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Welcome Letter (Academic Year 2017-18)
As we come up to the opening of the new academic year I am happy to welcome you and your child back to the school for a happy year of growth and development. Regular school opens for secondary school students and our Infants/ Toddlers section on Wednesday 2nd August though there are some orientations scheduled on the 1st. Primary school opens on Wednesday 9th August. The faculty has been back for this week and hectic work is ongoing in preparation for the children’s return. I am filling you in on some important developments which have taken place over the past two months.
I must begin by sharing that we are happy to have a new Primary School Principal who joined on the 17th and has been hard at work since. She is Mrs Meenakshi Singal and she was previously Primary Principal of Pathways World School Aravali. Before her time in Aravali, she was Deputy Principal of the Primary section of the British School New Delhi. She brings considerable professional expertise to the role, with hands - on experience in national and international education systems, including curriculum and human resource development. She has a post graduate degree in two disciplines, English Literature and Public Administration and has also trained at the Principal’s Training Centre in London for International School Leadership. She is a certified Tutor for teachers of ESL (English as Second Language) Learners from Department of Education and Children’s Services, Government of South Australia and has successfully conducted training modules for staff in different international schools. Obviously her deep knowledge of Pathways will be a great asset in settling in quickly.
We are also happy to welcome on board Mr Kushal Berry in the Accounts dept. Some of you have already been in correspondence with him. He will be the lead person to respond to queries and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The new primary school block is coming up as a spacious and airy space. Last minute work continues and we look forward to having students from Grades Pre Nursery – 5 rejoin school on 9th August. Meanwhile secondary school has now moved into two academic blocks which are divided up by department. A new bridge has been built at the first floor level to facilitate students movement between blocks. Each block now is named after a tree: the final choice was made by a student poll: Rosewood (old primary) Chestnut (secondary), Cassia (new primary), Maple (cafeteria), Oak (administration). Because of the necessity of movement, a passing time has been designated in 2ry school which leads to a school-wide adjustment of lesson timings. Please note that school now ends ten minutes earlier at 3.30 and buses will leave at 3.40. On Thursday school ends at 2.20 and buses leave at 2.30 pm
I am happy to share the results of the IB Diploma exam. The top student was Karan Pandanda with 43 points. Kshitij Upamanyu got 40 points and Kyu Dong Cho 39 points. We are delighted that Karan was the top student amongst all schools in the NCR. The School Average for Diploma students is 31.0 which was higher than the World Average. A number of students secured a perfect grade 7 in different subjects and Grade As in TOK and Extended Essay.We are also delighted to share that the school had once again a perfect record for academic honesty.
The University Admission has been really commendable, with students going to Universities like UCLA, UCB, NYU, UCL, Emory, University of Melbourne, Hong Kong University, the University of Toronto etc.
The school is in the midst of applying for membership of the elite CIS or Council of International Schools. We have been working towards this process for a year, led by Dr Kaul the Chairperson of the CIS authorization committee. It is a rigorous and lengthy process to achieve membership and the first level of inspection of our systems and approach will take place this September. Benefits of membership include strengthening recognition for students applying to universities around the world, sharing excellent practice and being recognized by a select community of worldwide schools.
18 students from secondary school went to Athens to participate in the global round of the World Scholars Cup. Over 1500 students in 250 teams from 42 countries were participating. Our students were outstanding. We had 4 senior team students in the top ten of South Asia: Nehal Agrawal was 10th , Ayush Tiwari placed 6th and Prachi Sharma placed 4th. All our other students did very well too - the senior team won a total of 69 medals in debate, scholars bowl, collaborative writing and scholars challenge. The junior team won 37 medals. Two junior teams with Samarth Modi, Asmi Khungar, Noyonika Gaba, Udai Taneja, Aadit Anand and Aditya Das will now go to the Tournament of Champions in Yale along with the senior teams.
One of the most significant areas of education is the development of innovation and creativity. This is one of our hallmarks for development in this year.
In the redesigned building we have a special status given to Makerspaces. Building upon Product Design, Technology, Robotics, Art and the general area of creativity, the philosophy behind a Makerspaces is to encourage innovation and invention which is not curriculum based. This is one of the foremost needs of the 21st century.
A number of teachers have already been trained in this area and a training programme for others in both Primary and Secondary school is scheduled. In October the school will host an event open to students from Grade 9 up on Technology, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. We are looking at the possibility of doing something along these lines for younger students as well.
On a related note, students of Grade 6 & 7 will have an opportunity to work in a Genius Hour programme. Parents will learn more about this during Form Morning.
There are a number of exciting university and careers-based initiatives in the pipeline. On 29th August we host a major university fair with representatives from about 70 universities from around the world, in collaboration with the IC3 conference. This will be an excellent opportunity for students and parents to interact with university representatives to understand admission requirements.
We are delighted to have strengthened our links with the professional training programmes which we host after school. For cricket and soccer respectively the Yuvraj Singh cricket academy and Arsenal soccer will provide coaches in school hours, to further enhance the skills of teams.
The horse riding academy is enhancing student progress and professionalism with the launch of a Horsemanship examination leading to certification and medals. Further details will be made available.
An exciting new development is the launch of an after-school gymnastics academy – Future Fit . As you will be aware gymnastics begins early in life so this will as an exception be open after school to Early Learner students. You will receive further details after school opens.
Our ongoing after school programmes with YSCE, Arsenal, Baseball and Centre Stage are scheduled to start shortly after school opens.
As always I look forward to interacting with you and working together for the benefit of our children. Our parent community is one of our biggest strengths at Pathways and we will continue to draw upon your experience and expertise. Once again a very warm welcome to the new academic year.
Dr. Shalini Advani