Rise. And Shine

for unconditional happiness

We apologize for the delay

We were delayed in publishing this newsletter due to unavoidable circumstances. Here it is the newsletter that you have been awaiting for a while!


Academic Audit

Dear Sunshine Community!


Our Academic committee conducted a surprise audit of all our primary and secondary teachers on the 3rd and 4th of September. It was conceived and carried out by Beverly, Domingos, Katarina, Karen and Shalini with the help of few volunteers who sat in the class and observed the lesson. The observations are being collated by the Academic committee and will be shared with the school soon.

The idea behind it is to get an idea of what the status is and where improvements could be made. This was not an individual teacher evaluation but more of getting a better picture and then make suggestions to improve the teaching experience as a whole across the school.

We thank the teachers, students and the school management for their cooperation!


We thank the Academic committee for all their hard work and dedication in making the school a better place for all our children!
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

From the Desk of the Director

Dear Parents,


I am overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and activity of the current year’s PTA executive and sub-committee members. Their unconditional involvement, efforts, ideas, support, help and guidance will surely take us many years ahead in just this one year. My heart is full of gratitude and I request more parents to join the TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More).


I am thankful to the PTA for doing school audit and showing us areas of improvement. As promised we will match the amount collected by the PTA for completing these jobs and make SWS a better place for all of us.


The school has its four main pillars of strength

  1. Students

  2. Staff members – Teachers, admin and support staff

  3. Parents and

  4. Management


This year we can see all four functioning optimally, which clearly shows that the school is a little more matured now with the experience of 10 years gone by, but not forgetting that learning is a lifelong journey and not a destination.


We are getting ready to celebrate the completion of 10 successful years of SWS this year. Some of you have been with the school for last 10 years and have seen the school grow from start to what we are today. It has been your trust and faith in us that kept us going at all times.


I can only be grateful to all who have come into our lives and ask for their blessings!!!


Stay unconditionally happy!


With thanks to all from the bottom of my heart


Yours in service

Deepak Khaitan


Sharing a nice story on perception:-


"THE WINDOW"

A young couple moves into a new neighbourhood. The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbour hang the washed clothes outside.

That laundry is not very clean, she said, she doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbour would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About a week later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean washed laundry on the line and said to her husband: "Look! She has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said: "I woke up early this morning and cleaned our windows!"

And so it is with life:

"What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking for something in the person we are about to judge. "

Independence Day

Patriotism at play - a student's view

I would like to start off with a vision- a happy morning, with the sunrays joyfully shimmering upon a simple yet, amazing school! Chaos happening everywhere outside the school, traffic jams, sleepy class rooms, the morning rush, noisy offices, etc. This is what defines our day-to-day life. But not on this day. On the 15th of August 2013, our school has witnessed another yet amazing event - the beginning to the 67th year of our independence! Most of us moaned, why get up for some boring morning ceremony? When we can stay in bed late… well I’m sure all of our minds changed once we started with our joyous ceremony!


From the astonishing feeling of patriotism that fell upon us as the flag was raised, to honoring our mother land, to the tasty ladoos and juicy samosas. 15th of August is and will be remembered as a remarkable day in our school!


Along with Amira, the compere, we felt the joy of the dances displayed on our stage! The patriotism flowed through me, through all of us, as the girls of class 9 performed their dance on our basketball ground!


Independence Day as each and every other event that happens in our school, is unique and amazing! Just like our teachers, students, parents and kind and loving maids... our independence day was an amazing experience for me as well as everybody who attended it!


Jai hind!


By

Agni Pavlenko

Std 8th Red

Deputy Minister of Magazine

Read and Shine!

Books! A deceptive medium made of tree pulp but oh, the wonders it contains!


When you open a book, it is like opening a magic box because you do not know whether the book will just entertain or captivate you but it will surely open a new door for each and every one that reads it. As a child, I was happy to escape into dream worlds painted by the words in such books. I could be a detective, a mysterious woman in the Ural mountains, a dwarf or even a fairy. There was no limit to what I could be!


This is the happiness that the 'Read and Shine' program in our school wants to promote. The Library committee which encompasses Beverly D'Souza, Katarina Banaulikar, and Domingos Desousa among others have come up with an excellent structure to take this forward.


When asked about her experience, Katarina Banaulikar said "One of my dearest memory was when I read a story from chicken soup serial regarding bullying two years ago. I first read the story and then we discussed it. How they felt after i read the story, if they had any similar experience etc. One child hugged me after class and said thanks for teaching such a valuable lesson". She is convinced that all the hugs and smiling faces make up for all the effort.


The youngest of our children enjoy short stories based on themes that they can understand and the older ones can be challenged with ideas that they would not come across in daily life. The parent/reader is there to read the story and enjoy the experience and can leave all the rest in the capable hands of the librarian Ms. Vienna and the accompanying teacher. Some children might have a shorter attention span, some might need more clarification, some children might want to read something else - the teacher and the librarian will assist you in all this.


When you see the eyes of the children shine while you read or when they beg you for more or when they pepper you with questions about the story, you know that you have shared in something that is precious. It is a moment to cherish - it brings both the adult and the child to that same place of enchantment!


Come and be part of this! We are sure it will be an experience worth your time!


Joy of Learning Vs Exam phobia

Why exam phobia?


  • People tend to fear taking test because of the possible results.

  • Fear of failing

  • Parents are often perceived by students as being a source of pressure, especially when they place a strong emphasis on obtaining high achievement scores on examinations and assessments instead of on the effort made.

  • Other causes of test anxiety may include procrastination, and previous poor test performance.

  • As well, characteristics of the test environment such as: nature of the task, difficulty, atmosphere, time constraints, examiner characteristics, mode of administration and physical setting can affect the level of anxiousness felt by the student.

  • Researchers Putwain & Best (2011), examined test performance among elementary children when the teacher put pressure on the students in an attempt to create a more high stress environment. Their findings showed that students performed worse in high threat situations and experienced more test anxiety and worrisome thoughts than when in a low threat environment.


In Ramayana, Lord Rama and his brothers also went to Vashisht muni ashram and had to undergo tests of all kinds. In Mahabharata, Kauravas and Pandavas also took ‘Deeksha’ from Guru Dronacharya and were put to severe tests irrespective of their noble lineage.


In China, Emperor Wu of Han (141 - 87 BC) started an early form of the imperial examinations, in which local officials would select candidates to take part in an examination of the Confucian classics, from which he would select officials to serve by his side.


In West, the earliest reference dates back to 1818, at Schrewsbury, London where they conducted exams consisting of two sets of marks for viva and written.


Why do we give exams?


After asking many teachers the top three answers that have been given are:
1. “To assess, and find out actually what the students know”
2. “If we don’t test it, the students won’t want to learn it”
3. “Hold teachers accountable for their teaching”


What is to be done to reduce the fear factor and increase the joy of leaning?


1. Joy of learning is in built in every one, it disappears because of exam-phobia.

2. Child centric teaching & learning

3. Assessment is a continuous conversation - CCE and not a report card.

– no ranking, no fail policy

4. Collaborative learning – learning together, mutually, shared, both ways

5. Parental involvement


Responsibly of teachers/parents & students.


1. Both have to be passionate about teaching & learning

2. Sensitive & caring to each other

3. Friendly & humorous learning environment

4. Inspiring & motivational for both

5. Teachers, parents & students are inseparable entity, they are TEAM

Self Responsibility. What is that about! - A word from our school counsellor

The term discipline has very negative sounding synonyms like control, restraint and punishment. In keeping with the philosophy of the school, it became essential for us to immediately change the term and stop its usage. We asked ourselves, what is it that we would like our kids going out of the school, into the big world with tonnes of possibilities, to learn? What will benefit them more? Will telling them, what NOT to do, help? Will giving them meaningless punishments, which have no relation to what they did wrong, help them understand what was instead, the right behaviour for that time? To each of these questions, the answer remained a constant, resounding ‘NO’.


Then the question of freedom and how much is too much, arose. To this we realised that the answer is right there in every aspect of nature. There is no freedom without ORDER. Everything has a limit and when the scales are tipped a bit too much on either side the result is plain and simple CHAOS.


The word responsibility has been defined as the state of being dependable and taking initiative. Through this definition we find, that if the onus of behaviour lies in the hands of the individual, where he/ she has choices to make the right v/s the wrong decision, he/ she tends to learn not only to chose the responsible behaviour but also to take responsibility for his/her own behaviour and the consequence of it; thus ensuring that wrong behaviours are seldom repeated.


This concept is very abstract and to understand it, a lot of thought and analysis is essential. Thus, expecting the children to just ‘get it’ would not only be an error on our part, it would be completely detrimental to the learning we so badly want to inculcate. At Sunshine, over the past 2 months the entire staff body has been trying to use every opportunity as a teaching/learning situation where the child gets to experience the power of self responsibility. We are happy to report that there are many children who are understanding and realising the importance of being responsible for themselves. There are still definitely a few gaping holes in the road, but we do hope to fill them with time and a tad bit more energy and effort.


With this system in place, all we hope to achieve and ensure is a happy, well rounded child who enjoys freedom and understands for himself/herself what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and consequences of the same.

Have a wonderful and RESPONSIBLE month!!!!


-Charlene Farrell

School Counsellor

Teacher's Day

Teacher's Day - a parent's experience

We all tend to see our school only from the perspective of our child/children - natural, of course, as that is the only yardstick we have in our daily lives. Taking part in the audit and in Teacher's day celebration has opened my eyes to the enormous amount of work our teachers and staff at Sunshine put in.


It is incredible! I do not think there are enough words to express the feelings. All I can say is, it is not easy. And we as parents should support them in any way we can.


Making sure that all 20-22 children are getting an intellectual and emotionally balanced education is only possible if parents pitch in and make sure that they are an active part of their child's life and get in touch with the school at regular intervals.


Even dropping in at school and saying a hi and building a relationship with the teacher would help the teacher feel appreciated and it will go a long way in showing your child that you care about his/her school and not just the grade card. Everyday is a measure not just the grade the child brings home at the end of an exam.


What I have not just noticed but felt is this, that overall the school strives to be a happy learning environment.

Of course there is room for improvement and our school should always strive to get better and better. This can be best achieved only if the whole Sunshine community starts out with a positive attitude and the will to work together.

My request to parents - please get more involved! This will make you see where you can contribute that will ultimately benefit your child! Checking the diary, keeping in touch with the teacher and giving the teacher the freedom to express their opinions even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient, would go a long way in making our children excel in whatever they target. Even keeping in touch with your children's classmates could be important, especially if your child misses a class.

Also come to school and take part in any activity you can. It is a joy to see the children at their school desks. It will definitely lift your spirits and make you younger! :D


Excellence can only be achieved with an open mind and heart and lots of support from all adults involved! Let us be the force that makes a difference!


- Kalaivani Mattern ('Vani' - Mother of Rohan III Red, Riya LKG Blue)

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