The true test of education is to measure whether it is truly transformational. How does it change you? How does it get you to see the world differently? Or your own life and actions differently? How does it get you to see another person or society differently and to understand it more? What does it enable you to do better? These are the questions which have become increasingly pressing in the 21st century. They are the questions which we ask ourselves each year, questions which are at the heart of an IB school.
Over the past few weeks we have seen multiple events which encourage students to personalise complex and abstract ideas.
The grade 5 PYP exhibition was a wonderful showcase of moving from thinking about systems in society to exploring different systems – NGOs, technology, health, environment and many others – to looking to see how even young children can change the world. Fund raisers, awareness drives, posters etc followed. Shared below is a notable example of a student who reached out to Mr Suresh Narayanan, the Chairman & MD of Nestle and his amazingly helpful response and encouragement to a little girl. Take a moment to read the heart warming exchanges. That’s an example of transformation.
In a similar vein, Our school’s Interact Club has been part of Responsenet’s drive for collection of food materials as a part of Delhi NCR Foodbank initiative. They galvanized the whole school community to contribute We are very proud that our school was the highest contributor in the Schools’ Category and was awarded at a glittering function on Saturday night.
This year’s Jharokha succeeded in being transformational education with its focus on understanding how a common humanity breaks up into prejudice, discrimination and hostility. Students from Grade 4-11 re-examined through this idea what they were already learning on immigration, partition, displacement, racism,
the economic effects of new laws, literary texts etc. With presentation, graffiti, drama, music, art they conveyed a strong understanding of attitudes. Many parents shared that an understanding of Otherness has extended into the entire family.
In a different way the adventure camps too are transformative. It begins with the overnight stay in school for Grade 1 – for many children and parents this is a big step in separation. Other groups are out seeking adventure in the hills or in villages trying activities for the first time. For the first time, Grade 11 went to Bhutan to experiene a new culture in a little explored part of the world. In a departure from adventure and in continued exploration of their history theme grade 8 goes to Amritsar.
Guest Faculty from the UK
We were delighted to welcome for a week Geoff and Anne Readman, two practitioners of Theatre in Education. They worked with students of Grade 4, 7 & 11 and ran teacher workshops, using drama to deepen student understanding of their units and literary texts. This provided powerful learning through a new medium, summed up in one student comment that “This is the best workshop I have ever attended”.
Grade 12 are preparing for their final weeks in school before proceeding on prep leave before their IB exams. It is an emotional time for everyone in school as we see the little children who entered Pathways many years ago grow into fine young men and women we are all proud of. We celebrate all the parents of Grade 12 students for whom too this is a landmark time of transition. We are delighted at the excellent college placement offers many of them already have and will be sharing details later. Meanwhile we prepare for Graduation on 6th April.
Grade 10 students too are coming up to their Board exams – the final IGCSE batch of the school before we switch completely to the MYP. A first external exam is always nerve-wracking and I would urge you to ensure that in the time remaining your children work steadily, get sufficient rest and keep their nerves calm.
I must acknowledge the dedication and focus of the parents who have been giving their time to attend the Food Council meetings. Together with a group of teachers from across the school, administration staff and Caterman our catering company, we have had extremely fruitful discussions, reviewing the menu, suggesting changes. Council members took the time to understand the challenges of providing menus which will appeal to both 5 year olds and 17 year olds, different tastes and food cultures and the constraints of items where a thousand people need to have food within 30 minutes. Health and balance were central to the review and we have had offers of help with demonstrating cooking of certain items to the chefs. Changes in the menu will be implemented in April.
Dr Shalini AdvaniSchool Director