16 August 2013

From the Director’s Desk

A very warm welcome to the first news update of the new academic year. I would like to extend a special welcome to all those families who have joined us this year. This communication comes once a fortnight and gives you an overview of the school in many voices –  in addition to myself, from students and teachers. It enables us to make announcements, alert you about upcoming plans and share areas of concern. Essential to the successful development of our children is a shared understanding between families and the school about what we are seeking to achieve. 

We have been happy with the results both for the IB Diploma students and the Form 10 IGCSE students. At the IB, Partha Sharma was the top scoring student with 42 points. At the IGCSE,

whose results have just come out, we are delighted that our highest scoring student Supriya Ganesh (pic. attached) achieved 5 A* and 3 A grades. Sameera Khurana achieved 3 A* and 4 A grades and Tavishi Gupta achieved 2 A* and 6 A grades.

In a very different type of result, we cogratulate Ansh Anand of Gr 4  for getting two silver medals in the Inter School Swimming Competition at Cambridge School, Noida.
 Events In School
Although school has been open only two weeks and there have been an unusual number of holidays this month, there have been very many events already. The orientations for new students
and parents, the day-long orientation to  the IB Diploma for Form 11 students,  the welcome assembly helped new students to get important information.

Groups of senior school students have had exciting and challenging experiences at Model United Nations 
events and student conferences              MUN Training at Pathways Aravali 
A group has gone to participate in the Doon School Model UN. Another group of students accompanied by the IB Diploma Coordinator Ms Geeta Verma travelled to Warwick University for the IB Student Conference.  We were the only school from India amongst Schools from     
    IB Student Conference, Warwick University

South Africa, various countries in Europe, Australia, Singapore, China. Another group attended a MUN training at Pathways Aravali.

To commemorate peace and remember the destruction of nuclearization senior school students were fortunate to host the noted writer and speaker Professor Achin Vanaik who was inspirational in his analysis of the reason countries opt for nuclear weapons. 
Prof. Achin Vanaik, the founder member of the "Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament" 

This followed after an assembly on this theme conducted by the students.

Upcoming Events
Please do earmark the Academic Awards ceremony for Primary and Secondary school – 27th August for secondary awards and 30th August for Primary school.

Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Senior School Principal

I write down this my first letter to you there are myriads of thoughts that flood my mind and already the one month that I have been here has allowed me to connect so much with the family here at Pathways.

April 2013, was when I first came down to Pathways Noida to interact with management, staff and students and I must confess that the first morning, 22nd April to be precise, was one of the most memorable that I have had. I had barely been in Dr. Advani’s office when in came the then entire 11th Form (the present 12th Form), just to see who was going to be the new Senior School Principal. They were so effusive and vocal in their affection that there was an instant connect and I must acknowledge that in my 2 decades of teaching I have never been welcomed in such a warm and affectionate manner.

Over the last one month I have been working to ascertain the systems and areas of strengths and some aspects which we need to work more on. I must share that the parents I have interacted with have been very understanding and excellent in their support to the school and clearly understand what the Pathways philosophy is. However, I wish to once again reiterate that the upbringing of a child is a partnership which we engage in and even the best of schools can only succeed when we work together with parents to bring out the best that we all so desire and know our children can aspire and become!

It has already been a fortnight since school has started and it’s been an action packed two weeks with IGCSE results coming in, students busy with new forms, new form tutors and co form tutors, a new time for Assembly (yes! We now have our assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lesson 2), the Crazy hair day
when we had some absolutely creative hair-dos and special assembly for Independence Day, which was an excellent amalgamation of the modern and the traditional India. 8 of our students also went to Pathways Aravali for MUN training together with two of our staff and have returned with very good ideas on how to make the MUN spread over even more at our school.
Interactive Session with CND Team
So when I look forward to very exciting times ahead at Pathways Noida, I do see that this school is special because of its ethos! Because of its sensibilities that each child is unique and special. Of course this may sound clich├ęd, because it is one that so many educational institutions may announce as its USP. However, the very fact that all children are accepted as they are and the fact that so many testify to the fact that their being here has changed them and helped them discover abilities and gifts which they never knew they had and all in an environment where they are really happy is truly the ultimate testimony to a Happy and Happening school!

I believe it is the Pathways philosophy that has made it a force to reckon with in the education world in India! I am reminded here of a story. Probably you have heard it before, but I still would like to share it for the simple fact that it resonates so much with what we believe here at Pathways!
An old man was walking down the beach and saw a young man throwing a Starfish back into the ocean. He observed that there were hundreds along the shore and the young man ran along the beach and tossed them in, one by one! Cynical as older people can be, he asked the young man why was he trying since there were too many and it would make no difference! The young man paused for just a moment and tossed another one back into the ocean and said with a smile, “But it made a difference to that one!”

While a cynical world may not comprehend the value of the effort, we believe that it is worth all the while to go all the distance to make a difference to each child. To see the smiles and happy faces of our children and the growing achievements of our school, truly is something that will spur us on in the days to come.
Alexandar Abraham
Senior School Principal

New Staff at Pathways School, Noida

Primary School :  
Dr Aarti Bakshi- SEN, Monica Garg - Primary Teacher, Kamal Preet - Primary Art Teacher, Sonia Singh - Primary Teacher, Sukirti Misra  - Primary Asst Teacher, Deepa Nanda  - Primary Teacher, Aastha Luthra Part-Time Music Teacher, Mousumi Rai Part-Time Dance Teacher, Jyoti Rawat Bhagirath  - Primary Teacher, Himi Dayal - Primary Assistant Teacher, Kaajal Pahwa - Primary Asst. Teacher

Secondary School:

Sonal Rawat - Math Teacher, Sheeba Abraham - Physics Teacher, Deblina Chakraborty - College Counsellor, Divyaa Verma - Hindi Teacher, Pilar Cinca  - Spanish Teacher, Mohit Singh - Geography and Resource Teacher, Akanksha Singh - School Counsellor, Arti Gupta - ICT, Abdul Hannan HOD, Design & Technology, Smita Mittal - Hindi Teacher, Preeti Panwar - Psychology Teacher, Khusboo Khandelwal - Business Management and Economics, Geeta Sachdeva - Maths Teacher


Animesh Jha - EAL Teacher, Himani Puri - PE Swimming Teacher, Rajesh Sahu - P.E. Teacher, Basketball, Shrichand Gupta - P.E. Teacher, Golf

Model United Nations Training at Pathways World School Aravali by Shreya Biswal Grade 11

Twelve students from Pathways Noida attended the MUN workshop, held at Pathways World School Aravali on the 9th and 10th of August. It was a wonderful training simulation for the students of Pathways who were interested to learn more about the works of a Model UN.

The first day was full of sessions on the procedures and operations of MUN which were given by trainers from Wordz, Delhi. The trainers had extensive experience and knowledge of the MUN and made sessions incredibly insightful. The students acquired a lot of new skills from these sessions and gave in their best to participate among the discussions. On the second day, a ‘mock’ MUN was held to practice as well as demonstrate their learnings from the previous day. The experience was educating and fun at the same time. 

Independence Day Assembly by Aliya Pal Gr 8B

“At the stroke of midnight India will see a new dawn….” said Jawaharlal Nehru on the night of 14th August, 1947.So, once again, exactly after 67 years, we assembled in our school hall to celebrate the spirit of Independence which was quite evident in primary school children, as they were all dressed in traditional Indian clothing. I think an assembly is a great way to pay homage to our saviors because of whom we are breathing an air of freedom. 
The assembly began with a melodious patriotic song by the junior
school choir followed by senior school student Natasha (the host) interviewing three freedom fighters: Mangal Pandey, Sarojini Naidu, Bhagat Singh. That was an excellent way to provide the audience with the forgotten facts about these great personalities. The junior school play showed the modern
perspective of Independence and added fervor by finishing off their play with dancing on the song ‘Vande Mataram.’ The best part was children waving with their palms colored with the three colors of our national flag.
Excitement and anxiety started building up in the air, when the ‘Quiz’, hosted by Sanya Sharma (8B),
was introduced for the houses. The four teams, as well as the audience, were asked a series of questions based on the journey of Indian Independence. Lots of brainstorming came in motion. All the four teams performed well, but Water House took it away by scoring 37 points. Cheers erupted like an active volcano from the crowd, expressing their appreciation and happiness. This quiz provided us with the information, we all should know, about Indian Independence. Subsequently, Dr Advani expressed her delight over the clever and brilliant concept of today’s assembly.

 The assembly came to an end with Dr. Advani hoisting the flag and distribution of sweets to the whole school. It was   really a thought provoking and fun filled assembly.

Pathways School Noida -DP Orientation - Class of 2015 by Saharsh Arora Grade 12

New beginnings are always exciting affairs, bringing with them an earnest sense of adventure. However, they also bring with them a number of questions. Accordingly; an orientation program was conducted on the 30th of July.
This was to acquaint the new parents and soon-to-be form 11 students with the IBDP, and to assure them of the high academic and co-curricular standards of the school.
The orientation commenced with a speech by the Student Council President, Sonal Chawla, who talked about how the IB is a rigorous course. She also stressed upon the fact that it is interesting and engaging as well. Sonal was followed by our School Director; Dr. Shalini Advani, who brought forth the multifaceted nature of the DP, ranging from the intense academic requirement to the Community Action Service required as part of CAS which not only prepares students for their careers, but also makes them open-minded world citizens. After Dr. Advani, the Senior School Principal;Mr. Alexander Abraham raised some very pertinent points and compared the IB to a marathon (“the key requirements are the same; resilience, efficiency, consistency, and the ability to move neither too slow nor too fast.”). He also warned the students about the zero-tolerance policy the IBO has towards plagiarism and academic dishonesty. He was followed by the IBDP Coordinator, Ms. Geeta Verma, who, tackled the pragmatic aspect stressing on how it was imperative to give importance to all the components of the IB; be it  academics, CAS, Extended Essay or TOK. She also emphasized the importance of working everyday and meeting deadlines.
The second session was with the students of grade 11 and it began with the IB Learner Profile, International-mindedness. This was an interactive session facilitated by Mr Sudripta Tagore HOD English/SLC. Vivek Verma; a Grade 12 student highlighted the importance of inculcating the LP/ International Mindedness
through various subject areas.They were followed by Ms. Jyotsna, HOD Economics and B&M who explained the Extended Essay, warning the students to not take it lightly, and work in a consistent manner while  regularly meeting deadlines. After her, Saumya Joshi, a student of form 12, described her experience with the Extended Essay, Ms. Smita addressed Theory Of Knowledge and told students about the Essay and Presentation that are the part of the assessment.   Ritika Sharma discussed the profound questions chanced upon in her TOK classes, and how it makes students question everything.
The post lunch session saw Ms. Geeta explain the importance of CAS and how it needs to be a balance of Creativity, Action and Community Service. The Interact President and Grade 12 student;
Ashira Singh shared her CAS experience next. What followed was a very interesting presentation on how technology is incorporated into the teaching system at Pathways by Computer Science and ITGS HOD; Ms. Geetanjali Dewan and student Shivin Moza. Finally, the School’s College Counselor, Ms. Puja Rao, explained the process of college application. The orientation ended with an introduction of the DP Faculty. The new students left considerably better-equipped to deal with the IB with a good understanding about the Diploma programme.

IB World Student Conference UK 2013 by Ms. Geeta Verma, IB & DP Coordinator

Utopian Visions: Employing the Arts for Social and Political Change

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has created a series of World Student Conferences (WSC) to bring together IB Diploma Programme (DP) and IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) students from around the world to experience what it really means to “think globally”. At these conferences students are exposed to a mix of cultures and form new friendships as they explore ways to make our world a better, more peaceful place.
5 IB DP Grade 12 students from Pathways School Noida joined 150 fellow IB students of 28 nationalities at one of the UK and world's most prestigious universities; University of Warwick, Coventry, UK for this year’s conference. They were there to be inspired and they engaged on a range of global issues from 4th Aug through 10th Aug,2013.For Isha Agarwal, Saumya Joshi, Vidushi Sachdeva, Ritika Sharma and Maulini Sikri, it became an experience of a life time. They were accompanied by the IBDP Coordinator: Ms Geeta Verma who was a part of the conference as an Adult Observer.
This chaperoned event which lasted five days and provided our students with an exceptional opportunity to develop leadership skills and international understanding. The theme was “Utopian Visions: employing the arts for social and political change.” We were the only DP school from India and we felt a great sense of pride and responsibility in representing our country.

At the piazza!
The team reached Birmingham and then the University campus on a rainy afternoon on the 4th of Aug. The weather was typically English with intermittent rains followed by warm sunny spells. After settling in the residences, the evening saw introductions and a ‘Brit Quiz’ followed by a lavish dinner.
5th Aug 9.00 am saw the opening ceremony which included a welcome from the IBO, University of Warwick and RSA Academy. Next was the plenary by Jeremy Gilley, the Founder of Peace One Day. His central message was to make 21st Sept a worldwide peace day and get the IB community involved on a global scale.
Further plenary saw Phil Kaye; an award winning poet and published author, use Performance Poetry as a powerful tool for change and Ben Walden; Artistic Director of Contender Charlie, teach leadership skills through the four elements of Fire, Water, Air
 and Earth. On most days, the plenary sessions were followed with refreshments and recreation where the students could relax, chat, post, tweet, reflect or rehearse. Next there were two long sessions with the Global Action Team where students worked in groups to put together a creative arts project. The main idea was to create change through theatre, music, dance and the graphic arts. ‘Peace One Day’ projects were collaborated upon and our students have come back with a plethora of ideas on how to take the idea of peace forward in this region.

The GAT Sessions
The conference also included trips to the Birmingham City centre, where all indulged in retail therapy and a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon to fall in love with all things Shakespeare! An informal talent show saw Isha and Ritika do a typical Bollywood numbers which was greeted with a  lot of claps and cheers.

The final showcase saw all our students express their views on world issues through physical theatre, songs, drama and graphic arts. None too soon, the last day dawned bright and sunny and all the students presented their Arts project in a showcase. This was followed by an evening of ‘Bollywood, Bhangra and Curry’ which was the theme for the final dinner and dance session.

The art of change through graphics
The great bonding experience was a life altering event for our students and they have come back enriched, connected and determined to make a change .

Nuclear Disarmament by Sana Dewan Gr 12

Professor Achin Vanaik, the founder member of the "Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament" visited our school.

He shared his views on nuclear disarmament and world peace. During his talk, he primarily focused on the relationship between science and ethics.
He raised moral sensitivity in young minds by creating awareness that nuclear weapons are solely a threat to life and should not be encouraged; even for defensing a country. He spoke about the tension that sparked a nuclear arms race, a frantic era in which several nations tested myriad of nuclear technology in an effort to get ahead of one another. He also talked about the way forward, as well as steps a nation must take towards disarmament.

His speech shocked all as he spoke about dehumanising the human by telling us how detonation of the first nuclear bomb as well as celebrations thereafter have been short-lived.

It engaged all students at an intellectual and an emotional level.
The entire student body as well as staff almost immediately felt connected with the charismatic speaker.

Independence Day by Early Learners - By Aneesha Sahni, Early Years Coordinator

Early learners celebrated Independence Day with a special assembly in the Primary School atrium today. Dressed in traditional Indian clothes, they walked in with flags in their hands. Mrs. Lamba along with the music teachers led all our little ones in singing ‘Saare Jahan se Acha’.  Becoming familiar with traditional patriotic  songs the little ones danced along with the song ‘Maa tujhe Salaam’ and  ‘Ye Desh hai Veer Jawano ka’.

Special Assembly by Form 5 Students - Vandana Parashar, Form Tutor Gr 5

For our first primary school assembly, we all had to put up a presentation under the theme ‘bring a smile’. On day one of the school, amidst all the buzz of settling in, Form 5 students and teachers began brainstorming on the idea of bringing a smile on everyone’s face. This process worked as a great ice-breaker activity for us. All the students, new and old alike came up with amazing ideas, out of which we all decided to present an advertisement. Students made it extremely funny by adding some
hilarious movements; but they also kept in mind that these gestures should be entertaining and not offensive to anyone. They even decided to conclude it with a lesson; i.e. some advertisements exaggerate information in order to sell their products; therefore, we need to be smart enough to make the right choice. Considering it was just the second day of school, they delivered a very impressive performance with powerful dialogues and a clear message. It was a pleasure seeing the new students participating with amazing enthusiasm and confidence.