16 December 2013

From the Director's Desk

As we come to the end of another semester and year, we are going through that most important exercise in the life of a school – stock-taking. At different levels we have been asking ourselves – how are we doing? What are the goals which we need to set ourselves going ahead?  It is a crucial process because in education if we stand still, we wither away. To review honestly is a challenge but also a cause for satisfaction. All the areas we are considering are too numerous to summarise especially since it is an ongoing process but here are some;

   Some Successes:

•             Extending students interests and talents, giving opportunities for them to discover things they didn’t know they could do: Whether it is in the performing arts through music performances in school, the mega Founders Day, the development of inter-school teams in sports, participation in Model UNs etc we provide multiple opportunities for the development of confidence and the consolidation of talent.
•             Creating digital citizens for the 21st century: Technology is both the enabler and the challenge for education. The multiple ways in which students and teachers use technology from the use of online resources, writing of blogs, using IPad apps,
researching intelligently on Google,  reading e-books, interacting with authors on skype, making films,  the use of schedules on google docs etc the school has made great leaps in the e-learning domain.
•             Creating responsible citizens: Our community service and action programme extends right across the school. Whether it is in making students understand our planet’s depleting resources and the importance of responsible action, fund raising for Uttaranchal or for a neighbourhood school, teaching children from economically deprived backgrounds or growing plants for sale,
our students learn to think about their responsibility for improving their world. Next week’s Day of Sharing where our support staff will put up a show for students followed by a langar lunch for all,  served by senior school students, is a good example of creating an understanding of the dignity of all work and the sense of community within the school.
•             Involving parents in the education of children: Our strong belief that education is too important to leave out the entire community takes many shapes. Over the semester parents have come in to run language stalls in the primary
, arranged interesting guest speakers, been involved in academic goal setting in the student-led conferences, helped with Founders Day. The semester is culminating in the Christmas carnival where parents are taking on the huge role of cooking a variety of food, creating interesting activities and working with the student interact club to organize the day.
•             Our teachers: For any school today the biggest challenge is to find the right staff to teach both the academic programme as well as the larger area of student development which is the heart of true education. We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated, impassioned teachers. In addition we have been committed to a strong professional development programme where teachers attend dozens of IB-run and other workshops each semester, there are in-school discussion sessions and invited workshop leaders in school.

Our Goals Ahead
Many of our goals involve doing better what we have already started. The goal posts need to constantly shift for a school to continue to improve the quality of the education we deliver. These are some of the areas we are considering :
•             Advanced Learners: While we have in place a differentiated education programme which aims to meet the learning needs of different levels within the same classroom, there is more to be done to truly stretch and challenge our most able students. Our teachers have been working on strategies for this but there is much to be done.
•             Our Programme Calendar:  While all events are in themselves beneficial for students we need to review which students should be involved in which programme to protect learning.
We have been taking steps such as keeping Form 12 out of Founders Day or keeping the entire senior school out of the International Film Festival. While we are also clear that as in life, students need to learn to balance multiple activities with academics through self-discipline, we need to find a balance.
•             Technology Use:  Although this is a challenge for 21st century schools around the world, we struggle with students who post online irresponsibly or get distracted with the access given by laptops in learning. There are no easy solutions but we need to continue working on this.
•             New Teachers: We have succeeded in enabling a happy working environment and are fortunate that teachers do not leave for other schools. However personal reasons have seen teachers move away from the NCR or the country. When this happens mid-semester it poses a challenge. Although we have support and guidance systems and a mentor programme, we need to continue to strengthen the settling in processes of new teachers.

•             Christmas Carnival: This is the first year when we combine the student-run Interact fun fair and the parent food festival into one day which is open to all parents. I do hope you will be there between 10.30 – 1.30 on Thursday 19th.
•             Christmas Break: Is from 20th December to 14th January. The PTM for Form 10 & 12 is on 20th.  Please ensure that your child is back in school on 15th January. No child may be away later without permission being granted by the Principal.
•             Late Start in January – Do remember that as always for the month of January we begin school late. From 15th January school will begin at 9.30 am.

Finally all good wishes to you and your loved ones for the festive season. I hope happiness and success await you in 2014.

Shalini Advani
School Director

From the Primary School Principal, Mrs. Usha Lamba

“International mindedness” is a term that appears in the mission
Knotting together
statements of a growing number of international schools worldwide, yet we, as educators have found it difficult to define what this is or how to go about fostering it in children of today. This explores teachers’ understandings of international mindedness and the development of international mindedness through our primary school.
Actor Shares

One definition that I’ve found useful is that of a growing sense of the ‘other’ : a journey from ‘self’ to ‘other’. If we can help our children and students to develop a strong sense not only of themselves and their own identity, which is crucial, but alongside that, a deep sense and awareness of other peoples, cultures, countries and customs, then we offer them a great chance to be truly 21st century global citizens.

Exploring Henri Matisse
Can we really say that a six-year-old in primary school is internationally minded? Possibly, but given what we know about how the human brain develops it seems unlikely. What we can do though is to set in place cumulative experiences and opportunities that over time – in this case many years – build on each other and  help move our children along that pathway to a greater sense of the ‘other’. International-mindedness is certainly a ‘frame of mind’ and as such needs time to develop.
International Language Centre
Back to our six-year-old then: what might international-mindedness look like in him or her? It may be knowing that the children in his or her classroom have different home countries or home states, and being able to work with each other and being able to respect one another’s independence and individuality.
For older students, international learning outcomes might include knowing about the ways in which the lives of people in the countries, states, or professions they have studied affect each other, or being able to identify ways in which people work together for mutual benefit.

Rupees 15,410/-, the Highest Fund raised through Readathon, Aditi Amritesh Form 4B

This year, I raised Rs. 15410/- against my reading efforts that totalled 910 pages across 8 books. Reading is my PASSION and I could do it 24x7 if I didn't have to sleep or eat!! Even though I had read 910 pages, I was a bundle of nerves at the thought of approaching people to sponsor my reading efforts. But I put aside my nervousness with a hope of achieving something meaningful. So I cheerfully greeted people, introduced myself, our school, the Read-A- Thon and explained how I was hoping for their generous appreciation of my reading efforts to help needy children.

I was touched by the kindness and willingness of people to support my cause. Many people appreciated my reading and some even listened to stories from the books I'd read. Some people were so impressed with my reading that they contributed generously. People appreciated the idea behind Read-A-Thon. I felt good that people had not blindly donated money.

With the money we all have raised, I wish that needy children can get food, toys, clothes, books and some happy moments. At the end of Read-A-Thon 2013, I feel very rewarded that I could use my best skill - READING - for a good cause.

Film Festival at Pathways School Noida

A Wonderful Experience: Children’s Film Festival at Pathways Noida by  Tanvi Amrit, Form  5A, Magazine Editor- Primary School

The Film festival was simply amazing. Each and every one of us loved the experience of cinematic culture.
                                                                                   Lighting of the lamp by Ms. Indu Shrikent

Watching the movies, learning how to watch them, making movie related posters… in others words we did a whole lot in two days. The first day was quite a rush due to the late start. Being the hosts we had to make sure everything went perfect. At one time we were in a session, at the other we were in an exhibition. One of the best things we learnt was ‘how to watch a movie’.
We learnt about camera angles, movie genres, theme, characters and setting. We had all our meals in the amphitheater, which was the perfect place but a shade would have made it much better. We all enjoyed the film screening though it got boring at times. I really liked day-2 screenings as they had a better storyline and message behind them. The closing ceremony was not that good because nobody wanted the festival to end but we know ‘everything must come to an end and so did this film festival’. And I can never forget these 2 days … it was a wonderful experience.

 The Awesome FilmFest at Pathways by Aditya Jain Form 5A
This week we had a first International Film Fest in the school. We were excited and thought we would only watch lots of movies the whole day. Then at the registration we                                             Quiz
were astonished to see that we will also have Workshops, Quizzes and the most obvious " The Film Screening ". We were all put into different groups. I was in Group No.3. On day 1 when we reached school, we kept our bags and went to the cafetaria. Then Ms. Anuradha and
Ms. Pragati called our names                                                   Workshop
and gave us id cards, a booklet and a pen and we went to a room in PYP Building on the 2nd floor. As we were late in time so we thought we would miss our 1st workshop on Film Appreciation and start with the iPad's one, but it was all opposite as well as disappointing. We missed our iPad workshop!!! Then we went to our Cafeteria. We realized that we were going to see the famous actor Roshan Seth Live.
Though frankly, I have not watched any of his movies till date. But it was Amazing! Then in the basement we watched some movies which were animated but some were real. Still all were funny. Then we went to the
Amphitheatre for lunch and went to the Exhibition in which our friends Paarth, Mitakshi, Noyonika, Arti, Tanvi, Samarth and Rishab told us about evolution of Cinema. It was time for another round of film screening. In that we watched 2 movies. One movie Vitthal was very violent and because of the movie some people vomited and fainted. People vomited because a boy Vitthal, by mistake, cut his small brother's little part of the head, and he started bleeding. It was dreadful. Then the second movie made our mood alright because it had a happy ending. Then we went back home.

On the 2nd day we straight away went to our workshop on "Understanding Cinema" after breakfast. We thought that this would also be a boring workshop as we watched parts of the movies like Jab We Met, Sky fall and The great Dictator. After the fun we went to the cafeteria for a quiz in which the Middle school students participated. After the quiz we went for our film screening in which our topic was pollution and we watched clips related to pollution. Then we went to lunch. After lunch we got to hear speeches and after that finally it was expiry date for our fun film fest. It was actually over… I couldn’t believe that 2 fun days had come to an end… may be next year we will have it again!

First International Children’s Film Festival in Pathways School Noida, Mehak Diwan, Ramsha Khan  and Rhea Agarwal, Gr 8A

As a whole the experience was something completely different than other events we had been to in the past. We learnt a different aspect of each movie, the story that runs not only on the screen but how it was created in the first place.
What each camera angle meant, what close up held a certain secret or how one film was ended. We realized this was also a different form of art which was not very well discovered. These workshops or this festival in particular exposed us to a different level of interpretations. We’re glad we could be a part of it.

The Film Festival, Saideep Ganesh, Gr 7

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend both the days and any of the workshops for the film festival. But I got something that I will cherish for life; I got a chance to not only meet but to also be the one to interview Roshan Seth!
After the interview, I really came to appreciate acting; Mr. Seth’s acting skills and acting as a whole. He was so direct with his responses; one could see that he was not a great admirer of Bollywood and its breed of actors. He gave us his definition of ‘talent’ and how one could differentiate between real and fake. I admire his enthusiasm as an actor and I would also like to thank the teachers for giving me this opportunity.

Film Festival, an Amazing Experience ! Arshee Sahni and Prithviraj Bisen Gr 6A

We had an International Children’s Film Festival on the 5th & 6th of December, 2013 in our school. It was the first of its kind. The film festival was a fun thing because we saw different movies from different countries and got to know how movies are made in different nations. It was an amazing experience for us as most of us in school like watching films so we got to see more films, though of a different kind – not like the regular Bollywood and Hollywood films that we watch.
We started off the day by going to our form rooms for a little bit and then we went for the registration where we got divided into six groups, I was in group two; it actually took a lot longer than I thought. We came out about 20 minutes late. All because of that the programme for the whole day was delayed. So that was a bummer.
Then we went for an assembly where we met children from different schools that had come to visit during the festival. The schools were Shiv Nadar School, DPS Mathura Road and Pathways Gurgaon. During this inaugural assembly, two students welcomed the visiting schools . They also welcomed Ms Indu Shrikent who led this film festival. 
After that we went for film screening where we saw some short films, so that kind of made up for the morning because it was A LOT of fun. We saw movies from all over the world; we saw a movie called ‘Grandpa’s Lamp’ which was a Japanese short film.
We also saw a movie called Vitthal, which was an Indian short film.
We then went for two workshops where we learned about how a movie is filmed and how we should watch a film – what we should focus on like the setting, the lighting, the camera shots, etc, and the second one was about how to edit films using iMoive on iPads. My favorite workshop was movie editing because we got to use iPads.
After the workshops Mr. Tagore and Saharsh interviewed Mr.  Roshan Seth, the famous actor, who told us a little bit about his experience with acting.
There was also an Exhibition put up by the organizers about 100 years of Indian Cinema. That was interesting!
The next day was the same thing except that we had different workshops. And of course there was the quiz.

It was conducted by Mr faizal and was about 100 years of Indian Cinema.

Overall I think that the film festival was a very fun experience and I hope that we can have it again!

Inter School Athletics Competition held at Pathways World School Aravali on 15th Nov, 2013, Advitiya Narang, Grade 10

This trip was a very new experience for me as it was the first time that I was representing my school in Athletics.
However, it proved to a be a fruitful experience for both me and the 32 people who came along. With the school coming 3rd overall out of 12 schools participating in competition, we were overjoyed and frankly, a bit surprised. However, the fact of the matter remained that we did well in the Athletics Meet by winning 2 gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze medals
in the various events and we were exposed to the real competition existing in other school as well as our own. It gave us the opportunity to discover where our weak points were and where we could succeed in future competitions. I for one had discovered where I needed to improve and am looking forward to the next opportunity whereby, I will have trained beforehand more than this time. Overall, it was an exciting experience and I look forward to next time! The following are the details of students participated in athletics competition.

All India TAISI Sports Competition, Neel Chawla, Form 11

Our whole Basketball team participated for the very first time in All India TAISI Sports competition held at Vishwashanti Gurukul School Pune from 20th – 25th November, 2013. Our team consisted of 8 Basketball and 2 Lawn Tennis players. We stayed at the host school boarding campus. On the first day we played a game against the Vishwashanti Gurukul School team. While we lost that game we all had a great learning experience.

Our Lawn Tennis Team reached Semifinals which was represented by Vishesh Gaur and Aninda Siddque from Pathways School Noida.  The next day our teacher organized a friendly match for us, as we had been eliminated the day before. We all played very well in the friendly match against D.Y. Patil International School, Navi Mumbai and after that was over we decided to enjoy Pune and go sight seeing. We went to the mall and to Lavasa.

Overall the trip was a great learning and bonding experience for the team; even though we had lost we gained something that was more valuable than winning, trust as a team. Our team now knows where we stand and how we play and I am positive that next time we play we will win without a doubt.

Form 1 trip on Homes, Aneesha Sahni, Form Tutor Gr 1

Form 1 students visited an old house at
Barakhamba road which was constructed in 1932 and a modern house in Defence Colony which was still under construction on Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013 as a part of their current Unit of Inquiry on homes.  Since they are inquiring into houses now and then, they were able to compare and contrast both the houses.
They noticed the big aangan, high ceilings, fireplaces, pillars and the arches in the old house. In the modern house, they looked at the stilt parking, multistoried building with a lift and the interiors which were very different in comparision to the old house. It was nice to see our six year olds ask meaningful questions.

Nursery Trip to the City Park at Greater Noida, Pihu Kapoor, Form Tutor Nursery A

As we move forward and look at the third and quite important aspect of our UOI (social/ emotional development), Nursery went on a trip to City park Greater Noida. The purpose of this trip was to explore our social surroundings with our Peers. Fortunately, it was a great day.
The weather was beautiful and warm. Children were extremely excited and as we all know that play is vital to children’s social development, we began our day with a long run in the park followed by a go on the swings.
During play, children increase their social competence and emotional maturity. Any child’s success largely depends on his or her ability to interact positively with their peers and adults. It enables children to practice both verbal and nonverbal communication skills, appreciating the feelings of others. 
It was amazing to see all the three Nursery’s bond. They were seen working through conflicts about space, materials and rules positively. The opportunities provided them today, will certainly help them in monitoring and discriminating among feelings and emotions which contribute to their beliefs about their own capacity.