27 April 2012

From the Director's Desk

I would like to share with you my happiness with the ways in which our students are learning to reflect on the wider issues which should concern our modern world. Over the past two weeks students from Form 9 have led whole-school assemblies with thoughtful and polished presentations. The first one was on hunger in the world, using a moving film on how it affects the poorest people together with presentations and reflections on what we need to think about, in solving it.
The second assembly was on the depletion of the earth’s resources and the importance of conserving these. This group chose to make us think about this through the creation of a farcical and funny silent move made by the students themselves – no doubt drawing inspiration from The Artist. With scenes set in the school’s corridors and toilets it portrayed a future world of oxygen deprivation and a rich elite who have abandoned the earth. The film created by a student of Grade 9, Abid Abbas Singh will be shared on the school’s website shortly where you can view it.

Both assemblies showcased education at its best – responsible, well-researched and well presented ideas, cleverly using creative communication strategies to convey their ideas.
Summer Camp
Admission is now open for the Pathways School summer camp. Called Rediscovering Minds the programme runs for two weeks beginning 4th June, from 9.30 am – 2 pm, offering a choice of creative activites (Music, dance, drama, art), indoor sports and a Lifeskills module on leadership and on self-protection. It is open to students age 5 – 14. You will be receiving application forms in case you wish to register for this.

Shalini Advani

School Director

Senior School Principal

Graduation Day

Shakespeare, the master wordsmith, in one of his many beautiful sonnets, had written, “Like as waves make towards the pebbled shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end, each changing place
with that which goes before."     And this is indeed the very nature 
of time and life itself.
        Rizwan Jaffar - Life Long Learner Award           
So quietly and yet swiftly did the journey we started together as students and teachers come to an end! The occasion of graduation evokes mixed feelings- there is indeed a sense of pride that our students have so successfully accomplished their academic goals, an overwhelming emotion of happiness of having forged a wonderful relationship with each of them, and of course there is a sense of nostalgia. And so, I must say our experience of being with these children has been very rewarding both personally and professionally. They have been brilliant! Congratulations on their graduation!

Srishti Mehrotra - Global Citizenship Award/Salutatorian Award for excellence in Academics

But you must know graduation is not the end, it is in fact the beginning- of the next phase in life, of newer challenges ahead, of scaling greater heights and discovering and learning more about oneself. While it is a cause for celebration, I also think it is an important opportunity to pause, reflect and decide how they want to carve their future. I would like to quote another line from Shakespeare here, “And since you cannot see yourself so well, I, your Reflection, will modestly discover to yourself, that of yourself, which you yet know not of.” This sums the importance of introspection- of seeing how your time has been spent, your learning curve, your strengths, predilections, your dreams and ambitions, for these will be your guiding forces and   light in the sea of the unknown and un-ventured.
As a Principal who has been with the students for two years, I too did reflect, about each of them. Every individual child here has charted his/her own learning path and direction. Their interests are different from each other’s, their curiosity,amicability,zeal and
Ishita Beniwal - Best Overall Participation  
their drive to excel. I sometimes thought it is a paradox; but when I took time to understand, I realized that this is in truth the philosophy of our education taking shape on the ground, in that the IB learner profiles were emerging and slowly getting established.   And this is the only yardstick I used to measure my students’ success. They all have so effortlessly imbibed and absorbed the school’s and IB philosophy that it is a way of life- and this is the promise we made to you. The teachers have tirelessly worked on building, developing and shaping their each individual person, to make them prepared and ready for life ahead, that today as I see them poised to forge forward with great maturity, it no longer is work in progress. Congratulations teachers too, for such a splendid job! I recall here what our first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru said, “Time is not measured by the passing of years, but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves.” Therefore it is not about just the two years, but the joy of being rewarded by such students as you.  We are a proud faculty today to witness how yours  and our efforts together has made you  all individuals with such great potential Thus, I am in no doubt that our  children today will in their own right  taste sweet success in their lives ahead waiting to embrace them!
The Graduation was also the perfect occasion for celebrating the best in our students, the values that we believe in. And we did that through the various awards that we presented to them.
Saurabh Mittal - Valedictorian Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement

Srishti Mehrotra too bagged many awards- Global Citizenship Award, the Subject Proficiency Awards for English Higher Level, Computer Science, Visual Arts and Theory of Knowledge. Ashika Jaffar won the Outreach Award for excellence in community service and Subject Proficiency Awards for Geography and Biology. The Life Long Learner Award and the Subject Proficiency Award for Business and Management were conferred on Rizwan Jaffar. Ishita Beniwal won the Best Overall Participation Award. Congratulations once again. 

Ashika Jaffar - Outreach Award for excellence in Community Service

As we celebrate their school journey culminating in graduation, I cannot resist sharing with you some of my deepest, dearest and inspiring thoughts. I have always encouraged my children to dream, and believe in those ambitions with conviction and courage, moving ahead with a singularity of purpose.  Commitment is one of the many important ingredients of making your dreams a reality. As Roosevelt once famously said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!” And in chasing those dreams and ambitions, there will be many challenges and snags which we need to turn to opportunities to learn and rise, and not allow these difficulties to deter us from our goals. Always remember, “What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Go on dear students, your life beckons you!
The world is a place for you to live in peace, harmony and love. It is a world full of opportunities and formidable learning for everyone.... as John Updike sums it beautifully, “You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands. Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.”
Wishing my graduating class the very best in every endeavour in their lives.

Umar Jaffar

Principal Senior School

26 April 2012

Our First Radio Broadcast

We had our radio broadcast on 20th April. We all came up with an idea of making our own radio broadcast for the primary school. The purpose was to show our understanding of how a radio station works.

We first thought of who will do what. Mutually we decided that Neel Barun and Tamanna will be the radio jockeys, Jin and Dev will be the people to read the news, I and Vanshika will quiz the people and Neel Verma and Snigdha will interview the 'six sense' band. Esha and Louise were to be with the students downstairs to interact with the listeners during the quiz. We also came up with our place of the studio. Our plan was to broadcast the radio when the teachers and students will be having breakfast after the assembly.

The challenge for us was to keep our voice higher. We also couldn’t see anyone so that’s why we had to be alert. When we conduct an assembly, everybody concentrates and we can express through our face, body language and voice. But in a radio we had to show expressions through our voice only. Also we didn’t know if everybody is listening to us or not because we couldn’t see them.

I learnt how to coordinate with my partners and be confident. I also learnt how to communicate through voice modulation and not by looking at anyone. The learner profile which I tried to develop was risk-taker and knowledgeable because this was my first time I was working in a radio and I learnt how to be loud enough so that everybody can hear me.

I felt very happy and proud of myself because everybody including Dr. Advani and Mrs. Lamba appreciated us. Also it was very exciting for me because this was the first time students had created a 'radio'. It was fun learning how patient we have to be during team work.

Arshee Sahni
Grade 4

Trip to Crafts Museum

Imagination has been viewed as more important than knowledge by some of the most creative thinkers of all time, such as Albert Einstein. But I believe that without being equipped with knowledge, one can’t convert one’s imagination into reality. And so, it was at the end of our unit on imagination that Form 2, along with Ms. Lakshmi and I, embarked on a trip to the Crafts Museum, Pragati Maidan, to see various artisans combine imagination and knowledge to create some unique pieces of art. The children went equipped with questions they had constructed earlier, based on the Lines of Inquiry.
From the moment we stepped into the premises, the children were filled with amazement at all the creativity they could see around them. On reaching the demonstration area where the artisans were working, the children quickly identified whom they would like to interview to find out more about the craft. There were crafts that they had never seen or heard about before. Some of them were, Gond painting, nail painting, Surpur painting, Pat painting, cane and bamboo work, black pottery and clay pottery. The children were paired in such a way that at least one was fluent in Hindi, helping them to communicate easily. Of course, there were some artisans from the North East region of India who were fluent in English.
The children’s energy level matched their enthusiasm and there was no stopping them going from one artisan to the next in their thirst to know more. Though not part of our agenda, we conceded to their desire to go see the museum as well. Relics and artefacts, from a time gone by, enthralled them. The entire experience was indeed enriching.

Aradhana Sikri
Form Tutor – Form 2

Our Trip to the Crafts Museum
The visit to the crafts museum showed me how the artisans used their imagination to express their ideas in different ways. The artisans are skilled people, who think and then create something by using their imagination.
The models I saw were nail painting, pottery, paper models, puppets and some painting made with hands. With the use of different materials like clay, paper, paint, cloth, wood, metal, bamboo sticks, the artisans were able to convert their ideas into an object.
Therefore I felt it was linked to the Central Idea about imagination being a strong tool for extending our abilities to think, create and share our ideas with others.

Varsha Thimmaiah
 Form 2
Interview of an artisan doing cane and bamboo work (questions framed by the children)
Kritin and Devmaya- Did you copy the design or think about it yourself?
Artisan- I learnt from a school in Assam
K&D- Did you have any problem while making it?
Artisan- I did not have any problem, because I keep practising.
K&D- Where did you get the ideas from?
Artisan- I have been making these things for so many years, so I get the ideas from my experience.
K&D- What material did you use for making them?
Artisan- I used cane and bamboo.
K&D- What did you make it for?
Artisan- I made it to sell it and earn money.
Kritin and Devmaya
Form 2

Swimmer's Ear

Dear Parents,
This time we are going to tell you something about the ear infection which is caused mainly due to swimming. This is important as our school children are in regular swimming classes .
Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal. Let's find out more about this painful type of ear infection, which often affects swimmers.
Swimmer's ear — also called otitis externa is different from a regular ear infection. Usually, when people say a kid has an ear infection, they mean otitis media an infection of the middle ear. This sometimes happens when a kid gets a cold.
But swimmer's ear happens when bacteria grow in the ear canal, which is a passageway to the eardrum. In that canal, you'll find delicate skin that's protected by a thin coating of earwax. Most of the time, water can run in and out of the ear canal without causing a problem. For instance, you don't usually get swimmer's ear from taking baths or showers.
Bacteria get a chance to grow when water stays in the ear canal and it washes away the protective coating of earwax. A lot of swimming can wash away that wax protection and lead to these wet conditions in the ear canal. Bacteria grow and the ear canal gets red and swollen. Sometimes kids can get an infection in the ear canal even if they haven't been swimming. A scratch or other irritation in the ear canal can also lead to swimmer's ear.
             Swimmer's ear may start with some itching, but try not to scratch because this can worsen the infection.
             Ear pain is the most common sign of swimmer's ear.Even touching or bumping the outside of the ear can hurt.
             The infection also could make it harder to hear with the infected ear because of the swelling that happens in the ear canal.
If you have swimmer's ear, the doctor will probably prescribe eardrops that contain an antibiotic to kill the bacteria.
Use the drops as long as your doctor tells you to, even if your ear starts feeling better. Stopping too soon can cause the infection to come back.
If ear ache persists, the doctor may suggest a pain medication. This can help you feel better while you're waiting for the antibiotic to work.
When to resume swimming
It could be as long as a week to 10 days before the doctor says OK. That's a bummer in the summer, but it's better than having that awful ear pain again!

Santosh Sharma
Senior Nurse


Dance is a unique form of moving that holds various meanings for each of us, depending on how and why dance is a part of our lives. Dance can be taught as a discrete subject, as a component of the physical education or arts program, or as a component that is integrated with a Unit of Enquiry in the school. In all of these contexts, regardless of the type of dance that is taught, dance exists simultaneously as an art form and a movement form.
The in-school dance curriculum focuses a lot on the posture and technique of the students. This gives them a firm foundation which stays firm for different dance styles and gives them a high level of physical fitness. The dancers are expected to develop a good combination of strength, flexibility and grace. The students get a chance to try out different dance forms which helps them understand what they enjoy more and also breaks the monotony. Initially they focus on good co-ordination of different body parts and slowly move on to learn dance combinations such as pirouettes, step ball change, chasse’ etc. Later they move into higher level of training which includes jumps , rolls, barre’ work ,body conditioning, partnering and further floor work.

 The dance activities at Pathways are planned, with the intention of giving all students opportunities to discover and develop their abilities in movement in various artistic ways. The idea is also to help them understand and appreciate works of arts. Students not only learn dance steps and vocabulary, but also create, explore and understand the significance of movement. In school , children get an opportunity to show case their performance potential at various occasions such as special assemblies, yearly Founder’s Day Celebrations and at other significant events. Movement is also a great way to teach them concepts and ideas that they study in their classrooms. Dance makes the regular ideas more interesting and visual, hence making them stay with the child longer. Dance and movement is experiential. Keeping this in mind, from time to time suitable U.O.I’s are worked out and developed with the children in the dance lesson. They enjoy and understand simultaneously.

Children also learn about the art form by watching and appreciating it. This is done by showing them dance movies, informing them about other artists, group discussions and by encouraging them to watch performances available in their own city.

Sushant Ummat

Dance Teacher

Indian Music

"After  silence  that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music"
 - Aldous Huxley, Music at night : And Other Essays

Music nourishes children's brains & develops memory skills. Music stimulates brain connections and can actually make children smarter. Researches also show that music can strengthen children's minds and serve as a fundamental skill of learning.
Music at Pathways aims at building up these skills. Indian Music has its own role in achieving these skills.  Students are learning to use vocal sounds, rhythms and instruments to express feelings or ideas through the songs. Students are being given enough opportunity to explore musical terminologies very specific to Indian classical music like Aaroh (ascending), Avaroh (descending), Saptak (octave), Mandra (lower), Madhya (medium) & Taar (higher).                                                                
Sargam is a very fundamental element of Indian music, which is very regularly practised in all the classes. Students are gradually recognising different patterns of Sargam. Students have experienced that each song has sargam woven within it.  Students also learn a variety of songs for different occasions.  Tabla is being used intensively for students to explore different rhythms. Students start learning a taal by showing beats of different taals through hands. Importance is being given to correct placement of hands on the Tabla with basic bols (syllables).  Students have learned basic taals like Keharva in addition to Teentaal, Dadra & Roopak. Percussion instrument ‘Khanjeera’ is used to practise basic rhythm exercises. Encouragement to play & accompany on untuned percussion instruments like Maracas & Tambourine with a song is being given continuously.
At lower primary level music is more fun based & hence the focus is more on rhymes & action songs along with very simple Sargam patterns. Sargam is done in counting or alphabetic order. They are encouraged to play untuned percussion instruments like Maracas, Shakers & Tambourine

Dr. Vineeta Rashid Khan

Hindi Music Teacher

KG Clay Modeling - Unit of Enquiry

This month our Unit of Inquiry was, “We can learn and communicate through stories”.

We collaborated Clay Modeling and our reading lesson together, where we were reading the book “Where is my Mom”.
The story was about a baby monkey who has lost his mother and is looking for her in the jungle.
To get a visual representation of the story, we made some monkeys in clay after discussing about the various characteristics of a monkey.
Here are some clay monkey visuals by nursery class.

 Shruti Bansal
Pottery Teacher

13 April 2012

From the Director's Desk

The activities in the Senior school have been dominated by the graduation ceremony for our first Form 12. It has been a week of sentiment and affection – seeing our first Form 12 move forward towards their future is both exciting and nostalgic for everyone in the school. Their own feedback on their two years at Pathways has been full of praise for their teachers and the Principal, Mr Jaffar. Each one of them conveyed their gratitude for the personalized care, the excellent teaching and the well structured programme which our faculty provides. You can read more about the graduation ceremony elsewhere in this newsletter. These students will be sitting their IB Diploma examination in May. Similarly Form 10 students taking their IGCSE examination also go on preparatory leave. We wish both our examination groups the very best for this important milestone in their lives.

University Placements

Meanwhile our Form 12 students are considering their options amongst the various excellent university offers they have had. Although this has been a small graduating class, students have already had offers from some of the leading universities and liberal arts colleges in the world, including Cornell, Warwick, Wadham, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Illinois, UCLA , North Western, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Northern Iowa, Sarah Lawrence, Syracuse, Mount Holyoke and UTS, Australia.

Inter School Soccer

13 students from the middle school participated in an inter-school soccer match at Pathways Aravali, spending a couple of nights at the campus. Although they were eventually knocked out, they were thrilled at winning one match and have come away eager to develop their skills for the next competition.
Assessments and Examinations
We are coming up to the time when teachers in the secondary school are completing examinations and those in the primary school are moving towards end of year assessments. Secondary school students from Form 7 up will begin examinations in mid May. Middle school teachers will be sending out sample examination papers to familiarize students with their structure. It is important for students to begin work on reviewing the work they have done over the past months. A careful pacing of their schedule will go a long way in avoiding last-minute stress. Please remember that examinations make up only a part of a student’s overall grade and is in combination with their tests, assignments, classwork, presentations etc.
Medical check up
All students underwent a basic medical checkup conducted by Max. Results are being processed and you will be able to get their reports early next week.
Summer Activities
You will have received information about the summer trips to Switzerland and Spain. Please do remember to get back to us if you are interested in these. In addition, the school will run a two week summer programme in school beginning 4th June. This is open to students from other schools as well so do spread the information to anyone you think may be interested. Specific details will follow but the summer camp with include music, dance, drama, indoor sports, leadership and personal development.

Shalini Advani
School Director

Primary School Principal

The tail end of any academic year in Primary, is a very busy time as we reflect on our successes and areas of improvement. We do this with staff, parents and students.
In accordance with the IB Philosophy we encourage use and respect for mother tongue. We had a day when students displayed individual talent in their mother tongue.

The Early years shared a Day of Rhymes with parents.
Kindergarten has been running an enquiry, with the central idea as, “stories help us to communicate. They are a source of discovery, pleasure and knowledge.”
Form 2 and 3 put up plays adapted from ORT stories and books at a special assembly on the 13th .A few parents decided to come in to watch their children perform.Form 4 have been very excited and engrossed in studying the impact of Media and are all over the school creating radio broadcasts, video news for which they interviewed people across the school. They have also started a blog. You may follow the link to interact with the fourth graders. vandanap.edublogs.org
They also visited Zee News Ltd to understand the process of news creation. Now they are busy designing and working on creating a news paper called, “ Pathways Times.”
I am thoroughly enjoying the vibrancy that I see in classes within the Primary building and outside it. I am happy to report that the swimming classes are well on their way and today the tiniest on the campus had their dip in the splash pool.

Form 5 are also in the midst of assessments and getting the exhibition ready to be held on 24th May, 2012.  All are invited for it, friends, relatives and neighbours. Wait to hear more, with details on this. Graduation Ceremony for students graduating to middle school is scheduled for the 29th May.
Usha Lamba
Principal Primary School

Graduation Day

All through the last two years, we reported on many ‘firsts’. Unfortunately the ‘first ever’phrase is dwindling and the ‘first ever’ Graduation ceremony of Pathways School Noida on the
12th of April 2012 was one of the last.  As the light shone on the graduates walking in, we had this uneasy feeling that soon the lights will dim on this last ‘first ever’ event.
The Chief Guest was the distinguished Professor Chokkar with a background of IIM on the one hand and on the other a renowned citizen activist. To grace the occasion we had with us the members of the Board of Governors, the Jain family and the members of Pathways School Aravalli and Gurgaon.
Mrs. Dawar as the compere, set the mood for the evening with a quote from Emerson, ‘’Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there may be no paths and leave a trail.”: it was an emotion of moving on. Professor Chokkar, Mr. Pramod Jain and Dr. Advani marked the commencement of the ceremony by lighting the lamp. In her speech, the Director, Dr. Advani reminded the Graduates that they were also the first alumni of the school. She also reminded us how unique each individual was.
Grade 11 had a surprise for the outgoing students. They had knit together a short film on their seniors. Understandably it was an emotional send off for the graduating class.
Professor Chokkar, in his speech talked about the three purposes of education, -- the first was of nurturing good human being, the second was of opening a path of knowing one’s own self and the third was creating people who would take a lifelong responsibility of building the institution.   
Shivanu, the outgoing President of the Students’ Council spoke next. He saluted his idol, the High School Principal, Mr. Jaffar and praised the teachers for nurturing him as their own son. This was followed by conferring the awards and the diplomas. Saurabh Mittal was the Valedictorian of 2012 and Srishti Mehrotra was the Salutatorian of 2012. In his speech Saurabh reminisced about his days in the school and ended by saying that “this was not the end, just the beginning.” Srishti in her speech requested everyone in the gathering to pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that “this is the last time that we are ALL going to be together in the same place.”
We were fortunate to have Mrs. Mandal, a parent, address the gathering. She said that Shivanu, her son, had come into Pathways Noida, with a blank canvas. Today she sees the canvas filled with “mesmerizing colours of the rainbow.” She thanked the management and the entire faculty for their contribution in her son’s life. Mr. Jaffar concluded the proceedings by saying that IB does not prepare students only for a career, but for life. And he was happy to see that we had succeeded.
The evening came to a closure with the graduates lighting their candles from candles held by Dr. Advani and Mr. Jaffar. As Mrs. Dawar commented, it was the symbolic flame of knowledge that has always been passed on from the Guru to the Shishya. After this solemn ceremony, the outgoing students tossed their caps high in the air to mark the jubilation of being proclaimed as graduates of 2012.
Sudripta Tagore
HOD, English

12 April 2012

Inter School Soccer

A dozen of middle students from The Pathways School Noida played for their school in an inter-school football tournament. We had started from school at around 12 ‘o’ clock and reached Aravalli with numb legs because of the long journey.
We reached at around 3 ‘o’ clock, and had lunch. After a light meal we rested for a while and then made our way to the field. The game had started and at once we understood that the game is going to be aggressive. We gave our best shot but we could not make it to the semi-finals. It was a heartwarming experience for us as we climbed a step higher in responsibility as we had to stay away from our parents and had to handle everything ourselves. The games were aggressive but in the end because of the passion for the game we shoved aside our on-field issues and gave each other a pat on the back.  
Tanmay Diwan
Grade 8

Drama Assembly – Work in Progress

It’s not every day that you see mime actors dressed in black, a dramatic monologue, a hallway scene of typical high school stereotypes and an in-assembly experience of a real drama workshop altogether. It is kind of ironic how we defined our theme, rather than our theme defining or leading us – work in progress. We felt that is what drama is all about – practicing and striving hard to achieve perfection, knowing that you won’t ever reach that level. This assembly perfectly showcased that even with limited practice and in a restricted time, there’s a lot to give to the audience and put across a million things that people seem to overlook in their daily lives. The highlight of the assembly was conducting 5 different workshops, where the drama club members took the role of instructors and did various trust building, movement and mime activities with a group of thirty people each. Towards the end of the assembly, we talked about what drama means to us, and this is a small excerpt from my speech:"Acting isn't something you do, instead of doing it, it occurs. If you're going to start with logic, you might as well give up. You can have conscious preparation, but have unconscious results." Drama is something like that to me. It's as natural as breathing and as important as any other subject in my life. It's a hobby, its a passion, it's an obsession and it is one form of my escapism - a mental and emotional diversion from the banal aspects of daily life.

Sameera Khurana
Form 11