25 January 2013

From the Director's Desk

Welcome back – and to those parents, students and teachers who have newly joined Pathways, a warm welcome in this cold month of January. I hope that the impact of the cold weather has been made more bearable by the late start to the day. This comes with its own challenges because of increased traffic, especially for those coming from Delhi who have been slowed down by the closure of the Kalindi Kunj bridge. But this has now opened on the way to school which makes it simpler for everyone to get to school punctually.
What’s Special About Pathways?
                                                                                 Students campaigning & Polling
This week we have been interviewing students standing for election for the secondary school Student Council. It is instructive to listen to their views about the school and what they like about it. Uniformly they love the sense of community, the supportive, friendly student body and the very special relationship between students and   teachers  .
This is important feedback because all educational research shows that young people learn best in a supportive, secure environment where they feel valued as individuals. New students spoke about our systems for enabling them to settle down and make friends. Other things they pointed to was the variety in the day which mingled academic with dance, drama, clubs, PE etc so that it didn’t “get too heavy”, the infrastructure for sport, the use of technology.
Model United Nations
Next week we host our first inter-school Model UN. For the first time in the NCR this is a middle school event, being attended by students from many schools including Sri Ram, Sanskriti, British School, Bluebells, Step by Step, Genesis, Modern School etc. To participate in and to host such an event is excellent learning for students from Form 7 -9. You can find more details at
What’s New?
                                                           The new look of the Dining Hall
Over the winter vacation the school project team and the administration has been busy getting new spaces ready for the new semester. The cafeteria is now painted in a cheery yellow, red and parrot green. The library has been extended and is now double its size. The Design Technology Lab has been fitted with the welding area and paint booth. Some Primary school classrooms have moved up to the second floor: there are now two sections in Form 4 and three in Nursery. On a more challenging note, the area before our front gate remains dug up and access to the school remains Gate 2. The area beyond Gate 3 is similarly blocked. We continue to hope that the authority will make speedy progress. Meanwhile our new security agency (we have now moved our security management to the well-known Group 4 company) is energetic in managing traffic in the morning at drop off time. I would appeal to you to avoid stopping your cars in the middle of the road for drop off as that creates blockages for others.
Student Council
In the best democratic tradition of Pathways, our new student council has been elected. I am delighted to congratulate the students of our council. President - Sonal Chawla, Vice President - Ichha Bhan, Sports Captain Boys- Pratyush Gupta, Sports Captain Girls - Isha Agarwal, Air House  Captain - Vivek Verma, Vice Captain - Parth Kapoor, Water House Captain - Saumya Joshi, Vice Captain - Sohini Singh, Fire House Captain -  Siddharth Sharma, Vice Captain - Radhika Sharma, Earth House Captain- Abhimanyu Bhalla Vice Captain  - Divian Baheti
Professional Development
Both our Primary Years Coordinator Dr. Swati Sawant and our Diploma Coordinator Ms Geeta Verma attended the IB Schools Association meeting in Lonavala, at a gathering for IB schools in the region. Ms Verma has been appointed a member of the Executive Council for the northern zone, a position which will enable her to raise issues and shape decisions which confront us as an IB school.

Dr. Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Secondary School Principal

Education is not complete without imbibing in children the values of leadership- one that allows freedom, appreciates perspectives, accepts and therefore challenges one’s own predilections. Leadership is not about being absolute but it is about being the catalyst, the facilitator of a people with myriad strengths and despite them guiding towards a single goal, while encouraging the freedom of being.  As they say, a leader leads by passion, not by position.
                                                                 "Speech Making" by Candidates
Thus, at Pathways, the students have been working for weeks together for the successful Student Council Elections- one in which the children truly and democratically elect their own leaders. After giving their nominations to the teachers, we in turn check and ratify each candidate based on certain eligibility criteria such as participation and contribution in various school activities, academic performance, punctuality, attendance and interactions with staff and students amongst many others. This is followed by ‘Faculty discussions’ and formal personal interview of each candidate with the core team that consists of The Director, Principals and Students Council Coordinators. Once the final list of candidates is approved and announced, the battles lines are drawn and true campaigning begins. It is very interesting to see how creative are our students. You can see the glimpses of creating campaigning elsewhere in this issue. These potential leaders make speeches, sharing their vision and goals for the school and the student population as a whole, they articulate their ideas on how to make better the various amenities and how they can improve the student bodies administratively. We as teachers can visibly see students appreciating and encouraging the crowd favorites! We also witness the contenders planning and charting out their next course of action so that they are led to victory! The next step in the process is the democratic vote. The students vote for their leader, following which votes are counted and then, the winners are announced.
During this entire exercise of organizing, planning and managing their campaigns, such that they are able to persuade their fellow students, they have demonstrated notable positive changes in their persons. Their confidence, presentation, thinking, social and even administrative skills have all indeed been honed- aspects that they most certainly need in their life after their school life. Electing the leaders is important, but as teachers, we would like the students to understand and even appreciate the journey of becoming the leader- that is important.

It is now only after this competitive campaigning, the new Council has been elected this week. I  congratulate Sonal  Chawla, our new President and team for successfully clearing all hurdles. The details of new Students Council is published separately in this issue.

They are now the torch bearers of this institution and we as teachers will partner with them, to scale greater heights, academically and otherwise. The students now have invested their trust and faith in their capabilities and vision, to take the school forward. Here’s wishing them the very best in their new jobs as the leaders of our school. I do here remember the words of Tom Robbins- leaders must stay committed to their decisions but be flexible in their approach. You now can dream more, aspire more and inspire more.
Best wishes,

Umar Jaffar
Senior School Principal

Pathways’ First MUN, PSNMUN 2013

Although this isn’t my first MUN, the fact that students from eleven schools, joining us here, in Pathways School Noida makes me feel excited! It just gives me an opportunity to meet new people and listen to their views upon global issues, And yes, the crisp suits and formal dresses, the chit passing, all packed into three days of fun, knowledge and discoveries. The speeches, debates, discussion and moderated and unmoderated caucuses are always a nail biting and mind boggling phase of almost any MUN.
Furthermore, these MUNs always help in letting us know more about social, global issues like terrorism, racism, poverty and many more topics. Participating in MUNs like one of these also keep us updated and makes us aware about world issues, and is one of the best sources to know about global  economic, political and social progress.
Any MUN is a good stage for students who want to contribute to the society and help with the progress of the world. Moreover, MUNs help widen our imagination and ideas about the world as it is all about putting innovative and effective ideas on paper.
The experience of my first MUN teaches me that one should always try to make an effort to participate more actively and know about the rules of procedure of an MUN beforehand to make the MUN experience more enjoyable and memorable. In the end, delegates are honored by distribution of prizes, so do not worry, the deserving will always be recognized!
 I wish all of us will a very pleasant PSNMUN. Let our minds explore!
Shamini  Singhal
 Form 9

Dr. Sanford Ungar's visit to Pathways School Noida

Dr. Sanford Ungar - A published author, International Journalist and the president of Goucher College lectured the Senior School on the 19th of January in the Multi Purpose Hall. It would be an understatement that everybody including the faculty was very excited to listen to him speak. Not only because he is a celebrity of sorts, but also, many students of our school are applying to Goucher, a reputed Liberal Arts University in the United States.
Dr. Ungar who also teaches the ‘Freedom of Speech’ course at Goucher College to Incoming Freshmen, did exactly that! He talked about what Free Speech meant to people inj the 21st Century. He cited radically different but surprisingly similar examples which although, were completely unrelated, were the similar in essence.
Dr. Ungar also took questions from the students and had discussions with Ammarah Khalid and Partha Sharma. The students gave highly interesting points of view which brought different aspects to the whole discussion. Dr. Ungar also talked about the thing closest to his heart – National Security - on which he has written multiple books.
All in all, the whole school enjoyed and learnt from Dr. Ungar’s lecture and we would love to have more distinguished speakers like him lecture the students.

Shubhang Arora
Form 12

New Students - 1st week at Pathways !

It has been just a week at Pathways, but I am totally enjoying it.

I wait for school .I even look forward to do my homework. Using technology inspires me, it motivates me to work harder. For eg we use Moodle to get knowledge on various topics. My classmates try to help me as much as possible. Thanks to my class buddy, I am able to catch up with my studies and understand concepts ,which are very important.

I enjoy all the games being played during the PE session.

Even though I have not been spent a lot of time in school, I can say a lot because I have lived each moment. I must add that the evening snack is always very tasty and so is the lunch.

Rhea Verma
Form 7B

My first week at Pathways is not really the first “week”. I have rejoined this semester after a break! I am delighted to be a part of the school again because I enjoy the environment and my old friends company!

Teachers were very warm in their welcome, as it seemed as if I had never left the institution. Nothing changed except my class and some new friends! My friends are the same entertaining and lot more funny. I feel very comfortable with all my teachers and my principal as they are always there to help the students academically. The cafeteria has become brighter with its newly painted walls. The library has been customized to a new level even bigger.

As I joined in 2nd semester I have too much backlog, which I have to complete! Ms. Divya is our new English teacher, and the Science teacher, Ms. Gayitri is my Form tutor. Even though it’s new innings, it appears to be an extension of my earlier days with only a short break! I am thrilled to be part of the same alumni.
Rahul Kilam
Form  8

 I joined Pathways School Noida a week ago. It was kind of tough at first for me to blend in because not only the people and students around me are new but also the education system. IGCSE  (the International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is new to me as I come from a CBSE curriculum background. I still need some time to get acclimatized to the environment, but I am progressing day by day as everyone around is very welcoming .The students and teachers are very frank. I didn’t think that I would start settling in here so fast but the environment here is very friendly and refreshing and it makes one feel that he has been here for a long period of time. I like this school very much for the way of teaching and how everyone gives each other a way to express themselves .Not only the studies but the outdoor activities are a lot of fun too, keeping in mind our fitness .The food served here is also very good. Every part of the school is very clean and the washrooms are hygienic. Thus far everything seems to be perfect and I hope to do well in this school.

Stanzin Nurboo
Gr 8 

Primary Assembly

The Beginning      
 When Louise and I were informed about the assembly and video making we both were very exited, as we watched miss uploaded the files from the Ipad to the computer.
The Challenges
We both searched the net but could not find any website or software which can combine videos, so we tried transferring the videos on the computer into the Ipad but unfortunately the file was very heavy and was unable to transfer the file.
Then we had to record the videos in the computer from the Ipad and put them in an app that can join videos. Finally that worked!
The Thinking

Dancing on the tunes
Later all the council members had a discussion about what we should perform in the assembly. Finally we decided who presents what, and for some zing we decided to play      “The gummy Bear Song”   at the last!
The Performance
We all were felling a bit nervous before the performance but when we stood on the stage magically all the nervousness went away and we performed very well, not to forget the gummy bear song … it was a HIT! Everyone came on the stage and started dancing!!
I must say it was an AWSOMELY FUN assembly!
Neel Barun
Form V

Environmental Systems field trip

The students of Environmental Systems and Societies (Grade 12) were taken on an educational trip to Garh Mukteshwar (Uttar Pradesh) from 13th to 14th December.  We visited the Ganges near the village Uccha. Being pollution free, the stretch of Ganges near this place is very rich in diversity. On the way to the Ganges (From the village) students got a chance to see and appreciate many different kinds of birds. Sighting river dolphins coming to breathe out of the river left everyone surprised, happy and eager to see more of them.
The area provided an excellent field study site. Some abiotic components of the river like pH and temperature were measured to see if they varied as the distance from the land increased. Samples of water and soil were also collected from different locations and carried back to school for further analysis of many other parameters. On the way back to the village, students also visited a place where Jaggery was made from sugarcane. They discussed the economics of a small scale factory and how renewable resources were used. They also tasted the freshly made Jaggery and a few students learnt to eat sugarcane! Students performed experiments based on diversity of different plants in the two big gardens near the fort.
We stayed at Ucchagaon fort where the students had a lovely time. The warm welcome at the fort left each one of us mesmerized. The bonfire and the local songs in the evening were a memorable experience for all.  An absolutely clean Swimming pool containing natural fresh water was something difficult to believe. Overall it was such a wonderful and enriching experience for the students that they were really looking forward for its extension. I thank the school authorities for giving me an opportunity to take my students on the trip.

Poonam Shokeen

EVSS Teacher