Newsletter 2009

Page 1

Newsletter Vol : 0904el:

Introduction Welcome to a new session at Fountainhead

display, new books and magazines.

school. While the school is making new strides in its chosen mission of making learning a joyful and meaningful experience to all, this issue brings to you some new activities which we are experimenting with. In addition to this, the issue also attemps to share the

Spider men in the school

way, learning is organised at school, by bring-

Field trip to a pet training institute

ing out the same in the articles written by

Decision making

teachers of different grades. A new place where children are enjoying

We celebrate learning

themselves, is the library. The library has

Read-a-louds, author studies, organising

been rejuvinated with children’s art, new

stories in graphic forms, signing timericks are some of the fun things we do.

Visit to water treatment plant Lemonade day Hole in the wall

Look out for an addition of about 10,000

books more in the coming year !!! Enjoy the PYP workshop at fountainhead school issue and do send in your comments and Night in the morning queries if any. Knowing me, knowing you, knowing all Anuradha No more running away from maths Role play: Resolving conflicts Ecological pond

Spider men in School Rappelling facilitates an attitude of overcom-

descent after a climb. The idea was to slide

scent that is also reasonably quick to set-up.

ing challenges. Rappelling brings a powerful

down a rope with sufficient friction provided

Some such applications can be seen among

sense of accomplishment and is a vital re-

so as to make the speed of descent control-

window-cleaners on high-rise buildings,

source in bringing about the realization that

lable. Rappelling is now a full-fledged skill by

among fire fighters, film stunt-men and even

not every perceived risk is insurmountable.

itself and finds application in various fields example where people work on high vertical faces and need a portable means of de

Rappelling is also known as abseiling and

the armed forces.You are attached to a rope

originated as a means of a quick and safe

via a harness and some hardware like karabi, email -, blog -

ner and descender. The rope passes through

tivity. Most frightening for most of them was

follows makes this activity perfect for boost-

a figure 8 descender. Instruction helps par-

the beginning as it seems rather daunting

ing confidence, create risk takers and bring

ticipants learn how to control the friction and

to stand on a school building knowing that

about the realization that not every seem-

slow its movement. Speed of descent can be

we will soon be going down with only a rope

ingly difficult objective is actually so, and

controlled by simply arresting the movement

for safety. The technique easily feels ‘natural’

we may even enjoy it enough to wish for a

of the rope, so that it can’t pass through the

after the first couple of steps and then, the


descender as fast. It is very important to

feeling of suspension over the expanse be-


wear gloves with a good grip, while rappel-

low is awesome, their fear was gone and they

ling, as tightening grip on a moving rope

started to enjoy the activity. Even the smaller

causes rope burn, particularly if the rope is

children were really excited and encouraged

moving fast through the descender. As a first

their seniors during the activity. I congratu-

time experience most of the children were

late these children on

scared and were unsure if they will be able to

the courage and enthusiasm they have

perform rappelling, the real difficulty only lies

shown and hope they maintain this in their

in convincing our minds. But, all of them took


the risk and successfully took part in the ac-

The tremendous sense of achievement that

Field trip to a pet training institute to the Field trip Club & Rider’s nnel, Dog Ke , ownship ESSAR T Hazira

make these

understand learning patterns in a new light.


Kavita Verma


Grade 6.

and follow commands. They use a lot of appreciation

Excellence (Grade 6), in their UOI under the

and other

TDT – ‘Who we are’ is currently doing the unit


‘Learning is a fundamental characteristic of


humans that connects them to the world’.

ments to

As a part of the study, they are studying how

train these animals.

animals learn. In order to get a first hands feel of animal learning, we went to the Rider’s

At the Dog Kennel, we saw various breeds of

Club and Dog Kennel in Essar Township,

dogs (German shepherds, bull dogs, golden

Hazira on June 26, 2009.

terriers, pomerian, pug, Doberman). These have been trained and are used to guard the

At the

Essar premises. The dogs have been trained

Rider’s Club,

(conditioned) to follow the commands of

the instru-

their master.

ctor, Mr. Bhom Singh


gave us an

found the

insight into


the training


modules of


the camels

and is

and horses.


He explained the methodologies used to


Decision Making Grade 5 started the academic year with the UOI-Who we are?-’Decision making’. Though the topic was complex, the reason for taking

tion within the classroom & outside took place and proved to be “breaking the ice” for the new & old students. Students watched movies, “Hum hain raahi pyaar ke” & “Ek ruka hua faisla”, took interviews of school staff, prepared interview reports, debated about this unit was the fact that there was very little

“Black melons” & “Junk food” , learned how to

reading & writing and a lot more speaking

overcome poor decisions & how to handle

& listening. It is important to develop these

peer pressure. It turned out to be truly an

skills first before proceeding to reading &

enriching experience for the students & me.

writing. It also involved group discussions,

Gowri Murali

role plays, debates, etc where a lot of interac

Grade 5 - Synergy

We Celebrate Learning Welcome to the new session 2009-10. Hope

their Kindergarten.

idea says –“People celebrate for different

each one of us had a great time last during

Let’s see what are our young ones have been

reasons in different ways”. We are having nice

the last session.

doing since the session started from 12th

time exploring how, why and when a differ-

Now our little ones are one grade up. Right-


ent festivals in India are celebrated.

now, they are starting with the last year of

We started with the UOI wherein the central

Sr KG. teachers

Here are the glimpses of the happenings in our current UOI -:

Visit to Water Treatment Plants Grade 3 ( Innovate and Inspire) were touring

being manufactured at that time. We all saw

if they had entered a mini city of pipes and

the city to get a better idea about what hap-

how the waste water was treated

were very tired from walking around the

pens to the water after we have used it, for

place but their spirits were still high.

their first unit of inquiry about water and its

At last we got a chance to visit the Rander


water works to know how the water from

For this we first visited a color manufacturing

the river is treated before it reaches our

unit in Lajjpore, owned by a Fountainhead

homes—Jitendra Patel was our guide for the

parent Vaishal Kapadia. There we saw how

visit. Once again our kids were full of zest to

water is used for making color, drying it and

answer his questions and throw a volley of

by the people working there.

their questions at him. Through various trips in and around the before disposing it off into the river. The kids

city kids could get a better and enduring

impressed Vaishal by answering all the ques-

understanding of the treatment process. We

tions about the treatment process—right

all became inquirers and risk takers (entering

from coagulation to chlorination and in turn

a world of pipes, slippery roads and looking

Vaishal answered all their queries to their

into deep tanks).

heart’s content. Next we went to L&T (Sewage Treatment Plant) Paulomi Majumdar was our guide, grade 3 kids did not fail to impress her also. Despite the terrible stench kids were eager to know all about the sewage treatment and they were really amazed by what they learnt about the reuse of waste water. We then visited a Sewage treatment Plant in Bhesan—Yogesh Tailor gave us a tour around the plant, he helped us to understand how water from various parts of the city

Mariyam Baxamusa.

By the time we were out kids were all shades

was brought there for treatment and then

(Grade 3-Innovate).

of yellow and red –the two colors which were

released into the river Tapi. The kids felt as

Lemonade Day Children are the happiness of everyone’s

one said ‘its yellow in colour’ and someone

life. Specially small ones know how to love

said ‘don’t wonder’ and someone said ‘think’

and how to gain love. From the beginning

and someone else said ‘something to drink’.

of the year( 2009), mother’s pride is seeing

Kids are great inquirers and reflectors and

interest from Fountainhead School ,where

creative too!! Thereafter the teacher had ar-

they have found no binding regulations/rules

range water, sugar, salt etc and they said ,

so all through the day they are just enjoying freedom with learning experiences. Nursery’s 1st UOI is about Senses. So each day they are exploring their senses through

‘Wow! we love to have ‘Nimbu pani’ .

different activities. One of them was ‘Lem-

Then with the help of the teacher(me) they

onade Day’ (as a tasting activity).So first they

mixed sugar and salt in the water and off-

came to know about ‘what is Lemonade’?

course they tried to squeeze the lemon, but

Some of them said ‘its just a lemon’ and some

their tiny hands got tired so I did it, but they

were proud to say that they have made it, as

independent and confident to handle/do any

We all are learners so we have a long path

I was. During class discussion they said ‘when

work in all circumstances.

to achieve and I am always there to help my

I will reach home I will teach mama how to

We believe that exposure adds to the chil-

kids( in any difficult situation)to achieve their

make lemonade.’ I am glad to see such great

dren’s sociability. And Fountainhead gives

aims which is to be confident, independent

confidence from those two and half year old

them variable exposure to overcome all their

as well as be a good learner.

kids. And those little ones have become more

life’s blemishes to achieve their goals of life.

Runa (Nursery)

A unique computer experiment is transform-

in some 300 places in the last ten years. The

physics or biotechnology at university.

ing the lives of underprivileged children. It

kiosks were conceived by Professor Sugata

Mitra realized that a mixture of group discus-

was also the real inspiration for the movie

Mishra. The “Hole in the Wall” kiosks have

sion, leaving the children to learn for them-

“Slumdog Millionaire”

provided thousands of children from impov-

selves and a desire to impress their peers and

From around the village another 20 children

erished backgrounds with access to the PC.

elders was a powerful combination

Hole in the Wall

aged between six to

for getting them to

fourteen, run over

study unaided.

and crowd , keen to

“ Teachers ask me,

see what this

“ Is this real educa

mysterious addition

tion?,” says Mitra. “ But

to their remote

if you are learning,

community can do.

getting answers right

Men came from the

and remembering

city the day before,

them, what else were

built a brick hut in

you going to do in

the middle of the


village and

The Hole in the Wall

positioned the screen

has won Mitra many

facing out from a

awards, but he has

window. The children were only told that this

They can be found in public locations all over

new machinery was for them to play with.

the country from the Himalayas to Andhra

never made any money from it.

Within hours , a boy and other children are

and Trivandrum, but what’s remarkable

Excerpts from an article in Reader’s Digest

playing games and looking at Walt Disney

about them is that, with no adult input what-

June -2009—A Hole In the Wall.

websites , despite this being the first time

soever, children have used it to learn English,

they have encountered a computer.

maths and in several cases , to escape a fu-

Similar scenes have occurred across India

ture of laboring or farming to study politics,

Contributed by- Mariyam Baxamusa.

PYP Workshop at Fountainhead School “How do we implement what we have read and discuss during our trainings?” “What does ........... mean?” “How do we actually make the PYP happen in our classroom / school?” These were some of the questions teachers at Fountainhead had to answer during, a PYP school workshop organised for all the teachers from 16th – 18th July 2009. The Head of the School as well as The PYP Coordinator also attended the workshop along with us.

Marion Chapman from IB school Singapore

They are teachers with an experience of more

We had two workshop leaders,

and Glenn James from an IB school Thailand.

than 5 years in PYP.

This workshop addressed the needs of the

the effectiveness and coherence of learn-

which were very helpful to all of us. In these

teachers & Coordinators who will be ex-

ing, How to work collaboratively with other

sessions we discussed our planners and the

pected to work with a school’s existing

teachers, Teaching and learning takes place

leader contributed their ideas to make it

when a range and balance of teaching strate-

more happening in the classrooms. The lead-

gies are selected appropriately to meet learn-

ers also shared their experiences working in

ing needs. We also became more familiar

IB schools.

a year with this programme to revisit the

with the Making the PYP happen document

The in school workshop was a great suc-

basic philosophy and programme framework

and the OCC (Online Curriculum Centre).

cess and our understanding of the PYP has

with a view to improve implementation and

Apart from the formal sessions we also had

increased in leaps and bounds.

deconstruct a unit planner, How to collabora-

planned informal sessions with the workshop

By Zahabiyah Shaikhmahmood

tively plan a unit of inquiry which increases

leaders where we exchanged a lot of ideas

Class 1 Teacher.

programme of inquiry and already established units of inquiry. It was also suitable for teachers who have been working since

development of the units in their classrooms. The overall purpose of the workshop was to explore all the aspects of the PYP curriculum through Making the PYP Happen – A curriculum framework for international primary education. The workshop made us all knowledgeable. We learnt how to analyse, refine and evaluate the school’s programme of inquiry, How to

Night in the morning Wednesday was the date for the longest solar

come down at 5:30 AND SEE THIS ECLIPSE.

eclipse, a rare phenomenon and Surat was

But nature had something else in mind, be-

among the few cites which witnessed this

cause of incessant rain on Tuesday and layers

once in a life time view. We at Fountainhead

of clouds in the skies on Wednesday morning it became difficult for gazers to get a view of the total solar eclipse. Students were briefed with the details of the solar eclipse before viewing it by Head Of school. However it did not dampen our spirits, it was a unique experience with morn-

also picked up plastic waste lying on the road

ing turning into night for more than three

which was fun, a sort of an adventure walk


and learning experience for them. After a

After the solar eclipse was over students and

walk for an hour they returned back to school

were also all set to view this spectacular

teachers had a good breakfast and went for a

and started with their daily classes.

event. All prior arrangements were made to

morning walk to Kunkni village, in the way to

Overall the solar eclipse was a life time expe-

view this, glasses were gathered from around

the village they saw many creepers like dead

rience for everyone at Fountainhead school.

the city and all students were excited to

snakes, snails, frogs etc and creatures

Sonam & Falguni

Knowing me, knowing you, knowing all I




“We have to respect our elders”, “We

playing ent talents and we may not be good at

a respect God”, that was the prior knowlm edge of grade 1 children at the begin-

the thing which our friend is good at”. We hung the chain up in the room as a

ning of the UOI, “Knowing and respect-

reminder that the students are all good

g ing ourselves helps us develop respect o for others”. To further build up on their o d prior knowledge we made a lesson plan

at something. This was indeed a great activity to start the school year with.

to bolster student self-esteem (respect)

w i t h n u m b e r s

and to build class pride. We began by asking students, “Who has

to create one long class chain. We had

something that they really do well?”

students stand and hold the ever-grow-

After a brief discussion about some of

ing chain as we linked it together, until

those talents, we passed out papers

all were linked. Once the entire chain

and asked the students to write down

was constructed and linked together,

5 things that they do well. The teachers

all students were standing holding their

allowed students to come up and select

portion. We took the inquiry further by

5 different coloured paper strips. Using

asking the class what this chain dem-

markers, we had the students write one

onstrates. (The fact that all the students

talent on each strip of paper. We demon-

have talents.) The students came up with

strated how to create a paper chain with

“We are all similar yet different, and we

their strips; linking their talents together

need to respect others”. “We have differ-




I c a n s i n g w e l l w i t h

Grade 1 teachers.



No more running away from numbers An inquiry begins by building upon prior

different activities. For this, we used place

Through maths we also introduced differenti-

knowledge and facilitating the students to

value cards, judo cubes as well as Montero

ated learning. We made different stations in

explore more about it. All the students in


the class room. One station had judo cubes;

grade 1 knew numbers and number names

The activity in the class with the use of flash

the others had Montero cubes and flash

cards was very interesting for the students.

cards. The students were allowed to move

Two students were asked to hold number

from one station to another. They enjoyed

flash cards and the class was asked to identify

it thoroughly. One of them said “we can un-

the number name, explain the place value

derstand place value with so many different

and the expanded form.

things. This is fun.” The students also made their own Montero cubes on the basis of numbers given to them and explained place value by colouring tens and units. One of the students commented “maths is quite interesting. We get so involved that we don’t understand whether we are studying or playing.”

from 1 to 100. This was their prior knowledge.

The greatest satisfaction for us is that the

Then we built up on this by letting them ex-

students look forward to the maths period in

plore missing numbers from 1 to 100, work-

their class time-table.

ing through the concept of greater than and

Grade 1 teachers

less than numbers and place value through

Role play: Resolving conflicts.

Conflicts are a regular part of daily life for school students. It is difficult for young children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and understand his or her viewpoint, molehills quickly grow into mountains and simple disagreements turn into real fights. In this unit, the students make decisions to solve conflict situations

a Here is k o lo k ic u q r u o into UOI peacefully by doing a Role Play. Through the role play they come to understand other’s perspectives. They then come up with ideas to resolve these conflicts. Grade 2 Teachers

Young minds at work A fresh academic year has started and the

class along with the consequences in case of

young ones have brought life and colour to

school is already buzzing with the chirping

breaching of the agreements but were also,

all the activities taken up. This is just the start

and chattering of children who right from the

to our pleasant surprise, steering our first

and we together with our children will give it

word go, have engaged themselves in doing

UOI “Family and friends” in the right direction

a fantastic finish.

some meaningful and challenging activities

to the right destination. Squashing all our

JR Kg Teachers

(at their age-level, of course!)

apprehensions,these young ones took the

The children of JKG also did not take much

UOI ahead with their valuable inputs,lovely

time to settle and thereafter got down to

thoughts,presentations, role play, family visits

serious work. Defying their age, these chil-

puppet shows and drawings.

dren were right there at the centre, not only

Lots has been happening in the JKG sec-

framing the “Essential Agreements “ for their

tion, but to sum it all, we would say that our

Professional Development News 1. Juhi Parekh, our drama teacher, conducted

2. Marion Chapman and Glenn James con-

a half day workshop on drama with the pre-

ducted a 3 day workshop on “Making the PYP

primary teachers on 4th July 2009.

Happen” at Fountainhead School from 16-18 July 2009. 3. Janaki Ramani and Kuntala Chanda, our special educators, attended a 5 day workshop on “Learning Disabilities” conducted by Ms. Aparna Kalyanpur of Bangalore. Ankita Edited by Anuradha and Designed by Sakina Sadriwala