Monthly Archives: September 2012

End Of Term Student Presentations

Students present work to their parents at Panyaden School Chiang Mai

Panyaden School students gave a marvelous display of their work this term on Sept 27. Every class played music, sang, danced and engaged their parents in their learning. They participated in games with their parents and answered questions to show what they have learnt in Math, Science, Geography, English, Art, History and even physical exercise.

Michel Thibault, Head Teacher, said that this end of term celebration was a wonderful opportunity for the children to share with their parents what they have studied this term.

The students’ bilingual presentations on academic subjects and issues like environmental issues expressed through art, health, recycling and art history, were passionate and confident. It was interesting to see how they cleverly integrated different subjects and used them for further learning; for example, they enacted roles from different cultures in Drama Class as part of their World Tour to learn about the geography, history and life of peoples from different countries.

For many parents and the school, it was wonderful to see how much their children have grown within the year and how much they clearly enjoyed learning. We look forward to the upcoming term!

Ally Taylor’s photos on our blog’s September image gallery:

Panyaden World Tour

All aboard!

Panyaden School drama teacher, Kru Claire took her students on an exciting world tour this term. They visited Australia, the UK, Kenya as well as Mexico. Here are some photo highlights (click on image for larger view): 



The above photos can be found individually here.

Panyaden Community Service

Panyaden School students visit home for the elderly in Chiang Mai
Our P2-6 students visited Baan Thammapakorn Senior Home today to entertain the residents who welcomed them with a song and even took part in an impromptu singing session of beloved traditional songs about Chiang Mai.

Community service by primary students of Panyaden School Chiang Mai  Community service visit by prathom students, Panyaden School Chiang Mai 

    Panyaden School students at senior home in Chiang Mai

The highlight of the visit, however, was the light hand and shoulder massages our students and their teachers gave the elderly. Many of the residents were pleasantly surprised and thanked everyone for this unexpected treat. Our children had practiced hard at school to get the massages just right. They too were visibly moved by this visit. As Noah, P3 student said, “The residents remind us of our own grandparents whom we love.”

Panyaden School Chiang Mai students visit elderly home  Massages for the elderly by Panyaden School primary students and teachers 

Student giving elder a massage as part of community service project, Panyaden School Chiang Mai  Panyaden School students at senior home in Chiang Mai 

  Panyaden School students visit senior home in CHiang Mai 

Click here for more photos by Ally Taylor.

FoP Amazing Race

Getting to know you

Friends of Panyaden, our parent-teacher association organized the fun Amazing Race at our school on Friday, 14 Sept. Multiple teams raced around the school grounds performing different challenges like tasting and guessing food with eyes closed (including worms!), maths brain teasers, sorting garbage into the right recycling bins and non-stop dancing for one minute. Lamorna Chessman, Chair of the FoP committee said, “It’s all in the spirit of good fun and getting to know each other.”

Thank you to Kru Claire, Kru Noy and the committee for organizing the event as well as to everyone who participated in the games and those who brought lovely refreshments for all to share.

 

More photos on the blog.

Wise Habit, Samadhi

Being calm and focused

Today, Panyaden’s Kung Fu Chef taught us a new wise habit Samadhi (สมาธิ), which means ‘being calm and focused’. Students from our Drama Club played different roles to illustrate the virtue.

               

Dao was a teacher who gave Jessie, Leo and Lili work to do in class. Leo tried to pay attention to his paperwork but Jessie kept talking to him. He politely asked her to stop and concentrate on her assignment. Sitting on his left was Lili who fidgeted a lot. Leo also advised her to calm down. This little skit showed us that Leo was focused on what he had to do – an important habit for us to practice these 2 weeks and throughout our lives.

Before leaving, the Kung Fu Chef nominated Venice and Natcha as Captains of Samadhi. Join us next week for more wise habit news at Panyaden School in Chiang Mai.

Panyaden Wise Habit, Sati

 

 

We have just finished practicing Sati, or presence of mind, awareness or mindfulness with our students.

Neil Amas, our School Director, shares further information on Sati that you may find useful.

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Sati is most commonly translated as presence of mind, awareness or mindfulness.  It originates from the Sanskrit word smṛti, the root meaning of which is ‘to remember’ and as such it further has the meaning of retention or recollection.  To have sati is to be fully present, not lost in daydreams, anticipation or worry. It is being alert and attentive to everything as it is, not filtering things though our subjective opinions.  It is also remembering to be aware of something or to do something at a designated time in the future.

Sati has the characteristic of faithfully returning back to refocus on an object whenever the mind wanders away from it. The Buddha advocated that one should establish sati in one’s day-to-day life, maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one’s bodily functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself.

Sati
is part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Practising Right Effort (viriya), Right Awareness (sati) and Right Concentration (samadhi) together helps us to train the mind to be calm, balanced and, ultimately, freed from the dissatisfactions that cloud our thoughts. As unwholesome or negative thoughts arise in the mind, we apply sati to recognise them and prevent them from causing difficulty or unpleasantness.  Sati is the moderating tool we use to assess our practice and progress in the other wise habits and, importantly, to understand the right balance between them. For example, we might become aware that although we have plenty of enthusiasm for a task (chandha), we lack sufficient patience to complete it (khanti). It is like a mental witness, a built in system of notes and reminders which helps us stay present, learn from past mistakes, do things better next time.

Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro explains in 12 Ways to Happiness that when we are able to solve problems or make things better quickly, it means we have sati.  ‘’If we are able to use, adapt or apply what we learn from the past to fix the problem in the present, we have sati.’’ He advises parents and teachers that we need to realise clearly what we are doing at the present, what we are teaching now, what students are learning and whether they are listening to us. This helps us to keep focusing on teaching or parenting, doing our best to teach and guide our children continuously without being distracted. There are times when we talk to our children with one eye on the computer, or with our minds thinking about what happened at work today or what chores we need to do later. And yet we also experience times when we give full attention to what we are doing with our children. This tends to result in a happier, healthier experience for both us and our children.

We need to encourage eye contact from our children, remind them to place their shoes neatly on the shoe rack, ask them to describe the taste of their food, have them check their bags routinely before school in the morning, encourage self-awareness of sensations and feelings when they get angry or upset and remind them of their home and classroom responsibilities. A child who kicks off his shoes, gulps down her food, forgets her school book or loses his temper easily does not have sati.

Changing the mental habits and conditioning of a lifetime, no matter how short, is not easy. We might encourage ourselves and our children to choose a particular activity such as preparing or eating a meal, washing the dishes, or taking a walk, and make an effort to be fully mindful of the task as we perform it. In time we will find ourselves paying more attention to everything. No matter how brief the moment that the mind is fully focused on the here and now, it is very powerful. As we develop sati the mind becomes lucid, the body alert and we are able to think with clarity and composure, to make wise choices, to know our responsibilities and improve ourselves.

If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating our mistakes from the past and never achieving our dreams for the future. It is said that if you miss the moment, you miss your life. How much of our lives have we missed? Be mindful!

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Student Essays

Panyaden School’s English teacher, Kru Elizabeth has been teaching her P4-6 students the basic process of writing an essay. She taught them to brainstorm, draft, edit as well as publish their own work. This week, we will share (in alphabetical order) 6 of these heartfelt essays her students have written about something they strongly believe in.

“These are not perfect but the students are happy with what they have published. I have given them the tools to be responsible writers,” says Kru Elizabeth. “Next, we will be working on how to arrange their writing in paragraphs!” she adds.

Today, we start with 2 (click on image for larger view):

“This I Believe”

by Jessi
by Matthew