Perched on a hill in the town of Kottayam, Kerala is Pallikoodam, a school par excellence. It is the brainchild of Mrs Mary Roy its founder and creator. She is responsible for nurturing and growing the school from its humble beginnings in 1967 to what it is today – one of the finest schools in India. She was the Principal of the school from inception till 2011 when she retired. She continues to be our guiding force who spurs us on to conquer new challenges.

In her words: “Now I live a leisurely life. I work when I want to, I see people when I can. I rest a lot. I dream a lot ! In fact, I tore up my card that said;

Mary Roy

I made myself a new card that read

Mary Roy
Dreamer, Educationalist


How it all started…

In an interview, Mrs Mary Roy was asked why she started Corpus Christi now Pallikoodam.

Her Answer:


“I was thirty and was clueless about the profession that I wanted to pursue. Suddenly what jolted me was this incident. My son was seven years old, studying in grade II of Lushington, a British school in Ooty. He came home every day with pieces of handwork, drawings, or a few lines written on half sheets of paper. There was never any homework. He was a happy child. However, he began identifying himself as a Britisher and talked about ‘those Indian children’. This made me realise that I must change schools. I admitted him to Breeks High School. On the first day, he came home carrying a bag with sixteen notebooks and ten textbooks and put them down on the floor and wept! This was my first glimpse of what was wrong with education in India. I got permission to observe the junior classes at Lushington. Studies were low-key, self-learning was encouraged with discussion and lots of activity. It was understood that games were just as important as regular classes. The Lushington boys were confident, sturdy and absorbed their lessons to a point that equipped them for life. Their Indian counterparts were overburdened with textbook knowledge and lacked self-esteem. This reinforced my resolve that my destiny was to become a school teacher. The only way was to start my own school where I would be the board and the principal. That’s how I started Corpus Christi with seven students in a hall leased from the Rotary Club of Kottayam.”


The school grew in reputation and stature and it was time to look for new premises. In 1972, Mary Roy with the help of the parents raised the finance to buy 5 acres of land in Kalathipady, Kottayam. It was lucky that she stumbled upon renowned architect and low-cost builder, Laurie Baker. He designed and built her the most beautiful school for fraction of what it would have cost otherwise.

The first batch of ICSE students passed out in 1979 and that of the ISC in 1985.

The subsequent decades were very tempestuous and eventful. More land was bought adjacent to the existing premises and a large number of new buildings came up. Remarkable progress was made at the academic level. Innovations in the education system involved focus on the environment, extra-curricular activities, new buildings for sports activities and international exchange programmes with schools in Australia, USA and Denmark.

The school’s reputation grew for other reasons too.

In 1984 Mrs Roy challenged the Travancore Christian Succession Act of 1916.
In 1986, She won the case in the Supreme Court. Twenty-five years later she was able to inherit the property which was rightfully hers.

In 1990, the play ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ that was ready to be staged in school was banned. In December 2015 the play was finally performed in the school auditorium after twenty-five years of legal battle.

In 1997, Mary Roy’s daughter, Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize for her book, ‘The God of Small Things’.

In the year 1999, the name of the school was changed from Corpus Christi to Pallikoodam.
Malayalam was adopted as a medium of instruction up to Class II.

Mrs Mary Roy retired as Principal of the school in 2011.
June Jose took over from Mrs Roy as Principal and retired after three years of service.

School Administration

L.K.C. Roy                  Honorary Secretary

Mary Roy Jr.             Additional Secretary (General Administration) & Treasurer

June Jose                   Administrator

Mariamma Paul      Principal

Bindu Nair                Vice Principal

Mrs Sneha Zachariah who has been with the school since its inception retired as Vice-Principal and continues to serve the school as an Educational Consultant.

A School with a difference……that’s what Pallikoodam is. It restricts its student strength to 500, maintains a high teacher to student ratio and imparts wholesome education that focuses on bringing out the best in each child.

According to the annual Education World India School Rankings (EWISR) survey, Pallikoodam has been ranked the Number One School in Kerala and Fourth in India in the Day cum Boarding category.


News and Events

View all