(Father of Niharika,Std IV Karma)
The Durshet trip was clearly a once in a lifetime opportunity not just for the students but also for all the father’s who volunteered for the trip.
The credit for this wonderful trip goes to the staff and entire management of Shishuvan who gave more than 100% to ensure that the trip went well and each and every student returned back with fond memories.
The students not only got an opportunity to participate in adventurous activities but they also learnt what it is like to stay independently for 48 hours.
I strongly believe that such instances will strengthen the confidence of the child and motivate them to engage in outdoor activities irrespective of whether they are on a school trip or on a personal trip.
During meals the management had arranged for buffet ( breakfast lunch and dinner) and I saw the children lining up quite methodically to collect their plates bowls etc. The volunteers were there to serve food to the children and I could see that almost each and every child tried everything that was served to them without making a fuss.
The concept of enacting a play within just half an hour or so can be seriously challenging for 10 yr old children but the manner in which they participated was very impressive. The volunteers made efforts to bring out the best out of their respective groups.
Some of the activities were a bit scary for some children and we did have incidents when some of the children suffered injuries during the course of these activities. However none of the children showed signs of backing out and they went all the way. The credit for this again goes to the volunteers who took utmost care of the children.
Overall it was a beautiful trip; one that will go down as the most cherished one !
-founder, erpnext | the best code is the one that is not written
Last week, I was asked by the Principal of Shishuvan, the school my 6-yo daughter goes to, to talk with fellow parents on how to prepare for a digital future. What she had in mind was to talk to parents on how can we withstand the onslaught of social media, attack on our privacy, automation, malicious hacking and other such things we keep hearing of. The ferocious pace at which technology is creeping into our lives and mutating our relationships and our own sense of perception, and has instilled a fear in all of us. The fear of missing out (FOMO) generated by social media leaves us feeling empty and out of control.
In my view, whether we like it or not, the information revolution will most probably not be turned back. I am sure people living at the dawn of the industrial era would have had similar feelings. Instead of resisting and rolling back the industrial revolution, those who embraced it, went on to create unseen prosperity and wealth for themselves.
Even though the jury is not yet out on the industrial revolution, it has helped push the world population beyond seven billion, is the reason most of us are alive today, brought material comfort, healthcare, safety, equality, human rights, education and democracy to dark corners of the world, while at the same time destroyed native cultures, created a more unequal world and pushed the fragile planet on its edge.
The information revolution comes with its own promises and dark secrets.Instead of resisting it, I believe we must harness its power for our own good. At the same time, I do not naively believe that it will be a cure-all for the problems that face today.
“Software is eating the world”
We started the discussion with this often quoted 2011 phrase from Marc Andreessen, the co-creator of the world first web browser. Marc Andreessen was an undergraduate student when he helped create the web browser, and later went on to found Netscape and is now a famous technology investor. His embrace of technology at a very young age is behind his phenomenal impact and influence in the world.
Today the evidence is clear that software is eating the world. The world’s largest bookseller is Amazon, the largest Taxi company is Uber, the largest television network is Netflix, the world’s most valuable companies are Apple, Google and Microsoft, the world’s most exciting car company is Tesla, the fastest growing entertainment segment is gaming. Image recognition and deep learning technologies are helping detect cancer and most of the scientific experiments are now conducted by computer simulations at a scale that is not possible physically.
Our kids too, are growing up in an online first age. The moment I tell my 6-yo that I do not know the answer of something, she will ask me to Google it. The leaps recently made in speech recognition and conversational technologies are just beginning to reach us. I think there is no doubt that we need to equip our children to navigate in this world.
There are three opportunities we discussed that the digital age brings to us.
1. Be a maker and not just a consumer
In this age it is very easy to be a maker. We have lots of tools available to us to build things for our selves, rather than just using something that is readily available. Any number of YouTube videos will show us how to learn to break down or build anything we want. When we make things we push our creative abilities and this gives us a deeper understanding of the world.
2. Learn to Code
Many leaders and thinkers believe that learning to program computers should be a life skill taught in school just like math. Since computers are already everywhere, including in your pocket, learning how to make these machines do work for you will give people a lot of advantage in whatever field they choose to pursue. Not learning to program computers, will leave us vulnerable to those who will learn to harness its power.
Today there are lots of online resources that help you learn computer programming, from code.org to Khan Academy
3. Learn for Mastery
Like all fields, education itself is undergoing a huge revolution. The growth of online courses and platforms like Khan Academy are resulting in better quality of understanding in children. In his second TED Talk, Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy talks about mastery based learning. In the traditional system, even if you have gaps in your understanding, you are pushed along with the rest of the class to more and more advanced concepts. This results in loss of confidence and can derail the brightest of students, and even instills a fear of the subject itself. All of us who have done the traditional schooling have experienced this. Using online platforms, children can learn at their own pace and move to more advanced concepts only when the understand the more fundamental ones.
This opens up an opportunity where a large portion of a class can become masters at what they are learning, and not only a small gifted minority.
What can be done at School?
The first step is awareness. We need to have more conversations as teachers and parents on how we want to prepare for the information age. Some specific proposals include:
- Having a formal Computer Club
- Working through the computing curriculum to include programming at a younger age
- Involving children in IT activities at school, by understand how a school uses technology for its administration etc.
- Learning about and experimenting with using online tools to “flip the classroom” and move towards mastery based learning.
We had 50–60 parents in this session and the response was pretty overwhelming. I was expecting more skepticism, but most of the parents were probably experiencing the same as what I was. The computers are here, how can we help our kids handle them.
Few parents narrated their own experiences about their children losing confidence due to a concept they did not understand or how they were already using Khan Academy for their kids (surprisingly though, most parents did not know about Khan Academy). One parent who is working with a private tutorial also shared her experience that they saw engagement and quality of understanding go up after they tried flip the classroom strategy.
I think it was a great first step to start the conversation, now our challenge is to probably have more such conversations with parents and teachers and come up with concrete steps to implement.
The core philosophy of Shishuvan is based on Gandhian thought and anti-colonialism. The new age of colonialism is being brought upon us by the growing power of companies like Google, Amazon and Apple, which is based on their ability to harness the power of computing. The way we can resist is by being masters of our own tools. We need to equip our children at a young age to lead the way so that at least a handful can become leaders of the information age!
School Counsellor and Psychologist
The student of STD V and VI celebrated the spirit of Christmas in their school council conducted on 17.12.2016 which was planned by the student representatives. The representatives wore Santa clause hats to rejoice this feeling with everyone. The council began with the students discussing the true meaning of Christmas and taking it beyond buying gifts and presents. The citizens also shared how they celebrate Christmas which includes sharing their toys, clothes and needy. The students also mentioned that Christmas is about sharing kindness and happiness with everyone. The council was concluded on this note with each and every one rejoicing this spirit and greeting one another a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
-By Suchitra Potnis
Shishuvan celebrates Anuraag- the festival of love every year to mark the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and remember his philosophy and value. This is also the time, when we connect with our alumni and invite them to organised the inter school competitions.
This year, the festival was celebrated on Friday, 30th September 2016. The inter school competition saw great fervour among the participating teams. Around 200 students from 14 schools participated in this event from all over Mumbai including Children’s Academy (Ashok Nagar), Children’s Academy (Thakur complex), Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidyamadir, Auxilium School, Balmohan Vidyamandir and others.
The inter-school competitions were held in the fields of Literary arts and Performing arts on the theme of “Tolerance”.
Happy Feet (Dance competition), Sur Sangam (Music competition), Artistica (Art competition), Spin a Yarn (Story telling competition) and Who am I?(Monologue competition) were the competitions conducted during this event.
The Shishuvan alumni and high school students were actively involved in various aspects of the event right from conceptualization of the theme/competitions, follow up with schools, school registrations, certificate writing, introduction of judges, till the felicitation of winners.
Each competition was judged by the experts in the field. Some of our alumni’s were also invited as Judges. The judges gave a valuable feedback, declared the winners and felicitated them towards the end of the competitions.
Participating students came up with interesting stories, drawings, dance and music pieces. We also witnessed some thought provoking monologue acts in the “Who am I” competitions. The event concluded with felicitations of the winning schools across categories.
We look forward to celebrate the festival every year, as an opportunity to connect with our alumni and fellow participants.
By : SIYA DEVEN GANDHI, Std.VII -S
AUTHOR: Francesca Simon
TYPE OF BOOK: Fiction
PUBLISHER: Orion Children’s Books
The book is all about how did Henry spend his precious Saturday playing ‘schools’ with Margaret.
This book was very funny in some parts,. The book is very small and handy with many illustrations. I was able to complete the book quickly. My favourite part of the book (event) is when Margaret takes the attendance. Horrid Henry tells the first time – In the washroom, second time- flushed away and third time – Dead.
I loved the attendance and the ideas Henry got to go back to his house and not to stay at Margaret’s house.
The book is good as it is, but if i have to give a suggestion i would add Dave’s birthday party.
Henry’s mom wants peace in the house so she sends Henry and Peter (Henry’s brother) to Margaret’s house. There he had to play though he did not want to play that game. Then he finds out different ways to go back home and one of his ways goes successful. He gets to go home and gets enough time to watch his favourite television shows- Marvin the Maniac and Terminator before Dave’s party.
By: Mishti Manglani Class: VI – Dhyaan.
Author: Laurie Friedman
Type of Book: Fiction
The book is all about Mallory’s life, the incidents and what she thinks, just like a diary! I liked reading the book because it was a diary and very interesting read.
I like the character ‘Joey’ as he was very cool and didn’t take offence at anything. He also shared his feelings with Mallory. I like the poems which Mallory made for Frank and Colleen in the book. I liked the book as it is .. but given a chance I will make it little more interesting and humorous. Mallory’s diary really inspires me as it has the problems which many of us face.
The way the author has written the book- looks like it’s a famous personality’s diary. Some problems were true and one problem that was faced is with their step-whosoever.
This book is recommended by me to them. Not only for adjusting with their step-whosoever people but also for people losing their friends. I found the advice very wise. This diary reminds me of my diary, I compared it too and found whosoever is upset can just make a diary and smile will find a way! I got so much moved by the story and here is how I depicted the same in my drawing.
By: Anaghaa Balamurugan Class: V – Karma
Type of Book: Fiction
Publisher: Happy Cat Paperbacks
The book is about a mouse with magical powers who uses his unique gifts to fix problems & find solutions to benefit all. Also that, we can find friendship in the most unexpected ways.
In the book many parts were humorous like when Septimouse kept repeating, “I am Septimouse the seventh son of the seventh son”, which meant Septimouse was the seventh son of his father and his father was the seventh son of his father. It was funny to keep reading this again and again.
My favorite character was Katie the little girl who helps Septimouse in learning all about cheese and how to make it too.She had blonde hair and her eyes were small and round. She had a curved nose and a small cute smile. She was very helpful and kind.
I liked the book because, it was humorous, easy to understand, interesting and was explained in detail and I could imagine myself as one of the characters.I would like to change those parts where Septimouse is boasting about himself, because I feel being humble and doing good things is more important than talking about it. I would quietly go about doing things.
The book is about a unique mice family with 7 little mice and their parents. Among them was Septimouse, the 7th son of his parents. Septimouse had magic powers like, he could shrink others, turn others into stone and understood language of cats, dogs, humans etc..The story very nicely shows how Septimouse along with his friends does something that no other mouse had thought of doing before – he was actually Septimouse the Supermouse!
By - JASH RAMBHIA, VIII DHYAAN.
Let’s talk about Co-curricular activities in school. Annual days, field trips, fairs, fun?
But the most exclusive and interactive is the project day.
Well, I, Jash Rambhia, studying in VIII Dhyaan would like to share with you about the fun filled subject of PD (personal development) in the project day. As a part of the PD curriculum of Std. VIII, the counselors and the respective student team taught us a topic which plays an important part in our lives i.e. GOAL SETTING and AFFIRMATIONS. The topic seemed new and interesting for the students. I personally loved both the topics and volunteered to be a part of the PD stall reflecting these concepts for the Project Day. The students were given sufficient time for the project day preparations and it was this time when we did quality research to make our information as impressive as we could under the guidance of our teachers. We made charts that were relevant to our topic and would facilitate understanding of the same. We also made takeaways in the form of bookmarks to be given to the visitors on the Project Day. We worked very hard to make our stall a success. In the whole process we came to know each other’s talents, likes, dislikes etc. On the day of the event we presented and explained what we had prepared wonderfully and confidently. Visitors seemed extremely interested in the topic. This could be due to the relevance of the topic in their personal life as well as their children.
In the first stall we spoke about Goal setting and the importance of it in our life. A short acronym was given to the visitors regarding the same. After this they reflected on their goals, ways to achieve it, time taken as well as the hurdles they would face while achieving these goals. This was loved by the visitors and some of them even promised themselves to put it upon the refrigerator by which they would remember their goals and work towards it.
In the last counter I spoke about affirmations. I explained to them what affirmations and its importance in achieving our goals. They were then presented with a bookmark in which they were asked to write down self-generated affirmations. They were also given a take way which spoke about different ways to help their child set and achieve their goals. It was observed that the visitors enjoyed the process and gave positive feedback regarding the information provided.
Here are glimpses of the stall…
By Leraj Gadkar & Maria Jodiawalla-Clinical Psychologist & School Counsellor, Shishuvan School
The students of V & VI presented Bullying and Peer Pressure as a part of their Personal Development (PD class). It all began with the topic being introduced by the counsellors in their respective classes.
STD V student’s learned about bullying through group discussions and worked on questions like what is bullying, different types of bullying, how does the bully, why does an individual bully and ways to deal with bullying. The students created creative displays, which were reflective of their understanding on the topic. These were then put up on the Project Day to help increase awareness amongst the students and visitors about the same.
STD VI students learned about Peer Pressure by gauging a basic understanding about friendship, the importance of having friends and how friends can at times be a negative influence on an individual. This was then taken ahead and the topic of Peer Pressure was introduced to the students. The students learned about the different types of Peer Pressure and also identified how these pressures are a part of their daily interactions with their friends. The students also reflected on how they feel about Peer Pressure and generated ways to deal with it.
In this process the fact that “if each individual makes a conscious effort not to bully or pressurise their friends one can bring an end to this vicious circle” was reinforced. Students identified how each one of them is the creator as well as the victim in this cycle.
This was the idea presented by the students on the Project Day to their peers as well the visitors. The students created beautiful displays reflective of these ideas and also generated an Anti-Bullying Pledge that would be taken by the visitors on the day of the event. Their aim was to take the visitors through the entire journey just like they had done in class. On the day of the event the students would explain to the visitors what bullying and peer pressure was. The visitors would then reflect on any life incident where they remembered being bullied or pressurised by their peers. They were asked to think ways in which they dealt with it, and if the sought any support from their parents about the same. To generalise this learning, parents in particular were asked to list down ways in which they can help their children when they are confronted with similar situations. The visitors would take the ‘Anti-Bullying Pledge’ just like the students had, and promise to bring an end to this cycle. Last but not the least they were presented with a badge that was reflective of the fact that they had taken the ‘Anti-Bullying Pledge’.
Students experiences as stated by them:
“My experience of the PD stall during Project Day was very nice. I learnt about Peer Pressure and Bullying in detail. We have been taught about Peer Pressure by Maria and bullying by Leraj. In the practise sessions we enjoyed a lot. First we finished all our work and then we were given some time to ourselves by our teachers. Everything was equally divided amongst us and everyone cooperated well. We even helped the STD VIII students to do their work. We were happy that many parents came to our stall, finished the whole process and even took the anti-bullying pledge.”
Naman Sheth,VI Shraddha
“The Project Day was very exciting. Whatever we learnt in class, the process helped us gain a better understanding about the same. Parents understood everything properly and answered the questions well. I liked that the parents did not bored and I was one of the members who made the anti-bullying pledge. Everything went well, we were well prepared and there was no problem in the process as well as execution.”
Drashti Dedhia,STD VI Shraddha
“In the Project Day we prepared well and therefore we could explain without seeing the original paper. The parents were happy listening to us and they understood what we said. Some of the parents were interested; however few did not pay attention while we were talking. I enjoyed making the flyers for parents to come to our stall.”
Anaghaa Balamurugan,STD V Karma
“My experience all over of the Project Day was good. We had a lot of funs making our displays and charts. On the Project Day everyone executed their parts very well and I think they were well prepared. I enjoyed being on the stall and interacting with the visitors. We did a lot of team work, we also got to learn different things like peer pressure”.
Purva Khare,STD V Karma
– P.D. Std. 7 Project Day
- Lamia Bagasrawala, Clinical Psychologist, Shishuvan School
Students of Std. 7 presented their ideas, learnings and views on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) as part of the P.D. stall on the Project Day. Students created informative displays including charts and visual representations of different concepts. They explained the concept of CSE and its components. The theme for the Project Day was ‘Systems’ and students effectively explained the different kinds of systems – biological, socio-cultural, emotional, cognitive and behavioral – and the transactions between them that influence the process of studying and understanding sexuality. Students then presented visitors with a quiz on basic concepts of sexuality with a focus on ideas related to Puberty. Visitors enthusiastically responded to the quiz and on successful completion received a Certificate of Graduation in CSE Level 1. They then proceeded to the next section where students had created beautiful displays and informative charts to begin a conversation around sexual harassment. Students introduced the visitors to the concept and also provided them with a list of possible ways of reporting it and addressing it. The students attempted to create awareness about one of the existing social concerns. Visitors also mentioned their views on CSE and Sexual Harassment on charts that were presented in the stalls and provided their valuable feedback! Students received brilliant feedback on their knowledge, ability to present and the topics addressed. Here’s a look at the team involved and a few snapshots into the two days of learning, change-making and fun! J