On 31st October 2009, students of Amity International School, Noida participated in the inter school German Festival—Namastay Deutschland organised at AIS, Saket with a total of 24 stalls. The Class VI to X students’ stall “Bremen” had incorporated intensive information on this city by way of charts, flags, balloons and brochures. Meanwhile he students of Class X-H (Udayan Khurana, Keshav Kansal, Yash Agarwal and Meghna Bansal) had invented the spinning wheel and a quiz on Bremen. Various crosswords about the famous Indian cities and monuments had helpful hints in German. His Excellency, Mr. Thomas Matussek graced the event in the evening when the day ended with the performance of a rock band from Germany called, “Big Band.”
WORKSHOP ON DYSLEXIA BY DR. BINA NAGIA
On 31st October 2009, Amity International School, Noida and the Learning Enhancement Centre organized a workshop on Dyslexia as resource person, Dr. Bina Nangia aimed to sensitize teachers, especially the Activity Teachers, towards the needs of children with learning disabilities.
At the outset, Dr. Nangia identified Dyslexia as a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, poor spelling and decoding abilities which typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language. It is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Such disabilities also may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. She also reiterated that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain and are of average to above average intelligence. Children with learning disabilities have a challenge when presented with academic tasks, but with patience and a few specific techniques, they can learn. When possible, one-on-one tutoring is very helpful.
Dr. Nangia recommended systematic programmes that utilizied the multi-sensory structured language techniques such as those that used channels to include, auditory (hearing) and kinesthetic (feeling muscle movement) along with tactile and visual. For such children, learning further needed to be broken down into very small chunks and organized logically with plenty of practice. According to her, with proper diagnosis, appropriate instruction, hard work and support from family, teachers, friends, and others, these students can succeed in school and later as working adults.
Dr. Nangia then explained how the Amity LEC teachers who work with children with learning disabilities have important roles in helping them recognize both their areas of difficulty and their areas of strength. She stressed that they educated the children and their families about the nature of learning disabilities, often telling these families that children with learning disabilities are bright; they just have a deficit in a particular area of learning.
She emphasized that the role of every teacher was to help children gather the required unconditional support by assimilating both positive and negative characteristics into their self-image. While much time was spent helping learning disabled children master academic skills, teachers should also be working on improving self-esteem through recognition and appreciation of their areas of strength by making them feel special and appreciated.
Dr. Nangia gave other helpful hints like:
Instead of providing a child with the solution to their difficulty, (whether academically, socially etc.), help the child brainstorm possible solutions and the possible consequences of different decisions.
Avoid judgmental comments and praise the effort children put into their work. Help the child around finding new strategies for learning that will help them feel more successful.
Be empathic around the child’s special learning needs and their level of frustration when learning. Highlight a child’s strengths in non-academic areas whether in music, art, athletics, etc., or highlight the strengths of their personality, (kindness, tenacity, helpfulness, sense of humour, etc.).
Provide opportunities for a child to help in their school, family and community.
Have realistic expectations of the child’s performance which will in turn help him develop a sense of control.
Emphasize healthy lifestyle habits in terms of diet, sleep, exercise will be an added advantage in the classroom and throughout his life.
Meanwhile, 2 case studies were shared with the teachers by Rajni Bhagat and Barkha Mohan. After an interesting and interactive session, it was noted that self awareness, self confidence, being proactive, perseverance, the ability to set goals, knowing when to ask for help, the ability to handle stress and developing emotional intelligence by keeping the lines of communication open with other teachers, therapists, and parents were the imperative ways to help children with learning disabilities in their day to day lives.
WORKSHOP AND VIDEO CONFERENCE ON THE CHANDRAYAN MISSION
On 27th October 2009, Amity Educational Resource Centre organized a workshop on “Discovery of Water on Moon and Chandrayan-1” for the students of Amity International Schools at Amity Innovation Incubator, Amity University, Noida. Eminent astronomers, Mr. Amitabh Pandey and Mr. Sandeep Nigam, Science Journalist, Star News dually conducted the workshop.
The “Chandrayan Mission” was a major boost to India’s ongoing space programme. The session commenced with Mr. Pandey who briefed the students on interesting topics such as, the formation of the universe, planets, earth and its various moons which was supported with video clippings. Meanwhile, Mr. Nigam showed short films on Neil Armstrong, “Big Bang”, “Formation of Stars”, “Galaxies”, “Solar System and the Moon”, “Mission Chandrayan”, etc.
The workshop was followed by a video conferencing that was inaugurated by Dr. (Mrs.)Amita Chauhan, Chairperson, Amity International Schools, with Dr. N. Bhandari from Ahmedabad Astronomy Club. Dr Bhandari, a key scientist who planned and designed India's first mission to the Moon (Chandrayan-1) also enlightened the students. Professor Yashpal, eminent Scientist also presented his views.
A VISIT TO THE CHIEF MINISTER OF DELHI’S RESIDENCE
On 27th October 2009, five students of Amity International School, Noida (Karn Nag, VD/WA, Namesh Kukal, VD/WA, Arnav Jain, VA/WA, Pulkit Jain, VA/WA and Pahini Aggarwal VC/WB) called on the residence of the Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs. Shiela Dikshit. They were accompanied by the team of “Newz Buzz”, a Noida based cable news channel with their logo, “for and by children”. The purpose of the visit was to explore the “Nature Trail” at the Green Canopy. (Nature Trail had been specially landscaped by WWF some four years back).
As soon as the young Amitians arrived, they were given a guided tour by Dr. B.C. Sabata, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Environment, NCT Delhi, and Mr. Animesh Kapoor, animal activist, environment educator and volunteer for WWF. They were also given educative tips on preserving the environment by both their guides. What captivated the kids were the awesome 6000 mega bats and vermi culture process.
The Amitians also got to interact with Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, CM, Delhi. When they met her, they voiced their wish about becoming volunteers for Commonwealth Games 2010. They also posed some interesting questions such as, “Is Delhi prepared to host the Commonweath Games?”, “ How can kids help to keep the Yamuna clean?”, and the like etc as the CM patiently answered all their queries.
What struck the kids were her warm hospitality, patience, genteel mannerisms and her “down to earth” attitude which they will certainly remember for a long time to come.
INDIRAPURAM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
The annual Indirapuram Leadership Summit was held on the 24th of October 2009 at Indirapuram Public School, Ghaziabad. Ten schools from Delhi and NCR participated in the event. From Amity International School, Noida, Class XI students, Abhishek Adlakha , Sanjana Mathur and Prachi Pandeywere the three member student leader representatives. Each school team was allowed to take an audience with them.
The event highlighted the qualities a leader should posses and further ignited the urge for students to become future leaders of India. School teams were allotted various leaders on which they had to make a PowerPoint presentation. In their presentations, the students had to include why they were leaders, their leadership qualities, the hurdles they faced and their major lifetime achievements. After the PowerPoint presentation, a representative from each school took part in the group discussion that was chaired by Mr. Arnav Mitra, Editor, Hindustan Times. During the question answer session, the audience was free to question any team on their chosen leaders or throw a general question that was permissible to be answered by the other teams.
The participants returned form the competition enlightened as they realized the amount of hard work, struggle, hurdles, opposition, etc. which the designated leaders had to face as aptly put by Mr. Arnav Mitra himself, “Leaders are not born. Leaders are made.”
17th NATIONAL CHILDREN’S SCIENCE CONGRESS
(DISTRICT LEVEL, GAUTAM BUDH NAGAR)
On 23rd October 2009, the selected students from Amity International School, Noida participated in the 17th National Children’s Science Congress, at the District Level--Gautam Budh Nagar. The session was held at Government Inter College, Noida. The qualifiers will then compete at the State and National levels, respectively as their projects will continue to be judged on such criteria as innovation, practicality and creativity.
Competition at the District level saw 9 teams from Amity, Noida compete in both junior and senior levels with the focal theme, "UNDERSTANDING OUR PLANET EARTH--EXPLORE,SHARE & CARE". The projects were presented orally by the team leaders, with a given time limit of 8 minutes to deliberate on the project work. This was followed by an interaction of 2 minutes as evaluators asked questions pertinent to the projects. Three innovative projects were selected for the State level from our school. Appreciation certificates were awarded to all the participants and teachers-guides.
WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE
YOUNG CLIMATE CHANGERS
On 23rd October 2009, Biology Teacher, Mrs. Usha Jayaraman of Amity International School, Noida attended the workshop on climate change given by the resource persons of ‘Young Climate Savers’ at World Wildlife Foundation, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
WWF-India partnered with Tetra Pak in implementing ‘Young Climate Savers’ programme which was launched with an aim to create awareness across the student fraternity in India on climate change, and through them to reach out to the larger community and to influence them to become climate savers. Furthermore, after the successful completion of the first phase, including teacher training workshops and activities, Tetra Pak and WWF again launched the ‘Young Climate Savers’ website on in December 2008.
Today, climate change is a challenging global issue. It has the potential to destroy life on the planet unless addressed immediately through collective and concerted effort. Environmentalist and naturalists have predicted that this will have serious consequences for human health and well being. Heat waves, droughts, famines, wild fires, severe storms, floods, dust storms will cause economic, ecological and social damage of an unprecedented scale. In order to maximize impact, the YCS programme is initiating schools across India in this unique ‘Climate Change’ education and action project. Participating schools would benefit greatly by inputs through classes held by WWF officers, action projects and research to be taken up consequently through interaction with classmates and other schools.
The POA (Plan of Action) for schools was introduced so that children learn and share their concerns about the environment, participate in activities, events, trips and contests; create their own projects and support their cause; connect to fellow students from all over India; and create a chain to prevent climate change. It was suggested that by the end of December a proper project report of the chosen project should be forwarded to WWF. An audit team will then visit the school to see how the project has been implemented. If the research project is original and innovative, an amount of Rs. 14,000/- will be awarded to continue with the project work. Membership to the Nature Club was also highlighted upon.
WORKSHOP ON TEACHING GERMAN LANGUAGE
On 22nd October 2009, Ms. Milan Sharma of Amity International School, Noida attended the ‘German Language’ workshop conducted by resource person, Mrs. Punnet Kaur. She had had a long association with Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi as well as is an important member of the syllabus formulation team for the CBSE.
During the workshop, the content covered by her was deeply beneficial to German teachers, especially when they had to write lesson plans prior to conducting classroom teaching. She also gave new insights on how to access the students according to the new syllabus as suggested by CBSE. She gave helpful tips on how to effectively teacher grammar rules, dictation and comprehension.
To commemorate Diwali, the Primary Wing of Amity International School, Noida held a week long celebration that involved many innovative competitions from 12th to 15th October 2009 that promoted the theme “Say No to Crackers Campaign”. Events such as Diya Making, Poster Making, Card Crafting, Rangoli and Festooning competitions added gaiety to the “Festival of Lights” and also urged children to shun dangerous firecrackers in order to have “a happy and safe Diwali”. If like-minded children all joined hands and refrained from indulging in firecrackers, our world would certainly be more “greener” and “cleaner,” way ahead of the Common Wealth Games scheduled to be held in India in 2010.
THE FAMILY VALUES IN INDIA AND NEW ZEALAND: A JOINT MEETING
On 13th October 2009, Amity International School, Noida held a joint meeting to discuss the scintillating topic, “The Family Values in India and New Zealand,” in Auditorium II. The Guest of Honour was Mr. Geoff Prestidge, Teacher in Charge of Social Studies and Tourism, Tauhara College, Taupo, New Zealand.
The day commenced with the Class VIII students presenting various Indian values such as family structure, grandparents’ role in society, hospitality, the extended joint family system, spirituality and religion, non-violence, vegetarianism (Vegan), artistic expression in the fine arts, customs and traditions, etc.
During the second half of the meeting, Mr Prestidge presented on family life and values of the people of New Zealand. He reiterated, “Covering a broad spectrum of individual disciplines, the Social Sciences address important issues, giving students both knowledge and understanding, as well as the skills to adapt and cope with change. At Tauhara, we encourage students to think about how societies work, so that they can better understand, participate in and contribute positively to the community they are a part of. Particularly through enquiry learning, students are encouraged to engage critically with societal issues, evaluating the sustainability of alternative social, economic, political or environmental practice.” He went on to highlight important points of the Social Sciences as having their foundation in the traditional subjects of social studies, economics, history and geography, but can also include accounting, classical studies, legal studies, media studies and tourism studies.
Next, he elaborated on the system of education in New Zealand that allowed students to explore how others see themselves through a variety of contexts and settings so that they are able to clarify their own identities in relation to their own particular heritages, and contexts. In this manner, the ground work for young people to be a part of society, participating as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens will be prepared as the skills required as a successful social science student are relatively generic and can be utilized to excellent effect in many potential occupations. These skills in turn provide students with the adaptive key for lifelong learning.
VISIT BY MRS. MARIA LLOYD FROM NEW ZEALAND
On 13th October 2009, Mrs. Maria Lloyd, Vice Principal and Primary Teacher from Worser Bay School, Miramar (near Wellington), New Zealand paid a day’s visit to the Primary Wing of Amity International School, Noida. On arrival, she was awarded a customary Indian welcome. She experienced histrionics in the form of a Ram Leela enactment by the Nursery children, witnessed how the KG kids did “strip reading” and observed a Smart Board presentation. She then encountered the unique “Amitian Primary” way of learning in the Montessori Room and the Reading Room. Next, came an exposure to Indian Classical song and dance as the Amitians performed some of melodic numbers exclusively in her honour. The Baking Room delighted her as the children read out the ingredients to the recipe they were following that morning. Subsequently, an interactive session followed with the zealous Primary Prefects who wanted to know about the system of education followed in New Zealand. The Prefects posed both interesting and curious questions.The Learning Enhancement Centre (LEC), Art, Clay and Craft Rooms interested her immensely. She was also an eyewitness to the holistic classroom teaching-learning process practiced at Amity as the teachers from classes 1 to 5 sportingly gave her live demonstrations.
In her meeting with the 35 Amitian teachers, Maria Ma’am gave a PowerPoint presentation of Worser Bay School, Miramar that highlighted focal points in the system of education followed in New Zealand. She gave helpful and innovative suggestions on how to make learning more meaningful. Before the session ended, she praised Amity’s efforts in bringing joyful learning to each and every child. She reiterated that she was deeply impressed by how the children were learning in English despite it not being their mother tongue.
Dhananjay Mohan Inter-school Science Symposium
08 October 2009
Amity International School, Noida organized the annual Dhananjay Mohan Inter-School Science Symposium on 8 October, 2009. The symposium aims to rekindle the spirit of enquiry and encourage a scientific outlook among students. Nearly 18 schools of Delhi and the NCR participated in the event, which provides a suitable platform for students to unravel the wonders and mysteries of science through presentations and project displays.
This year’s theme ‘Using Environment for the Betterment of Society,’ focused on the need to use the sustainable resources judiciously, so as to secure the future of planet earth. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr. K.K. Dwivedi, Advisor, International Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Dr. R.P.Singh Director, Institute of Nanotechnology, Amity University and Prof. Yashpal also graced the occasion.
In her keynote address, Principal Mrs. Mohina Dar stated that the main objective of the symposium was not only to foster the competitive spirit among students, but also encourage students to research, experiment and innovate, thereby strengthening conceptual learning. The panel of judges comprised eminent educationists and researchers from Delhi University including Dr. Madhuri Goyal, Professor, Deshbandhu College, Delhi University, Dr. J.K.S. Taank, Associate Professor, University of Delhi and Dr. Sunil Kayesth, Assistant Professor, Deshbandhu College.
The students of classes XI and XII competed with unmatched enthusiasm in the science quiz which covered a wide spectrum of science and technology domains, including biosciences, physical sciences and astronomy. The Project Presentation category had students working on contemporary topics such as ‘Inorganic Polymers,’’ Bio- Mimicry’ ‘Solar Powered Water Desalination Plant,’ and ‘Anemoi-Harnessing the Wind of Change,’ among others.
The Chief Guest Dr. K.K. Dwivedi appreciated the students’ efforts and stressed on the role of experimentation in achieving excellence. He stressed that science and values must go hand in hand and reiterated that science is interconnected at all levels.
The Chairperson, Dr. Amita Chauhan lauded the efforts of students and teachers in making the event a grand success.
The results were as follows:
In the Quiz category the first position was bagged by Amity International School, Saket while the second and third position went to Amity International School, Sector-46 Gurgaon and Ryan International School, Noida respectively.
In the Project Presentation category the first prize was awarded to Amity International School, Saket for their project, ‘Anemoi-Harnessing the Wind of Change.’
The second prize was won by Amity International School, Noida for their project, ‘Solar Powered Water Desalination Plant.’
The third prize went to Khaitan Public School for their project, ‘BioMimicry.’
NATIONAL TEACHERS’ SCIENCE CONFERENCE 2009
Science Teacher, Sanyukta Priya of Amity International School, Noida attended the National Teachers’ Science Conference 2009 from 1st to 4th October 2009 that was organized by NCSTC Network (New Delhi) and RVPSP-DST, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India with the underlying theme “Understanding Planet Earth”. The event was hosted by both BJGVS and Regional Institute of Education in Bhubaneshwar. The Conference also dealt with sub themes such as, ‘Innovation in Teaching-Learning and Other Pedagogic Practices’, issues related with curriculum, “Impact of Human Interventions” and “The Paradigm of Sustainable Development. This year, NTSC awarded certificate of merit to 30 papers.
During the Inaugural Ceremony on 1st October 2009, Dr. Damodar Rout Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Co-operation & FARD lit the ceremonial lamp and released the souvenir. Prominent guests such as Dr. Omkar Nath Mohanty, Vice Chancellor, BPUT, Orissa, Er. Anuj Sinha, Head, RVPSP-DST, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, Dr. D.K. Pandey, Scientist E, RVPSP-DST, Prof. U.K. Nanda, Principal, RIE & Chairman Local Organising Committee, NTSC, Dr. A.K. Goswami, Chairman, NCSTC-Network, New Delhi, Dr. R.N. Ray, Secretary, Local Organizing Committee, and Dr. Neelam Gulati Sharma, Secretary, NCSTC-Network, New Delhi were also present.
Several technical sessions were held wherein notable experts contributed to the discussions. On 2nd October 2009, Professor Yashpal presented his topic titled, “New Education Scenario and Recommendations on School Education”, while on 3rd October 2009, Dr. Madhu Pant, Retired Director, Bal Bhawan, Delhi held an interactive session with her topic, “Environment Education”. On 4th October 2009, Dr. M.A. Haque, Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests delivered his talk titled, ‘Impact of Human Intervention on Planet Earth’. A general body meeting was also held on the concluding day. Teachers’ Training Workshops happened during parallel sessions to expose the participants to variegated topics such as low-cost experiments and innovative ways to teach and learn Science. Meanwhile, exhibitions and Activity Corners were bustling with knowledge and industry while the day ended with cultural evenings that gave an insight into the rich and vibrant State of Orissa.
On 4th October 2009, during the Valedictory Ceremony, Shri Prafulla Ghadei, Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Govt. of Orissa presided and Shri Prafull Samal Hon’ble Minister of Public Relation, Govt. of Orissa presided as the Guests of Honour. Dr. R.N. Ray, Secretary, Local Organising Committee, NTSC resented an overview of the conference. Other distinguished guest and evaluators were honoured with mementoes.
INDIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY (NHQ) BLOOD BANK
On 1st October 2009, Mrs. Namita Rastogi, Cultural Coordinator, Amity International School, Noida attended the seminar titled, “Catch Them Young” held at the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Indian Red Cross Society, National Head Quarters. Chief Guest for the day, Dr. Salim Habayeb, WHO India Representative, the Guest of Honour, Mr. Mohan Lal Aggarwal, Project Director, Delhi State AIDS Control Society and Dr. Tim Bray, Head, German Red Cross were warmly felicitated. Meanwhile, Dr. Jayalakshmi, Health Advisor, IRCS (NHQ) delivered the welcome address while, Professor (Dr.) S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS presented an overview of the seminar.
The crux of the seminar was to generate the urgent awareness to voluntary donate of healthy blood by the “more privileged” section of society. Amity International School, Noida was hailed by Dr. Salim Habyeb, WHO India Representative for organising regular blood donation camps on the Amtiy Campus during the award felicitation ceremony.
Dr. Manoj Kumar, Joint Secretary, IRCS gave the vote of thanks.