From the Master
I wanted to use this column this week to reflect a little on one of the school’s main areas of focus over the past three years: building channels of communication with parents. We have worked hard to develop message formats which parents find readily accessible, but which also offer timely notification of news and events from across the school. All great schools aspire to foster a community spirit, opening up dialogue between home and school so that parents feel as included as their children and the staff in the school’s work.
Communication has arguably never been more important than during the recent coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented nature of the impact of the disease on all parts of society has often left parents (and it must be admitted, schools) yearning for certainty in the messages they get. It has not always been possible to offer the familiar reassurances, and this has tested the resilience and patience of us all.
In this context, I am delighted that we have still been able to offer a full programme of live lessons, parent evenings and briefings, Meet the Master sessions, and a Week Ahead which offers an important link to our wider community. I note this week that, as well as a parent briefing on transitions from Year 6-7, we are advertising the first online ‘take your mother to school’ day (Monday 11th May), an experience which many parents may well be familiar with after so many weeks of eLearning. Through events such as these, as well as the programme of other parent engagements with the school, I hope to strengthen still further a community that understands one another better, and that works collectively to offer the very best education to your child.
There have been no simple answers during the coronavirus outbreak. The school, just as with any organisation, has been forced to adapt and learn from the experience of the previous three months, but I am of the firm belief that schools which have the capacity to learn these lessons will emerge as far stronger institutions. Ignoring the experiences of the past 12 weeks, writing them off as unique and therefore unrepeatable, would be foolish. The world has changed since January 2020, and in many ways, these changes will be with us for far longer than the spectre of coronavirus. Adapting to these changes – indeed, in some cases, embracing them – can only help the school to grow. Just as we teach resilience to our pupils, the school too has become more resilient to the unexpected or the catastrophic. As we move into a new era, with more and more year groups gradually admitted back into the school, my colleagues and I are determined to adapt our practice to better meet the needs of our learners, families and staff. As a start, I will be writing to all parents in the next few days to outline some of the ways we see of achieving this goal. You will hear about our Annual Review process and result; the plans for developing greater eLearning capacity in future, as our partnership with Microsoft matures; there will be news about the exciting academic plans for the coming year and more on how we keep your children safer in our school.
MEET THE MASTER
Meet the Master slot is held online and open to parents of pupils in Years 7 to 11. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi
by Wednesday 6th May.
PARENT BRIEFING: MANAGING SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIONS FROM YEAR 6-7
The move from Junior School to Senior School is often a daunting one for pupils around the world, but we are working hard to minimise any trepidation among youngsters at Wellington. Our experienced academic and pastoral team start their preparations for the move to the Senior School from as early as the beginning of Year 5, making sure that curriculum and assessment systems are increasingly aligned, and pupils are supported in becoming more confident and independent learners. The Wednesday briefing features topics presented by key leaders in both the Junior and Senior Schools. We urge all Milepost 3 parents to attend this parent briefing (or watch the recorded version online) so that they are able to appreciate and support the process of transition for their child from Milepost 3 to Key Stage 3. We will be sending additional details to our Year 5 and Year 6 parents.
FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
Extension of the School Day
The school day will be extended for the exam candidates in Years 11, 12 and 13 from Monday, 4th May. Pupils will have extra lessons from 1550hrs to 1650hrs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as tutor time on Wednesdays. Buses will leave school at 1700hrs from Mondays to Thursdays and 1600hrs on Fridays. Pupils in Years 12 and 13, who are following lessons online, are also expected to attend these lessons.
Once other year groups make a physical return to school, the day will be extended for them too. There will be two extra lessons taught in the afternoons. The emphasis will not only be on Maths, Sciences, English and Mandarin but also on physical activities. Pupils will be involved in more sports activities on one afternoon each week, to help recover some of the fitness and wellbeing that has been lost during the eLearning phase.
FROM THE KEY STAGE 3 COORDINATOR
Year 8: Bring Your Mother to the Online School Day
Monday, 11th May
The Senior School is delighted to announce that the “Bring your Mother to school day” is still continuing this year, but we will adapt it into online activities during this special period. We would like to invite the mothers of pupils in Year 8 to join us for the e-learning day on Monday 11th May.
At the end of the day, mothers will be invited to join in an online conference call with Ms Sophia Shen and Mrs Popovic, the Head of Senior School, from 1600hrs -1655hrs. You may ask any questions related to the curriculum and the assessment system. We sincerely hope to see as many of our Year 8 mums as possible. Please be aware that the deadline for returning the reply slip to Ms Shen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is Thursday, 7th May.
FROM MS CHAPMAN, ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
Readers of the Week
The English Department is delighted to announce that this week’s Readers of the Week are:
Hana in Year 8, who was nominated by Ms Xu for reading four short stories in the past ten days.
Anais in Year 7, who was nominated by Ms Chapman for reading the novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri and writing a book review about the novel in her free time.
A huge congratulations to both Hana and Anais — what impressive achievements!
WEBINAR: E-LEARNING AND CHALLENGES FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN TIANJIN DURING THE PREPARATION FOR CLASS RESUMPTION
Online Via Zoom
As the COVID-19 has been successfully controlled in China, schools are gradually resuming classes or are preparing for re-opening. This shows that certainly, the city is making progress back to normality albeit in stages.
During this period schools across Tianjin and China have been working relentlessly to protect students, parents and staff while maintaining a high standard of education with creative thinking and flexible practices.
Hosted by the European Chamber Tianjin Chapter, Wellington College Tianjin cordially invites you to join Mr. Julian Jeffrey from Wellington College Tianjin, and 3 other well-known international schools in Tianjin who will offer their views on recent events and talk about the challenges and measures schools have taken, they will also share their insights on the future for schools in China.
- The experience of e-learning
- Supporting pupils, parents and staff at home
- Managing the reopening: health and safety processes & reopening challenges
- E-Learning after COVID-19
1330hrs – 1335hrs Opening Remark by Catherine Guo, General Manager of European Chamber Tianjin Chapter
1335hrs – 1340hrs Brief Introduction and Updates of the International Schools in Tianjin during the COVID-19 by Mr. Julian Jeffrey, Board of European Chamber Tianjin Chapter, Head of Wellington College Tianjin
1340hrs – 1500hrs Roundtable discussion.
Speaker Mr. Julian Jeffrey from Wellington College Tianjin, Mr. Steve Moody from International School of Tianjin (IST), Mr. Tim Warren from Teda Global Academy (TGA) and Mr. Ryan Witt from Tianjin International School (TIS)
1500hrs – 1530hrs Q&A Session
Reserve Your Ticket
Free tickets will be provided to parents and staff of Wellington College Tianjin, by registering in the first instance by email to
email@example.com before 1500hrs 4th May 2020.