24 February 2013

From the Director's Desk

In this newsletter I would like to highlight four activities which effectively capture our learning values at Pathways. In combination, they demonstrate how we see education as a process which happens in multiple places and through various exposures.
1.            Sports Day & Sports Fiesta
A sports event is a part of every school’s calendar. At Pathways our philosophy is both to encourage healthy competition as well as promote widespread participation. Students are limited to entering for three events so that more students join, house spirit receives a boost as they cheer for their members and medals are awarded on the victory stand. There are cheers and sometimes tears but every student learns how to fight to win or to lose with grace. 
In contrast the Early Years Sports Fiesta aims at being what its name suggests – a Fiesta which is good humoured, enjoys the many activities which our little ones participate in and brings in parents to each of the activity areas. Our PE department does an excellent job of keeping both events going. Overall these two days bring alive our motto of Learn, Work, Play, Think, LIVE – so well captured in the drill performed on Sports Day.
2. MUN at Singapore
A group of middle school students from Form 6 – 8 are representing the school at a Model United Nations at the Overseas Family School, Singapore. This will give them a unique experience of interacting with students from across East Asia, competing as well as making new friends from other schools.

3.            Adventure Camps
In the third week of March, all classes from Form 4 up will go out on trips. The aim of this is to give our students the experience of activities which city children rarely experience – to trek, go rafting, rock climbing, camping etc. It takes them out of their natural comfort zone, challenges them to manage themselves in an unfamiliar environment. It is a central part of our education programme and is compulsory for all students. We take great care with safety, choosing trip organisers who have had experience with Pathways trips and ensuring that there are appropriate teachers escorting the group. Form 2 & 3 experience a modified version of this by spending a night in school. You will be getting more details from the school Principals.
4.            Jharokha: The Academic Fair
Our annual academic fair has a special focus this year. Our students from Form 1 upward will be showcasing how we use technology in teaching and learning, how it is an integral part of our strategy to extend the educational experience of our students. The purpose of our technology programme is to enable activities which cannot be done in any other way, to excite students to explore new ways of creating knowledge.  Pathways School Noida is a leader in this area  and we plan to invite teachers from other schools to share what we do in this area. The fair is on Thursday 14th March from 10 – 1 pm. Please do make the time to come and encourage them. I can assure you that you will learn a lot from this.

Dr Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Primary School Principal

“A Curriculum should be as messy as the Real World.”
Daniel Pink –The creative thinker believes the days of left- brain dominance are over.

Let’s look at all that has happened and is happening at Pathways Primary School, Noida, after the Winter break..... just a month gone by.... to reflect on how much we feed the right and the Left brain.....

The term began with a ‘Back to school’ program where parents got into the shoes of their child. The children of Form 2, 3 ,4 and 5 along with their Form Tutors planned this for their parents. This was followed by Sports Fiesta( Early Years) and Sports Day(Form 2 upwards). Amidst all this the students of form 5 wrote and enacted a satire on Gandhi’s ideals.
Sports Fiesta

                                            Yoga Display at Sports Day

                                                                  Enactment of Gandhiji's ideals
Now, the students of Forms 2, 3, 4 and 5 are getting ready for the Student Led conferences scheduled for the 1st of March, while the Early years students are working hard on putting together a Rhyme day for parents....a day of performance, singing and dancing. Form 2 is getting a play ready for woman’s Day on the 8th of March and the whole thrush on Technology as a tool to class room learning has gained momentum as  15th March approaches...the day of ’Jharokha’ our window into learning.

The class rooms have also been vibrating with energy and new inquiries. Students of KG have been exploring materials, while Form 1 has been enquiring on water as a depleting resource. Form 2 has explored images, while Form 3 has been experimenting with sound and light. Form 4 has been busy making working models that run on alternate energy sources and form 5 have been studying chemical, physical and metaphysical changes.

KG students at the crafts museum
The walls of the school have been stretched as students took trips to learn beyond .....KG went to the craft museum to study the work of artisans and also visited a Garment manufacturing unit as they brainstormed on understanding the process of change materials go through. Form 2 upwards are going for a theatre experience as they watch a production at  Alliance Francaise, Lodhi Road, New Delhi , a Christmas Carol Puppet Show.
.......are we well on the way to developing the left brain of a creative child ?? What say, Mr Pink??

Usha Lamba
Primary School Principal

2nd Annual Early Learners Sports Fiesta- Friday 15th February 2013

Our day of fun and excitement had arrived!

But, we wake up to see that the sky was full of  dark grey clouds ready to pour any minute. We kept our fingers crossed and hoped and prayed that the Rain God shows mercy on our little ones and waits till our event over and done with.

We came to school and saw that our games field was all set in an array of colours. Our P.E. department had set the different gaming stations for our students. Slowly the field filled up with parents who were eager to see what their little ones are going to be doing that day. ‘Will they be running a race?”, ‘Would they have to jump over hurdles?’ or ‘Would they have to manoeuvre around obstacles to stand first?’, their doubts grew by the minute. But they waited patiently for the event to be declared open by our Primary School Principal Mrs. Lamba.

Soon after we had a colourful pom pom display by our Form 1 students. Following which we had our little enthusiasts from Pre- Nursery to Form 1 line up at their respective gaming stations and wait for the signal to start their games.
Dancing to the tunes
They had to balance, roll, crawl, dance, focus, aim and hit. Their excitement knew no bounds while participating in these games. And best of all, these were all non competitive games... no one game first or no one lost a race. It was all in good sprit. The true reason for such an event was to build the spirit of sportsmanship amongst our students as young as 3 years old. What’s more? We even had our babies from our Early Years Day Care parading the field with their teachers and didis. All dressed in red, they added to the much needed brightness to the gloomy morning.                                       Early years Day Care
The cheer and enthusiasm from the parents motivated our children to give every game their best. That’s not all! Our lovely   parents eagerly participated in the musical hula hoop game and were seen laughing and giggling, reliving their younger days to the T.  At the end of the event they were full of praise and congratulated our P.E department and our team of teachers and everyone responsible for such an extraordinary fun filled morning not just for their children, but for themselves too.

Parents participation
And yes! The weather gods did behave after all. Not a single drop of rain till we finished our sports fiesta, had our refreshments and moved indoors.  Thank you God!
Form Tutor
Kindergarten B

Green Grass - Parent Section

Green Grass, lovely children, 100 plus beaming parents and the ever enthusiastic staff of Pathways Noida was the ideal setting for The Sports Fiesta.
It began with the Grade 1 students doing a bubbly performance and followed up with the toddlers marching down thinking it is the Republic Day parade at Rajpath.
The entire fiesta, as rightly coined, brought the parents to cheer their children who were all smiles and enthusiastic with high energy levels which will make Red Bull proud.  Dancing to vibrant music or putting the ball in the basket or crawling under the cover or whatever the children were upto was thrilling to the core. The enthusiasm was over flowing to the brim and proud parents clicked all these lovely memories and am sure would have Facebooked by now!!
Making it participative and No One Wins theme was ideal but this surprisingly saw the children more competitive without being told. Fifteen minutes down the fiesta saw a change of clothes, children removed all their winter wear to be more comfortable and were sweating to enjoy the thrill of mild sunlight which brought cheers to the organizers face since it was predicted as a wet day by our ever unpredictable Met department.
After the children it was the turn of the parents to participate in the fiesta with a round of Musical Chair without the chairs in place, the chairs were replaced by multi coloured Hula hoops. The icing on the cake was again the enthusiasm of the parents while being cheered by their children. It was fun, all in all.
All calories burnt out, it was time for a quick snack and a cuppa piping hot masala tea which was really exceptional.
As they say in school, it was Home time then.
Mr. Balaji Venkataraman
Father of Bhavya Balaji
Form 1 B

Leadership Skills - Workshop for Grade 7

“What are the chances?” I thought to myself. Two squares to my side, and two squares ahead of me. I make up my mind, as my shivering foot steps forward; all eyes look at me with eager now… Had I ruined everything?

On the 14th and 15th of February, Form 7 had a workshop on Leadership. We had two people come from Youreka who made us realize the importance of leadership through several interesting activities. The workshop started with a basic introduction to then trickling down to knowing ourselves and our classmates better. We then discussed each one of our role models and why we looked up at them. Some people said it was their determination while some said it was their open minded nature.  And that opened the door to the many activities that were in store for us. Surprisingly, we realized all of these skills came down to your level of confidence.
Soon enough, we were taken to the field where we played a game in where which each of us had a chance to complete a maze-like mat. When we went back and discussed the activity we realized almost every one of us made a careless mistake because deep inside we all had a pressure and a temptation to be the right one and that’s what pulled us further away from our goals.
I feel that this workshop really helped me boost up my level of confidence and it changed the way I view many things. I also learnt to respect everyone’s opinion as that’s the very first step towards success.
Mehak Diwan
Gr  7A

A leadership workshop was conducted on 14th and 15th of February for the seventh grade students. It was a life changing experience for me in which I learnt so much about myself and many other things. Our main objective was to use ESTAR in our daily lives. ESTAR stand for-Ethics, Self-confidence, Taking charge, Achievements and Respect for others. We came to know about each of these terms by doing activities and discussing about them. I had never enjoyed so much with my classmates: playing, working, thinking and the thing that mattered most was that we all were together. No boundaries by gender, reputation or any other kind of prejudice. I wish we have this leadership workshop every year. As I mentioned it was a lifetime experience which I will never be able to forget.
Shubhi  Raghav
Gr 7B

The leadership workshop that grade 7 did, was certainly a new experience for us. On Thursday morning, waiting for the counselors to arrive, we had no idea of all the fun we would be having. Most of the time, we played games such as guessing the other person fast, minefield and a blindfold game. However, these games each had their learning. We played a game called the poker face, which I think opened my eyes the most. We arranged ourselves unconsciously in the order of what we think of ourselves in the class. At the end of each day we sat down and discussed what we did during the day, and what we learnt. We worked on coordination and team spirit. At the end of it all, I think, it was fun and we learnt a lot , about us and others , and I would be willing to do it again.

Anya Lauria
Gr 7

Inter School Team Tennis Tournament

The first breeze gets you jumpy, the first hit makes you nervous, the first mistake makes you gloomy and the first inter school win makes you super happy. Rhea and I represented our school in a tennis tournament organised by Team Tennis and took the title in just 2 days and 4 matches. It was a wonderful experience as both of us had won many tournaments before but getting the first tennis trophy back to our school is just another feeling. Everyone was happy and proud of us. Our Coach, Mr. Amit Nair was happy as his hard work has paid off well. Rhea and I are good friends and came even closer due to the tournament. We hope to win many more tournaments and bring back trophies to our school.
Taapsi Kohli and Rhea Verma
Gr  8 & Gr 7

9 February 2013

From the Director's Desk

There is one theme which characterizes our activities over the past two weeks - and it is how we have addressed the question of what kinds of young people we want to create. If there is one way of defining the role of education in the 21st century world, it is through the development of confident, responsible young people with an awareness of the world. This is a process which begins at the earliest age at Pathways – at Pre-Nursery – and runs through the school upto the Diploma programme.

Partnering with Parents
Middle School Back to School
We believe that the creation of well rounded young people is a collaboration between home and school. Neither one succeeds without the support of the other.
                                                                                         Primary School - Back to School
Over the past two weeks parents from the Early Years, Primary and Middle School have come in to attend Back to School and Form Afternoons to understand the curriculum. For Pre-Nursery to Form 1 this was run by teachers. Form 2 – 8 sessions were delivered by students and teachers with parents acting as students, solving Maths problems, responding to poems in English and creating blogs in ICT. Students were delighted to have the upper hand, enthusiastically suggesting that plenty of homework should be set and parents arriving late should be penalized. The turning of tables was empowering for students who proved to be excellent communicators, clearly explaining processes and allowing parents a peep into how our learning is application-based and problem-solving in its approach. It was as challenging to move parents back into class after the coffee break as it is for teachers to do the same for students. Light-hearted and stimulating, the events were an excellent example of a student-led partnership in learning.
Internet Safety Week
All this week, you will have received in your inbox tips on internet safety – on what not to reveal in chat rooms, how to use Facebook sensibly, using passwords on sites and online payment. The internet is both enabling and dangerous and central to our extensive technology programme is to educate young people in the right approach to safe use. We knew it was successful when some children in Form 3 and 4 declared that if you gave your real name on sites, you could even be kidnapped. You can read more about the week-long activity elsewhere in the blog.
Model UN in the Middle School

We were delighted to host the first middle school Model UN, an event attended by 12 schools across the city. It was the culmination of months of planning by our core team of teachers, Smita Bhattacharya, Jyotsna Gaur and Aprajita Ralli. Visiting schools declared that it was a wonderful learning. The value of a Model UN is that it teaches the importance of international collaboration and debate, that countries like Burkina Faso, Togo, Iran etc have an important voice in international issues like human rights and environmental protection. You can read more about it at

 Secondary Student Council Investiture

The student council investiture was a solemn and elegant affair focusing on the seriousness with which we take student leadership. It came at the end of a hard-fought election inculcating a respect for democratic traditions of  selection, complete with campaign speeches and posters. The President Sonal Chawla administered the oath where council members vowed to perform faithfully the duties of their office. We are looking forward to working closely with the Council to strengthen the school’s activities.


Sports Day is coming on 22nd February from 8.30 am – 1 pm. Please do keep the day free to attend. For pre-Nursery to Form 1 we have a non-competitive Sports Fiesta on Friday 15th February. We look forward to seeing you there.

Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Middle School Principal

Becoming a responsible learner in the 21st century is a skill which plays a significant role in the way life shapes up. We at Pathways always strive to achieve it and provide the students with opportunities and experiences to enhance this skill.
The Student led conference by Form 6 & 7 students was one such experience. Students were extremely reflective as they shared their performance with their parents in different areas of work. A survey was conducted after the conference to take student feedback on this event. 73 %  of the students felt that it helped them to understand their strengths. 71% said that it helped them to share what they were learning in the school and 77% preferred student-led conference over  parent teacher conference . It was also interesting to see varied and mature suggestions on further improving the process.
Ms.Rona Rathod, Chief Guest Lighting the lamp
Inter-School MUN  hosted by Pathways was another such proud moment for me  where I saw the student delegates participating and  learning  and student volunteers from the middle school  executing their tasks  efficiently . During the breaks, they enthusiastically shared their learning from the proceedings.
Five students from Middle School will also be going to Singapore to participate in the MUN at the Overseas Family School.
Assemblies are also such events where one comes across a multitude of talent. In the Form 8 B assembly, the students showcased their musical and acting talent.The theme was ‘Wind of change’. Students enacted in a play which highlighted the key obstacles confronting gender equality in India and the requirement of change.
Technology can be a powerful tool to enhance learning, enabling students to access information and collaborate with others across the school, community and globally. However it is as important to educate the students on using the tool responsibly. While it is done as part of ICT curriculum too, increased focus was given during Internet  Safety  Week where the students learnt to use internet safely through various activities and competitions .
In short, providing our students right learning tools in an conducive atmosphere is an ongoing process at Pathways and we will continue to be innovative in our approach to meet our aim.
Sunanda Sandhir
Middle School Principal

President, Student Council Pathways School Noida

It was in just a few moments that the butterflies in my stomach turned into a huge ball of excitement. This was the moment when I went from being just another student to the President of the Students’ Council. This did not register in my mind at that time, and it is still not completely in my system yet. I won’t disagree that the process and journey to becoming the President was not a piece of cake. It took intimidating interviews, hours of campaigning and overcoming my stage fright to get here. A good leader is someone who does not walk in front of the crowd, but walks with the crowd, develops consensus to achieve end goals. This is what I will follow. My job is to voice my fellow students’ opinions and lead them through correct paths towards the end goals.
I am extremely fortunate to have the fellow members of the students’ council as so enthusiastic and clear about their goals. We all are really compatible and make a good team. I do hope that this will result in a quicker and easier decision-making process. I am positive that the coming year will be full of fun and good memories.
Sonal Chawla
President, Student Council 12-13
Pathways School Noida 

Outgoing President of Student Council - Ifrah Khanyaree

On 6th February 2013, The investiture ceremony for the student council 2013-2014 took place in the senior school atrium. I gave my last ever speech as the President of Pathways Noida and said:
“As I stand here today for the last time as the President of Pathways School Noida, I understand that time truly does fly fast. It seems like yesterday when I was sitting with the Council and we were brainstorming ideas to include in our first proposal or running around the school getting things in order for Teacher’s Day. I have learnt that leadership is not a luxury but a responsibility. The past year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, of experiences and opportunities that have taught me things that go way beyond the classroom. It is a hard job but it needs to be done and I could not have done this without the wonderful group of people that made up this council , I am ever so grateful to them for doing their best.
There are certain things that I will never forget, be it finally completing the constitution of our student council or feeling the thrill, enthusiasm and unity displayed by ever member while creating our first proposal for the changes in our uniform. It is after that proposal that I understood how the administration and the students have to work together to achieve what is best for our school and I hope that the incoming council remember this. I will never forget the constant running around in the cafeteria making sure everyone was settled before the assemblies began. I want you all to know that these memories are priceless and I hope our new president, Sonal remembers to treasure the moments that their council will create.
I am also indebted to Mr. Tagore and Ms. Puja for their constant support and guidance and to all of you Pathways students for helping us fulfill our responsibility.  I would like to congratulate the new council and I want you all to remember that there will be times when you will fail , there will be times when you will want to give up but always remember that there are hundreds of people who are looking up to you ,be strong and keep you head held high. All the best”
Ending my tenure by being able to give this speech , was a perfect ending to a wonderful year of memories and achievements.

Ifrah Khanyaree
Out Going President, Student Council
Pathways School Noida

Form Evening - Primary School

Early years invited all the parents for a form evening on 31st January, Thursday. It was a pleasure to see most of our parents attending it. In the first half, parents were in the classrooms with the form tutors.  Teachers shared a complete inquiry cycle, assessments and the curriculum. Our teachers were more than happy to listen and respond to queries and concerns of the parents. There was a short tea break for the parents to interact with other parents and teachers.
                                    Phonics Session
 In the second half, Pre-nursery parents enjoyed the story telling session organized by Ms. Garima. They went back motivated and enthusiastic to read with their child at home. For our Nursery and Kindergarten parents, there was a workshop on Phonics conducted by Ms. Mehar and Ms. Aneesha. Teachers shared the way letter sounds are introduced to children and the strategies used for reading and writing.
Parents found the sessions quite informative and look forward to more such interactions.
Aneesha Sawhney
Early Years Coordinator

My First MUN Experience at Pathways Noida

The PSNMUN was held on 31st January-2nd February. That was my first MUN and I have to say, it was one of the best experiences of my life. From walking into the committee to walking out, it was a real game-changer for me. The opening ceremony saw the introduction of the Executive Board of the UNSC, UNHRC and the UNEP. Each committee had its own respective agenda that they needed to tackle by the end of the three days.

I, myself was in the UNHRC alongside 49 other committee members. Some experienced, some were stepping foot into a committee for the first time. With the introduction of the agenda and the GSL, the debating began immediately. I was so surprised by the level of knowledge that each delegate possessed, I thought it was going to be very tough going for the next three days. However, that ceased to be the case with my Executive Board. All of them were experienced enough to know that every country had a say in these matters and gave everyone their chance in the spotlight.
The first thing that the committee established was the General Speakers List. This was by far the most dangerous place to be, should you have chosen to yield to points of information. Your nation would always be attacked by the members of the opposing bloc and you had to be ready to face whatever would lie ahead of you.
With two Blocs formed, primed and ready to go at each other with all the research they’d collected, the debate began. With the majority siding in favor of the topic, my bloc (the opposition) should’ve felt weaker; however we fought long and hard to fight for our topic. The heated caucuses were the most exciting for me. But it remained to one of the most dangerous places to be attacked. With statement after statement, you could always expect to receive an attacking statement on your nation’s view of the topic. In the case of the UNHRC, it was Capital Punishment. The Bloc in favor of keeping it, undoubtedly had more experienced MUNers but the numbers were against us.
As well as the debate, there was the always controversial chit-passing which proved to a strong point for many but fatal for others. The word: controversial is just about right, to describe the chit passing that happened in the various committees. We saw a couple of sparks flying between delegates, and some very well worded arguments that left other delegates clueless as to how to answer.
However, there was a sudden entrance of our Secretary-General who was ready to give us a crisis about a 14 year old girl who had recently been stoned to death in North-West Afghanistan and that they boy she had the affair with, was already engaged but had been sentenced to death in a prison in the same province, which was controlled by the Afghan Government and US Afghan Forces. I was glad to hear of the crisis, despite the incident that occurred, because we finally had to chance to come to a unanimous decision about the resolution as well as putting our skills to the test for a real-life situation.
My bloc had shared some ideas with the opposition during the un-moderated caucus. We had to come to a resolution to solve the crisis and we had finally come up with 2 of them, which fulfilled both of the blocs’ needs. But ultimately, the other bloc had plans of their own and in the end, their resolution was more fulfilling to the crisis.
Sadly, we had come to the end of the MUN as soon as we had given the final resolution to the Executive Board. But at the end of the day, I had made many new friends and maybe some mortal enemies.  But regardless of that, the PSNMUN, was very well handled. From the ever-patient Executive Board to the Conference Staff, everything was well organized for the thirteen  schools that participated in the MUN. With this being my first, I’m sure I’m already hooked onto the concept and will definitely look forward my next MUN and would recommend anyone to try it out. One thing I’ve learnt here is that; regardless of the fact that you might be more insignificant or a huge superpower, you can still make a difference to everything that happens in the committee. So this is definitely a place where you can raise your voice for the various happenings all over the world.
I would definitely recommend the MUN to anyone who is willing to voice their opinions and I myself, would definitely go for my next MUN!
Advitiya Narang
Form 9 A
The Delegate of Togo had a wonderful experience and really enjoyed the first ever attended MUN of her life. The pace was set with a fantastic opening ceremony which included percussion and more music. It was great to know that twelve schools from the NCR were participating in the event.
Chief Guest Ms. Rona Rathod,
Pol.Section, US Embassy, New Delhi
Our Executive Board was already present in the committee room when we reached there. The first sentence of the Executive Board of  the United Nation Security Council in the morning made us realise that we needed to be very attentive and that at the same time, we could expect to really enjoy and learn from MUNs.
Sitting on a desk with the flag of my country and a placard with my nation’s name made me feel all important. Just the very presence of my country’s report in front of me, all the information that I had gathered about Togo before the MUN and the presence of other delegates, all equally well prepared, gave me butterflies in my stomach.
The agenda of the UNSC, was “Peace building in Afghanistan from 2014”.  The three days of PSNMUN took us through a range of situations. We were                                                              Executive Board
discussing, debating, found ourselves in the middle of a crisis; we collaborated, lobbied, hollered, negotiated – basically, had a crash course in aspects of diplomacy – very ably guided by the Executive Board, who taught and trained us on the go.
The last session of our MUN ended with laughter and praise for the Security Council participants  and the Executive Board. We went for the closing ceremony where the dancers performed wonderfully and left us stunned. Everyone was happy with results. There’s always one winner but here everyone was a winner as MUN -ing is not easy but we accomplished and took the best out of it. I fell in love with MUN and hope to participate in as many MUNs as  I can. The delegate of Togo shall remember this experience for her entire life, thanking everyone who gave her this opportunity and also the ones who were a great help! 
Taapsi Kohli
Form  8A