School Profile

Good Shepherd International School, Ooty

Founded in 1977 by visionary educationists Dr. P.C. and Elsamma Thomas, the fully residential co-ed Good Shepherd International School (GSIS) sprawls over 180 acres in the salubrious hill station of Ootacamund (aka Ooty), nationally famous for its lakes, waterfalls and verdant tea estates sited 7,300 ft above mean sea level. GSIS’ thoroughly contemporary junior and senior school campuses — Fernhill and Palada — provide its 800 K-12 students a holistic education experience on a par with the finest boarding schools of the world.

Affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), Delhi, Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), UK and International Baccalaureate (IB), Geneva examination boards, GSIS has acquired an excellent reputation for providing a rigorous academic programme complemented by world-class co-curricular education facilities. In the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2017-18, GSIS is ranked India’s #2 wholly residential international school, and top ranked on the parameters of infrastructure provision, safety and hygiene, and life skills education and conflict management.

GSIS LeaderS

Dr. P.C. Thomas, Promoter-Principal  

A science, education, and English postgraduate of Kerala University with a doctorate in education management from the Pacific Columbia University, California, Dr. Thomas promoted GSIS four decades ago with the objective of establishing a globally benchmarked wholly residential school in India. A highly-respected educationist and conservationist, in 1983 Dr. Thomas was invited to devise a Master Plan for the re-organisation and rejuvenation of Ooty (pop. 88,000), and serves on the board of directors of Rotary International. Among the numerous awards conferred upon Dr. Thomas for his contributions to Indian K-12 education are the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Human Excellence; the Arch of Europe Gold Star Award by Imagen Arte, Spain, and the National Dhishana Award in 2002.



Elsamma Thomas, Senior Vice President and Principal Good Shepherd Finishing School  

A science graduate with a postgraduate degree in business administration, Elsamma Thomas is co-founder and vice-president of the Good Shepherd Group of Institutions. Elsamma is also the incumbent principal of the Good Shepherd Finishing School, which under her leadership has developed into one of the world’s top finishing schools for young women. She has contributed greatly to advancement of education in the Nilgiris and is a recipient of the National Mahila Excellence Award and Bharat Vikas Award of the International Business Council. 

Campus Infrastructure 

The school’s motto Truth, Trust, Triumph inspires students to develop into leaders committed to making positive contributions in all walks of life. To fulfill this objective, an impressive, eco-friendly campus featuring prize-winning rose gardens was conceptualised and designed by award-winning architect Sunil Kumar, an alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. GSIS’ neo-classical Doric-influenced campuses host state-of-the-art sports complexes, hospitals, dormitories, housing for all teachers, a finishing school for girls, a dairy with 200 head of cattle and a 70-acre organic farm.

Nationally acclaimed for its superior infrastructure and meticulous landscaping, GSIS is spread across the Fernhill (40 acres) campus, including the fully-refurbished summer palace of the former Maharajah of Baroda which hosts primary (grade I-VI) students. The Palada campus (140 acres) hosts middle, high and higher secondary students. Both campuses are self-contained and offer state-of-the-art academic and co-curricular education facilities.

Separate vegan and non-vegetarian kitchens prepare a mix of Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines which are served in separate veg/non-veg dining halls with capacity to seat 1,000. The school is self-sufficient with its own baking unit and organic farm producing 12,000 eggs and 700 litres of milk per day in addition to fresh vegetables and poultry.

Pastoral Care 
Students of this fully residential co-educational school are housed in 26 dorms and suites, with indoor games facilities and common rooms equipped with television and music systems. Well-trained dorm parents, dieticians and doctors/resident nurses care for students’ well-being.

GSIS’ well-stocked library houses over 50,000 reference books, and subscribes to 110 Indian and international journals and periodicals. The fully-wired library of the Palada campus offers CDs, DVDs and 30 Kindle readers through which students can access 1,000 fiction titles and 15,000 reference books.

Students learn in ergonomically designed classrooms fitted with Smart boards, and all class VI-XII students are provided laptops and computers. The teacher-pupil ratio is a healthy 1:4.

The school’s two campuses house six computer labs with 150 desktop computers for academic and supplementary learning.

GSIS lives up to its name and is a truly international school with students from over 40 countries. 




Top Universities Placements

Over the past four decades, GSIS students have been welcomed into top-ranked higher education institutions in India and abroad including Stanford, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Columbia universities in the US; Cambridge, Warwick, Edinburgh, London School of Economics, King’s College and Imperial College in the UK; and BITS, Pilani, National Law School, Vellore Institute of Technology and Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India.

Co-curricular Activities

Ranked among the Top 5 nationally on the parameter of co-curricular education in the EW India School Rankings 2017-18, GSIS offers arguably the most extensive music and arts programme of any school countrywide. Every student is obliged to learn one string or percussion instrument mentored by highly-qualified faculty who tutor students in 17 musical arts including piano, violin, guitar, drums, saxophone, trumpet, flute, cello, mridangam, veena and tabla.



283 GSIS students took TCL’s practical music exam and 450 students wrote the music theory exam in 2015 in wind, string, and percussion instruments as well as piano and keyboard. GSIS is an officially approved centre for conducting theory and practical music examinations of TCL. 

GSIS students learn a wide range of Indian Classical and folk dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam.

Sports Education

Globally comparable facilities in 20 sports nurture students’ sporting talents. The school’s two campuses offer a 1,000-seat auditorium, open-air Olympic size stadium with an eight-lane 400-metres synthetic track, two athletics grounds, ten tennis courts, rifle shooting range, indoor basketball court, nine-hole golf course, volleyball, hockey, cricket, soccer, mountaineering, yoga and equestrian sports facilities.

GSIS employs 35 experienced coaches to train students in various sporting disciplines. Sports infrastructure includes stables with 30 horses for equestrian training, indoor squash and badminton courts, heated swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course. 

The GSIS football, hockey and basketball teams won the Nilgiris Inter-School Sports Tournament 2015-16.

Class X student Poomdanai Dechawaleekul was declared best athlete at the Ooty Inter-School Athletics Championship 2015.

Visitors Comments 

“A pleasure to be in this remarkable school, set in such picturesque surroundings, with its exceptional world-class facilities and all-round excellence.” Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament 

“What a memorable visit and what an exceptional school! The meticulous attention to academic excellence is matched by an inspiring range of extra-curricular activities.”

William Bickerdike, former South Asia Regional Head, Cambridge Assessment International Education

Admission & fees

The K-12 Good Shepherd International School is a wholly residential, co-educational school. The school admits students in classes II-IX and class XI. 
Tuition fees (per year): Rs.6.10-15 lakh.
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(Excerpted and adapted from Future-Ready Schools of the New Millennium, 2017)