New year, new challenges - 2017, here we come!

January Flashback
I never lose. I either win or learn.”
- Nelson Mandela

Special Grandstand - Musical Ensemble
Students and teachers at Gateway had the privilege of experiencing an unusual and uplifting performance by musicians hailing from within India as well as from France and Slovenia. Their ensemble comprised of an accordion player, a violinist, a percussionist, and a vocalist. Followed by an interaction with the artistes, this performance was another in the series of initiatives that our arts department has been organizing to increase students’ exposure to varied art forms and artistes.

Sports Day
As is the hope with all our school events, this Sports Day too, left us in high spirits and with a renewed sense of community.
It was so heartening to see all our students, teachers and parents coming together to encourage and celebrate every participant, through the march past parade, dodge ball matches, student races, and cricket match, and even the parent, teacher, and support staff races! It continues to amaze us when the efforts to teach through such events do indeed culminate in student learning - we witnessed this when students continually encouraged each other in the spirit of sportsmanship, truly worked with and for their teams, and pushed their own limits and outperformed themselves. Hurrah to Team Gateway! And hurrah especially to our sensory-motor department, and to our Adaptive Physical Educator, Mr. Frazer Vaz!

Restructuring of Leadership at Gateway
In keeping with Gateway’s ever-evolving nature, leaders have envisioned a restructuring of the school and we were glad to have our teachers as well parents be involved in this process. The leaders and trustees have proposed a Co-Principalship model to be instituted in the Academic Year 2017. The therapies and administrative functioning of the school with be led by one principal - Ms. Varsha Makhija, and the academics will be overseen by another principal - Ms. Radhika Zahedi. We heartily welcome this change and await the new heights that will be reached under their leadership.
Current Head of School, Mr. Siamack Zahedi, and Director of Education, Dr. Radhika Misquitta, have been at the heart of Gateway and it will be difficult to see them renounce their roles. However, we will continue to experience their contribution in their new roles - Mr. Siamack will be recognized as an Honorary Trustee on Gateway’s Board of Trustees, and Dr. Radhika, will head the Bodani Foundation’s upcoming Centre for Research and Outreach. They will also support the new leadership with decision-making on an ongoing basis.

Overnight Trek
An active member of our ever-enthusiastic PTA, Mr. Santosh Saraf, organized a voluntary overnight trek near Pune, for a group of 7 Middle School, and 3 Lower School students, independent of their parents. The students were guided by Mr. Saraf and his friend, an experienced mountaineer. They stayed at a campsite run by a local resident, within the rural environment, and enjoyed traditional Maharashtrian meals. Students had an authentic experience of camping - they watched the sunset, played games by a campfire, and also set up and packed their own bedding, and independently dressed themselves. The trek included a tour of Fort Shivneri, and a climb to and discussion about the historic significance of the Nane Ghat region, where they also explored some caves. They trekked for several hours along with their rucksacks, through a route that was at a height - this was a feat in endurance and an overcoming of fears for the students! They also benefitted from several opportunities for incidental learning - from encountering different types of plants, to discovering the ways of rural living. This experience was an adventure through-and-through, and a milestone in independence!

Capacity Building

Book Clubs
The book clubs are a space to increase knowledge, build capacity and share learning.
The following book club will be conducted in February.
If you are interested in joining, please contact Ms. Rachna Shah:

Metaphors & Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching Any Subject by Rick Wormelli
Metaphors and analogies are not just suitable only for English classes - they are "power tools" that can electrify learning in every subject and at all grade levels. Metaphors show students how to make connections between the concrete and the abstract, between prior knowledge and unfamiliar concepts, and between language and images. This book aims to teach teachers how to use metaphors and analogies strategically and for specific purposes, so that we may help students discover, create, and deconstruct effective comparisons.

Conference: Teaching Global Perspectives
Ms. Nituna Baretto, Coordinator of Gateway’s Humanities Department, attended a two-day conference in Bangalore, organized by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) board. With 20 participants in attendance from schools across India, the conference was facilitated by a Global Perspectives examiner and teacher-trainer at the CIE, visiting from the UK. The conference focused on delivering learner-centered lessons and assessment of the syllabus, and explored activities that support skill development.

Article Publication
Ms. Radhika Zahedi wrote an article titled “Promoting learner autonomy for children with special educational needs” - that explores teaching through using massive open online courses (MOOCs), available on educational platforms online. She shares about her experiences, the challenges of delivering MOOCs, and especially highlights the increase in student motivation and independence, and depth of learning, that occurs through using this format of instruction. The British Council (the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities) has published her article in their publication TEACHING AND TECHNOLOGY: CASE STUDIES FROM INDIA. Focused on technology use in the classroom, it features 22 case studies selected from over 400 submissions, contributed by teachers/organizations from across India.

Click here to read!


Parent Workshop on Effective Discipline
Ms. Manika Khanna and Ms. Sneha Rawlani of Gateway’s counseling department, conducted a workshop that focused on effectively using discipline strategies - what to do before, during and afterwards, when faced with challenging behaviour from children. With 23 parents in attendance, the workshop was well-received with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Conference: Creating A National Movement for Education
Ms. Radhika Zahedi, participated in a two-day conference organized by the Ashoka Changemaker Schools Network. Around 35 select leaders in education from across India came together to implement a nationwide project to revolutionize education in India - improving access to and quality of education. This initiative is aiming to incorporate changes in the public and private education sectors, and at the government policy-level. Leaders involved met to organize themselves into different committees and begin the groundwork for this project - Ms. Zahedi represented Gateway, as we are one of the few schools contributing to the project.

Blog Post
This month, Ms. Sneha Rawlani, Counselor at Gateway, writes about the power of connection - about how establishing a connection with each student is not only a prerequisite to teaching, but also transforms both, teaching and learning, into joyful experiences!

“Connection: The Invisible String”
Click here to read!

Campus Visits

  • A group of 14 college students from Goa visited to gain knowledge about special educational practices, as they are writing a paper related to special needs children as part of a course on human development. They observed classes and interacted with team members.
  • Team members from two inclusive schools - Bangalore International School (BIS), and HLC International School, Chennai - visited Gateway. They observed classes and interacted with team members to gain an understanding of our practices.


Research Competition
Some of our Middle School students had conducted a research project about the impacts of the Deonar dumping ground fire that took place last year, for their Global Perspectives class. They submitted their research paper to a competition conducted by City as Lab - a research initiative for students - and were selected to present at a conference! Our students were one of the 10 teams shortlisted from amongst a 100 research paper submissions! Gateway was one of the only special education schools from amongst the 21 schools that participated, which also included mainstream, inclusive, and high- and low-income schools. They presented the process and outcomes of their project to a panel comprised of experts from different fields at a one-day conference in Mumbai. The panel provided students with both qualitative and quantitative feedback on their paper as well as their presentation.

Angel Xpress Annual Event
Gateway has collaborated with an NGO, Angel Xpress Foundation, which creates educational opportunities for underprivileged children. Our students have been teaching English to 4th grade students from a nearby low-income school for a few months now. Angel Xpress celebrated their annual event in Mumbai, ‘Day of Grace’, that commemorates the work of their volunteers and contributors, whilst raising awareness about the cause. Given that only parents and teachers are usually volunteers, they especially appreciated that the students of Gateway are directly involved. Our students briefly presented about their experience and learning from this opportunity, at this public event!

Gateway Community Update
  • Lower School student, Keshav Tampi, is leaving Gateway as his family is moving out of the country - we will miss him and we wish him the very best!

Looking Forward To...

18th February:
Math Professional Workshop:

Supporting Mathematical Problem-Solving: Strategies for all learners

22nd February:
Parent Interaction with Counselor Gopi Patel visiting from New York

25th February:
Parent Workshop conducted by team visiting from Cooke Center, New York

From the editors’ desk:
The new year having just begun combined with the exciting frenzy of preparing for Sports Day has left us in high spirits! As the finish line of this academic year approaches, we are ready to buckle in and plunge into the challenges that await.

Let the games begin!
Amy & Sneha
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The Gateway School of Mumbai · Sion Trombay Road · Next to Deonar Bus Depot · Diagonally Opp TISS · Govandi East · Mumbai 400088 · India

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