ST. ANDREWS AT THE IBER CUP

It is a moment of pride that three of St. Andrews School’s ex-students, W. D. Rahul, K. Milind and Sai Kiran (batch of 2014-15), were selected to travel to Barcelona, Spain between the 11th and 16th of July 2017 to participate in the IBER Cup on behalf of the Football School of India. They attended a rigorous training camp in Vashi, Mumbai from the 7th to 10th of July just before setting off.

At the IBER Cup, the chosen three footballers competed in five matches against teams from Finland, Kenya, Scotland, Norway and the USA and finally stood in the fourth position. The three world-travelers said that their time spent training and playing for the IBER cup was a ‘good learning experience’ and that it went by ‘too quick’. They also found that their opponents had a lot of speed and coordination and were excellent at controlling the ball. On the whole, they found the time spent at the FC Barcelona Stadium – ‘Camp Now’ to be useful as this was where they learned to better themselves in positioning and maneuvering under the coaches’ guidance.

Barcelona was described as a ‘beautiful city’ with ‘friendly’ and ‘open minded’ people by the three intrepid footballers. The bit of sightseeing that they did was to explore the market where they met a lot of Indian shopkeepers and found a huge variety of goods such as clothes, electronics and delicious chocolates. They even visited the beach where they watched paragliding in action.

When asked who has inspired them, all three footballers agreed, with a hint of nostalgia, that it was their coach Tony sir at St. Andrews. They described him as a very supportive man who taught them to ‘fight their weaknesses’ and encouraged them to train hard. They were also inspired by the success of the St. Andrews School football team which at the time had been winning the Sachdev Tournament in Hyderabad for 11 straight years.

These skilled footballers were the only three selected from the state of Telangana to participate in the IBER Cup.

 

WRITER

I am not a writer.

I do not use complex words and phrases to describe the evils of the world.

My poetry can’t compare her eyes to the ocean

Or his anguish to the fire burning deep within our planet’s core.

I do not write.

All I do is leak and spill the overflowing ink

Not caring if it’s beautiful or blotched.

 

By

Ritisha Nair

Class 10

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF PARENT TEACHER MEETINGS

Parent Teacher Meetings are an opportunity for both parents and teachers to collaborate for the improvement of the child’s education. Parents and teachers need not approach the interaction as if going into a war-zone. Instead, if they come to an agreement that the purpose of the conference is to benefit the child, the meeting can take on a more positive direction. Parent Teacher Meetings are taking on a new dimension of partnerships between the parent and teacher in the best CBSE schools in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities. Here are some tips on making the most out of these meetings.

Being on Time – Parents and teachers need to remember that being five minutes early is ‘on time,’ and being ‘on time’ is coming late to the conference.  It is advisable to mark the calendar and set a phone or computer reminder.

No surprises – Parents don’t want to be caught unaware by poor grades, inappropriate behaviour, or missing assignments when sitting in front of the teacher. Parents need to keep abreast of their child’s performance at school by tracking the school handbook.

Being prepared – Parents can bring a list of items that they would like to discuss at the conference. This could include bringing business cards or papers with their up-to-date contact information. The one question parents need to ask their child’s teacher is, ‘how can I best help you help my child?’ Parents must subsequently be ready to listen to the teacher’s answers, suggestions, and recommendations. Parents need to make a list of questions and concerns they have for the teacher ahead of time and they can use a pen and paper to write down important notes that their child’s teacher makes about the child’s learning successes and areas for improvement.

Asking your child how things are at school – Parents can talk to their child about any issues the child would like their parents to take to the meeting on their behalf. Parents need to then remember to report back to their child what they learned during the meeting about their child’s classroom successes and behavior.

Being solutions oriented – When either party is defensive, it creates a counter-productive atmosphere at the meeting. Even if parents have issues or concerns about their child’s teacher, they’ll get more out of the meeting going in with an open mind and open ears. If negative issues are brought up, it’s likely that the teacher is looking to the parent for help to solve the problem. If parents do have concerns, many of them, such as complaints about school policies and class size, are above the teacher’s pay scale and are best brought up directly with the administration or the board. Parents need to bring a solutions-oriented mindset to the meeting and remind themselves that they and their child’s teacher have a common goal during the meeting — a shared desire to help the child have the best possible school year.

Working as a team – Parents need to work as a team with the teacher as the goal is to help the child improve. The Parent Teacher Conference is an opportunity for parents to learn about their children’s progress in school and for teachers to gain insights into the lives of their students’ in their homes and communities. The teachers can learn from the parents’ perspectives on student strengths and needs, learning styles, and nonschool learning opportunities which in turn can shape their instructional methods.

Emphasis on student learning – Research shows that family involvement is most effective when it is “linked to learning”. An important goal of the first Parent Teacher Conference is to develop new strategies to support the child’s learning at school and at home. Teachers should be prepared to discuss the academic progress of their students by using examples of student work and assessments during the Parent Teacher Conference.

Follow up – Parent Teacher Conferences are no longer a once-a-year ‘check-in’; they can provide useful insights for clear and immediate next steps and follow-up meetings. According to the Harvard Family Research Project, to get the most out of the Parent Teacher Conference, both the teacher and the parent should know what comes next. Parents need to brainstorm with the teacher to come up with ways to solve the challenges their child faces by asking for concrete examples of things they can do at home to help their child. Parents can ask the teacher to schedule a longer meeting in the coming weeks if they have gone beyond the stipulated time.

The top ICSE and international schools are encouraging parents in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities to get involved in their child’s education. They look to fostering a healthy parent teacher relationship on an expansive scale as they want to see many more parents and teachers enter into positive and productive collaborations for the betterment of every child’s education.

REPORTING TO THE TIMES

Times of India – NIE conducted a five-day workshop on Journalism from 24th April 2017 to 28th April 2017.

About twenty-five students from the best schools of the twin cities were present at the workshop. By the end of the workshop, we were all good friends with one another. I would like to thank the Times of India for such a thoughtful initiative – conducting a student workshop on a subject which intrigues people from all corners of the world. Our classes were conducted by Mrs. Ruth Dhanaraj in the conference room at Times House, Banjara Hills. Ruth Ma’am was very warm and patient and did not mind clearing our seemingly endless doubts. We learned about a variety of topics, such as reporting, editing, feature writing and reviewing. On the fifth day – the last day – we were taken to the Times of India Press in Nacharam, where we discussed in detail about how the press prints newspapers for tens of thousands. At the end of the Internship Program, we were given certificates of participation as well as water bottles to commemorate our time spent at the Times office.

I am very glad that I am now my school’s NIE reporter. Ruth Ma’am encouraged us to write articles for the Times NIE and I am definitely going to do that!

This internship program was an excellent learning experience and a brilliant exposure for me. I am extremely thankful to my school for giving me this opportunity that I can cherish for years to come.

Ruhaan Chand

Class 8

ADJUSTING TO A NEW SCHOOL

Moving to a new school can be a very stressful time for children. While making the transition from an old community to a new one, children and their parents go through a gamut of unavoidable changes and their consequences emotionally, physically and relationally. There could be various reasons that a family moves – the change of job, immigrating to a new country, and moving closer to the family; however, the fallout from these life-changing shifts need to be handled with care. Here are a few things that parents can do to help their children adjust to a new school during the first few weeks.

Make It An Adventure – Children love new things but they can be very scared and overwhelmed by the idea of going to a new school and class. Parents can prepare their children for this new phase by buying them new bag packs, lunch boxes and stationery items. Children would be excited to use these belongings in the new school environment. Additionally, parents can explain how exciting it will be, to make new friends. By doing this, parents are strengthening their child’s friendly and cheerful side. Children will then be better prepared to embrace unfamiliar experiences with optimism rather than fear.

Observe And Keep Updated – Changes in the child’s behavior such as separation anxiety, shyness and nonstop chatter is natural. However, parents can be observant that such behavior does not reach extremes. Instead, they can help their child become stable in the new environment. Parents can meet their child’s teacher and stay updated on their progress both academically and socially. Parents can also praise their child’s resilience and capacity for settling into the new school; which can boost the child’s adaptability and social skills.

A Positive Attitude – It’s natural for children to get emotional and anxious as they leave behind something familiar and venture out into the unknown.  Parents need to talk to their children daily to inculcate a positive outlook, focusing on all the things their child is doing right and inspiring them to do better. Also, parents need to care for their child’s new routine by going through their timetable and keeping track of their teacher’s feedback. Parents can avoid unnecessary embarrassment by packing their child’s school bag carefully to ensure they’re not forgetting any homework, books or notes.

Safety In Routines – Parents can provide an anchor to their child in case the rapid change of moving to a new school has left their child reeling. Knowing what’s expected at home can be soothing to a child’s troubled emotions.

Making Friends – Friends are the greatest support systems a child can have in school. Although it’s tough to leave behind old friends, a child can be reassured at how wonderful it’s going to be to find new ones. Parents can help their child make new bonds of friendship at school by inviting their child’s classmates for a small snack party over the weekend. Networking with other parents can be one more great way to help their child make more friends.

Being Patient – The latest research says, when starting in a new school, it is possible for children to be withdrawn, more sensitive, uncooperative and not doing as well as expected. However, this will pass as they settle in. Also, school psychologists expect most children to have a hard first six weeks or so. If a child is still struggling and complaining of lack of friends, after six months, then that might be a cause for concern. In that instance, parents can talk to their child’s teacher and the school counselor.

The top international, CBSE and ICSE schools in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities provide new students and their parents with counseling staff that help them navigate their experiences in a new school.

Although parents can expect their children to react negatively to the ups and downs of making new friends, participating in new activities and learning new material, they can also be reassured that it is a phase in every child’s life that some children race through and others toil away at. Most children, however, are capable of adjusting and do just fine, despite the many hurdles faced along the way.

WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT THE COMPUTER COMPETITIONS?

Talking to a cross section of students from the Marredpally and Keesara campuses of St. Andrews School, I have discovered one of the most popular and well-liked classes in school. The Computer class has been described as a ‘wildcard’, ‘a way to express feelings’, ‘a place to improve communication’, and ‘a place to learn new technologies’. Students across the St. Andrews School branches have one thing in common – they are unanimous in appreciating their computer class and teachers.

During the months of June and July, students at St. Andrews are busy preparing for and participating in the Computer Competitions where they demonstrate what they have learned over the previous year. It was my pleasure to speak to Saurabh Chabra and Jerusha Kota of Class 3 as well as B. Aishwarya and M. Evan Jason of Class 4 to gain an insight into what our students go through during these competitions.

Interviewer: What do you like in your computer class?

Saurabh: In my computer class, I get to learn many things like how to make straight lines, how to use tools properly and when to use these tools on the computer.

Jerusha: The first thing I like is that there are many things to draw like trees, the Taj Mahal and other pictures.

Aishwarya: I like my teacher because she teaches me very nicely.

Interviewer: What do you think or how do you feel about the computer competitions?

Saurabh: After the competitions are over, I am excited to discover who won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize badges.

Aishwarya: I thought I would get the first prize in the computer competitions this year. I worked on my own and I got a little scared because I didn’t get time to practice. However, it was very easy to do.

Evan Jason: I like competitions because we’ll have some fun and we’ll learn something. It is my great opportunity to participate in these competitions.

Someone once said, ‘Winning provides happiness. Losing provides wisdom.’ After discussing the computer competitions with the students of St. Andrews, Keesara, I learned that winning isn’t everything; what matters is learning from one’s mistakes. Aditi Thirkateh and Chetan Sai Satvik of Class 6, Praneeth Simon and Harshith Suda of Class 8 and Anish Nookala and Rohan Jayanthi of Class 10 sat in a group with me and shared their views on their computer classes and competitions.

Interviewer: What do you like about your computer class?

Chetan: This is the best subject. I feel that I can improve my technical skills and improve my way of communication. I can also improve my typing skills.

Aditi: Our teacher is very supportive. Our teacher always helps us if we are facing a problem and she explains how to solve the problem.

Rohan: The different operating system Linux on which we learn allows us to explore the other Operating Systems apart from Windows.

Praneeth: St. Andrews, Keesara provides a lot of opportunities in computers, for example, learning C Language in 8th class which helps us in the future with courses like engineering.

Harshith: We students are given lots of opportunities to represent our school in the interschool competitions where preselected students present what they have learned. We get to freely express our journey in computers so that the judges can see what we have learned.

Anish: I love to come to the computer lab. I feel a sense of freedom here. The computer labs are kept very clean and are well ventilated which creates a good environment in which to study.

Interviewer: What is your opinion or what do you think and feel about the computer competitions?

Anish: I’m very competitive and I feel very excited about these competitions. I want to get the highest marks so I make sure I work hard for it.

Rohan: Everyone feels nervous and competitive at the same time which makes them all the more hardworking.

Chetan: This is the right stage to test children as when they are tested they will make fewer mistakes when they go on to software engineering.

Praneeth: The students approach the toppers and ask them for their ideas. The competitions are all about learning something new and exploring. It’s about telling the world about the abilities and talents we have and expressing them.

Harshith: Even if we lose we can learn more and can implement what we learned and do better in the next competition.

Aditi: The competitions are helpful to us for the future as there will be many more competitions to face. I would like to work hard in all competitions.

Getting to be in your teacher’s shoes is an exciting proposition. The students of Keesara had to dig deep to answer the question, ‘what would you do if you were the teacher and you had to run the computer competitions?’ Both Anish and Harshith replied that they would use creative techniques to add some humour to the otherwise serious environment of the computer class during the competitions. This, in turn, would get students laughing, their ideas would start flowing and they would participate with greater focus.

While being the teacher is not an easy task, these young students can still dream of a day when they would be using these computer applications in the workforce. After all, sometime in the future, a few of these students might, in fact, be sitting in the teacher’s chair shaping the lives of those who will come after them.