November 2011 - Oaktree International School

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November 2011 - Oaktree International School

Dusshera Holidays - Anjana K.C. , IBDP1‘After the hectic schedule of school, homework andstudies, every student craved a break. We had a week offfor our Dusshera holidays – a holiday where we couldrelax and enjoy ourselves. It was quite a long break andthere were lots of exciting events waiting for us.’Pandal Hopping - Bigyan Dahal, FelsitusMulenga, Monica Zimba and Martha Zulu‘Kolkata is known all over India for its rich culture andheritage. It’s thus called cultural capital of India. As an IBstudent I was curious to see this firsthand. It was Ashtamion 4th of October and it was decided that in the morning wewould be visiting pandals. Though I had to get up early inthe morning, I was excited about the visit. Pandals are theplaces where the idols of Goddess Durga are kept andworshipped during Dusshera. According to the Hindureligion, Goddess Durga fought with a rascal for ten days tosave mankind and eventually she was victorious on thetenth day.Thus Dusshera is celebrated to mark the victory of GoddessDurga. Pandals are the temporary religious place toworship Goddess Durga. On the tenth day, the idols frompandals are dipped in the river Ganges. On Ashtami peoplego for so called pandal hopping that is moving from onepandal to another. After I visited the 8th pandal I felt as if Ihad completed the whole journey of India. Each pandalwas unique from the other ones. Some of the pandals representedKedarnath and Badrinath, religious places in India.Some represented typical villages of Bengal and Rajastan.Some of the pandals were made of steel utensils, palmleaves, rice straws and some of them were in the shape of aboat or a modern building or a village hut. Loud beatings ofdrums in each pandal made me jump in the air. In eachpandal I saw the priests chanting some prayers from theirbooks. They were chanting the prayers so fast I didn’tknow if they would survive without taking in air. It wasvery interesting experience and I enjoyed a lot. I’meager to learn more about Kolkata!’- Bigyan Dahal, IBDP1Photograph by Selina Hardt, Grade 10Park Street Walk-Selina Hardt and Tenzin Passang‘With our guide we learned so much about thehistory of different locations, shops, museumsand churches on Park Street. The most interestingpart of the tour was the walk through the cemetery. I think itis amazing you could see how different the death rate was inKolkata a hundred years ago. A lot of people who played animportant role in history and in the development of Kolkata,for example journalists, politicians, writers and poets diedvery young. Kolkata was less developed in this time and therewas no proper medical treatment and many diseases becauseof the extreme weather. In conclusion I would say this was aninformative tour.’Selina Hardt, Grade 10‘I loved the experience of the trip to Park Streetwith my friends. It was a tiring trip but we got a real taste ofKolkata. The tall buildings and the graveyard amazed me.The bakery tour in Flurys was extraordinary. We had a greattime in there looking at the cakes, chocolates and cookies anddidn’t want to leave. ’ Tenzin Passang, Grade 9‘It was really amazing to see how beautifully the pandalsand the statues were made. There were people offeringsacrifices, praying or drumming. They offered meat,vegetables and some donated money. It was a great experienceto see the different gods and I will always rememberthis fantastic day.’ - Felistus Mulenga, Grade 10‘The structures symbolizing their gods were amazing andwe learnt a lot from looking at them. Using them as aspiritual focus, aiding meditation and prayer, was veryinteresting.’ Monica Zimba, Grade 10 and Martha Zulu,IBDP1Photographs by Bigyan Dahal, IBDP1The Oaktree Newsletter - Page 3


Starting School - Samriddha Basu, Grade 9Returning to India after living almost my whole life abroad filled me with mixed emotions; sadness from leaving friendsI have known for five years and excitement from meeting new people. I found Oaktree International School from searchingon Google about different international schools. The website itself had given me a new sense of excitement and I hadalready starting imagining how everything would be like; the people, the teachers and the food.Upon finally arriving on the site on 3rd of September for the school visit I was finally been able to put concrete images tomy assumptions to the locations. I couldn’t wait to get to school on the first day on the 15th of September, I thought of allthe different friends I was going to be making. I never thought I’d make friends who were from Serbia, Bangladesh,Zambia or Nepal but Oaktree International School makes me realize how small the world is. I am meeting people fromplaces I had never even given a second thought about until now.As school days went on, I felt the tiredness that I got from being on the road to and from school for almost 3 hours a day.For the first few weeks I pushed my parents into getting me into the weekly boarding but they wouldn’t change theirminds. However, after a month and a half of the travelling I realised that I don’t mind it anymore because I can catch upon my sleep, from waking early, in the car.Being part of the first year of Oaktree International School really makes me understand how much of an impact we willbe making to the future students of OIS. When new students join OIS in future years, they will be studying in the fullybuilt campus and only can this batch of 2011-2012 can say that it all started with us 30 people studying in hotel rooms astheir classrooms. I look forward to the move onto the new campus.Life in the ResidencesTenzin Phenthok, IBDP1, says:Arriving and trying to adjust to a new surrounding was oneof the hardest things of my life. As was trying to keep upto the expectations of others, from family back home, frompeers, from teachers at school.Living with diverse communities in the start was somethingdifferent but now it isn’t. We now live like a family.Our joys double when we share and sorrows are halved toowhen shared. I guess that’s what living and sharing life is.Life’s all about struggles, hardships, victories etc. If theseweren’t there, then life wouldn’t be there, then life wouldjust be like a journey through the desert (how boring).Having faith in one’s own self and persistence is whathelps you to complete the journey successfully.Sadikshya Bhattarai, IBDP1, says:“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’regoing to get.”Away from home, away from everything I knew, away to aplace that I had never seen before- thinking about theresidence life in a faraway school in Kolkata was somethingI really dreaded at first. I wondered how I would share aroom with girls who aren’t from where I am from. Would I beable to mix? I was really scared!But now, after a month of experience, sharing the same roomwith girls belonging to different nationalities has given methe opportunity to understand the diversity in cultures and thedifference in human behaviour. Above all, being in a placewhere at first we really miss our family, we have a wonderfulhouse mother.We also have a common room in the residential block whereduring our free time all students sit to talk, play games orwatch television. Basically it’s our relaxing time after the‘tiresome’ studies.So I never thought feelings would change so soon but now Ilove this place and I am sure all other residence students doso too. We have adjusted to this place and I have realized thatlife is not always as difficult as we think it to be.The Oaktree Newsletter - Page 5


The Pre-IB Course at Oaktree International School - Absolom MusevePre-IB courses were created by individual schools beforethe MYP started. These courses mapped backwards theDiploma Programme (DP) to prepare students at an earlyage. The IB designed the MYP to address the whole child,which, as a result, has a very different philosophicalapproach that aims at educating all students aged 11–16.Pre-IB courses usually deal with content, with less emphasisupon the needs of the whole child, or the affectivedomain, than the MYP.The MYP is an excellent preparation for the DiplomaProgramme. Many of the concepts, programme elementsand the underlying philosophy found in the MYP areconsistent with those found in the Diploma Programme.Nevertheless, the MYP is not a prerequisite. Indeed,schools might not offer both the MYP and DiplomaProgramme. Further, because schools establish their ownenrolment criteria for participating in the DiplomaProgramme, a student’s prior involvement with the MYP isnot a guarantee of entry into the Diploma Programme.Oaktree International School draws students from variousparts of the world ranging from the United Kingdom,Mainland Europe, Africa and the versed Asia. This meansthat the entry point to the IB Diploma Programme inevitablyvaries, depending the diverse education systems thestudents come from. To take care of our students applyingfor IB DP without having satisfactorily completed theOrdinary Level certificates course or IB Middle YearProgramme (MYP), the one year Pre-IB programme wasestablished at Oaktree International School. The syllabusWhat is the Oaktree Foundation?Memory Chileshe, Felisitus Mulenga, Monica Zimba, Martha ZuluYou would explain the Oaktree Foundation as a foundation that offers scholarshipsto study at Oaktree School. But how to describe what this actuallymeans?What has been our experience of the foundation? It began with Dr. VeronicaWilkinson, who has been a guest at our previous school for some years. Oneday she called us to see her and the news she gave us made us shout, jump andmake urgent calls to our parents. We were going to Oaktree InternationalSchool…in India! In just a few short weeks we had to prepare our passports,say goodbyes to our friends and family, cry our tears, and start our journey toKolkata.After three planes, changing in Johannesburg and Mumbai, we arrived toKolkata and then finally to the school. And here we can begin the next journeythat the foundation has taken us on, which is staying and studying at OaktreeInternational School and all that this means for us and our future.For us the Oaktree Foundation means the opportunity to come to school withpeople from all over the world, getting to know each other and learning aboutdifferent cultures. It means providing us with quality education, a better future,the choice to go on to university, for which we will be more prepared.for the Pre-IB is school- based and its content transcendsthe International General School Certificate syllabus andthat of the Standard Level IB subjects. In addition thestudents are taught skills in Theory of Knowledge (TOK),Extended Essay (EE) writing and are adequately exposedto Creativity, Action and Service (CAS). Besides this,students are taught about the IB philosophy and the IBLearner Profile and are given regular sessions by ourUniversity Careers and Guidance Counsellor on universitycourse requirements to enable them to make informedsubject choices.The one year Pre-IB course therefore prepares the students,from whatever educational background they come from, tobe able to start the IB diploma with a satisfactory knowledgebase to handle the rigorous IB Diploma Programmewith more confidence. The Pre-IB course can also be abridging course for those candidates who may not havescores satisfactory for entry to the IB Diploma Programmeat Oaktree International School. The Pre-IB course alsohelps the students to have prior knowledge of the proceduresand criteria of assessment expected at the IB diplomalevel, as they too are involved in the structured schoolbased internal assessment programme.The Pre-IB students fully interact with the IB diplomastudents in all aspects of school life and this too helps toenhance peer learning that is a one of the tenets of the IBphilosophy.The Oaktree Newsletter - Page 7


The Oaktree Family!Photographs byAnirbanDasMahapatraCalling all Math enthusiasts!This issue we have two problems both connected towork in Mathematics classes, from the topics Algebraand Sequences. The second more difficultproblem (Who is left standing?) is a clockworkseries. The problem is inspired by the siege ofYodfat where Josephus Flavius and his 40 comradesoldiers were trapped in a cave, the exit of whichwas blocked by Romans. They chose suicide overcapture and decided that they would form a circleand start killing themselves ….1) Alphabetical Algebra (nice and easy)Suppose thata=1,b=2....z=26Evaluate the expression below:(n-a)(n-b)....(n-z)2) Who is left standing? (a little harder)Twenty people are sitting in a circle.The first person is asked to sit down and then everysecond person is told to sit down until there is oneperson left. (ie. 1st sits down then 3rd, 5th, …)Which person is left standing?What about for 100 people?What about for n people?Open to all members of the OIS community:students, parents and faculty. Answers via email tonikhil.dholakia@oaktreeinternational.in byFriday 2nd December. The names of all correctanswers will go into a hat for a prize draw. Excellentsolutions will be published.We are very proud to share an extract from a chapterwritten by Mr Regan, from a newly published book‘Taking the IB Diploma Programme Forward’. The bookalso includes a chapter from Drs. Wilkinson and a chapterby Prof Jeff Thompson, who also edited the book.“The learner profileThe IB learner profile is a wish list for the virtuous personthat goes way beyond the normal requirements for learningitself. Critics might argue that no assessment authority hasthe right to make these demands, which hark back to theSocratic/Aristotelian ideal that ethics consist of a set ofvirtues that, when taken together, create the virtuous personand promote right behaviour and obedience to convention.The history of ethics would also include at least the notions ofrights and obligations, sympathy and utility, and piety. The IBstudent is basically meant to be a good person. It is easy tofind fault with such an arbitrary list drawn up by a committeeno doubt, but in fact, as a guide to teachers and students, itcan be very effective…” (p225)Editor: Alex Mckay, Compilation: Supriya ShyamsukhaArticle credits: Paul Regan, Alex McKay, Absolom Museve,Abedin TayeburRafique, Anjana K.C., Sagar Ghimere, Selina Hardt,Tenzin Passang, AnanNeumeri Hossain, Felistus Mulenga, Martha Zulu, Monica Zimba, MemoryChileshe, Sadhikshya Bhattarai,Tenzin Phenthok, Bigyan Dahal, NikhilArora and Samridhha Basu.The Oaktree Newsletter - Page 8

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