At Wellington College International Hangzhou, we aspire to create a caring, international community that develops well-rounded individuals with strong values and the skills and identity to thrive within an ever-changing world. In fact, this is our vision statement. Community is at the centre of all we do at Wellington, and we continuously strive to work together with our parents, staff and pupils to develop that strong sense of community that makes international schools unique. In this series of ‘We Are Wellington’ articles, we aim to tell the stories of those families and highlight the special contributions they make to our community.
This week’s article in the series was written by the Sainsbury family who joined the Wellington community last October. Mr. Sainsbury is originally from Utah, United States, and Mrs. Sainsbury is originally from Kyoto, Japan. They have three daughters – Claire, Sienna and Leah – who each hold American and Japanese dual citizenship. Claire is the oldest of the three girls and is currently enrolled in Year 1 at Wellington College International Hangzhou.
Due to COVID-19, their family is still overseas and unable to return to Hangzhou at this point in time. ‘We hope to get back to China as soon as possible and re-join Wellington College International Hangzhou,’ Mr. Sainsbury explained in an interview.
In this article, Mr. and Mrs. Sainsbury share their family’s experience at Wellington and their reflections on Claire’s growth and development during this academic year.
The Wellington journey began from an onsite visit
Prior to coming to China, we lived in California and Utah. We have been in Hangzhou for three years and consider Hangzhou our home away from home.
We had a chance encounter with the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Wellington College Hangzhou who introduced Wellington College International Hangzhou to us. We received an invitation to visit campus and enjoyed a one-on-one campus tour led by the school’s Admissions team. We had toured other schools in the area, and we were not considering Wellington College International Hangzhou at the time. Once we stepped on campus, however, we were blown away. We immediately fell in love with the school and felt like this was the school for us. The friendliness of the Wellington staff really stood out to us.
A special transition year
This year has been a very special year for several reasons. This year was Claire’s first year of school; she started kindergarten in the United States before joining Year 1 at Wellington College International Hangzhou in October. We were nervous about her moving to Wellington, but she adapted quickly and did very well. Claire really enjoyed the holiday-themed school celebrations held around Halloween, Christmas and Chinese New Year.
This year was a new learning adventure for Claire. eLearning was a good experience. Claire enjoyed seeing her classmates every day and interacting with her teachers online. The teachers did exceptionally well and adapted flawlessly to the new online format. We as parents were really impressed with the quality of eLearning that was provided. That being said, though, we are glad that classes have resumed.
Values-based educational philosophy
I think Wellington College International Hangzhou has some great teachers. For example, Mrs. Fryer, Claire’s homeroom teacher, knew just how to teach, coach, encourage and push to get the best out of Claire while at the same time letting her enjoy the process. The teachers here personalize the curriculum for each student so that each child can improve according to their current level.
Apart from a noticeable improvement in Claire’s phonics, math, and reading, we also noticed that socially Claire was learning how to interact and be with other kids her same age. One thing specifically that we noticed was that Claire had never been a confident swimmer and was even scared of the water. This all changed at Wellington College International Hangzhou. The coaches at Wellington helped her overcome this fear and she really began to enjoy being in the water and swimming. It was very cool.
We also remember one time when Claire came home with house points. She explained how her teacher was so impressed with her kindness and responsibility that she earned these house points. As parents we are also thankful that Wellington makes the effort to instil good values in our children. The Wellington Values are great and necessary values for our kids to know and to live.
Parental involvement in school life
Wellington College International Hangzhou has been a great experience so far for Claire and for us as parents. The teachers are great at communicating both with the students and with parents. Wellington includes parents in their children’s education and does it in a way that works. We believe that we made a right decision to choose Wellington College International Hangzhou for Claire.
We were proudest when we came to Claire’s class on the School Open Day and she was so excited to show us everything that she was doing in class. Claire showed us the books she was reading, where she sat, her pencils, colors and the math designs on the carpet. That is when we knew she was enjoying her education.
We enjoyed all of the community events Wellington organized this academic year, but we loved the Christmas Party the most. We love the holidays and sometimes China is lacking in a little holiday spirit. We all enjoyed getting festive during the Christmas season with Wellington and seeing and hearing the children singing Christmas songs. It was very moving and uplifting.
If you would like to join the Wellington community, no matter whether you are planning on moving to Hangzhou or you are already living here, you can arrange an individual on-site visit by scanning the QR code below. Our Admissions team are on stand-by to host you for a personalised campus tour to help you discover what makes Wellington special.
(+86-571) 8239 6366