Thank you again for your support of our Junior School Parents’ Evenings this week. These are an invaluable part of our School-home partnership in the best interests of your child, and we hope you found these progress discussions informative and productive. I and my colleagues are also most grateful for the appreciative feedback we have received, and as ever we are very keen to hear our parents’ perspectives.
Prior to our parents’ individual meetings with staff, Mrs Thomas, Head of the Junior School, gave a presentation on this term’s improvements to our Junior pupils’ assessments and school reports. These have been introduced in the context of recent assessment developments in the UK, and in the light of changes to the Age Related Expectations (ARE) in English, Reading and Mathematics, which have added challenge for Junior pupils in these core UK curriculum areas. Essentially, our new assessment and reporting practices provide more informative data on pupils’ progress through the detailed ARE statements. I do encourage our Junior pupils’ parents to refer to the detailed written guidance, which the teachers will provide on parents evening, explaining these improvements. Please do not hesitate to raise any questions you might have about these with your child’s class teacher.
This weekend we welcome our Council of International Schools (CIS) Accreditation Team. The Team consists of eight experienced head teachers and school leaders. The full Review of the College which they will undertake next week, further to our CIS Preliminary Visit of April 2015, follows 18 months of community preparations.
The CIS philosophy embraces a commitment to a continuous process of school improvement. In this context, our Accreditation journey to date has involved: opinion surveys of pupils, parents and staff; following up on these surveys, over twenty staff ‘Self-Study’ groups, formed to work on recommended next steps across all areas of our educational provision; and then finally our updated School Development and Action Plans, as recently described in this column, and also discussed with parents in our meeting just before last week’s holiday.
We now greatly look forward to the CIS Team’s feedback on the College’s progress since the original CIS Visit. This feedback will be presented after the ‘Week Ahead’ has gone to press next week, so I will share with you the highlights of the CIS Team’s evaluation in the following week.
With best wishes to all our Wellington families.
Encouraging pupil voice across the school
One of the most important changes in the ways schools operate in the 21st Century is the way that the views and opinions of its most important resource – the pupil body – is increasingly recognised. Wellington’s educational ethos is underpinned by a desire to educate the whole child, to foster resilience in young learners and to prepare them for a life beyond the school. These goals are reinforced by our determination to encourage pupils to engage with the way their school is run. 192 of our young people, from Year 3 upwards, completed an extensive catering survey in the week before half term, and the results are being used by the school leadership, in partnership with our caterers, Compass, to drive up standards; as I write, the Stanley House menu choice for Healthy Eating week is being served to hungry teachers and pupils in the Dining Hall. This year sees the pupil body led for the first time by a Head of College, Lotus Wang, and two Deputy Heads (Lucas Sun and MeiWen Chan). They too play an important role in leading the school and acting as conduits for pupil feedback and the generation of new ideas about the way the school moves forward through their work with the Student Councils in both Junior and Senior schools. We are shortly to have another WellingTEN assembly in the Senior School, with three more challenging and stimulating lectures on issues of interest to the community, and a pupil-led Winter Prom in December.
The advantages for the school of such high levels of pupil engagement are clear. Young people have a refreshingly clear view of the way schools operate and this can often provide a real insight for senior leaders and governors; children can see how their input in areas as diverse as assessment (through peer review), the environment (through our pupil-led charitable work) and even the quality of teaching, through the regular pupil surveys we undertake, can help to make real improvements to their time at school. As such, we take their ideas and feedback very seriously, and as we move through the year there will be growing opportunities for pupils to take the lead in helping to make Wellington an even better school for the young people of Tianjin.
Parents are requested to keep a close eye on their children whilst they are playing in the activity areas and the football field. There have been one or two incidents in which children have been involved which could have been avoided if parents had been watching their children carefully. Children are not allowed to go into the tennis courts, or swing on the nets, which are easily broken.
The school, in conjunction with the United Family Hospital of Tianjin, is offering flu vaccinations to all pupils on Thursday 27th October. The cost for such a jab is RMB 100. Details are available on the attached letters.
Year 9 Mandarin trip to Gulou: postponed to 25th October
The Year 9 Mandarin trip to the Drum Tower, scheduled for Thursday 20th October, has been postponed to Tuesday 25th. A letter to all parents has been sent home with details of the morning visit.
Fri 21st October
Wellington College International Tianjin will show its support for the Tianjin Cancer Hospital Prevention Centre again this year. All pupils are encouraged to wear a pink item of clothing on Friday, and donate 10RMB for each item of ‘pinkness’. All funds raised across the ISCOT schools will be donated to the TICC’s charity campaign.