26 November 2013

From the Director's Desk

In the school assembly last week I reminded students of the importance of opening themselves up to every opportunity and learning from each new experience which we provide them at Pathways. Just as in later life, we continue to educate ourselves without formal teachers, so too as young people it is important to remember that education does not just come through subject teachers or class teachers but from all the experiences and knowledge which lies beyond our classroom walls. Through such experiences, our students can grab the best opportunities to develop themselves and discover new skills.
Here is an indicator of all that has been happening in the school for the three weeks of November alone.

Student Experiences
 Inter House Music Competition
Over the past three weeks, secondary school students participated in an inter-house music festival which showcased their talents. There were two inter-school events – a cultural festival at the Sri Ram Millenium                                                        School and a technology event at Apeejay school. Two students participated in an inter-school Rotary debate. Primary students visited the National Gallery of Modern Art.

There were some thoughtful assemblies – one on students with special needs and the importance of inclusive education, the other on keeping a focus on the Uttarakhand tragedy with a special presentation by Habitat for Humanity. Two guest speakers from the UK and France, who have been cycling around the world spoke to primary and middle school students about their experiences.

The Readathon is on and visitors to the school can see students sitting back on cushions and mats dotted around the atriums quietly reading. Grandparents day saw nearly 150 grandparents come in. Children’s Day showcased the talents of our teachers with drama, music and dance.
College counsellors have come in through the month from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University College London and Imperial College London. From within India we have hosted the Pearl Academy of Fashion, Ashoka University and Ansal University.
Sports teams participated in an interschool athletics championship at Pathways Aravali where we faced stiff competition and creditably stood 3rd. A team of basketball and tennis players participated in an all-India inter-school tournament at Vishwashanti Gurukul school in Pune. While they did not win, it was excellent experience.
Teacher Development
Teachers have continued to be learners too, at the school.
Professor Jayson Richardson from Kentucky University came in to conduct a training for teachers on technology in education An internal workshop was conducted for Heads of Department on setting smart goals, another on using the ManageBac software. Three teachers attended an international IPad summit at the American school. Last Saturday we hosted an nation-wide workshop on Maths for IB schools.
Coming Up
In the next two weeks we will conduct a training on the Model United Nations for students in preparation for the Middle school MUN which we host annually. This year we are expecting some schools from around the country.
Middle school teachers and students are preparing for the Student Led conferences where they will reflect on and showcase their learning to their parents.
We are also enthusiastically preparing for the ambitious International Film Festival for children which we are hosting. There is a special session for parents on Friday 6th afternoon and I hope that many of you will be able to attend.
Finally, we are looking forward to organizing the first student cum parent event with our Christmas carnival at the end of term. Proceeds are going to our fundraising efforts in Uttaranchal and I hope that all parents will be able to participate enthusiastically.
Teaching and learning is continuing as we come to the end of term. Senior school students are centrally focusing on assignments and assessments and Form 12 students are eyebrow deep in final submissions. Primary school teachers are working towards the final documents required by the IB for PYP authorization. Middle school teachers have continued to meet and plan the pilot lessons they are conducting for the MYP. Senior school exams are scheduled from 9th December.
It is this combination of challenging academic deadlines, culture, sport and activity which enriches the life of a Pathways student. It also teaches them to manage different priorities, to participate and to take responsibility for their own work. It is, in short, what education for life is all about. 

Dr. Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Middle School Principal, Mrs. Sunanda Sandhir

Students have been involving themselves in many activities thereby getting opportunity to develop different skills. This is an ongoing process. This year we pushed various groups into taking their role independently. This was done with an aim to provide them with live opportunities to recognise their skills and unfold leadership qualities in themselves.
Student members of the parliament got busy in welcoming new students,  solving  conflicts among peers , volunteering on parent  teacher meetings or just being their class voice while  addressing issues .
Editorial Blog team has been another very active team working hard and trying to meet deadlines while ensuring that the blogs were out on time. Production in-charges worked on designing the blog.
Editors and section editors worked extra time to collect articles and edit them. It was also heartening to see student photographers responsibly collecting camera for every event from the middle school office and record it.
Tech team was formed after the Founder’s day event. This team has flair and passion for technology and are an extremely enthusiastic lot. Some of the members are already creating tutorials to teach tech integration in their learning. Others are enthusiastic but are yet to take the lead.
Community Service Club students have also been actively working to promote yearly activity ‘Read-a-thon’
to not only raise funds for an NGO ‘Habitat for Humanity’, but also to promote reading.
Different events shake the students out of their comfort zone and they are thus challenged. In the bargain, they get opportunities.  I know for sure, many students would find their true passion in the process. After all, it is rightly said that opportunities do not come with its value stamped on it !

Readathon, Bhavika Hotchandani 8A

A Pathways’ Tradition … an event that every student awaits for…… to read for a cause… once again Pathways School Noida welcomes the annual Readathon.
The Readathon is an event performed every year when students gather to read for a cause. We have all heard about the tragedy that took place in Uttarakhand earlier this year.  This year’s purpose is to collect funds for Uttarakhand, so as a school… we can make a difference. The Readathon is planned by the Community service club, which puts in intensive effort every year in organizing this memorable event.
Each student is given a reading log and a pledge sheet to record their progress. Students are sponsored by their friends, families, relatives and neighbors to raise money for a good cause. Students get the opportunity to read before lunch time where we all gather in the Atrium accompanied by soft music, cushions and mats that definitely help raise the benchmark of the event.
This event is supported by the charity: Habitat for Humanity. As a school, our goal is to raise a reasonable amount of money to help families in Uttarakhand. I think that this is a very creative way of fundraising, and also a great experience coming together as a school to work towards our goal. I am looking forward to contributing this year, towards making a difference…

Inter House Music Competition, Anya Lauria 8A

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” - Bob Marley

That sure is one thing I should have kept in mind before settling down into my seat to watch the inter-house music competition held in our school on November the 13th. 
There, the music just didn't hit me; it slammed me into the wall and punched me. Each house presented songs of different genres and time period. I’d have to say, the old contemporary genre was my favourite. Who would mind listening to ABBA? There was one compulsory song, too; “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone.
My mouth quite literally dropped open when I heard they were being asked to do a song by her. I’d always thought of her as some sort of vocal goddess, and the thought of someone else being able to match her songs had never even entered my mind. I was really surprised to see, however, that not only did each house do
quite well on the song, but they also altered the song to match their own voices and abilities which was really like a cherry on top of an ice-cream. The instrumentalists accompanying each song were a treat to listen too as well. I’d be lying if I said the judges had an easy show to judge. The amount of talent housed under one roof was amazing, and seeing it all blossom out at once was a real opportunity too.

Interact Club celebrates Children’s day with the CAS students of Bhavani Inter College and Sai Bal Sansar, Shreya Gupta Form 11

On the 14th of November’ 2013, the Interact Club committee at Pathways School Noida organized a Sports meet for the CAS students from the Bhavani Inter College and Sai Bal Sansar school. The objective was  to celebrate Children’s day with them and make it special for everyone. There were numerous races held, with serious ones such as 100 meters for boys and girls and enjoyable track events such as the sack race for more than 120 children. The field was filled with cheering and clapping from the crowd as children
zoomed across the tracks, with gleeful smiles plastered on their faces as they reached the finish line. The event was concluded with an award ceremony for all the winners of the race. The prizes were given out to the top 3 contestants of each race and pride emanated from the winners as they were given their respective prizes by Dr. Advani, Mr. Abraham and members of Interact Club. Everyone was given a prize for participation as well. After the races, they were all ushered to the
dining hall for a scrumptious lunch of burgers, pasta, French fries and ice cream! All the students, from the two schools as well as Pathwaysian’s sat together and enjoyed the meal together. It was a day filled with laughter, joy and tremendous excitement.

Grand Parents Day

On 8th November we had visitors in our school that have done a lot for us. Guess who they were? “Our own GRANDPARENTS”. The day started with a great bang with us there.
We all invited the grandparents warmly and made them comfortable. Usually our grandparents help us with all small and big things, so as a small token we helped them and served all the grandparents food.They enjoyed every bit of
the meal and at the end they had no space in their tummy. After all the yummy food they all gathered in the “MPH”. We, grade 5 had prepared a short and fun program for them. We started with a lovely poem in our mother tongue that was for “Dadaji”. Our understanding for this poem was that, even if this poem is for Dadaji we recited it for all the grandparents.
To make this day more exciting we carried on with a game called “Kaun Banega Chocolatepati”!! The game was if you answer 5-6 questions you get a chocolate. The questions were not that simple! For example, one of questions was ‘When did Krish-3 release?’
To make the grandparents remember their happy childhood we held a game, in which the grandparents had to pick a chit and do what the chit said. For example lots of memorable and fun things came up like sing a song, recite a hymn you use to say in school or even you missed your CHANCE!
As the wonderful day went by, the last thing came and that was sharing time. In this the grandparents shared things with us from the past. Grandparents shared with us a big tiger paw print,  ancient coins and  a vintage car that was massive to school.We all were given a ride in the car.A day of sharing and caring for all of us!
Mitakshi Mathur, Gr 5 B

Grandparents day! Every child in pathways loves this day, after all everyone's grandparent's come. Today was a very great day. The fifth grade students escorted all the grandparents to the lunch hall and all of them had tasty breakfast.
Then we went to our MPH where we played games- one of it was called KBC , 'Kaun  Banega Choclatepati' .It was a fun-filled game , just like “Kaun Banega Crorepati” which is game is all about money. The game made by fifth grade students is a whole lot different. In this, they have to answer all the questions and win the chocolate being given by our anchor. What a game it was! The next game the grandparents played was a chit game. It was great fun too. Three children would go to the seats where the grandparents were sitting. The children had a bag full of chits and the grandparent had to pick one chit and do what is written on it. There were many interesting  ones -- like sing a prayer that used to happen in your school, tell  the name of your favourite hero and act like him, express your feelings to someone any many more.
All these were very interesting chits .Then some of the grandparents came up and shared some of their experiences. One of the grandparent talked about the tigers in India.  It surely gave us lot of knowledge.  Another grandparent came up and talked about some of the past things like water pumps, old telephones and old coins.
We got to know about past things. We had made a box in the class that contained a message and a letter all the grandparents were very happy after seeing that. Then when we were taking our grandparents to the exit, we got a surprise, we saw a vintage car, it was 1936 model owned by Prithvirajs's grandfather. Such a beautiful car it was, every child in the fifth grade got a ride in that car, we all loved it a lot and then all the grandparents left and we went back. THANK YOU GRANDPARENTS. It was indeed a memorable day.

Siddhant Garg, Gr 5B

Visit to National Art Gallery, Pragati Agnihotri Form Tutor 4B

Form 4 and 5’s visit to the National Art Gallery on 22nd November was a really informative and exciting one. They collected information on different Indian schools of art and painting like Mysore, Tanjore paintings, miniature or Mughal painting etc. Since form 4 is doing Media as a unit, they could identify exhibitions as a medium to display artwork and art as a medium to express.  Some famous artists like Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Rabindranath Tagore were closely observed by students for the year of painting, medium used and the emotions/mood of the work. A short briefing done by the art teachers- Mr Pabitra and Ms. Kamalpreet before the trip gave their visit a direction and purpose telling them what to look for and observe in detail.

Children's Day Celebration, Anoushka Nalwa 8B

There it came once again... the day when no teacher could reject any of her student’s demands. Yes, I am talking about Children’s Day. This Children’s Day was really a special one and will always hold fond memories for all Pathwaysians. In the morning, we spent some time with our Form tutors and Co-form tutor cutting a cake, listening to music and playing guessing games. Precisely at 9:00 am the whole school gathered in the cafeteria for the main event of the day -the Children’s Day assembly which was simply astounding, with some fabulous performances by teachers across school. All the students thoroughly enjoyed the assembly. Some of the great performances were a heart warming song, “Speedy Gonzales” by Mr. Alex Abraham; an amusing Mr. Bean video, a graceful dance by the primary school teachers, a melodious song by senior school teachers and a hilarious skit by the middle school teachers. To top it all, we had an extraordinary menu for the day with cupcakes, pasta, French fries, noodles, ice cream and much more. We then resumed our usual classes for the rest of the day, which probably most of us didn’t want; however it was fun and a truly memorable day.
Enacting Palak n Gutthi

        Song by the Senior School Principal, Mr. Alexander Abraham
                                                                                          Middle School Performance
Primary School Dance Performance

Song by the teachers


In our Bring a Friend programme Pathways students invite a friend to spend a day at the school. Here is a reflection of a Form 5 student who came as a guest.
On 19th November I had gone to my friend’s school named PATHWAYS. I was very excited to go because it was my first time going to an IB school. My friend was more excited than me. When I entered the school, all the friends of Drishya came and asked “are you Drishya’s Friend?” then from that very moment I had to say “Yes, I am!” Our first period was Yoga. When I went there, we did Suryanamaskar. Then I got to know that Drishya is the sports Captain!
Miss. Vandana,, Drishya’s class teacher had come and said “Work on your models now”. Drishya took me near a model and told me that we have to work on this. I told that I can draw very nicely so drishya gave me to work on the Olympics champion. After working a bit we had our breakfast the breakfast was delicious! Miss. Vandana called the class and we went up to  the classroom. Drishya took me to a room where many laptops were there and she told me to research on the economy of Greece…. 
it was fun doing that! After researching a lot we had our Lunch. Even the lunch was very delicious. After a yummy meal we had Drama. In drama, ma’am told us to make a voice which comes from our stomach or nose. I took the voice from my nose and it came out pretty well. Drishya took out a voice of a Puppy!
It was fun doing that. Then we had our PE lesson in which we dribbled the basket ball and pass it to our next team member. That was also fun. After that was home time I had lots of fun and I wish I could come back to Pathways to stay here forever!!

Message for peace and for the environment, Ms. Mayura Tiwari English Faculty

6th Nov 2013 morning was a wonderful experience in our school !  We had in our midst an amazing couple who have been travelling the world with a message for peace and for the environment – Richard and Stani Velamond.
They set out in 1996 to traverse the Americas from tip to tip – Alaska to Argentina – all for the love of cycling. Along the way they realised how beautiful our planet is and how insensitive we have become towards it. Everywhere they went, they met with weather that was not usual for the time of the year - people talked about the weather being unusual; this was before climate change had become an accepted fact.  That’s when they decided they would travel through all the continents to spread an awareness about peace and about the way our actions have contributed to climate change.
They talked about their travels, the places they’ve visited and the lifestyle they have adopted to minimise their carbon footprints in every sense of the word. They also showed us slides to bring out the contrast between the beauty of the planet and the scars which are the creation of human action.

To date, they have cycled through 55 countries and are on their way out of India to return to France, Richard’s native land and to the UK, Stani’s native land, at end of another two years through the Middle East.