As we come up to the school opening I am writing to warmly welcome your ward back to the school. The first day of school is Thursday 25th July. As usual school begins at 8 am. I would especially like to welcome again those families who are new to the school.
Do remember that as usual, Thursday is a short day for students so school will end at 2.20 pm.
Teachers have been back for a week, preparing to welcome their students and organising learning materials and classrooms. There have been workshops and discussion sessions on planning for each level of the IB programme. We have also been happy to welcome new faculty to the school who come from India, Mexico and the UK. They will we are sure, continue to strengthen our programme.
For those of you who have had concerns about the food, you will be happy to know that we have a new caterer – CESTA. There has been a huge improvement in food quality, as testified by the secondary school students and staff, with a stronger focus on less oil and more light options. We now added an automated dish washing and a roti maker and better bakery products.
Automatic Roti Maker - can churn out more than 1k perfectly baked rotis per hour
Electrically heated cooked food containers
Automatic dish washer that takes each soiled item through a process of pre-rinsing, anti-bacterial chemical cleaning and finally a hot water/steam rinsing
We will be issuing new electronic exeat cards. These enable electronic scanning of when a child is taken out. Please be prepared for this process when you are taking your child out – it will strengthen our safety systems. On buses additional cameras are being installed at the doors to record exactly who has picked up a student. The new system also enables a card to be immediately deactivated if you report it lost. With this, it is no longer necessary to provide 4 photographs of those who can pick up a child as EY parents used to do. This was a loose system and open to tampering. Please ensure that in case an exeat card is lost you immediately report this as the student will be permitted to leave with the person carrying the card.
We have received the inspection reports from our two quality review international agencies - Council of International Schools (CIS) and North England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). We are truly delighted and proud to have been very highly appreciated for our school systems, educators and leaders, and the programme by highly recognised international bodies who inspect schools around the world.
The CIS report has 14 commendations as recognition. They have even changed 7 areas where we rated ourselves as "Meeting Standards" to "Exceeds". There are only 3 suggestions for improvement. Similarly the NEASC report highlights excellent educational practice and has upgraded 3 areas to the equivalent of Exceeds. The overall feedback can be summed up in a wonderful line from the NEASC Report: It would be fair to say that PSN is a joyful, passionate learning community that is always looking for ways to grow.
Please read through a detailed summary of the comments and commendations at the bottom of this mailer. I would also be happy to show the full report to anyone who wishes to read it in school.
This has been a busy summer of activities and opportunities for students. A group of Primary school students went to Russia, visiting Moscow and St Petersburg, secondary students went to the US, to NASA, Niagara Falls, New York, another team of students has flown to the Hague to participate in the World Scholars Cup.
In a partnership between PSN and YSCE Cricket enthusiasts had a wonderful opportunity to go to the UK, where they received extensive training and played friendly matches. Another group of Table Tennis players went to Nagpur for a national training camp. Our Yoga students have continued to excel, winning silver medals in Goa at the National Aerobics and Gymnastics Championship for Under 12 & Under 14.
All this was in addition to our customary summer camp Rediscovering Minds, a golf camp and horse riding activities.
One of the most interesting shifts we are making in this year is to promote self-directed learning by students by freeing up time for them to make choices, seek help, receive special coaching for advance students. We believe that 21st century people must develop greater individualized strengths and the inevitably tight structure of schools do not always allow for this. Therefore one lesson a day will be ILT or Individualized Learning Time where students can work on metacognition and their own learning areas. Additionally it will enhance opportunities for gifted musicians to have individual training and give time for peer learning.
Another new area is the introduction of a teacher for Bharatanatyam. In addition to introducing this in specific grades, it will allow secondary school students to receive training every week if they should wish to do so.
In conclusion I would like to wish you a happy year ahead as your child goes through a year at Pathways. I look forward to working with you to take forward the most important job on the planet - the education of our children. Please find attached a copy of the school calendar of activities for the year. There have been a couple of minor changes from the printed planner so please use this as the final version.
Dr. Shalini Advani
The students, teachers, and leadership of the school for their enthusiastic application of their definition of international mindedness, which enriches their learning and makes a positive change through action.
The only recommendations are to include a specific English language cut off in the admission policy, for further education on the UN Rights of the Child, on expanding indoor PE spaces (which is already being looked at).
Recommendations include expanding the use of the makerspace, including digital portfolios and ensuring that good practices are distributed across all disciplines and levels.