure social service.

Alternative Schools in Chennai

An alternative school is an educational establishment with a curriculum and methods that are nontraditional. Such schools offer a wide range of philosophies and teaching methods; some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, while others are more ad hoc assemblies of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education.

Some schools are based on pedagogical approaches differing from that of the mainstream pedagogy employed in a culture, while other schools are for gifted students, children with special needs, children who have fallen off the track educationally and/or expelled from their base school, children who wish to explore unstructured or less rigid system of learning, etc.

1.The School KFI (Alternative School)

Image Source: https://www.theschoolkfi.org/

The School KFI strives to create and sustain an atmosphere of learning so that children, in the words of J Krishnamurti, may “flower in goodness”.

Knowledge, intellectual capacity and technological prowess alone have never been sufficient to meet life’s challenges. To live, one must remember, is to be related. And to be a complete human being we must continually learn and grow in mindful relatedness – to people, things, ideas, nature and, above all, to one’s inner self. The School KFI offers the space for the exploration of such an education.

High lights

  • The School KFI is a day boarding school of 400 students and staff.
  • School Timings are from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm for the whole school
  • The school has a five-day week for students. For this academic year (2018-19), the school has two terms running from mid-July to mid-April. There is one term break in November.
  • The school kitchen and dining hall are an essential part of the school. All students and staff eat breakfast and lunch together at school. This consists of a simple balanced vegetarian meal. In addition, they have a fruit or buttermilk at the end of the day.
  • There is no school uniform. Students are expected to dress appropriately for the school.


The students of Classes 1 to 7 learn in mixed age groups at Junior School and Middle School. These learning groups are changed every year. The students of Classes  8 to 10 learn in same age groups as do students of Classes 11 and 12 who study different combinations of subjects.

The medium of instruction is English. The students learn both Tamil and Hindi till Class 8 and continue to study either one as an examination subject at Class 10.

The School is affiliated to Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations at New Delhi and the students appear for the ICSE and ISC in Classes 10 and 12 respectively.


The School KFI

Solai Street, Thazhambur,

Chennai - 600 130.


+91 – 9445433845






2. Head start learning centre (HLC Alternative School)

Creating a generation of public problem solvers

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/HLCSchool/photos

Headstart was established as a nursery and primary school in 1995 by Mrs. Sudha Mahesh. In the 23 years since then, the institution has grown into Headstart Learning Centre – one of India’s top learning centres, offering quality education that shapes the lives of bright young children at all grade levels. They are also one of the first Ashoka Changemaker schools in the country.


HLC International [Registration Number IN842, Application Number: IN10061604] prepares students for the Cambridge Primary Checkpoint (5th Grade), Secondary 1 (8th Grade), IGCSE (10th Grade)[International General Certificate of Secondary Examination] and AS and A Levels (12th Grade) curriculum prescribed by Cambridge International Examination [CIE]. HLC is a CIE registered examination centre.

HLC International is also a NIOS Acredited Academic Institution (Reg No: 190106). The NIOS follows the National Curriculum Framework, which means that in the core 7 subjects, it is no different from CBSE or ICSE. However, it differs from these two syllabi by offering tremendous flexibility to the learner. The learner can have the option to take any number and combination of subjects and is also allowed to stagger the assessments over 5 years, giving the learner the autonomy required to take assessments at his or her convenience. NIOS is both futuristic and flexible, making it a natural choice for HLC students wanting to continue their higher education in India.


Wing Haven Gardens,

Karanai, Chennai 600130


99400 89504






3. Indradhanu waldorf School (Alternative school )

Image Source: http://indradhanuwaldorfschool.in/

Indradhanu, Chennai’s first Waldorf School, and they are committed to bringing an education that serves the physiological, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of the child. For them, the child is always at the centre – the Sun – and we – teachers, parents, doctors, therapists, friends – the drops of rain that surround the sun. And don’t we all know, however clichéd or cheesy it is, that the two need to come together for the sky to hold the colours of the rainbow.


The Early Childhood program

In our Early Childhood Program, divided as Nursery (children aged 24 months to 3 years) and Kindergarten (children aged between 3 and 6 years). Their teaching method involves,

  • Rhythm
  • Free Play
  • Artistic Activities
  • Story time & Puppetry

Grade School

Grade 1-5 in waldrof Curriculum


Indradhanu Waldorf School
No. 12 A, Yogambal Street,
Chennai - 600017.


044 43537866






4. Tatva Alternative School

Image Source: https://www.tatvaschool.com/

TATVA is a school founded on a few simple principles. The chief among them is the strong conviction that the purpose of education is to enable the transformation of the child into a purposeful, happy adult who strives for excellence in his/her chosen endeavors and makes confident career and life choices. It is a process of metamorphosis – an evolution. Unlike commonly perceived, it is not the role of the educator or the educational institution to mould children and “prepare” them to face the challenges of the real world but rather to aid the full development of every child into the individual he/she was “meant to be”.



  • Play is an integral part of every day. Expression is encouraged through singing, free dancing and exploration of colours and form.
  • Sensorial activities nurture healthy development of the internal pathways to learning.
  • The foundations of literacy skills are laid through story-telling, singing, finger-plays, puppet-shows and games.
  • Numeracy skills are developed by working with numbers and shapes. Experiential learning is enhanced through a large number of field visits.

Junior School ( Grade 1-4)

  • Reach out to the child’s emotions
  • cultivate her imagination
  • Use it as a vehicle to enrapture her in the learning process and
  • Build the skills necessary for focused learning.

Middle School (Grade 5-8)

  • Language includes a formal study of grammar, reading and composition with emphasis on fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
  • The learning of Mathematics, particularly Geometry, strongly engages the imaginative side of the child. Mathematics is related to life through the application of Arithmetic and Algebra to comprehend and solve day-to-day problems.
  • In Science, there is a strong emphasis on learning the natural sciences by the proper scientific method.
  • History is presented as a multi-dimensional study across the ages.
  • Geography starts with local geography and its relation to life, and extends to the study of geography and its influence on life.
  • The emphasis on art continues, including art as a means to present academic content in various areas. There is also an increased emphasis on the creative arts.
  • Sports get more serious as children, unlike in the Junior School, are ready for competition. The emphasis is more on team games such as basketball, volleyball, throwball, kho-kho, etc.

Senior School (Grade 9-12)

  • TATVA, the senior school curriculum therefore has a clear two-fold target – to enable children to face and excel in the rigorous and comprehensive IGCSE and A level examinations conducted by Cambridge University qualify in the requirements of various options of further education they may choose to pursue.
  • The Arts curriculum includes focused learning of one of many Fine Arts and a range of Practical Arts.
  • Children focus on particular sports in which they excel and continue building their skills through the 4 years of senior school.
  • Every child is given career counseling to understand the requirements and implications of each career and develop a strong career focus.

Address 1

No. 61, Vijayanagar 8th Main Road, Velachery, Chennai – 600042



Address 2

Plot No:122, Door No. 28A, Bharath Street, VGP Pushpa Nagar, Medavakkam, Chennai - 600100



Address 3

TATVA Primary School, DABC Polachery Road, Polachery, Chennai - 600130









5. Good Earth (Alternative) School.

Image source: www.goodearthschool.org

Good Earth School is situated on a lush green 16 acre campus away from the humdrum of city life. The school has classes starting from LKG to class XII. With a strength of about 450 students and 40 teachers, the student-teacher ratio is kept relatively small to aid individual attention for every student. We are a progressive, child-centered, co-educational private school, committed to providing a holistic education for all its pupils. At Good Earth, the learning process is seen as one that is both challenging and enjoyable. The school thinks that education should foster creativity, independent thinking, exploration, and questioning as a lifelong process. The intention is to provide an atmosphere free of authority and fear which enables the child to grow and flower in goodness.


Kindergarten (KG – Class 2)

  • Kindergarten to class II follows a theme based learning rather than subject based learning. Exams have no central role whatsoever at these levels.
  • In the kindergarten, the awakening of the senses, training in listening and looking, learning to make friends, enjoying stories and play, creative expression in arts and crafts take precedence over the formal learning of reading and writing.

The CAP Program (Class 2 – Class 8)

  • The staff of Good Earth has over the years developed a program called the Continuous Assement Program (the CAP program) for classes upto VIII.
  • A systematic assessment is kept of a student’s progress in studies without recourse to the pressure of formal examination. However, each skill is honed in such a way through various activities that are designed by the teachers for each lesson for all the subjects.

ICSE and ISC (Class 9 – Class 12)

  • Classes IX through XII follow the regular ICSE and ISC syllabus.
  • Once the term begins, tests are conducted on a regular basis in cycles covering all the subjects learnt by the students.
  • Once one cycle is over, the next one begins immediately and therefore there are tests every week throughout the year.


No. 83, Naduveerapattu - Manimangalam Road, Naduveerapattu Village, Somangalam Post

Sriperumbudur Taluk, Chennai – 600069.


044 27178238, 044 27178239, 044 27178310.






Posted in Schooling on December 26 2019 at 03:27 PM

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