The British School Alumni Magazine | Issue 07, Spring 2015



The British School Alumni Magazine | Issue 07, Spring 2015
The British School Alumni Magazine | Issue 07,
Spring 2015
[email protected]
| +91 11 40664168 | 1
What’s Inside
Sports Hall Inauguration
Annual Alumni Reunion
Double congratulations!
Wheelchair Basketball Tournament 5
Delivering Aid
International Day
Learning to learn
Alumni News
Admissions at The British School
Dear Alumni
We are extremely proud to announce that two of the
most prestigious civilian honours have been awarded
within the school community. Ms Vanita Uppal,
Principal of the Secondary School, was conferred an
OBE (Order of The British Empire) in November 2014
for distinguished public service in the field of education.
Ms Uppal is one of only eight foreign nationals to have
received the OBE that year.
Neil Nongkynrih, class of 1990, was bestowed the
Padma Shri in the field of Arts. Some of you might
remember that he performed at the school during the
Golden Jubilee celebrations as part of Shillong Chamber
Choir. Our congratulations to both Neil and Ms Uppal for
receiving the well-deserved honours.
This summer we will bid goodbye to Dr Nick Argent,
Director of the school. Dr Argent has contributed
tremendously to the school during his three years
here. We wish him good luck for his new ventures. Ms
Uppal will take over as Director from the next academic
year and will be replaced by Dr Tim Fryer as Secondary
School Principal.
During the year, we had the opportunity of meeting
many of you at the Annual Alumni Reunion and at the
Sports Hall inauguration. As ever, it was great to see the
familiar faces as well as meet those who returned for
the first time after leaving school. Some of you also had
the opportunity to tour the new building. If you missed
the chance to attend the reunion, you are welcome to
visit the school anytime; please email us beforehand to
make an appointment.
As well as providing high quality teaching and learning,
the school is committed to creating a knowledge-sharing
culture with educators from across the country. From
generating awareness about Post 16 education to help
young people make well informed decisions; hosting
workshops to train educators in specialised fields;
and engaging educators into dialogue to share and
understand best practices, the school is well on its way
to establishing itself as a thought leader in international
education in the region. Indeed, this would not be
possible without our stellar faculty and the talent of the
student community; many thanks to them.
Would you like to talk to our students about your field
of work?
Every year, over 60 students graduate from our school
to go on to study and work in a variety of fields across
the globe. However, choosing a career can be a daunting
task. In order to help students make right decisions
about their career path and explore professional
interests, we would like to invite you to volunteer to
talk to them about your field of work. In addition to
learning about various industries and organisations, the
event will also give students the opportunity to develop
their network with working professionals. If you are
interested and would like to volunteer, please contact
Navneet Kaur
Alumni and Marketing Officer
@bs is the magazine for friends and alumni of The British School. It is published twice a year by the Alumni Office. The opinions
expressed in @bs are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The British School.
Inside Front Cover: Artwork by Dhananjay Khaitan, class of 2015
Inside Back Cover: Artwork by Devina Modi, class of 2015
Back Cover: Glimpses from Primary Book Week
Print: Solar Print Process Pvt Ltd, New Delhi ([email protected])
Photographs: Staff, students and alumni of the school, and Sahil Fotos ([email protected])
Editor: Navneet Kaur ([email protected])
The magazine is available in a downloadable format at
Sports Hall Inauguration
The school unveiled its brand new indoor sports facility in October 2014. The Airtel Sports Complex was inaugurated
by Mr Rajan Mittal, Vice Chair & MD, Bharti Enterprises Limited, with an audience of students, parents and school
The multipurpose hall boasts a magnificent indoor basketball court, four badminton courts, indoor cricket nets and
a fully functional TRX gym. The hall can also offer gymnastics and trampolining. The facilities cater to students of all
ages and are designed to promote lifelong learning through sport and physical education.
The opening ceremony was followed by an enthralling basketball match between alumni and students in the indoor
hall. Alumni emerged as winners and were presented with the winners’ trophy.
Airtel Sports Complex
Annual Alumni Reunion
The Annual Alumni Reunion held in January saw alumni attend in great numbers. Students from as far back as 1976
and former teachers from the Eighties joined us at the event.
The date of the next reunion will be announced soon; watch this space.
[email protected] | +91 11 40664168 | 3
Dr Nick Argent, Director, will complete three successful years at the school and return to the UK this summer. Please
join us in thanking him for his outstanding contribution to the school and in wishing him every success in his future
I leave in June having been here since July 2012; it has proved an action
packed three years. I arrived almost exactly at the moment that the Phase 1
building work commenced and I saw the first phase building completed and
occupied. This was immediately followed by the demolition of the old building
and in turn the start of work on Phase 2. As I leave, I am pleased to know that
Phase 2 building works are now well underway.
The past three years also encompassed the celebrations to mark the Golden
Jubilee of the school. These outstanding three-day events will live long in my
memory. It was a joyous celebration of all the things that this school stands for
and aspires to achieve for its students. I leave knowing that the school will be
in good hands and hope that the next 50 years prove as successful as the
last 51.
Dr Nick Argent
Double congratulations!
We are pleased to announce that Ms Vanita Uppal,
Secondary School Principal, has been bestowed the
Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty
the Queen. The OBE is a civilian honour typically
awarded for distinguished public service. Ms Uppal
is the only Indian woman currently working in
India in the field of education to hold the honour.
She has received the award for 23 years’ service at
The British School during which she worked singlemindedly to promote British educational values and
student achievement. Her passion for education,
combined with her administrative and academic
expertise, have helped the school scale new heights.
On the momentous occasion, Ms Uppal said, ‘I
am humbled by the prestigious honour bestowed
upon me. Working with a vibrant and multicultural
student body, talented and dedicated teachers and
supportive parents, has made the 23-year journey
truly remarkable and inspiring.’
We would also like to congratulate Ms Uppal for
being appointed as the new Director of the school
from the next academic year. We are confident that
under her leadership, the school will enhance its
academic position amongst international schools.
4 | The British School, New Delhi
The British High Commissioner, H E Sir James Bevan KCMG, awarding the OBE to Ms Uppal
Basketball Tournament
In February, the school organised a Sports Day for students
of the Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust, one of the NGO
partners of the school for its CSR programme. The Trust is
a voluntary organisation rendering rehabilitative services
to persons with disabilities through a holistic approach of
inclusive education, medical care, vocational training, child
guidance and self-employment.
The highlight of the morning was the Wheelchair
Basketball Tournament held between students of the
two schools. The Amar Jyoti team played with four physically challenged students and four without disability. In the
spirit of fairness, four of our students stepped out of their comfort zone as they sat in wheelchairs to shoot baskets.
Students from Amar Jyoti gave stiff competition to ours as they shot baskets one after another. The day ended with
prize distribution and gifts for all players. The heartwarming match encouraged everyone present to not give up in
the face of adversity. Our students left inspired, moved and conscious of how privileged they are.
Delivering aid
In September 2014, the Indian state of Jammu and
Kashmir faced extreme devastation in the form of
floods. Millions were rendered homeless and the loss of
life and property was immense. The scale of this natural
calamity led to a breakdown of essential services,
leaving people homeless with no means to sustain
As the state battled one of the worst floods in the
region, the school organised aid for the flood affected
through sale of raffle tickets and cakes, along with
collection of essential items such as bottles of water
and blankets, which the entire community donated
generously. The contributions were dispatched through
the Army Wives’ Welfare Association, Delhi Area,
and were airlifted so that aid could reach the victims
promptly. The second batch of donations was sent
through Sphere India with the help of Tarika Khattar
from the class of 2009.
Together with the Ice Bucket Challenge – in which the
Director and Primary School Principal were ‘dunked’
– over Rs 2.5 lacs was raised, thanks to the generosity
of our alumni, parents and staff. The water used in the
Ice Bucket Challenge was recycled to water two 8-foot
Champa trees that were planted in the school grounds.
The trees serve as a reminder to stay united and to be
considerate towards others every day.
Ice bucket challenge
Contribution from The British School
[email protected] | +91 11 40664168 | 5
International Day
The ever popular International Day was held in February. This annual event brings together the many nationalities
and cultures represented within the student and parent body and showcases the truly international flavour of the
Highlights of the day included performances by alumnus Zorawar Shukla of Reggae Rajahs, Djembefola United
Community and Studio 60, carefully chosen game stalls and play areas, product displays and cuisines from across
the globe. As every year, the signature event epitomised the very best of The British School community and its
multiculturalism, in a unique and exhilarating way.
Nearly two thousand people joined in the fun and festivities. The support and involvement of the community
contributes enormously towards putting together an event of such magnitude every year.
Learning to learn
Dr Irene Broadley-Westerduin, class of 1980, is
a Chartered and Educational Psychologist with
over 32 years’ experience in mainstream and
special education, having two masters degrees
and a PhD in Working Memory. Irene has worked
as a teacher and an educational psychologist in
both state education and private practice. Her
independent practice, Eduk8, focuses on assessment
and consultancy work with children, adult literacy
difficulties for university students and assessments
for work-place learning.
What is educational psychology?
Educational psychology is the scientific study of human
behaviour in an education setting to identify a general or
specific learning difficulty. An educational psychologist
deals with a wide range of emotional, behavioural and
educational issues in children between the ages of 5 and
18. The child’s needs are assessed through
observation, using standardised diagnostic
materials, analysing a range of personal,
family and environmental factors, and
exploring the child’s experiences at home,
school and elsewhere.
When should parents take their child to
an educational psychologist?
Often a parent’s inkling that something
is not quite right should be a strong
indicator. Intuition is a vital aspect in
enabling parents to understand why the
child is struggling. Early intervention can
help make positive changes in learning or
developing skills to interact appropriately
with those around them.
Parents may worry about having their
child labelled or that the child might lose
confidence thinking there is something
‘wrong’ with them. However, an
assessment is a much broader and positive
process which focuses on identifying
strengths and strategies. For a child to understand why
they are struggling is key to their self-esteem which
impacts all their learning and emotional well-being. It
is important to know that it is never too late to help.
Often, parents say that they wished they had brought
their child earlier which would have saved them worry
and frustration.
How important is the role of parents and teachers in
implementing the post-assessment plan?
The role of parents and teachers is vital and strengthens
the assessment process. Strategies suggested following
the assessment enable most children to resolve their
issues, learn tactics to overcome any difficulties, enjoy
a successful period of education and progress onto a
fulfilled adult life. The attitude and belief of parents
and teachers towards the pupil can impact learning
immensely and ensure that the recommendations
are sustained and advice is put into action. Follow-on
work in areas such as anger management, building
self-esteem, motivation, social and behavioural
development helps build essential skills.
Another case I remember is that of a child who
struggled with reading and writing, and became
demoralised with his lack of progress. The assessment
helped him understand where his visual and spatial
strengths lay and he learnt strategies to help him
progress with his literacy. He is now a young golf
champion, with medals and newspaper articles
celebrating his success.
Are schools doing enough to help children with
learning difficulties beyond the classroom?
Many schools do a great deal to help children. However,
in a busy classroom needs can go unnoticed. It may
not be always possible to take children out of class for
extra support and lessons as they miss out on crucial
curriculum learning. However, learning about resilience,
different parts of the brain, emotional intelligence and
developing motivation enables teachers and parents to
feel confident to do their job even more effectively.
You work with schools across the globe. What can
education institutions or people that may not have
access to professional help do to help children with
learning difficulties?
Being educated in India, Italy, the Netherlands, Thailand
and the UK has enabled me to gain a wide perspective
of different educational practices and ways to support
children. I have enjoyed working as consultant for clients
in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Although support can be culture-specific and resourcedependent, key factors such as recognising difficulties,
appropriately encouraging students and supporting
them to find alternative ways to do things can help them
immensely. The great thing is that encouragement and
building self-esteem does not cost money. Often, these
children are more motivated to do well.
In Turkey, I was involved in a project to develop
Educational Psychologist’s skills. The psychologists felt
that using metaphors was an invaluable tool to help
develop learning. This approach works well because
metaphors work across cultures and encourage
I am currently writing a book using metaphors for
learning which help pupils, psychologists and teachers
understand how to overcome difficulties.
Sometimes I only find out years later what a difference
an assessment made. For example, a child with an
unruly temperament who was often in trouble at school
was diagnosed with Dyspraxia. This understanding along
with an individual programme of learning activities
helped him focus on tasks. As a result, he was able
to obtain a good degree and become a successful TV
8 | The British School, New Delhi
What is your book ‘Ahh! Now I understand’ about?
I was inspired to write this book by all the children
I have met who experience frustrations; James, the
character in the story, is one such child. These children
try hard but can become demotivated when they have
too many instructions and cannot follow them.
I meet many adults, often parents of the children I
see, who admit that most of their school life was spent
day dreaming, looking out of the window hoping that
the school day would end. Since so much of teaching
is auditory and involves listening to the teacher,
many pupils are at a huge disadvantage. It is vital that
sons when they were growing up. I have lots of books
up my sleeve; the frustration is not having time. I have
almost finished several drafts for books about helping
children who have been through trauma; understanding
children’s needs and how to meet them; as well as
books for parents about seeing things through their
children’s eyes to support them. I hope I am able to
make this my priority and find publishers to support me.
(ISBN of Ahh! Now I understand: 9 78134 567897)
What do you remember fondly from your school days?
I fondly remember sports day, history lessons and
working in the science lab as well as after-school
activities such as Indian dancing. Looking through my
British School reports I read that I worked quite hard
at school, although there were also comments such
as ‘could try harder’ and ‘improve spellings’. I was
surprised that I particularly excelled at Chemistry and
Physics, subjects I never studied after leaving India.
Back in school, I was asked what I would like to be when
I grew up and I said, ‘Not a doctor or a teacher, but
someone in-between who helps children...’ I am sure
that being at a school with students from all around the
world sparked my interest in studying psychology and
inspired me to work with people from different cultures,
nationalities and backgrounds.
education is aimed at supporting children with different
learning styles. For example, visual information in books
is important for children who learn through images,
rather than gaining information only from written
Most of my other writing has been for academic
conferences and journals so it is lovely to write for the
audience I work with. I used to write short stories for my
Irene with her mother, Mrs Grace Westerduin, and brothers
Maarten and Frank Paul
Are you in touch with your friends from school?
Sadly, I don’t have much contact with friends from
school. I remember spending a lot of time with Laila
Friese, Natasha Oberoi and Madhavi Kale and would
love to be in touch with them again. Both my brothers,
Maarten and Frank Paul, also studied at the school,
while my mother, Mrs Grace Westerduin, taught English.
One of my sons immensely enjoyed working in the
South of India during a summer holiday. I have not been
back to India but would love to visit again, although I am
not sure I would like to return as a tourist. I love Indian
films, documentaries and, of course, the food!
Irene with friends at school
[email protected] | +91 11 40664168 | 9
Alumni News
Soha Ali Khan, class of 1995, married actor Kunal Khemu on 25 January. Soha is a well
known Bollywood actress and lives in Mumbai.
Sasha Lulla, class of 2005, and Arjun Saigal, class of 1997, married on 14 December 2014.
Both Sasha and Arjun are alumni of the school and work at Bloomberg and
Morgan Stanley, respectively.
Hemika Singh married Ajayraj Singh Chawla on 15 November 2014. Hemika is from the
class of 2003 and lives in Singapore.
Abhay Bakaya married Shaheen on 7 December 2014. Abhay is from the class of 2003
and works at Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Shivani Mehra, class of 2005, married Tarique Hussain on 22 August 2014. Shivani is
the Director of TwoTwentyTwo, a digital media and events management agency, and
lives in Hyderabad.
Fatima Javed, class of 2009, married Bilal Sultan Khan on 11 December 2014.
Maithilee Zaveri got married to Umang Shah on 29 January. Maithilee is from the class
of 2008 and lives in New Jersey.
10 | The British School, New Delhi
Priyanka Malhotra got married to Akbar Asharia on 6 February. Priyanka is from the
class of 2000 and works at Unilever, New York.
Vibhuti Mayor, class of 2006, married Akshay Sood on 7 December 2014. Vibhuti is an
interior designer and lives in New Delhi.
Zoe Collington has founded a fitness centre called Studio 60 by Club Xcell
( in East of Kailash, New Delhi. Zoe is from the class of 2003.
Dilip Sethi has joined the Royal Air Force as a Reserve Officer in the UK to work with 14-21 year old cadets to provide
training in aviation, leadership, adventure experience and other practical real-world skills. Dilip, class of 1998, is also
an English and Communications Consultant.
Akhil Mehra, class of 2001, had a baby girl, Ishana, on 17 October 2014. Akhil is married to Jamie B Mehra and
lives in New Delhi.
Neil Nongkynrih, class of
1990, has been conferred
the Padma Shri in the
field of Art. The award is
an Indian civilian honour
and is bestowed by the
President of India. Neil
is Founder and Director
of Shillong Chamber Choir which won the
popular TV show, India’s Got Talent, in
Neil has received several honours and
awards for his contribution to the
promotion of arts and music, particularly
in North East India, and has performed
at highly prestigious events and venues,
including performing for the United States
President, Barack Obama, and the
British Royalty.
Shikha Janet
Alagh, class
of 2013, was
felicitated as a
Young Woman
Filmmaker at
the International
Women’s Short
Film Festival of India for her
critically acclaimed film ‘Mirrors
Never Lie…but what if they did?’
The film has received official
selection and nomination across
film festivals in India as well
as at the Cannes Film Festival.
In December 2014, Shikha
established an independent film
production house under the
banner SJA Productions.
Andrew Reid won
the award for Best
Practice Initiative
for demonstrating
excellence and
innovation in
the delivery
of preventive
health programmes resulting in
significant improvement in the
health and general wellbeing of
Pacific Communities in South West
Sydney. Andrew, class of 1999, is
the Health Promotion Officer at
NSW Ministry of Health, Australia.
Received an award? Published a book? Got married? Retired?
Whether you have started a new business, won an award, moved to a new country or gone the family way, let us
have your news if you want to share it with the alumni community through this space.
If you would like to contact any of the alumni mentioned above, please get in touch with us.
Admissions at The British School
With the expansion of the building, the school has grown to accommodate more than 850 students from over 55
nationalities. Our diverse cultural mix and truly international flavour remain our core strengths, making us one of the
most sought after schools in the region.
The admissions process is very clearly guided by the admissions policy, which is reviewed from time to time to
incorporate changing global requirements. Applications are accepted throughout the year from internationally
mobile families and an extensive waiting list is maintained for all year groups.
The school follows a category based system for admissions wherein special consideration is given to children of
alumni. All such applications move ahead of other applications in their respective category, but remain lower than
siblings. Currently, children of more than 20 alumni are studying in the school and enjoying the same learning
environment as their parents.
Admission applications are prioritised as follows:
Category 1
children of school staff, corporate partners, overseas employees of the British High Commission,
British Council and DFID, and all British passport holders — prioritised in the same order
Category 2
children of non-British diplomats, including children of Indian diplomats returning from overseas
Category 3
children of all non-British foreign nationals relocating to India for a fixed term/ long term assignment
Category 4
children of alumni of The British School who have not been identified in any of the above categories
Category 5
children whose previous school has delivered a British style education for at least two out of the
previous three academic years
Category 6
All other children who have not been identified in any of the above categories
In November 2014, we switched to a completely web-based system for registration for admission which can be
accessed through our website. However, putting in an application does not guarantee admittance as admission is
dependent upon:
a place being available in the year group for which admission has been applied; and
the ability of applicants to demonstrate that they can complement the international character of the school’s
student population and benefit from the education provided by The British School.
If you are seeking admission of your child(ren) to the school, please write to the Admissions Office at
[email protected] You can also request for a meeting and a tour of the school.
12 | The British School, New Delhi
The finest British and international education with an Indian soul.
Standards of achievement
Moral education
Teamwork, generosity
to challenge every student to fulfil their potential;
to respect differences accepting the views and beliefs of others;
to foster high moral and ethical standards;
to embrace multi-culturalism and capitalise on the strengths of Indian culture;
to educate students for life;
to provide stimulating and challenging learning;
to develop collaboration, cooperation and community spirit
Philosophy and Objectives
The British School, New Delhi provides a student-centred education in a stimulating, multicultural environment,
which gives each student the opportunity and freedom for the fullest possible, rounded development. Our concern is
for the student’s intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual, creative and social development, as well as their intercultural
understanding, tolerance and respect. We try to achieve this through enriching the curriculum with extra-curricular
activities of diverse types as well as through the international curriculum we offer.
The location of the school in New Delhi and its largely local staff gives the school a unique opportunity to foster an
understanding of India. The National Curriculum for England, the IGCSE, the IB Diploma and the international nature
of the community gives all students a global perspective, nurturing a respect for all people, cultures and religions.
The school encourages the development of social responsibility and community spirit.
Dr Jose P Rizal Marg, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021 INDIA
Telephone: +91 11 40664166
Email: [email protected]