ARMY PUBLIC SCHOOL - SADDAR
Waiting in front of the huge iron-wrought gates of The Army Public School O-levels, Saddar, hoping to get clearance from the multitude of security guards to enter the school, one cannot help but ogle at the towering gates and the imposing brass plate, bearing the school name, above it. From afar, the school appears to be some ministers home, such is the splendour and security resonating from its very exterior.
However, as the saying goes ‘Beauty lies within’, here too, the real contents of the package are yet to be revealed. And indeed, upon entering the school premises, one is transfixed by the beautiful lush green lawns racing through out the school grounds, a serene contrast to the sprawling mansions behind. The delicious aroma of freesia, lavender, rose and much more, greets the nose as the eyes are awed by the beautiful flower gardens and the looming palm trees.
The football and basketball courts and the cricket pitches provide another source of attraction for both the visitors and the students, as they are drawn in multitudes to the fierce games on court, where they remain immersed in cheering on their favourite teams for hours. In the case of a growling stomach and a parched throat, the newly built high school canteen, with its marble seats and chairs, is the perfect spot to relax back and treat oneself to the mouth watering samosas and chicken patties. The school grounds themselves cover an enormous expanse of land, stretching out over acres, from the junior to the senior sections. Simply to walk from on end to the other requires is a gruelling task, requiring at least one-thirds of an hour.
Ambience and Environment
The very atmosphere of the school throbs with a brilliancy, filling the air with a vibrant burst of energy and uplifting the spirit of whosoever ventures through its premises. Lively spirits seem to roam throughout the grounds, adding a festive feeling to the general atmosphere. The grounds, during school hours, seem to hum with delight what with the multitude of students rushing all around the place, abuzz with joy and an outpour of throbbing energy.
The Junior Section
At the western end of the huge grounds lies the elegant, mansion-like junior building, hosting students from the pre-nursery to the primary. Here tiny toddlers waddling through the school gates, looking adorable in their tiny school uniforms, is a very endearing sight to all. Further in, the shaded courtyard is the perfect spot to relax whilst enjoying watching the children immersed in their various games. Their laughter is often heard echoing throughout the school grounds, often attracting smiling parents to the spot. The kindergarten rooms are a child’s haven: painted in bright colours and decorated with various objects, aimed to further a child’s imagination, the classrooms portray various scenes, for instance, scenes from the jungle or the space. Built-in hammocks and camp-beds provide further delight to the students, allowing them to carry out school-work in a familiar, homely environment.
The rooms open onto the basketball courts, where teachers frequently take the students for games or impromptu outdoor sessions or to hold fun activities and ball games. The art room also dazzles the visitor, as the result of years of hard work and careful maintenance is portrayed in the vivid paintings and creative drawings. The primary section lies on the first floor, and it is here that the children are groomed and their personalities are shaped. It is here where they begin their actual journey of life, and their characters begin to take shape.
Furthermore, an extensive playground outside the east wing of the junior school is a great source of attraction for the younger students, who simply love playing on the swings and slides, often spending hours frolicking with their friends.
The Senior Section
However, the journey does not end here. Towards the east wing of the grounds, the senior section stands in all its might and grandeur. The brick and mortar, two-storey building boasts a combination of contemporary architecture mixed with that of the past. The tinted windows together with the sweeping driveway, add to the chic effect of the school building. Proudly occupying its esteemed position on the wall directly in front of the entrance, is the portrait of our founder, the Quaid-e-Azam, looking dignified and serene at its best, humbling all the viewing eyes, and reminding one of the sacrifices made by our ancestors in order to attain Pakistan. The list of the Presidents of the Managing Committee, all highly ranked and distinguished army men, on the left wall shows the military power of the school and the position of this school as the top most military-owned schools in the country. Spanning on either side of the Quaid’s portrait are two wide, spotlessly clean corridors whilst the corridor beyond leads to the high-tech computer lab and the staircase leading up to the second floor.
The classrooms in this section are spacious and airy, with orderly seating arrangements and a slightly severe look to it, aimed at instilling good behaviour and decorum in each and every student. However, this in no way hinders the students from enjoying their school life to the hilt. The corridor, usually so quiet and tranquil on a holiday, is transformed on every other school day, bursting to energy and surpassing all noise barriers, as tides of students sweep through it, in search of their respective classes, whilst teachers are busy preparing for their classes. The library, with its wide collection of books is heaven for all enthusiastic readers, whilst the science labs, equipped with the latest scientific gear, is perfect for all science-lovers.
The Education System
The education system at Army Public School comprises of two boards, namely the O’ Level Board and the Federal Board. For the O’ level section, a wide choice of subjects is offered and the results produced by the students are progressive. The Federal Board too produces excellent results and has a remarkable footing in the education system and is at par with so many other international boards.
Beginning from early child education then leading onto the primary education and ending in the senior section, the school aims at bringing out a child’s inner cadences and tapping out the best from each child. Right from toddlers to near-adults, the school prepares a child for what is yet to come in the perilous journey called Life. Hard work and dedication are integral qualities of each and every student, all of whom take pride in their school’s activities and their performances. The teachers are all highly qualified in their respective subjects and enjoy their profession to the hilt. They play a wide role in cultivating the students and helping them all throughout the journey to bring out their real selves from within.
Houses and Prefectorial Teams
The Prefectorial Team, headed by the Head Boy and Girl and supported by the Prefects, aim at bringing out the leadership qualities in the students and helping the faculty maintain the discipline of the school. The houses aim at teaching the students to be unified within their selected houses and fostering a healthy competition among the house members.
Other than academics, The Army Public school also stresses upon the importance of co-curricular activities offering a wide range of sports such as gymnastics, volleyball, football, cricket, basketball, hockey, etcetera, and co-curricular activities, such as debating, elocutions, Qirat sessions, cooking, ikebana, music sessions, drama, science exhibitions, arts and crafts, chess, scrabble, scouting, camping and many more, to choose from, thus allowing the students to enjoy their school life to the fullest.
Teacher Training Workshops
The APSACS system has a magnificent and widely spread network which provides in-house training to teachers in almost every aspect of classroom management and learning and assessment areas related to the curriculum. Moreover, teachers are sent for workshops to various other organisations such as The British Council, SPELT, TRC, Notredame Institute of Education, Aga Khan IED, etcetera.
Overall, Army Public School is an esteemed and well-known institution from where many students have graduated with honours and gone on to establishing their own distinguished careers.