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St. Paul's School

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St. Paul's School
St. Paul's School, Darjeeling, India..jpg
View from the Top Field
Location Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Established 1823
Motto Moniti Meliora Sequamur
Latin: Having been advised, let us follow higher things
Type Independent School
Colours Maroon and Dark Blue         
Rector Rev. Joy Halder
Headmaster Anil Marks
Gender Boys (Ages 6-18)
Student/Teacher Ratio 6.4:1 (480/75)
Houses 12
School Emblem
The St. Paul's School, Darjeeling Crest.jpg

St. Paul's School is an independent boarding school for boys situated in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. At 7,800 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, it is home to over 480 students and 75 Teachers. The school is run by the Rector, who functions as a school principal and resides on the school campus and is assisted by the Senior Master, the Bursar and the Heads of Junior and Primary Wings in the school administration. The school follows the academic curriculum through classes 1 - 12 prescribed by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations based in New Delhi. At the ISC (10+2) level the school offers three streams of study i.e. Humanities, Sciences and Commerce.

Location[edit]

The school is situated in Darjeeling and shares the Jalapahar estate with an Indian Army Cantonment. It is the highest public school in the world, located at 7,800 feet (2,400 m) above sea level. The Kanchenjunga mountain range forms the scenic backdrop to the school. The school is physically separated from Darjeeling by its location on a high hill that is a few kilometres (by road) above the main town. Large expanses of wild land and greenery surrounds the campus, affording a feeling of isolation and spectacular views of the town, the high foothills and snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The school's tennis and basketball courts are the highest, and the Chapel the second-highest in the world.

School System[edit]

The school is divided into Primary Wing (Classes I-V), Junior Wing (Classes VI-VIII) and Senior Wing (Classes IX-XII). The three wings run independent of each other with the Primary Wing being more independent from the other wings by virtue of having a semi independent campus and slight difference in uniform. The Senior and Junior wing share many of their facilities with each other.

The Rector is the Head of the school. Next in line is the Senior Master who sees to the day to day functioning of the school, particularly the Senior Wing, while the operations of the Junior Wing and Primary Wing are seen to by the Head Junior Wing and Head Primary Wing respectively. All the departments of the school are run under the supervision of a Teacher in charge with the assistance of a student secretary.

The staff are recruited from all over India. The staff of the Senior Wing are at least post-graduates from Indian and overseas universities. In the Junior wing and the Primary Wing, the staff is mainly composed of men and women who are trained teachers and under the direction of experienced heads. Most of the members of the staff live on the school estate. Some quarters adjoin the dormitories; others are on the boundaries of the estate in separate houses.

In addition to the teaching staff, there are the Matrons-in-charge of the welfare and care of the boys in the Senior, Junior and Primary Wings. Caterers are in charge of the boys' diet and of the cooking and serving of food. The Estate Manager’s duties include the maintenance of the buildings and of the estate in general along with the employment and welfare of the domestic staff.

Note: In the following sections, Primary wing has not been discussed in detail and 
any information written pertains to SW and JW unless otherwise stated.

Culture[edit]

Students of St. Pauls are referred to as Paulites and the alumni as Old Paulites. The Old Paulites Association is a community holding meetings in India and abroad.

Uniform[edit]

Senior and Junior Wing[edit]

The school uniform for the senior and junior wing boys is:

  • White shirt
  • Gray trouser
  • Gray jersey
  • Black shoes, and
  • School tie/house tie
  • Gym belt (with an S-shaped buckle engraved with a serpent)

On a daily basis the students are not required to wear the school blazer, and may substitute the school tie for their respective house ties.

Primary Wing[edit]

The boys of primary wing have nearly the same uniform with differences from Senior & Junior School being:

  • Grey Shirt, instead of White.
  • Tie with Horizontal stripes, instead of Diagonal.

Earlier there was a Third difference: Primary Wing wore Shorts. Now this has been replaced with Trousers.

Student Government[edit]

The student government consists of staff-appointed prefects, headed by a School Captain, who is assisted by the Vice Captain, house captains and prefects. These students are typically drawn from Class 12 in Senior Wing and impose order among the student body of all wings. Junior and Primary Wings also have their own system of prefects who are called monitors, and they exercise jurisdiction over their own wings. Whereas the monitors (SW and JW) are switched often, the Prefect's post stays same throughout the year.

The Gym[edit]

The Gerrard Van gym is the privately-maintained gym located at the first floor of Cross Dorm in school campus. It has bodybuilding equipment and provides energy drinks, bars and appropriate supplements.

Past[edit]

Students were earlier trained to perform annual artistic gymnastics exhibitions which included uneven parallel bars, pommel horse, Chair Exercises, floor exercises and other such activities, although this practice has since been discontinued. When boxing was part of the school sports calendar, a ring used to be built in the Main school auditorium.

Services and programmes[edit]

Community-service and nation-building programmes are a part of the school programmes under the National Cadet Corps, India (NCC- Army), the International Award for Young People (IAYP), and Outward Bound activities.

Clubs and societies[edit]

Students join a club of their choice at the start of first term. These are all run by the boys under the supervision of masters. Each of the four Houses in the Senior Wing presents a concert from time to time, and the School Dramatic Society stages a play annually in October. Indian and Western music and elocution and drama play a part in the lives of the boys.In the Senior Wing, the hobbies that are encouraged include CAnvas Painting, Batik, String art, Model making, photography, woodwork, computer, among many others.

Awards[edit]

The school has an annual prize-giving ceremony, the Speech Day where awards in all 3 wings (SW, JW, and PW) are given out for excellence in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities, followed by the annual Sports Day when certificates recognizing athletic achievements are given to the students. On the last day of school, called G.H.D (Going Home Day), trophies are given out to the houses for winning intra-school tournaments and events. One house is recognized as the winner of the year based on year-long tabulation of points earned during inter-house competitions. Besides "bragging" rights for the next year, the house also wins the Sikkim Shield, which is displayed in the winning house's corner in the dining hall for the following year.

The Chapel[edit]

The chapel holds a central place in the life of the school. It is here that the school meets as a community for prayer and worship. Students from the Senior and Junior Wings attend Chapel daily, while the boys from the Primary Wing attend on a weekly basis. It is the Chapel where the daily announcements are made. Boys and staff of diverse faiths worship together in the Chapel.

Town Leave[edit]

The environment the boys grow up in is controlled, and interaction with the outside is limited to the permits for town leaves twice a month for the boys of the Senior Wing (First and Third Sunday), once a month for the boys of the Junior Wing (Second Sunday) and once in two months chaperoned town leaves for the boys of the Primary Wing. During these leaves, the movement of the students are restricted and many areas of Darjeeling are out of bounds for them. The students are allowed a limited amount of pocket money and must wear the prescribed school uniform and compulsorily carry the black, non-folding umbrellas. Earlier, a school hat was also the part of the dress code for town leaves but is not so anymore.

Besides the day exeats, overnight exeats, typically over certain weekends, are issued (the frequency of which differs from wing to wing) to children when a parent or a person authorized by the parents visits the boy. Even during these overnight exeats, the student is expected to follow the schools guidelines pertaining to the dress code and out of limit areas.

Sunshine Holiday[edit]

Darjeeling has gloomy and persistent rainfall during the monsoon seasons, often lasting for days. The sunshine holiday is when an unscheduled holiday is declared on a sunny day after a long spell of Darjeeling monsoons. Usually, the school captain goes to the rector's office and asks for the holiday, probably pressured by his batchmates. Not more than two such holidays are known to be given in a year.

Chota Hazri[edit]

A part of the school culture is the chota hazri, a tradition from the British Raj which is still practised today. It is early morning tea served with biscuits before commencement of PT. Chota hazri is more stringently followed in the Primary and Senior Wings.

History[edit]

Visit History of St. Paul's School for a detail on the past of the Institution.

St. Paul's School was founded in Calcutta by Archdeacon Corrie at the instigation of John William Ricketts, a local Anglo-Indian leader, and opened at 11 Park Street on May 1, 1823. The school was moved to its present Jalapahar estate in Darjeeling in 1864 with 31 boarders and a few day scholars. At that time, at approximately 7,600 feet above sea level, it was the highest school in the world. A number of its students fought in both World War I and World War II.

Bishop Foss Westcott, Metropolitan of Bengal, Burma and Ceylon, played an important role in the growth of the school. The Maharajah of Burdwan also made important donations. Over the years a number of estates were purchased and merged with the existing school estate. The Mount Vernon Estate, known as Dawkins, was purchased at the beginning of the 1900s and the Terpsithea Estate in 1955.

The school's original purpose was "to supply a good education at a moderate cost to the sons of Europeans and East Indians", and it remained almost exclusively white until after World War II; after Indian Independence in 1947 it became a school for wealthy Indians and attracted wealthy students from other Asian countries, as of 1960 especially from Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Alumni[edit]

Alumni (Old Paulites) with wikipedia articles are listed below-

  • Jamling Tenzing Norgay, first son of an Everest summiteer to climb the summit of Mt. Everest.
  • Tashi Tenzing, first grandson of an Everest summiteer to climb Mt. Everest.
  • Dr. Munir Butt, former British diplomat and economic and foreign policy advisor to former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
  • Ammar Siamwalla, heads the Thailand Development Research Institute (and is a former minister in Thailand).
  • Rehman Sobhan, played a key role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 (becoming a member of its first Planning Commission) and now chairs the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka.
  • Dr. Rustum Roy, founder of the interdisciplinary field of Materials Science (the Materials Science lab that he headed at Pennsylvania State University for three decades was named the world's #1 Materials Science lab by ISI)
  • Kaizad Gustad, Indian filmmaker, his credits include Bombay Boys, Boom and Bombil and Beatrice.
  • Anjan Dutt, Indian director, actor and musician. His credits include Chalo Let's Go, Bow Barracks Forever and The Bong Connection.
  • Louis Banks,jazz artist. He is best known as the composer of the song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.
  • Kelly Dorji, Bhutanese model and actor, who is active in bollywood and other regional film industries.

References[edit]