From the Master
Visiting other schools, and meeting their pupils and staff, has been one of the great pleasures of my job in the past few years. Dedicated teachers and engaged, enthusiastic pupils always remind me how inspiring it is to be able to spend time getting under the skin of a school and seeing how it operates. In part, of course, I use such visits as a way of learning more about schooling across the world, shamelessly adopting great ideas whenever I see an opportunity – our school here in Wellington has certainly benefitted from some of the great work being done in schools across China and the rest of the world.
It is not all a case of inter-school spying, however. These are occasions to share good practice and to celebrate the success of schools which share our commitment to great teaching and a genuinely holistic education. Whilst the coronavirus restrictions remain in place, it has not been possible to see many new schools, but the memory of one that I was privileged enough to visit a couple of weeks ago has stayed with me. The Tianjin Hongqiao Peizhi primary school is only a few kilometres away from College, but it is a very different sort of school to our own. This is a school which serves families with children aged from 2-18 years who have serious learning difficulties, often allied to physical disabilities. It is a humbling, inspirational place, even when its students are not able to attend. On our recent visit, principally arranged so that we could make a donation of 10 tablets from money raised by the staff from Wellington, we were lucky enough to meet some of the staff and parents of this remarkable school. Touring the art rooms and seeing the work that the children at Peizhi had created was particular a reminder of the way dedicated teaching can change lives.
I spoke to all parents this week on the vision for the coming year. Of course, much was focused on the education we provide, and the changes to teaching and learning, but a strong thread of our focus for the coming year and beyond lies in building up our service commitment. We already run a vibrant International Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and charitable projects like last year’s Pink Day and the visually arresting ‘Movember’ phenomenon raise thousands of renminbi for local charities. But I sense we can do more to place service at the core of our school, from everyday relationships across our own community, with respect as the cornerstone of any interaction, to more structured ASA programmes which allow our pupils to work with children from schools like Peizhi each week. Parents too are encouraged to join our drive to foster the service mentality of our school, either through the great work of the FOW or with individual projects close to your heart.
FROM THE HEAD OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
The older pupil of course benefits from the relationship too, they act as a role model, and the inspiration which comes from this promotes their sense of achievement and empathy. Most importantly, it is fun!
A reminder to parents and pupils that the deadline for applying for next year’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is Tuesday 9th June. Please remember to include your full name and house in your application letter and email it to Ms Chapman at
Successful candidates will be invited to an interview before the end of term. If you have any questions about the application process or the qualification, then please contact Ms Chapman directly.