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Ekya / February 22, 2022 Posted by : administrator

In your life, you travel to many places. Some stick to you, some simply evaporate out of your memory. However, there are some places that cling to you more than the rest. For me, this place is none other than Japan.

Commonly entitled “The Land of the Rising Sun”, this mesmerising place is so much more than that. From dreamy cherry blossoms, the snowy peak of Mt.Fuji to rapid fast Shinkansen (bullet trains) and new technology, Japan, the country I visited in 2019, is my most memorable and relished trip!

Let me share with you my adventure and experience of my trip.

A lively Port City- Ōsaka

On arriving at Kansai airport in Ōsaka prefecture, the very first thing that amazed me was the high technology seen everywhere. My family and I had reached our hotel late at night, however, there was no one there to hand over the keys! Instead of a hotel receptionist leading us to our room, there were machine-operated number locks and little monitors which instructed what to do!

In the city of Osaka, we visited the famous Osaka Castle which the cherry leaves had decorated making the castle even more splendid!

The cultural capital of Japan- Kyoto

Next, we visited the city of Kyoto. Here, we visited countless temples, shrines, and gardens but my personal favourite was Togetsu Bridge- A wide wooden bridge constructed on a scenic valley with Cherry Blossom trees on either side. Doesn’t it sound dreamy?

Below is a picture of this magnificent place:

Another place that I like is the shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha. One of the few things that come to mind when you say “Japan” would be the Torii gates. Housing roughly a thousand torii gates which were donated by a Japanese business, we even brought home a miniature torii as a souvenir! Dotted with tourists from every corner of the world, I also saw many Japanese women dressed in the traditional wear, Kimono.

Though I have already mentioned a few significant places in the city of Kyoto, there are countless more such as the Imperial Palace, Nijō Castle, Kiyomizu-dera, and much more, each with its own unique feature!

The city of deers- Nara

That’s right! This city does have deers, you can find them roaming freely in the “Nara Deer Park”. As animal enthusiasts, my sister and I found this lovely park the most entertaining! We got to feed, pet, and even play with the deer. They are also known for bowing as a sign of gratitude. We also visited Tōdai-ji temple which holds a very large Buddha.

Yokohama- a busy port city

In this crowded seaside city, the most interesting place that we visited was the cup noodles museum. I love eating and slurping a hot cup of ramen but getting to know how it actually originated was even exciting! The below picture shows some of the hundred flavours of cup noodles from all over the world

Tokyo- one of the busiest cities in the world! Being one of the busiest, cleanest and safest cities in the world, there are a lot of places to see in Tokyo. One of them is the Shibuya Crossing. Here, when the traffic lights turn red, a huge wave of pedestrians flood into the intersection for a few moments.

Have you watched the movie “Hachikō”? Well, the movie was about a true incident of an Akita dog that lived with a family in Tokyo and would come to the train station daily to meet its owner after he finished work. This dog continued to do so even after the unfortunate death of its owner. In memory of this well-behaved friendly dog, the locals constructed a statue which can be found in front of the Hachikō train station.

Hakone- a town with a beautiful view of Mt.Fuji In order to get a nice, up-close view of Mt.Fuji, we visited the small town of Hakone. The best part about going near Mt.Fuji was that not only was it very scenic but also was very informative. This was because of the Sulphur springs located at the base of the active volcano, Mt.Fuji in the Owakudani valley. Did you know that the local people sell eggs boiled from the Sulphur Springs and these eggs turn black?? Here are a few photographs of my adventure in Hakone, Yamanashi, and Gotemba

Riding the Shinkansen for the First time! While travelling from Osaka to Yokohama, we had to use the Bullet train or the Shinkansen. Moving at around 320 km/h, as it speeds up, the power of magnets allows the train to almost float four inches above the ground!!

The trip came to an end just like how any other travel does.

However, I will certainly visit Japan once again in the future because this is my “perfect travel destination”- probably due to the beauty of the place, courtesy of the people, the taste of food, technological marvels, or perhaps just a combination of all of these. Sometimes, you may not be able to point out exactly what it is. Whatever it may be, ultimately I can never forget even a single moment of the 14 days spent on my favorite trip!

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Ekya / April 03, 2024

The Power of Learning with Intent: A Guide to Purposeful Education

In a world brimming with information, the art of learning has evolved beyond the mere acquisition of facts. Learning with intent, a deliberate approach to education emphasises quality over quantity, depth over breadth, and purpose over passive absorption. It’s about cultivating a mindset that transforms knowledge into meaningful action and empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern age effectively.

At its core, learning with intent involves setting clear objectives and actively engaging with the subject matter. Whether exploring a new language, delving into scientific principles, or honing a creative skill, intentionality infuses each learning endeavour with purpose and direction. As Albert Einstein aptly said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." This quote amplifies the importance of active participation and hands-on learning, highlighting that true understanding arises from deliberate engagement with the material.

Furthermore, engaging actively with the material is paramount. Embrace challenges and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. This proactive approach not only deepens your understanding but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in any field.

Moreover, learning with intent emphasises relevance and applicability. Seek out opportunities to apply newfound knowledge in real-world scenarios, bridging the gap between theory and practice. By contextualising learning within your personal or professional sphere, you enhance its significance and utility, making it more likely to stick.

In conclusion, learning with intent is a transformative approach that transcends traditional notions of education. By setting clear objectives, engaging actively, prioritising relevance, and fostering a growth mindset, individuals can harness the full potential of learning to achieve their goals and thrive in an ever-changing world. So, embark on your learning journey with purpose, and let each lesson propel you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future.

By Sweta Pradeep Rao

Senior English Educator

Ekya School JP Nagar

Ekya / April 02, 2024

Gadget-free Summer Break

With summer vacation around, I urge parents to explore various ways to facilitate children to make healthy choices during their vacation time.

Last week, when we asked our Early Years to visualise their characters and create a story, most of them came up with stories about ghosts and monsters attacking others.  When we had conversations about what gave them this idea, we understood that these story ideas emanated from their online games. While gaming per se develops specific skills and requires focus, it also stifles the imagination of young children. Since it is visually appealing, children tend to remember those images in their heads all the time.

I often see parents providing very young children (1 year to 3 year olds)  with gadgets as the means to keep children engaged and entertained. I see children watching phones in the waiting areas of clinics, hospitals, school lobbies and banks.

This brings us to a fundamental question “ Should children be engaged by parents all the time?” Not necessarily. What is likely to happen if children were not handed over gadgets at the waiting lounges? What would they do? Some of them may cry, some may throw a loud tantrum, and some may crib. If parents show resilience and allow children to settle down themselves, they will soon find ways to keep themselves engaged. Likewise, during summer vacation. What if this is a “no gadget” vacation and parents do not take up the responsibility to engage their children? What would children do? How can parents show resilience here and facilitate children to make healthy choices? I leave the readers with this thought for this summer vacation.

Mathangi R,

Head of School,

Ekya NICE Road.

Ekya / April 02, 2024

The Eye of the Storm

In the hushed embrace of an Indian evening, our journey began, a symphony of anticipation orchestrated by the hum of jet engines and the flutter of boarding passes. The promise of adventure beckoned from distant shores as we boarded our flight bound for the United Kingdom, our hearts aflutter with dreams of far-off lands and newfound horizons. But as we soared through the velvet sky, a foreboding shadow loomed on the horizon, a harbinger of the chaos that was soon to unfold. In the blink of an eye, the tranquil serenity of our airborne sanctuary was shattered by a deafening crack, a burst of purple lightning that danced across the heavens with an otherworldly fervour. The air crackled with electricity as the plane shuddered beneath the force of the storm, its metal frame quivering in defiance against the tempestuous onslaught. And then, in a heart-stopping moment of sheer terror, the heavens unleashed their fury upon us, casting our fragile vessel into a maelstrom of chaos and uncertainty. The sky darkened to a shade of ominous charcoal as the winds howled with a primal ferocity, tearing at the wings of our faltering craft with savage intent. The cabin was awash with panicked cries and frantic prayers as we clung to our seats with white-knuckled desperation, each passing moment stretching into eternity.

And then, as if mocking our feeble attempts at control, the plane tilted almost 180 degrees, its nose plummeting towards the earth with a sickening lurch. Time seemed to stand still as we hurtled towards the ground, our fate hanging in the balance as the world spun wildly out of control. But just when all hope seemed lost, a glimmer of salvation emerged from the chaos, a beacon of light amidst the encroaching darkness. With a mighty roar, the engines surged to life once more, their thunderous symphony drowning out the cacophony of the storm as we clawed our way back from the brink of oblivion. As the storm clouds parted and the sun cast its golden rays upon the horizon, we emerged battered but unbroken, our spirits buoyed by the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. And though our journey had been fraught with peril and uncertainty, we emerged from the crucible of the skies stronger and more resilient than ever before. For in the crucible of adversity, we discovered the true measure of our strength, our courage, and our unwavering determination to defy the odds and chart our course through the tempestuous seas of life. As we touched down on solid ground once more, I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the world around us, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul.

Arjun Narasimhan Kuppuswamy

Grade 8C

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#StudentBlogger: Empathy, Ekya Schools

Empathy is the ability to understand a person’s emotions and feelings. It is an essential component for both social as well as personal lives. It is the ability or trait to understand other people’s values, beliefs, and cultures. Empathy is the power of connection. It is a sensation of experiencing what the other person is going through. We need empathy because it’s the main trait that helps us form social bonds with each other. We feel more attached to other people when we understand them.

As Jane Goodall, the British anthropologist aptly said  “Empathy is really important. Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential”.

The virtual assembly conducted by Grade 5, on 4th February 2022  began with a melodious prayer sung by Avni Saxena, which was followed by the ‘The thought for the day and ‘the News’ presented by Kalyan Tejas and Amy Mathew respectively, who gave us an insight into empathy and updated us about the recent news.

Highlighting the importance of empathy through a video and a PowerPoint presentation was done by Vivaan Talwar. This medium enabled students to understand the significance of empathy and how just by trying to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and how just by trying to understand another’s, this world would be a better place. Students who witnessed this virtual assembly were given an opportunity to share their experiences in displaying empathy to others in their community. A video on the difference between empathy and sympathy was apt as it emphasized not only the contrast between both values but also educated everyone to be kind, generous, and empathetic to those in need.

Our School HOS, Ms. Shubhra Sinha, shared her thoughts about the importance of empathy which should be revealed through our deeds and words, especially in these tough times where all human interactions have considerably reduced and the sense of empathy is lost. She encouraged everyone to practice empathy in simple ways that could make their personal life, as well as others', lives a little better.

The MC of the show, Twisha requested the students to give their views on the topic and the class received positive remarks in the Padlet shared with them. The assembly ended with the national anthem.

#ELCBlog: Social Science, Ekya Schools

Growing up, how many of us explored opportunities in Social Sciences? All we ever heard about was how to become an engineer, a doctor, or a lawyer. Yet, Social Science is one of the most important disciplines in our education system, where we learn the fundamentals of society, power, politics, culture, ethics, history, and geography.

The New Education Policy (NEP) aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aims at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student. In this diverse world that we live in, it is important that our children become active, responsible, and reflective citizens who can tackle local and global challenges effectively.

At Ekya and CMR National Public School, the Humanities and Social Science program equips our learners to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of society, law, politics, and human-environment interactions

  • Critically think about issues and perspectives by recognising the different social, historical, and legal contexts

  • Make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good.

How are we achieving this purpose through the Social Science curriculum?

Ekya’s curated social science curriculum develops students to have a deeper understanding of society, law, politics, and human-environment interactions that we are participative of, that we influence or make a change to, and live by. We build a culture of inquiry, critical thinking, perspective sharing, and empathy through the use of collaborative and reflective strategies in the classroom such as Think-Pair-Share, Gallery Walk, Put On Your Thinking Hat, 3-2-1, I Used To Think But Now I Know, etc.

To help our students make informed, reasoned decisions, meaningful learning experiences are included in the curriculum. For example - Students try to answer the question,’ Why do we need the Constitution?’, through research and teamwork. The research they initiate allows them to collate information from international, national, and local news, thereby sparking curiosity. Further investigation leads them to conduct surveys from households, their neighbourhood or social circle, for data and reliability from ground reality. This provides multiple perspectives for students to explore and enhances their communication, leadership, and collaborative learning skills.

Experiences such as these aid them to make relevant observations, identify, analyse, compare, and make connections between ideas, concepts, and related resources. They are also given the opportunity to be creative. This enables each student to present their ideas in various ways; be it through art, creative writing, data surveys, debates, presentations, projects, music, role play, or speech. What is important in these tasks is how inquiry helps them, deep dive, into a specific issue and resolve it.

In today’s world, it is important to build the social consideration and empathy of learners where we are made aware of our surroundings, the past and the present, to develop an international or a wide viewpoint for the moral progress of society. With all the perceptions we have, we learn to break it down to the relevance of today and reflect on how we relate to it.

Beyond building understandings of the world, its institutions, and social and political systems, Social Science at Ekya helps individuals engage with these systems both for self and society’s benefit. In a democracy, this is crucial. Furthermore, Social Sciences teach us to learn from our mistakes, to make a change in society, to influence people and policymaking, to forgive, and be kind. It is in the Social Science classroom where we are allowed to be open-minded, creative, and share what’s in our mind and heart.

“When classrooms become a forgiving place where it’s okay to make mistakes, we see creativity spike and anxiety fall” 

- Gavin Mc. Cormack.

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