9 April 2016

From the Director's Desk

A topic of interest for all parents, even those in Primary school, is the area of university admissions after Grade 12.  Over the years we are seeing a rising number of IB students choosing to stay on in India for Undergraduate degrees. Statistics show that nation-wide upto 40% of students do not go abroad.  What are the options available and how are they changing? At the recent IB Asia Pacific conference in Hyderabad, I was privileged to lead a discussion on this area.  4 very interesting universities – the OP Jindal university, the Sushant School of Design, Flame university and the Munjal university – discussed the ways in which their multi-discipline approach, the imaginative flexibility of the programme, their recognition of the special value which IB students bring,  showing how students have an increasing number of choices. Before the end of this semester, we plan to have an open session for parents of any grade to understand the university admission processes with our Career advisor. You will receive notification of this shortly.

MYP Authorization
A two year long process of MYP implementation culminated in the
IB authorization visit. The visiting team of Mr Patrick Ritter IB consultant and Ms Amanda Lenck from the Overseas School in Columbo spent three days in school reviewing teaching, talking to students, teachers and administration. The official report is now awaited but their feedback was overwhelmingly positive and they complimented many aspects of the school programme. The entire process leading to this has been an exciting challenge for everyone in the school. The teachers and Heads of Department worked incredibly hard to understand new demands, supported by the multiple IB trainings and workshops they attended. I cannot appreciate enough the strong leadership of the MYP coordinator Ms. Anshu Sharma and the Principal Ms. Sandhir in steering this complicated process.

Exhibitions and Displays

Art: The mandatory art exhibition of IB Diploma art students threw up an astonishing variety of talent.

From paintings to installation to dress design, art students displayed work of a standard which art colleges would be proud of. A number of parents responded to the invitation to view the exhibition which in itself was a real-life feedback for our budding artists.

Science: Focussing on the theme of Science for a better world, students from Primary to Senior school set out displays, demonstrated experiments and created technology programmes in the Science exhibition.

Technology: As part of the digital citizenship week, which focuses on safe and responsible use of technology, an inter-house
competition showcased student awareness of this important area. Our technology coordinators from primary to middle to senior were involved in planning and the process was led by the technology teachers through the school. As a Microsoft showcase school, we also hosted visitors from the Microsoft Education team who were astonished at the variety of applications and knowledge areas our students and teachers are aware of. This is what they said:

Student achievement, engagement and building 21st century skills is a collective responsibility and when students get empowered, great achievements happen. It is indeed great to see the school moving in that direction. I was very impressed with the facilities, discipline and student initiatives as well. I would like to congratulate you for taking initiatives on Digital Citizenship efforts as well. It is really wonderful to spread sensitization around deploying digital assets.

Exams and Graduation
As we move towards the end of the semester the all-important Board examinations loom. Grade 10 IGCSE students have already stopped regular classes in preparation for the exams. Grade 12 students are winding down revision classes and will have the final and emotional Graduation ceremony on 15th April.   We wish all the very best to both our exam groups as well as their parents. This is inevitably a stressful time for homes so do ensure healthy eating, enough sleep and calm nerves over the next 8 weeks.

Finally to reiterate the advance notice sent out, please note that school will reopen for the new year on 1st August. As you are making your summer bookings bear in mind that all students are required to be back on the first day of school.

Dr. Shalini Advani

School Director

From the Primary School Principal, Mrs. Usha Lamba

Adventure Camps in Primary
Education as you all know is a complex and a serious matter for shaping the future global citizens, this surely is possible only when we include the annual adventure camps seriously in our educational program.. Apart from the obvious fun and bonding that students go through they also stretch themselves to adjust and experience large differences in ways of living. We select this very carefully balancing the risks and their learning during these days.

Form 5 went to Rajasthan- Geejgarh and lived in tents on an organic farm. Form 4 went to Aranyam, and the Rajaji Tiger Sanctuary a few kilometers away from Rishikesh. From 3 did Siriska and had fun spotting variety of wild life like wild bars, crocodiles, species of birds and spotted deers. Form 2 went closer to Camp Tickling on Sohna Road where they happily leapt into the lap of nature and embraced life under the open sky. Zip-line, Wall climbing, village visit were the focus of their overnight stay there.

Our very little children that week engaged within school or close by areas to experience some form of adventure and took little risks and learnt
how to keep themselves safe and learn from their challenges. For Form 1 students staying overnight at school itself had more than everyday challenges for them as they lived away from family, for many it was their first time. They began their day in the EOD Adventure camp where they tried their hand at archery and also a ride on a raft
boat apart from simple zip lining and climbing challenges. The afternoon was spent playing several team games, at sun set they saw a short movie and that was followed by the dance party where they danced and sang to the rhyme time day melodies. The Children enjoyed watching the chefs toss pasta with variety of sauces at Dinner. The night walk around the campus brought in the magic of the night for further bonding with classmates. Aerobics, musical chairs and a yummy south-Indian breakfast marked the morning, after which one felt, there was this sense of a sadness among students that the camp was over.  Many of them expressed their desire to continue the experience. What did they learn? Obviously to live with one another without the comforts of a home. The teachers took immense pride at watching our little ones take responsibility, exhibit discipline, team spirit, tolerance, self-awareness, accept independence and in a small manner, come of age. An experience for a day, a memory of a lifetime!

Our risk-takers from Kindergarten climbed on nets, crawled through tunnels, walked on ropeways, rafted on the river, bounced on the bouncy castle at the EOD Park and spent a longer day at school. It was a joy to see the little ones encourage their friends to overcome their fears
and try different activities.

Pre Nursery and Nursery had a ball in school: take a look at their engagements as they had special days right through the week, from Book day to obstacle races, to getting messy, to going for a teddy picnic were some of the engagements they relished enjoyed and grew with.

Middle School Camps by Varsha Pandanda Gr 6, Asmi Khungar Gr 7 & Tushar Gupta Gr 8

Camps at Pathways school are a much-awaited time of the year. These three days are that time of the year when we are with our friends, away from our homes, and yet, happy.
Each grade went to a separate place for the camp.

Form 6 went to Camp Tusker, which is in Haridwar, Rishikesh, with Snow Leopard as the organizers. Form 7 went to Junga, Camp Chrysalid, a camp placed amidst the scenic mountains near Shimla and at an altitude of 5000 ft. with Youreka as the camp leaders. Form 8 went to Chail, a place promising adventure along with nectar for the eyes. This place is right above Shimla. Inme were the camp organizers for grade 8.

Camps for all the three forms began on the 15th of March and ended on the 18th of March.

The grade 6 camp treated the children to a variety of activities like, nature walk, trekking to a temple, playing games, adrenalin rush inducing activities like zip line (from a tall building onto a mountain back), wall climbing, gymnastics in the sand etc. The most adventurous and exciting part was cycling. We cycled for more than an hour and completed around 7 km most of which was uphill. Another highlight of the camp was the visit to an orphanage. We went there to have fun with the kids who do not have any near and dear ones. We interacted with them and learnt a lot about their lives. We also sang songs and danced with each other. We gave them a bag of goodies and left with some never to forget memories. On our last day we also went for “Ganga aarti” hosted by the orphanage children. We learned a lot, developed many new skills and overall enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We would like to thank Snow Leopard Adventures for this amazing trip.

Grade 7 had the most adventurous camp. Most of our activities
were team building ones and taught us how to leverage our strengths for the collective performance of a team. We did thrilling activities like ‘The friendship ladder’, ‘ Zip Line’ and Rappelling’. The best part of the grade 7 camps was a night out atop a flat mountain to reach where we undertook a long uphill trek of two and a half hours. On reaching our destination, we first learnt and then pitched our tents, made preparations and cooked our food, had fun around a bon fire and finally went to sleep in our tents. It was a never before experience and has enriched our lives with a lot of memories and experience. During the adventure trek we all worked as a team and bonded like never before. We have come out having honed our survival skills from the camp. Our achievements were recognized and most of us received badges in recognition of our behavior, participation, achievements and camaraderie. We carried lovely memories back home and wish to come back again for an amazing fun filled time next year.

Grade 8 had a long and tiring journey, which became worthwhile when we saw the breathtaking view from our campsite. Snow-capped mountains with the sun setting over them, was a captivating sight. Taking this lovely sight with us for motivation and energy, we proceeded towards various warm-up games and activities. We tried our hands at jumaaring, obstacle rope-course, and the most thrilling of them all, rappelling. We used to get scrumptious meals and at the same time we were taught to be mindful of wastage.  Evenings were very relaxed as we sat around the bonfire to sing songs, while sipping on hot cups of soup. Those three days helped us realize our true potential and learn how a challenge can boost our confidence. Overall, the time spent at camps was unforgettable and something no one would want to miss.

Secondary School Camps

On the 14th of March, Grade 11 set out for New Delhi station at dawn. Hearts filled with anticipation and eager for the days to come, the campers boarded the train and headed off to explore the wonders of Latitude 29, a camp in Naukuchiyatal, Uttarakhand. Captivating views and lush green hills all around simply mesmerized the campers. The rooms were simply excellent and the facilities really good.          

The students tried their hands at a variety of activities including rock climbing, trekking and even, as a CAS project the painting of walls for locals. Each night, a bonfire and all the campers gathering around it, to share riddles and stories would sum up a lovely day filled with activity and learning. While the games were enjoyable, nothing can truly compare to the learning the students gained from this trip. Fears were conquered- fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of doing new things and challenging one’s own limitations. Teamwork and finding out new and exciting aspects of each other’s personalities was one huge take away from the camps! Look forward to another exciting camp in 2016-17!

The Adventure camp was a sort for escape for the 10th graders. After giving two sets of exams, all 33 of the students were excited to go. Grade 10 went for a two-day Adventure Camp to Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. We enjoyed hours of rope climbing and river rafting. Each activity was challenging and asked of us to give a little more and learn a lot more.
I think I speak for all, when I say rafting was the most exciting and enjoyable activity & all of us had an adrenaline rush. These camps may not have been too long but were filled with thrilling and exhilarating moments. The bonds that were created, the memories that were carved out remain imprinted forever and we are grateful to our teachers and mentors and the camp organizers INME for such a wonderful time.

This year, grade 9 went to Alaknanda, Uttarakhand for camps. After a train and jeep ride the campers reached the campsite which was on a hill right next to the Alaknanda River, a tributary of the Ganga. A plethora of activities including valley crossing, bridge slithering, kayaking, body surfing, jummaring and rappelling filled the hours and excited and challenged the young students. Probably the most exciting time was when the campers went river rafting from Devprayag on the river.
Each difficulty and obstacle enabled the students to strengthen their internal resolve and fortitude and come out much stronger as a person. Overcoming personal fears and discovering hidden talents and abilities were one of the rich rewards of the trip. The rapids and the thrill of being ice cold water and the joy of being in the company of friends all were memories that are indelibly etched in the minds of all the students and teachers who went on this trip

Science Day at Pathways Noida

Science day held on 31st March was a huge learning experience in

school. All students of primary, middle and secondary school participated in the event wholeheartedly and a lot of fascinating research and innovative projects were laid out. Echoing a recurring principle of the IB, the theme of the science day was “Science for the betterment of humanity”.  The idea and the focus of the event depicted how science has helped shape the world in its present form and how it will have a progressive role in the future.

Students of primary school focused on how technology has changed various instruments that are in use today. They explored the development of common tools like agricultural equipment to understand how these have changed the methods of cultivating and harvesting. Similarly they talked about how cameras and cars underwent a drastic change over time.

Middle school and senior school focused on research projects which had a variety and depth of understanding. Some of the areas were genetically modified foods, cloning, comparing efficiency of different types of

bulbs, piezoelectricity, hybrid cars, halfalogue etc. There were ingenious projects like making gloves for traffic control, a low cost cooling system and innovative ways of creating electricity from salt water, from rain water harvesting.

Across the senior school students of grade 9 explored the concerns for air pollution in innovative ways like flash mob and ‘nukkad natak’ while students of grade 11 showcased their research and findings on kitchen science through the compulsory IB Group 4 project which is based in all the sciences and in technology. The exhibition was visited by the teachers and students across the school, and turned out to be a success.

Digital Citizenship Week at Pathways School Noida

We live in a world where technology touches our lives in a multitude of ways. To bring about an awareness of both how technology has changed our lives and what we need to be wary of, that we celebrate Digital Citizenship Week, which has now become an integral part of the Pathways annual calendar.

We had a very informative and creative whole school assembly on the theme of positives and negatives of the Digital world. Short drama pieces were presented by Primary, Middle and Senior schools – on cyber bulling, sharing information and the power of technology highlighting the importance of staying safe online and how this can be achieved.

This was followed by a fruitful panel discussion conducted by our
student Tech coordinators involving teachers, parents, students and IT experts. Panelists shared their experience and knowledge of a variety of topics such as e-governance, tele-medicine, and health effects of technology and privacy invasion. The key message was “Use technology for the benefit of mankind and let it not enslave you”.

Digital Citizenship Week at Secondary School concluded on Thursday with a multitude of events that were largely student driven. We had an enlightening Technology Showcase by students across the three sections of school – primary, middle and senior. Students demonstrated commendable oratory skills as they walked the 
audience through their presentations on a number of deeply researched technology related topics. In the second half, students showcased their creative side by presenting their idea of Digital World in the form of beautifully done Graffiti works. Visitors from Microsoft who reviewed these were very impressed with all that they saw, confirming our pride in being one of the few Microsoft showcase schools in the world.

Overall, we had a successful week that touched important aspects of Digital Citizenship and each one in the school had important take-aways from it.