6 April 2014

From the Director's Desk

It  always feels good to write in celebration of the achievements of our students. In the recent past so many of our students have stood out in major events that it is only fitting to begin this blog with this.

We Celebrate….

Karan Pandanda of  Form 9,
winner of an Open essay competition promoted by the Norwegian Embassy following the World Championship of Chess. He wrote on "I want to be in Carlsen`s shoes one day". His well-informed essay on the chess champion Magnus Carlsen stood out for its reflective approach with ideas that we can all learn from -  that a “quality that inspires me is his humility and how he is able to be grounded and modest after achieving so much in his life. Not only that, but the fact that he receives so much attention from the press and fans worldwide itself, amazes me. I noticed evidence of this when I was following the world chess championship in Chennai. There, he smiled at everything the press asked him and replied with the same thing; ‘It was a tough game.’ To wonder how he keeps his composure and maintains a smiling face through all the press and media pressure at such a young age is difficult.”

We celebrate…
the students  who entered the Camp K12 national online web competiton. Unusually 30% of the judgment was through public voting (over 46,000 votes cast). 

Aditi Amritesh of Form 4 who won the  Special prize “ Young Web designer’s award” in Web Designing.
Devmay Dewan of Form 4 won First Prize in graphic designing.

Digital Citizenship Week
Over this week there have been a number of activities, presentations, films, drama and discussion to focus attention on the theme of digital citizenship and what this means in the 21st century world.  This was planned by the teachers of technology in both the primary and secondary school. The student technology coordinators played a major role in giving ideas and holding the programme together. Because technology is both a wonderful tool as well as a space to be used with caution students focused through drama on the problems of sharing information in chat rooms or Facebook and on cyber bulling designed e-posters and logos.
Poster made by Rishabh Menon Gr 5

Senior school students did an excellent presentation to create awareness of the uses of technology in rural India, the workings of the governments in taking away privacy, the debates around Edmund Snowden and his actions. Through all this they thought about a new form of citizenship in the world today – with its own sets of rights and responsibilities. The week ended with parent-student contracts in primary school and essential agreements on technology use in secondary. 

Other Learning Activities
•             The adventure camps for primary and secondary school were a great success as you can read below.
•             Geography students from Form 9 & 11 have gone on a field trip on the river Tons to do an investigation into downstream changes of a river. Under the guidance of their teacher Dr. Kaul they will be collecting primary data and samples from the area.
•             A group of students are participating in the Model UN at DPS school.
•            IB Diploma students have handed in their final submissions of work in all subjects which have been despatched to the IBO. Art students displayed their final pieces of work at a special exhibition.

School Council Activities
Every year the secondary school student council promotes a fun and crazy appearance activity. It is an opportunity to take risks with your appearance, to do what is usually forbidden.  In past years this has been a crazy hair day. This year they have planned a Wear Your Pyjamas Day on Monday.

Another interesting activity has been the radio jockey programme where pairs of students plan a radio show complete with chats, interviews and music, broadcast over the public address system. This takes place during the first break every Friday and began this week after an orientation and training with an experienced RJ was arranged by the Council.

Do remember that Thursday 10th is a holiday because of the national elections and use this opportunity to discuss your own political perspective with your children. It is important for them to understand the importance of what is happening and what it shows about the world they are growing up in.

Dr. Shalini Advani
School Director

Celebrating Women’s Day, Supriya Ganesh Gr 11

Women’s Day is a topic that is perhaps controversial as any. Many support this celebration, but an almost equal number of opponents argue that if we truly want to promote the idea of equality then men should be given an international day, along with other genders on the spectrum. Some don’t have an opinion. They are indifferent- they think of it Supriya Ganesh            as unnecessary.  But others don’t even know about International Women’s Day or (perhaps the view I find most troubling) hold an incorrect view- for example, think of it as a day dedicating to “men-bashing”.
This is exactly what prompted me to initiate the Women’s Week in my school—simply to raise awareness about the day that is dedicated to celebrating womanhood in all its forms—a day that, on every 8th of March, strives to promote equality amongst all genders around the world, making them break free of stereotypes. So, to say that Women’s Day only aims to martyrize the image of the woman is, in my view, incorrect.
To raise awareness I mainly began by putting together a week to acknowledge this internationally acclaimed day. This week comprised of three main events- an inter-house essay competition for middle and senior school on the topics “In my Perfect World, a Woman/Girl Would”, and “The Most Influential Woman in my Life” respectively, and an inter-house art competition for senior school on the topic “Gender Roles”. In addition, an assembly to raise awareness on Women’s Day was also held, that comprised of plays, presentations, speeches, quizzes and songs. Here I would like to take a moment to thank all the enthusiastic participants in these activities, without whom this week would have been impossible.
Although hectic and grueling, Women’s Week was eventually pulled off with much success. Many people around the school appreciated the idea that we wanted to raise awareness on topics that aren’t talked about in society- that are taboos so to speak. Furthermore, every person, whether man or women, found some personal connect in the struggles that were portrayed, regardless of whether it was showcased in the competitions and the assembly.
I hope this week will be a starting point for us to consider not only women’s issues, but the implications of gender roles and discrimination, which subtly penetrate our lives in some way or the other. But then again, I also hope we recognize how far we’ve come as a society—even fifty years ago, the idea of a woman working was extremely rare, and now here we are, breaking the glass ceiling. And we shall continue to do so—and we hope you will support and join us.

5 April 2014

From the Primary School Principal, Mrs. Usha Lamba

The biggest news from The Primary School is that we are now an authorized IBPYP school. What does that mean? It means we had our final verification visit by the IBO and their visit agenda included.

Formal interviews with the school administration, board members, the IB programme coordinator, the school pedagogical leadership team, teachers, librarians, groups of students, parents and others who are involved in the programme. These interviews were individual and in groups. They were engaged in Informal dialogues with teachers, students, administrators and other staff members who ever is involved in the programme.

Observation of classes
The visiting team walked through various areas of school, sat through a couple of classes and walked through all classes. They scrutinized all our policies, planning and curriculum documents and they really did a thorough job of understanding our school processes.

Exit interview
At the end of the visit, the visiting team l conducted an exit interview with members of the school administration. Based on their observations, documentation review, and conversation with all the stake holders they gave us a feedback that spelled a beautiful  successs story for us. They felt that we are far more advanced for a 4 year old school and of course that was wonderful to know.

Formal authorization: is sent to us after their report is received by the relevant officials of the IBO and we are now in possession of a formal certificate. It has a place of honour in the school foyer. Next time when you are in school take a look at it.

Adventure Camps
The Adventure camps were a good success if the measure is students feed back and reflections. As an educator there is always an eye that questions what more can we do next year?

Student Led Conferences
Student Led Conference was held on the 29th March for Form 3, 4 and 5. Thank you very much for taking time out for the conference and being a part of your child’s learning process.
For many, it was a moment of realization, while for some it was a forum to let their heart out without any fear or hesitation, in
a non-threatening environment. We hope it gave you some insight into your child’s learning and the action plan he or she had devised for his own growth. We all need to extend our support to them so that they are able to achieve those targets.
The parents were asked to fill in an on line survey and the most obvious outcome is the fact that almost 81% of the parents wish to have an SLC twice a year, and about the same percent would choose an SLC over a PTC.


Mrs. Usha Lamba
Primary School Principal

Adventure Camps

PN Trip to the Doll Museum, Delhi., Swapna. P.C. Form Tutor  Pre Nursery
Students of Pre Nursery were all excited to go for a trip to the zoo as we were learning about Jungle Animals for the last two weeks, but due to the bad weather we decided to go to the Doll Museum in Delhi. After breakfast, Students took their little backpack and were quite excited to sit in the yellow bus.
Everyone wanted to sit with their ‘best friend’, (we have started making friends). As the bus started moving children started singing songs and looking out of the window. We had chips, chocolates and juice. We purchased tickets at the counter and entered the doll museum. There were so many dolls inside the glass case. One security guard came and told us not that photography is not allowed in the museum. There were dolls from different countries like USA, Russia,Poland, Mangolia, Ireland, Brazil and many more. There were dolls from different states of India. We also saw Ram, Laxman, Krishna and other characters from mythological stories. We also saw a small jungle set up inside the glass case with toy jungle animals in it. We enjoyed the trip and we wish we could go for many more trips with our friends in the yellow bus.

KG trip to Stellar’s Museum at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, 
Meher Khan, Vandana Majumdar, Deepa Nanda, Form Tutors Gr KG
The KG Adventure trip to the Stellar’s Museum at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon was a stupendous success. Not only was the Museum child friendly and the centers thought provoking, it also provided ample opportunities for the children to be creative and imaginative.

The hands on experiences are a great way to develop scientific inquiry skills and our children explored each area thoroughly. They enjoyed learning about flora and fauna of various continents,  playing and experimenting with water, creating using play dough, building cars, and buildings 

using huge cardboard cut- outs and blocks. They loved role- playing forest officers in the Rainforest area where they climbed up and down the tunnels effortlessly. The children explored all the seven centers in turns and enjoyed each one of them to the fullest.

On being asked, each one of them expressed their desire to revisit the museum. All in all, a fun day for Kindergarten.

Gr 1 Trip to Camp Tickling, Kaajal Pahwa & Aneesha Sahni, Form Tutors Gr 1
Form 1 was all set to begin the journey for an adventurous day on 21st of  March, 2014. There was lots of excitement and enthusiasm on the faces of Grade 1 students while boarding the bus in the morning. After reaching the camp in the middle of the Aravali hills, the children felt mesmerized and  were looking forward for the day to unfold... they all had their thinking and inquiry caps from  there on … Form 1 was then divided into 2 groups i.e. Black Commandos and Tigers. After having breakfast under an open tent, Utkarsh who was the camp instructor helped and guided the students to take on the  adventurous path  of River crossing, wall climbing, laser crossing, crossing the maze, gorilla pit, commando tube climbing,  crocodile pit  etc.    The students followed the instructions of the camp instructors really well, asked questions and   were engrossed in the activities and enjoyed every minute of it. The students were truly and amazingly risk takers…
The Tractor ride and the Camel Cart ride made them feel part of the natural setting amidst the green fields and the Aravali hills all around which added to the points in the fun meter.   Then we all went for lunch and after that the students recited a poem on greenery, plants and how we all are one on planet Earth.

The day ended with the final activity – TUG OF WAR between the two sections of Grade 1. Finally, we didn’t realize when the day ended and we had to say good - bye to the camp, and to all the instructors who made it a memorable trip indeed and helped to  boost the confidence of the students as well as helped them  to give their 100% in each and every activity they did. It was wonderful to see that each and every student of Form 1 was open minded and thoroughly enjoyed the physical activities where their energies were channelized  to achieve the goals of the activities and they had fun while attempting them .

Gr 2 Overnight Stay

Form 2 went to Pratapgarh Farm. We played lots of games and had a lot of fun.
When we came back to school, we danced and played musical chairs. Then we had dinner in front of the bonfire and then we had a bed time story, then we went off to sleep...Nandini Goswami

In Pratapgarh Farms, there were 6 lawns.
The whole class had a camel ride. Most of my friends put mehendi as well.Then later when we came back, we had a golgappa party. After that we all had dinner near the bon fire. Then we all slept in the MPH hall.In the morning we woke up, we changed in our swimming dresses and then we had a pool splash party...Bhavya Balaji

We went to a trip to Pratapgarh Farms and we were also going to have a overnight stay in our school. Everybody was singing songs in the bus. When we entered the farm, there was a man who was holding a tray of flowers and he was throwing flowers on us. Our teacher was looking for the dining area. She found & then we had food. In our cards we saw many lawns. In a lawn there are many activities, rides & sport games. I liked lawn number five the most because it had my favourite games. There we did a tractor ride as well as bullock cart ride. It was a really different experience as none of us sat on these earlier. Finally it was time to go everyone was still happy because we were going to do more fun in the school..Arnav Kansal  

Form 5 Trip to Corbett National Park by  Rishab Menon & Aryan Kakru

The day we all were waiting for had finally came, on March 19th, we all left our parents and experienced how life without them was even if it was only for 3 days in Jim Corbett . We had to reach school at 5:30am sharp. We finally reached our destination.
  After we all assembled , the instructors started to introduced themselves. Mr. Ankit gave us cottages and our teachers gave us our roommates. Then Mr. Ankit divided us in two groups which were "Avengers” and “Black Commandos”. I was in Avengers. We had lunch after which we trekked to a hidden waterfall. We rested in our cottage and then did zorbing . Later we had bonfire in which we sang songs and shared our thoughts for the day which was then followed by the dinner. Then the last task was to sleep.
Then the next day we had to get up at 6:00 am and get ready for the morning milk and cookies.
Our exercise time was fun in which we played games like "Fire in the mountain" and many others. Then we started our day with balance beam, followed by wall climbing which was fun but tiring. The excitement didn’t end there. We did Zorbing: we were inside a ball made of rubber and it was inflated with air. Some people were pushing it and I along with my partner were tumbling wearing the harness.
Zip line: we had to wear a harness and we were attached to a inclined rope.
From a height we were released and we zipped down safely. Then we had our lunch and after lunch we had a very interesting activity, face painting. We had to paint each other’s  face This task was also fun but later it was hard to take out all the paint. Then we went back to our cottages and rested for a while. We wrote in the journals and then we danced to the music. We had a bon-fire and had our dinner and slept.
 We had the biggest and the best war of skills when we go for a camp which is the Guerrilla War .This war was a kind of a face off against both teams. It was in the form of a treasure hunt for making a catapult and to collect balloons. The war was super exciting but in the Catapult contest the Avengers lost and in collecting the balloons Black Commandos lost so unfortunately it was a tie.  The next day we tried rifle shooting.
In rifle shooting. Nobody scored a bull’s - eye. After all the fun we had in Jim Corbett, it finally come to an end.

Form 6 Trip to  Ranthambore National Park
Initially, I thought that the trip to Ranthambore would be slightly boring because we were going for a photography trip without any adventure and thrill so I reluctantly packed my bags with a frown. But some of the perks of going to Ranthambore were that (I got my own camera!!! ) I got to take lots of snacks!!!!  Then I thought for a while and realized that going to Ranthambore wouldn’t be as bad as I had thought. So I packed and left with a big grin on my face and set off to see some amazing sights!!!!
It was a long journey, but we had an amazing time – fun and work together. Let’s just say . . . my first train and bus journey in India was a success!!!
As soon as we entered the resort campus, many of us skipped a breath . . . it was so much better than we had imagined. I thought that the food would be horrible and the bathrooms would be full of lizards and mold, but compared to my imagination, the resort was a dreamland.
Shortly after lunch, we left for our first activity, which was the nature walk, where we were given the task of using our senses and taking photographs accordingly. We then had to make the long walk along a huge set of steps to the Amreshwar temple where we were given water straight from the rocks. Along the way, we saw different creatures such as blue-bulls, domesticated pigs, antelopes, red-vented bulbuls, little minivets, peacocks, great tits, vultures and rhesus macaques. All of these creatures seemed very abnormal to me as I haven’t seen them in my day to day life. Once we had done that, we made the even longer (or at least we thought) walk back to the canters and made our way home for a while of rest and photography and wildlife sessions.
The next day started off with all of us having to wake up at 5:15 am!!!
Once we washed up and got ready, we moved to the lunch hall for bournvita milk, tea and biscuits before we left. And even though we didn’t know it, it was definitely a lucky day for form 6A.
There was a big commotion where we were really excited as we saw the tiger Machli (T-16, the oldest tiger at Ranthambore (17 years)), and I clicked loads of pictures of her.
We then went home for lunch and moved on to the conference hall for another session. During the afternoon safari, we saw another tiger. Coincidentally, she was T16 – Machli’s daughter Laxmi!!!!
We then made our way home, full of energy and happiness at seeing two tigers in a day! Not to forget the sambar, the chital, the crocodiles and wonderful birds!
On day 3 we all got ready quickly, so that we could get outside and make the most of my time at Ranthambore. Our last activity was the trip to Ranthambore fort. The architecture of the fort was amazing and we learned many fun facts such as:
There were studs/spikes on the gates to the fort so that enemies - who at that time used elephants to bang on the doors and break them down - couldn’t invade the fort.
We said our last goodbyes as we left Ranthambore and its huge forests...Vanshika Goel 
  A poem on my feelings about Ranthambore National Park
The Tiger’s Tale
Mornings were cold,
Nights were warm ,
What a place to be .
This is the way it should be .
 tigers protected in their land, 
And wild animals running all around,
The greenery,
The birds chirping,
The animals calling out, and
Telling us to stop hunting them down.
So why don’t we stop this very moment?
We  got  our way  for so many years, now let’s give them what they want...
After all, wasn’t it the Tiger who protected its land?

 There is one word that says it all ‘unforgettable’!  It was a packaged deal   of adventure, humour, sadness, fun, and not to forget, the delicious treats. 
Well, we didn’t get to see a tiger, but so what?  We got to see an owl hunting a snake, a crocodile attacking a poor deer, and a rare stripped hyena.   No denying it those are magnificent sites, indeed!  But the troops of monkeys we saw were just amazing!  One of the monkeys stole my lens cloth after it saw me clean my binocular lenses with it!  After he stole it, he showed it to me  to tease me.  But, honestly I didn’t mind! 
On the first day, we went to a temple where we got to drink crystal clear mineral water straight from the mountains, and got to see an epic sight of mountains touching the clouds.
On the Second day, we had two safari trips in those two safaris we saw numerous  birds and animals like spotted deers, neel guy, langoors, little minnivet, turtles, mongoose, crocodiles, barn owls, etc.
Thanks to our expert photographers who were also our guides we succeeded in capturing our wild life memories magnificently.   
On the third day, we went to a fort and realized that even without polluting the environment they  managed to be unconquered simply by pouring hot oil on the fort walls so that the enemy just could not climb.  What a huge, solid and high structure built without modern technology. Ever since then, I have been wondering whether modern technology has been for our good or is it destroying mother Earth.  Sure things do become a zillion times easier, but is it worth it?
 To answer my question, write me an email on trishan.dollny@pathways.in.

PS. Thanks to our wonderful teachers we got to have soooooo much fun...Trishan Dollny

Grade 7's trip to Junga Pine Trails, Shimla

This year, the 7th graders went to Junga, Shimla for adventure camps.
Like every year, this year everyone was very excited for camps.  So excited, that we didn’t even mind reporting at the school at 4:30 am. We all reached with huge smiles on our faces, absolutely ready with our rucksacks. We went to the New Delhi Railway Station to board Shatabadi. When we reached Kalka, we divided ourselves into groups to board buses. It took a few more hours to reach our destination- the Youreka Camp – Junga.
On the first day, we were divided into and assigned groups and briefed about the activities in the camp. Our group names were- ‘Eagles’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’. Later, we were allotted our tents. We spent our free time playing ‘Pitthoo’ also known as ‘Seven Stones’.
On the second day, the ‘Eagles’ went for an early morning trek whiles the ‘Hakuna Matatas’ were playing games. Later that day, we were trained for the night out. We learnt how to pitch a tent and how to pack our rucksacks for a night out. When we were ready, we left the camp side to go 15 km up the mountain. We reached our destination, all of us tired, but still we had to finish our work before dark. We pitched the tents, started cooking, collected firewood and got water from a stream. We had a bonfire that night and later we went off to sleep in our self-pitched tents.
On the third day, we were given 30 minutes to pack up and leave so that we reach the camp site quickly. Around noon, we did valley crossing and learnt different types of knots. After lunch we did a rope course which had many activities like – the friendship ladder, Tarzan swing, walking on a rope, etc. In the evening we had the talent night followed by a DJ.
On the last day, we had a closing ceremony and got badges. We got souvenirs and soon it was time for us to leave. We thanked everyone there and got into our buses. We enjoyed a lot in the bus and train until we realized it was over. The four days had just flown by and seemed like a dream, but we will always remember and cherish this trip...Shatakshi Dubey 

“The camp this year has been marvelous! And I would like to point out that the most important and special thing that I learned was teamwork. I am pretty sure that you have heard of the tale of the 3 brothers, and how individually none of them could break a big bunch of twigs and sticks, but together they were able to do it. Well I guess that now I can relate to the story a lot, because when we went for a night-out in the woods, we had to rely on each other for support, trust, and help. Not that we were totally dependent on each other, but we definitely helped ourselves, our friends, and all the others. Everyone became our buddies, and the people we rarely talked to in school became our companions. So to round it up, I would say that this was one of the best memories of my life, and I will always carry it with me for years to come.”
 “The days passed by with activities like valley crossing, climbing the friendship ladder, learning how to tie various styles of knots using ropes and talent show. One of the main highlights was trekking uphill (which I might add was scary, 6200 feet above sea level). We pitched our own tents, brought logs to cook our food, carried empty cans and walked a mile to bring clean water for cooking and finally cooked our own food! It was the best coffee, soup and dinner I had had, yes because we had made it.”
“It was my first camp and the experience was truly good and full of fun and adventure. I never thought that I could have such awesome fun with my friends.”...Rishika Singh, Mehr Chawla, Vedant Chauhan

Grade 8 Camp In Nainital, Bhavika Hotchandani & Akshit Singh
Rocksport Camp Nainital 2014 was an amazing experience for all the 8th graders.
It has given an everlasting memory to almost all the students. This was my first camp with Pathways and I enjoyed it to the fullest extent. From the cottages to the activities… everything was very well organized. Each day we had to wake up very early in the morning, go for morning exercise followed by thrilling activities of the day and finish with having a relaxing time around camp fire.  As for some of us, rock climbing made it into our highlights, rappelling and caving stood out for others. I am sure nobody can ever forget the chilling and spine tingling experience of night trek. Students developed skills in the areas of confidence and courage. Students performed activities out of their comfort zone and overcame their fears. They referred to this camp as being one of the best ones yet!

Grade 9 camp to Uroli, Aryan Srivastava Gr 9
We left on 19th March on a cold winter morning. Nobody could wait to hop on the train and reach Karthodham. After the 6hrs train journey we had a 5hr jeep ride. When we reached the campsite after a tiring journey, we were split into 2 groups.
We were to do activities in these respective groups. We did rock climbing, bouldering and hiking. We also had many fun activities like Elastic Limbs and Helter Skelter. During the evening, we sat near the bonfire and cracked jokes as well as telling scary stories. Many of my classmates did not want to leave, and we had a lot of fun over there.

Camp K12 Competition, Ms. Sana Noor Primary ICT Teacher

I had a great amount of apprehension while the hurried, last minute registration process for the Camp K12 competition was going on. The reason simply being that we were just about two weeks away from the PYP Authorization visit! Camp K12 is an online technology competition which is conducted across the country and numerous schools take part in it, the fact which made me all the more nervous.

There were various categories under which our students took part – graphic designing, computer animation and web designing.

Once registered, the responsibility was primarily shouldered by each student’s parents to get them working under the category they had taken part in. The students, however, were their usual enthusiastic selves and kept coming back to me for tips, ideas and tools to be used. A great attraction about this competition was the whole public voting aspect on which 30% of the results depended. The students shared their links with all family and friends in order to get maximum votes. After several tiers of verification, their work was finally up for the jury to gauge. Within a period of about a week, which seemed too long to the eager students and their parents, we finally got to know the results.

It makes me extremely proud to be sharing with the school community that two of our students won in different categories :-
•  Devmay Dewan (Form 4) – First Position in graphic designing category 1 (KG to IV)
Devmay morphed his own picture.
•  Aditi Amritesh (Form 4) – Special prize “Young Web Designer’s Award” in web designing
Aditi had created a virtual nail art salon called “Tips n Toes”.
I would also take this opportunity to extend gratitude towards the parents for being backbones for each of our participants. If not for their support, we would surely not have bagged these awards.