18 May 2012

From the Director's Desk

In writing this last newsletter of the year we automatically think of the twists and turns, expansion and development of Pathways School Noida over the past twelve months. So many things have happened that it is likely that we lose count of progress.

Looking Back
Student numbers have more than doubled and next year we move towards two sections for most grades. Inevitably our bus fleet doubled and further additions are planned for August.  There was a huge expansion in our sports facilities and we were happy to introduce golf, riding, squash and swimming in this year. Our first Board exam batches both in Form 10 for IGCSE and Form 12 for IB are currently taking these exams. At the other end of the scale, our Early Years section opened for children of 12 months upward.  Along with these changes we continue to aspire to the highest educational standards from the primary to the senior. Our teachers have continued to work tirelessly to develop new teaching approaches and care about the learning of every child in their care. This is apparent from the many conversations and letters of appreciation we have got from parents over the year.

It may seem odd to end this years newsletters with the voice of those students who are beginning at Pathways. In this issue we listen to the voice of those who have joined the school for the pre-term programme. Their experience of the concept-based learning, the different activities, the friendliness of students and the variety of teaching strategies gives a good perspective of the education programme which must be at the heart of a good school. The Pre-term students will be presenting their learning over the programme at an assembly for parents.

Coming Up
Students from Form 7 upward are sitting their final exams beginning today. Meanwhile Form 5 students are preparing for two major events. The first is the PYP Exhibition which is a unique presentation of their learning over their final unit of enquiry and the second is their graduation from Primary School. 
The week after school closes we begin with Rediscovering Minds the summer camp for students aged 5-14.
The last day for students is Wednesday 30th May. School will reopen for students on Wednesday 1st August. I hope you will all be able to take some time off together to spend as a family. Students will get a suggested reading list of enjoyable reading over the summer. Do encourage your child to spend some quiet, focused time each day. I look forward to seeing you back in the new academic year.
Shalini Advani
School Director

Middle School Principal

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child .There are seven million Walt Streightiff

Grade 5 from Primary School visited the middle school for a day. This was to provide them with the experience of a typical day in the middle school. Students enjoyed various classes whether it was designing a name tag during DT class,  writing poems or creating art pieces .They had lots of questions as they moved to different rooms for different subject areas. Our endeavor is to enable a smooth transition from primary to middle school.

As the group of Grade 5 students moved out from the office after giving an account of the whole day at the middle school, one of them stayed back and said that he wanted to give me something !  With a smile, he slipped  a  spiderman sticker in my hand .This gesture was his way of expressing his happiness and approval  ! Moments like these gives us the pleasure, satisfaction and actually motivates further. Working with the children is indeed fulfilling. We are looking forward to welcoming them in August.

Another proud moment in the middle school was the Personal Project presentations which was the culminating event of a yearlong effort, passion and diligent work by form 8 students.
While the form 7 & 8 students are preparing for their forthcoming examinations, form 6 students are having Skype sessions with Old Mills primary school, Leicestershire U.K. The UK students have many questions on India and our life style and our students enthusiastically respond to their queries.

We will come to an end of this session in another few days and I cannot end without mentioning Form 8 which will move to senior school in the next session. Every class comes with a different character. The most remarkable thing about our form 8 students, which grew from 7 to 21 as the session progressed, is that they welcomed every new member with enthusiasm and not only helped them to settle but made them feel part of the team. This batch is filled with creativity and talent. They will be missed in the middle school !

“I'm so glad we had this time together

Just to have a laugh or sing a song

Seems we just get started and before

you know it

Comes the time we have to say, 'So long.”….Carol Burnett

Sunanda Sandhir
Middle School Principal

A Diary of Reflections of Form 5 Pre Termers

“I like this school as we don’t get homework like my previous school. Also, I love the Library as there are many books to read and collect information from.”  - Sarthak

“I like the fact that we get special attention from all the teachers here. People are very loving and friends share their things and teach each other. We are not pressurised for finishing the work, we can do it at our pace. We have less stress. It has a lot of group work and as a result you get to learn a lot from each other. I like waking up a little late too!”
- Govindpriya
“I find the way of studying very different here. In my previous school, we were just asked to open a book and simply start memorising it. I also like the sports facilities here. Clay modeling is also something new and fun to do. The research work involved is very interesting and it builds up on our previous knowledge.” - Saideep

A Diary of Reflections of Middle School Pre-termers

Amazing, nervous, exciting and fabulous! My first day at Pathways was all this and more. My new friends were as sweet as chocolate; my new teachers were as friendly as my previous school. Everyone took care of me.
I liked the way of teaching at Pathways. Teachers ask interesting questions and students find answers to them. We did many activities in English, Math, Science, and ICT. All of them were fun. DT and Art are my favorite. In DT we work in the workshop. In art we worked with glue gun and paints. Also we did newspaper rolling, this was my favorite. In my previous school, there were so many students so teachers couldn’t take care of everyone. But here and specially pre-termers were less so teachers could look into every students work and take care of them.
Soohyeaon Na
Pre Term Grade 6

Pathways has been a pleasant surprise after my previous school given how much difference there is in the teaching methods as well as the content and level. The children are also very different from what we had. Here the number of students in Grade 8 as a total is the half of what we had in each section. Such a change, I always kept thinking during the first few days, “Where are all the people?!”. The facilities are world class, the DT lab being the star of the show as no other school I know offers this subject. Every subject is taught with such detail, whether Arts or Music, I already know how to read notes! Every subject and activity is given importance, everything and everybody is equal!
I have grown in more ways than one. As a person I am much more confident about what I am, who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are. I have become friendlier and more open to different people. In true sense, Pathways is and will continue to change me into a true global citizen. It will broaden my thinking and teach me to be consistent in my work, teach me to be hard working and teach me not to take things I have for granted. I will be a self dependent person and learn instead of mugging up, I will truly discover my interests and develop the same in subjects that I didn’t like before. It’s already started, Math is now one of my favorites and so is Art!!
Radhika Sharma
Preterm Grade 8

The learning environment is very different here in Pathways from most other schools.  The board (International Baccalaureate or IB) is different from others and the teachers focus on the more important parts of learning and they teach in a very nice way. They believe learning is a lot more important than just knowing the answer. We have lots of activities like Art, P.E twice a week; Drama, Music and Dance, since they build up personality ! I love the learning environment here!
At first , in my previous school , I couldn’t wait to get home , now when I get home I can’t wait to go to school again . I’ve grown more confident in speaking up in class, shifting to Pathways has done me a lot of good !
Anya Lauria
Pre Term Grade 6

A Diary of Reflections of Form 11 Pre Termers

“ I came in with lots of apprehensions in my mind as I was moving in to a day boarding school like Pathways which was very different from the boarding environment that I was used to. Pathways was very different. There was a beautiful relationship shared  between  juniors and  seniors and between the  teachers and students. The interest students took in various activities, sports and extra co-curricular activities was great. The interest students took in learning both outside and inside the classes with the help of different means was great. The manner is which Conservation and exploration of the waste and biodegradable things that’s produced in the school was done was indeed great. Everyone in the school seems to be happy and friendly. It appears they know each other for a long time and that’s great”.   – Aadhar Dewan
“To be honest when I came in I was amazed by everything in the school.. The class rooms, the facilities , the sport’s block etc. What I least cared about initially was the academics. But when I started with my pre-term classes ,  I started to gain interest in the academics as well. The main aspect which got me to IB was the vast choice of subjects. I really liked our time table and the balance of it with different activities such as CAS, CASA, Pottery, Art etc.
The pedagogy of teaching at Pathways is  based on research work and self learning which is really good. We actually struggled the first few days, adjusting not understanding what work we were given. The  “Skill Based Learning” methods  actually helps us  develop the skills and  learn something for a change. I really feel happy that I was right about choosing IB”.  Shivin Moza

I really like the way our teachers teach us through ppt’s which actually increases our knowledge about the subject. Now is I don’t ask people how much time is left for the lesson to get over because we are studying really practical and interesting topics. The school has great sports facilities. Now,  I am very much familiar with everyone in the school and I look forward to seek more opportunities both in sports and academics. I no longer see school as a  burden but now for me, it’s a place where I enjoy to my fullest in every aspect”.   - Sarthak Gaur
“For me who has studied in a CBSE school all my life, IB was  a very different yet interesting curriculum. There are two new things - TOK and CASS, which I was exposed to here. TOK-Theory of Knowledge lessons opened up a whole new perspective to me. TOK is about having a deeper knowing of something, questioning it etc. Another interesting and enlightening thing that we did is CAS. CAS basically is community service which enables and encourages us to contribute something good to the community. In my personal experience, it also makes you feel good about yourself, doing something for the good of someone. These two new things that have been introduced to me in IB  have made the experience all the more wonderful for me”.     Neha Gupta

“Sports! It’s not just a term which is used to represent any sport. I think sports is a basic component which teaches us team spirit, discipline and also the significance of win and lose. I have turned a new leaf for myself in the field of sports . I am really happy being a part of the Pathways family. I found it very astonishing that Pathways has a very good sport curriculum. Students here are free to choose any sport of their choice so that they can easily excel in any particular field. Also the sports faculty here is very welcoming to students . As compared to other schools Pathways has formed a niche for itself in the field of sports. It has now been a month for me in the Pathways family and I have played every sport available in this school. I really enjoy being at Pathways and play sports of my choice without any hesitation of winning and losing. Here every child is given chance to prove himself both in sports and academics and that is indeed wonderful”.Siddharth
“The moment I came to pathways, I was scared and there were so many apprehensions in my mind about how the people there would be like.. After four or five days when I started getting used to the system and had made some friends, I started enjoying it. I’ve realized that people here are very different. People are more warm, open, frank and friendly here. Teachers especially, are very friendly and nice. I’ve never been so frank with any teacher as I’ve been in Pathways. The activities, assemblies and some new things like TOK and CAS are very interesting and fun. Students are very creative and I’m exploring a lot more than earlier. I’ll take some time to fully open up with people but as of now, I think, I’m enjoying this pre-term session and looking forward to further activities in the new session beginning August”. Pratyush
Our Pre – term parents have been a great support. A feedback received from a pre-term parent :
Feedback from Mr. Som Sharma – Father of Siddharth Sharma Pre-term Form 11

“ It gives me immense pleasure to get your mail regarding my son , Siddharth Sharma, and I wish to congratulate everyone including myself on successful plantation of a life in Pathways family, as I always believe that when you uproot a life from somewhere and put him in different condition and atmosphere, it takes a little extra efforts from everyone to see that we get good results, at least in Siddharth's case i am confident that we are in the right direction”.


My State Championship Experience

The same Friday my grandfather died, I had to go for a state championship tournament. My parents asked me if wanted to leave the tournament but I said that I am going to win the tournament for him. When I reached the venue I was taken aback as I was the sixteenth seed. Then I became worried about the tournament. The first two rounds were easy but the third round was tough but after a long time I finally won. At the end of the end of the first day I was coming sixth. On the second day, I lost the first game and thought that my championship dreams were shattered. Then I beat a good player easily because I was very angry at myself. Then came the toughest matches which had up and downs. It took me three and a half hours to win it. The last match was controversial as my opponent did not agree with the referee’s decision and eventually lost the game. After that game, I did not think I would come first even though second place was assured. But I won the default tiebreaker by .5 points. I got to know that I won from the internet, I was confused because happy but sad at the same time as my grandfather was not there to see it.

Saideep Ganesh
Form 5

Poetry Month

National Poetry Month was conceived by The Academy of American Poets and was first celebrated in April, 1996. Its purpose is to increase public awareness of poetry as a living literary genre.
Poetry Month was celebrated at Pathways for the whole month of April by reading poetry, writing poetry, and by exploring new poets. In celebration of the Poetry Month a different poem everyday written by famous poets and even poems written by children across the school were circulated and  shared  among each other .
Children were introduced  to a variety of poetic forms like Shape Poems, Acrostic Poems, Diamante Poems, Ballad Poem, Haiku and instant poetry forms  through an interactive board outside the library and students were provided with several models for creating different  forms of poetry. Children from Grade-2 upwards wrote poems on different forms in the library.

We got an overwhelming response from students as well as teachers who made this Poetry Month a complete success.

Anju Dutt

17 May 2012

Skype Interaction With Old Mills Primary Sschool, UK

“If all we do is digitize education then technology will not transform - a digitized text book is still a text book” tweeted Graham Brown-Martin, Founder of Learning Without Frontiers.
 Grade 6  Pathways Noida has taken the digitization  of the  virtual learning to a real classroom exchange programme through their  Skype session with Old Mills  Primary School, Leicestershire U.K ; They have had four session which have been  very interactive . The school in UK took up India as their project so they wanted some firsthand information for that. The students here in Pathways Gr6, were only too excited to comply. We divided the class into groups of four to five and each group was assigned a topic. The topics varied from ‘Culture of India ‘to ‘How it is being a child in India.’ Through collaborative group learning we saw the students bond well with each other; the Skype interaction has been on for the past two weeks .
The students from Old Mills are in form 4 and have been very enthusiastically asking questions about India and the life of the children here.
Our students have been relentlessly answering all questions and coming up with interesting things for their newly made “pals”.
 What started  with just an introductory round   has now evolved into a friendship wherein the children exchange personal information like what they like eating , what is their favorite subject, what  do they like about their schools etc.
So past the formalities, we now saw the students sing songs for each other during one of the sessions and  we are looking forward to exchanging recipes of the dishes cooked in our homes.
The ongoing sessions are proving very helpful for the students to build their confidence and also raising their curiosity about each others’ cultures.
 Our students’ enthusiasm has been very inspiring; Mr. Kevin, the Teacher from Old Mill School and I felt it was a good learning experience for us also.

Aparajita Ralli
Faculty, Social Science

Transition to Middle School

The transition from primary to middle school is important in the lives of children and their families, yet research has shown that transitions can be stressful for children. The journey from being the elder most in the primary to being the youngest in the middle school can take some time to cover. Transition includes changes in environment, circumstances and relationships. The students will gain new freedoms and have new experiences and new responsibilities. To make this phase balanced and not overwhelming for the students, we need to make conditions as similar as possible, so that changes occur in a gradual way over a period of time.
The Transition program for the students of Form 5 was a wholesome mix of interactions with their future teachers and getting the feel of the environment in the middle school.  This program encourages children to anticipate change in a positive light. It will mark the steps along the way, and give children something to look forward to.

As part of its commitment to ensuring that every student achieves their full potential, the program had its first step as talking to the students about it, listening to their fears and things they are looking forward to etc. Well, the Laptop in this are takes the first place. Good communication is essential to making this work well.
 At the next level, we had some teachers from the middle school come and interact with them in their Form 5 room. This was linked to the unit that we were currently studying. We had Math, English, history and art teachers come to our classroom. This helped a lot to control anxieties and make the interaction smooth and informal.
The next big day was the day of Transition where the students spend a full day in the middle school and get the feel of ‘A typical day in middle school’. They were dropped by their form tutor and had lessons and interactions with their future teachers following a time table. The students had to say so much when they were back the next day -

Megha Arora
Form Tutor 5

“Taking our bags along to the middle school was a different feeling” Anhad Viswanath

“We have to carry our stuff around with us and move to new rooms for every lesson. This is exciting also but scary too. I might lose my things” – Ishaan Kedia

“The trip around the school was exciting, everything seemed bigger than primary, even the washrooms”- Saideep Ganesh

“Thank you for the opportunity to be the guests at middle school for one day. You have given us a chance to visit and explore middle school, I’m not scared to go there now”- Tanmay Bajaj

“I loved the Design and technology class as we did lots of creative things in it and I love being creative and it’s interesting. We designed our name plates using wood metal and plastic. I’m looking forward to using more tools”. – Tavishi Jain
“I loved the teachers and everyone there, I enjoyed the day also and the best thing was after school we were talking to Miss.lamba , Mrs sandhir and Dr.Advani about our day in detail. We loved it , We laughed ,felt sad because we were leaving primary school....” – Sukhmani Khungar

“We learnt about input output devices, wrote Limericks, learnt the basics of Geography- felt suddenly grown up” – Neha Gupta

Trip to Mother Dairy

On 20th April, the B&M students of Pathways School Noida guided by their faculty Mrs. Indira left for industrial visit to the Mother Dairy plant based in Patparganj. At company site, we were escorted by the HR manager, Mr. Jose. Students from a renowned Business school in Noida and a few students from IIT Delhi joined us for the visit. We all were taken to an auditorium. After, initial speech by Mr. Jose, we watched a ten minutes knowledge enriched  documentary on Mother Dairy and after that we participated in an open house session which lasted for about 30 mins. Soon after, we headed to the milk processing area. We were also shown how the milk testing is done in the laboratory. At the end of the session we all were offered Milk and Ice cream.

I would take this opportunity to show my gratitude to Mr. Jaffar and Mrs. Indira without whom this trip won’t be possible  and further adding on we were allowed to go to Mc Donald’s on our way back and had our delicious lunch there. The car rides were real fun. For the first time we all went out together on this type of a trip and especially Amar who hardly comes for the outings was also there. We enjoyed a lot laughing, making fun of each other and listening to songs. It’s a memory which we all will always cherish.
Roshni Arora
Form 11