As a parent to a toddler, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to know more about schools and their programs because I know that very soon we would have to decide where to enrol her. When I was given the invitation to attend the Family Day of PAREF Woodrose School in Ayala Alabang, I just couldn’t pass up the chance because of the great things I’ve heard about the school.
Last Saturday, PAREF Woodrose School in Alabang held its Family Day at their school grounds in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa. As I waited outside the gates for my fellow moms to arrive, I was amazed at the rush of people coming for registration.
Daddies, Mommies, Kuyas, Ates and even some of the helpers were all wearing the same color shirts, probably to support their child/sister/ward’s team. It’s interesting how such a small detail, can really show support and unity in the family.
As soon as I enter the gates, the smell of freshly cut grass and the morning dew made me feel so comfortable. Sometimes I feel we’re so surrounded with busy city life that the smell of grass is a luxury. Thankfully, since PAREF Woodrose School is a 2-hectare lot located inside the Ayala Alabang Village, there is an abundance of greens everywhere. I also notice a lot of colored tents lining the grounds, they are just perfect for families to stay at while watching their kids roam and play during the Family Day since it is a whole day event.
While we were being given the brief tour of the grounds, we could see groups of students practicing their routines. We were told that the first event of the day was the Cheerleading Competition participated in by ALL of the students (yes, not just by a select few). There were 4 main colors, Red, Blue, Gold, and Green. Just like in Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat, each student is assigned a color as soon as they enrol in PAREF Woodrose and any future sibling or relative will be assigned the same color as well. Now that is something new to me, why? When I was still in grade school, my siblings and I were almost always assigned different teams when it comes to our Family Day. Our parents really had no choice but to dress differently and participate in events separately. With this idea from Woodrose, they’ll be sure that the parents and relatives are solid in supporting just one team.
Anyway, below are some pictures from the Cheering Competition. I love how they were able to make students from Grade 1 to the Seniors in High School work together, dancing and cheering. The small children really looked so cute dancing their hearts out and there were even 2 children from the Gold Team who did one-handed cartwheels (1st picture below). The video below was a shot I took that showed how the Grade 1 students (or Grade 2, not sure) were dancing with the HS students. It’s just waaaay too cute!
(More pictures to be uploaded in a separate album/page so please check back soon!)
After the Cheering Competition, we were led to the Flea Market. The Flea Market was organized and participated in by the parents of the students. There were household items, kitchen items, vanity items, clothes for adults and kids, and of course… TOYS!
After our trip (and a little spending) in their Flea Market, we had a chance to interact with some of the faculty and staff of Woodrose, as well as some parents and chosen students. The AVP below is a brief overview of PAREF Woodrose (School for Girls) by the school’s Executive Director, Ms. Delia Udani as well as a slideshow of the other information emphasized during the briefing.
PAREF or Parents for Education Foundation, is a non-stock, non-profit organization of parents. It all started with the ideal of parents who embraced the responsibility as the primary educators of their children. The parents saw the need for schools that can partner with them in the total integral education and proper upbringing of their child. As mentioned by Ms. Udani in the presentation, the 3 pillars that set Woodrose Education apart from all other schools are: Academic Excellence, Character Building, and Home-School Collaboration. These three pillars were the main topic of our discussion.
Having one of the most rigorous and challenging curricula by adapting the Singapore Math and Science Curriculum, the students are continuously challenged. But aside from the formal education, PAREF Woodrose also has a mentoring system for all students. Each student is assigned a mentor as soon as they enroll. With a population of 1,040, PAREF Woodrose now has about 80-90 mentors that look after all the students.
Having a mentor is not just like having a tutor. In PAREF Woodrose, it also helps each student in Character Building. Establishing Mutual Trust with their mentors enable the both the students and mentors to discuss not just the academics but everything else relating to the child. Yes, even family matters especially if it affects the child’s education (more of this later in Home-School collaboration). Also, even though PAREF Woodrose is a School for Girls, the school promotes socio-civic activities as well as inter-school activities through their organizations (debate, varsities, etc.) that enable the students to interact with the opposite sex, as well as other students and people from all walks of life.
When asked about meeting “boys”, Melisse Yutuc, a 4th year student, Volleyball varsity member and class president says: “At Woodrose, we are trained to be good speakers and communicators.” This is an edge for these girls because they have no qualms about approaching anyone, be it boys or otherwise because they know how to handle themselves.
Aside from the Mentoring System, PAREF Woodrose also pioneered Home-School Collaboration. Since the PAREF organization started with the ideal that education and the upbringing of children should be integrated, the school gives very high importance to Parent involvement. In fact, parents meet with their daughter’s mentor several times a year to work together towards the child’s total development through a “unity of goals” between the home and the school.
I had a short chat with Ms. Menchie Gamboa, a parent to a seventh grader at Woodrose, and Home-School Collaboration is basically what she stressed about when I asked her what the benefits are in letting her daughter attend PAREF Woodrose. ”Woodrose was able to capture a critical mass of parents who wants to be involved as well as align family values with education.” She further adds that, ”The change brought about by the school system, was not in the child, but more on the parents as we engage in deliberate parenting.”
Since she knew that I was also on the lookout for a school for my little girl, she gave me this advice: “There is no perfect school. It is the parents’ duty to expose their child to the world outside of school. That is not the school’s job anymore but the role of the parents.” But because they too learn from the school system through active involvement in their childrens’ activities and through the school’s mentoring system, they can apply deliberate parenting to try to balance their childrens’ lives in and out of school.
So if you’re like me, who’s considering PAREF Woodrose as a school for your girls, below is their Admission Procedure.
1. Submission of all required documents
- Accomplished Parents’ Information Sheet
- NSO Certified Parents’ Marriage Contract *
- NSO Certified Student’s Birth Certificate *
- Original and photocopy of Student’s Baptismal Certificate
- Report Card
- 2 x 2 pictures (2 copies)
- Recommendation form accomplished by the Guidance and Testing Office of the previous school
- Recommendation form accomplished by the Class Adviser and Registrar of the previous school
* For foreign documents, Original and Photocopy of the Marriage Contract of the Parents / Original and Photocopy of the Student’s Birth Certificate. Original Documents will be returned to the Parents.
2. Parental Attendance at the Orientation for Parents
3. Interviews and Testing
- Parents are interviewed by a PAREF representative
- Student takes an assessment test
- Student is interviewed by the Level Coordinator
4. It is following this procedure that a Letter of Notice is prepared and mailed to the parents
For more information, please contact the School Registrar, Mrs. Rose Dumlao at 850-6380 to 83 local 111.
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