May 11

Big School: The Final decision

In my previous blog, I enumerated our considerations in choosing a big school for EA. With all those in mind, here are the schools that made it to our final list:

  1. Ateneo de Manila University
  2. OB Montessori (Fairview)
  3. The Seed Montessori
  4. The Raya School
  5. The Learning Tree
  6. Paref Northfield

Based on my research (interview with school admissions personnel and reading parenting blogs), here are my observations about the said schools. Please note that these are just based on my personal understanding and interpretation.

Ateneo de Manila

OB Montessori (Fairview)

The Raya School
Quality of education Ateneo is known for the quality of its alumnae. Even our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal is also an alumni of Ateneo. OB has also produced some famous personalities who succeeded in their own fields I believe this is a relatively new school but been reading in parenting blogs how Raya’s program worked for a lot of kids
Location 15-30 minutes if no traffic but on on a regular school day will  require an hour’s travel time because of heavy traffic 45 minutes if no traffic but will require more than an hour if there is heavy traffic 10-15 minutes away from home
Class size 38-39 for grade 1 but grade 2 onwards, 41 per class maximum of 25 per class 10-15 per class
Method of teaching Traditional Montessori way (based on my understanding, it is a mix of traditional and progressive) Progressive
Religious affiliation Catholic school Non-sectarian but they have religion class Non-sectarian
Other observations The school is a very big  environment. Can be unnerving especially from  unsettling coming from a small school. A co-educational school with a medium sized community. A very small community.

The Seed Montessori

The Learning Tree

Paref Northfield
Quality of education Based on parents’ opinions from some parenting bogs, Seed is good school because it aims to give a balance between academics and non-academic skills. Probably the oldest progressive school in the country, I got good feedbacks both from EA’s teachers and from parenting blogs as well From parenting forums, parents are saying that the school, aside from having a high standard in academics, also focuses on values formation of children
Location 15-30 minutes away from home 15 minutes away from home 10-15 minutes away from home
Class size maximum of 25 per class but usually between 20-23 10-15 per class maximum of 25 per class
Method of teaching Montessori way (based on my understanding, it is a mix of traditional and progressive) Progressive Traditional
Religious affiliation Non-sectarian but they have religion class Non-sectarian but they have religion class Non-sectarian but they have religion class and liturgical activities
Other observations A co-ed school with a medium-sized community A very small community Their campus is relatively small but they intend to transfer to a bigger campus in Sun Valley, Antipolo, soon.

We ended up choosing The Seed Montessori for EA because of the following:

  • Small class size. I believe that the smaller the class size, the lower the chance that bullying will happen.
  • Montessori way of teaching  – since it is a combination of the traditional and progressive school set up, it will help EA transition from progressive the setup he got used to in Preschool
  • Medium sized community – EA will be in a big school but not get overwhelmed with the new environment since it is not campus is not that huge
  • Holistic approach in assessing the development in children – aside from the quarterly academic assessment, they also give recognition to students who excel in sports, music and arts. I believe this sets a right balance between the importance of academics and enhancing the kid’s talents.
  • Accessibility – school is accessible at home and there is not much traffic en route to and from school
  • Although not a strictly Catholic school, they have religion and values formation classes

We are looking forward to our EA’s next big adventure!

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Posted May 11, 2014 by kat in category All about school, My Family

45 thoughts on “Big School: The Final decision

  1. Ria

    Hi .. I would like to know how is your child doing in The Seed montessori and what”s your feedback also. I am transferring my daugther from OB Montessori Sta Ana Branch to The seed montessori this school year. While I am super happy with OB montessori wetransfered home from Manila to QC and its way too far to keep her in OB. Though there is an OB fairview branch they lack school bus service that would include our area.
    I hope you can share your experience with the seed montessori with me. First impression is I like the campus and the staff are friendly. Materials used are similar to that of OB Montessori and the teachers are friendly as well. I also liked the manner on how they assess my daughter.
    THank you in advance and i hope to hear from you soon!

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Ria. Thank you for visiting my blog. Apologies as well for my late reply as we were in vacation for a couple of days. It will be our second year in Seed this coming school year. OB Montessori Fairview was also an option but like you, there are also not much school service option in our place since we live relatively far from OB.
      The first year had been wonderful and I can say that I was convinced that we made the right decision of choosing it over the bigger schools. I like their classroom setup with just a little over 20 students in one class. Coming from a small pre school, my son did not have a hard time adjusting to big school because there is not much students to get used to being with in a class. The staff are also very nice and friendly. Since my son is just in 1st grade, he only has 1 teacher who is also very nice. Although I did not get her mobile number, I still did not have a hard time communicating with her since I can always call her in the faculty room after class hours or write my questions in their assignment notebook which they bring home everyday.
      I also like that they give importance to non-academic facet which is why I think they have weekly 1 hour club meeting. I also liked that they are very serious in their anti-bullying campaign. I feel more secure that my son is in that environment.
      Overall I am very happy with our first year in Seed. I hope your child will have a wonderful time too.

  2. Maan Madrid

    Hi! I stumbled upon your site while researching for a big school for m 4 year old son. He is currently enrolled in a progressive pre-school in Quezon City and he is doing quite well despite being diagnosed with Austism Spectrum Disorder. He is high functioning but lacks social skills. I’ve been looking for a school that accepts kids like my son. I know progressive schools are very much open when it comes to accepting kids with ASD. I would like to know if Seed accepts students with ASD? How much is the tuition fee? Thank you in advance and God bless!

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Maan! thank you for taking time to read my blog. I am glad to know that your son is doing well in a progressive school. With regards to Seed Montessori, I advice that you visit their admissions office to have your child assessed. I am not particularly sure of their policy when it comes to accepting kids with ASD. Although my son has a classmate who has a particular condition that tends to make him hyperactive (sorry I can not put a name on the condition since I am not an expert nor a doctor) and although he requires more attention from his teachers, I think he adjusted well in school. I am happy with the way the school taught my son and his classmates how to be around him without marking him as “different” or “special”. I think that by itself is a good sign but I still highly encourage that you pay the school a visit.
      I hope all will be well for you in search of a big school for your son. Good luck and all the best to you and your family!

  3. Rhona

    Hi Kat,
    I got to read your blog as I was looking for reviews about The Seed Montessori. Is your son still enrolled in there? How was your experience? What’s the usual schedule of classes? I inquired and I was told that students’ class is until 12:15 only. Lastly, do you know the profile (or more or less, in what school are the teachers from?) Sorry asking many questions. I hope to hear from you. We’re looking into this school as one of our options for our daughter. Thanks!

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Rhona. Thank you for dropping by my blog.
      My son is still enrolled at Seed and he will be incoming grade three next school year (2016-2017). For level 1 (grades 1-3), classes are indeed up to 12:15 only. So far it has been a great experience for us having our son enrolled there. I appreciate the relatively smaller number of students in a class compared with traditional schools. I also appreciate that they do not give homework over the weekend because my son has extra curricular activities on Saturdays while Sundays are considered sacred family day. Although everyday they do have assignments in one or two subjects.About the teachers, I am not sure about the others but for my son’s grade 1 and 2 teachers, both are graduates from UP.
      I do hope i was able to be of help to you. Good luck on your search for your daughter’s school!

  4. Judith

    Hi! Is The Seed Montessori School a member of the Association Montessori Internationale? An authentic Montessori school should be a member of an international movement.

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi. I think it is since its founders were trained by AMI in Italy and US prior to establishing the school.

  5. Tam

    hi there.. ive just read ur blog and it gives me idea about this school.. im new here in quezon city and i felt like its hard for me to find school that affordable yet convenient.. Pwede po bang malaman how much their tuition fees? And my interview ba for a transfer student?his turning grade 2 this school year thank u and more power to ur blog that made a big help to me ^_^

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Tam! thanks for dropping by my blog. First of all, welcome to Quezon City!
      With regards to your questions, tuition fee this coming school year 2016-2017 is between 59,000-61,000 (depending on the payment scheme). As for transferees, i do think they have an assessment. i am just not so sure for grade 2 if there is an interview. Pero kung sakaling meron, siguro dun sa guidance councilor lang. Ganun kasi nung inasses ung anak ko nung pa-grade 1 sya.
      I do hope I was able to answer well your queries. I also hope that you find the right school for your child soon. Good luck!

  6. Cynthia Harb

    Hi! I find your blog extremely helpful. I am currently based in Dubai, UAE and will be permanently based in Quezon City in June, in time for the school opening.

    I am trying to reach The Seed Montessori – via facebook, email and on the message board on their website but have not heard anything from them.

    Are they really not responsive on digital platforms?

    Appreciate your feedback on the above.

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Cynthia! Thank you for checking out my blog!
      I haven’t tried communicating with Seed via email or facebook but looking at the activities in both its FB wall and website, it seems like that they are not very active indeed in those platforms. I do hope though that they get to reply to you soon. As an alternative, maybe you know someone here in the Philippines, relative or friends, you can call Seed for you to relay your queries?
      I do hope everything works out well in your move to Quezon City next month!

  7. Kathie


    Thank you for sharing your ideas through this blog. In as much as we want to send my child to TSMS, the tuition fee is beyond our budget. I would just like to ask if you’ve heard any feedback about JASM’s.

    Thank you.

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Kathie. Unfortunately I had no personal encounter with JASMs. However, some of EA’s classmates in pre-school went to JASMs, so I guess that’s a good sign, right?

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Myla. I honestly do not remember anymore. The last time I inquired was in 2013. Best to inquire from them directly for more updated rates. Thank you for dropping by my blog!

  8. Pam

    We are looking for a school for our kid who will be Grade 1 next year and I have some few questions:

    1. do they have entrance exam?
    2. how’s the teacher? School environment?
    3. Is it strictly progressive? Cause in his old school we were told that they are mostly progressive but it turned out that it is more traditional.
    4. Do they have Academic recognition for kids wherein they rank the students among them?

    Any other information would be very much appreciated to help us.

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Pam,
      For The Seed Montessori,
      1. do they have entrance exam? For grade 1, no but there will be a one-on-one interview with the child
      2. how’s the teacher? School environment? – all of my son’s teachers from grades 1 to 3 are all good and approachable. School environment is also good. I like that it is not an enormous campus that some kids will find overwhelming. Everyone is friendly; from the guards, to the maintenance ate’s and kuya’s. I also like that they have a major school campaign against bullying.
      3. Is it strictly progressive? Cause in his old school we were told that they are mostly progressive but it turned out that it is more traditional. For me, it’s a mix of traditional and progressive. My son was from a progressive pre-school and he did not have a hard time adjusting to Seed because for him the method is like his former school.
      4. Do they have Academic recognition for kids wherein they rank the students among them? Seed is not so much into academic recognition. For one, they do not have “top ten” or honor students per class or per grade. But at the end of the school year, yes, academic recognition is given on a per grade level.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Sarah


    I am planning to transfer my kid, currently he is enrolled at NDGM. I am looking for a medium size class kasi sa NDGM sobrang dami ng students per class so hindi masyadong nabibigyan ng attention ang ibang students. Just want to know ilan subjects ng son mo ngayon grade 3 xia?

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Sarah. My son currently has 5 major subjects (social studies, english, science, math and filipino. He has 1 minor subject which is computer and 1 club of his choice. Hope this helps!

  10. Ina Maja

    Hello Mommy Kat! I just wanted to say how super helpful this article is for me. My son’s turning 3 next year and we’ll be enrolling him at TSMS. I had so many questions about this school but thanks to your blog, I got all the answers I need. 🙂

  11. Sofia lista

    Hi there mommy kat, this was so insightful, thanks for this article. Aside from
    Clubs, are their more activities available to them like more classes for example for sports? Also would they be teaching Singapore math? Thanks very much!

    1. kat (Post author)

      HI Sofia. Joining clubs are the best way to get additional lessons in sports. For certain sports like Taewondo and Basketball, they have additional lessons on weekends on top of their club meetings on fridays. This comes with an additional fee. My son attends basketball clinic every Saturday.
      As for Singapore math, I don’t think they have such lessons in Seed.

  12. Gina Alvarez

    Hello kat, I just want to ask if The Seeds is English speaking School? We are from UAE,my boys are currently enrolled in British School…we have a huge problem on my youngest gawa ng d2 Na sya lumaki at nag start mag school ,kc hirap syang mag tagalog,although nakaka intindin nman sya ng konti,he will be in grade 5 this school year.thanks

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Gina!
      Students in Seed are encouraged to speak in English. In my son’s grade 3 class, they are requested to speak in English during class hours.
      If it will give you any comfort in a way, I see foreign students enrolled in Seed like Koreans, Japanese and some Americans (i think).
      I honestly think your boys won’t have a hard time making friends in Seed because a lot of kids there also speak in English. 😊 Mas hirap karamihan sa kanila sa Tagalog subjects nila. 😊
      I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      1. Andrea

        Hi Kat! Thanks for this very informative article. I have the same dilemma as Gina so I hope you don’t mind if I hijack her comment.

        I am also looking for a school where my son can easily integrate in since we will also be moving back home next year from Dubai. He’s also enrolled in a British Curriculum school here in Dubai. He knows his Tagalog – he understands most easy words but can’t speak fluently. Naka-try ka na po ba mag inquire Ms. Gina on how to go about the application? Kasi kami sana uuwi by next year na talaga so we dont have a chance na makapag assesment. We will also be enrolling our 4 year old pero ito naman wala pang problema except she, too, speaks English.

        Kat, thank you again! I will also be asking my relatives to inquire via phone sa Seeds and will comment on our findings para additional insight din sa readers mo. Godbless! 😊

        1. kat (Post author)

          Hi Andrea. In terms of nothing speaking fluent Tagalog, I do not think it will be a major hindrance. My son, who is now in grade 4 has two Korean classmates who blends well with the rest of the class. He also has Filipino classmates who are not Tagalog speakers. The school encourages students to speak in English in most of the subjects.

          I do hope you can work something out on the application while you in Dubai. Based on my some of the comments, Seed is not that active in their facebook account so maybe just send them an email?

          Good luck Andrea and I wish you and your family well.

  13. Grace

    Hi Kat! I wanted to ask for your suggestion if you know any pre-school that can help my 3 yrs and 6 mon old son to be ready for grade 1 at Seed. TIA

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Grace. Were do you live if I may ask? If you are close enough to Visayas Avenue, then I highly recommend Creative Explorers. It is where my son had his pre-school education for three years. It is a very good one. I even posted a blog about it.

  14. Jeni

    Hello Kat! Is your child still enrolled in TSMS? We just transferred here in qc and i’m looking for a good school for my upcoming Grade 4 son. I have inquired to TSMS and my son likes the school and it seems that the quality of education is good. The only prob is the proximity. I also inquired at Integrated Center for Young in congressional. The school is too small but they are more focused on each student in a point that they know all the names of their students. And now, I’m having a hard time deciding on which school should i enroll my son. Can you okease guve me some feedbacks about TSMS? Thank you!

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Jeni! So far we had only good words for TSMS. Before enrolling him in a big school, one of my concerns as well is the community. He came from a very small pre-school and he might a hard time adjusting to a “very big” school. However, i did not want a small community too because I also want to prepare him for highschool and even college. The medium size community is actually a factor in choosing Seed. And so far in terms of education, I like how they are handling the K+12 curriculum. I also like their holistic approach. Another plus point for me is there all out program to stop bullying.
      Good luck on your school transfer decision. i hope i am able to help in anyway.

      1. Jeni

        Thank you, Kat! You’re such a big help! We have decided to enroll my son to TSMS. Hope to see you there! 🙂

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Blanche. Im not so sure but i don’t think Ateneo has preschool. You may call their office though to check because even in their website it says that the lowest is grade school.

  15. blanche

    If I may also ask, do you know any pre school that only speaks english? My son does not know how to speak in tagalog, he doesn’t understand Tagalog as well. I am looking for a school that teaches english. Thanks.

    1. kat (Post author)

      I think in most schools, English is the language mainly used in class. Although there is definitely a Filipino class as part of the curriculum for grade school and high school.
      In most of the preschools I’ve encountered, it is common to have kids who speaks only English and has limited understanding of Tagalog. You may discuss this concern too with the schools that you visit. It may be good for kids to be exposed to Tagalog as well especially if they will be studying grade school here in the Philippines so they won’t have a hard time adjusting to it once they become part of his/her subjects.

  16. KATE

    Hello Kat! Your blogs had been very helpful for us parents who’s looking for a school that our kids can go for…I would probably be transferring my incoming Grade 2 daughter to TSMS. However, i would like to ask if the school provides awards and credits, or certificate to their students who excel let’s say in a particular subject or sport just to appreciate and boost their student’s confidence.

    1. kat (Post author)

      Thank you Kate!
      Yes, Seed do give out awards and recognition in both academic and non-academic achievements. However, since it is not a traditional type of teaching method, they do not have the “top 10” in class announcement or ranking seen by everyone in the class. Usually parents of the honor students are informed of their kid’s academic class standing during the parent-teacher conference.

  17. Mildred

    Hi Kat! Is your child still in TSMS? I am looking for a school as my child is going to be Gr 1. I am looking for alternatives just in case he will not make it in UPIS.
    How is your son at TSMS now?

    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Mildred! Yes, my son is still in Seed and already in Grade 4. He is doing well the past 4 school years. The school environment fits his personality and he is now more confident. School work is just right for me, and it is easy to talk to teachers for any concerns. Good luck on your big school hunt!


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