I have been very encouraged by the start of the new academic year. Pupils have settled to their routines rapidly and across the school the atmosphere is steadfastly purposeful. The lessons I have seen have been engaging and challenging, with evidence of real differentiation for all age groups. Academic achievement is, of course, the sine qua non of any school that aspires to offer the best to its pupils, and Wellington is no exception. Our recent exam results show a school with serious academic ambition at its heart, and one of our explicit goals for the coming year is to see each child reach his or her own full potential in their learning.
We are lucky as a school to have so many gifted children in our care. Teachers of all groups offer these children the chance to challenge themselves through extension work as a part of each and every lesson, but there are many other encouragements to scholarship across the school. We are rewarding both effort and attainment more openly in our assemblies and prizes; scholarships for pupils now reward the most able with a sizeable acknowledgement of their potential and capacity for hard work; and the ASA programme offers overtly academic programmes as a part of each child’s selections. I am keen to see further recognition and status, though – we should not simply celebrate our brightest pupils, but we should offer them further opportunities to express their gifts. Two such programmes have launched this year. The first is through our university admissions’ process, offering an explicit pathway to the world’s top universities by identifying and supporting those young people who have shown the capacity for such destinations. Potential Oxbridge and Ivy League candidates are being recognised at ever-earlier ages and offered a bespoke programme of reading and wider preparation in order to maximise their chances of gaining admission.
The second initiative is one that is very close to my heart. One of the drawbacks of the role of leading a school is, sadly, an inevitable step back from the everyday classroom interaction with pupils. As such, the sheer excitement of sharing learning – such an integral part of the privilege of classroom teaching – now often passes me by for the more mundane business of meetings. As a way of playing my own part in the academic success of our pupils, I am launching the Master’s Society, a group comprised of the school’s finest academic prospects which meets each month to debate new ideas and areas of common interest. At each meeting, a member of the Society will deliver a short paper, designed to stimulate discussion and, in turn, fuel further reading and trigger a deeper desire to find out more. The society will be drawn from pupils in Years 11-13, and initially I will be issuing individual invitations to join, although over time the members of the society will be responsible for nominating their peers. It is an unashamedly elite group – numbers are strictly limited – but it reflects the fact that Wellington is a school that is not afraid to pursue such programmes for our most talented young people. I want to open up opportunities for those we feel have the potential to be the school’s academic leaders for years to come. The inaugural meeting is on Friday 21st September, during which time I will be launching the society and outlining my expectations of the members. I hope it proves to be an exciting, novel way to highlight the academic capacity of our pupils and provide them with another way to contribute to the on-going success of the school.
MEET THE MASTER
Duke of York Room
Thursday 20th September
This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 12 and 13. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi (email@example.com) by Wednesday 19th September.
UNIVERSITY & COLLEGE
COUNSELLING AT WELLINGTON
Wednesday 19th September
Every Wednesday morning from 0900hrs, parents will have the chance to engage with the school in sessions that cover all aspects of your child’s education, from the Early Years to A Levels and university admissions. The venue will vary according to the anticipated audience, and for next week’s meeting, Mrs Jayne Sabio, the Head of Sixth Form, will be in Common Room to introduce the university and college counselling services at Wellington. Parents of children in all year groups are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
Parents’ Evening: Year 11 (A Level Induction Year) Open House
Tuesday 18th September
Parents’ evening for parents of pupils in Year 11 (A Level Induction year) will be held on Tuesday, 18th September from 1700hrs to 1830hrs. Pastoral care at Wellington plays a crucial role in developing every child to his or her full potential. If you would like to meet your child’s tutor and Housemaster, please use this opportunity to do so. The meeting point is the Atrium at 1700hrs. After brief introductions and a welcome message, you will have an opportunity to ask questions about the House system in the Senior School, tour around your child’s House, and talk to her/his tutor and Housemaster.
FROM THE HEAD OF MANDARIN
Year 11 Mandarin trip to Wudadao
Wednesday 19th September
In order to arouse pupils’ interest in exploring the richness of Chinese history and culture, the Mandarin Department has organised a Chinese culture trip for students of Year 11 (A Level Induction year) and Year 11 native Chinese learners. We will be visiting Cao Yu and Liang Qichao Memorial Halls on Wednesday 19th September. More details have been sent out through a parent letter. Please contact me if you have any questions about it.
Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration
Friday 21st September
Children in the Nest will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival at Wellington on Friday 21st September. They will be dressed up in their traditional costumes and making moon cakes.
There will be more activities in the Junior and Senior school in the following week when we celebrate Chinese Culture Week.
FROM THE CHARITY COORDINATOR
Friday 21st September
Once again, we are very excited to announce an exciting opportunity to support Jian Hua Orphanage with our annual sleepover on Friday September 21st here at Wellington. It will start at 1600hrs and it will be centred in the Black Box.
Admission fee is 50 RMB and pupils should collect a sponsorship form from Ms. Rogic in order to raise as much money as possible for this wonderful cause. All the money will be donated to Jian Hua Ltd.