Celebrating India’s 72nd Independence Day

India gained its freedom after years of relentless struggle and Independence Day is observed every year to pledge commitment towards the nation and to celebrate unity in diversity. On the eve of Independence Day, the students of St. Andrews School put together a spectacular show inducing patriotism in one and all.
After the prayer, the national flag was unfurled, followed by the school giving national salute. The poems in English and Telugu were recited and patriotic song “Janani Janmabhoomi” rendered by 72 cheerful voices, reigniting the spirit of allegiance to the country. An invigorating speech by Ms.Anita Reddy infused the students with energy and vigour. In retrospect of the freedom struggle, Ms.Reddy said that citizens should be devoted to their work and take the country forward. She further elaborated on Indian achievers of 2018, taking examples of Rohit Prasad, the creator of Amazon Alexa and Hima Das, the gold medal winning sprinter, sharing their inspiring stories and called for collective commitment. An energetic dance depicting the freedom struggle was performed to the popular and soulful songs of A.R.Rahman, casting a spell over the young spectators.

Celebrations at St. Andrews School, Marredpally
Celebrations at St. Andrews School, Bowenpally.

The celebrations came to a close with Principal leaving an impact with her stirring words. She said that there is always hope for our country and constant enthusiasm should make everyone work towards achieving better.

For the Book-Breathing Souls

The question frequently asked to the wanderlust souls is if given a chance to travel anywhere in the world, where they’ll go. If the same is asked to the one whose nose is buried in a book, you’ll get answers like the Quidditch pitch in Hogwards, Dragonstone of Westeros, Stone Table in Narnia or the Neverland. It’s always the smell of old books and the sight of a library that make us smile with glee. Like how a restaurant is for foodies, bookstore is for us. We often put the world on pause while engrossed in a book and believe books to be the ultimate perfect gift! Does that sound way too familiar? This is about you and me – the book lovers.

Let us be honest. Book lovers eagerly await movie adaptations so that we can be critics of details that aren’t accurate enough. With exceptions like Harry Potter, we usually do not encourage watching films over reading them. Meanwhile, reading our favourite book over a dozen times is like visiting an old friend. The booklovers are also guilty of going overboard buying multiple editions if the cover design catches our fancy. Book shopping is almost like grocery shopping, we go in to buy one, ending up buying many. Most often reading the final chapter is an emotional act since by then we have made friends with the characters and don’t want to bid them adieu. Now to answer the question of what we actually read, our reading spreads from the text on toothpaste cartons to memoirs and epics. This is the crazy world of booklovers that non-readers find enigmatic.

Contrary to the criticism that current generation does not read, there is always a section of dedicated voracious readers. It is the habit of reading of larger population in general that has declined. Excessive indulgence in technology and short-term attention span are typically held accountable for their reluctance to read. At the same time, technology has in fact made books more accessible to people, in the form of virtual texts.

Junior Block Library of St. Andrews School, Bowenpally

After parents who can make a difference by imparting reading habits from early childhood, schools play the major role in developing bibliophiles. St. Andrews School takes pride in having well-stocked dedicated libraries for junior, middle-school and high school. The extensive collection of over 30,000 books covers wide range of genres in fiction and non-fiction. From Sci-fic to Biographies, Satire to Encyclopedias, the School library has got them all. Students are not confined by syllabus or knowledge received from teachers.

Library of St. Andrews School, Marredpally

When given the space to explore books, they conceive the universality of most things, learn new stuff, become more creative and imaginative and turn out to be nicer people. St. Andrews School ensures that every student is given the opportunity to experience the magnificence of the literary world. Isn’t that how our journey started too – by discovering some of the best books?

The Road Not Taken

The investiture ceremony of St. Andrews School, Keesara was held with great dignity and festivity on the morning of 10th August.  The momentous event was presided over by Mr. A. M. Emanuel, Chairman, AE Group and Mrs. Hyacinth Emanuel, Managing Director, St. Andrews School.  The judges of the March Past, Honorary Lieutenant Subedar Major Sukhdev Singh and Mr. Jaswinder Singh, also graced the occasion. The formal ceremony of conferring titles and investing duties to the student cabinet is a signifier of the confidence the School has in its young leaders.

Following the general salute and prayer, the School Cabinet members assumed office by receiving flags and badges.  Solemn pledge was administered by the school captains wherein the newly appointed leaders pledged to carry out their duties assigned to them with utmost sincerity and efficiency. School anthem was then rendered by the choir, after which the Chairman reviewed march past led by the leaders of the cabinet and the four houses.

Student Cabinet 2018-19
March past
Captains of the four houses

The cultural programme with vibrant and zestful participation of the students was based on the theme ‘Road Not Taken’. Tiny tots of the school swayed to the rhythm as ‘jumbo dancers’, captivating the hearts of the audience. An amusing skit with students dressed up as various animals of the wild, from fluttering butterflies to roaring lions, received high praise.

The best marching contingent, Ruby Spartans, received the trophy with a huge cheering. The Chairman congratulated the school for putting up a brilliant show and advised the students to be culturally and religiously integrated. He also expressed the need to appreciate the efforts of the common men contributing towards our welfare. The ceremony winded up with the school captain proposing vote of thanks, followed by the national anthem.

33rd Founder’s Day at St. Andrews School

Amidst great zest and elation, the most awaited event of the year, the 33rd Founder’s Day celebrations unraveled on the morning of 3rd August at St. Andrews School, Bowenpally. With the school band playing the general salute, Chief Guest of the day, Mr. A. M. Emanuel, Chairman, AE Group along with Ms. Hyacinth Emanuel, the Managing Director, Ms. Shamita Bhattacharya, Principal and other guests were welcomed to the celebrations. Lieutenant Hidayat Shaik of the Indian Navy and Honorary Lieutenant Subedar Major Sukhdev Singh of the Indian Army, the judges of the march past, also graced the occasion. A minute’s silence was observed in commemoration of Late Rev. Fr. Dhanraj, the former Chairman of St. Andrews School, followed by a solemn prayer invoking blessings for all.

Prayer

Bestowing leaders with their official duties is one of the highlights of Founder’s day.  The newly elected members of the Student Cabinet, who are the standard-bearers of the school, assumed office by accepting the sashes, flags and badges. Subsequently, the class monitors and the USO officers took the solemn pledge to meet their duties with grace and honesty. The iconic school anthem composed by Rev.Fr. Christopher Coelho was then rendered by the choir in four-part harmony.

School Choir
Student Cabinet 2018-19

The much anticipated march past, led by the Student Cabinet, followed by the four houses and the hundred NCC cadets, impressed the gathering with their scintillating display of rhythm. The band ensemble comprising of brass instruments like the trumpet, euphonium, cymbals and the percussion section presented an astounding audio-visual treat, drawing an unceasing applause.

March Past
NCC

Teachers who stood by the school for a good span of twenty-five years were facilitated by Mr. Ashish Emanuel, Director at AE Group, as recognition of their dedicated service.

“Shreshtatva” – the cultural extravaganza had various magnificent and reverberating performances by the students. Class V students presented “Rhapsody with Nature” an expression of farmers’ joy at reaping fruits of their hard work, while dancing to the tunes of Jimmiki Kammal.  Class I and II students from Marredpally branch shimmered their way into the hearts of the audience with “Step it up”. The glittering props and costumes added to the festive hues. Students from classes IX to XII performed an elaborate dance performance, divided into three segments symbolising physical fitness, mental health and character. Their union results in the synergy of the body, mind and the soul, leading to ‘shreshtatva’ or ultimate perfection. The cultural programmes culminated in a beautifully choreographed marching band drill.

‘Shreshtatva’
‘Rhapsody with Nature’
‘Step it Up’
School band

The Chairman, Mr. A. M. Emanuel appreciated the students and teachers for exhibiting a delightful show. He briefed upon the complexities of modern living and the challenges that comes with it. He added that such challenges faced by children can be helped by the parents. He went on to give the message of practicing “the religion of humanity”.

Without further ado, Lt. Hidayat Shaik, an alumnus of St. Andrews School congratulated all the four houses for their thrilling march past and announced the winners – Emerald Gladiators. With a huge cheer from the gathering, the house captains along with their house mistresses accepted the trophy.

March Past Winners

The event came to a close with the school captain, Ayush Jayan proposing vote of thanks and the school band playing the national anthem.

 

Art thou a leader?

Going back to the good old days of playing antakshari, dumb charades and role plays, there were always one or two voices that wanted to lead. From deciding the time of play to splitting the group into teams and deciding who’s to have the first turn, they seemed to do it all seamlessly. What a debacle would it have been if there weren’t one to lead!

Leaders are not born, but made. Starting from home, children ape the elders and pick up characteristics. Who pays the bills, does grocery shopping, manages the kitchen, handles their homework – the child sees it all. The firstborns are naturally given more responsibilities and take the younger ones under their wing. When children are involved in decision making (even in choosing the colour of the refrigerator), it boosts their confidence and self-worth. Ultimately, exerting this decisive influence forms the foundation for their leadership skills.

While at school, there is greater scope of independence in carrying out responsibilities.  Being the class monitor, for example, involves ‘minding’ the class, maintaining cleanliness, reporting the ‘noisy’ ones, collecting and distributing assignments, it feels like having superpowers! The leader primarily acts as the communication link between the teacher and the students. An efficient leader expresses himself or herself well, has own ideas, has good rapport with others, does not demean their opinions, and most importantly, is not a bully.  While controlling others as a personal compulsion is bullying, connecting based on mutual needs and requirements is leadership.

Several areas of interests that the young adults find themselves in today, like sports, politics and corporate careers, are driven by qualities of teamwork and leadership.  Sir Viv Richards, one of the iconic cricket players that the game has known, has led West Indies for 50 tests, with the team never losing a series. Abraham Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and modernised the economy. Similarly, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, was a pioneer in transforming the corporate world.  All of them have common traits of emotional stability, enthusiasm, self-assurance, empathy and team orientation, which enhance their leadership skills.

Student Cabinet 2018-19,
St. Andrews School, Bowenpally.

St. Andrews School aims at bringing out the best qualities from each student and in polishing their skills. Since the school’s establishment, a cabinet body of students is formed every year, with the Head Boy and Head Girl, Sports Captain and Vice-Captain, U.S.O. President and Vice-President, Y.F.S. Captain and Vice-Captain, Band Leader, Head Chorister and the Captains and Vice-Captains of the four school houses.

Student Cabinet 2018-19
St. Andrews School, Keesara.

Students with exemplary academic record and courteous and pragmatic behaviour are chosen to be in the Cabinet. They assume their duties with the swearing-in during the investiture ceremony. Subsequently, the leaders execute their responsibilities with their best foot forward. At its onset, the Student Cabinet of St. Andrews School attends a session on leadership by the Department of Student Development and Counselling, aimed at enhancing leadership to inspire and guide others. The exposure opens them up to opportunities of sharpening self-awareness, improving relationships, broadening the mind and preparing for the prospects of the future.

To quote Nelson Mandela, “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realising that all along they are being directed from behind.”