22 September 2013

From the Director's Desk

On Education
Thank you to all of you who shared your perspective on education in response to the question I raised the last time. To those who specifically defined education –  representative answers are published in this edition – as well as those who wrote more generally about what your experience of education has been at Pathways. To develop a space for discussion on the many important aspects of education is very important.

Thank you also for all the appreciation which so many parents expressed for the news of our rankings in Education World. Such recognition is a good temperature gauge of the school’s standing. It is of course only a partial picture as all such rankings are. Education is such a complicated and delicate idea that any such measure should not be seen as a definition, but it is good to have this affirmation nevertheless.

The introductory session to the MYP was well attended and led to much valuable discussion on the new path the school is moving on. As I said at the meeting the transition to the MYP is a long process and the first group will only sit their final examination in 2018. But it is an exciting development which in the new format which is being introduced by the IB will serve to prepare our students well for the Diploma exam.  I had the opportunity to attend a special IB conference in Mumbai this week and had further discussions on staff training and implementation with Ian Chambers the Head of the IB in the Asia Pacific as well as with Ashish Trivedi the Asia Pacific Head of the MYP. The implementation of the MYP is related to our current Form 6 and the grades below that.

We celebrate
Our KG teacher Meher Khan who completed successfully her Teacher’s Certification in  Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey (U.S). She now intends to work towards her Masters degree.
Ansh Anand from Form 4 who has been performing spectacularly well at swimming competitions.  At the District Level swimming meet held recently, Ansh won 2 gold medals and 2 silver medals and was awarded the individual championship for the Under 8 age group.

Coming Up Next
Our rehearsals for Founders Day have begun in full earnest. To give our children the experience of performing on a professional scale and for a large audience is a very valuable experience. However there are enormous challenges in doing so in a day school without stay backs and evening rehearsals. We see this as an educational opportunity which for a short while gives priority to Music and Dance and Drama over Maths and English and Science. However those subjects continue as well, and it becomes important as the weeks progress for students to keep on working even as the excitement rises. From 7th October we will move towards extended rehearsals during the day instead of the limited rehearsal time they have so far.
For the first time this year, Founders Day is on 2 days – 25th October for Primary School parents and 26th October for Secondary school parents. Do earmark these dates. 

Dr  Shalini Advani
School Director

The Purpose of Education Is…..

Here is a representative sample of the answers we got. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to enriching this debate.

To open up the mind to learn and understand the logic behind dos and dont's of the life, to strive the balance in life and make ourselves better human beings

Kirti Dua           
M/o Anika Dua
Pre Nursery

I would simply define Global Education as the guidance and steering of young global citizens, through opportunities of applying core theoretical basic knowledge (Language, Science, Math, So-Science, Art, Music etc.) so that they can see the inter-dependencies between theory and practice. While doing this they are motivated and encouraged to be truly “Diverse and Inclusive” in how they interact in the global society so that they not only preach  but actually practice sustainable development on the pillars of environmental protection, human rights, peace and democracy…. Global education means well rounded global citizens who value the world they live in and co-exist with other humans & animals with respect and peace.

Mr. Srikant Viswanath 
F/o Anhad 7A and Anmol 4A

What is education…..is what they always ask,
To read and write or to gain a degree, by completing difficult tasks.
To know what I know or to know what I should,
are the questions, that my mind & heart always ask,
And the search for the answers showed me the light, in the dark.

The power to realize what lies inside,
The power to abide, with the veracious thinking of mind,
The power to grow and let others grow alongside,
Is what education did to me, as an impeccable guide.

As the sculptor uses his tools, to bring a dead rock to life,
Education gives me a Reason, a Meaning and a Purpose,
In this journey…
…A journey in the circle of life.

Sachin Nalwa
F/o Aryan Veer Nalwa, NUR C

The purpose of education is to take civilization beyond its existing 

Mansi Popli
M/O Ridhaan Popli
Form Nursery B

"The purpose of education is to provide our children holistic growth to make them better individuals that are able to contribute to society and the world as a whole. While academic excellence is important I think the values that we learn at school and home make us what we really are. "

Sonia Mehta
M/o  Khanak Mehta
Form 11

Education is a continuous and an empowering process that strengthens children so that they can easily learn to deal with the various challenges they will face in life. It focuses on developing and bringing out the best of the student’s inner personality without neglecting the outer and material aspects.
This includes the right attitude ( as one’s attitude determines one’s altitude in life), wisdom for timely action, the eagerness to develop one’s passion, analytical thinking, in both personal as well as social life..in short it’s all about self-cultivation.
Besides this to be perfect in education, one has to make a meaningful contribution to society and the Country.

Ravi Bafna
F/o Tanaaysa Bafna
Nursery C

Education helps us to discover our true potential  and helps us to be  the best for ourselves and others as we all are part of a one big family....thus making the world a more beautiful place than we found it......

Kamalpreet Kaur
Primary Art Faculty

Develop the intellectual quotient of the person in such a manner that he can make the optimum utilization of his talent in the field he has strength and interest in. I as a child took lot of time to identify what is right for me and what I am made for. In life we might have interests in something whereas we are made for something else.
Give them the ability to put theory or knowledge to practical use, knowledge that cannot be used is as good as no knowledge.
Become responsible towards society and the environment. We should remember it is the society which make a nation and not an individual.
Develop a positive attitude and ability of gratitude towards life. This will bring  humility in the person.
I think a career will be the by product of all the above.

Manu Garg
F/o Vasavi Garg : class VIII A
Aadya Garg : class IV B
Ikshvaku Garg : class II A

From the Primary School Principal, Mrs. Usha Lamba

Curling up with a book and a cup of hot coffee on a cold winter night may sound like fun to some of you, but those of us who are addicted to reading know just how wonderful it feels to lose yourself into a whole new world. So we also know exactly what Gustave Flaubert was trying to say when he exclaimed, "Read in order to live'. And don't we all want to live and not just exist?

Now, how do we teach our students to read in order to live. We conscientiously organize several occasions in a year to focus on books and reading and the Literary fortnight is one such effort,  The
book exhibition and sale was planned with an objective to engage with books that they were free to buy. We had several parents, both Mums and Dads who came in to read to students right through the Primary. We had 3 authors Justice Leela Seth, Ms. Bina Kapoor and Ms Geetanjali Dewan, visit us and share their     
books and experience of writing
Geetanjali Dewan, Guest Speaker                    

We had Quiz and commentary on books that students were reading in the school assembly. The atrium looks like a wedding pandal with different coloured buntings and if you go closer you could read a book review on each of them. These have been read and put up by our students in Primary. Each door into the class is boasting of a book that they have enjoyed as a class. The Language Day was also a part of the Literary Week, where many parents volunteered to read a story in their’ mother tongue’ to our students. They set up several stalls and not only read to the visiting students but also shared the special culture that goes hand in hand with language of their origin. I take this opportunity to thank all the parents and guests who so graciously  took time to come into our world as educators.

Amidst all the excitement with books the students have also been passionately engaged with their auditions and the casting for the Founders Day is through. Practices have become increasingly serious. The students have been reading  the books of the musicals they are participating in and engaging with the characters that they will be playing. The musicians are busy rehearsing songs and music pieces so integral for a good musical while the choreographers are busy setting and practicing movements.  Other departments like Costumes, lights, sets, props arestarting to realize what a mammoth task it is to get a musical going in a school. What satisfies me is the tremendous learning I see every child go through, whether they are performing , or they are in the wings or they are back stage.

Literary Week in the Library by Ms. Anju Dutt, Librarian

We celebrated Literary Week in the school library from  9th -13th Sept.
It started off with the coming of famous personality Ms. Leila Seth the first women justice of India also the author of books “We the children of India “and her autobiography “On Balance” on the first day .The children from Grade-4 and 5 had an interactive session with her and they discussed all about

the constitution of India and asked her a lot of questions and she was astounded by the knowledge our children had about the constitution. The same day we had the book-fair which kick-started the literary week and it was a big hit with the primary school children.

As we had Roald Dahl’s  birthday in the same week i.e

13th Sept we thought of celebrating the whole week by reading his books and having different activities planned accordingly. Roald Dahl’s  famous book “The Enormous crocodile “was read to children  with props from     Grade-Nursery till Grade-3 and they all  enjoyed doing activities like colouring and making crocodile  bookmarks.

A quiz was organised for children of Grade-4 to 7 from Roald Dahl’s books “Matilda” and “Charlie and the chocolate factory” and the winners were presented books as gift from the library .The children enjoyed the quiz and wanted it to be done quite often in the library.

Spoken Word Events of the Literary Week by Shubhi Raghav 8B and Karan Pandanda 9B

As part of Literary Week, the English Department organised various activities, including the Middle School Elocution Competition and the Senior School Parliamentary Debate, both of which were Inter-House events. 

The Elocution Competition was a great experience.

What wonderful speeches, prose extracts and poems, with expressions and voice modulations to match!

Everybody had chosen their own topics and each one of them had made an intelligent choice. Every piece dealt with a social issue, ranging from freedom to racism to discrimination.

Being on stage is not everybody’s cup of tea, is it? So there was a bit of restlessness and nervousness in the air as well. All the pieces were very appealing but only the best could win.
The best speaker was Mehak; not because she had been declared the best speaker by the judges, but because most of us felt that there was that feeling in her eyes and that tone in her voice which could change the audience’s view.

While the results were being tabulated, one of the judges, Mr. Mowry gave us useful tips on the skills required for a performance of this kind.
And then finally, after what to us seemed an age, the results were announced - Air House had emerged the winners!

The Parliamentary Debate was the other spoken word activity of the Literary Week.  While we do keep having debates as inter-house events quite frequently, the Parliamentary form of debate was held as an inter-house event for the first time.
Parliamentary Debate is a form of debate that we are used to seeing on TV, especially when the Parliament sessions are on, or in political gatherings. However, the one we had in school was a much more civilized version. Two topics were debated on – both very relevant in the Indian context today.
‘Hindi, rather than English should be the language of instruction in schools’ and ‘Word Processors should be allowed in all school examinations’ were the two motions. Fire and Water debated on the first motion and Earth and Air debated on the second.
The ‘Government’ proposed and defended the motion whereas the ‘Opposition’ refuted and negated the motion. With both topics having equal amounts of pros and cons, the debate, as a whole, was extremely intense with strong rebuttals and confident speaking.
Air house were the winners of this event, too. The decision to declare Air House the winner was absolutely spot-on, as they had very strong rebuttals for their topic. The standout speakers were Tavishi and Advitya as they were the ones most confident about their topic.

We are looking forward to another round of these activities – SOON!

Extempore by Noyonika Gaba Gr 5A

Today I had a lot fun because I was dressed up as Miss Trunchbull from the book Matilda. We had an extempore competition where we had to speak on the given situation on the spot from the perspective of the character we were dressed as. It was trickier than we had imagined!
I was very nervous and when I was called to pick up a chit, I was excited and went out to think about my topic. My topic was “When I found a magical lamp”. I prepared myself to speak about something but when I went on the stage, I went completely blank and spoke something else. I spoke with a lot of enthusiasm. I tried not to look at Mrs Lamba, Dr. Advani and the judges or else my mind will get stuck in them and will speak something wrong. I finished before time and was very confident on the stage. After my performance, I was only thinking about the performance and couldn't concentrate on what others were speaking. I was asking my friend how did I do and was waiting very eagerly for the results. Don’t get me wrong, but I was thinking that I will win. When it was time for the results there were butterflies in my stomach and when it was announced that the Air house came first, I was very happy ... not just for air house, but for myself too.

Literary Week in the Primary School by Aarjav Bajaj and Keshav Sahni, Form 4

Literary week started with an interaction with Justice Leila Seth about her book which was fun to read. We had fun buying books at the book fair for two days. Next we all read lots of books and wrote our reflections on buntings for displaying in the school atrium.

We read more and more even at homes to make sure we have the most number of buntings out there from Form 4. Later, we had Ms. Ellen Peterson come to read a book on Refugees to us. We also had a parent Mrs. Maneet Singh come and read a book in Punjabi and translated it in English. This 

was a super funny session and we learnt many words in Punjabi and spoke too!

The Mother Tongue Centres at the end were great as we went from one to the other we could not compare and decide which one was better. The centers were Tamil, Gujrati,
Marvadi, Punjabi, Bengali, Persian and Sindhi. Some centres had food served which was yummy, some had a video to show. All centres had the handicrafts and books on display and we had many activities to do at each centre. The Literary Week has been so happening and so much fun.
                                                                                     Punjabi Centre

Tamil Centre

                                                                                     Marvadi Centre

Persian Centre

                                                                                       Bengali Centre

Sindhi Centre

                                                                                      Gujarati Centre

“Love, Hate, and Everything in Between” by Khanak Mehta Gr 11

Last week, we were privileged to watch the documentary, “Love Hate and Everything in Between”, along with the director, Alex Gabbay and the  script writer; Ms Sara Adhikari actually present there. The documentary naturally raised questions and prompted some debate around the room. 
We were over-awed by the different facets of human nature, and were actually wondering: can empathy resolve issues of aggression? It also made us realize what a major role, psychology, human behavior and technology play in today’s inter-connected world. The documentary started off with various people defining the word “empathy” and what it means to them. It made us question our own beliefs with regard to empathy. We were then presented various studies and statistics that showed how empathy is on the decline in today’s society. It left us all with a feeling of how we could bring more empathy into our day to day life. We, then, had an interesting question-answer session with the director and the script writer; Ms Sara Adhikari, where various students questioned him regarding his inspiration for the documentary, his views on empathy and its relevance in today’s society. It was a fruitful and enriching experience.

Road Safety by Radhika Sharma Gr 10

On Wednesday; the 18th of Sept, Grade 9, 10 and 11 got the
opportunity to attend a presentation on Road Safety conducted by Mrs. Rachna Yaduvanshi;  Assistant Head of Transport for Noida. It was a wonderfully informative session that was also very interactive. We were informed of the various causes of accidents on the
road in India. Two main reasons that were discussed were accidents because of usage of cell phones while driving, and rash driving. We were given data and also the psychological aspects along with interesting anecdotes. The various statistics impacted us and made us realize the value of our lives as well as of others on the road. This workshop by Ms. Rachna thus made us realize the importance of our civic responsibility and it was indeed a useful presentation as we look forward to being responsible citizens of the world. 

College Counseling by Deblina Chakraborty, Career and College Counselor

The new academic year ushers in a new journey for our students – the journey of the College Application Process.                  KIC University
While the Class of 2015 takes the first step towards building a personal inventory by reviewing personal and academic strengths, goals, plans and interests, the Class of 2014 is at the third step where they are drawing up a list of ten colleges which may represent a good ‘fit’ for them. To take the students through this journey in a meaningful way, the College Counseling Department at Pathways School Noida has facilitated various events since the commencement of the Term. Some of these include –

 UNIVERSITY VISITS – Faculty and Admissions Officers of a number of Colleges and countries were invited to interact with the students of our school and share information on campus life, course and college ranking, eligibility criteria and how to apply.
University Fair
Some of the colleges that visited us were Bond University Australia, St. Andrews’ Scotland, Trinity College Dublin, S.P. Jain Institute of Management, SIM Singapore, HULT, PIHMS New Zealand, 5 colleges from the UK and 17 colleges from the US.

These events help Form 11 students to review their academic interests and strengths and work out an overarching career plan. However, they serve a different purpose for Form 12 students who are in the process of short listing colleges for applications.  
Trinity College, Dublin                                                               
The Admissions Officers from many of the colleges appreciated the quality of interaction with our students and have gone back with the impression that they need to review each resume of a Pathways Noida candidate as   they thought we were a fabulous school with a strong curriculum and a focused student group.

Professors from Bath University UK visited our school and delivered faculty lectures on Current and Future Aircraft Design and Game Theory and Corruption.

The students of Form 11 signed up for these lectures based on their interests. Possibly the most interesting feature of the changing scope of education today is that students can pursue multifarious interests both academically and vocationally. These faculty lectures help students to understand  and identify their interests in a better way and begin to acknowledge the fact that there is little contradiction between two seemingly different subjects that they may want to major in.

 PROFILING STUDENTS AND SHORTLISTING COLLEGES – It is that time of the year when The Department is teeming with activity on this front. College preferences are developed based on the personal inventory of students and a preliminary list of colleges is being drawn up. The Admission Cycle for 2014 has started for the US and the UK and the Counseling Office is engaged in interactions with students and parents and in filing all the transcripts and testimonials for the students in order to make the process of application as seamless as possible.

For any queries and concerns regarding College Counseling please write to:

Deblina Chakraborty
Career and College Counselor    

Grade 4 Visit to the Tibetian Colony by Megha Arora Form Tutor Grade 4

Form 4 went to the Tibetan Colony in Kashmiri Gate as a part of their unit of Inquiry on Migration.
This part focused on effects of migration on culture, community and opportunities faced in the new lands. The students were thrilled to see a mini Tibet in the very narrow yet very vibrant streets of the colony. From Tibetan food to artifacts and souvenirs it was all like we were in a different country altogether. The students’ first stop was a Tibetan temple where the monks chanting was a treat to the ears. With idols of the Dalai Lama, the students sat inside the temple and felt how it was different yet with the same peace of being close to god. 
From there we went on to a Tibetan School where the students got
to interact with the students and teachers both. In their interaction with the teachers, the students asked them their questions about what made them leave their country and come to India, how difficult was it to settle in a new land, what challenges did they face while migrating, why did they want a colony of their own and make it look like the one back in their own country. The students from this interaction picked up a lot on forced and voluntary migration, push and pull factors and also the political disturbances in China and Tibet.

They were particularly sad to hear that the Tibetans were not even allowed to practice their own religion and study their own curriculum and that they were grateful  to the Government of India to allow them to do all that in a land alien to them.

In all, the students have picked up a lot from the trip and is definitely going to be an ever memorable one.

6 September 2013

From the Director’s Desk

Recently while being interviewed by a journalist from The Hindu newspaper, I was asked What, according to you, is the main purpose of education? It is a seemingly simple question but a most important one and worth discussing as a community at Pathways.  I would therefore invite you to answer this question and email me at  shalini.advani@pathways.in so that I can include your answer in the next newsletter.  Please keep your answer as short and specific as possible and include your child’s name and grade.

My answer was as follows: “The purpose of education is to enable each young person to be the best they can possibly be, and this includes both being best for themselves and the best for their world”. In other words, if you are excellent and get to the top but in a way which damages the people around you, your environment or your society, then your education has not succeeded. Equally if you are good and kind but have a lot of undeveloped potential, your education has not succeeded. 

Thoughts of excellence are at the top of my mind in the week after our Academic Awards ceremony. It is always wonderful to see our children excel or be awarded for consistent hard work or certain skills. We  were  delighted  to 
have two most distinguished Chief Guests to hand out Awards: Mr IP Khosla, former Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Hague for the secondary school and Ms Priyamvada Taneja IB Representative in India for the Primary school.

Teachers Day
The student body this year did us proud in the passion and enthusiasm with which they planned Teachers Day.
It was all deathly secret with no adult having a clear idea what was planned. On the day, teachers were greeted with flowers and an extensive programme which showcased our students talent to display their best. From  musical

performances to dance to mimicry they had us enthralled. They also persuaded teachers to showcase their own talents – singing, being quizzed, impromptu acting, sharing stories, doing a fashion show….All of it was done with the affection and respect which is a very special characteristic of Pathways.

In Celebration

I would like to highlight two areas of achievement.

Our student Shreya Gupta had a piece published with her byline in India Today on the important area of college admissions. It is great to read the confidence and authority with which she writes as you can see if you go to the 9 Sept, 2013 issue of the magazine India Today.

I would also like to congratulate Ms Pihu Kapoor for receiving her specialist degree in Early Childhood Education from Tertiary College New Zealand.

Please remember

· that from Thursday 12th September till end October, school will close at 3.40 not 2.20 pm.
· MYP introductory meeting for parents of Form 6 downward is on Saturday 14th September
·  Saturday 14th is a working day at the usual time for students. 

Dr. Shalini Advani
School Director