Meet our Vice Principal | Andrew Willis

We have all faced challenges this year, but Andrew Willis, Wellington’s Vice Principal and Head of Prep School, believes 2020 has presented some unique opportunities to bring out the best in us. It has been a time for growth and improvement. More importantly, it has been a time for Wellington’s pupils, parents and teachers to shine. Here is Mr Willis in his own words. 

On the value of resilience

Resilience is a core concept at Wellington, and it is something that you need in abundance when you face challenges. The adversity that we faced during the closure was a real testing ground for this value. It is only when we face these challenges that we can put these values to the test, and certainly both pupils and teachers came through.

What stood out to me the most was the many opportunities there were to shine. People came up with unexpected and surprising ideas. They found depths of talent and knowledge. They researched and found out the best ways to deal with the school closure, the best ways to learn during the school closure, and we saw some bright stars come out to shine. When we came back to school and opened again, those same people were still shining. It was lovely to see how they adapted during this opportunity—and that is what I would call it, ‘opportunity’—that was the school closure period.

On Keeping Wellington safe and healthy

We have got a great facilities team led by our Bursar, Lydia Lim. We have got a great nursing team led by our Head Nurse Sarah Tang. They and their teams have put together a comprehensive, robust system of checks and practices. Those practices were put into place before we reopened this summer. As a result of this staggered start, we were able to refine and perfect them. It was borne out in practice. And now, we are extremely confident that our campus is a safe environment for our pupils and teachers.

Looking to the year ahead

We have been working on a new curriculum for our Prep School for the last two and a half years, and I am really excited to introduce it this year. Curriculum is everything in a school. It is what you learn. It is how you learn. It is also how you interact with the other people in the school. We have been looking at our co-curricular offering, the sports, the performances, the debating, the competitions. All of that goes to making our school as enriching as possible.

Still, we never lose sight of our wider goal, which is to instil in our pupils a sense of global citizenship. This is probably the most important thing that we do, especially now. The world today is closer and more interconnected than ever. Yet it is increasingly divided. People express a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety and a lot of misunderstanding about others in the world. We want to counteract that. We want our pupils to go out and be confident, well-rounded global citizens. This goal informs the entirety of what we do.

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