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By Fr. Dr. Francis Swamy SJ
Oct 9th, 2018

Fr. Dr. Francis Swamy, S.J., Principal at St. Mary’s school ICSE in Mumbai, India shares his address and report for the year 2017-2018.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and my dear students. I warmly welcome you to the 154th Annual Awards Day for the academic year 2017-2018.

This evening we have gathered here to encourage and bless our young achievers. It is my pleasure and privilege to extend a cordial welcome to our guests of Honor Mr. and Mrs. Doshi and our special guest Mr. Benson Nainan- an ex-student of our school and an IAS officer.

Mr. and Mrs. Doshi, your son- our out-going School Captain of the year 2017-2018 Master Arjun Doshi-has done you proud and brought you to this memorable day…… Congratulations!

“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them,” quote by Benjamin Disraeli.

Our theme for this year is “A Clean and Healthy Planet”, this is a unique opportunity for us to raise this awareness and implement the same towards the well-being and nurturing of our planet. In turn, we develop a sense of cleanliness and discipline in our children by mobilizing them towards keeping their surroundings and our school clean.

“Knowledge is love, light and vision,” a quote by Helen Keller. With this broad vision in mind, the students need to glide above their textual matter and think critically along with human concern.

The students in our school need to be more tolerant and focused towards the diverse cultures, thus contributing in the all-round development of each other. They need to be compassionate, kind and generous towards society. We in our Jesuit institution strive to educate the children to an integral pedagogy of inter-relatedness to promote harmony in a world of hate. We need to give them an all-round molding so that they face the world bravely.

The School Report:

The academic year 2017-2018 was an eventful year at Mary’s. It commenced with a two-day staff orientation programme on the 5th of June, by Fr. Magi Murzello from St. Andrews School, Mumbai. Fr. Magi, with his experience, gave us mind provoking ideas on how to strengthen our abilities as teachers by emphasizing on using the right words at the right time, being creative, lively and enthusiastic in the classroom.

On day two, Dr. Kersi Chavda briefed the staff about various topics regarding mental health of an individual and dealing with them on a day to day basis. Understanding these concepts of behavior modifications-it helped the staff reach out to the students in a more practical manner.

Our children have been provided with a number of opportunities this year. At St. Mary’s, teaching is not limited to ‘listening and learning’. With the Audio Visual Room, Smart Board, two well- furnished and updated computer labs, E- library, 3D lab and a new server-room available, we have a multi-pronged approach to teaching.

We have also incorporated ‘Mindspark and Detailed Assessment’ as an enhanced learning program to facilitate the children with new parameters of understanding. It’s been our second consecutive year with upgraded smart boards/interactive boards in various class-rooms right up to pre-primary to intensify the teaching-learning process.

Many students have excelled in individual achievements outside the school, while others have been exposed to programmes conducted by the external Educational Groups. I must acknowledge Master Ankit Bhattacharya- winner of the International Student League, 2017. He won a fully sponsored educational and cultural trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in the US. He participated in the Astronaut Training Programme and interacted with the astronauts at NASA. Ankit also achieved a global rank 1 in the first edition of ISL, out of 10,000 plus students and a 100 plus schools from across India and the Middle East.

I congratulate Master Vedant Chheda for his outstanding achievements in Squash, as he currently ranks 5th among All India Boys U-11. He stood 2nd in the Juhu Gymkhana Open in January 2018 and in the All India Brahmaputra Open in November 2017. He ranked 3rd in the JSW SunilVerma Memorial Open in January 2018 and ranked 4 thin the Dais Moment of Joy Khar Gymkhanain the same year. He was awarded the most promising player by the Mumbai School Sports Association 2017. My hearty congratulations to both of you.

The school auditorium is now fully renovated and functional with high-tech audio visual equipment security and safety of our children is of prime importance to us. The management has installed several high-resonances C.C. Cameras all over in the school premises. The school teachers are efficiently using the school Mobile App, which has now become an important tool of communication between the teachers and parents.

Teachers and students are both assisted and encouraged to adopt E-Learning. The staff rooms have been well-furnished to create a conducive environment for a smart work culture. New walls and colorful pictures have been put up to make the staff room even more pleasing to the eye.

Over the past few years, St. Mary’s has grown from strength to strength and is now a leading school in Mumbai city. Academic standards are comparatively high, as proved by our I.C.S.E. board results. We have a full-fledged counselling department, functioning throughout the day to provide our students with proper guidance and care. In order to prevent any class without surveillance, the management has engaged a couple of floating teachers to support the existing teaching faculty.

Morning assemblies have become vibrant and exciting with the two huge screens with L.C.D projectors used every-day, enhancing the value system of our students. Lockers are being effectively used by our students from classes 5 to 10, thus reducing the weight off their shoulders. Dramatics has been our core activity, truly loved and cherished by our students. Drama promotes the love for language and builds confidence, it also adds to the fun of teaching-learning.

We have inculcated the practice of introducing a new word, its meaning and its usage in a sentence, every-day to the students to increase their vocabulary. Inter-house Quiz is held at the beginning of the year to challenge our students and stimulate their intellect.

Our school is a Jesuit Institution, well-known for its values and ethics. The school fosters world-renowned order of educators, Jesuits, the flag bearers of the religious order, Society of Jesus; the value orientation in such a school or college is of the highest order. Furthering the value system in a Jesuit school is the joint venture of parents and teachers who really are the mentors in the formative years of a child.

Parents, I thank you for your support in some very crucial matters of discipline, cleanliness and finance. I do hope you all will continue to help and assist us as we soargreater heights in every area of development. A big thank you to the enthusiastic and energetic P.T.A.

I sincerely thank our teachers, as their hard work and efficiency has made a big difference in the lives of your children.

Staff Status during 2017-2018:

During the course of the academic year, St. Mary’s benefited by the arrival of Mr. Sabin Castellino, Ms. Sunita Andrade, Ms. Crystal D’Souza, Ms. Emmy Fernandes and Mr. Samson Dias. We wish them many dedicated and growth filled years in St. Mary’s ICSE. During the academic year, Ms. VanitaDongre, Ms. DavinaMenezes, Ms. Nicole Gomes and Ms. MangalBana left the school for better prospects. We thank them for the services rendered to our school and wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

ICSE Results:

We are proud to say that our students’ stellar performance at the boards has indeed given us plenty of reasons to celebrate. All 115 students who appeared for the ICSE examinations held in March 2018 were declared successful. 70 students scored 90% and above. 44 students scored between 80% and 89%. 1 student scored between 75% and 79%. Ankit Bhattacharya stood first among the students with 97.50%. He was followed by Abhinav Bharat in the second place with 97.33% and Tanay Karia in the third place with 97.17% respectively. In the fourth place we have Pratham Sarvaiya with 97% and Kerfegar Jungalwala with 96.67% stood fifth.

Dear boys, St. Mary’s is proud of you. My heartiest congratulations to all these students whose efforts have been crowned with success! I also congratulate the parents and staff who have labored silently and effectively all through their formation.

Curricular and Co-Curricular Activities:

Academic excellence has been just one agenda of the St. Mary’s curriculum which mostly results in attaining intellectual development. Our school firmly believes in the holistic development of a child and that’s where co-curricular activities come in. So, no stone is left unturned in probing our children towards excellence in various inter-school events. Our teachers put in their best efforts to ensure that our students are encouraged and live up to the Jesuit motto ‘TO BE BETTER THAN THE BEST’.

The feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, was celebrated with much vigor on July 31st, 2017. The day started with the liturgical celebration attended by both schools (SSC & ICSE) parents, well-wishers, alumni and St. Isabel’s school. Parents and Catholic students of Classes 3 to 10 attended Holy Mass at 9.30 a.m. at St Anne’s Church, Mazagaon.

Childrens’ Day & Management Day was celebrated on 14th November, 2017. The teachers and the PTA together spent long hours to plan this fun filled day for the children. They made sure every class and each division was involved in making the day successful. Gifts were distributed and games were held at every nook and corner of the school. Mouth-watering snacks were given to each child as they enjoyed the day. It was also a perfect occasion for the staff and students to convey their gratitude towards the members of the school management who work endlessly towards the welfare of our school.

The school had a colorful Christmas celebration on 21st of December 2017. The teachers organized and conducted games for the students in their respective class and gifts were given to each child. We have continued with the guidance programme i.e. My Kensho for students of Classes 7 to 10. A career guidance programme to identify and direct effective careers for our students. My counselling team and the My Kensho team work together towards achieving this goal.

We had an orientation and guidance programme for parents and students of Class 10 by Dr. Elaine Charles on the 12th of July, 2017. Year after year she has been successful in giving fantastic inputs and expert advice to us.

The academic and guidance centre of St. Mary’s organized a talk by Dr. Harish Shetty, on “Dealing with Stress” for parents and students of Class 10. He advocated the BBP method i.e. Book to the Brain and Brain to the Pen.

The students of Class 8 had a first-hand experience in an astronomy trip conducted by Arc Educators and by our very own staff member Mr. Rushad Dupettawala. The students had an amazing and enriching experience of studying the basics of astronomy and various constellations.

One of the most awaited event of the year is the Canteen Days it was organized by our students and the PTA with absolute gusto and exuberance. From snacks to elaborate meals were sold in both the senior assembly halls, extending the short break by 15 minutes. The money collected is sent to aid our sister school i.e. the GYAN MATA adivasi school in Talasari.

Thirty five students of Classes 8, 9 and 10 were a part of the ‘EUMIND’ which is a student exchange programme with our partner school, Willem Van Orange College, in the Netherlands. Our students exchanged their view points and ideas on various issues concerning themselves, through two video conferences with our counterparts in the Netherlands. The topic for the academic year was ‘Three Generations’. The students learnt about the different games they play, the kind of eating habits, the mass media that is frequently used in their respective countries etc. On the whole, our students had an enjoyable and truly meaningful interaction. As a result, our students invited the students of Netherlands to visit India. . The Class 10 farewell was held on 24th January, 2018. One could see the overflow of excitement and zeal on their faces as they were all set to venture into the new horizons after their eleven long eventful years of experience at St. Mary’s ICSE. The theme of the farewell was “Masquerade.” It was a splendid afternoon- filled with fun, frolic and a sumptuous lunch.

The Annual Exhibition Day held on the 8th of February, 2018 had more than 720 art works on display. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Region, Mr. Jayakumar. Every teacher made sure that her subject was represented by two models and a chart. Since it was judged and the children were marked, there was a lot of healthy competition in the air. The ambiance seemed to be sprinkled with creativity, talent and effort. It was very joyful to watch the students be a part of this event.

In October, seventy boys and girls from Ashagad (Dahanu) accompanied by Fr Joe Alberqueque and a few of his teachers visited our school. They were welcomed and entertained by our social service and interact service club students and teachers. A two day programme was organized for the visitors, which included games, competitions, Mumbai Darshan, a visit to the planetarium and the museum. The PTA arranged and sponsored a lunch for all the children and teachers at Burger King. It was ‘a once’ in a life time experience for the visiting students.

Embracing the Future:

The 3D Biology Lab has been set up in our school for a new experience in teaching and learning biology. It brings an unexpected excitement in our students and enhances their understanding of the subject. Mindspark, Asset and Detailed Assessment have now become an integral part of our curriculum. Providing for an intense practice in subjects like English, Math and Science, students are now exposed to critical thinking and analyzing other than the classroom tests. St Mary’s ICSE has partnered with Intellinects Ventures to engage with student’s parents and teachers to improve the overall effectiveness of education. Through this App the students are provided with circulars, homework, reminders etc. The school attendance is also looked after by the App. Teachers can put in private reports of students for the teachers of the next year thus helping the teacher to know the student on a one-to-one basis.

WI-FI – The school has provided all the teachers with a special password for the WI-FI which is newly set up on our school premises. This facility assists the teachers to access the internet anywhere in the school.

Adopting a child –We at St. Mary’s ICSE follow a policy of adopting a child in need of special attention in every class. One to one attention is given to students from broken homes. Children with learning disabilities and attention issues are looked after by the special educator and the counselors. The school also offers robotics programme conducted by Irobokid for our tech savvy Marians in the primary and secondary sections.

Educational Excursions:

Since excursions and visual aids are important features of teaching and learning, we had ensured that every class of the secondary section organized an educational tour for three days. This year class X students had an informative and an adventurous educational tour to Goa. The students had a thrilling experience at INS Hansa, the Sahakari Spice Garden at Ponda, Big Foot i.e. the Old Portuguese House, Bom Jesus Basilica and much more. The students enjoyed the tour in the company of their peers so much that they just didn’t want to return. It was indeed the most appropriate way to let go of all the stress they were going through, prior to their preliminary examinations.

The Class 9 teachers took their students to Panchgani wherein the children visited the cheese factory, the strawberry farm and a fort. The students came back, full of information and were exhausted with fun and frolic.

The pupils of standard 8 were taken to Mount Abu, where they visited the Brahmakumari Ashram, the Nakkhilake, Kodra Reservoir, toad rock etc. After three days stay at the hill station, the children came back enriched and fresh Class 7 went to Silvasa and Daman on a three day trip and visited a tribal museum, a deer park, a butterfly garden, and the church of ‘Bom Jesus’.

Teachers of classes 5 and 6 took a whole lot of students to Hyderabad. They flew to Hyderabad wherein they got an opportunity to visit the Hyderabad zoo, the museum and took a boat ride on the Hussain Sagar Lake. It was an experience of a life time for the students and the teachers.

Extraordinary Achievement by a Staff Member:

One of our teaching staff-member, Mr. Rushad Dupettawala, wrote a book on Physics entitled “Comprehensive Physics” for class 10. It was released on the 21st March, 2018 by the Principal. We take great pride in having such an accomplished staff member in our midst.

Inter-School Events:

Our boys participated in the event titled WE ARE THE WORLD, organized by H.R. College, Churchgate. We won the overall third place. Our students took part in events such as performing arts, fine arts, literary arts and sports. In VOGUE is The popular personality competition among schools conducted by the Rotaract Club of H.R. College. One of our students, Ishaan Morakhia was declared the runner up at the event. At Mélange organisedby G. D. Somani, our students participated in various events such as fine arts, performing arts and literary arts and won individual accolades in various events.

At ROCHAK, an inter-school Hindi event is conducted by Christ Church School. Our students won the third place in the dance competition. Sixty students represented our school at Cascades. Despite it being held during the first term examination, our boys sacrificed a lot of time preparing for the same. I would like to congratulate our boys who not only won a few events but won the hearts of the judges, organizers and parents for their outstanding performance.

Thirty three students from classes 6-9 participated in IIMUN (Indian International Model United Nations) from the 13th of April to the 15th of April, 2018. Four training sessions, of an hour each were held for our participants. It was the fourth MUN programme in which our students took part during the academic year 2017-18.

St Mary’s ICSE – Sports Report 2017-18:

ATHLETICS Bombay City District Amateur Athletic Meet (B.C.D.A.A.) The athletics season started with the Bombay City District Amateur Athletic (B.C.D.A.A.) Meet. Boys under 10: Shaine D’Souza, won the Gold Medal in the 50 meters run. He also received the Under 10 Fastest Athlete trophy. Owais Sarguroh: won the Bronze Medal in the 50 meters run. Boys Under 8: Diyan Ranawat, bagged the Bronze Medal in the 50 meters run. A.S.I.M. Athletic Meet Boys Under 10 Shaine Dsouza: Brought home the Bronze Medal in the 100 meters run. M.S.S.A. Athletic Meet Boys Under 10 Shaine DSouza : Won the Gold Medal in the 100 meters run and the Silver Medal in the 50 meters run.

CATHOLIC GYMKHANNA ATHLETIC MEET Boys Under 10 Shaine D’Souza : Brought home the Bronze Medal in the 80 meters run and 100 meters runs. Boys Under 12 Rushaad Tata : Won the Gold Medal in Shot Put. Members Events:- Boys Under 14 Joshua Mendes : Won the Gold Medal in the Long Jump, won the Silver Medal in 100 meters run and the Bronze Medal in the 200 meters run. Ciel D’Cruz: won the Bronze Medal in the 100 meters run and Long Jump . Boys Under 8 Taha Zoomkawala: bagged Gold Medals in the 50 meters and 80 meters run. CHESS Mumbai School Sports Association Boys Under 16 Ankit Bhattacharya : secured the 6th place. Boys Under 12 Aarav Bhattacharya: secured the 9th place. Hrrehan Bamboat : secured the 10th place. Ankit Bhattacharya-Obtained the title of ‘Arena Grand Master’ from World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 2018. Aarav Bhattacharya-Obtained the title of Arena Candidate Master from World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 2018.

All Maharashtra State FIDE Rapid and Boys Under 12 rating open CHESS tournament. Hrrehan Bamboat secured the 3rd place in under 11 and under 13 age group. He already has an international rating for the classical and rapid game. Master Hrehhan Bamboat participated in the Maharashtra State schools IIFL Pune and IIFL Junior Mumbai tournaments in the U-12 age group. His international rating performance was nearly 200 points. He stood 7th in the merit list of Maharashtra State schools and 10th in the merit list of the IIFL qualifying tournament which was held at Pune for the under 13 age group. He stood 4th in the merit of RBK International All Maharashtra Open tournament. He performed well in the IIFL Junior under 13 international tournaments and got an opportunity to meet Grand Master Viswanathan Anand. He stood 1st in the All India Dombivali – Kalyan Open. He secured the 3rd place and won a cash prize of Rs. 5000/- at the International FIDE Rating Classical Chess Tournament in the Boys under 12 age group. District Sports Association Boys Under 16 Ankit Bhattacharya secured 2nd place and was selected for the Zonals.

GYMNASTICS Mumbai City District Championship Boys Under 14 age group Aditya Vijaykar: won the Bronze Medals in Still Rings (Roman), Pommel Horse, Parallel Bar, High Bar (Horace). He was also declared the 3rd Best All – Rounder and He won the Silver Medal in the Team Championship.

FOOTBALL –Mumbai School Sports Association Boys Under 10 Our school were the Winners : in Division 1 M.S.S.A. Interschool Football Tournament Winners in the 7 a side Division 1 Interschool Football Tournament Boys Under 8 Our School were winners :in Division 1 M.S.S.A. Interschool Football Tournament Our school won the 3rd Place in the 5-A-Side Division 1 M.S.S.A. Interschool Football Tournament

JUDO District Sports Association Boys Under 17 Arshan Kazi : won the Silver Medal Bombay Judo Club Championship Boys Under 8 Saksham Yadav : won the – Bronze Medal

CRICKET J.B.L. Cricket Tournament Raadnya Apte – won the Best Batsman Award (196 Runs) The Man of the Match Award Yohan Dube – won the Man of the Match Award (68 Runs) Mir Tawde – won the Man of the Match (29 Runs + 2 Wickets) Reet Palrecha – for taking 4 Wickets

SWIMMING District Sports Association Boys Under 16 age group Aditya Veer Singh: won the Silver Medal in 100 meters Back Stroke & the Bronze Medal in the 50 meters back stroke Boys Under 14 Arhan Shetty: won the Bronze Medal in the 50 meters Butterfly Stroke 34th Sub – Junior & 44th Junior State Aquatic Championships Boys Under 16 Kanishq Panchal : won the Silver Medal in the Water Polo event Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (G.M.A.A.A.) Boys Under 16 Kanishq Panchal : Won the Silver Medal in the Water Polo event Vedant Suri : won the Silver Medal in the Water Polo event Aditya Veer Singh : won the Silver Medal in the Water Polo event Boys Under 14 Arhaan Shetty : won the Silver Medal in the Water Polo event.

KARATE Shotokan Cup National Karate Tournament Boys Under 12 Nish Parikh: won the Silver Medal in Kumite / in Kata. Event

TAEKWONDO 2ND Open National Taekwondo Champioship Siddharth Singh : won the Silver Medal in the Sub Junior category (under 31 kg – Kyurogi Category) SQUASH Boys under 12 Mumbai School Sports Association Vedant Chheda : won ‘the Most Promising Player’ title in the Under 12 age group