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CREATIVITY ACTIVITY SERVICE (CAS)

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For friends with paws

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi
We, the seventh graders had a chance to interact with a dog behaviourist, Mr Karthik Ramasubramaniam who owns a company called “The Urban Pet” where he helps
animals. He sells pet accessories and offers different services and health-related items. He provides services like grooming, pet baths and dog training. From what we saw, we were astonished to see the way he interacted with dogs. It seems like he understands them like we aren’t able to. During the conversation, Mr. Karthik showed us what signs to be aware of, how to tell what the dogs want, and how to watch out for signs of aggression
or anxious behaviour. He made us aware of some of the suffering that many dogs face. Most dogs are abandoned on the streets, inexperienced families realize that they
aren’t capable of taking on such a big responsibility are dumped in overcrowded animal shelters. I know that the sight of a puppy with its cute eyes and soft fur is too much for us to say no to, but think before you get this puppy. If you work for long hours, do you have
someone who will give the puppy the love it deserves? If not, think again, there’s no point in taking the puppy home but then later bringing it back. Owning a pet is a
privilege that comes with responsibilities. A pet needs to be housed, fed and cared for properly, to ensure an acceptable level of well-being.I think that animal welfare is
a very serious topic and it is important to raise awareness in our communities so that people may be more empowered to offer help! The more people know about it,
the more people want to help. Students of grade 7A, as part of the SAA initiative, will raise
awareness in our school & apartments educating people about animal rights – responsible pet ownership, ethical breeders v/s not ethical breeders, pet adoption, volunteering at shelters, to name a few.
KAIRA GUPTA (G7-A)


 

Including one amongst all

Is inclusiveness just the act of making friends, of not bullying someone or protecting someone from bullies? Through our talk with Miss Sheetal we learnt that inclusiveness is much more. Miss Sheetal showed us that inclusiveness is not just the absence of bullying but the basic quality of including many different types of people and treating them with respect and equality. As our session began, Miss Sheetal first divided us into groups and gave us several situations that we had to classify under bullying, not bullying and maybe. This activity gave us an insight into what kinds of bullying take place in schools and how that may negatively affect a child. After this understanding, she told us about the four different types of bullying – physical, verbal, social and cyber. Learning about these types, we were able to identify and learn the negative effects that bullying may have on
someone and we were able to relate with it as all of us have been in similar situations at some point. To conclude, through this session, we have acknowledged that bullying is bullying and all types of bullying are bad. No matter how intense, bullying is always bad. After this session, we were able to connect bullying to inclusiveness more efficiently and have understood that as students of such a school, we are lucky to be here and must learn to treat our seniors, juniors, classmates and teachers with respect and utmost equality.
RIYA MEHTA (G8-A)


The healing touch of compassion

On 17th August students of DP 1 and DP 2 went for a visit to an old age daycare centre – Nightingale Sandhya Kirana located at Shantinagar, Bangalore. Three days before the visit students of DP came up with a plan to raise money to serve them food and run a newspaper drive for that. We collected almost 20K through this and tonnes of newspaper.
On the day of the visit, we reached the centre and were first introduced to the elder’s exercise routine, which is meant to strengthen their joints. The most interesting thing about the routine was the modified version of the Surya Namaskar, which suited the elders.
This organization works with elders in many ways – providing them daycare, providing them training in first aid and by treating elders with Dementia and Alzheimers. They also engage with the issue of elder abuse. Along with working with elders, they work
with their families and encourage families to take care of their elders living with them.
I realised how important it is to interact with elders and how happy children can make them. One big learning I will take forward is the importance of interacting with and including elders. I will make sure I talk to my grandparents and other elders in my family
more often. I will also treat all the elders I meet with respect, humility and compassion.
BANDANA BAJAJ (G11)

PTA INITIATIVES

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Greetings from the new (and first) Neev Academy PTA (Parents Teachers Association). As the PTA evolves, creates and learns, we thought it would be helpful to update the community on our various initiatives.

PTA 2019 kicked off this year with a kulfi-social (the Neev version of an ice-cream social!) for all the new student-families. Neev students and siblings played on the lawns, coloured at the activity tables or just danced to music, while parents had a chance to meet and mingle on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Big thanks to the school for the great refreshments.

Coming up, our next big focus area will be Language Day. In keeping with the Neev philosophy of showcasing home languages as a reflection of pride, identity and diversity, we’ve decided to make Language Day bigger and more inclusive. Through October, the PTA will be organising activities and events, expert talks from parents and grandparents
(as the most obvious custodians of language), stalls and installations, culminating in the big performance on October 25th. And all of this perfectly timed with the festive season.

We’re going to need lots of support from the Neev community. Your Class Reps will reach out to you with more details. Please do volunteer (we have multiple options) to make this really inclusive, and also incredibly fun.
Team PTA 2019-20


Power of creativity

Wherever we have the opportunity to generate new ideas, find solutions, provide me-time or time to self-reflect – creativity comes alive. Creative energy is one of our most precious resources – an amalgamation of imagination, curiosity, and courage. Geshe Thupten Jinpa, – Dalai Lama’s chief English translator shared an insight into the nature of creativity. He pointed out that there’s no word in the Tibetan language for “creativity” or “being creative”. The closest translation is “natural.” In other words, if you want to be more creative you need to be more natural. As kids in kindergarten, we play and experiment and try out weird things without fear or shame. The fear of social rejection is something we learn as we grow older. Creativity is not a rare gift to be enjoyed by the lucky few – but it’s a natural part of human thinking and behaviour. Creative energy has no concrete evidence, it is not inherent. Creative potential is always a part of every individual. It is a natural human
ability within us all. Creative ability emerges when it’s not being clouded by anxiety
and doubt. Collaboration helps us to gain new perspectives, building on the ideas of
others – the cross-pollination of idea develops creativity in individuals. Collaboration
is a powerful tool that can bring cross-functional teams to work together. Students
experience this every day at school as they engage and work with peers. Teachers
collaborate to share ideas, best practices and find solutions. During events like
Neev Lit Fest, Language Day, Neevotsav, Sarvajeet Diwas – the whole Neev community comes together to make the event a memorable one. Being creative is the capacity to imagine or build upon ideas. But, creativity does not emerge until you are brave enough to act on those ideas. Geniuses like Mozart and Darwin were quite prolific when it came to failure – they just didn’t let that stop them. They understood that an idea ending in failure is not a failure – as long as constructive learning is gained. Fear of failure holds us back from learning all sorts of new skills from taking risks, to tackling new challenges. To learn from failure, you need to  “own” it – you need to believe that learning and growth are possible. Carol Dweck says in her book, “Mindset” – we need to embrace the growth mindset and enhance our creativity.

SHANTHI RAGHUNATH
HEAD – PYP


 

An Indian burial

Beat the drums, blow the conch
Carry the corpse, across the lawns
Stick a rupee on his forehead‘
It’s all he’s left with!’, is what they said.
Create a chaos, make a noise
Beat your breasts and cry out loud.
Block the roads, light the crackers
Spirits will flee, with the life takers.
Dancers in a frenzy beat
Kiss the roads and cover the street.
Strew the flowers, along the way.
It’s his Last Journey, from today.
Place the corpse on the pyre
Strike the match and light a fire.
Crying, howling, whistling stops.
Life after death – is believed to start!

IAN DAVID STEPHENSON
TEACHER – NORTH CAMPUS

Read to imagine

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When you read, you imagine,
All about things like an airplane with no wings!
We gain knowledge when we read
Learning makes us smarter indeed!
Reading is like a Time Machine,
Which takes you back to the Dinosaur
Or the time when we will…
Play soccer with jet shoes.
That’s why I love
reading.
ISHAAN SHIVAM (G2 – North Campus)


 

Dreaming in bed

Oh how I wish I would read in bed
And dream about the things I read
Of planes and cars
And spaceships going to Mars.
Of mountains, rivers and seas,
Of flowers, birds and bees,
Of memories good and bad,
But I don’t like to feel sad.
RISHAAN MELANTA (G2 – North Campus)


 

AMAY AGARWAL (G2 – North Campus)

NLF – A simple ‘idea’ that came into fruition

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NLF was born out of a simple ‘idea’ that came into fruition. This festival is handcrafted with a lot of passion, love and good intent. From the curation of books available at the ‘Marketplace’, to the Jury members and the ‘Neev Book Award’, the creative look and feel, the list of authors attending and all the logistics , is an outcome of meticulous work by the administrators, teachers, parents , students and friends of the Neev community.

What excites us all is the synergy of the idea of a children’s literature festival coming alive in a school environment, such a natural fit and yet it hasn’t been done before. How magnificent it is for us to celebrate authors from across the world and recognize their contribution to children’s literature, but even greater for us to recognise that our very own voices and stories right here from India need to be heard and shared, all made possible by Indian children’s authors and illustrators. This is their platform.NLF – A simple ‘idea’ that came into fruition

I urge you to be that child again.

My 78 year old mother tells me a story about her growing up years. She was the last of ten kids in a family in Thiruvalla in Kerala. After returning from school she launched into a detailed story about some animal she saw, some encounter or some scene she witnessed. One day at dinner, her father indulged her by asking how her day went and she seized the opportunity- because in those days one spoke only when spoken to. While she rambled on with excitement, one of her siblings cut her off and declared that she was concocting all of it and that she was a liar.

At that moment her father said, “Let her speak. This is not a lie; she is able to share this because she has a vivid imagination and she is an imaginative child.” He encouraged her to go on by prodding and asking her more questions before she launched herself back into the story. She says, she has never forgotten how her father stood up for her, introduced her to the word ‘imagination’ and became her hero forever. I feel we must share our childhood stories with our children and pass on the oral tradition of storytelling. Life is too short for us to be bystanders. Jump in and enjoy the ride. Permit yourself to be happy, to be
children, to be curious and free to explore. Allow thoughts to percolate and ideas to resonate. We are all a work in progress. We want to be better- the idea is to become a better version of ourselves and there is no better place that lets you do that than a
book!

SNEHA IYPE VARMA
CO-FOUNDER NLF & NEEV PARENT

Bringing the Neev Book Award to class

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For the first time, most students from across the school have been able to collectively read and discuss the books on the Neev Book Award shortlist this year. Introduced with the aim of allowing the students to better engage with the titles on the list, every class and section from Grades 1 to 10 has been given multiple copies of 1 title to read. The shortlisted books have been on display at the PYP and MYP libraries as well.“It was optional for us to read the books from the shortlist at the library last year but we’re doing it as a class this year. It helps because it makes us more familiar with the book,” says Ananya Sahay from Grade 8C. “Nobody pushed us to read last year,” her classmate Aarushi Giri adds.
Bringing the Neev Book Award to class

While these books were introduced to the students from Grades 1 to 5 at the library, the titles were read in class during the Form Tutors’ Time between 8 to 8-15 am at least twice a week in Grades 6 to 10. Grade 8C, for instance, has read Amrita Sher-Gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush by Anita Vachharajani, which is shortlisted for the Award in the Young Adults
Category.“I like how she speaks about her own life,” Kaashvi Srikanth Reddy, a reader from the class, says on the firstperson narrative employed by the author. “I also like how she spoke about her parents more at the start of the book and less about herself,” Aarushi chimes in. While the system seems to have worked well till Grade 8, the students of Grades 9 to 10 feel it may have added more value if they had the chance to take the books home, in addition to being able to read them in class.Interestingly, a few faculty members have found themselves enjoying the process of the morning readalouds. “I think the read-alouds in the morning are calming and meditative. It’s a good utilization of the first 15 minutes
because it helps teachers relax and take their mind off their daily schedule. I would like to inquire more into the practice of holding a Socratic discussion after the read-alouds,” says Vineet Singh, a senior theatre teacher in Neev Academy.
KARTHIKA GOPALKRISHNAN

HEAD – READING

Neev Book Award: Observations and Thoughts

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The unintended consequences of our actions are often of greater interest to those who comment on human affairs. It gives them the innocent pleasure of observing and saying with the wisdom of hindsight, “Here you miss, or there exceed the mark”. But there must,
perforce, be those who act in the present with nothing but a few principles and some imagination, perhaps. They have to bear the weight of office and hope they will be judged fairly. And so it is with people who decide which writers should be given prizes for their books and which ones a polite compliment. The Neev Book Awards are decided by a jury who read and talk to each other in order to give four authors a prize each across four categories of writing.

Neev Book Award: Observations and Thoughts And while the reasons for this are large, enlightened and well intentioned, such as getting more people to read and write children’s literature about India, the prizes do become important factors in influencing who becomes established as an important or, dare I say, a good, writer. That’s what the word canon means—a list of writers or writings that have become established over time as being of the highest quality. This year the shortlist saw a significant range of themes and subject matter—God’s plenty: fish, tailors, soup from far away, barbers, friendship, a grandmother, a grandfather, boys, girls, government idiocy, Englishmen, Englishwomen and pee. And, all of them in the context of India. Clearly, all of them work
in their own way to help represent India and create a corpus of writing that builds more complexity into the idea of India—a fitting antidote to the idea of a colourless and unimaginative uniformity that some would seek to impose on this idea.I should like readers to see these awards as an opportunity to scrutinize the jury’s decisions, read the shortlist and consider what each book does as a literary work and as a document about India. The voice of the reader and the reader’s judgement is finally what matters and what determines the largeness of the canon of children’s literature in India as well as the liberal principles on which the canon is formed. It is an exciting time to be a reader, a time when one can exert a formative power in moulding literature and in moulding the idea of India.

Award-winning titles:

Picture Books 

Emerging Readers            Junior Readers                      Young Adults

COLIN LESLIE KELMAN
DP COORDINATOR

 

A day to pay tribute

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Teachers’ day, as everyone knows, is celebrated on the 5th of September. This year, our
school celebrated this notable day through exceptional songs, dances and performances
by the students themselves. The students of grade 7B put together a performance that
would display our appreciation for our prodigious teachers. The assembly started off with
a skit that displayed the difference between what teachers expect and what really happens. This was just a way to show the teachers how we can never live up to their expectations but we love them even though we can be a bit of a handful sometimes. The next item on the show was the reciting of a shloka and a doha. This recital laid out how teachers have been celebrated for centuries and how their role in society is worshipped.
The last performance was a dance. This dance was choreographed by students of grade 7B. They danced to the favourite songs of their teachers. The dance was accompanied by a powerpoint presentation with a little message to each of the teachers. Through our ‘Teachers’ Day extravaganza’, three charming and witty anchors played around charming the audience. They were really able to make everyone laugh and make everyone feel special. Once again, Happy Teachers’ Day to all of our extraordinary teachers!
MEHER BHUNIA & LARA NAMBISAN (G7-B)


 

A day at Nandi Hills

Students of Grade 4 inquired into the unit on biodiversity to explore the flora and fauna and interdependence between living things in an ecosystem. Learning goes beyond the
classroom and knowledge is gained through experiences and exploring the outside world.It started with an exciting drive to Nandi Hills, also known as Nandidurga, at 6.00 a.m from
school on the 6th of September 2019. The hills are rich in bird life with an evergreen forest patch on top of the hill. The lush greenery of Nandi hills is home to a lot of birds, many of them indigenous. The Blue-Capped Rock Thrush, the Tawny Bellied Babbler, the Puff Throated Babbler and Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher are a few of the many birds found there. Students learned that the animals, birds and plants are interdependent in an ecosystem and their survival depends on the sustainability of the ecosystem. They also learned that instead of relocating species elsewhere, we must preserve their habitats where they will thrive.

Students identified the interdependence between the biotic and abiotic factors and also observed many symbiotic relationships in the environment. They learned about how
humans have positively and negatively impacted the ecosystem in Nandi hills. Students also noted how the lush green trees planted on such a height leads to clouds settling
on them and resulting in dew dripping down trees due to condensation. This also helped them understand how weather changes with altitude. The experts had a discussion
on appropriate conservation and sustainable development strategies as being an integral part of preserving biodiversity.The concept of interdependence, sustainability and balance in the ecosystem came out clearly through the discussions.
TEAM G4


 

Ideas @ Neev – With Srinath Raghavan

On August 30, as part of the new initiative “Ideas@Neev,” grades 9-12 met with Srinath Raghavan, an accomplished economist, historian, author, and soldier. As an attendee I found it truly educational.

At the age of 15, Mr.Raghavan faced a dilemma we all face -what am I going to do with my life? At the time, he was not too sure but he was pushed into studying the sciences, leading to him earning an undergraduate degree in physics. However, he was not too interested in
this field, so he looked for other career options. Seeing that many of his friends were enlisting in the army, he decided to follow suit. To his surprise, he fit in the army
perfectly and graduated at the top of his class. After his term in the army, he had cultivated an interest in history, particularly war studies, and decided to join King’s College to pursue this interest. He would study South Asian war studies, and would write multiple books on
the topic, such as “India’s War: World War II and the Making of Modern South Asia” and “War and Peace in Modern India.” He hoped to educate the masses, feeling that history helps us understand ourselves and that it should not be used as a “weapon” in debates and
politics.

So, what did we learn? In addition to the importance of history in our lives, we realised the importance of gaining a broad perspective of the world before forming our own perspectives. We saw the importance of being open-minded. Wherever he ventured he always kept an open mind and that has made him so successful today.

SUDHANVA BHARADWAJ (G11)

Home of Gods & Bull Temple

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Lal Bagh – Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The big rock in Lal Bagh where the temple stands is 3 billion years old. Bellandur Valley was the biggest tank in Bengaluru. In the olden times there were more trees so there was more evaporation of water, but now since there
are fewer trees, there is less evaporation. There are 4 watch towers in Bengaluru and one of them is in Lal Bagh. The rock is white and black because of the presence of minerals. It is also home to lots of birds. The Chikoo tree in Lal Bagh is big.

Bull Temple & Bugle Rock – Bull Temple has the biggest Nandi statue- the sacred bull. Most of the rocks on the Bugle Rock have pits, which were used to light oil lamps. We saw a lot of bats which were making strange sounds. In the olden times there was a river nearby but now they put cement for people to walk on. In the temple there were 5-6 tanks. Every part of Bengaluru had a lake. In the dry seasons they grew Ragi.

RONIT SALWAN (G2-A)

 


Friends Forever

Though there are treasures,
Scattered around the world
None of them mean as much,
As you to me
Though there are diamonds hidden in the earth,
And shooting stars in the sky
None of them are as rare,
As a friend like you by my side
Though there are few clovers
With four leaves
Finding them isn’t as lucky
As having you with me
Though there are rubies and emeralds
And pearls deep in the sea
Those treasures don’t mean as much
As your friendship does to me

URVASHI MENON & AIDA SANDY SHREE
(G7-A)

 


Water – the other name for life

On September 5th, 2019, Ms Priya gave a talk on the relationships between the location of water and population distribution and systems of water storage and usage, both natural and man-made. These objectives were part of the first line of inquiry sources of water and distribution.

She explained how sources of freshwater had led to settlement of humans in the past and that the formation of the Egyptian civilisation was mainly due to the human settlement on the banks of the river Nile. Similarly, the Mesopotamian civilisation was due to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and our very own Indus Valley Civilisation took birth
from the Indus river. The connection between the source of a river and population distribution came out clearly, once the students looked at the map.

She explained the different forms of natural and man-made storage systems in greater detail. We made connections to the present-day water requirement in Bangalore and how overuse and misuse are the main reasons for water scarcity. We discussed about the state of the lakes in Bangalore, like Bellundur and Varthur and how they have been destroyed due to pollution and misuse. We made connections between what was shared with us and
what has been our line of inquiry.

G3 STUDENTS

 

College Fair @ Neev Academy

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A college fair is an event in which college admission representatives come together to meet one-on-one with high school students and parents to talk about their respective colleges. On the 19th of August, Neev Academy organised one such college fair in which 11
UK universities including Queen Mary, Nottingham and Sheffield participated. The fair was open to grades 9-12. The representatives spoke about the wide variety of courses being offered by their universities ranging from medicine to business to sports and science. They also spoke of the advantages of doing a 3 bachelors program from the UK. The sessions were quite informative and interactive as students got the opportunity to get first-hand
information about the application and admission requirements. Parents were briefed about the various scholarship options, housing options and the cost of living for the duration of the program.

ADWEIT GHARAT (G10)

LEADERSHIP SPEAK

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Eons ago, on a warm and humid July evening, a phone call changed my destiny. The call was for the role of a substitute teacher in an acclaimed school in the city where I then resided. Given the fact that I thought I knew my subject too well, I walked into the classroom as confident as a falcon in its flight. What followed over the next few days was nothing less than a pandemonium. As the yawns in my class grew louder and longer, my self-esteem seemed to be hit by a 200 km cyclonic storm at the realization of my inability to teach a group of 15-year-olds about the types of agricultural practices in India!
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers,
or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Thomas Jefferson
The walls of contempt and resentment could be heard on Twitter on the 13th night as The New York Times broke a story that triggered yet another American outrage in regards to the infamous president; Donald Trump, as he took a dig at journalists, post labeling them as the “enemies of the people”.
Decades later, and hundreds of lessons after, I now know what went wrong in those first few lessons of mine. Why would a bunch of 15-year-olds, living in an urban area ever be interested in learning about intensive subsistence agriculture? When we try to impart knowledge based on only facts, students fail to engage and develop personal intellect at a deep level. As Lynn Ericson often says, information without intellect is meaningless. Contextual learning creates intellectual depth in thinking and understanding and develops multiple perspectives.
Our Grade 7 students learn about religion being personal belief systems which may create unity or conflict. Every year, at the start of this unit, students only talk about how religion can be associated with conflict. However, after the trip to the caves of Ajanta and Ellora they realise that religious syncretism truly exists. Learning in context enables students to integrate the new knowledge and skills to pre-existing intellectual construct. And field trips at Neev provide opportunities for our students to create deep knowledge through experience, exploration and reading. Reading enriches experiences and in turn experiences
are enriched through reading. Reading is a human invention and Maryanne Wolf in her book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain explains, “Our ancestors’ invention could come about only because of the human brain’s extraordinary ability to make new connections among its existing structures, a process made possible by the brain’s ability to be reshaped by experience.” As teachers, it is our endeavour to contextualise learning through promotion of reading associated with our units of study. Reading @ Neev forms an integral part of our existence.
A student of Grade 9, after reading a few pages of Sadhana, a repository of spiritual discourses by Tagore wrote, ‘Metaphors and phrases lost meaning and gained it all at once as Tagore’s words were making their way into my brain, and, unsurprisingly, tried to convince me of what I knew, but was yet to embrace.’ From the Purvanchal in the northeast to the Karakoram in the north, from the deserts of Kutch to the forests of Ranthambore, from the burning of the Amazonian rainforests to the 150 years of the periodic table of chemical elements, from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 to repeal of
article 370 in 2019, a student at Neev is at the helm of it all, learning and making new connections and constructing meaning based on their own experiences and reading.

GOURI KAR
HEAD – MIDDLE SCHOOL

Bangalore
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