11 October 2013

From the Director's Desk

On the face of it, the dominant activity for the moment is the rehearsal and focus on Founders Day. This year’s theme of Broadway musicals ensures that the amphitheatre is filled with singing and dancing from the youngest students up through the school. Despite an unusually warm October followed by unexpected rain, I must admire the good-humoured energy of all our students who draw on astonishing levels of energy. This is matched only by their teachers who despite looking harried as they keep an eye on their flock, work on sound and music and drama and dance, plan lights and sound and costumes – and look as if they are enjoying it. A show with a cast of over 550 students draws on all the talents of a school and is well on the way to being a grand event. I am looking forward to your sharing the performative talent of your children on the 25th and 26th.

Life would be simple if Founders Day is all that is on. Form 12 is busy with their regular academic programme, using the blocks of time available to do extended lessons including tests and preparation. Most are also in the midst of college applications, reminding teachers to write their letters of recommendations and meeting application deadlines.

Middle school teachers are putting together their first MYP pilot units, discussing plans and reviewing the IB requirements for these. Students of Form 6 will be working on them through November and December – a useful testing of the MYP area even before we begin formally teaching this in the next academic year.
Mr. Sudripta Tagore, Stephen Abraham, Simran Bhan, Supriya Ganesh
Sameera Khurana, Parth Kapoor
I am delighted to share that the Pathways Noida team stood first in an inter-school competition on interpreting works of literature, held at Pathways Gurgaon. There were a large number of teams from various international schools in and outside the NCR and our senior school children did us proud with the depth of their understanding and creativity of their response. More details will be available shortly.

At the Model UN at Pathways Aravali, Divya Tyagi from Form 9 won first position among over 200 students for the best Position Paper.

Finally in Sports: At the inter-school swimming meet hosted by Pathways Noida in which 13 schools participated, a number of students won medals: From Form 7 Anjali Peterson won a Bronze medal, from Form 4, Ananya Shahani won 2 silver & 2 Bronze medals, Falak Suteri won 1 Gold & 1 Silver Medal, Adya Verma won 1 silver medal, from Form 3  Camille Wydemans won 2 silver medals, Shubhankar Nehra Won 1 Bronze Medal, and in the senior school our soccer team won against Lotus Valley school in a friendly match.
With the spread of the Hand Foot and Mouth virus through the city, we had a small number of children in Pre Nursery and Nursery who were also affected. After a quick review it was decided to close these two year groups for this week. This seems to have isolated the problem and fortunately we have not had any further cases reported.

A reminder that the school is closed on 14th and 15th and that we move to evening rehearsals from the 21st.  If preparation continues to be challenged by rainfall, it is possible that some students will need to come in for rehearsal on Saturday 19th. We will let you know by Thursday if this is to happen.

Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Senior School Principal, Mr. Alexander Abraham

Herbert Spencer, the celebrated English philosopher and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era once said, “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action”. Though written well over a century ago, this thought holds great meaning in a school like Pathways which looks for ways by which our students may not just acquire knowledge which is essential to any school or education but develops the human personality with all its complexities as well as diverse potential.
Since the new academic year has begun, we have plunged headlong into academics, participated in events happening both at the Inter House as well as the Inter school levels.  We are striving to retain some balance between academics and Founders Day. As many of you are aware, we are doing an amalgamation of 4 major Broadway musicals. So, what is so special about a musical and why is it so different to any other theatre form? Well by nature a musical takes the core areas of drama, music and dance and produces that wonderful heady theatrical creation which has absolutely gripped our students.
Practicing on stage
For the senior school, the production chosen is a famous Broadway musical called “TOMMY”, which is the journey of a young man who faces rejection from all facets of society because they can’t understand his personality. It is the story of the self-realization of a young man who comes to recognize he is special and celebrates at the end by singing, “I’m free!”. As we work towards Founders, our endeavour is to help each one of our young Pathwaysians recognise that she/he is special and has their own place and niche to carve. Alongside we continue to remind them that a truly balanced student (which incidentally is one of the 10 IB Learner Profile attributes) will learn how to handle the academic requirements as well as the other cultural or sports considerations with equal aplomb and be the complete person that a Pathways education strives for.

I must share that our Form 12 students are very focussed in this very intense year of their lives. They are not actively participating in the Founders due to their academic commitment but as the senior most form of the school ,they have been offering very effective advice and inputs to their juniors. Meanwhile they are intensely working towards their rigorous Internal Assessments and college applications and we are looking forward to some very good college offers for Form 12. For the first time we have added  a December preparatory exam for Form 12 this year, as  it will focus their examination preparation in readiness for the IB exams in May 2014.

Pathways World School Model United Nations, Aravali by Divya Tyagi, Gr 9 B

The 3 day Model United Nations conference was much more than a usual conference, it was a hope of proving yourself as a resolution. The theme of “I too can be the resolution”, urged delegates to believe in themselves and exhibit the essence of leadership.  11 Students of Pathways Noida, left the school early on the morning of 30th September, commencing their journey to become a part of over 300 ardent delegates from all over the nation. Being one of the eleven and having the opportunity of attending my first Model United Nations conference as a delegate, I was fully charged up with zeal. 

The first day of the conference, marked its importance by an enlightening opening ceremony.  As the conference proceeded, so more did I get a feel of turning into a sincere delegate. Learning, understanding, defending, leading and debating, I passed my three days at the conference. Above all, meeting myriad delegates; I cherished the whole experience of being at an MUN conference. The days went by swiftly, leading us to the closing ceremony. Embracing and treasuring the memories of the past days, finally came the award ceremony. Though, not at all expecting, I bagged the best position paper award there. Having experienced this great MUN, I surely look forward to more MUNs. 

Edu-Musical Story- Ekki-Dokki by Dr. Swati Sawant, PYP Coordinator

Our whole school currently resonates with exuberance for the upcoming Founders Day where our children; right from our babies in the  Pre Nursery to Form 11 youngsters are busy preparing for their roles in this major production with their Dance, Music, Drama and Art specialist teachers.
To make this journey more meaningful for our Primary School
children one of our very own endearing Drama teacher Ms. Garima Arya, also the director of a theater group called Dramabaaz Co.  and one of our Music teachers the celebrated Mr. Kamleshwar Verma who is an active member of Delhi symphony orchestra, member of AIR and also the most famous band in India The Silk Route joined hands to showcase an exemplary Edu-musical story  before our students.
Choosen from the rich treasures of Maharashtrian Folk tales, this simple tale of two sisters “Ekki Dokki” warmed students hearts and brought a smile to both old as well as young. Numerous attributes of the IB  learner profile and attitudes unfolded before everyone’s eyes. The message Choose Reflect Act was subtly given through the medium of this edu-musical story which ended up with Ekki the sister with one hair getting a lovely mane because of her good deeds and Dokki the sister with two hair ended up losing both of hers because she was too occupied to meet her own ambition rather than help others around her. However, like most stories for young ones, this too ended on a happy note with Dokki learning a lesson for life.
Are you wondering what was the purpose of our teachers putting up this performance for our students?
As you may be aware, Edu-musical stories are specially designed programs to provide musical  knowledge through the use of dramatic expressions, using stories as a tool. They are generally used for children, aged between 2 to 18 years. The aim of this endeavour  is to build up student’s knowledge of musical elements in a fun way. Increase in the level of student confidence, communication skills, creativity and imagination along with cooperation and teamwork are also some of it’s by products.
Our students are going to present extracts from various musicals for the Founders day. So what better way than our teachers performing for our students to actually show them how one person can take on various roles, how one does not require elaborate costumes and sets to engage an audience. Watching the intricate weave of this Edu-musical story that blended songs, music and drama, where characters, voices, tones and expressions changed so fluidly was a great educational voyage for our Primary students who are all set to embark on their own journey as performers.
Giving unlimited opportunities to children in our care to discover themselves and connect with others through an assortment of creative mediums is always our sincere endeavour. And the Edu-musical story was one such attempt to teach our children through example.

Guest Speaker, Prof. Sreemati Chakravarty by Neha Agarwal, Gr 12 B

Being an IB history student, one realizes that multiple sources of information help in a better understanding of a topic. In line with that idea, we had a guest speaker visiting us to add another dimension to the content that we were covering in our History lessons.
We were lucky to have Prof. Sreemati Chakravarty, the Chinese affairs expert from the University of Delhi, give us more information on the unit on ‘China during the Cold War period’.
The discussion focused on hostilities between the PRC and the USSR in particular. There were aspects of this relationship that Prof. Chakravarty analyzed for us. There were a lot of other facets that we could have uncovered, but for the paucity of time.
We look forward to more such lectures in more subjects as this was truly an enlightening experience.

Form 3 Field trip to ‘Goonj’ by Aruna Jha, Form Tutor

The word Goonj means ‘echo’ and our visit to the organization surely rang a bell in the mind and heart of students of Form -3. They are still echoing with the idea of supporting human endeavour to solve problems. The visit was linked to the unit on ‘Organizations’ and was an opportunity for students to learn outside classrooms.
Most field trips  provide an element of fun and excitement. However this visit to Goonj along with excitement stirred up  feelings of empathy towards people around us. The young learners realised how people in our society take up initiatives to solve problems selflessly and maintain the dignity of those who need help. They also learnt that while helping others we should not exhibit an attitude of pity and sympathy as it undermines the esteem of an individual.
Volunteers at Goonj explained to students about the collection drive that is continued by them in different parts of the city and country. They took students around to see how they sort out clothes, stationary and other household products donated by people. Recycling of trash and unused items into productive things like bags, notebooks, key chains, doormats, skipping ropes was also seen by  students and they were amazed to see how
everything thrown by us was valued by them. Students were curious during the visit and frequently asked questions about their ways of functioning and their motivation to work for needy people.
The philosophy of Goonj of helping the needy only when services are offered by them was understood by the children. The visit culminated in students sharing their perspective about the requirement and  ways of supporting the needy.