As those who regularly follow our WeChat posts will know, the Meet the Master parent information sessions have been a regular fixture in our calendar, providing a great opportunity for parents to learn more about the Wellington Vision and philosophy on holistic education. Parents leave the Meet the Master sessions with a deep understanding of the school, and recognising that the Wellington Values and Identities form the core of how we structure our curriculum in the Wellington Way.
Some parents, however, seek to learn more in-depth information about the curriculum structure, what an academic day would look like for a Wellington pupil, and to experience the Wellington teaching methodology in person. Our ‘Thematic Workshops’ provide this opportunity. These workshops are separated by the school sections; Early Years, Primary and Junior High. Each session is led by the Head of Section, and provide a deeper look into what an education at Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou will provide children, and how we will develop our pupils into children that are Inspired, Intellectual, Inclusive, Independent and Individual.
Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou shares the same Wellington Values and Identities with the other members of the Wellington College family of schools, including The Wellington College in England, and our Wellington College China schools in Shanghai and Tianjin. The Values and Identities are integrated into the school in a way that combines the very best of Chinese and British cultures and educational styles. In addition, Wellington College has been working with academic leaders from both Britain and China for several years to develop a bilingual model that helps our pupils cope with the mental and physical challenges of operating in a bilingual environment, and developing the ability to move fluently between Chinese and English, skills that we know benefit children cognitively, and will provide opportunities for them in an increasingly connected 21st century.
Head of Early Years, Ms. Jacqueline Speer, and Deputy Head of Early Years, Ms. Sharon Wan, take the opportunity in their Thematic Workshops to introduce the Early Years teaching philosophy, and how they value children as independent learners, making sure that the curriculum guides the children’s learning naturally, based on the very best educational practices. A range of classroom examples, resources and activities are arranged, providing parents with an opportunity to experience Early Years learning at its best.
In the Primary Thematic Workshops the Head of Primary, Mr. Jonathan Mills, keeps the atmosphere lively and merry from the very beginning, demonstrating the inquiry-based teaching methodology that will be used in Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou classrooms. Attendees are guided through the “lesson” through a range of activities and discussions that seek to actively involve the parents in the learning process. Pupils at Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou will learn actively; exploring themes and content through problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and discussion. As opposed to “teacher-centred” classes, Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou lessons are “pupil-centred”, with children learning in groups through exploration and discovery; children are inspired to create their own learning opportunities, to think and to interact.
As we know, pupils entering Junior High are at a critical stage of their learning as they transition from Primary school and begin their preparations for a rigorous IGCSE and A-Level programme. The Head of Junior High, Shen Quoqiang, provides examples as to how we foster the Wellington Values and Identities into teaching and practice, what differentiated teaching looks like in practice, how we approach on-going assessment and reflective teaching evaluation; all key to providing an inspiring learning environment where pupils are challenged to achieve their best. We understand and believe that every child learns differently and is motivated by different approaches to teaching. As a result, Wellington pupils are provided with opportunities to participate in a range of learning activities, finding what makes them tick and fostering a genuine passion for learning in a range of subject areas that will serve them throughout Senior High and beyond.
Parents who attend our Thematic Workshops can personally experience what makes a Wellington College classroom special. They are engaged in the learning process and are encouraged to offer their own questions, ideas and opinions. Parents are encouraged to join us in our vision to create a caring, bilingual community that develops well-rounded individuals with strong values and the skills to thrive within an ever-changing global society.