9 December 2011

From the Director's Desk

Mr Yuvraj Singh visited the school on 5th December to launch the Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence, the cricket academy hosted at Pathways school. You can read all about it below.
The Month of Sharing
December is our month of sharing and communion with each other. We lay a special focus on what we teach throughout the year – that we live in a community which is strengthened as we grow to know and understand each other and that however many differences there are, it is rewarding to find our commonalities to work and have fun together.
Food Festival
Plans for the children’s food festival are racing ahead with meetings, planning and. Thank you to all the members of the Food Council and to all the volunteers  who have taken on large amounts of cooking for our perennially hungry students. I am sure they will love this. For any queries please contact the coordinator Mrs Leena Bhalla at leena_bhalla@yahoo.com

Day of Sharing
The school support staff – our bhaiyyas, didis, drivers and helpers are in focus for our Day of Sharing on 19th December. They will display their talents in a special show for students. This will be followed by a special lunch for students, teachers and support staff which will be served by our senior school students. As a lead up, students are interviewing and getting to know  the lives and backgrounds of the support staff.

Staff Party
The entire academic and administrative staff of Pathways Noida got together for a staff party at Mozaic in Noida. Loud music, good food and energetic moves on the dance floor promoted the bond that is the heart of a great organisation.

Laurels for Pathways Noida
International Herald Tribune Best Essay
A group of students entered the International Herald Tribune essay writing competition held at the British School. Akanksha Gupta from Form 11 has won first prize for her letter to the French President Mr Sarkozy on the burkha ban. The best articles will be published in the International Herald Tribune booklet so this will be included. The students will also get a chance to interact with New York Times journalists based in India.

National Award for Best Teacher
Our PYP Coordinator  Pramila Sen has received the the  11th NES  Jagadguru Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi National Award Contest for Best Teachers  of the country.  The Award function will be preceded by a National Seminar, where she will present her thoughts and concepts on “Innovative Teachers Create Thinking Classrooms.
Student Activities
A group of 5 students participated in the Interschool Global Art Project for Peace at the British School.
Middle School students visited the Red Fort and learnt about its unique history.
A group of Form 11 students participated in a DPS ICT interschool competition. Angad Dogra received an award for gaming.
The examination period for Form 9 & 11 begins on 12th December.
Notices and Reminders
 This is the last newsletter for this semester. The last day for students is Tuesday 20th December.  The 1st semester Reports will be available for students on 22nd December.
January Timings
 School re-opens for students on Wednesday 18th January. For the month of January in consideration of cold, fog and morning darkness  we will move to special timings.  School will open at 9.40 am and end 10 minutes later at 3.50 pm.
Finally, all good wishes for the holiday season and a very happy new year from everyone at Pathways Noida.
Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Senior School Principal

So often I wonder how inexplicable Nature is- its formidable glory and beauty has been the subject of many a great poet in every era and century....in fact from the birth of time, Nature has never failed to amaze man...  yet remaining only seemingly and partly intelligible to us. As Ingersoll has so beautifully phrased it, “In Nature, there are no rewards and punishments; there are only consequences.” To help students orient themselves or even understand this abstract philosophy of learning and knowledge, we have decided to hold interactive sessions where we invite guest speakers who are experts in their domain, to our campus to deliver lectures, talks or presentations, allowing students the opportunity to ask questions, interact and engage in debates/discussion with them. This we believe will not only spark their curiosity in new subjects, but make them more aware of the power of knowledge and information, inspire perspectives to develop or even individuality to evolve.
In the last few months, we had speakers from various backgrounds. To list some: Dr Anish Dasgupta on ‘History of Comics’, Mr Ranjit Lal – an author on ‘Art of Writing’, Speakers from ‘Sule Life skills’ on Etiquettes,  Dr Rahul Tiwari on ‘Teen Health and Hygiene’, Mr Srikant Viswanath on ‘Working on a virtual environment’, Speaker from ISKCON on ‘Janmashtami’ day, Prof Sufyan from Jamia Millia Islamia on Eid-ul-Zuha, Speakers from Guru Nanak Garib Niwaz Educational Society on ‘Guru Nanak Jayanti’, etc
Even as we have grown academically, another aspect of Pathways that is equally important is to provide children opportunities to participate in many activities- be it sports or cultural events. As the student numbers have increased, we have been able to send many of our students to several interschool events which sharpen their talent, hone their social skills, develop confidence or even explore their potentials.
 Few of the events we have made a mark recently are: A Computer Symposium at DPS, A Science Colloquium at Amity, A Jazz Concert at Sri ram Millennium, You tube Science space lab contest, International MUN at Amity, Essay Writing Competition by International Herald Tribunal, etc. Our own Aakanksha Gupta from Form 11 has won the first prize on this essay competition.

We couldn’t agree more with what Mark Twain said more than a century ago- “I never let schooling interfere with my education.” And hence our endeavour to push boundaries and give as much as we possibly can than just ‘schooling’ children in Pathways. It is from such efforts we hope to sow the seeds of cultural homogeneity and universal human values in our children that will bring them to realise what Shakespeare once said, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

Well, as December always brings in cheer, mirth and joy abound with all the sparkling an shining festivities, we at Pathways would like to wish each of you Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Best wishes,
Umar Jaffar

Middle School Trip

Itihaas Trip

On the 29th of November, all the Middle School students of Pathways Noida took a trip to Red Fort. After a long drive we reached our destination. After some time we were introduced to our tour guide. She told us a bit about the architecture and how it helped when the fort was under attack. Soon we were cast 400 years back in history. We could see ourselves in the place of the citizens and imagine the jewel studded walls of Shahjahan’s palace. We discovered that the walls were never red. They had been built with red sandstone and then covered with a white plaster made of limestone. Other facts like how only Hindu symbols were used in the architecture and the way Shahjahan’s life was made paradise on heaven also amused us. We were amazed by the sheer carving on the walls and corridors. Just the thought of someone making their house over 124 acres of land in Delhi stunned us. After a while we took a break, only to be shocked once more by how long we had been walking. We had already spent over an hour looking at the first 5 buildings. After a few minutes we started the tour again. The tour guide told us about the saying engraved in the stone walls of one of the palaces.
 The saying is “If there is paradise on Earth it is here, it is here, it is here.” We never imagined something like that would be engraved on one of the Red Fort walls in Arabic. We again sat down in one of the gardens and took one last look at the beautiful monument. In my mind’s eye I could just see Shahjahan walking across the lawn and inspecting the shining marble walls of his mosque. Truly a pretty picture. Red Fort is a monument of historical importance and a great place to learn about the Mughal Dynasty. The trip taught us a lot about the life of the people of India 400 years ago.

Ayona Sen Gupta
Form 7


On Friday 25th November, early in the morning we jumped into the buses and drove far away to Gurgaon. When we reached the Book Festival, ‘Bookaroo’ we could see only greenery. It had workshops, storytelling, plays and crafty corners. When we entered we saw many books and book stalls. Our first activity was at drawing center. We were asked to free draw and there was no limit of space.
It was a really good experience. Second, we went to a huge book stall. It was great to see so many children buying books, and it was also a good experience to see many different kinds of books. Third, we went to the Crafty Corner and met Mr. Gregory Hughes. He is an award winning British writer of fiction for teenagers. He told us about his books and even read out a part of his book. He shared with us good tips for writing a great book.  A few of the good tips were, ‘sometimes you can’t write a book when you want to, it is when some imagination in your mind strikes you’.  It was a great pleasure meeting Mr. Gregory and him telling about his books. Everything in Bookaroo was very good.

Aryan Srivastava & Aaryaman Jatia
Form 7

Art Project at British School
On the 1st of December 2011, 6 members of Pathways School Noida from Middle School went on a trip to the British School for an art project. We left at 7:30 in the morning and arrived at 8:30. We were sent to the assembly hall for an introduction to all participating schools. There were at least 15 schools that came to the British School. They started the day with singing, they sang songs about peace and gave us a presentation of what peace means to them. They then told us what we had to do for the project and then we were sent outside to our tables to begin our project.

Our first project was to draw and paint something that resembles peace onto a kite; we finished it in an hour. After that, we had breakfast. For breakfast they had really nice cake and samosa, along with different varieties of drinks. Sohini , Ketan and I painted a sculpture of a bird coming out of an egg as a symbol of peace . That was a fun thing and  we enjoyed doing it . After a fun day, we headed back to school.

Aash Kambhoj
Form 8

English Department

The English Language and Literature Programme at Pathways School Noida has been developed keeping in mind the skills that the students would need to fit into this ever changing world order.

We are aware that the students will use the language with a variety of focus like the sciences, social sciences, literature and various other areas. Thus the focus is on skills that the students will imbibe and not the text that would be followed. The flexibility of the programme allows teachers to choose challenging works from their own sources to suit the particular needs and interests of their students. Thus, the skill based objectives of the programme are structured while for the resources, the world is the limit.

We are also living in times where the world in shrinking. To sensitize the children to the demand of a world where cultures continually collide, the focus on literature enables the students to be sensitive to other cultures and understand the complex pursuits, anxieties, joys and fears that human beings are exposed to in the daily business of living.

A conscious focus on using technology is yet another aspect of the programme. The teachers use smart boards, films, sound tracks, content from the net and many such resources to be in sync with the modern era. The middle school is successfully running a programme on blogging as a form of expression.

The classroom teaching is often supplemented with resource persons and activities. During the literary week, writers Mr. Ranjit Lal and Mrs. Anita Roy interacted with the students. A book fair was arranged and the students were engaged in a read-a-thon to raise funds for the NGO Gunj. 

Finally, the course moves beyond the realm of a specialized endeavour, -- it complements students’ other areas of study by developing skills of a more general application, e.g to analyse, synthesise and draw inferences. The department is aware that language needs of different subject areas are varied. The teachers work closely with other subject teachers to facilitate specific needs.

Sudripta Tagore
English Department

Read A Thon

Pathways school Middle School   initiated a Read- A-Thon as a  fundraiser in the  school in aid of the GOONJ foundation. Read a Thon is an activity where students read for fun and get sponsors to pledge to pay them for the number of pages read. Each page is pledged for a minimum of 0.50p and a maximum of Rs 2.00 . On 15th Dec there will be a calculation of the total pages read and money will be collected from sponsors. The proceeds from Read-A-Thon will benefit NGO GOONJ who need to buy stationary items for the underprivileged.

The objective behind it was to  unite  Students as they read and fundraise to make a Difference in the lives of people. Parents and teachers were   the  proactive motivators to our students. This programe was launched on the  5th of Dec’11 .An oath ( self composed by a student) was  circulated to all and   the activity was inaugurated by taking the oath and the students submitting their filled “pledges’ to the Form tutors  .  The core committee from Grade 7 then spread the message and each student was asked to get the pledge sheet filled .  They could also ask anyone to sponsor their reading ;many of the teaching faculty were also the sponsors for the pages read  ;It was endearing and encouraging to see our youngsters so motivated in their efforts.

Students set their own reading goals .They have  been  reading during a designated time at school. They  bring cushions, pillows or mats and choose a comfortable place in the building and read. Some of them lounge or recline; others choose safe corners to “hide” and read but read they all must ! THOSE TWENTY MINUTES ARE A TREAT FOR OUR EYES AND EARS WHEN WE SEE THE EFFERVESCENT LOT SIT AND CONNECT WITH WORDS.
Let’s hope this fundraiser sets the trend for many more to follow and keeps the spirit of the students high as ever !

Aprajita Ralli
Co-form Tutor  Gr8

   My Oath of Reading

I promise to read
Each day and each night.
I know it’s the key
To gaining brain might
I’ll read to myself,
I’ll read to a crowd.
It makes no difference
If silent or loud.

I’ll read fast or read slow
I’ll read high and low
I’ll remember each word
Clear in my head
At home and at school,
On my bean bag or bed,
By the fire or pool.

Each book that I read
Puts smarts in my head
‘Cause brains grow more thoughts
The more they are fed.

Come rain or come shine,
Snow, wind or sleet,
Each day of the week
Reading’s a treat!

So I take this oath
To make reading my way
Of feeding my brain
What it needs every day!

Ayona Sen Gupta
Gr 7

Our Memorable Experience

We waited in the Admin Block for Yuvraj Singh - the cricketer to come. We were nervous as if we were meeting the President of India. The student council from the senior school was besides us, too.  He got a little delayed so we were even more anxious than before. When he entered our school we welcomed him and showed him around the school. He was wearing white glasses with blue lens, a red and yellow Ferrari T-shirt and a pair of ordinary jeans. He saw us and said “WOW! Children to welcome me.” As we were entered the Primary block all the early learners were cheering for him saying, “Yuvraj Yuvraj!!!!” and waited excitedly to see their hero. Teachers, students, and staff were excited and were taking pictures.
As we walked into the middle school and senior school we were surprised by the whole school eagerly waiting for him. In the assembly we presented the bouquet of flowers to the amazing cricketer. Yuvraj Singh gave a little speech and then everyone asked so many questions. Most of them were from the middle and senior school yet there were lot from the primary school, too.
Anjali Peterson
Form 5
 Anjali: “The whole time I was smiling and excited to meet Yuvraj. He wasn’t as I had expected but that doesn’t matter now. I was lucky because I got to present him the Bouquet”
Dhruv: “I feel lucky too, because I got to take his autograph and also his interview as an Ed-board member. When I reached home I could not believe that I had met one of the best cricketers in the world.”

Yuvraj's Visit to Pathways School, Noida

The fifth of December, of the year 2011, was memorable. It was a Monday, and we, the children of Pathways, were feeling anything but the Monday blues. On the contrary, an air of excitement and eagerness seemed to adorn the school. We were to meet a cricketer who was known everywhere in India; a legend who, with a swing of his bat in the last ball of an over, against the English bowler Stuart Broad, created history. Who was named the man of the tournament in this year’s Cricket World Cup. I am talking about none other than Yuvraj Singh.
The Yuvraj Singh Cricket Academy, was launched on that very day. He had collaborated with not only Pathways Noida, but with Pathways Gurgaon and Aravalli as well, to ensure that budding cricketers receive proper facilities and coaching. This also includes talented underprivileged children so their talent does not go undiscovered.
At two ‘o’ clock, we were seated in the senior school atrium, repeatedly glancing at the door every five minutes. Everyone, from the teachers, to the students, to the staff was assembled there, waiting with bated breath.
After what seemed like forever, though it was around five minutes, he walked through the doors of our school and we burst into cheers. It seemed a bit surreal, seeing such a legend right in front of us, but it was really happening.
He began by lighting the lamp, after which our director, Dr. Advani welcomed him to our school. She spoke on the behalf of all of us, expressing the honor and gratitude we felt at that very moment. When she spoke about his achievements in the field of cricket, I don’t think that there was a single person, who wasn’t reminiscing of the past or thinking about those very matches.

And then came the questions, easily the best part of the day. There were laughs, moments of awe and loads of fun. Everyone had questions and most of us got to ask them. When asked whether he “got the butterflies” before a match he responded that he had butterflies while talking to us, at which I can only say that the feeling was mutual.
But soon enough, the fun and games had to end, the laughter and joy, the nervousness and awe. The end of school seemed to come too quickly and we had to leave… but this day shall forever be one of the most treasured days of my life, a day which has made me cross an item off my bucket list- meet a legend.
Supriya Ganesh
Form 9

Inter School Science Colloquium

“The aim of science is not to open the door to everlasting wisdom but to set a limit on everlasting error.” - Bertolt Brecht
On November 30th, two teams of students from grades 9th – 11th from our school went to Amity Global School, Noida for inter – school science colloquium. Students had to choose any topic from the three disciplines of sciences, Physics, Chemistry and Biology and make a PowerPoint presentation on it. The first team consisted of Tushar Mahajan and Shreya Gupta of grade 9 and the topic of their presentation was ‘Radiation’ and the second team consisted of Ifrah Khanyari and Baksheen Kaur of grade 11 and  our  topic was ‘Stem Cells’.  We had to throw light on the latest developments in our respective topics.  About 12 schools were in attendance and a variety of topics were touched upon by these future scientists. Although we weren’t awarded, we had a wonderful time and left feeling a little more knowledgeable and took along with us an enriching experience.

Ifrah Khanyari
Form 11