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2015

Oh the fun we have
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Oxford author visits SLS School

Rawalpindi

Nicholas Horsburgh, author of many books for students, visited Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori & High School, says a press release.

Horsburgh, most famously known for his ‘New Oxford Modern English’, ‘Oxford Reading Circle’ and ‘Oxford Primary Science’ books, which are used in schools throughout Pakistan, has penned down more than 250 books for students with different pen names.

It was with great excitement that the students and teachers of the SLS Lalazar primary classes met the author whose textbooks they are using. Students and teachers showed Horsburgh how they learnt and taught their Science and Social Studies lessons using the technique of writing and singing chants. Difficult names and tough concepts to be memorized all became easy when the teacher penned them down in the form of a poem with the help of her students.

Horsburgh used humour to connect with the students for an interactive talk. The students were asked how they knew what they learned was accurate, and used several examples to challenge accepting what their teacher had taught them. If I say North is here and not here, how would you know it’s right?, he asked students of grade 3. One student immediately said Google. Another student brought up Horsburgh’s book up to him and showed him how to read cardinal directions.

Horsburgh also gave a talk to the English and Science Regional Coordinators at the SLS Head Office. He spoke about his experiences growing up in India as well as of the school his parents founded in Karnataka in 1972. He put a lot of emphasis on certain teaching methodologies used in India and Pakistan that are not conductive to the true learning experience of students. While every example was given in a humourous way, it gave a lot of food for thought to all the teachers and coordinators on the teaching and learning techniques used on students. Horsburgh emphasised that the focus of education must be on critical learning, instead of rote memorization.

 

SLS holds badminton tournament

Islamabad

A four-day inter-SLS Badminton Tournament, between 10 campuses of SLS, was held at Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori & High School, Islamabad campus, says a press release.

Imtiaz Gill, secretary general of Pakistan Badminton Federation was the guest of honour to witness the exciting final matches and award trophies to the winners. A total of 140 students of classes V to IX from 15 branches competed in singles and doubles matches for girls and boys.

Playing first in the eliminating heats and then moving up through the quarter final, semi-final and ultimately the final rounds, all participants showed their competitive streak and every point was well played and earned the applause and admiration of all the spectators. There was a lot of applauding and hurrahs as the students of the different campuses cheered on their playing team mates.

The Islamabad campus and Lalazar campus dominated the proceedings, and Satellite Town put up a good fight as well. The players qualified through the eliminating matches to reach the Finals in different categories in the Singles and Doubles. Mr. Gill who himself represented Pakistan internationally and played professionally for 15 years was full of praise for the standard of matches he witnessed.

Basing it on the maximum number of matches won, the Islamabad campus walked away with the championship trophy with 54 points, breaking Lalazar campus’s 11-year winning streak. The Lalazar campus came second with 41 points. Rafay Kiyani, grade 9 and Sajal Fatima, grade 7 of the Islamabad campus won the best players of the Tournament trophy (singles), Huzaifa Abbas and Hayan Khan, grade 9 of the Lalazar campus were awarded the Best Doubles Team of the Tournament trophy (boys), and Noor-e-Fatima and Fareeha Hasan, grade 9 of the Tufail Road campus won the Best Doubles Team trophy (girls). The coach who was awarded the certificate for the Best Disciplined Team was Riffat Iqbal of the Satellite Town campus.

 

SLS student shines in education games

Rawalpindi

A student of Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori and High School has secured the 33rd position worldwide at the grade one level in the recently held World Education Games, says a press release.

The World Education Games (WEG) is the world’s largest online education event hosted by 3P Learning in partnership with UNICEF and has been taking place since 2007.

Reshail Ahmed of the SLS, Lalazar campus is a grade one student and participated in the WEG for the first time along with six million other registered participants. The WEG is a three-day online event that tests students’ knowledge in literacy, math and science.

Hundreds of students from all campuses of SLS School registered and participated in the competition. The overall opinion of the participants was that the education games were a lot of fun and tested the core concepts taught to the students. Reshail secured the 33rd position worldwide by securing a total of 3,089 points with the highest grade one score being 4,114 points. Students of SLS School are routinely tested on their knowledge through the use of worksheets that are built into the specially designed curriculum.

Students are given opportunities several times in the year to hone and show their skills, like making science projects in Little Scientists Week, practicing and proving their reading skills and knowledge in the International Day of Literacy celebrations, and the yearly open days that have class exhibitions on all topics that the students study in the year.

SLS School organises Sports Day

Islamabad

Fairy tales are part of a child’s learning experience from the time it begins to read and recognise images and they not only entertain but are responsible for flights of imagination that let a child enjoy the wonderland of mythical creatures like fairies and witches.

Keeping this in mind, the SLS Montessori and High School in Islamabad organised a Sports Day with the title, ‘Wonderland Sports Day,’ in which children of the various Montessori sections took part dressed in costumes assigned to each section. The event was attended by proud parents and siblings and the guest of honour was Susana Martin-Saravia, wife of dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Argentina, Rodolfo Martin-Saravia – apart from which she is a popular personality of the capital in her own right.

The playground had the young students – dressed in their colourful costumes – sitting on one side and the parents at the opposite end, with a stage in the middle. Balloons and bunting and colourful decorations gave the place a cheerful look while lively music played in the background. The programme began with Director of SLS Schools, Asiya Talha introducing the guest of honour and saying a few words about her, including the fact that she and her husband have been here over a decade and are instrumental in making Argentina known better to Pakistanis, while her husband has received the highest civilian award from Pakistan for his contribution in improving bilateral relations between Pakistan and Argentina.

After recitation from the Holy Quran, the games were declared open by the guest of honour with the cutting of a ribbon, and the programme began with a march-past by all the children – fairies and princes; bumble bees and mermaids; unicorns and witches and many other fairy tale characters, with the little ones walking in a surprising orderly fashion, waving to the parents and those on the stage with confidence and cheerful smiles. After this there were different kinds of races and these were interspersed with a lively cheer-leaders performance and a PT display. Of-course there were a few instances of little ones straying away and walking and running in the opposite direction but these added to the enjoyment of the event instead of detracting from it. Who can resist children when they look so cute, happy and unaware about their actions!

Anyway, despite the fact that the children were from three to six years old, everything went with clockwork precision, with no delays, credit for which goes to their teachers and the overall in-charge – Uzma Ali. It requires patience and a love for children to achieve results of the kind on display at this event – the guest of honour was rightly impressed and had words of praise both for the children and their teachers. “I have a four year old grandson and I know what it is like to handle them,” she said with a warm smile. “I give them full marks!”

Prizes were awarded to the first three position holders in each group, while a special consolation prize was given to a little girl who kept going to complete her walk, completely unaware that she was alone trailing behind the others long after they had reached their goal. Now that’s sportsmanship, even at that tender age! In conclusion the principal Shahida Khurshid and Uzma Ali were presented tokens of appreciation by the school administration; the director thanked the guest of honour for taking time out from her busy schedule to attend the event and refreshments were served to the parents and children and the successful event concluded on a happy note.

 

SLS students win essay contest

Rawalpindi

As many as 10 students of Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori & High School have won distinctions in The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, says a press release.

The essay competition is held every year by the Royal Commonwealth Society, England in partnership with the Cambridge University Press. This year the competition made a record with 13,000 entries from 600 schools from 49 Commonwealth countries and territories. The topic was ‘A Young Commonwealth’, imploring young minds to voice their hopes and concerns about the future of the world they are growing up in. From the 13,000 entries, 3000 participants won an award.

Students of different campuses of SLS School wrote about varying concerns of a young person, from the everyday problems of a teenager to how global warming will affect their lives on a global scale in their adulthood. Students wrote about how never before have young adults been in the unique situation of where they not only have to think about their immediate school, friends, family and neighbourhood but also interact with the world choosing to be an advocate for and take responsibilities for global issues.

It was the very first time for SLS students took part in the competition. Hamna Zia Mirza, Bisma Asif and Taha Riaz brought home the gold award, Alizeh Ahmad won the silver award, and Abeera Wasif, Zoha Shafqat, Aamina Aakif, Esha Shahid, M. Hanzala and M. Tayyab were awarded the bronze award.

Literacy Day celebrated at SLS schools

Rawalpindi

International Literacy Day was celebrated in all Montessori and Primary campuses of Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori and High School, says a press release.

The month-long celebrations, starting from September 8, included special assemblies, extra hours for reading, and fun classroom activities that let children spend more time with their favourite books.

After reading their favourite book, students shared passages of it with their class fellows. They were encouraged to share the moral of the story, if it had one, and to summarize the story in their own words. Be it about dinosaurs, fairies or Alladin, every school day had a little bit of storybook magic added to it. For those who couldn’t quite find their favourite book, they were encouraged to make book covers of what their favourite book would be about. Lots of wonderful little handmade book covers were added to the school collection. One day was spent with students making bookmarks for their books and to present as gifts to their loved ones.

The International Literacy Day was declared in 1965 by Unesco and aims to have children “rediscover the joys of reading while raising awareness for those without access to education.” Keeping this in mind, a Book Reading Week was arranged at SLS schools with book fairs put up in all campuses to urge students to look through and find new favourite books. Parents were encouraged to inculcate the habit of buying books in their children. And primary level students were encouraged to teach willing staff members daily use phrases in the English language.

Special morning assemblies were presented by students in which they dressed up in costumes and performed a skit on the story of a book. Supporting music and props made these skits a delight for the young audience. Older students took this opportunity to highlight the importance of being literate and how many of us can take our literacy for granted.

Students were taught to recognise foreign words that are abundantly used in the English language, like Cartoon, Kindergarten and Cookie. Teachers helped students learn greetings in Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic. The highlight of the International Literacy Day for the students was dressing up as their favourite storybook or poem character. Students came to school as Little Elf Man, the Woodcutter, Harry Potter and Rapunzel amongst many other beloved characters.

 

SLS students excel in National Art Competition

Rawalpindi

Over a dozen young artists from Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori & High School were invited to receive certificates and prizes at the opening ceremony of The Little Art’s 4th season of ArtBeat – National Child Art Competition & Exhibition, says a press release.

The opening ceremony took place at the Sir Syed Memorial, Islamabad with a large crowd of excited students accompanied by their families. This year’s competition had the largest participation of children, with over 6,000 artworks from 210 schools and 25 community organisations from across the country.

The jury, consisting of painter R. M. Naeem and principal of Punjab University Art College, Shahida Manzoor, amongst others, had the tough task of choosing artworks to be exhibited. Out of the 356 artworks chosen for exhibition, 14 were made by students of SLS School.

The guests of honour for the opening ceremony were BISP chairperson Marvi Memon, honorary President of the Sir Syed Memorial Society Brigadier (r) Iqbal M. Shafi, Unesco Director Vibeke Jensen, Executive Director DG Pakistan Valerie Khan, Artist and Professor Aqeel Solangi, Visual Artist Sana Arjumand and Artist and Assistant Professor (NCA Rawalpindi) Sajjad Akram.

The children’s paintings were exhibited in a beautiful manner, the lighting bringing out the colours and details that the children had put their heart and soul into. The theme of this year was Kaisa Pakistan (How do you see/wish to see Pakistan?), and all the paintings depicted happiness and hope – a much needed dose of optimism for all the adults present.

Director of The Little Art, Shoaib Iqbal told all the students that this was their day – it was what they saw Pakistan as through their eyes that everyone was celebrating. All guests of honour had personal and wonderful words of encouragement for all the young artists. Most of the guests made the effort to speak in Urdu so that all the students present, many of whom came from marginalized schools, were inspired to make more art.

The exhibition in Islamabad was open to the public till the 18th and is now travelling to Lahore and then Karachi. The SLS students whose paintings are exhibited are Maham Ali, M. Idtehaj Hameed, Anushay Zeeshan, Hafiz M. Omar Akhtar, Fiza, Zunaira Majeed, Hassan Javed, Sajal, Ateeq Mehmood, Amal Shahid, Shiza Anwar, M. Faheem, Ali Asif, and Master Sheharyer Nadeem.
– See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/63569-sls-students-excel-in-national-art-competition#sthash.RifiPnC2.dpuf

SLS student returns from YES Programme

Islamabad

Hamna Khalid, a student of Sadeeqa’s Learning System (SLS) Montessori & High School, recently came back after being in the United States for a year under iEarn’s Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme, says a press release.

Hamna Khalid of the Tufail Road campus was only 15 when she got selected for the exchange programme and became a cultural ambassador for her country. She spent the last year in Houston, Texas, with the Kesselers family and went to Cypress Lakes High School.

She got to study a multitude of different subjects like Multimedia Editing, Forensic Science, Journalism and US History. Her favourite class in that year was Forensic Science. She was selected for a journalism workshop in Dallas by Balfour Publishers where she was awarded the Queen Prize for outstanding journalism. Hamna was a member of many after school clubs like The Photo Club where she went out into the field to take photos and learnt how to become a better photographer and photo-editor. She played sports regularly and she received an award for her skills in her favourite sport which was tennis. As a young Pakistani girl in the US, Hamna had many opportunities to give presentations on her home country clearing many misconceptions. Her class fellows were most surprised by her excellent English and communication skills. They learnt a lot about life in Pakistan and the hospitality of Pakistani people.

Upholding the tradition of the previous 24 SLS students who represented Pakistan in the United States, Hamna received many awards during her year-long stay. She was one of the very few students out of 3600 who got selected for The National Members Honour Society that focused all their efforts on community service. Hamna also received countless Spartans Scholar Awards from her school for her outstanding grades throughout the year. She was recognized for her community service on completing 108 hours working at child care centres, with teachers after school, and helping the elderly.

Hamna says that the most memorable experience for her was visiting the NASA Space Station and meeting astronaut Brian Duffy. Her cow-boy influenced hometown gave her the opportunity to make friends of all races and cultures. Hamna says that the most valuable lesson for her was appreciating the diversity of people which the United States has. – See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/58834-sls-student-returns-from-yes-programme#sthash.0n64vTCm.dpuf