One month into the school year, I am very pleased to be writing to share my thoughts and give you an overview of what has taken place and what is forthcoming. I also take this opportunity to warmly welcome all the new families who have joined Pathways in this academic year. I hope you have had the opportunity to understand the working of the school through the various Form mornings and orientation sessions.
Rewards and Recognition
A large number of parents attended the Primary and Secondary Awards ceremonies and as you know at Pathways we believe in recognising multiple excellences. There has been recognition for students who did well at the Trinity school music exam (details below) and at open or inter-school sports activities. For the first time, we have launched the Pathways merit scholarship. This year this was given to students from Grade 8 up for academic excellence. It could be extended to other areas as well. We have also begun
Showcase assemblies to recognise secondary
school students who have done something unusual beyond school and is worthy of
recognition. This must be something they have done of their own initiative and
in addition to their regular activity in school. As some of you have remarked,
this inspires others to extend themselves in different areas.
However I would like to share with you some of the dilemmas which accompany this. Where there are winners there are inevitably losers. As I have said before, the recognition of success is accompanied by a lack of recognition of others and we would not want this event to make a student feel less special. For this reason we do not intend to extend this to Primary school students where because of the sensitivity of this age group, it is our philosophy that every student must be celebrated for whatever they are good at.
Finally, we have also looked at recognising excellence in academic areas and in exemplary citizenship, more frequently than at the annual academic awards ceremony. This will happen every quarter. And secondary students who have achieved the highest proficiency level at the end of the first semester will be invited along with their parents to coffee with the Directors.
We were delighted to host the middle school Model UN, welcoming schools from across the NCR and from around the country. We remain one of the few schools in the country to give middle school students the opportunity to be UN delegates, discussing extremely complex issues. The General Assembly agenda was New Battlegrounds: The Future of Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare, the Security Council debated Transnational Terrorism with Special Focus on ISIS and Boko Haram, the UNHCR on Resettlement and Rehabilitation of refugees and migrants affected by ISIS, the UNDP on Sustainable Development Goals. A special session on the All India Political Parties meet had students taking on the role of individual leaders from parties in India to debate on Adoption and implementation of Uniform Civil Code. Introduced to lobbying, moderated and unmoderated caucuses, crisis situations and the protocols of the UN, students astonished us with the level of their research and understanding of global issues.
Celebrating Korean Thanksgiving
We were delighted to celebrate Chuseok with our Korean families. A number of parents came into school to highlight an awareness of this day with a sweet which was distributed to the whole school. Chuseok, is one of the three biggest and most important holidays in Korea. Family members from near and far come together to share food and stories and to give thanks to their ancestors. I would like to thank the parents who contributed to our children’s awareness of this
Founders Day Planning
A major highlight of the year for students is Founders Day. This year the event has a strong learning focus creating an awareness which does not necessarily fit into a particular curriculum area. In primary this is on the environment and in secondary it is on Shakespeare since it is his 400th death anniversary. To protect subject areas secondary school rehearsals have been scheduled after school for the first phase and students who for various reasons are unable to devote this additional time will be absorbed into activities and presentations for the Shakespeare carnival and festival that comes before the performance. This is a new feature and promises an exciting opportunity for all students to engage with the world of Shakespeare. It is always a difficult choice between wider learning for all and the needs of the academic programme but as always every student will have some part in our two Founders events.
As part of our ongoing school improvement process, the school commissioned a professional external group Momentum India to audit our safety infrastructure, system and processes. The school is recognised as having some very strong systems in place already and we are committed to continue to improve in this important area. Once the process is completed it will lead to relevant staff training, upgrade materials and tighten systems as per recommendations.
The school will shortly begin building a new academic block. This will support better facilities and space for the MYP and increase specialist areas like Music rooms, Dance and Drama. I will be writing to you separately regarding this.
This week the school is celebrating Kindness Week: focusing on creating a recognition of the value of spreading caring and understanding. Our children today need to be actively taught about caring for the feelings of others around them and their role in strengthening and encouraging others. A variety of activities have been prepared by the school counsellors in collaboration with the student council.
Finally, I am delighted to share that the school is supporting a very special art exhibition at the India Habitat centre by Amrit Khurana.
Amrit is on the autism spectrum
and has been working in the school under the guidance of our art department,
especially Mr Anil Goswami. She is a gifted artist, speaking through the images
she creates. Her presence in school creates a better understanding in our other
students, of the potential giftedness of students with special needs than the
best lecture could do.
Dr. Shalini Advani
Dr. Shalini Advani