Institution Profile

Assam Valley School, Balipara

Ranked among the Top 5 co-ed boarding schools of India, AVS is setting new benchmarks in providing world-class education to the growing middle class population of the seven sister states of the North-East

Sited across an expansive 235-acre green campus nestled within immaculately manicured tea gardens in Asom’s (formerly Assam) Sonitpur district, the state-of-the-art Assam Valley School (AVS, estb. 1995) has steadily established itself as North-East India’s premier co-educational residential school. In the latest EducationWorld India School Rankings 2015, AVS is ranked #1 in the North-East and among the Top 5 co-ed boarding schools countrywide.

Offering contemporary infrastructure, high-quality faculty, modern IT-enabled pedagogies, excellent pastoral care and a plethora of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, since it was promoted 21 years ago with the objective of “training young minds for citizenship in a globally connected world”, AVS has set new standards in holistic boarding school education.

Currently this class V-XII school has an enrolment of 832 pupils, including 322 girls, mentored by 96 teachers on its muster rolls, and offers the curriculum of the Delhi-based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. A member institution of the London-based International Round Square Movement and the Indian Public Schools’ Conference, AVS is an eclectic blend of British-inspired boarding schools and India’s new genre international secondaries.

Promoted by the Williamson Magor Education Trust, AVS admitted its first batch of 162 pupils in 1995. The Williamson Magor/Russel McLeod Group is the world’s largest producer of high-quality teas (100 million kg per year) and owns 65 tea estates in India (Asom, West Bengal) and abroad (Vietnam, Uganda and Rwanda). Some of the country’s most reputed business leaders and academics constitute the school’s governing board. Among them: B.M. Khaitan (chairman, Williamson Magor), David Summerscale (former headmaster, Westminster School, UK), and Abha Adams (former director, The Sri Ram School, Delhi).

“The prime objective of AVS is to provide world-class school education to the growing middle class population of the seven sister states of North-East India. I am satisfied that over the past two decades, AVS has not only attained this objective, but has also emerged as the region’s #1 boarding school setting new benchmarks in secondary education,” says Sonya Ghandy Mehta, head of AVS. A psychology and special needs education graduate of Mumbai and SNDT universities, and the University of San Diego, USA, Ghandy Mehta brings an impressive teaching and administrative record to her latest assignment, having served with the top-ranked The Shri Ram School, Gurgaon (2001-2004) and Indus International School, Bangalore (2004-2013), prior to being appointed head of AVS in September 2013.

According to Ghandy Mehta, AVS’ raison d’etre is provision of deeply-rooted holistic education to the school’s students. “Our focus is not merely on academics but on delivering a 360 degree immersive learning experience which develops the multiple intelligences of our students. We ensure that every student spends equal time in the classroom, on the sports field and participates in a range of co-curricular activities. Education at AVS revolves around our critical ‘5 Cs’ — collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication and character building. Our mission is to develop our students into capable, talented, fearless yet humane and sensitive global leaders of tomorrow,” says Mehta.

The school’s emphasis on a robust, comprehensive education has positively impacted students’ academic outcomes. In 2015, of the 103 students who wrote the class X (ICSE) board examination, 42 percent averaged above 90 percent. Likewise, of the 116 students who wrote the ISC (class XII) exam, 46.60 percent averaged 90 percent plus. Unsurprisingly, AVS school-leavers are warmly welcomed by India’s premier undergrad colleges including the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; St. Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi; St. Xavier’s, Mumbai, as well as top-ranked universities abroad.

Yet perhaps the USP of this generously endowed 21st century school, designed by celebrity Delhi-based architect Romi Khosla, is the elaborate provision made for academic, sports and co-curricular activities. The school’s spacious 6,250 sq. ft library is stocked with 18,930 volumes and 67 journal subscriptions; 18 IT-enabled classrooms and three state-of-the-art science laboratories support new-tech aided teaching-learning and eight sound-proof practice rooms are open round the clock for students to learn western and Indian music and dance.

The AVS sports complex houses an Olympic-size swimming pool, three squash courts with a spectators’ gallery, a yoga room and a multi-utility gymnasium. An indoor sports hall hosts four badminton courts, international basketball court and table-tennis facilities while a separate outdoor games area offers four all-weather tennis courts, four volleyball and two basketball courts. The sports pavilion services six large soccer, hockey and cricket fields and a 90-metre archery range plus an eight-lane athletics track. The school also maintains 19 horses for equestrian training, a golf range and a 5.2-km cross-country running natural park.

Although a routine rush for admissions into class V is experienced every year (400 applications for 100 seats), Mehta rules out an increase in student numbers. “Instead, our growth and development plans are centred on improving our infrastructure facilities. We are in the process of drawing up a blueprint for a 1,000-seater amphitheatre and a modern cultural centre with an investment of Rs.1 crore,” she says.


Admission & Fees

The Assam Valley School is a class V-XII co-educational residential school affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. The selection process for admission into class V includes an entrance test and personal interview. Separate residential facilities are provided for girls and boys.
Fees including board and lodging (per year): Rs.3.4-3.55 lakh
For further information e-mail

Paromita Sengupta