This week it has been a great pleasure to welcome the members of the Council of International Schools (CIS) Accreditation Team. This very experienced team of head teachers and school leaders have observed and examined every area of the academic and pastoral life of the School, including over a hundred visits to lessons, and they have met and spoken extensively with pupils, staff, parents, and governors.
The CIS Team’s feedback on the College’s progress since the original Visit of 2015 are due to be presented to staff after the ‘The Week Ahead’ has gone to press. We will therefore share with you the summary of these next week. I can say now, however, that Team members have already passed on, informally, many positive comments to both staff and pupils. Examples of such comments include a very enthusiastic account of a Student Council meeting; references to the positive atmosphere and appearance of the School as a whole, both in classrooms and beyond; and numbers of compliments made directly to me such as ‘you must be very proud of the School’. (Indeed we are.)
That said we are never complacent so, as a team, we continually reflect and consider how we may improve. Thus we are looking forward to hearing some objective, constructive feedback from CIS, which, as I say, we will share with you next week so that we may all work together to achieve the very best outcomes. In the meantime, I should like to express greatly appreciative thanks to our incredibly hard-working staff team for all their quite extraordinary efforts in creating such a great educational environment for our young people. As another example of this, as we go to press, we are eagerly anticipating tonight’s Music Concert in the Seldon Theatre, featuring our new student orchestra, wind and string ensembles, and many individual instrumentalist performances.
With best wishes to all our Wellington families.
Safeguarding – Keeping Your Children Safe In School
The Master and I have both written about our relentless desire to see levels of child safeguarding reflect current best practice in international schools across the world, and I thought this would be an appropriate time to brief parents and our wider Wellington community on the steps we have taken thus far. Keeping children safe from harm is the single most important part of our responsibility as a school. Our CIS accreditation process has allowed us to engage with bodies such as the International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) and work closely with internationally-acclaimed advisors such as Tim Gerrish, OBE, to help us frame child safeguarding practices that will help us meet this responsibility.
We already have in place some enviable good practice, in the form of our safeguarding policy, trip risk assessments, code of conduct and training programmes for all our staff, but this is an area in which we can never be complacent. One area we will strengthen is the way we allow visitors access to the school site. We perceive a need to reinforce our procedures with some closer work with the wider community, to raise the awareness of the security needs of our young people and to help make the site as secure as we can, whilst retaining the welcoming environment of the school. One of the key documents that underpins our work is the UK government’s Keeping Children Safe in Education (Sept, 2016). This makes the importance of such provision very clear: “Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children.” As a result, there will be clearer guidance for parents and visitors in terms of registering on arrival and departure; revised key safeguarding practices for visitors and what to do in the event of an emergency. These developments underline our commitment to keeping your children safe at school, and I very much hope that parents, families and other friends of the school will work closely with staff to support these initiatives as we seek to embed them.
Reminders and Notices
A reminder that Parents’ Evenings are from 1530-1915hrs on Monday 24th and Wednesday 26th October. Forms have been sent out for parents to identify times that they would like to attend. Specialist teachers will be available on the day, apart from the Music department whose teachers are only available on Wednesday. However, if parents prefer a separate appointment another day with Music, they are more than happy to agree an alternative. All specialist teachers in EAL, PE and Music are available for ‘drop-in’ appointments in the Dining Hall on Wednesday, and Mandarin teachers have timed appointments.
A reminder that Hallowe’en is celebrated on Friday 28th October. All children can come dressed up in their Hallowe’en costumes and there will be a parade of the children’s costumes in the morning, with party games and food in the afternoon. Parents are asked to provide snacks for their child, to share with the class [NB Please remember we are a nut free school]. During the afternoon, Years 5 and 6 will have the opportunity to venture into the Senior School Scare fest, and join in with their celebrations.
The homework projects are superb. A lot of effort and pride has gone into the projects, and I know that all of the teachers are extremely impressed in the quality and quantity of work that the majority of children have shown. The homework projects are not substitutes for daily reading, spellings, or times tables practice, though; parents are requested to ensure support their child in these areas, especially times tables as these are a fundamental part of the mathematical learning.
Parents are reminded that school starts at 0815hrs. Children arriving late are missing their reflection time, which is extremely important in helping them to extend their learning even further.
The Milepost 3 Exit Point is on Wednesday 26th October at 1430hrs. The pupils’ mood boards will be on display in the Dining Hall and all parents of children in Years 5 and 6 are warmly invited.
Finally, the Junior School will be having a weekly attendance award for the class with the highest attendance taking into account absences and late arrivals. The class with the highest attendance will be allowed 15 minutes extra playing on a Friday – Head boy and girl will be reading out the winners each week in Celebration Assembly.
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 RMB100. Details are available on the attached letters*.
School Play: Two by Jim Cartwright,
Black Box Theatre
Mon, Tues and Wed 24-26th Oct
It is wonderful to see students from a range of years working so hard to perform in a professional production. Set over the course of one night in a bar, Two explores a range of relationships through monologues and duologues. It looks at the games we play, stresses we are under; explores healthy relationships and the not so healthy, all the time unearthing our deepest secrets.
I urge you all to come and watch the hard work of the 15 something students. Mr Chen of Café Corner will be running a real bar whilst you watch the antics of the dramatic one, sit back, sip your drink and enjoy.
Thursday 27th October
There will be a University visit from the University of South California (USC) on Thursday 27th October from 1430hrs – 1530hrs in the Theatre. Pupils in Years 12 and 13 will all be attending. We extend a very warm welcome to all of our parents should you wish to attend.
Reports and Interims
Reports for all pupils in the Senior School will be published on to the Parent Portal on Tuesday, 25th October at 1700hrs. Full written reports will be published for Years 11 and 13, as well as Years 12 and 13 in the A Level stream. Interim grades will be published for Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and Year 11 (A Level stream). If you experience any difficulties with logging on to the Parent Portal please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a Parents’ Evening from 1700-1830hrs on Thursday 27th October for all parents of children in Years 10 and 12 (IB and A Level streams). There will be an opportunity to discuss progress in the early stages of IGCSE, Diploma and A level programmes as well as discuss goals for each pupil.
Take Your Father To School Day
Tuesday 25th Oct
Our annual Year 7 event, ‘bring your father to school day’ is taking place on Tuesday 25th October. There are still a few places remaining if any fathers would like to join their child for a day at Wellington. If you are interested, please complete the form* and have your child return it to Miss Paine in room 230 by Friday 21st October.