Wednesday 20 October 2021

Caring - Arjun Rohila

Arjun Rohila of Grade 5 Gyanshree School Noida shares a beautiful story to explain the Value of Appreciation. This story is about trust and betrayal, a fable about animals and how they have extra-sensory perception and live in harmony with nature. #JoyOfLearning

How Blubber Keeps Animals Warm - Dhwani


My Experiment to Show - How Blubber Keeps Animals Warm

Dhwani is a grade 4 student from Gyanshree School. She is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy school. She shares personal experiences and opinions in her style. She is fond of making interesting videos on science experiments and sharing her joy of learning with everyone.

How Fizzy Drinks Can Cause Harm to Our Teeth - Dhwani

My Experiment to show - How Fizzy Drinks Can Cause Harm to Our Teeth

Dhwani is a grade 4 student from Gyanshree School. She is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy school. She shares personal experiences and opinions in her style. She is fond of making interesting videos on science experiments and sharing her joy of learning with everyone.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Caring - Anisha Gaitonde

Caring is something that all of us experience at some point in our lives. Most of the time we do not see it or understand it. When our mothers cook yummy food for us despite their busy schedules when our grandparents ask us how we are feeling today when our friends ask ‘kaisi hai’ or ‘what’s up' when our fathers tell us not to ride a bicycle without a helmet – all of these are because they CARE about our well-being. Our response generally is ‘what’s the big deal?’ and we forget about it.

Well, one of my experiences where I felt very strongly that people CARED for me, was when I fractured my foot. In short, I had what the good doctor referred to as a ‘hairline fracture’ in my foot when I was dancing Kathak (of course, at the wrong speed and wrong technique) last Dussehra. The pain was unbearable, and I was extremely scared of how I was going to walk again (though it wasn’t that bad, then it was good either 😊).

Apart from the physical pain, I was also quite depressed that I would not be able to dance for few weeks and that I would have to make a lot of adjustments (for example, preventing water from falling on the plaster). That is where my family members came to my rescue. My Mumma and Baba spent quite some time making sure I was able to move around, my grandparents kept me engaged in different discussions to forget the pain. My cousin Aashay played a lot of board games with me despite having a lot of homework 🥳. Even my friends in school were very considerate and kept sharing the daily work and notes for the lectures that I could not attend due to doctor appointments.

When I recovered after three to four weeks, I realized how much everyone had CARED for me without expecting even a thank you from me. If you are one of the people who helped me last year, a big THANK YOU to you from me, and a SORRY as well if I did not tell you earlier

Anisha Gaitonde
Grade: 5B
Billabong High International School, Thane

Friday 15 October 2021

Books are man's best friends! - Bhakti Gupta


Bhakti Gupta is a 9-year-old girl of Gyanshree School who is cheerful by nature. She does her work with a lot of effort and sincerity. Bhakti loves to read books and do artwork. She writes her own stories as well. She wants to become an artist when she grows up.

Caring - Anushri Palnitkar

Listen to my story

When I Started Caring For Trees
Anushri Palnitkar
Grade - 5A
Billabong High International School Thane 

Thursday 14 October 2021

Global Warming- Aanya Kumar

Global warming is the rising of temperature on Earth. It rises by about one degree Celsius each year, but it is a significant change. It is caused by carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

These pollutants can stay for centuries and trap the sunlight bounced off to the Earth's surface. This light could bounce out to space, but the gases trap the light. They are known as greenhouse gases and cause the greenhouse effect.

Global warming is harmful to human beings and the Earth in many ways; for instance, it can cause many natural disasters like- storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts. It would be challenging to live in these conditions.

Global warming can be reduced in our houses with few simple steps. We should always turn the lights and fan off before leaving a room. We should use energy-saving light bulbs, and gradually global warming will reduce.

Aanya Kumar
Grade 5
Gyanshree School, Noida

Friday 8 October 2021

Say what you think

Disagreement and debate are the lifeblood of democracy

Alasdair McWhirter | McWhirter Foundation Chair

If you are one of our alumni and reading this, the chances are you are bright and may well go on to achieve great things in whatever career you choose. Whether that turns out to be in AI, fashion, medicine, politics, protecting the environment or something completely different, find the courage to say what you think about the things that matter to you, particularly when your view is different to that of your friends. 
Social media has its good side but it has also led to a world in which there is a ‘received’ view on most important social, moral and political questions for any given peer group. Disagreeing with that view can feel quite scary, so many people choose to go with the flow and not really think about what may be an important issue. The problem is that ‘accepted’ views can often end up being far too simplistic, leaving little room for nuance, let alone outright disagreement. 

Will putting pressure on museums to weed out exhibits which have a link to slavery really make this world a better place? Isn’t it more important that we understand what happened in our past and why – so we are better placed to guard against anything similar ever occurring in the future? 
On one hand, social media has turned many people into ‘sheep’, on the other it has also led to opinions becoming polarised, as like-minded groups reinforce one another’s views – even when they are highly dubious. Neither situation is either helpful or healthy for society.

Over the next 25 years the world will see huge changes and to make the most of them we need a constant flow of new and original ideas. In a small way, you will hopefully contribute to that flow and help to determine the path it eventually takes, by supporting views you agree with and questioning those you don’t – and speaking out. Choosing your words carefully will hopefully prevent you causing any offence and, far more often than not, earn respect rather than ridicule.

However, opinions only become worth listening to when they are informed by experience or knowledge and knowledge needs to be based on the truth, which, unfortunately, has become increasingly difficult to pin down. It gets buried by the avalanche of information that the internet and our mobiles, iPads, laptops and TVs now overflow with, much of which is inaccurate or misleading. Spinning a story has become standard practice for governments as well as the media and big business. A government pretending that money which has already been promised to its health service is some wonderful new act of benevolence, a newspaper always searching for fault and exaggerating every nasty little detail, or a food company presenting a fruit yoghurt as ‘super healthy’ when a fifth of it is actually sugar, are all simple examples. 

To work out what we do and don’t know, or believe in, we all have to pick our way through a swamp of selective truths, marketing spiel, sensationalism and fake news. Not easy. The depressing lack of accuracy and honesty makes it all the more important for us to talk to one another and share whatever conclusions we’ve reached. Listening to others and discussing a topic is one of the best ways to learn, to refine your opinions and encourage others to do same.  Expressing your views will also help you find your voice, discover who you are and work out where you want to go. 

No one should ever underestimate the value of their opinion. Having a good education is a privilege that adds an extra layer of responsibility to speak out. People who choose to just sit there and nod silently, even when they don’t agree, make it easier for those with power, or a particular political motive, to shape public opinion and set the agenda. 

Disagreement and debate are the lifeblood of democracy.

Say what you think essay competition

Our Foundation Chair, Alasdair McWhirter has below written the piece entitled "Disagreement and debate are the lifeblood of democracy". In the spirit of this topic, we are running a short essay competition, the winner of which will be published in the following newsletter. The requirements for the competition are as follows:

A 500 word essay on the topic "Disagreement and debate are the lifeblood of democracy". You may choose to submit a piece responding to some of Alasdair's points, or a completely new take on the topic. Pieces will be judged on strength of argument, creativity and 'outside the box' thinking. Submissions are due 15th November 2021. Please send your essay or any questions to

We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Tuesday 5 October 2021

मेरा पसंदीदा फल - युग वीर सिंह

Image courtesy

आम मेरा पसंदीदा फल है।ये गर्मी के मौसम में मिलता है।आम फलों का राजा है। ये पीले रंग का होता है ,कई आम हरे रंग के भी होते हैं। आम का जूस बनाया जाता है। आम का अचार भी बनाया जाता है। आम की चटनी भी बनाई जाती है जो कि मुझे बहुत पसंद है। आम की बहुत सी किस्म है जैसे चौसा, दशहरी ,तोता परी, सफेदा इत्यादि। आम सबसे स्वादिष्ट फल है आम का मुरब्बा भी बनाया जाता है।फलों में से आम मुझे बहुत पसंद है।

युग वीर सिंह
कक्षा प्रथम
दि फैबइंडिया स्कूल

Saturday 2 October 2021

Appreciation - Darshil Sunil More

Name - Darshil Sunil More
Billabong High International School Thane
Grade - 5 A

Appreciation - Unnatti Jamdar

When I was a small kid, I always wanted to win a race. 

My parents knew that as well, but I never received the opportunity but.
One day, I won the race, and it was a proud feeling for my teachers, me, and my parents. I will never forget the appreciation that I received.
Name - Unnatti Jamdar
Grade - 5A
Billabong High International School Thane

Appreciation - Saanvi Deshmukh

Name - Saanvi Deshmukh
Grade - 3A
Billabong High International School Thane

Appreciation - Neeil Patil

Name - Neeil Patil
Grade - 5A
Billabong High International School Thane


Friday 1 October 2021

Minimalism - Rishona Chopra

Take a look at all the things in your house. Are they bringing any value to your life? Are they even close to you? Do you use them? Your room would probably be filled with things that you don’t use or don’t bring any value to your life. Imagine a life without those unnecessary things. Pretty plain and boring. Right? Not really. Humans have created a belief that is to love things and use people. 

Loving things will give you temporary happiness because as soon as things are finished, we crave them again and plead for them, and if we don’t get it, we are disappointed or angry. While on the other hand, if we love people with a true heart, happiness lasts forever. People crave things so much and so that without them, they are not able to survive. Imagine people can’t live without water, food, and now people can’t live without things! Doesn’t it look a little silly?

Honestly, I thought the same. I felt that things were the most important for me. My entire room was filled with things I didn’t really need, but for some reason, I just felt like holding on to them. 

A question that we could ask ourselves is, do we need all these things? Do they bring any value to my life? And in my case, the answer for most things was no. I tried to understand that all my items were necessary, but inside I knew they weren’t, and I am sure you know that too. 

Minimalism is all about giving away the things you don’t need, clearing away the clutter. It doesn’t mean that you clear the clutter and then repurchase new things. It means just make your life straightforward. To simply remove the clutter and not put more again. This is a vast and challenging step, but in the end, it gives you peace of mind. Even though I haven’t successfully accomplished this minimalism step, I did try, and we all can.

Rishona Chopra
Grade 5
Gyanshree School

Appreciation - Anisha Gaitonde

Everyone needs a bit of appreciation at some point in time. It’s a part of being Human. Showing appreciation just takes a few words – ‘great going’, ‘good show’, ‘well done, but its value is far more than that. A small piece of appreciation motivates us to be better than we are. 

Thankfully, there have been incidents in my life (just like all of you) where I was appreciated, and it made me feel good and, more importantly, motivated me to do better next time.

My first award was a bronze medal in Sports Day function 2015 when I was in Jr. Kg. That was the first time I stood so close to our school Principal, and it was beyond my most fantastic dreams – such an honour 🤩! Even if it was a bronze medal, this small appreciation helped me develop a mindset to participate in extra-curricular activities in later years, whether SpellBee, Neltas, Logiqids or Drawing and Handwriting competitions. 

My next memorable moment came when I passed the First level of Kathak dance, which I had been practising for almost 6 months. It just underlines that nothing is impossible if you have the right motivation – our teacher used to appreciate our small efforts every week. It resulted in a collective jump in my performance.

My teachers and family have been very encouraging and supportive to me (even though sometimes there are times when too many competitions come at the same time 😢). Some of the initiatives by my school where they appreciate and celebrate small successes of students in their monthly newsletters really keep us motivated to do much more – in school and in life!

Anisha Gaitonde 
Grade: 5 Division: B
Billabong High International School, Thane

Reflections Since 2021