On December 23, the Paulines gathered together in our school’s new state-of-the-art auditorium to celebrate Christmas. The programme began with a prayer dance followed by a Christmas message highlighting the true meaning of the festival. Through the medium of song, the choir told the story of the birth of Jesus which was enacted by the students. The students then spread some Christmas cheer in the form of a lively French carol and a hip-hop dance. A milestone event, this Christmas programme will always be remembered as the first of many wonderful celebrations in the auditorium.
Sports Day 2019 was held on December 14 and 15 for the Primary and Secondary Section respectively. The venue was decorated with amazing artwork created by the students based on the theme for the event – Climate Change. The function was commemorated with the hoisting of the school flag followed by the lighting of the Olympic flame and the march past. The track and field events that ensued provided students with a platform to showcase their talent in the field of sports and ignited within them the spirit of sportsmanship, discipline and perseverance. The theme ‘Climate Change’ was addressed by the various classes in the form of drills which highlighted how we can contribute towards creating a greener and cleaner tomorrow.
The 5th edition of Saint Paul’s MUN – Rajkot drew over 200 participants from 13 schools across Gujarat on November 29 and 30. The annual two-day conference is a simulation of the United Nations where students take on the roles of delegates to the various UN organs, each deliberating a pressing global issue allotted to them. This year, the members of the Security Council addressed concerns related to cyber terrorism while the Human Rights Council devised means to promote freedom of press in war-torn countries. The Economic and Social Council proposed innovative solutions aimed at ensuring education and healthcare in conflict and post-conflict zones. Although not a UN committee, the All India Political Party Meet was also simulated at the conference, giving students the opportunity to delve into the situation in Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370. Over the course of the event, students honed their leadership, diplomacy, public speaking and communication skills, proving that they are worthy leaders of tomorrow. The conference came to a close with the best-performing participants of every committee being recognized with awards for Best Delegate, High Commendation and Special Mention.
For the thirteenth consecutive year, Saint Paul’s School has secured the first place in the district-level Science Drama Competition. Their comedy-drama stirred up laughter among the audience, but not without delivering a powerful message. Through their act, the students emphasized how the effort made by even a single person can go a long way in conserving the environment. The team’s victory qualified them for the state-level competition at which Hiteshree Naidu of grade VII took home the Best Actress award.
In August, Mohammed Kapasi of grade X took home the first prize at the North-West Region State-level Painting Competition, thereby qualifying for the national-level competition. Mohammed stood third in the all-India contest and was felicitated with a certificate and trophy at the 23rd National Literary Events 2019 held at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
On October 16, Mr Anansh Prasad, an entrepreneur and avid educationist, conducted a workshop themed ‘Design Thinking’ for the teachers of our school. The stimulating activities conducted by Mr Anansh set in motion brainstorming sessions using out-of-the-box techniques of problem-solving. He also touched upon the importance of staying up to date with current affairs, highlighting the positive impact it has on classroom practices.
On 5 October, the Pauline staff and students, clad in colourful traditional attire, gathered in the quadrangle for the Navratri 2019 celebration. The programme began with an aarti followed by a prayer dance in the form of Garba. The devotional song sung by the choir and the vibrant dances performed by the students and teachers had the audience tapping their feet all through the show. As the RL Music band took to the stage, the students hit the dance floor; the powerful vocals and lively beats kept the enthusiasm and energy levels high throughout the celebration.
In honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the students of grades II and XI curated an exhibition for the students and staff of the entire school. On display were artefacts, paintings, models, clothing and more, all aptly arranged to tell the story of Gandhi’s life while highlighting his values and principles. The grade V students organised a sale of handmade items crafted to promote Gandhiji’s vision of ‘Swachh Bharat’. The exhibition conveyed the essence of Gandhi Jayanti and the proceeds of the sale were donated to charity.
The students of grade VI and VIII were taken on a field trip to the Mahatma Gandhi Museum in Rajkot. Using various art forms along with state-of-the-art technology, the museum tells the story of Gandhi’s life and portrays his ideals and principles. The field trip proved to be an invaluable experience for the students as it deepened their understanding and furthered their interest in a pivotal figure in our nation’s history.
A first-time initiative at Saint Paul’s School, the grade VII students organised a handicraft charity fair on 17 and 18 September with a view to donate its proceeds to Mother Teresa Charitable Trust. The students got in touch with their artistic side, creating a variety of items ranging from decorative bookmarks and wall-hangings to innovative speakers and clocks. Both staff and students were happy to patronise the stalls and make their contribution towards the cause. The following week the students visited Mother Teresa’s Orphanage where they made their donation, played games with the children and entertained them with songs. The outreach was a wonderful expression of the students’ creativity as well as their desire to lend a hand to those in need.
Mercado, Saint Paul’s School’s annual trade fair, was organised by the grade XII Commerce students on 13, 14 and 15 September. Securing sponsors, contacting retailers, advertising for the fair and setting up the venue were few of the many responsibilities taken up and fulfilled by the students. As always, thousands of visitors flocked to the fair where they enjoyed shopping along with entertainment in the form of an adorable Kids Fashion Show and musical performances by the students. The hard work put in by the students paid off as Mercado 2019 was a success on all fronts, with all of its proceeds being donated to the Philip Care Aids Centre.
On 29 August, brothers Mohammed Kapasi of grade X and Muffadal Kapasi of grade XII, represented Saint Paul’s School at the North-West Region State-level Painting Competition held in Ahmedabad. While Mohammed secured the first place in the junior category, Muffadal bagged the first prize in the senior category. In October, both students will take their artistic expertise to Hyderabad where they will compete in the national-level competition.
During June and July, the new members of the school marching band underwent training conducted by Mr Binu, a highly experienced band master from Bangalore. Within a month of picking up their instruments for the first time, the band had learnt to play a number of patriotic songs, prayer songs and marching tunes. They soon started leading the prayer song and national anthem during the morning assembly, and had their first official performance at the Independence Day Police Parade held at Shastri Maidan.
Teachers’ Day 2019 began with the staff and students swapping roles; the teachers sung the morning prayer song while the higher grade students taught in the classrooms. In the programme that ensued, the V and X grade students paid a fitting tribute to their teachers in the form of a Qawwali and mash-up song followed by a dance depicting the life of a student. The teachers then took to the stage, delivering a speech about the significance of the day and rendering a lively classical song dedicated to their students. The highlight of the celebration was the games session which was thoroughly enjoyed by the teachers, and even more so by the spectators, their students.
During the months of July and August, Skillsphere Education, a Mumbai-based organization, conducted a number of workshops for the students of our school, developing in them a varied range of soft skills and life skills. Through activities, games and interactive sessions, the LEAD workshop encouraged students to imbibe the qualities of leadership, entrepreneurship and diplomacy. The Indiation programme used national awareness as a medium to facilitate holistic development of the students while focusing on analytical thinking, public speaking and creative writing skills. The Enlighten MUN workshop took the form of simulated United Nations conferences, giving students the experience of being delegates and training them to critically analyse and devise solutions to global issues.
The days leading up to 15th August 2019 saw students of every grade participating in art, music and role-play competitions centered on the theme ‘Independence Day’. Our country’s 73rd Independence Day was commemorated with a meaningful and memorable programme conducted by the students of grades III and VIII. The function began on a solemn note with a prayer dance followed by a vibrant dance highlighting India’s ‘Unity in Diversity’. The students paid a heartfelt tribute to the Indian army in the form of a skit based on the Kargil war and a dance portraying the life of our soldiers. The patriotic songs rendered by the choir added a special touch to the celebration.
Fr. Toby Joseph, the director of Atmamitra, a youth guidance and counselling centre, conducted workshops for the students and teachers of our school from the 8th to the 13th of July. Through meaningful activities, Fr. Toby took everyone present on an emotional journey, highlighting ways to combat the ever-growing challenges faced by the youth of today. While the students took home revitalized personal and family values, the teachers gained insight into the vital role they play during their students’ teenage years.
The staff and students of Saint Paul’s School assembled in the quadrangle on the 5th of July to witness the swearing-in of the newly elected student representatives. Badges and titles were conferred upon the school prefects, house captains and class monitors, after which they took a solemn oath to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them. Chief Guest Asst. RTO Officer Ms. Vineeta Yadav’s speech struck a chord among the students as she inspired them to persevere and follow their dreams against all odds.
On the 1st of July, the candidates standing for election for the posts of school prefect and vice-prefect delivered powerful campaign speeches to win over the voters. The following morning, students of grades VI to XII cast their votes through a computerized voting system set up by our teachers. The seamless electronic election process proved to be an exciting experience for the students and gave them a glimpse of the essence of democracy.
On the 21st of June, the staff and students of Saint Paul’s School ushered in the new academic year with a prayer service. The program began with the lighting of the lamp and a prayer dance gracefully performed by the students of grade XII. The scripture readings from the holy books of various faiths and the offertory procession accompanied by a hymn beautifully signified entrusting the year to come into the hands of God.
SkillSphere Education, a Mumbai-based organization, conducted a workshop for the teachers of our school from the 3rd to the 5th of June. The trainers, Ms. Rhea Jaya and Ms. Geetanjali Kumar, conducted a variety of lively and interactive activities designed to develop effective public speaking and micro-teaching skills.
The Finnish education system is revered across the globe on account of its equity, inclusiveness, student welfare programs, collaboration over competition, and learner-centered approach. With a view to further develop these values in our school, our teachers attended a workshop conducted by Ms. Sirkku Nikamaa, a vastly experienced teacher and teacher-trainer from Finland, from the 3rd to the 11th of June. During the course of the week, Ms. Sirkku engaged the teachers in animated discussions and brainstorming sessions, giving them tips and techniques to create happier and more productive experiences in the classroom.
The teachers of our school spent the 6th, 7th and 8th of May at Bangalore’s Christ (deemed to be) University, attending an orientation programme themed ‘Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness through Educational Excellence’. Experts from various fields of education conducted sessions based on topics ranging from ‘Creativity and Innovation’ and ‘Experiential Learning’ to ‘Value Education’ and ‘Stress Management’. Techniques to encourage student innovation along with social responsibility and steps to create a happy school were some of the many takeaways from the programme.
Summer Camp 2019 - discovering and developing talents
The 5th of April marked the beginning of three weeks of fun at Saint Paul’s School Summer Camp 2019. Over 500 students from grades I to VI attended the camp, opting for their favourite from a variety of categories including art, craft, carpentry, music, dance, sports and self-defence. The camp provided students with the perfect setting and guidance to discover their talents, hone their skills and take home everlasting memories.
Parent Orientation Program for grade VII
It is the need of the hour to ensure that today’s youth as well as their parents are equipped to handle the increasing number of challenges that inevitably form a part of teenage life. With this objective in mind, an orientation program was conducted for the parents of grade VII students by Dr. Bhadrayu Vachhrajani on the 10th of April. The informative session gave parents a deeper understanding of the root causes of issues faced by their children and also provided them with a host of solutions to tackle the same effectively.
Bidding a fond farewell to the grade XII class of 2019
On the 20th of April, Saint Paul’s School bid farewell to the students graduating from grade XII. The grade XI students brilliantly organized the program with acts ranging from upbeat self-choreographed dances to songs and skits which took their seniors on an emotional yet entertaining trip down memory lane. The ex-students were then called on stage where Principal Rev. Fr. James presented each of them with a gift, after which the staff and students enjoyed a celebratorymeal together.
Well-earned prizes and stellar performances define the Award Ceremony 2019
On the 13th of April, the prize-winning students along with their parents gathered at Saint Paul’s School for the Award Function 2019. Shields and certificates were conferred upon the students who excelled in academics as well as in sports, music and art, among other co-curricular activities. The parents looked on with joy as their children received awards and were also kept thoroughly entertained by the lively songs, vibrant dances and humorous skits that added to the magic of the evening.
On the 7th and 8th of February, students from schools across Gujarat came together to participate in SkillSphere’s Model United Nations and Indiation programmes. Through simulations, debates, discussions and more, both programmes cultivate within students essential life skills and empower them to become confident and capable leaders of tomorrow. The Paulines proved their prowess in a number of categories, taking home four MUN awards and two Indiation awards.
On the 28th of February, the Green Guards took over the canteen, organizing a food fair for the entire school. Their counters were stocked with a mouth-watering array of items, ranging from Chinese dishes to delicious cupcakes, all prepared by the students themselves. The Green Guards as well as their many customers enjoyed the food fair, the proceeds of which went to charity.
Mr. Otto Huber, a highly experienced theatre director and actor from Switzerland, conducted a workshop for our teachers on the 25th of February. Through unconventionally brilliant activities and exercises, he gave the teachers an insight into the world of art and dramatics. On the 27th of February, Mr. Otto introduced the grade XI students to the realm of theatre, engaging them in novel activities which kept their energy levels high throughout the day.
Renowned scientist and Padma Shri recipient Dr Sharad Kale visited our school on the 4th of February to deliver a talk to the students of grade VII and VIII. Focusing on the need for environment-friendly waste management, Dr Kale briefed the students about the Biogas plant which he has developed. He urged them to start considering waste as a resource, detailing how it would lead to a cleaner and greener tomorrow.
Modern technology has touched every sphere of life, including our education system. To ensure that our staff and students are up-to-date with the dynamic use of technology in education, a workshop was conducted by Mr Akshay Agrawal on the 8th and 9th of February. Through hand-on activities, Mr Agrawal gave our teachers an insight into how they can use technology to enhance their teaching and assessment strategies. During a session with the students, he briefed them about their role in the high-tech education system of today.