There was an air of excitement at the gates of Wellington today. Pupils, teachers and parents have waited a long time for the moment when more of our pupils were authorised to return physically on campus, albeit under very strict health, safety and hygiene conditions. We are all acutely aware that such rules and regulations were required to keep everyone safe, but this did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of those returning. Pupils and their parents have been prepared well, with information, assemblies and the sharing of key documents. As well as their preparation, staff also had training workshops, to make the entry onto the campus extremely smooth, with pupils settling in quickly to their classrooms.
Mr Ali, the Second Master, together with staff, greeted pupils and parents at the school gate. Mr Ali remarked, “We are very proud of the way our pupils and parents, together under the guidance and support from our academic team, took on the challenge of eLearning. They have come through this period with new confidence in their learning and a higher degree of independence, the value of which cannot be underestimated as a life skill.”
The first half an hour of the day was spent with tutors and class teachers, followed by a virtual assembly. The transition back to physical teaching and learning was just as swift as the move to online learning back in February. In every classroom, pupils were engaged fully in a variety of activities, and there was a purposeful atmosphere pervading the entire campus. Pupils calmly moved around the school and engaged in a variety of learning including science practicals, music, technology and PE; all of which had been carefully organised to continue as usual, within the requirements around social distancing.
The extended school day was an opportunity for pupils and teachers to make the most of the valuable time that is available to us now that we are back on campus. This enabled our pupils to build on the progress made in eLearning through consolidation, additional support and challenge.
All parts of the Wellington College community have shown themselves to be resilient in the face of challenge. eLearning has proved to be effective in developing our pupils into even more independent learners, providing them and their teachers with an opportunity to learn and teach in more creative and innovative ways, whilst keeping them on track academically. We were, and continue to be, at the forefront of providing a comprehensive eLearning academic programme as the only international school in China to have achieved Microsoft Showcase School status. eLearning will continue to play a part, as originally planned, as a component of our blended educational learning now that the campus is open to the majority of our pupils.
We here at Wellington College in Tianjin are very fortunate that the quality of our educational provision has remained consistently high as we moved to an eLearning model, and will continue to remain so as we transition back to face-to-face learning. Our values and identities are key drivers for our expectations of pupils and teachers, and it is this that makes Wellingtonians such successful and well-rounded individuals.