Founded in 1823, St. Paul's School (SPS) is one of Asia's oldest public schools. It is located in the town of Darjeeling, in the far north of India. It is home to over 750 Indian and international students from Asia and Europe. The school is run by the Church of North India (CNI) and is led by the rector, who functions as a school principal and resides on the school campus.
The school is divided into primary wing (Classes I-V), junior wing (Classes VI-VIII) and senior wing (Classes IX-XII). The three wings run independent of each other with the primary wing being more independent from the other wings by virtue of having a semi independent campus and slight difference in uniform.
According to the EW C-Fore Survey 2012, SPS retains its position in the elite group of the 15 Best Residential Schools in the country and is the No.2 school in the stae of West Bengal. On 17 March 2012, SPS was formally recognised as an HCL DigiSchool, the first residential public school in India to attain this recognition.
The school buildings house comfortably over 250 boys in the senior wing over 220 in junior wing and 150 boys in the primary wing. The present size of the school is maintained, since to increase numbers excessively would jeopardize one of St. Paul's educational principles, namely, the importance of maintaining individual relationship between teacher and pupil.
The school also has its own gymnasium, a cricket and athletics ground, two other playing fields, and courts for tennis, badminton, basketball, volleyball, squash and Eton Fives.
There is a central library and separate libraries for the primary wing & junior wing, each stocked with books chosen carefully to match the required reading standards.
Hostel: Hostel facility is available.
The English medium institution is affiliated to the council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and prepares students for the ICSE exams in the class X and ISC in the class XII.
There have been changes that have been brought about in the last few years with respect to the teaching methodology for smaller children. In each class section there are about twenty-five boys. In keeping to this standard, mere textbook instruction gives way to individual guidance, and individual needs are accented. The aim of the curriculum is to provide a good, all-round education with specialization at a later date. There are four classes in the senior wing.
Extra curricular: The school also has good facilities for extra curricular activities like plays, elocutions, debates and piano, violin and sitar classes. There are various hobby clubs and socially-useful productive work programs which develop manual, artistic and technical skills; societies representing a wide range of intellectual interests also meet regularly. These are all run by the boys under the supervision of masters. In the senior wing, the hobbies that are encouraged are art and craft, Batik, Indian and Western music, model-making, photography, wood and lathe work, cybernetics, Textile design, cooking.
From time to time the school sends candidates for the music and speech examinations of the Trinity Guildhall School of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London.
The major games are cricket, football and hockey. Tennis, badminton, table-tennis, squash, basketball and volleyball are also played and there are short seasons for athletics and cross-country running.
Parents desiring admission for their sons are required to complete the registration form and return it to the school office. The registration fee is not refundable nor constitutes any assurance.
Entrance tests / interviews are held in August and sometimes in December. Places, subject to availability, will be offered on the basis of the written tests / interviews at the exclusive discretion of the school.
The school year normally begins in early March and extends to the last week of November / early December. The year is divided into three terms with short breaks in May /June and September / October.
During these short holidays a boy may stay out of the school with parents, relations or friends provided that permission has been obtained from the rector. All boys must return to school by 4.00 p.m. on the last day of these holidays.
Fees: approx 2-3 lakh per annum.
According to the EW C-Fore Survey 2011, SPS retains its position in the elite group of the 10 Best Residential Schools in the country and is the Best Residential School in Eastern India for the year 2010-2011. On 17 March 2012, SPS was formally recognised as an HCL DigiSchool, the first residential public school in India to attain this recognition.