One more year. One more Yearly Yatra and many more stories to share. Time flies. It sure does. I see kiddos who could hardly sound out words in Nursery fluently narrating scripts today. You too shall see it soon.
And I am here once again to tell you what we did as a school this year. What we accomplished this year was unparalleled in our journey. To recount a few things we did this year-
An award granted to a few elite schools across the world by the British council where a school is expected to submit its action plans, have them approved, work on them, document them and submit the dossier. The purpose and the student takeaway?
Being a global citizen.
In this world where technology breaks the barriers every single day, we are becoming a smaller village. But those who have lived in villages will know that what happens in one part of the village invariably has an impact on the other. We are no more disconnected. The turbulence a foreign nation faces affects us and vice-versa. America’s presidential election was just as closely followed as UP’s. But how do we prepare 5 or 10 years old to face the world like that?
We tell him about how we are same-same but different-different. Through various activities taken under ISA, our students and teachers learned that we all pray, whether it is by joining our hands or opening them. That we all play, Spanish children may play birlos with wooden pins and we play ‘satoliyu’ with pebbles but we all do play. That we all listen to stories, we have our folk tales and we all are messengers of our traditions.
The students may not see the big purpose of it or the whole picture right now. But when they grow up and see someone play or celebrate differently, they will know that it’s ok to be different. That we don’t have to be antagonized by differences. That we are all humans and we are all same same but different different.
Another important pathway of learning we developed was robotics. GGIS is a proponent of technology and we would want our students to be able to learn about the latest in the field. Through the Robotics program they learned the nuances of programming and how we control the machines and not vice-versa. A very detailed journey of the program was shared by those students in their yearly yatra and you might have seen a glimpse of it in the gallery walk too.
Our Makers lab was on a material exploration spree this year and our students spent hours understanding about each material in depth. Whether it was metal or plastic or wood, they now understand their properties much better than any textbook could ever teach. For those of you who have not noticed the Makers lab display in the gallery walk, I insist that at the end of the program you go visit the fantastic work our students have done.
But besides this were also many other things that we could not put up on display like the board games our grade 2 students made, the rockets and the robots that they made.
We also held two very successful sports events – our annual sports day in January and the Kabaddi League Season 2 in March. How we miss our morning warm up runs and the soft sunlight that embraced our sports practices. The heat now is a reminder for all of us to enjoy nature when we can. And GGIS campus provides ample opportunities for that.
Also at GGIS, our teachers are not perceived as teachers but they are more a guide on the side that enlarges the horizons of student learning. While there was shuffling in the team this year, our learning processes went on and we upgraded ourselves through various PD sessions like Understanding By Design, Digital Portfolio making, Question making and much more. They also earned prestigious certifications like those from British council, Coursera and Penn State.
But what brings us here today is our very dear Kahani Melange. Now, let me tell you the difference between a yet-another-annual-event and our Kahani Melange. General events have last-minute-choreographed general dances, copy-paste scripts, common props and some long boring speeches. I hereby imply that mine isn’t boring or long!
Our event, however, is original in its true essence. Its roots were planted in the beginning of the year with the beginning of our literature program.
And what was the program? Well, it was all about making great readers and thinkers of our students. With more than 250 book reviews and numerous story sessions, and more than a 1000 books read by our children, they immersed in the world of books.
That led to multiple libraries popping up back home and we achieved the unthinkable – the books replaced the tablets and mobile phones in many ways. Instead of playing mindless games online, they reveled in the glory of books and time traveled and donned new avatars from being mice to superheroes to peasant boys.
Kahani Melange and what you are going to see today is an expression, a tip of the iceberg, if I may repeat myself, of all the work they have done.
If I told you a story right now and asked you to change the characters and the ending many of you would fumble to achieve it. But what our students have done is nothing short of being phenomenal. From writing to appreciating literature through character and author studies to creating story maps to writing scripts to costume designs to prop designs and much more.
For when at school they are trained on different faculties of mind they come out to be much stronger and better.
PARENTS’ UNWAVERING FAITH
So while all this was happening in the school there were things that were happening in the outside world as well. Like the textbook episode which gave us good public visibility. But like it is said every adversity is an opportunity, we too realized it then. In most cases, an episode like this would lead to questions and gossip. In our case, it led to emails like these being sent to the school by our parents. Now, when parents unequivocally establish their belief and stay with us, it overwhelms us today I would like to thank each one of you for this.
And let me tell you, our community is no longer small. We have more than 75 new students joining us this year and it is once again all thanks to just the good ambassadors like you. Thank you for not just having the faith but for being our best advertisers. We are away from the mainstream media but we are very much in the hearts of people.
To sum up, while we do a lot of things but do you know what makes our school and Kahani melange and everything else possible? It is the honest relationship our students and teachers share. Here is an excerpt of the many, many, many such journal entries that we receive from students regularly. The child here mentions that the teacher is unfair, but she writes it in a journal that she knows her teacher is going to read. Because she has this faith that she will not be singled out for sharing her honest views. She has that freedom and faith. Then the teacher really works on it and the child even notices it. And after a few weeks, she puts in another entry in the journal thanking her for having worked on her feedback! This is the essence of all that we and who we are. And can you all please give a resounding round of applause for all the teachers who work hard to make this possible and to the innocent and honest children who know no fears.
This is what makes us who we are. Thank you so much.