27 February 2014

From the Director's Desk

Among the many features of the school it is possible to focus on over this period, I would like to concentrate this fortnight on student empowerment and self reliance. If we produce able students who lack confidence or do not take responsibility for their lives, we fail one of the most important purposes of education. As a school many of the activities and policies we develop, aim at SELF : self-empowerment, self-development, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-reliance.  Some of these are part of our ongoing systems – independent learning, student council and class representatives, accountability for handing in work etc. Here are recent activities which enhance these:

Community Service:
Over the past few months the Interact club conducted a number of activities raising over 3.5 lakh. This has been sufficient to fund the repair of a school in Uttaranchal in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Other                 
                                                                                                     Handing the cheque to Habitat for Humanity                          
funds are going towards repainting and doing up Sai Bal Sansar, a school and learning centre which students have visited. These initiatives combine with the toy collection done by the Nursery grade for the same organization.

The new office bearers of the school Interact club received their badges and have ambitious plans for fund raising and intervention activities. Details of the leaders can be seen below.

Student Council:
The new secondary school student council is brimming with ideas and proposals for school improvement. Undoubtedly one of their most popular initiatives is the proposal to launch a radio show, complete with auditions for disc jockeys and a training workshop. Various other initiatives are in the pipeline.

Student Technology Coordinators

Primary: Aditya Jain & Rishab Menon
For the first time this year we have appointed student technology coordinators at every level of the school. From enhancing photo  and video services to supporting teachers struggling with software to choosing the best way of showcasing materials to providing
playback facilities for close finishes at sports day, our student technology team taps an important skill. The senior school student-produced newsletter Monochrome is seeking an online avatar with the support of the technology team.                                  Abid Abbas/Tushar Arora

 Aryan Aggarwal,Mehr Chawla,
Yash Jain,Ramsha Khan,Ekaansh
Arora,Varnika Gupta,Tanishq
Mathur,Manvendra Yadav,Dhruv
Garg,Aryan Goyal,Manav Khurana,
Dev Verma

Learning Initiatives
At Pathways, students are encouraged to challenge and support their own learning initiatives. 
This year Jharokha is a challenge to students to think out of the box and challenge themselves. It is being developed with minimal adult support or intervention to encourage the intellectual self confidence which is developed through your own thought process. 

I hope that you will make the time to come into school on Thursday 6th to encourage and support this activity.

This is being held with the annual art exhibition of student work

Similarly other learning areas – on digital citizenship and on gender sensitization are being developed in collaboration with students.

In a very different way but with the same philosophy, the Adventure Camps throw children into unfamiliar circumstances where they find that being outside their standard comfort zone is an important aspect of development.

What is truly essential is that our students have the opportunity to surprise themselves and us with their capacity to take on responsibility, discover talents, solve problems and impact their world. At Pathways we see this as a central philosophy of education.

Dr. Shalini Advani
School Director

Sports Day

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”- Michael Jordan.

Friday, 21st of February 2014 was our school’s Sports Day which started with all students ready to compete in a truly sporting atmosphere. Students from Form 2 upwards were all lined up in their houses and there was a buzz in the air as the Sports meet was about to kick off. The chief guest was Mr. Bhanu Sachdeva, who has represented both state and India at international Swimming meets and has been a record holder in many events.

Sports Day commenced with a student astride his horse, leading all the contingents. The Houses followed for the March Past and each house was applauded. All the houses assembled in the arena and then the sports captains Ayush Dev and Manat Jolly began   
the Torch Run. The student Council of 2013-14 joined the torch run along with some of the students who have been outstanding performers in Inter school events. Ayush Dev, Sports Captain Boys thereafter took the Sports Oath.  

The Chief guest, Mr. Bhanu Sachdeva gave an inspiring message and declared the meet open with the release of balloons that drew a cheer from all gathered for the event. 

 There was a range of events both track and field for students Form 3-12 and each student participated to the best of her/his ability.
Novelty races for Form 2-5 saw some unusual performances and hearty cheering from the spectators. There was even an event for teachers and parents and a Support staff race which was truly appreciated and grabbed everyone’s attention.  

The day ended with the prize distribution. There were numerous awards and medals distributed. Water House was adjudged the most well-disciplined house.         
                     Water House

Lastly it was the time to announce the winning house for the sports cup. Fire House was run away winners followed by Water, Earth and Air. The winning house took a Victory Lap and was applauded by the
other houses in true sportsmanship. What was the hallmark of the day was the presence of so many parents and guests who cheered, appreciated and hailed every effort on the track and field and the excellent sportsmanship         
            Winners - Fire House                          showed by the students who competed fiercely yet cherished each other’s efforts in true Pathwaysian spirit. One can rightly say Sports was the winner on the day.

Nursery Trip to the Zoo - Pihu Kapoor, Form Tutor Nursery

Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild 
                                                                                       - Jack Hanna

Walking forward on our current Unit of Inquiry, Nursery went to the National Zoological Park last week. Luckily, the day was nice, bright and sunny. The Children went for a fun ride in the electric car along with their friends. They were seen talking about various animals and their sounds. They laughed, giggled and called them with funny names like “that’s a mummy hippo and that’s a daddy hippo”. Children were excited to see the white tiger, Crocodiles, giraffes and deers. 

Children came away with a greater understanding of ideas such as conservation, habitat and extinction. We drew our favourite animals and habitats before and after their trip to the zoo. The drawings presented some remarkable learning’s. It was a fun packed trip !

Interact club core committee members 2014 – 15

President - Shreya Gupta  (Oversee the entire club and take it to greater heights – establish new associations and extend service to the community through more creative measures)

Vice President - Swati Anand (Support the President, initiate meetings with core members once a month and all members once a semester, events )

Dy. Vice President – Taapsi Kohli ( Support the President and Vice President in the delivery of their functions)

Secretary - Meghna Anand ( monitor conduct of meetings and record all minutes of meeting with support of secretary, monitor all the Interact club documentations)

Deputy Secretary –  Heena  (To support the Secretary in the conduct of work)

Treasurer – Vansh Batra ( To monitor the funds of the club and conduct fund raisers)

Dy Treasurer – Veshesh Gaur ( To support the treasurer in monitoring funds and conduct of fund raisers)

Director – Shreya Biswal and Sanskriti Gupta ( To initiate and discuss new proposals and fund raisers and club events with more emphasis on green pathways as motto for current year)

Dy Director – Ayona Sengupta (To support the Directors)

Director for designing and update of website - Abid Abbas (To create a website for the club and ensure constant updation of website with the latest happening of club)

Dy Director for designing and update of website–Kshitij Upmanyu /Aryan Srivastava (To support the director for designing )

Director for article writing – Khanak Mehta ( To ensure that articles are regularly published for the newspaper and website immediately after every event)

Dy Director for article writing – Divya Tyagi (To support the director of article writing)

Director for photography – Nirvaan Krishnan (To capture images of all events and submit to the interact in charge immd. For updation on school server)

Dy Director of photography - Tanay Gupta (To support the director of photography)

From the Middle School Principal Mrs. Sunanda Sandhir

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”- Roger Lewin

Last semester closed with the student led conference where students shared their goals with their parents. From the feedback, it was interesting to note that many students preferred SLC to Parent teacher meetings. In this semester too, students will be revisiting their goals with their teachers and advisories to reflect on their progress. 
Student council elections took place in the beginning of the semester. The vote of middle school students  had a lot of impact on the outcome of the results. The entire process had a significant impact on the middle school students as it was evident in the writings of middle school blog. Exercising their vote was an interesting learning experience for them and this is just a beginning.

Back to School :  Many Parents attended this event.  For the parents of new middle school students, it was a very interesting and satisfying experience as they experienced  how their children  learn in the school. For the parents who had attended  it last year, we had organised workshops on Learning and Handling Technology. Most parents have this dilemma with their digital native kids –What are the technology needs of my children ? Are they actually  learning ? How do I monitor their use of technology ?  These  questions were  answered   in  the workshops.

Eight of our students attended the Overseas Family School for MUN  from 21st February  to 23rd February 2014. MUN provided a unique opportunity to them to engage in a professional, yet friendly, environment to develop their research, debating, and leadership skills. This will, in turn, increase their experience and knowledge of broad-based world issues and concerns.

Adventure Camp will be organised in the month of March. This is an extension of our program and therefore a compulsory activity. It reinforces the skills in our existing curriculum and promotes the development of personal values and character. It takes students out of their comfort zones and puts them into new situations that help them grow and develop.This is experiential learning at its best and it provides our students with exciting learning experiences which are both valuable and memorable.

Sunanda Sandhir
Middle School Principal

Glimpses of the Bulgarian Puppet Show at Pathways

Students from Pre Nursery to Form 9  watched an enchanting show from a brilliant puppet theatre group from Bulgaria. The State Puppet Theatre-Burgas, is one of the oldest and most acclaimed puppet theatres in Europe. For over fifty years, they have created more than 250 productions which have been seen by millions around the world. Specialising in Bulgarian folk tales and classical children literature, the award winning company delighted our students. 

Bulgarian folk art was brought to life in a colourful show filled with marionettes, bright costumes, music and dance. Titled TUMBA LUMBA the name gave  a word-picture of the rhythm, and sound of the drum – the oldest of the Bulgarian folk percussion instruments. Its rhythm seemed to match the heart-beat of humans and made us vibrate to the beat of the music.  The show made us understand  the dance of life and the common culture of music and dance,  the sunrise, the wealth and colour of seasons changing, the joy of the harvest. 

Trip to Thailand (24th January to 31st January’ 2014) by Shreya Gupta Form 11

Ticking things off my packing list, a warm feeling of excitement and anticipation filled me.
We were finally leaving for the Thailand trip we had all been eagerly awaiting. Four students- Gaurav Makhija, Manat Jolly, Nirvaan Krishnan and myself were going to Thailand for a cultural immersion and self-discovery program along with Ms. Indira. After hurried goodbyes and sighs filled with anticipation, we finally boarded the airplane and bid Delhi farewell.

What followed were days filled with excitement, adventure,
learning and teaching. Right from visiting the Old Town in Chiang Mai, exploring numerous temples such as Wat Prah Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, chatting personally with a monk about what made him change his way of life, climbing 309 steps uphill to reach Wat Doi Suthep, gaining an invaluable insight on Buddhist beliefs and traditions and absorbing Thai culture, visiting the museum of illusion art and seeing how looking at things from a different angle can completely change the picture to bargaining at the world famous Sunday Market which was filled with rows upon rows of stalls loaded with knick-knacks, clothes, shoes and handmade craft items amongst a host of other things while the aroma of delicious food wafted through the air- we left little unexplored. And this was only in the first 3 days!

On the 4th day, we travelled to Chiang Kham, where we met the Thai students from the other two schools. At first a few shy smiles and hesitant hellos were exchanged but after the icebreaker games like the Greek Greeting Dance, we all felt a bit more comfortable.
Once we were divided into our groups for the community service project, we all put our heads together to chalk out a plan for the next 3 days. Teaching the young, primary school Thai students as a part of our community service program was a very challenging yet entertaining task. It was a little frustrating, not being able to convey my thoughts easily, but it did teach me patience. It gave me an insight to the troubles our teachers take to plan a lesson and execute it. But the students were great learners and caught on to everything we taught them very quickly.

In the evening, we had a talent night, where the Thai students showcased their skilful musical skills while Manat and Nirvaan performed a contemporary dance. Later, we learnt how to play their instruments and taught the Thai students bhangra. By the end of the night, we were all sitting together, singing merrily to the guitar, so lost in music that it seemed like we had known each other forever, all the hesitation and shyness forgotten.

We attended self discovery workshops where we played games such as Pruee- the silent monster; which at first seemed to be just for fun but we later realized that it was a lesson on how there are so many ways to reach a goal and failure only takes you closer to success. On the second last night, the Chaing Kham school students had put up a cultural night for us where they showcased numerous songs and dance performances accompanied by mouth-watering delicacies.

This was the first time I had experienced Thai hospitality and I must say that the staff at the school went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and were absolutely wonderful hosts. We were completely at home and so well taken care of. To show them our appreciation for everything that they did for us, we in turn gave them a little taste of India by performing on a medley of songs from Bollywood and a traditional Garba Dance. Our performance was highly appreciated. Everyone was so fascinated with our traditional attire and soon there were blinding flashes everywhere as people started getting pictures clicked with us, treating us like celebrities and VIPs.

In Thailand, there is a tradition of floating lanterns on a special occasion or when you have visitors, so sticking to the tradition the night ended with all of us releasing bright,

floating lanterns in the sky with our wishes attached to them in the form of dolls that we had made ourselves, allowing our wish to float into the universe so that we wouldn’t have to worry about failing as the wish would become a part of the universe and the universe would help us achieve make it come true. The night sky was filled with these bright, yellow and orange lanterns making it seem absolutely magical- the perfect way to end a perfect day.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who made it possible for me to have this life-changing experience. I have truly grown and changed as a person, especially due to the self-discovery workshops. I have made so many new friends whom I will never forget, strengthened old bonds and most of all, made so many beautiful memories. We would all like to thank our parents for sending us on this trip, the school management for giving us this opportunity and Indira maam, for being our mother away from home and taking such good care of us. A special thank to Mr. Satheesh and Ms. Bade, from MindVisa for organizing this trip and being so accommodating and wonderful. Thank you all, for giving us this experience of a lifetime.

The Uttarakhand Fund Raising by Pathways School Noida by Shreya Gupta Form 11

In June 2013, the state of Uttrakhand experienced one of the countries worst natural disasters. Fierce and devastating floods and landslides left 1000 dead and more than 11,000 missing.  Thousands of people were displaced and their houses, schools and workplaces destroyed.
In the time of such a catastrophe, the students of Pathways School
Noida, took the unanimous decision of doing their bit, in helping the people affected by these terrible floods. We took up the project of fundraising and collecting Rs. 2,50,000 to help re-establish one school, with the support of Habitat for Humanity, India that helps such disaster stricken zones.
With this goal in mind, the students gave their heart and soul in to thinking of creative ways of raising funds, planning these fund-raisers and finally executing them. Both the interact club of the senior school and the community service club of middle school joined forces and got to work. They conducted various drives such as burger and bake sales, readathon, plant sales and the winter carnival. All the students participated actively in these activities, conscious that these efforts were going to help those affected by the Uttarakhand tragedy.
It was heartening to see the parents involvement and enthusiasm in these activities, right from sponsoring their children for the readathon to wholeheartedly contributing to the planning and execution of the fun fair.  Without the combined efforts and zeal of the entire Pathways Community, right from the students, teachers, parents and admin staff, we wouldn’t have been able to collect Rs. 2, 63, 525. A sum about 13,000 rupees more than the target!
On 19th February, the students  finally handed over the cheque to the representatives of Habitat For Humanity India, in a whole school assembly. The money will be used for rebuilding a school in the flood affected area and the balance will be used to buy stationary and other materials for the students. Once the school is built, Habitat for Humanity India will be sharing the pictures with us.
It was a wonderful experience to help contribute to this noble cause. It is easy to say that we feel really sorry for the people affected in Uttarakhand, but very few actually do something to help those people. I am extremely thankful to Pathways for giving me a chance to think about the community and actually help people struck by this disaster. It gave me immense satisfaction and joy when the cheque was handed over, knowing that all our hard work would finally help those in need.

Visit to the Crafts Museum (Pragati Maidan) and Garment/Home Furnishing Manufacturing Unit – Shades of India, Noida by Meher Khan KG Coordinator

Kindergarteners enjoyed their educational visits to the Crafts Museum and Garment/Home Furnishing Manufacturing Unit relating to their current inquiry on products passing through many changes before they are used or consumed. The visits were a great learning experience, since our students identified stages of changes of different products.

The students were delighted to watch artisans working on wood, fabric, paper and bamboo to produce a variety of beautiful art pieces. They observed tools like blocks used for printing, cutters, and engravers to form designs. Kindergarteners were amazed to know that some art forms are derived from plants, and animal hide can be used to create a variety of products such as bags, and wallets.

The factory visit gave an insight into different areas of a factory. They observed different materials, and workers cutting the fabric, creating designs using thread, beads, and sequins, stitching, finishing and packing.
Our students inquired from the workers about their specific tasks and they really enjoyed the demonstration of creating jewellery from fabric and beads. We thank and appreciate the support of our parents Mrs and Mr. Housego (parents of Meher Housego KG C) who gave us this opportunity to visit their factory and extended their enthusiasm and hospitality.

These experiences will surely help our little ones make connections with their learning.

Storytelling session by Jo Henwood - Upasana Khera Form Tutor 2B

What an exciting start to our busy week…Jo Henwood came all the
way from Australia to our school to share some of her stories with the students of Grades 1, 2 and 3. Jo has been a storyteller since 1999, becoming an Accredited Storyteller and later President of the Storytelling Guild of New South Wales, Australia. This drive was purposely to maintain the tradition of Swagman and to familiarize the coming generations

with the past traditions.  The interesting tales about believable characters carried the imagination away to times and places near and far. The story telling session was enjoyed by our students and helped the students to be good listeners and build on their imaginative skills. Students keenly observed the modulation of tone, body language to get a realistic feel of the story. The action story of An old women and Monster in the dark bush narrated by Jo was heard so intently by the students without realising that they had been sitting completely involved for an hour! In the end, students were given an opportunity to ask some personal and story related questions from Jo.