Woodstock School: Mussoorie, India

Mussoorie, India

Woodstock School: Mussoorie, India

Price Range ₤ 0-20,000 per annum


Woodstock is an English-medium school that teaches all Grades from K to 12 under a curriculum that leads to the Indian Mark Sheet and the American High School Diploma. We offer a range of Advanced Placement Examinations, approved by the US College Board, and UK Cambridge IGCSE examinations. The school year begins in August and extends to June of the next year. The long holiday comes in winter, from mid-December to early February. The academic year is divided into quarters. Students are expected to return home for the summer and winter holidays and parents are encouraged, when possible, to visit Woodstock during the four-day quarter breaks in October and April. Academic reports are sent to parents following each quarter, and parent-teacher meetings are held on the first day of school following each quarter break.
Year of foundation:
Some history:

In 1854, a company of British officers and two American missionaries, formed in Dehradun, opened the "Protestant Girls' School" in Cainville House, Mussoorie. Two years later, the school moved to its current location, and in 1862, the institution became known as Woodstock School. In 1872, following a short period of closure, members of the board of foreign missions of the Presbyterian Church, USA, purchased the school and re-opened it primarily, though not exclusively, as a school for children with missionary parents.

Near the end of the century, Woodstock functioned mainly as a finishing school for girls, though boys up to the age of 12 attended. It was during this period that Woodstock acquired additional classrooms, teachers' quarters, dining and assembly halls, an infirmary, art studio and a music annexe.

1901 saw the elevation of Woodstock into a college. Through affiliation with Allahabad University, young women could obtain a two year First Arts (FA) degree, and in 1910, a BA degree was also offered. In addition to these degrees, a teacher training programme recognised by the Uttar Pradesh Education Department was established in 1907. Though these programmes declined during World War I and eventually dissolved, the architectural and residential growth achieved during this time carried a lasting impact into the next century.

With the 1922 arrival of joint principals Revd Allen E Parker and his wife, Irene, Woodstock saw major changes. The school was remade into an interdenominational, co-educational, multi-racial, and multi-national boarding and day school, offering a programme of study starting with lower kindergarten and concluding with either senior Cambridge credentials or the equivalent of an American high school diploma. Academic and co-curricular programmes were significantly bolstered, and Woodstock's emphasis on outdoor education and exploration was established and secured. Construction during this period included high school departments and laboratories, manual training and home economics facilities, a library, a full auditorium, an athletic playground, and the boys' hostel to accommodate a rapid influx of male student enrollment.

In the 1930s, a focus on school athletics also prompted the construction of a sports field. Because of the war, the early '40s brought a rapid increase of students to the school, primarily students of British parents as well as students from China. The late 1940s proved to be a time of high staff turnover and low finances, but Woodstock's educational and co-curricular programming continued to advance. In 1959, Woodstock was the third high school outside North America and the first school in Asia to receive US accreditation through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. During the 1960s, Indian music classes were introduced, as were cross-cultural courses in social studies, literature, art, and religion. Indian universities became more accepting of the Woodstock Diploma. The Woodstock "Package Programme" came into being with eight students from the US originally taking part.

From the late 1960s through the 1970s, Woodstock experienced a period of rapid change, re-thinking its composition, purpose, and philosophy as an institution. The school consciously shifted its focus from that of a missionary school to a school consisting of an international student body, staff and curriculum, with a strong Indian cultural component, and with a continuing commitment to its Christian heritage. The Cambridge course, which had been dropped earlier from the curriculum, was replaced by the General Certificate of Education (London). During the late '70s there was also a marked influx of students for whom English was not a first language, and an English as a Second Language (ESL) program was established in 1978 for Grades 1 through 11.

In 1990, the Association of Indian Universities recognised the Woodstock Diploma as being equivalent to the Indian school-leaving examination, thus allowing graduates to enter Indian universities with greater ease. The most far-reaching and progressive innovation was the programme for computer education, funded in 1986 by American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), which also funded construction of the Media Centre, opened in 1993.

In December of 2002, the school was ranked as the #2 residential school in the country by Outlook Magazine. During 2004, Woodstock completed its application for continuing accreditation with MSA under the Accreditation For Growth protocol, for the K-12 programme. This coincided with the school's 150th anniversary, celebrated by the return of hundreds of alumni from around the world for an October festival. An important addition to the school's programme also came in October 2004 with the opening of the Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study.

In recent years, Woodstock has placed a priority on its academic programming with renovations to classrooms and laboratories, the introduction of contemporary classes such as environmental sciences, and an increase in the number of US Colleges Advanced Placement examinations offered to and taken by seniors. 

In 2009, the school saw two further major investments in its facilities with the complete renovation of the boys' hostel and the construction of a large, fully-equipped gymnasium. Plans are in hand for the refurbishment and reconstruction of other school facilities with the intention that Woodstock should maintain its place at the forefront of international education in South Asia. Woodstock has been ranked as #1 international school in India for three out of four years (2008, 2009 and 2011) in Education World magazine.

Campus size and facilities: Which countries are represented among Woodstock students? Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, S. Korea, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan ROC, Thailand, Tibet, UK, USA, Vietnam.

Contact school: contact-us

Website: www.woodstockschool.in

Rolling or fixed admission date? Rolling

About the school

Long description:

Woodstock is a Christian school with a long tradition of openness in matters of spiritual life and religious practice. Today, the openness to which we aspire enables our students to reflect on, freely debate, understand and come to their own conclusions about matters of religious belief and spiritual practice, to develop their own moral and ethical values, as well as to leave school with a deep understanding of the beliefs and values of others. It is our belief that, in this way, we can model for our students an experience of life in which individuals from very different backgrounds, traditions and systems of belief can live together in peace, harmony and mutual endeavour, recognising their common humanity, their position of privilege and their responsibility for themselves, for one another and for the world.

These attitudes and values are stated clearly in our mission statement and statement of beliefs and values. From this flows an institutional position regarding religious life that is intentionally and positively welcoming, inclusive and supportive of the diversity of belief and practice within the student body, while also recognising a unique position for the Christian faith that is part of our historic and contemporary status as a minority institution within India. Our intention is to maintain the essential Christian character of the school while also living with sincere respect for the diversity that is to be found within our community.

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Woodstock School is one of the elite residential schools in India. Woodstock School was founded in 1854, and for the majority of its history primarily served the needs of missions and families engaged in social service in India. This heritage continues today in the school’s commitment to values of excellence, personal responsibility and service. Woodstock aims to develop responsible global citizens and leaders by providing a world-class international education, rooted in its Christian heritage and values, for a diverse group of students, especially from families in Christian or public service, in an Indian Himalayan environment. The School provides education for students aged 3 to 18, although boarding is only available to students from grade 3 onwards. Woodstock has an international reputation for excellence, as demonstrated by the fact that the majority of its students come from countries other than India.

Dorm Facilities: Residence life Football at Hanson Field. A dance in the new Hostel Common Room. A hike to Pepperpot Cave. Debating world issues in the Model UN. Basketball in the gym. Planting trees on the hillside. Concocting a meal together in the dorm. Student life at Woodstock School is rich and full.

Many of our alumni regard the years spent sharing their lives with friends from other cultures, countries and religions as among their most formative. Residence life is eating, working and playing together; building relationships; sharing Maggi noodles and just hanging out. Residence staff are there to help that growth — from sponging cuts and drying tears, to sitting late into the night exploring life issues. Follow the links to read about the various residences, and the staff who work there.


A ten-minute walk above the academic area with a spectacular view of the Doon Valley, Edgehill Dorm is comfortably situated in the Landour hills of Mussoorie. It is currently home to 43 boys and girls from Grades 3-6.
Community Centre

Opened in February 2000, the newly-renovated building lies about five-minutes' walk above the main campus, and is currently home to Grade 6 boys.
Alter Ridge

A four-storied round building, this residence is a distinctive landmark on the Woodstock campus. Grade 7-9 girls live on its three floors and love the cozy and homely feeling its circular shape brings.

Ridgewood houses boys of Grades 7-9, approximately 90 in all. This residence is located below the school, next to the Grades 7-9 girls' residence.

Sitting on the crest of a hill, this 170-year-old landmark was transformed in 2003 into a very modern and luxuriously furnished accommodation for 132 girls from Grades 10-12.

Hostel has recently undergone a complete renovation and now houses boys from Grades 10-12.

Academic life

What we offer? The Senior School has about 400 students from Grades 7-12. Over the six years in Senior School, students obtain required credits in English, Health, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physical Education, Religious Education, Sciences, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts and Electives. Grade 9 students are required to take all the listed subjects, some of which prepare students for the Cambridge IGCSE examination taken at the end of Grade 10. Grade 10 students take IGCSE courses in Mathematics, English, Science (Biology or Chemistry) and History, and also courses in Physical Education and Religious Education (for one semester). In Grades 11 and 12 students are required to take English, Math, Religious Education, Computer Applications and Health, and may select all their other courses according to their wishes and plans for the future, keeping in mind any requirements for college admission. Students completing course requirements by the end of Grade 12 are awarded a High School Diploma in a formal graduation ceremony that is a respected tradition at Woodstock. Senior School students are divided into Advisor Groups, each one with eight to twelve students from the same grade. The Advisor is a faculty member who keeps a friendly eye on students and provides academic or relational counseling and support. Advisors interact with residence and administrative staff regarding student concerns as needed. Apart from regular weekly meetings, Advisor Groups get together socially once or twice a semester in order to help foster positive relationships between students and staff. The Junior School includes Preschool, Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 6. About 100 students are in the Junior School programme. Children who will be five years old by July 31 are eligible for entrance into Kindergarten during August of the same year. Classes are intentionally kept smaller than at other levels of the school, creating a closer teacher-student relationship and a good environment for academic success. The Preschool programme is for children who are at least 3 years old. Boarding students are accepted from Grade 3. Junior School students have one classroom teacher for major subjects (English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science, and Social Studies). For the minor subjects (Art, Hindi, Library Skills, Music, Computer Studies and Physical Education), the teacher is assisted by specialists. Students are introduced to computers and may begin private lessons on a musical instrument as early as Grade 4, depending on the space available. They take part in all-school activities appropriate to their age and ability, from environmental and community outreach projects to hikes, India Week, Activity Week and all-school assemblies. Students are required to participate regularly in sports and be a member of a club for at least a semester. Students also have opportunities to take part in intramural and inter-school sports like basketball, cricket, football, athletics and cross-country races. On the weekends, there are gym nights, movies, concerts, skits and quizzes. The core subjects in the Junior School are English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. These subjects, along with Religious Education, are taught by regular classroom teachers. The other subjects, including Hindi, Library Skills, Computer Skills, Music, Art and Physical Education are taught by specialists

Number of teachers and their qualifications: .

Sport and culture

Sport Facilities: Football at Hanson Field. A dance in the new Hostel Common Room. A hike to Pepperpot Cave. Debating world issues in the Model UN. Basketball in the gym. Planting trees on the hillside. Concocting a meal together in the dorm. Student life at Woodstock School is rich and full. The eagerly awaited world-class gymnasium at Woodstock School was unveiled to the school's students, staff, board members, alumni and other distinguished guests at a gala event held at the gym in September 2009. The multi-level building spanning more than 26,000 square feet was dedicated to Win Mumby, a former student and teacher at the school. The gymnasium boasts modern, world-class facilities that mark it as one of the finest school gymnasia in all of the country. Built by the generosity of funds donated to the school by its alumni, including members of the Mumby family, the gym features a full-size basketball court with rollaway bleachers, volleyball facility on the court, mini basketball court, squash court, large climbing wall room, fitness gym, gymnastics room, table tennis room, equipment store, administrative offices, and two classrooms to teach theory or watch game tapes. The climbing wall at the gym is a particular highlight, helping to enhance Woodstock's focus on outdoor education. The challenge in designing the gym was to see that the mammoth size of the structure should not stand out and dwarf the other buildings as part of the Woodstock campus. It had to offer a wide range of sporting facilities within the constraints of the flat space available on the hillside. It was ensured that these facilities were world-class, while retaining the look and feel of the Woodstock character. Over 250 tons of structural steel was used in the construction of the gym. Many of the steel members were over 12 metres long and weighed 150 kgs each. All the stone work seen in the gym has utilised stones taken from the ground under the gym itself. The gym structure has been designed to withstand earthquakes up to 6.5 on the Richter scale. The need to create a larger footprint, to accommodate all the gym's facilities, meant that the structure had to be of a unique counter-balanced design to allow for the cantilevered slabs to project over the south and west side of the mountain. To achieve this, there is more cubic volume of concrete hidden under the floor of the gym than the entire structure that is visible within the gym The total area of the gym structure is 26,000 square feet and was constructed in 12 months at a cost of just under US$ 2 million. The facilities in the Gym include 1 full size regulation basketball court. 1 practice basketball court 1 volleyball court 3 badminton courts 1 squash court Indoor soccer 4 table tennis tables 3 climbing walls Karate, judo, wrestling Fitness room fully equipped for cardio, strength and functional sports training Gymnastics/play area for Junior School 2 fully equipped classrooms with Smart Board technology 4 locker room and restroom facilities with 24 showers, 17 WCs, 16 handwash sinks and 104 lockers The gym can accommodate 650 people for viewing of games on the main show court, and up to 1,300 people for other functions/ceremonies such as graduation. Special acoustic and thermal insulation has been installed as a lining along the entire roof. The entire gym has wi-fi connectivity. Besides serving as a platform for sporting events and PE classes, the gym has also been used for other activities such as hosting the vertical dance troupe Project Bandaloop, holding PSAT and SAT examinations, and hosting the All-School Christmas Chapel. Larger events such as the graduation ceremony are also held at the gymnasium.
What we offer? Athletics Badminton Basketball Cricket Cross-Country Field Hockey Fitness Football Rock-Climbing Squash Swimming Table Tennis Volleyball
Culture and arts:

Woodstock is renowned for the strength and depth of its music programme. Woodstock students have many opportunities to learn and grow in their musicianship through our classroom music courses, performance ensembles and private instruction. Student involvement in band, orchestra, choir, Indian music and private instruction is subject to a placement audition. This audition allows the music faculty the opportunity to determine which instrument and ensemble would best suit a student’s talents and schedule.

Classroom music courses, which help to build a student’s knowledge of music, are compulsory for Grades ECP to 8, and optional courses, such as choir, are available for Grades 7 -12. Private instruction is highly competitive and is subject to availability. Lessons are offered first to returning students, then to new students with prior learning, then to beginning students. Waitlists are available for all instruments, but may require a student to wait at least one school year before there is space available. Frequent recitals encourage performance from an early stage of expertise. Students playing in an ensemble will perform once per semester at the music department concerts which usually occur in November and May. Students who excel in individual lessons have the option of taking a performance exam for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, held each fall at the school. Expert individual instruction is available for piano, strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, voice, classical guitar and Indian classical instruments. Visiting performers often hold master classes within many of these disciplines throughout the school year. 

Over 60 percent of Woodstock students participate in private lessons and ensembles. The Indian music programme includes not only instrumental instruction, but also traditional singing. Frequent recitals and concerts encourage performance from an early stage of expertise.

Musical instruction begins in Grade 3, with the option of studying piano or one of the four major orchestral string instruments. Instruction begins for voice, Indian music, classical guitar, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments in Grade 6. Woodstock School has an ensemble-centred programme rather than being a virtuoso or exam-centred conservatory.

The Advanced Band, Advanced Orchestra, and Senior School Choir are the three cores around which the music department revolves. Out of these ensembles radiate the other ensembles, including four levels of string ensemble, three levels of band, three choirs of progressive levels, jazz band, jazz combos and chamber groups. The private lessons and ABRSM examination programme [External Link] feed the quality of the ensembles by preparing strong musicians.

Classroom Music

The development of musical skills and knowledge in General Music not only helps reinforce fundamental life skills such as movement, steady beat, and singing, but also helps students learn the basics of music reading, playing instruments in a group, and appreciating different aspects of music as a listener.
Indian Classical Music

Sitar, tabla, santoor, classical Indian guitar, or classical Indian voice.

Opportunities to study and enjoy singing.
String Instruments

Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Double Bass.
Band Instruments

Brass, woodwind and percussion.

Opportunities to study piano.
Western Classical Guitar

A popular choice, with competition for places.

Summer Programs

Studies Abroad for Global Education The SAGE Program offers high school students the opportunity to spend a semester or a year studying at Woodstock. For more information, visit their website. Woodstock's Gap Semester in the Himalaya Studying Indian culture, learning to communicate in Hindi, trekking up snow peaks in Garhwal, exploring the picturesque settlements of Kaza, stumbling across millennia-old monasteries, spotting tigers in Corbett National Park, white-water rafting on the Ganges--there is something for every true adventurer in the Woodstock Gap Semester in the Himalaya. Visit the Gap Semester pages.

Why Should You Choose this School?

What students say?

"My parents wanted me to study here and have a good relationship with other countries. They wanted me to be a good person and do some things for society as I can. But if I want to do those then I have to study English because English will be used for all the countries in the world. I want to learn the difference from each country and give those differences to my country to make a good country of the world." (Vietnamese student)

"When I was small I didn't really like going out with my mother, because in Japan only I was different with the other children (in my school). But for coming here nothing to worry about which country my parents are. So I became little changed. I'm really thankful for came here and now I don't feel shy or nervous for playing, or out for shopping with my family." (Indian/Japanese student)



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Woodstock School: Mussoorie, India - Your boarding school in Mussoorie


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